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Nuforce udac and Topping upgrade to, Schitt Modi/Magni worth it ?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by chris1492, Jan 20, 2013.
  1. chris1492
    I currently have a Nuforce udac2 hooked up to a topping tp-21, Im using the Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro 250 ohm ,and the AKG K701 as my headphones. FLAC as source.
    Udac2 : http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-uDAC-2-Black-Digital-Converter/dp/B003Y5FRNS/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1358724103&sr=1-1&keywords=udac+2
    Tp-21 : http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=310-310
    My question is if it is worth it to upgrade to a schiit modi/magni stack, or to just save up for a bifrost/asgard (year or so from now, college student). Or to just upgrade the DAC to a modi ?
    How much difference will I notice between the Modi and Udac2 ?
    I listen to a wide variety of music.
  2. draterrojam
    try that, might answer a lot 
  3. fabio-fi
    The M&M stack seems to have better specs, and it looks better (from the technical side) than the Udac. 
    Personally I'd like to have one of that for the office. [​IMG]
  4. winenerd
    I actually just went from a Topping to Asgard, so far the Asgard does seem to be a decent improvement, but not mind blowing. I'll have some Q701's and a better source in the next few days so I can do a better comparison.
  5. chris1492
    Thanks for the help guys. I decided not to go with the modi/magni. I decided that It would be better to buy a higher-end DAC and headphone amp once I get the money to buy some more expensive headphones to make them worth the money.
  6. RelayerCR
    I've moved from uDac-2 to uDac-3 , and I believe that it worth to upgrade. Here you can see my thoughts:
    Now I've got a headphone amp Schiit Magni ($110) and again, I believe there is an improvemente in the headphone amp section.  However, I felt much more difference between uDac-2 and uDac-3 than between uDac-3 and Schiit Magni, here you can read my thoughts:
    By now, I'm thinking in buying the Schiit Dac Modi, however, I think that the uDac-3 is an excellent DAC and it would be difficult that the Schiit exceeds in quality quality the uDac-3.  From the $$$$ point of view : Schiit Magni + Schiit Modi + a decent usb cable + a decent pair  of interconnects ... it may easily exceeds the $250, ..., so I really don't know if is is worth of ... 
    However, thinking in some $250, it may have sense to move to the new Nuforce Icon DAC ($300 at Amazon):
    Other option that looks great is the Musical Fidelity V90-HPA, a headphone amp with an asynchronous usb 24bit  DAC ($200 at Amazon):
    I have an old Musical Fidelity V-Can, and this is excellent, in fact, after breakin Magni for some 40 hours (maybe I'll need more time), the Musical Fidelity sounds with much more bodie, 3-dimensional, more bass, much more power, ..., it is just better than the Schiit (original price was $200)!
  7. wje
    Some of the reviews that I've read seem to reflect that the USB input on the V90 can drop out at times.  This might be an issue with the V90 itself, or could just be an issue with the user's computer (my suspicion) because we all have thousands of configurations running on our PCs and it could be any small issue creating this problem.   I'll agree, at $199, it's a pretty good price for what is offered.   I have the V-Can (ver 1) amp and it does OK.  I wish it would have a bit of a better lower end - not that it's anemic, but I do notice it a slight bit.  I've also read where the Vers 2 of the V-Can seems to have better mids in the performance.  I believe the objective of Musical Fidelity was to create a quality amp at a discount price by offering a "no frills" case, but still better quality internal components.
    I'm heading over to check your comparison of the uDAC2 vs uDAC3.  I have the uDAC2 at the moment and think it's a pretty good performer given the price that one can pick up a used one for about $50.
  8. RelayerCR

    Well, so I have a V-Can (ver 1), and I believe that V- Can outperforms the Magni in all all fields, subtle differences I mean, however I can hear them.

    I suppose that the Musical Fidelity V90-HPA plus Musical Fidelity V90-DAC shoud be winners, but we are talking about $500 for buying both units, and at that price you can compare have other options, ...

    Finally, uDac-3 outperforms uDac-2 (again, ¡that's what my ears says!), take into account that we are talking of just $125.  On the other hand Schiit Magi + Schiit Modi+ Interconnect cables will cost at least $250, so, does the Schiits sounds double better than the uDac-3, ..., mhh I don't think so!

    I've ordered a Modi, in some days I will be able to compare Magi + Modi against uDac 3.  Now I'm using uDac 3 as Dac and Magni Headphone Amp.
  9. RelayerCR
    I'm testing Modi+Magni, after a breakin period of 90 hours for magni and 40 hours for modi.  Compared to Nuforce uDac-3, I can easily listen to a more clear and detailed sound, improved soundstage, more bass, and a neutral and not colored sound (nuforce is absolutely neutral too). 

    However, I have come to conclusion that it makes no sense to do this comparison, ¿why?, it's just a matter of prices: taking into account that Magni+Modi+decent cable will cost about $250, whereas uDac3 price is just $125, we should compare udac-3 with something in the $250-$300 range. Rather udac-3 at $125 is a bargain.  It make sense to compare Magni+Modi+decent cable to (for example) Nuforce Icon Dac, this cost $300. Icon Dac it seems to be a better DAC than the schiit modi, and at least a similar quality headphone amp as magni.

    Nuforce Icon DAC:

    "My Sistema" used for the comparisons :
    • DAC: Schiit modi
    • Headphone amp: Schiit magni
    • Headphones: Grado SR225, Polk Audio Buckle
    • Interconects: DH-Labs BL1 (DIY)
    • USB Cable: Pangea Audio (PCOCC & 4% silver)





    For the next picture, the interconnect Audioquest King Cobra is more expensive than the magni+modi, ¡so this test has not sense at all!,..., However just curious to figure out if I can perceive any difference beteen Audioquest King Cobra and DH-Labs BL1 in this installation.  I can listen differences in my main system, with Parasound and Musical Fidelity equipment.

  10. RelayerCR
    Just an clarification to my previous post:

    The differences betweent modi+magni and uDac3 come from the headphone amplifier, and not from the dac.  Magni is a better headphone amp than uDac3 (not a surprice, for the price it must be better), but modi and udac3 dacs seems to produce very similar results (maybe slightly different, but none is better than other).  Is very very difficult for me to listen differences between these dacs when these are connected to the magni amp. 
    So, in my opinion it does not worth buying another DAC, uDac3 + magni is enough for me!, the only added value is the aesthetics: ¡schiits looks nice together!.
    A summary:
    (udac3)    vs    (udac3+magni) - I preffer udac3+magni
    (udac3 + magni)   vs   (modi + magni) - almost the same thing, I don't have preference

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