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This Schiit is Bananas! $99 Schiit Magni Amp and $99 Modi DAC - Page 87

post #1291 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post

 I am well aware that the Magni / Modi are absolute entry-level. But people have been saying (here, Amazon, and several other places) that the value is nearly unprecedented. I figured this was a reasonable place to start, and I think it was very fair to expect some kind of perceptible improvement in going from paying $0 to paying ~$200. (I would expect less if I went from $200 to $1000). If a curious consumer doesn't feel a beneficial experience from a safe first investment, they probably won't bother investing again.
I'd say it isn't really the M&M that is letting you down. Rather, it is the built-in sound (DAC) on your Mac that is already pretty good to start with. Add the fact that you were using IEMs that require very little power to drive (ie. you don't need some super powerful amp to provide enough juice), and we have what you described -- not very much improvement over your existing setup.

Had you been listening to some onboard Realtek HD audio that are common place on PC motherboards, and had you been using some higher impedence and/or power hungry cans, I'm sure you'd notice a major difference between the two.
post #1292 of 1366

The quality of your music files will also affect the sound as well. If you are only listening to mp3's or YouTube, some highly compressed music from those sources will not scale as high as clean, fresh uncompressed files will, no matter the amp/DAC used.

post #1293 of 1366

As much as any format makes a difference, you have to take into account the mastering of the recording.  A crappy master encoded into flac will still sound crappy.

post #1294 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBal View Post
 

The quality of your music files will also affect the sound as well. If you are only listening to mp3's or YouTube, some highly compressed music from those sources will not scale as high as clean, fresh uncompressed files will, no matter the amp/DAC used.

I will do more listening tests but many of the recordings I was using before were FLAC-->ALAC converts, high bitrate AAC, or 256kbps+ MP3. In the past I've been unable to distinguish ALAC from 320kbps MP3.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuco1965 View Post
 

As much as any format makes a difference, you have to take into account the mastering of the recording.  A crappy master encoded into flac will still sound crappy.

 

True enough.

post #1295 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post
 

I will do more listening tests but many of the recordings I was using before were FLAC-->ALAC converts, high bitrate AAC, or 256kbps+ MP3. In the past I've been unable to distinguish ALAC from 320kbps MP3.

 

 

True enough.

 

"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."

 

I still think you should box them up and send them back, and stop insisting that we've somehow sold you a bill of goods. Clearly, you're not in need of any assistance. Clearly, you're disappointed and you want to blame someone. Honestly, it's not our fault that you're not impressed. Peachy. Send them back, plug your IEM's into your Mac, and watch some Netflix. Peace.

post #1296 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmustBKidn View Post
 

 

"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."

 

I still think you should box them up and send them back, and stop insisting that we've somehow sold you a bill of goods. Clearly, you're not in need of any assistance. Clearly, you're disappointed and you want to blame someone. Honestly, it's not our fault that you're not impressed. Peachy. Send them back, plug your IEM's into your Mac, and watch some Netflix. Peace.

 

No, I think you have the wrong impression. I am disappointed but I am not looking to blame anyone. I was seeking to add my personal experience to the thread so that others in a similar situation may have a better idea of what to expect. If someone searches "Magni Modi IEMs" on Google, my post in this thread will probably be in the search results.

 

Also, was that Netflix part necessary? Never heard it before, but given the highly-compressed nature of those streams I'm getting a condescending vibe. 

 

I am keeping the DAC + amp. They weren't that expensive, and for the price I will enjoy the reassurance that I'm getting a more complete use of my D2000s.


Edited by Surfaced - 4/12/14 at 9:47am
post #1297 of 1366

Enjoy some music.  :beerchug:

post #1298 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post
 

No, I think you have the wrong impression. I am disappointed but I am not looking to blame anyone. I was seeking to add my personal experience to the thread so that others in a similar situation may have a better idea of what to expect. If someone searches "Magni Modi IEMs" on Google, my post in this thread will probably be in the search results.

Completely reasonable expectations and completely reasonable conclusions. The internet thanks you for your opinion. If it doesn't sound different to you on the stuff you have, or not at least $200 better, by all means consider returning it. Maybe the market for $99 non-portable DACs/AMPs doesn't make sense.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post
 

Also, was that Netflix part necessary?

Nope it wasn't. I Even if you did listen to 128K MP3's, you could make a pretty reasonable argument that low-bitrate lossy music should still sound better with an amp/DAC in many scenarios. I know you said you didn't, but that's your choice and you shouldn't have to answer to anyone about it. 

 

Personally, when I demo new audio gear, I go out of my way to pick pieces of music with certain characteristics to make sure I put things through the gauntlet. Different types of instruments, different genres of music, etc. Simple things like "does this instrument sound more like a real version of this instrument"? At the end of the day, the stuff I choose is stuff I know and like. If you did the same thing and your reaction was "meh", so what?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post
 

I am keeping the DAC + amp. They weren't that expensive, and for the price I will enjoy the reassurance that I'm getting a more complete use of my D2000s.

