Schiit Modius discussion - $199 balanced AK4493 DAC
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StimpyWan

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1. Then why argue?

2. Again, NO, it's not my opinion, it's the objective facts/history and it's even mentioned in the article you yourself linked to: "Pop music, in the meantime, was evolving a totally different way of working, which came eventually to require an infinity of souces and an infinity of tracks on which to record them". Even by the 1970's, how many commercial recording studios did not have or use multi-track recorders, how many don't today? The production techniques of Spectre, Martin and various others which came to dominate and even define pop genres, all required multiple mics/inputs and "manufacturing". And clearly, I did NOT state "all" recordings, I stated the vast majority.

3. Whether your personal experience is more or less "valid than another's" of course entirely depends on the extent of your experience (and knowledge) and that of others. However, that's irrelevant anyway because you're not pitting your experience against mine but against the historical facts of the evolution of music/sound recording. And, I did not even mention my personal experience, I asked "How hard do others try? If you don't know, how do you know they try less hard than the few you've mentioned?".

4. Yet again, it is not my experience, it's the historical facts.
4a. "In as live a manner as possible" is still NOT anything like "matching the sound of live music". Did the "various bands" use multiple mics on the drumkit, another on the vocals, others for each of the electric guitar/s and bass or did they just use "minimal mic'ing", say a stereo pair to capture everything together, including the PA and acoustics of the warehouse? If it's the former, then it's still largely "manufactured" and does not "match the sound of live music". If it's the latter, then it would be impossible to achieve a "valid" (balanced) mix. Either way, the vast majority of commercial music recordings are "manufactured", in DAWs/studios.



I'm here to present the actual objective/historical facts, that's my "joy". If that pisses "in others' Cheerios" because their Cheerios contradict the actual facts (IE. Are false assertions) then so be it. And why would anyone consider that a bad thing, unless they wanted to promote false facts/marketing over the actual facts?

G
Who's arguing...? :slight_smile: :deadhorse: :vulcan:
 
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senorx12562

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He's a Schiil. Always has been. Always a huge write-up that gets more excited as he goes. There's a moment of revelation included to raise excitement (the **** Me! moment). It's all very suspicious. I would say it's paid for. I have always gotten that impression. Whatever.
I'm not buying it. Get over it.
 
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He's a Schiil. Always has been. Always a huge write-up that gets more excited as he goes. There's a moment of revelation included to raise excitement (the **** Me! moment). It's all very suspicious. I would say it's paid for. I have always gotten that impression. Whatever.
I'm not sure why anyone needs to attack anyone in an online setting. Uncalled for.
 
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jaxtrauma

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My Modius arrived on Friday. My subjective impression so far is that it’s a fair step up from the internal 4490 card in my Asgard. I’m enjoying what I perceive as improved detail and clarity, better instrument separation, and a broader soundstage.

The physical footprint of the Modius is exactly the same as the Asgard, though it’s shallower and the build is slightly different; the top is a thinner material and the build is less robust overall, though not to the point of being a problem.

A few nitpicks: the front selector button rattles, the included USB cable is flimsy (I know, choosy beggars and all that), and micro USB is meh. Overall though, it’s seems like a very nice DAC that sounds great and measures great for $199. I’m happy with the purchase.

D88A76D5-4CAB-48BE-96D9-652463EB4006.jpeg
Ordered one yesterday with the Jotunheim. Glad you like yours, I'm going to pair it with the FOCAL Clear. Got to use that balanced cable that comes with it :wink:
 
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It should be very, very, very difficult to tell DACs apart unless they are intentionally designed to have a signature which would be a terrible approach. Really the DAC should be transparent and just get out of the way. Virtually every report when you hear people tell you about the differences they "hear" are done sighted. I have never heard of a single blind test result where people could tell the difference between properly designed DACs.

I would love this DAC if it was even $100 more, but included solid Bluetooth connectivity like the Topping D90 or the new SMSL M400. Really glad that Schiit is staying in the game and fighting to produce quality, affordable audio gear. Way to go Schiit and I wish you all the success in the world.
That's not true. Infact I feel with revealing headphones, DAC play as big a role as amplifier. There are different approach to DAC design using different chips or output stage. If you compare DAC with different approach or properly implemented chip design, you will notice a difference.
There is no way you can't tell a difference between Topping or SMSL DAC and Schiit Multibit DAC or some NOS R2R DAC even listening blind.
I for one don't want DAC to be color less. In fact I like what each has to offer.
Also with DAC its not always about FR or timbre but also about soundstage and placement of instruments and some DAC will have very wide stage and some may have narrow. Some will have deeper and some will be more upfront. Some will have more PRaT and make you bang your head harder then usual. It's fun to compare DAC.
 
