I wonder why the Modi often gives me an impression of very slightly relaxed mids? On any headphone. Sounds silly but I like that. They're neutral and not recessed or forward. The Modi doesn't add any weight to the sounds of instruments or to vocals or make anything thinner than it should be. It's not bright/cold/thin at all ever unless you compare it to something that's already warm. Well if it is I'm 100% sure it's the recording. Some songs are like that.
The mids of the ODAC and my new Micro DAC (CS4398) sound very very slightly forward in comparison. All three measure flat. Maybe the ODAC and Micro DAC have more extended treble and low bass that alters the sound slightly? Doubt it.
The only time you hear these sort of relaxed mids is when doing A/B comparisons. It's so subtle. Some give the default response "Well, then the Modi must be more colored than the ODAC". Nonsense.
Maybe it's that the Modi has a better sense of depth and fools me somehow. Vocals sound more forward on the Micro DAC and ODAC. This isn't a plus or negative. Not sure how a simple DAC could improve the sense of depth this much. It could also be due to soundstage differences and some slight warmth fooling the brain.
It's hard to figure out how songs are supposed to sound. The Modi, ODAC and Micro DAC are so close in sound. You can never say stupid things like "Wow, this is so much better!!"
The only thing that immediately sticks out when switching between my new Micro DAC and Modi is that the Micro has perhaps fuller/thicker low mids. Again so very subtle really. It's hard to know which is more accurate.
I guess the only important thing is which one sounds best. They sound both pretty transparent. My money is on the Modi being the most transparent. 99.97% vs 99.5% transparent
Not getting rid of the Modi. I bet I might love the Bifrost. Hmm, maybe i'd still prefer the Modi. The Modi doesn't sound like a $99 DAC at all.
I'd say the Modi is the 2nd best purchase i've made since i've been into headphones. I can't be the only one on Head-Fi who thinks it's as good as the ODAC. I actually think it sounds slightly better.
Edited by tdockweiler - 10/10/13 at 6:47pm