Enjoy the piece of mind. :) I might end up doing the same thing. Only problem is I just bought 4 new sets of amps/dacs and I'm not sure I really need all 4 of them...

post #1299 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post
...

 

Also, was that Netflix part necessary? Never heard it before, but given the highly-compressed nature of those streams I'm getting a condescending vibe. 

 

Necessary? As in, you took offense? Wow. I didn't mean to imply anything at all by suggesting you listen to Netflix. If you somehow manufactured an insult out of that comment, well, that was your own doing, not mine.

post #1300 of 1366

Sorry to resurrect this, but has Surfaced resolved his problem? I was just browsing the thread and was wondering what software he was using to play his files through and if his settings are all okay. I'm not too worried about formats, but more about eq settings. May be it was set sometime ago and forgotten about? Has he tried just the Modi alone driven from his notebook? How did they fare on the D2000?

post #1301 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by x838nwy View Post
 

Sorry to resurrect this, but has Surfaced resolved his problem? I was just browsing the thread and was wondering what software he was using to play his files through and if his settings are all okay. I'm not too worried about formats, but more about eq settings. May be it was set sometime ago and forgotten about? Has he tried just the Modi alone driven from his notebook? How did they fare on the D2000?

 

Hi x838nwy, thanks for asking!

 

My D2000s got back from Panurgy yesterday. By the way, they did a great job repairing them, and even fixed the fraying on my old recable job. I didn't expect them to touch aftermarket work, so I'm very pleased. Cost $120 for a new headband assembly, $20 for labor, and $15 for shipping them back. Overall a fair price.

 

I use iTunes to play my files. I keep the equalizer off but damn, I certainly do enjoy that equalizer on certain settings. 

Most of my files that I use for testing are ALAC, V0 MP3 (or better), and some FLAC->256kbps AAC converts that I do to save space. 

 

Here's my setup:

2011 MBP 13" --> nuForce Impulse A to B USB cable --> Schiit Modi --> Schiit Psyt cables --> Schiit Magni --> D2000

2011 MBP 13" --> Grado 3/8" to 1/4" adapter --> D2000

 

The D2000s have noticeably better soundstage compared to my GR06 IEMs, where I did not hear any worthwhile benefit over the Macbook Pro's standard 3.5mm output. Maybe this is by virtue of having the drivers outside my ears for a change. In the past 24 hours I have felt compelled to sit back and enjoy my music on several occasions. Indeed, I am glad to have the Denon's working again. I have missed this feeling for 3 years. And that block-rocking bass... Still my favorite. 

 

Comparing onboard audio to the Modi/Magni, the D2000 is getting subtly better separation with the DAC+amp stack. I feel like the nuances of supporting instruments' timbres are more distinctly their own now, rather than meshing together into something like a background. To exercise tired rhetoric, I guess I am "hearing things I never noticed before", but I truly have to listen for it. I mean, listen for it in a way that I usually don't listen to my music. But I didn't know what I was missing until I heard it. 

 

It dawned on me that I've been trying to listen more closely to electronic signals than the sounds of real life which they are often replicating. These real sounds surround us every day, yet I pass them without the slightest regard. Why should I value replications more? I don't enjoy the experience of live music enough to pay for it, but i'll happily pay $500+ to hear compromised reproductions. It's an awkward truth that some of you may have faced, but I'm recognizing it for the first time and I'm not comfortable with it.

 

This has lead me to a decision I didn't anticipate. I will be selling the D2000s. God I have missed them, but now I see there's no space for them on my desk or in my life. To me, they feel like a burden (emotionally, not at all physically! Could wear them for days). It's good that they're back in respectable shape again. I bought them here in 2009, and now I'm ready to pass them on to their next owner. 

 

And it was a lot of fun experimenting. I've learned that I was happier before, so I should not continue trying to change things. But the Magni/Modi will stick around for now. It's so fun turning a nob for volume control. :D 


Edited by Surfaced - 5/4/14 at 1:39am
post #1302 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post
 

 

Hi x838nwy, thanks for asking!

 

My D2000s got back from Panurgy yesterday. By the way, they did a great job repairing them, and even fixed the fraying on my old recable job. I didn't expect them to touch aftermarket work, so I'm very pleased. Cost $120 for a new headband assembly, $20 for labor, and $15 for shipping them back. Overall a fair price.

 

I use iTunes to play my files. I keep the equalizer off but damn, I certainly do enjoy that equalizer on certain settings. 

Most of my files that I use for testing are ALAC, V0 MP3 (or better), and some FLAC->256kbps AAC converts that I do to save space. 

 

Here's my setup:

2011 MBP 13" --> nuForce Impulse A to B USB cable --> Schiit Modi --> Schiit Psyt cables --> Schiit Magni --> D2000

2011 MBP 13" --> Grado 3/8" to 1/4" adapter --> D2000

 

The D2000s have noticeably better soundstage compared to my GR06 IEMs, where I did not hear any worthwhile benefit over the Macbook Pro's standard 3.5mm output. Maybe this is by virtue of having the drivers outside my ears for a change. In the past 24 hours I have felt compelled to sit back and enjoy my music on several occasions. Indeed, I am glad to have the Denon's working again. I have missed this feeling for 3 years. And that block-rocking bass... Still my favorite. 