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He's a Schiil. Always has been. Always a huge write-up that gets more excited as he goes. There's a moment of revelation included to raise excitement (the **** Me! moment). It's all very suspicious. I would say it's paid for. I have always gotten that impression. Whatever.
Well its your opinion but I don't feel that way. Infact I find his opinion on headphones and DAC as very informative. When everyone was going crazy over Empyrean and I for one couldn't hear what everyone was talking about he was the one who pointed out the issue with it.
- - Schiit Modius Mini-Review - -

Well, as much as I hate to say it, it looks like the sound of the Modius just isn't for me. :fearful::sweat_smile:

Nobody wanted to love the Modius more than I did. It had all of the features I was looking for along with a very affordable price. But unfortunately, to my ears, it just couldn't dethrone the Modi Multibit in SQ.

I've been trying to think of a good analogy to describe the differences between the Modius with its delta-sigma chip and the Modi Multibit with it's R2R chips and proprietary digital filter. I thought about all of the usual audiophile analogies we've all read a hundred times before, but none of them really seemed to fit. So I came up with an unusual analogy that seemed the most apropos to me, so here goes. To me, the difference between these two DACs is like drinking some pretty good store-bought orange juice and drinking some fresh-squeezed orange juice you get at a farmers market that was just made that day. While the store-bought OJ is still very enjoyable, it has been strained, frozen, thawed, pasturized and homogenized before you ever get to taste it. But with the fresh-squeezed OJ, it comes directly from the source with almost nothing having been done to it. Sure, you may get more pulp than you might otherwise prefer, and maybe even the occasional seed or two, but God DAMN is it delicious! There's just no comparison, in my opinion. But surprisingly (to me, at least), there are many people that actually prefer the taste of the store-bought OJ because it has a smoother texture, it's less acidic, it doesn't have any pulp or seeds in it, and the list goes on. While I understand where they are coming from, I personally would much rather have my OJ fresh-squeezed, even if that means getting the occasional little bits of undesired stuff that will inevitably come along with it.

The Modius is a very good sounding DAC, and an excellect value at it's price. But it still very much sounds like a delta-sigma based DAC. It doesn't rewrite the rules for what a good quality, entry-level DS DAC is capable of, so you shouldn't expect any miracles in that regard. The Modius does have a somewhat larger soundstage and it images a little better when compared to the MM. But the MM has that "Multibit Magic", primarily in the mids and treble, that in all honesty, I've now become quite addicted to. And just to be extra thorough, I listened to the Modius with all three of my amps using it's RCA and XLR outputs, and I heard the exact same sonic traits and differences with all of them.

So for me, it looks like I'll be sticking with R2R DACs going forward, which now makes me really wish Schiit would hurry up and release a "Modius Multibit" ASAP! While I would still recommend the Modius as a great entry-level DAC, it's not without some caveats. To sum it up, I think the Modius will be a better fit for those who usually prefer the smoother, easier to drink store-bought OJ over the more acidic, pulpy and occasionally seedy (?!?) fresh-squeezed stuff.
i think Bifrost2 is the modius Multibit that you are looking for. I really don't see Schiit crowding the Multibit DAC line
 
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I ordered one today, for a couple of hundred bucks it's worth a try. It's always fun to try out something new.
Are balanced cables that terminate in RCA plugs worth it? I have a Magni 3+ headphone amp.
 
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I ordered one today, for a couple of hundred bucks it's worth a try. It's always fun to try out something new.
Are balanced cables that terminate in RCA plugs worth it? I have a Magni 3+ headphone amp.
The best way to find out would be to try both XLR-to-RCA and RCA-to-RCA in the same brand/series of cable and test it for yourself if you can. But I'm guessing you're trying to avoid the expense of buying twice as many cables as you need, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you probably won't see much if any benefit in using an XLR-to-RCA cable over an RCA-to-RCA.
 
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The best way to find out would be to try both XLR-to-RCA and RCA-to-RCA in the same brand/series of cable and test it for yourself if you can. But I'm guessing you're trying to avoid the expense of buying twice as many cables as you need, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you probably won't see much if any benefit in using an XLR-to-RCA cable over an RCA-to-RCA.
Thanks for your input. I was thinking along the same line. I'll just stick with RCA plugs for now.
 
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I ordered one today, for a couple of hundred bucks it's worth a try. It's always fun to try out something new.
Are balanced cables that terminate in RCA plugs worth it? I have a Magni 3+ headphone amp.
better to use RCA to RCA cables instead. using XLR to RCA cables may cause damage to the source device, depending on how the cables are wired, in addition to being probably more expensive than their RCA to RCA counterparts using the same type and length of wire.
 
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I ordered one today, for a couple of hundred bucks it's worth a try. It's always fun to try out something new.
Are balanced cables that terminate in RCA plugs worth it? I have a Magni 3+ headphone amp.
No, I would not recommend doing this, you can actually damage your gear doing this and may compromise performance. You lose the benefits of xlr from doing it as well. Just use the se rca outs unless you have a balanced amp. No reason to spend money on something that has a good chance of being detrimental.
 
