NITSCH x Schiit Magni Piety Dropped! Super Limited & Long Awaited!

The NITSCH x Schiit Magni Piety dropped today on both Apos and NITSCH’s websites. Limited to 1000 units total and highly anticipated amplifier, looking forward to giving it a try as soon as it comes in!

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Mine will be here tomorrow or Tuesday,

Wonderful design…cant wait to play with it.

Alex

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Bought one. Gonna go head-to-head with the RebelAmp, we’ll see how it does.

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Spent all day Saturday saying “don’t forget about the Piety on Sunday morning”, and promptly remembered one hour after it sold out.

They’ll be some used ones floating soon enough I bet.

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if they sold 1k in 12 hours, they will be back. there clearly is a market for it. if it will sell 1k in 12 hours, it will sell 10k a year. and thats worth schiits time.

I wonder if they are going back to the original design, according to Marv on SBAF and CEETEE, a big reason why this magni was not the one that was mass produced as the magni 3+ is due to the PNP NPN transistors being out of stock. They redesigned the board to use new transistors and were able to have enough to make 1k but now the new ones are low in quantity and the old transistors are in stock now so if they were to maintain stock they have to revert back. I refrained from buying this due to having the jotunheim 2 so I am curious how this little amp stacks up with its bigger brother

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I thought the whole point of the Piety was that the parts didn’t exist to do a bigger run, that’s why Schiit didn’t produce it in the first place.

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Just got one in house yesterday…

Awesome little amp…
Alex

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great review and pics cant wait for mine to come in

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Wednesday at 1:46 PM Report Edit

adydula

adydula

Headphoneus Supremus

Schiit Audio’s Magni Headphone Amp That Almost Got Away! Nitsch Piety!

Pros: 1. Small Form Factor.
2. Simple Operation.
3. Affordable.
4. Excellent Performance (Not Just Numbers),
5. No expensive Tubes to Mortgage!

Cons: 1. Availability - Limited run 1,000 Units. All Sold.
2. Volume Pot.

Well after owning most all of the Magnis from Schiit Audio and still owning a Magni OG, a Magni 3+ (also a Magni Hersey - sold), and having gone thru so many amps over the years. I am a sucker for new designs and at a low cost of $149 how could I resist in not trying out a Piety?

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One thing about this amp, that is very important to me is not the amp itself. Nope. Its about how and why this amp came to be. In a cut throat industry at times when it often all about the money. Mine is bigger, better than yours. Here I saw a person who was willing to help another person get started in this crazy industry of audio. Yes a collaboration between Schiit and a new young startup called Nitsch. Jason Stoddard giving one of his headphone amp designs to help a guy called Christian Tanimoto a.k.a. CEE TEE. My hats off to Jason and all the best for Nitsch as well!

Well way back when Jason was pontificating about Thunderdomes and the like, testing stuff in house and having many versions of Magni type amps floating around there was mention of an “Apostolic” edition that was good but stuff like parts, availability etc precluded it from becoming a Schiit offering. From what I read at Nitch’s website the many discrete parts and availability deep six’d the amp.

We have no schematic to really examine Jasons design. Being and EE type I love to explore schematics, but with all the copying of stuff from low cost folks around the world, protecting your assets is a necessary thing now-a-days. That said the Piety is a new take on the Continuity circuit used in the Schiit Jotenheim 2. I have had both the OG JOT and the new Jot 2 here for months. The Jot 2 has always been a favorite here…so imagine having a “mini” Jot of sorts! Piety!

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Piety is tuned or tweaked for more of a tube like sound. Lots of transistors paralleled that creates a kind of triode - like sound. Half the size of a Jot 2, having a whole lot less power but at a lower cost of $149. The Jot 2 is $399. So having a whole lot less power, does it stop you from having a great listening experience? No.

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So the specs:

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Yes the amp is not a powerhouse compared to other amps, half the power of a Schiit Magni 3 + or Magni +. But as measured by some on other sites, it was touted with a 300 R load, low gain of producing over 30 Volts Peak to Peak!
And when it does clip, its a soft clipping much like a tube amplifier. Think - Having a SS amp that has tube like characteristics without the hassle of tubes ! Piety!

Rest of Specs:

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Headphones I used in listening:

HD 650 impedance 300R, sensitivity 98 dB/mW
ADX 5000 impedance 420R, sensitivity 100 dB/mW
D8000 Pro impedance 60R, sensitivity 98dB/mW

The Stack:

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I did not use any IEM’s not my cup of tea…only normal headphones here. I did compare and contrast to my Magni OG, Magni 3+ and a Vali 2 +. All decent amps from Schiit.

