Modi 2 and 2U discontinued, Modi 3 now live.
Jun 7, 2020 at 11:06 AM Post #76 of 77


100+ Head-Fier
Nov 23, 2019
Goodyear, Az
I think it would be hard to say whether you would hear an improvement with the Modi 3 vs using the AKM4452 DAC in the k3. It would also depend on the analog stage after each of the DACs. The distortion spec for the k3 indicates about four times the distortion of the Modi 3, but we are talking 0.004% vs 0.001%, both completely inaudible. I remember one of my Electrical Engineering college professors saying that distortion below 1% was inaudible.

Supposedly the AKM4490 DAC in the Modi 3 is "better" then the AKM4452, but it really depends on how well the rest of the circuitry (power supply, digital input receiver, analog output, etc.) is implemented. Imagine a $10,000 Mark Levinson DAC with AKM 4452 vs $50 Walmart DAC with AKM 4490 - which would sound better?

I think the best way to upgrade is to find out if there is any link in the whole chain that is substantially weaker than the other links and upgrade that one. You could try running the k3 digital out (coax or optical) through a DAC which is known to be very good, if you or someone else has one. If that doesn't make a noticeable improvement, then the DAC in the k3 is not the weak link. In fact you may not have a weak link, all links may be roughly the same and you would have to upgrade ALL of them to hear an improvement.
Thanks! I was just curious. I doubt I would hear any improvement since I don’t have the best ears anyway. Currently my system sounds fantastic, to me at least, and I think that’s all that really matters. I think visually the modi would look better, continuity with the heresy and all that, but I think I’ll save my money till I want to upgrade to a better amp and dac.

Users who are viewing this thread