Schiit Magnius Side-Grade(?)

Hello people, the Magnius I own has been sounding a little bland lately. At first, I was ready for some balanced magic, because this was a whole new world of audio for me. However, chasing JUST balanced capability was a beginners mistake on my part. I noticed that my headphones that are meant to sound warm, sound scuffed on long listening session. This causes me to swap my headphones mid-session, or just stop listening. I have no regrets, because this is an important learning lesson for a beginner like me.

My current lineup consists of:

  • Koss KPH30i + G-Pad mod
  • Yamaha HPH-MT5 + Dekoni Choice Suedes
  • Sennheiser HD6XX
  • Blon BL-03
  • Tripowin TC-01
  • Tin P1 (these are an exception, but are only good for orchestral music)

The Asgard 3 is an obvious recommendation, and from what I’ve read, will be a perfect fit for the Modius. However, I’m willing to spend just a tiny bit more on the JDS Labs EL 2. My reason being is I don’t really see myself buying any high end Planars, or the likes of ZMF cans. I’m aware that there are some Planars that don’t need much power anyway. Also, I’m curious how a 1.3W amp can be in a similar price tier as a 6W amp.

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I personally prefer the El Amp II to Asgard 3 for the 6XX, but I’m probably the minority here. Asgard 3 would be quite different from the Magnius whereas the El Amp II would be more similar but it won’t sound as dry and harsh, it’s pretty neutral slightly bright but also got sweet treble

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You’ve got that 6XX and the KPH30i the two perfect tube headphones. Definitely grab a Darkvoice 336se instead.

Tubes make the 6XX sound incredibly layered rich and much wider. Mid bass is significantly more punchy and the sennheiser veil lifts. one of the best under $1000 synergies not to be overlooked

I can link some great tubes to roll if you’re interested. The Magnius and generally most solid state until you hit the $500 usd class A amps are going to sound similar. Good but nothing insanely standout from each other. Slight improvements.

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Not sure Id call the KPH30i perfect for an TOL, it’s 60Ohm

Not sure I’d call it the best either. It’s a good starting point but you probably wanna get a BHC W/ sb for “best” synergy under 1k

500USD yes, class A, not necessarily. RNHP, G111, Monotor are not class A. And at the price range of Magnius there’s also the Asgard 3 and G103 which are pretty different from the Magnius. I think Magnius just similar to other measurement chasing op amp based amps in this price range.

Thank you for the input. My choice of headphone mostly leans on the warm side, because I feel like I’m somewhat treble-sensitive. Idk how to describe it, but i’m fine with orchestral music, female vocals singing, violins, and flutes.

Outside of music however, if it’s a woman speaking excitedly or screaming, my ears tingle from their timbre. Funny enough, I can’t watch a Z Review either, or I’ll get fatigued. That’s why I prefer to watch him on my phone lmao.

(And for context, the excited/screaming women are vTubers, so it’s probably a matter of their audio setup)

You say an interesting thing about the EL 2, because DMS has said it smooths out treble in his review. I wonder if that’s the cure to my treble sensitivity, or if that will make it worse. Edit: also, I have the Modius currently stacked with the Magnius. The Modius has been described as warm-sounding, so perhaps something will happen to the EL 2?

Thank you for the suggestion, but tube amps are an entirely different beast I’m not keen on using. I understand they spice up music, but the concept of heating them up per use scares me a bit.

Gotcha, I think the treble thing may also come from bad recordings from time to time. I also find sth like the Magnius (or similarly designed amp) harsh on the top end too. The El Amp 2 has a slight rolled off in the treble but won’t be a dark amp. The Asgard 3 whilst being a warmer amp has a small hint of harshness in treble either. If you’re sensitive to treble (as I sometimes am) I personally would pick the el amp between the two. You can also check Lake People G103, I only heard the G111 and it’s quite nice and not harsh either.

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Oh, very cool to know. I’ll go with the EL 2 amp then, because I don’t want to feel stressed out from badly recorded treble lmao.

It’s a good amp, with slightly better than technicalities than Magnius, and may or may not be worth the extra (JDS has b stock from time to time so definitely check that) but it made harsher recordings more liveable, for me at least. Just don’t expect it to be a dark/warm amp or sth that cuts out the entire treble frequency :laughing:

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It’s such a shame cause what you described with what you wanted with your experience matches up really nicely to tubes basically.

It’s not something to be scared of they’re designed to be heated as such

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It’s just that my desktop setup is really cramped, and I don’t want to melt something unknowingly. Also, My room is situated in a way where my windows always absorb sunlight, so my room gets too warm for comfort during spring and summer.

Thanks though, I’ll keep your advice in mind in the future. I already made my order for the EL 2 Amp, but perhaps I can set my sights on a hybrid tube amp? Or maybe stick to solid state and go to Class A?

Class A doesn’t really mean anything. If you don’t have hard to drive planars I think studio amps in the 500USD range will generally give you the best sound quality

If you want to use it for 6XX only, you can go for an OTL otherwise yes a hybrid would make more sense, preferably one with low noise floor and low gain / or at least no channel imbalance at low volume if u wanna use it with IEMs.

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Gosh, there are so many options once you climb the price ladder lmao. On this forum, I read many good things about the Singxer SA-1 for an amp, and the Schiit Bifrost 2 for an dac. If I go the hybrid route however, I specifically remember the Monoprice Liquid Platinum, just because it has a name slapped onto it. Alex Cavalier I believe?

Anyways, once I get my EL 2 Amp, I’m just gonna save up money. I pray to god my ADHD doesn’t cause me to impulse-buy something though.

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From what I read it’s a solid choice but it doesn’t necessarily stand out, unless you need the power for planars

This would stand out imo

This also stands out, but it might not be suitable for IEMs and it “needs” to be run balanced so you would need balanced DAC and balanced cables. You can consider the Lyr 3 but it’s a different sound sig and possibly not as impressive as the MLP.

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Oh, no worries about that. I have a Modius, because I bought the Magnius/Modius Stack and have the necessary cables.

Now that I’m swapping amps though, I wonder what I should do with my Magnius.

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Just miss the Liquid Platinum. Its not that good TA-30 is significantly better. And can be rolled to be E80CC tubes.

If you plan on going hybrid their main use is planars. Dynamics like the KPH30i and 6XX sound much better with a straight OTL. Those Rupert nrvs are amazing but that’s about it for studio amp.

Otherwise take a look at the rebelamp/Flux labs 12as pretty much king of their domain. Even higher its straight to the Singxer SA-1

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I personally wouldn’t agree

I don’t really see how a 60Ohm impedance pairs well with an OTL

Also can’t agree. If power isn’t an issue you can’t find a better amp under 500USD that has better timbre, spatial recreation and separation

These are the amps that have the power but are behind in terms of sound quality compared to studio amps imo. If OP doesn’t have planars I personally wouldn’t recommend those

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Okay theres more than just impedance… if you try the KPH30i it does great on an OTL. I know 60ohms on paper looks like it wouldn’t.

Once you hear it, it sounds great.

Even after tube rolling that Liquid platinum just doesn’t really sound that special.