First thing I noticed with the headphones I presently use is in HIGH gain with the HD650’s driven by a Soekris 2541 dac I did not have to move the volume knob past 9 o’clock to get really LOUD levels. On LOW gain I moved the volume pot knob to 10-11 oclock to achieve the same “sane” listening level. So power for high impedance cans with decent sensitivity is NOT an issue. No sense of the amp straining at all. Same experience with the 420 ohm ADX 5000’s. IMO the ADX 5000s are what the Senn 800 series should have been, again MY opinion…They come alive with the Piety…just expansive, clear, open, articulate…and really decent accurate bass…Any of the Senn 8XX series will sound SPECTACULAR with this amp.

With the D8000 Pros’s at 60 ohms, it turns out about the same positions, interesting. One thing in switching from LOW to HIGH gain, the usual it sounds better in HIGH gain experience happens to me. But if you take the time to level set with a meter then test the differences are much more subtle. But there are differences for sure. HIGH gain for me is the preferred listening position with my cans. More fire and ice here…things to me just stick out better, crisper or more articulate. Wish I knew more about what the circuit is doing here with feedback.

When we stop the music and turn the volume knob full on, the amp us dead silent with all of my cans. Again no real sensitive stuff here anymore. The only negative thing I did run into is the volume pot on HIGH gain did exhibit some pot wiper noise. The only real weak point for me in an amp at this price level and form factor is the small pot used. Even though its a decent pot, I would much rather have a larger ALPS RK27 pot…but that doesn’t fit well here. Also low level tracking might be an issue as well, my unit tracked nicely here.

NOTE: I contacted Christian on this issue, and FYI I also have seen this issue with other vendors small pots. The usual fix is to use some pot lube or replace the pot. I squirted in some pot lube and this helped out a lot. Done.

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Take a look at all those discrete parts!
A really different white pcb. All the solder joints looked very well done. No flux residue etc…Very neatly laid out.
Just admire this simplistic/build, layout…great job here IMO.

Typical Schiit layout. Neat. Clean. Easy to discern flow. No wires ! Where are the wires ?? Easy to assemble. Easy to take apart. 4 screws, a knob, and 2 screws for the RCA jacks. Easy.

Note that Piety in design is pretty much the opposite of the Schiit Magni Hersey, the Hersey being an all op amp design, some of the best measuring specs out there. Piety has distortion characteristics built in the design all resembling tube amps. Soft clipping etc… So how does it sound or not sound, shouldn’t an amp be just a straight wire with gain ? :>)

One of the folks on the net that I admire for his honesty and candid opinion is a guy referred to as “atomicbob, Audio Engineer” who often measures stuff and posts at another website. He posted a good set of measurements and technical explanations to the performance and attributes of the Piety. Also here is a statement from him posted at Nitschsound.com

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I who heartily agree with this comment. This is not a measurement amp, but does measure fairly well, but not a SINAD killer!

Left / Right …

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So back to the original Magni 3 era and the three amp prototypes. All submitted to the Schiit staff for listening. The Apostolic edition was the one that was most “musical”. But again due to out of production parts killed it. So it was squirreled away in Jasons office. After hearing it in Schiits office, Christian fell in love with this design. An example of great audio gear just not making it out the door for whatever reason. And now this is history as 1,000 units have been sold in less than 12 hours. Whats that tell ya…almost sight “unheard”.

After an hour listening last night, all really great. I stopped and shut everything down reluctantly…Got up at 5:30 am took some pix and started level setting and setting the switchbox’s up do some AB’ing. First listen was “yup it still sounds amazing.”

We all hear differently, have differing tastes in music, favorite songs, and recordings. This part is VERY SUBJECTIVE. Period.

The old I want to go and re-listen to ALL my music syndrome was present in spades. Its that good or that different. So the Piety gets a “A” from me here.

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When level set the differences between the Vali 2 + and the Piety were hard to discern for me. When switching to the Magni 3 + I noticed a much more stark difference. The Magni 3 + IMO was more analytical, less warmth, less veil…musical but not as soft as the Piety. Soft for the Piety doesn’t mean its well…soft or toned done, its listening profile here for me was just a tad softer…maybe those triode like characteristics…

I found that I really liked the Piety with my higher impedance cans, the HD 650 and ADX 5000’s…what a superlative pairing. I dont think the HD 650 ever sounded this nice. WIth the ADX 5000’s its another level up for sure. 10/10.

Note: No nasty thumps when turning off/on! Great!

The D8000 Pros worked well, but my older ears seem to prefer the brighter sound signature of the ADX 5000’s here.
The Piety had no issues driving the D8000’s very loud. No breakups, audible distortion. More than enough power.
No feeling that the amp was lacking in EMF.

