Edit (Nov 20, 9am): The NITSCH x Schiit Magni Piety Headphone Amp is live now.
Edit (Nov 20, 7:54am): The NITSCH x Schiit Magni Piety Headphone Amp will launch on Apos Audio on Nov 20th at 9am PT.
We’re ridiculously, wildly, insanely excited to announce a new product coming to Apos Audio: the NITSCH x Schiit Magni Piety Headphone Amp.
What is it?
The NITSCH x Schiit Magni Piety Headphone Amp is a solid state amp with tube-like characteristics.
A collab between NITSCH and Schiit, the Piety’s design is in many ways the opposite of the Magni Heresy (Piety vs Heresy, get it?). While the Heresy uses op-amps (amps on a chip), the Piety uses discrete parts. While the Heresy aims for the lowest distortion of any Magni, the Piety embraces distortion characteristics, gain curves, and square waves that resemble tube amps.
The Heresy prioritizes objectivity. The Piety says measurements aren’t everything.
What is NITSCH?
NITSCH is a new company founded by Christian Tanimoto, III, a former senior product manager at Massdrop. NITSCH’s goal is to find, elevate, and produce niche products.
Who’s behind all this?
The main players in this story are Schiit co-founder Jason Stoddard and Christian Tanimoto, III, a former senior product manager at Massdrop.
How did this collab come about?
The story goes like this. During the research and development phase of the original Magni 3 amp, Jason Stoddard (Schiit co-founder) created three amp prototypes. He submitted all three to the Schiit staff for a blind listening test. The overwhelming feedback was that the first amp (the one that became the original Magni 3) was straight-ahead, but the second amp (the one that became the Piety) was musical. (What about the third amp, you may be asking? It was taken out back and shot.) Despite the vote of confidence for the Piety, Jason’s hands were tied. The Piety’s reliance on out-of-production parts made it infeasible for mass production. Thus, the original Magni 3 was chosen for production, and the Piety was literally and figuratively shelved at Schiit HQ.
Well, actually, one Schiit employee, who’d fallen in love with the Piety at the blind listening test, squirreled it back to his office and listened to it in preference to way more expensive amps. (Did anybody catch this easter egg?) That may have been the end of the Piety’s story were it not for Christian Tanimoto, III.
Christian had been organizing Bay Area audiophile meet-ups since 2011. During these experiences, he learned an odd fact about the audio world: some of the best gear he’d ever heard was being made by hobbyist engineers and smaller companies. After leaving Massdrop in 2019, Christian got the idea to start NITSCH, a new company centered on small-batch and rare gear.
While rooting around for NITSCH’s first product, Christian got the chance to listen to the Magni Piety at the Schiit offices. What he heard blew him away: a tube sound in a Magni body? What was happening? While speaking to Jason, he had two realizations. One: the Piety’s out-of-production parts would severely limit its ability to be produced at scale. Two: if he could find enough of those parts to do a limited run, the Piety would be the perfect product to launch his company.
Christian got Jason’s blessing to launch the Piety, and he found enough parts to do a limited run of 1,000 Piety amps.
How was the Piety designed?
The Piety’s design is a new take on the Continuity circuit used in the Jotunheim 2. Its output stage features a massively paralleled transistor design (a lot of transistors in each amp) that results in triode-like measurements. In plain English, the Piety is half the size of a Jotunheim 2, uses smaller transistors, and was tweaked for a tube-like sound.
How much is the Piety?
How many are being made?
Due to the Piety’s reliance on out-of-production parts, only a limited run of 1,000 will be produced and sold. Beyond that, we don’t know. There are talks of using similar yet alternative parts, but any changes to the Piety’s components may result in slight differences to its sound signature.
Can I buy it anywhere else?
Yes. The amps are available at Apos and NITSCH.
Why isn’t Schiit selling it?
Schiit needs to produce Magni models at a higher volume--an order of Magni-tude over the Piety’s limited run. (We couldn’t help ourselves.) A limited run wasn’t feasible for Schiit, but they’ve given NITSCH the greenlight to assemble them and sell them alongside Apos.
When is it coming out?
This month. Sign up for Apos’ email list to get up-to-date announcements about the pre-sale.