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Magnius

Balanced Headphone Amp and Preamp

AC Adapter

$199.00

In Stock, ships 1-3 days

Description

Specs

FAQ

Downloads

Magnius simply blows up the value equation in balanced headamps: high power, superb measurements, best volume control, designed and built right here in California—unlike other measurement-focused amps that cost 50-150% more. Boom.
 
No-Compromise Power, Precision, and Control
Have hard-to-handle headphones? No problem. Super-sensitive IEMs that demand a vanishingly low noise floor? Yep, you’re good. Want a volume control that delivers great matching all the way down? You got it. In technical terms, Magnius delivers 5000mW from its balanced headphone output at 32 ohms, with THD+N approaching -120dB, and it’s huge Alps 4-gang balanced pot gives you fine control and excellent tracking small potentiometers simply can’t match. 
 
The Most Magnificent Pot
Many amps at and above this price use small 9mm potentiometers. But an Alps RK27114 27mm “Blue Velvet” potentiometer is a completely different experience. Get ready for excellent channel matching at all potentiometer positions, as well as a smooth, gradual action that lets you find exactly the right volume. We chose the RK27114 because it’s one of the most important components of the amp, the one you interact with all the time.
 
Composite Integrated Technology
Magnius uses a handful of very high-end integrated circuits, including buffers with feedforward, exotic fully differential op-amps, and powerful current-feedback outputs in a composite configuration to reduce THD and noise to vanishingly low levels. If you’re looking for measurements, Magnius is our best-measuring amp. And it out-measures a whole lot of other gear out there, at much higher prices.
 
Flexibility for Your Entire Desktop
Magnius isn’t just a headphone amp. It also has balanced and single-ended preamp outputs, so you can connect to powered monitors for a complete system. It also has both balanced and single-ended inputs, and two gain levels. And all these connections use best-in-class Neutrik connectors, together with Alps signal switches, for ultimate integrity and reliability.
 
Perfect Pair With Modius
If you’re looking for a great-sounding, great-measuring balanced DAC to pair with Magnius, look no farther than Modius to create a $398 end-game desktop stack. These two components were developed together, are exactly the same size, and stack perfectly on a desktop. 
 
Designed and Built in California
By “designed and built in California" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Magnius—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us. Yes, the wall-warts are made in Taiwan, but there's some give and take at this price point. 
 
2-Year Warranty and 15-Day Return Policy
Magnius is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for two years. And, if you don’t like your Magnius, you can still send it back for a refund, minus 15% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving your amp.
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.01dB
 
Balanced Headphone Output:
Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 6.0W RMS per channel 
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 5.0W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 3.2W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 1000mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 500mW RMS per channel
 
Single-Ended Headphone Output:
Maximum Power, 16 ohms: 2.2W RMS per channel 
Maximum Power, 32 ohms: 2.0W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 50 ohms: 1.3W RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 300mW RMS per channel
Maximum Power, 600 ohms: 150mW RMS per channel
 
Note: Maximum power rated at 1% THD, high gain
 
THD+N: 
Low Gain, Balanced Output: Less than 0.0001% (-119dB) at 4V RMS into 32 ohms
High Gain, Balanced Output: Less than 0.0003% (-110dB) at 4V RMS into 32 ohms
Low Gain, SE Output: Less than 0.003% (-90dB) at 1V RMS into 32 ohms
High Gain, SE Output: Less than 0.004% (-87db) at 2V RMS into 32 ohms
 
IMD: 
Low Gain, Balanced Output: Less than -112dB at 4V RMS into 32 ohms, CCIF
High Gain, Balanced Output: Less than -110dB at 4V RMS into 32 ohms, CCIF
Low Gain, SE Output: Less than -73dB at 1V RMS into 32 ohms, CCIF
High Gain, SE Output: Less than -72dB at 2V RMS into 32 ohms, CCIF
 
SNR: 
Low Gain, Balanced Output: Greater than 125dB, unweighted, referenced to 4V RMS
High Gain, Balanced Output: Greater than 115dB, unweighted, referenced to 4V RMS
Low Gain, SE Output: Greater than 105dB, unweighted, referenced to 1V RMS
High Gain, SE Output: Greater than 110dB, unweighted, referenced to 2V RMS
 
Crosstalk:
Less than -90dB, 20 Hz-20 kHz, either gain, 300 ohm load
Less than -70dB, 20 Hz-20 kHz, either gain, 32 ohm load
 
Output Impedance: Less than 0.1 ohms at either gain
Input Impedance: 50k ohms
 
Gain:
Balanced Output: 1 (0db) or 5 (14db)
Single-ended Output: 0.5 (-6dB) or 2.5 (8db)

Topology: Composite amplifier with OPA1688 input buffers, LME49724 differential amplifier, TPA6120A2 current feedback output stage, DC coupled.
 
