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Schiit Modi and Magni comparison to Bifrost and Asgard - Page 4

post #46 of 256

Thanks for the comparison. Looks like I'll be picking up a Modi but I advent decided on the amp yet. Since you have both does the Asgard also have a channel imbalance at low volumes? and which one would you say is more future proof between the Magni and the Asgard? I believe the Magni has more overall power but that might not tell the whole story.

 

Thanks

post #47 of 256

Really cool review, especially the blind trial which very few people take the effort to do.

post #48 of 256

Reading this made me wonder whether it was worth spending $1000 on the Lyr/Bifrost...does sound fantastic to my ears though smily_headphones1.gif

post #49 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analgesic View Post

Reading this made me wonder whether it was worth spending $1000 on the Lyr/Bifrost...does sound fantastic to my ears though smily_headphones1.gif


It all depends on what is important to you I guess.  With the Lyr you get a lot of power, line out and the tube sound w/rolling.  With the Bifrost you get a slightly upgraded DAC chip, upgradability and more input flexibility.  If those things aren't important to you then the value offered by the Magni and Modi combo is hard to beat!

post #50 of 256
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by merkil View Post

Thanks for the comparison. Looks like I'll be picking up a Modi but I advent decided on the amp yet. Since you have both does the Asgard also have a channel imbalance at low volumes? and which one would you say is more future proof between the Magni and the Asgard? I believe the Magni has more overall power but that might not tell the whole story.

 

Thanks

 

The Asgard has channel imbalance at the lowest end, but the volume ramps up much more gradually than the Magni, so it isn't an issue. As an example, with my Grados the Asgard is still quiet when the channel imbalance goes away, with the Magni it is a bit louder than I would typically listen to.

 

For power, they both have a lot more than any of my cans need. I typically listen around 9 with the LCD-2s with the Asgard (computer at 100%), and with the computer's volume set to 25% I listen around a similar level with the Magni. The Asgard is nicer to use, but for just sound quality I can't tell any difference.

post #51 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant00 View Post

 

The Asgard has channel imbalance at the lowest end, but the volume ramps up much more gradually than the Magni, so it isn't an issue. As an example, with my Grados the Asgard is still quiet when the channel imbalance goes away, with the Magni it is a bit louder than I would typically listen to.

 

For power, they both have a lot more than any of my cans need. I typically listen around 9 with the LCD-2s with the Asgard (computer at 100%), and with the computer's volume set to 25% I listen around a similar level with the Magni. The Asgard is nicer to use, but for just sound quality I can't tell any difference.


I think Schiit needs to address this volume control issue with the Magni.  It greatly reduces the usability of the amp IMHO.  A great product otherwise.

post #52 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAudio View Post


I think Schiit needs to address this volume control issue with the Magni.  It greatly reduces the usability of the amp IMHO.  A great product otherwise.

I do wish that they had used a better volume pot. Both the Magni and the Asgard both have a gain of 5 so it's not a gain difference. The only good thing is that the problem with the Magni's volume pot issue really only with lower impedance headphones. Problem is that a lot of headphones are lower impedance. 

 

I guess I'll find out how big of a problem the volume pot is when I order mine. :) 

 

I do realize that I'll have to digitally attenuate the signal due to the high gain. I wish that the Magni had a gain switch, but it's really hard to ask for much more at the $99 price point. Heck, most amps at this price range are in cheap plastic cases. 


Edited by AtomicFrostX - 12/30/12 at 7:05pm
post #53 of 256

Great review, every review needs to set a blind A/B test as standard :D

post #54 of 256
Felt like I was in 2nd grade reading the review, simple and easy to grasp. Well done.
Made my search for Amp/DAC combo so much easier.
Will M&M drive Beyer 600 ohm well ? If so, do I have to worry about the volume knob issue being discussed.

Thanks
post #55 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant00 View Post

Mix-and-match section is up. A bit less structured, but hope it helps.


Where is the mix-and-match section? Can't seem to find it. Can you post a link? Thanks.

post #56 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parallax982 View Post


Where is the mix-and-match section? Can't seem to find it. Can you post a link? Thanks.

 

It's post #2 of this thread.

post #57 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by leechi View Post

 

It's post #2 of this thread.


Thanks.

post #58 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant00 View Post

Mix-and-Match Fun

 

Apologies in advance, but this section is going to be less formal and more just my general impressions from trying the various amp and DAC combinations. No blind A/B-ing here, just me sitting down and switching cables back and forth as fast as I can to see if I can hear any differences.

