Complementing the growing lineup of analog products from MoFi Electronics, this week trumpeted the news of a fresh flagship turntable from the Chicago-based brand and distributor. Also on the news docket, a fresh DAC/Amp combo (or modular, as the brand calls it) headphone product from LA and Texas based Schiit Audio in form of the Schiit Magni Unity.
The new Masterdeck Turntable by MoFi is belt driven and features an all new carbon fibre tonearm and Cardes Audio internal wiring. At 43 lbs, the solid wood record player should do well to isolate vibrations and produce some sweet tones on par or. better with what we have heard from the rest of the stellar line of tables they offer. More details from the press release below.
“MoFi Distribution introduces the MoFi Electronics MasterDeck Turntable
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Chicago, IL – November 21, 2023
MoFi Distribution proudly introduces the new MoFi Electronics MasterDeck turntable, a reference grade product designed by master turntable maker Allen Perkins. Created by vinyl lovers for those with the desire to accurately reveal and experience the true music embedded deep in the groves of their vinyl LP collection. The MasterDeck turntable will be manufactured in small batches in the USA at MoFi Electronics’ factory located in Ann Arbor, Michigan to ensure the very highest level of quality control.
A compelling feature of the MasterDeck is an “all new” Dual-pivot carbon-fiber 10 inch tonearm that offers the best balance of precision, control and friction-free tracking. This tonearm uses a removable headshell and allows for the optimization of virtually any cartridge by facilitating adjustable horizontal angle (azimuth), vertical tracking angle (VTA), overhang and anti-skate. As well, all internal tonearm wiring is provided by Cardas Audio.
The MasterDeck achieves precision playback in part with an optically regulated speed controller using a three-phase brushless DC drive motor, housed in an isolated container. Fine speed adjustments are available for 33, 45 and 78 RPM and are displayed on a four-digit display. The 1.75 inch thick platter is a high mass hybrid material constructed exclusively from Aluminum and Delrin. This platter sits atop an ultra-high quality Encapsulated Spiral Groove inverted bearing. Isolation from both environmental noise and feedback is accomplished by effectively floating the MasterDeck using custom Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) Isolation Feet. Finally, with respect to “functional” cosmetics, a solid wood frame, in either Walnut or Black Ash finish, is wrapped around a constrained-layer body of wood and aluminum to eliminate all resonances.
Ultimately, the MoFi Electronics MasterDeck effortlessly exceeds the performance of many turntables perched above the 5-figure price threshold and is the ideal companion for the MoFi Electronics MasterPhono preamplifier.
MoFi Electronics MasterDeck Significant Design Features:
33.33 / 45 / 78 RPM belt drive turntable
Unique and highly adjustable 10-inch hybrid tonearm design 1.75-inch aluminium and Delrin platter
Four-digit display shows fine speed adjustment
Cardas Audio internal arm wiring
Solid wood frame available in black ash or walnut finish
Custom Anti-Vibration feet designed by HRS
Black constrained layer damped aluminum top
Dimensions (w x d x h): 20 x 14 x 8” / 50.8 x 35.6 x 20.3 cm.
Weight: 43 lbs. / 19.5 Kg.
The MoFi Electronics MasterDeck will be available in November, 2023 with an MSRP of $5,995.00 USD”
Schiit Audio’s newest option will no doubt delight those looking for a budget option while still maintaining a small footprint on the desktop. The Magni Unity is the latest iteration of Schiit’s tiny head amp that really helped the company get such a foothold in the entry level market for headphones. The version is actually number 5 for the Unity variant, and for the first time, it offers a more all-in-one solution to the box size that typically was known for a unique separates proposition. More details in the presser below.
“AT LAST, UNITY
Magni Unity: The Only Affordable, Modular, Fully Discrete Headphone Amp & Preamp
November 22, 2023, Corpus Christi, TX. Today, Schiit Audio debuted the all-new Magni Unity, the first modular Magni, with an optional, internal Unison USB™ DAC card. An all-new, super-linear, high-precision discrete gain stage boosts analog performance by 10dB compared to any previous discrete Magni, and its modular design helps make the design future-proof. Magni Unity is available now at schiit.com for $119 as a headphone amp and preamp only, and $189 with an integrated DAC card. A new brushed-aluminum top is also available as a $10 option.
“This is a complete rethinking of Magni,” said Jason Stoddard, Schiit’s Co-Founder and head of analog design. “For the first time, Magni is modular. This means you can choose an internal Unison USB DAC—of the same class as the standalone Modi+—for a single-box desktop system, at a cost much lower than a separate headphone amp and DAC.”
Stoddard also notes that the Magni Unity debuts an all-new, super-linear, high-precision discrete analog amplification stage, significantly increasing performance without increasing negative feedback.
“It’s a better amp stage, period,” said Jason. “It’s inherently super linear, so we don’t need a ton of feedback. We’re getting close to op-amps using 130dB of feedback with only 30dB.”
Furthermore, Schiit’s internal and external blind listening panels have consistently chosen low-feedback, and current-feedback designs, like Magni Unity, over op-amp and voltage feedback topologies. So, Schiit claims, Magni Unity sounds better to their test listeners.
“This is a controversial claim, I know,” said Jason. “But it’s well-documented. We’ve been doing blind listening at Schiit for over 4 years, and I even codified it in a chapter in early 2020. It’s a big part of what we do.”
Magni Unity’s modular design also offers the opportunity for less obsolescence, since the DAC card can be added at a later date, or changed out if better technology becomes available. The available DAC card uses an ES9018 DAC and top-of-class TI OPA1656 for I/V conversion, as well as precision 0.5% resistors and film capacitors.
Magni Unity builds upon the foundation of previous Magnis, offering the highest rated power of any Magni (2.5W RMS, both channels driven), the best measurements of any discrete Magni (-116dB THD+N typical), three gain levels, including negative gain for IEMs, and a 100% linear power supply.
Magni Unity also offers an increased warranty, of 3 years—the longest warranty on any affordable product.
Finally, Magni Unity features the return of brushed aluminum finish to Schiit’s entry-level products, offering an elegant look at a very small price premium.
Magni Unity is available now at schiit.com at the following price points:
- Magni Unity (no DAC): $119
- Magni Unity with Unison USB DAC: $189
- Add $10 for brushed aluminum top”
If you are also hunting for some of the best options in audio gear this season, you can check out the Part Time Audiophile Buyers Guide 2024 that is now live. The Occasional Podcast has all the details and best of year recommendations. Available on your favorite podcasting platform (iTunes or Spotify) or the embed below.