The two only real issues I had with Atom were it’s lack of headroom and performance on low gain with older Planars like my/[previously your] LCD 2 and it’s PreAmp… like why is it not PreGain?
Either way props to Schiit for bringing this level of performance with more power, a pre gain pre out and a metal enclosure! I’m excited to see how the JDS Labs team responds, this kind of competition at this price point is only good imo for all of us!
To be clear, since a couple of people have read more into the above statement than it actually says … it says nothing about how I feel about the Magni Heresy in regards to the Magni 3+. Nor, indeed, vs. Cavalli Liquid Spark, the original Magni 3 or any other amplifier not specifically mentioned in the above comparison.
In other words, it simply says that, for me: Magni Heresy > Atom > Archel 2 Pro
I’m still interested in hearing Magni 3+ actually, Magni 3 was a step in the right direction for what I like imo but not quite enough to merit a buy. I think the improvements to 3+ are worth a purchase and listen!
Well, as much as I liked the Liquid Spark (enough to have bought one), I preferred the Magni 3 both on simple sonic grounds and on overall technical performance.
And I like the Magni 3+ a good deal more than the Magni 3, so obviously I prefer it to the Liquid Spark also.
If you like the coloration/warmth the Liquid Spark adds (I did, at least with some headphones), then you may well prefer it over the Heresy. Though from an objective perspective, the Heresy is ahead of the Spark (and the Magni 3+ for that matter).
More specific comparisons, including comparing Magni 3+ and Heresy will be something I cover in a review here shortly.
I’m going to read the tea leaves, based on what’s been said, and what hasn’t, and guess that the 3+ smokes the Heresy on sound quality.
But then again, I’ll admit that I’m biased. I haven’t heard an opamp based amp that has ever made me think “OMG, I would sell my <insert any amp I’ve ever owned here> for this thing!”. I guess if anyone could make opamps sound good, it’s @schiit.
I’m actually toying with doing something a bit different to the normal summary and comparison statements for these two amps in the initial posting of my review …
While I will certainly include my subjective commentary on each amplifier’s sound (assuming, for the purposes of this post, that they’re audibly distinguishable at all), I may, for the initial posting of the review, stop short of actually stating a) if I have a preference, and b) if I do, for which unit it might be.
That would be to for two reasons:
First, to encourage people to take Schiit up on their no-restocking fee 30 day trial of the two units for themselves. And then, once that offer is exhausted (as it only applies to the first 250 customers) post whatever my “preference statement” is as an addition to the review.
Second, to avoid the potential biasing/influencing of others towards my preference - which was a bit of a pitfall with other reviews, in other venues, both mine and of others, from time to time.
And I if do choose to do that initially, I’ll also send any “missing statement(s) of preference” to a couple of trusted members here, so that there’s no question of me changing it after publishing said initial review.
I’d really like people to use reviews, mine and other’s, as a way to help shortlist components for their own direct audition, and not as the determinant of what they buy. Which is why my reviews make recommendations to add things to an audition list rather than to just go out and buy them un-heard.
To my understanding, this offer was exhausted very quickly. Even on the same day both of these were released I went to Schiit.com that night and was not seeing ‘both’ as an option in the model dropdown, which according to their FAQ is the way one would partake in that offer:
Both: choose both if you want to compare. For the first 250 orders, you’ll be able to keep both for 30 days and send one back with no restock fee. As long as the option for “both” is in the “Model” order box, you’re set for this special extended comparison time.
@Torq - What headphone(s) did you use for this review?
I picked up a FiiO Q1 Mark 2 for its portable versatility (USB and line-in) that has already paid for itself.
However, need a couple new amps to drive M1060s, DT770, and HE4xx (the last being bass anemic on anything I plug it into compared to the M1060s, which seems wrong to me)
So I’m starting a mini amp and op-amp collection to see why I am getting so many flavors with changes that on paper, I don’t think should yield the dramatic differences in sound my son and I are hearing when we swap cans.
Have FocusRite, Prosonus, and Behringer equipment for grunt work, but I don’t want these on my desk (they’re in my rack).
Man, $100 for an amp that performs as well as the Heresy kind of makes me want to pick one up. I really have no need for it, but I still find it intriguing. I started off with an original Modi and O2 amp just a few years ago. It’s good to see so much progress in that time.
Lately most of my listening is done at my desk (or when travelling) and my desk set up is an SU-8 into a Loxjie P20, so I wanted to add a solid state amp. My idea is to move the Atom from my home desk to work and add the Schiit stack to my home desk.
Not that I need it but I always thought the Schiit stack looked cool (and I can’t afford a Phonitor )
It will be a while before I get them though, as I either need to visit the US office or wait for someone to travel this way.