 

Magni VS Asgard

 

First, let's get the easy part out of the way, the amps. I used a couple y-splitters to connect a DAC to both amps at once and level matched them by ear. I made sure that the splitter wasn't interfering with the sound first (more on this later) and then did some fast and easy testing. Since both amps were hooked up at once all I had to do was switch which amp the LCD-2s were plugged into at any point during a song and see if I could hear any differences.

 

And my conclusion is...(pause for dramatic effect)...as far as I can tell, at any volume I would normally listen to (or a bit above), I can hear no difference at all between the Magni and Asgard.

 

I tested this using both the Modi and Bifrost and both amps accurately amplified the slightly different sound signatures that they received from the two different DACs. So yes, ultimately this comparison came down to the DACs, which is where the difference is.

 

Modi VS Bifrost USB

 

According to my notes, I was able to more easily tell the DACs apart when using the Asgard. Since when I was testing the amps I couldn't tell them apart I'll chalk this up to the fact that when I was testing the DACs I was having to switch RCA cables each time, which likely made it harder to consistently remember and hear differences. I was initially planning on running both DACs into an amp using my y-splitters and switching outputs on the computer so only one would be active at once (and I could switch almost instantly in the middle of a song, which would have been hugely useful). However, when I tried this the Bifrost became muffled and the Modi very etched; no idea what exactly was going on, but as soon as I unplugged one of them the other started acting normally (even though the other wasn't outputting anything), so I was stuck switching RCA cables each time instead (yay).

 

With the Magni as the amp I had a hard time switching cables fast enough to come to any significant conclusion, so the following information is all from using the Asgard (and from what I can tell from comparing the amps directly should be equally applicable to the Magni, but I wasn't able to directly hear it on it).

 

In general the Modi VS Bifrost matches my impressions of the M&M stack compared to the B&A stack. The Modi has slightly more treble and a little bit of digital etch / glare / harshness compared to the Bifrost, which is just slightly smoother in the treble. Midrange and bass are fine on both and close enough that I could hear no differences between the two. Unlike when comparing the two stacks, I think it now sounds to me that the Bifrost is slightly more detailed, but it's more of a general feeling since as before I have yet to manage to pick out a single detail that I could or couldn't hear on one of the DACs.

 

I want to emphasize that the overall difference between these two is very small, if you're using Bifrost exclusively over USB I'd say the Modi easily gets you at least 90% of the way there for less than 1/4 of the price. And yes, that's a pretty arbitrary number that I probably put way too much thought into (I was mainly hesitating between 90 and 95% though, if that says anything).

 

The biggest problem that I've had comparing the two is that I'll focus on some aspect of the treble on the Modi, thinking I've found a noticeable difference, and then I go back to the Bifrost and find that it's almost identical. I believe if I could make myself just listen to my music and not focus on little details then I'd probably be equally enjoying myself with either, but for now I'm in over-analytical mode so I keep picking apart my songs instead.

 

 

And yes, I realize I'm using the word slightly was too often, but it really needs to be emphasized that the difference is very small. The Modi is not painfully harsh and the Bifrost isn't muffled, they are just very minorly different.


Thanks for posting these great reviews. Went ahead and ordered the Modi after reading your impressions.

post #59 of 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob439 View Post

Felt like I was in 2nd grade reading the review, simple and easy to grasp. Well done.
Made my search for Amp/DAC combo so much easier.
Will M&M drive Beyer 600 ohm well ? If so, do I have to worry about the volume knob issue being discussed.
Thanks

I let a friend of mine with the 600 ohm DT880s borrow my Magni for a while and he said they sounded fantastic.

post #60 of 256
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob439 View Post

Felt like I was in 2nd grade reading the review, simple and easy to grasp. Well done.
Made my search for Amp/DAC combo so much easier.
Will M&M drive Beyer 600 ohm well ? If so, do I have to worry about the volume knob issue being discussed.
Thanks

 

Thanks! The M&M should definitely have enough power. Depending on the usable range you want on the volume control you may want to digitally attenuate it some though; I don't have any Beyers to test with though to find out (that and it's really dependent on what you consider a normal listening level).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parallax982 View Post

Thanks for posting these great reviews. Went ahead and ordered the Modi after reading your impressions.

 

Thanks, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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