I am currently using a Schiit Modi > Mjolnir > Audez'e LCD-2 setup.
The Mjolnir and LCD-2.2 sound, predictably, great together. But I really feel like the Modi is holding back this entire setup. It is, by all means, a great DAC for the price, but I don't think it suffices for the rest of the chain. The bass seems to be lacking in my setup, even though the LCD-2.2s are known for producing great, punchy bass. It's just too polite right now, and I think that might be chocked up to the Modi. The Modi is also just USB powered, and so it doesn't have that much power going into it. On some classical recordings, I can play the Mjo at MAXIMUM volume, and the Mjo is an extremely powerful amplifier...
Given the Mjolnir is a balanced amplifier, a balanced DAC would be great. But, as I heard from Jason from Schiit on HeadFi, he says that the difference between single-ended and balanced input is not very big, and that the Mjo still outputs balanced no matter what. And so I don't expect there to be a big difference, and so I'm still happy with unbalanced outs from the DAC, insofar as the DAC is so good that it can overcome not being balanced.
I am hoping to get something $500 or below on the used market that'll really finalize my setup. I know this is not ultra-end game, but I'm happy to stay around this area until I have $10000 to drop on gear one day.
• $500 or less (secondary market), unbalanced or balanced is okay (ideally $250-350 that can punch above its price!)
• Pairing with a Mjolnir and LCD-2.2
• I feel like the bass is lacking and there isn't enough power coming out of the Modi
Thanks a bunch everyone <3.
Edited by Pepper - 10/3/13 at 10:24pm