Protection: Standard failsafe DC power input and muting relay
 
Power Supply: “Wall wart” style 24VA 15VAC transformer, linear regulated +/- 13.5V rails with over 6,000uF filter capacitance
 
Power Consumption: 6W idle, 21W max
 
Size: 9 x 6 x 1.5”
 
Weight: 2 lb
 

What the heck is a Magnius? That doesn’t sound Norse.
It’s like Modius. When we were developing a bigger, better, balanced Modi, we started jokingly calling it “Modius Maximus.” The name stuck. So when we also started working on a bigger, better, balanced Magni Heresy, we started calling it “Magnius.” That name stuck too. So now you’re stuck with Modius and Magnius.  

But you’re conflating Norse mythology with Roman terminology!
Right. 
 
But that doesn’t make sense!
Dude, you used the word “conflating.”
 
Sigh. Okay. Fine. I guess that’s all we should expect from a company that gets all its Norse mythological information from comic books.
And Wikipedia. Don’t forget Wikipedia! 
 
Okay, let’s move on. Why all the blather about a potentiometer? Why does this even matter?
We’re glad you asked. The potentiometer is what controls the volume. How well the channels track determine if the volume remains the same between channels at very low levels. How good the taper is determines whether it’s jumpy and hard to use, or gradual and precise. This makes it possibly the single most important component in the amplifier. And that’s why we chose to use the biggest, best potentiometer we could find (at a somewhat-sane price tag)—the 4-gang, 27mm diameter, Japanese-made Alps “Blue Velvet” RK27114. It’s the same potentiometer we use in Jotunheim and Jotunheim R—amps that cost 2 and 4 times as much as Magnius. 
 
Again, so? Why is a big potentiometer such a big deal?
Because many amps at and above Magnius’ price use small, 9mm diameter potentiometers. These can be good parts—we use an Alps RK09 in the $99 Magni—but they can’t match the tracking, taper, and feel of an Alps 27mm potentiometer. Again, it’s the control you use the most on your amp, so we decided to give you a really, really good one.
 
What about the other switchgear and parts?
Signal switches are Alps, XLR connectors are Neutrik. Again, these are considered to be the industry leaders in parts. ICs are TI, and include some pretty exotic stuff, like the LME49724 balanced, differential op amp. The gain stage is a composite amplifier topology that delivers superb measurements, and sounds very good.
 
Well, the TPA6120A2 isn’t exactly a new part, is it?
Yep, it’s been around a while. But when used as part of a composite amplifier (as an output stage only) it becomes very interesting. And that’s what we’re doing—we’ve created a composite amplifier that uses the strengths of the OPA1688’s feedforward to linearly drive the LME49724 differential amplifier, with the TPA6120A2 just around for output stage duties, where it can source insane amounts of current. 
 
So is this a real balanced, differential amplifier?
Yes. There is no conversion to single-ended at any stage. The 4-gang potentiometer takes balanced signals natively, and the gain stage is balanced and differential.
 
Well, then the case has to be junk, or coming in from China right? Because there’s gotta be some reason this amp is so cheap!
Nope, it’s made literally across the freeway from us in the same metal stamping partner who does most of our products. The top is aluminum, and the bottom is steel. There are really only two concessions to cost: (1) the bottom standoffs are formed into the chassis, a first for us (also used on Modius), and (2) Magnius is available only in black. 
 
Soooo…I don’t get it, then. How can you make this amp for this price?
Actually, it’s not that hard. If we’re good at anything, we’re good at production efficiency. It might be better to ask why amps that cost 50-150% more are using less expensive pots, switchgear, and connectors—and are being made in low-wage countries. 
 
You sound like American zealots. Is it painted red white and blue inside?
No. Come on, guys, we’ve been making things in the USA for 10 years now—ever since we started. It’s part of what we do. It’s not about waving the flag or crapping on other countries. But we make stuff here whenever we can. Except wall-warts. We’ve tried to do that, but we haven’t found anyone who can help us in the USA yet. 
 
So, let me get this straight: if I get this thing, it’ll drive any headphone I have?
Pretty much. 5W into 32 ohms is a ton of power. And it’s dead-silent with IEMs.
 
And it hooks up to powered monitors?
Yes, there are XLR and RCA preamp outputs on the back.
 
And I get two inputs?
Yes, XLR and RCA.
 
How do the preamp outputs work? Do they mute when you plug headphones in?
Nope. They're on all the time. 
 
And you can stack this with a Modius and be done for $398?
Absolutely. 
 
Why do you make anything else?
Sometimes we wonder that ourselves. But some people like tube amps and some people want a single-box system and some people need to run speakers too and some people have ribbon headphones. So, you know, horses for courses. And for individual preferences. It would be a boring world if we all drove one single government-issued electric transport pod. Some people like Jeeps. Some people can afford Lamborghinis. Some want Teslas. And, in purely practical terms, Magni Heresy and Modi 3 is a combo at less than half the price that does virtually everything Magnius and Modius does, as long as you don't want or need balanced I/O. Bottom line, we hope you enjoy Magnius…or find something else you like (even if we don’t make it.) It’s all good.
 
Aren’t you concerned about Jotunheim? This thing is half the price!
Nope. In this strange world where we live, we think there’s room for both an IC-based amp using a wall-wart, and an all-discrete, modular configurable amp using a unique topology and an internal transformer. Maybe we’re right. Maybe we’re wrong. We’ll see how it goes!