 

Comparing onboard audio to the Modi/Magni, the D2000 is getting subtly better separation with the DAC+amp stack. I feel like the nuances of supporting instruments' timbres are more distinctly their own now, rather than meshing together into something like a background. To exercise tired rhetoric, I guess I am "hearing things I never noticed before", but I truly have to listen for it. I mean, listen for it in a way that I usually don't listen to my music. But I didn't know what I was missing until I heard it. 

 

It dawned on me that I've been trying to listen more closely to electronic signals than the sounds of real life which they are often replicating. These real sounds surround us every day, yet I pass them without the slightest regard. Why should I value replications more? I don't enjoy the experience of live music enough to pay for it, but i'll happily pay $500+ to hear compromised reproductions. It's an awkward truth that some of you may have faced, but I'm recognizing it for the first time and I'm not comfortable with it.

 

This has lead me to a decision I didn't anticipate. I will be selling the D2000s. God I have missed them, but now I see there's no space for them on my desk or in my life. To me, they feel like a burden (emotionally, not at all physically! Could wear them for days). It's good that they're back in respectable shape again. I bought them here in 2009, and now I'm ready to pass them on to their next owner. 

 

And it was a lot of fun experimenting. I've learned that I was happier before, so I should not continue trying to change things. But the Magni/Modi will stick around for now. It's so fun turning a nob for volume control. :D 

 

That's awesome to hear! Differences are sort of relative and as much as I hate to say it, requires a little bit of 'training'. I don't mean we have to like become the golden-eared reviewers of the inter-web, just knowing what to look for. Often times, to me it's just a feeling when I listen to it and it's hard to describe - things like warmth, speed and effortlessness are kindda wishy-washy terms that are real experiences. I never really thought I'd recognize what 'layering' or 'effortless' are if it hit me in the face but listening to my current amp, I got it. For the Modi and Magni combo, I'm guessing you're not going to be getting a holographic, vivid soundstage or many of the other superlatives you see in reviews of uber DACS costing the same as cars. What you'd get in comparison to the mbp's output is something along the lines of better control of the drivers which probably equates to the better instrument separation you talk about and probably a better quality bass that don't swamp everything else. However, I don't own a modi (but I do a Vali, which is a different kettle of fish) but I'm just going from logic.

 

For the Modi, my modi vs. my mbp's DAC is actually not THAT large a gap. What it does for me is better details and micro details. Bearing in mind this is comparing a 3.5mm output form the mbp vs an RCA output of the modi into the same amp. It's not the be-all-and-end-all of the DAC world, but it's pretty good for $99. I'd say a Dragonfly V1.0 is a little brighter and some folks might like that better for example.

 

If you get bored, try something like an ODAC/O2 combo. Some like those better than the M&M's

 

:beerchug:

post #1303 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post

 

It dawned on me that I've been trying to listen more closely to electronic signals than the sounds of real life which they are often replicating. These real sounds surround us every day, yet I pass them without the slightest regard. Why should I value replications more? I don't enjoy the experience of live music enough to pay for it, but i'll happily pay $500+ to hear compromised reproductions. It's an awkward truth that some of you may have faced, but I'm recognizing it for the first time and I'm not comfortable with it. 

I'd say the comparison isn't entirely fair. There is something to be gained from being able to listen whenever/whereever you want. Live music and reproductions don't have to be mutually exclusive. :)

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surfaced View Post

 

I've learned that I was happier before, so I should not continue trying to change things.

In the end, that's the only thing that's really important. $$$ can buy you new gear, but it doesn't always buy you better sound or happiness. :beerchug:

post #1304 of 1366

So from reading some of the recent posts, my macbook pro already has a pretty good sound setup, and I won't benefit all that much from this combo? Is there a thread somewhere that explains alot of the question I have right now? Like why would someone buy a 600 ohm headphone over 35 ohm, if 35 doesn't require an amp? What makes a headphone 600 ohm etc? I'm a total newbie and feel so stupid but it's hard finding beginner information. Thanks for everyone that's been a help thus far. I feel so lost amongst the jargon.

post #1305 of 1366
Quote:
Originally Posted by themunce View Post
 

So from reading some of the recent posts, my macbook pro already has a pretty good sound setup, and I won't benefit all that much from this combo? Is there a thread somewhere that explains alot of the question I have right now? Like why would someone buy a 600 ohm headphone over 35 ohm, if 35 doesn't require an amp? What makes a headphone 600 ohm etc? I'm a total newbie and feel so stupid but it's hard finding beginner information. Thanks for everyone that's been a help thus far. I feel so lost amongst the jargon.

 

There is some benefit for using high impedance (Ohm) headphones in Professional studios.

Also A/V receivers headphone outputs can have an output impedance of around 50-Ohm to 150-Ohm (roughly).

So 250-Ohm, 300-Ohm or 600-Ohm headphone would work better plugged straight into a A/V receiver, over a 35-Ohm headphone. 

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