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That's not true. Infact I feel with revealing headphones, DAC play as big a role as amplifier. There are different approach to DAC design using different chips or output stage. If you compare DAC with different approach or properly implemented chip design, you will notice a difference.
There is no way you can't tell a difference between Topping or SMSL DAC and Schiit Multibit DAC or some NOS R2R DAC even listening blind.
I for one don't want DAC to be color less. In fact I like what each has to offer.
Also with DAC its not always about FR or timbre but also about soundstage and placement of instruments and some DAC will have very wide stage and some may have narrow. Some will have deeper and some will be more upfront. Some will have more PRaT and make you bang your head harder then usual. It's fun to compare DAC.
We will agree to disagree. You use speakers and headphones, or even DSP to provide colour. DACs that noticeably colour the sound are poorly designed, no question about it. I would never invest in a DAC that colours the sound, but that is just me. A DAC has only one purpose, and a very simple one, take a digital stream and convert it to analogue and output it accurately. If a DAC changes sound stage and the like well it is seriously flawed.
 
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Look what the cat dragged in today.

IMG_0838.jpg


I also have the Gungnir multibit A1, and while I like it, it was a few drawbacks for my personal use. First, I live in an area with frequent thunderstorms, so I have to turn off and unplug my gear often. The 2-day warm up to optimal sound sometimes gets in the way of a quick music session. Also, my amp tends to lean warm and I use the Senn HD 650 unmodded, which are also warmish, so all that warmth in addition to the Gungnir multibit A1 can be too much of a good thing.

So, enter the Modius. My hopes were to make this my "summer dac" and also perhaps it could breathe some life into my Senns.

I'm the first to admit that I don't have the golden ears of some people here and elsewhere, but I can hear some differences between dacs.

My chain = iPod classic ALAC -> Pure i20 dock -> optical* -> Modius -> bal -> Teac HA-501 -> Senn HD 650.

IMG_0839.jpg


*I decided to use this because the Pure owner's manual recommends it over coaxial and measurements of the Modius show lower noise from optical than coaxial, so what the hell.

Here are my stream of consciousness findings:

Compared to the Gungnir multibit A1 balanced, the Modius balanced has/is/does (we're talking small differences, but we seem to write these more so from the side of absolute values):

-More air around the notes
-Slightly taller sound stage for sure, maybe just as wide, need more time with different recordings to say for sure
-A little splashier treble
-More "tin" to the timbre
-Less slam in the bass
-Less precision in imaging
-Leaner overall sound
-Less overall warmth
-Not as much in your face; imagine the Gungnir is a Harley and the Modius is a Honda Goldwing
-Less plankton
-Overall, sound is slightly more smeared, but not offensive at all
-Less of a v-curve sound (I always felt the Gungnir had slightly recessed mids)
-Lacks the Schiit multibit bass slam and treble found in cymbals, but not by much
-A little more bite overall (not to be confused with slam), possibly due to the DS platform, but this actually sort of works with the Senn HD 650--a fully warm Gungnir can be too smooth at times with the Senns
-A little more polite despite the differences in treble and bite, if that makes any sense

Despite these differences, it seems to work very well in my system. It removed some of the congestion from the Senn HD 650, which is welcomed. Also, the small amount of "tin" seems to work well, too, because while the bass doesn't have the same slam and diversity of notes as the Gungnir, I can hear more texture from the strings of a bass guitar. That is also very welcomed. The leaner sound and increased air work well with the Senns, too.

From a technical standpoint, it's an inferior dac compared to the Gungnir. But for some reason, it cures some of the evils I've experienced with the Senns and it just seems to synergize better. It removes too much of the good thing. My system could be too smooth and warm at times to the point of fatigue, if that makes any sense. It also sounds great from initial power on, which was the main point of this investment.

I seem to remember many moons ago reading that Mike and Jason use the Senn HD 650 to help voice their gear. If that was true, this makes sense with the latest iteration of their sound in the Modius. It's a good combination.
 
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We will agree to disagree. You use speakers and headphones, or even DSP to provide colour. DACs that noticeably colour the sound are poorly designed, no question about it. I would never invest in a DAC that colours the sound, but that is just me. A DAC has only one purpose, and a very simple one, take a digital stream and convert it to analogue and output it accurately. If a DAC changes sound stage and the like well it is seriously flawed.
Must be nice. $12 dongle and you are set.
 
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Must be nice. $12 dongle and you are set.
Yes that is what I said. Seriously, come with an argument worth making. For the record I used to spend money on DACs, I had the NAD M51 which is a solidly engineered piece of kit. I am quite glad that I sold it and the Chord Mojo at the same time. My SMSL M200 sounds every bit as nice, has more features and was quite a bit less expensive. I'm happy.
 
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