The overall feeling listening with the Piety is its really and enjoyable sound. It is a musical amp, that makes you just want to listen for hours. With well recorded music its as good as it gets…the limits are your source material and headphones. This is an amp that has gain but the wire part is not perfectly straight, if ya get my drift!

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I look forward to countless hours listening with this amp, Its that good. Congratulations to all that ordered one, several of the community have been lucky enough to get one already in early testing etc. Many more will be getting theirs soon! Christian is going to be really busy for several weeks getting these all out to you all. This amp will be a collectors edition of sorts. A solid state tube amp with no tubes…now how did Jason figure this one out!

From Jason: " It’s an interesting application of Continuity, creating an output stage with a square law characteristic, hence the tube-like distortion."

Thanks Christian for taking this one on !!

Alex

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Realized I never posted my reactions to the Piety I got.

DACs: Modi+, Modi Multibit/Eitr
Headphones: HD6XX, HD560S, LCD-1, HE4XX, Elex, ETA Mini C, ETA Mini S, SR60x

In short, I may be in the minority here, but I didn’t like it. Given the hype I was hoping it would dethrone my RebelAmp, which I could then sell off and recoup both a good bit of money and a lot of desk space.

However, I thought the RebelAmp crushed the Piety and it wasn’t even close.

I can see some of the appeal. The Piety has a distinct quality of tone not quite like anything I’ve used before (I’ve never tried tube amps), where the treble has a sparkle and all the notes have a kind of glow I guess I’d say? For lack of a better word. There’s definitely something interesting going on there, and it’s engaging. At the same time, it doesn’t sound smooth at all to me; it seem almost like it adds a layer of fuzz to the music, like it seems to be adding some kind of extra treble frequencies that sounds harsh and unpleasant to me. Some people suggested I burn it in, so I left it playing white noise all night, and it sounded better the next day, but still not really pleasing to me personally.

The Rebel on the other hand is still smooth as silk, especially by comparison, just warm and full and sweet. Further, the Piety has an in-your-face presentation like the Magni+ I tried, with none of the open spaciousness and fullness of presentation I get from the Rebel. Every time I switched from the Piety to the Rebel I just felt like “ahhhh, that’s so much better”.

So yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have expected a $150 amp to outclass a $500/$650 one. Probably I was just taking the Ol’ Rebel for granted. Maybe “tubiness” isn’t my thing, or maybe this just isn’t the amp for me.

I’ve already sold it, for exactly what I paid for it since I think making a profit off a limited run item is akin to scalping and unethical.

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Hey Eric,

I totally understand this.
I have a ton of amps here and enjoy them all for their characteristics.

I also experience the “fuzziness” you expressed. Depending on the source material and cans etc…
It varies here to i like it to i dont like it as much.

I have several amps on all the time and switch in between them all the time, part of the fun here.

This am i was trying out new tubes in my Vali 2 + which I really like, and read your note and turned on the Piety and immediately liked the softer tone overall. No harshness here at all. But there is a veil of sorts overall to my ears…using HD 650s this am.

The hype was and is high for this amp for sure. Other sites laud it alot.

For me I just wanted to hear for myself and its one of those designs that Jason Sottard put out that was lost in time and when it was decided to let Christian have at it…well the rest is history.

Worth a thousand sold I am surprised there are not more reviews or feedback from a lot more folks.

Good input and it shows we all hear differently for sure!

All the best
Alex

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I think I’m unusually treble sensitive, honestly, or my HRTF perks some higher frequencies up more than it does for other people, or both. I’ve definitely seen headphone/source combinations and IEMs and things recommended as amazing that I’ve tried and found unbearably harsh. Everyone’s different, what can you do?

I don’t really want a pile of source gear here personally, though I can understand the appeal of more stuff to play around with. I’m already looking at all these headphones now and going, do I really need all these headphones really? It’s also why I’ve never tried to get into tube amps, it’s just another thing to worry about…

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IMO, after doing this for so many years and many xxx dollars!
When you get an amp and a dac u really like.
Sitck with them.

Then maybe explore some higher end cans…and then just enjoy the music.
The HD 650s are really decent afforadable cans.

But there are better IMO…and IMO this is really where the stuff starts to differ and you can really hear the differences.

Enjoy the music Eric!
Alex
:>)

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My HIFIMAN Ananda has never sounded better for me on this than any other gear I have.

I just got this in, still have not hooked it up. Colorway looks nice. :slight_smile:
It’ll be interesting to see how it compares to the WA7 (given it’s advertised ‘tube-like’ sound), also it’ll be interesting to see how it sounds being pre-amped by the WA7 as well.