*Comparison and Review* Magni/Modi vs O2/ODAC
Dec 22, 2012 at 7:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 452

TMRaven

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The Objective Combo

 
 
 
The Schiit Stack

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Review
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
Songs Used:
Tool: Lateralus
Mumford & Sons: Broken Crown
Hans Zimmer: Mombasa
Johnny Cash: Highwayman
Trentemøller: Moan
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.
 
Dec 22, 2012 at 7:40 PM Post #2 of 452

Sniping

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Love how this is to the point! 
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Dec 22, 2012 at 7:48 PM Post #4 of 452

Bboy500

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That was.... short.
 
Guess ima just get the Schiit and not look back. Either way it will be an upgrade over a FiiO E10
 
Dec 22, 2012 at 7:52 PM Post #7 of 452

jerg

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The real question is, would mixing-and-matching the DACs with the amps produce better / worse results? Since there are two components at play here in each combo, it could always be the possibility that one combo has a better DAC and the other a better amp, thus nullifying the differences.
 
Dec 22, 2012 at 8:14 PM Post #9 of 452

TMRaven

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Quote:
The real question is, would mixing-and-matching the DACs with the amps produce better / worse results? Since there are two components at play here in each combo, it could always be the possibility that one combo has a better DAC and the other a better amp, thus nullifying the differences.

 
 
At this price point, I rather keep the aesthetics of the stack intact.
 
Dec 22, 2012 at 8:17 PM Post #10 of 452

TheGame21x

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I like this review.
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Might be upgrading from my Fiio E9/E10 combo to the Schitt stack soon. Looks great.
 
Dec 22, 2012 at 8:45 PM Post #12 of 452

TMRaven

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Quote:
Which of the two would you say is better for the HD650 (I see one in your sig), or does it make no difference? I would just be using the amps.

 
 
I had one, but I sold it back.  My sig's confusing, the big, bolded ones are the ones I currently have.  I'm not sure they'd do the best with the HD650, or at least not to my liking.  They definitely add the treble sparkle and cleanliness like the objective combo does.  The very first thing I noticed with the magni/modi coming from a good amount of time with my computer audio, was just how much cleaner and more extended the treble was in comparison.  I remember the Objective combo giving me this same impression when I first got it and compared it with the Little Dot I had at the time.  However, I don't think it would add enough bass coloration for me with the HD650.  The main reason I didn't like the HD650 was for its lack of deep or impactful bass.
 

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