Schiit Modi vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for powered studio monitors

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by turbo911, Feb 22, 2014.
  1. turbo911
    I am in need of a DAC and I can't decide which one to keep/buy. I have JBL LSR305 speakers and they have balanced TRS and XLR out. Focusrite scartlett 2i2 has balanced TRS out, while Schiit Modi has a pair of unbalanced RCA out. Which will be better for my needs? Will I see a difference between TRS and RCA?
    I will be mainly listening music and watching movies/tv shows. Unless there is something better out there for less than $200, I am open to suggestions.
    Thank you.
  2. RonaldDumsfeld
    The Modi doesn't have a volume control. You need one when using active monitors.
    So the Focustrite interface is the better bet for you. It was designed to work with active monitors. The Modi isn't.
    In my opinion you would be better advised to get the 2i4 rather than the 2i2. It doesn't cost much more and you have the benefit of having the option of 2 independent stereo channels out. i.e. play games on headphones and listen to bit perfect music on speakers simutaneously.
    Balanced vs unbalanced out has some advantages also:
    Better protection against IEM and ground loops. Similar to the way people used to use optical S/PDIF out. It isolates the amps in the speakers and the power suppy on your PC.
    The physical connecters are more robust and easier to fix if they do break.
    Potentially 6dB extra gain. Twice as loud.
  3. turbo911
    Thanks for the feedback.
    I do like Focusrite because of the volume control and TRS output. However, I am not sure if the quality of the sound is better on Modi or Focusrite. What I mean, which has a better audio chip inside.
    Also Focusrite has only 16-bit sound output (when you go to control panel, sound options and then advanced settings, to change the sample rate and bit depth, there is no 24-bit available), where on Modi, it has 24-bit and higher sample rate.
  4. RonaldDumsfeld
    If you say so.
  5. the Ortherion
    Im kinda interested in this comparison. I have a local dealer who let me try the scarlett but i don't have any way of trying the modi. So if you guys have any experience on these dacs that would be awesome =)
  6. turbo911

    I ended up getting both to try and kept Focusrite 2i2. The main reasons were 1/4" TRS connectors, volume knob, headphones output, plus 2 mic pre-amps just in case I'll need it in the future. I've been using it for a year and no problems so far.
    Modi didn't have any of those options and for the price, you can't go wrong with Focusrite.
    HiFi1972 likes this.
  7. the Ortherion

    The thing is. I'm only concerned about audio quality. I don't care for the mic pre-amps and stuff like that. I just want a usb or optical in and an audio out. Since i'll use this with the Vali headphone amp i don't care either for the volume knob. Maybe i could use it for IEM's but it's not a deciding factor. Considering the price is the same for both but i can only buy the focus rite locally what you would recommend only in terms of sound?
    Btw, thank you for your answer =D
  8. turbo911
    When I listened to both devices through LSR305 speakers and by using foobar2000 player (downloaded couple high quality songs), I didn't notice any difference in quality. I even had my brother listen, and he said it sounds the same. I think I did hear more hiss coming from the speakers when they were connected to Modi, since Modi uses analog to TRS, where Focusrite uses TRS to TRS, however in sound quality, I didn't hear difference. The only thing I noticed was that Modi was louder at the same sound level.
    Since you are going to be using it with Vali, I would go with Modi.
    Also judging by specs, they are almost identical to me (that's if you are comparing Modi to focusrite 2i2, and not Modi 2 that came out recently).
    Both units are basic low end DACs.
    What are you going to be using it with?
  9. jam130

    I was in the same situation as you and I got a Jotunheim with a DAC module and use it to send a balanced signal to my 305's (via XLR) and it also powers my headphones via the balanced headphone output.

    I got it used from another head-fi member so the price was not too bad either

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