The Objective Combo
The Schiit Stack
The two perform and sound too close to each other to make any practical differences. The Schiit Stack looks better and costs less. Get the Schiit Stack.
For those who don't know how these combos sound:
Both the Schiit Stack and Objective Combo can be described as as very neutral to slightly bright. The first thing you might notice when coming off of your computer's onboard sound or other components is the treble. It might seem elevated or more apparent, and possibly way more resolving. I find that, for the money, the Schiit Magni and Modi are very resolving in the upper registers-- and just like the Objective Combo, have a clean and clear presentation that allows for instrument separation to be off the charts. Some might find both of these combos a little lacking in the deepest of bass extension and impact, and thus I ideally recommend them to be paired with neutral to warm sounding headphones, but they still sound fine with bright headphones and are a good upgrade from your average computer onboard audio. For those who love to nitpick, the Schiit stack is remotely edgier and harder in presentation, while the Objective combo slightly softer in presentation. This is a very over-generalized statement and made excessively blunt for the sake of comparison. For the low amount of money that you're spending on one of these two combos, this tiny difference in sound shouldn't be influencing your buying decision; what should be is looks, features, functions, limitations, etc.
Some differences outside of sound quality that might influence you into getting the Objective combo:
- The Schiit Magni has a fixed gain of 14db, and a volume pot that's prone to channel balance at the lowest volumes, and increasing in volume fast the more you turn its dial up. Because of this you get very, very little volume pot play with very sensitive headphones and IEMs. If your main usage is IEMs or sensitive headphones like say-- AD700-- don't get the Magni and instead get the O2.
- While the Magni requires a wall-wart to power-on, the O2 can run on batteries for a while. That and the option to have the ODAC incorporated within its chasis as a combo might influence your decision to prefer it for transportable use.
Mumford & Sons: Broken Crown
Hans Zimmer: Mombasa
Johnny Cash: Highwayman
Jethro Tull: Up To Me
Depeche Mode: Personal Jesus
Beck: Paper Tiger
Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven's Symphony 9 in D Minor
Arne Domnerus, Bengt Hallberg et al: Jazz At The Pawnshop, Now's The Time
All songs were level matched by ear with a Hifiman HE-400 before comparison. Switching between the two source combos takes approximately 5 seconds.
Edited by TMRaven - 1/30/14 at 6:51am