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Schiit Modi/Magni vs soundcard

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've been unhappy with my audio for a while, ever since my auzentech meridian died. I "upgraded" to an Asus Xonar DX and I've disliked it since day one. Awful drivers and the addon features like dolby headphone are mostly useless. I just added a second videocard and started getting tons of EMI so I'm taking the chance to ditch the Asus for another shot at an improvement in the sound department. I have always enjoyed the SQ of all my Creative based cards but am open to externals if it's recommended.

I am a 50/50 gamer/music user. I currently have two setups
1: Sennheiser HD558 when gaming or listening to music at the desk, analog output from (now) onboard audio. This is my most common usage and I would REALLY like an upgrade here.
2: S/pdif output through videocard HDMI to receiver for decoding. Used when gaming or watching movies on the tv. I would like to switch to soundcard s/pdif if it will improve positional audio and other effects with having the extra processing.

I am debating between a Creative SB Ti-HD and an external DAC/AMP like the Modi/Magni stack. The soundcard has more features of course but more potential for EMI as it's going to be either directly above or below one of the two 7870's. Does the shielding on the TiHD help much for noise reduction? Would it be best in my topmost PCIe1x slot? I never had issues with EMI on the Asus installed bottomslot until I dropped in the second card right above it, now I'm worried it will happen again. Currently I have a two-slot videocard in both the blue and white PCIe16x slots. The Xonar DX was installed in the bottom black slot.

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post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Total change of plans!

 

After a few days of onboard sound again I got fed up so the videocards are going up for sale to be replaced by a single more powerful card. I have ordered a Soundblaster Titanium HD and a Schiit Magni that I'm hoping to see in the next week or so. I hope it's worthwhile! I am really starting to miss my old X-Meridian the more time goes by.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Despite the lack of responses, I am satisfied enough with the upgrades that I'll post back my opinion so far. As an upgrade from running most of my music in 250-320kbps through the Asus DX the difference is drastic.

 

I updated a few of my favourite artists to FLAC format and have switched to using Foobar (which after the initial shell shock, I much prefer over itunes). On the hardware front I no longer have the Asus, which has been replaced with the Creative Titanium HD and as of tonight a Schiit Magni amplifier. Headphone-wise I am still using the HD558's and I am finally, for the first time since owning these cans... totally satisfied. 

 

The magni was absolutely beneficial, with an instant and obvious increase in what I would call the... fullness of the bass on what has so far been a very lacking pair of headphones. I am no audiophile, but I am very pleased with the loss of fuzziness throughout all ranges of the music and the Titanium HD has brought back the positional audio effect in gaming that I missed since replacing my last X-fi card with the Asus.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varinn View Post
 

Despite the lack of responses, I am satisfied enough with the upgrades that I'll post back my opinion so far. As an upgrade from running most of my music in 250-320kbps through the Asus DX the difference is drastic.

 

I updated a few of my favourite artists to FLAC format and have switched to using Foobar (which after the initial shell shock, I much prefer over itunes). On the hardware front I no longer have the Asus, which has been replaced with the Creative Titanium HD and as of tonight a Schiit Magni amplifier. Headphone-wise I am still using the HD558's and I am finally, for the first time since owning these cans... totally satisfied. 

 

The magni was absolutely beneficial, with an instant and obvious increase in what I would call the... fullness of the bass on what has so far been a very lacking pair of headphones. I am no audiophile, but I am very pleased with the loss of fuzziness throughout all ranges of the music and the Titanium HD has brought back the positional audio effect in gaming that I missed since replacing my last X-fi card with the Asus.

glad you enjoyed it i run the exact same combo (but with beyers) atm and its been great.

post #5 of 6

I'm currently using a SMSL headphone amp with my creative Ti-HD (RCA outs).  My Audio Technica ATH-AD900x sounds fantastic with it.  I will most likely purchase the Schiit Magni down the road for hopefully a better sound.


Edited by swifty7 - 5/21/14 at 5:14am
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varinn View Post

I've been unhappy with my audio for a while, ever since my auzentech meridian died. I "upgraded" to an Asus Xonar DX and I've disliked it since day one. Awful drivers and the addon features like dolby headphone are mostly useless.

 

Strange, I guess opinions and setups differ greatly but for me, the Asus Xonar DG performed quite well.  I was completely satisfied with it. 

 

However, I purchased a pair of HD 600s and wanting to make sure I got the most out my new headphones, I order a Schiit Magni.  I was surprised to find that I was actually getting the same or slightly better audio quality from my Xonar DG as I was from the Magni. 

 

Thinking maybe I had gotten a defective unit, I contacted Schiit to request a replacement which they cheerfully sent me with no objection.  The replacement Magni performed on the same level as the first one. Very disappointed with the Magni. I ended up selling it on eBay and buying a Xonar Essence ST sound card which is perfect for my application.  And, I've never looked back.

 

Glad you got your situation worked out but I have to take exception with one assertion in your post.  The Dolby Headphone feature on the Xonar line of sound cards is far from useless.  I don't know where you get this.  To my ears, it SIGNIFICANTLY expands the soundstage creating fuller, more emersive listening experience.  In fact, I never turn the Dolby Headphone feature on my Essence ST off.  

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