The (new) HD800 Impressions Thread
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chimney189

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The mulibit version is designed to have a more analogue sound and eliminate the "digital issues" that most dacs struggle with. The Modi MB is one of the very best dac's that you can get anywhere near it's price often competing with much more expensive products. Here is the answer direct from Schiit:
 
How about the Modi Multibit?
Modi Multibit has exactly the same inputs, finish, and controls as Modi 2 Uber (and also a large, stylized “M” screened on the top that looks kinda like a space invader—and helps designate it as a Modi Multibit.) But it’s profoundly different from the Modi 2 Uber inside:

  1. Architecture: Instead of a conventional delta-sigma architecture, the Modi Multibit uses our own, entirely new multibit architecture.
  2. Digital Filter: Instead of using the digital filter embedded in the AK4490 DAC, the Modi Multibit features our own unique closed-form digital filter implemented on an Analog Devices SHARC DSP—the same filter used in the Bifrost Multibit.
  3. D/A Converter: Again, instead of using a delta-sigma audio DAC, the Modi Multibit uses an Analog Devices AD5547 medical/military-grade D/A converter—the same D/A converter used in the Bifrost Multibit.

Very interesting.  It's hard not to like something that is labeled as "medical/military-grade" .. sounds neat.
I'm going to go ahead and ask if I can connect this to my laptop?  Essentially it would have to be Computer ------> Modi MB ------> Burson Soloist SL -----> Headphones
 
EDIT:  I'm also assuming that I'll need to buy PYST cables in order to connect the Modi to the Burson?
EDIT #2:  I'm also assuming that I'll need to buy their USB cable in order to connect the Modi to my computer?
 

 
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MattTCG

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Very interesting.  It's hard not to like something that is labeled as "medical/military-grade" .. sounds neat.
I'm going to go ahead and ask if I can connect this to my laptop?  Essentially it would have to be Computer ------> Modi MB ------> Burson Soloist SL -----> Headphones
 
EDIT:  I'm also assuming that I'll need to buy PYST cables in order to connect the Modi to the Burson?
EDIT #2:  I'm also assuming that I'll need to buy their USB cable in order to connect the Modi to my computer?
 
 
Any RCA interconnect cables of decent quality will work just fine. No PYST is required but they are decent quality and price. Any decent usb cable will work fine. 
 
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thecrow

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  Can anyone recommend a DAC that is $200 or below that I can pair with an incoming Burson Soloist SL?
I right away thought about the JDS ODAC, but I can't think of anything else.
 
EDIT:  I was banking on selling my AKG K712's at this time -- so who knows, if that goes through then the budget can jump up to $400.  If you can list an option for both price points then that will be greatly appreciated!

Something you may find cheap around the place is a 2nd hard arcam irdac.
 
i had this about 18 months ago
 
i had it with a soloist (not the sl but the more powerful one) and they had exceptional synergy, for the hd800, planars and even an akg q/k701 that someone brought to a meet
 
the arcam has nice rich mids and is a little rolled off in the highs.
gives the soloist and hd800 nice bit of weight in the mids and keeps highs at bay
and the tight puncht bottom end of the soloist came through nice on the hd800
 
it isn't as open in sound as more expensive dacs but for the price it's great - what hifi had a very favourable review a few years ago when first released
 
ps i have never heard the modi. i had upgraded from the o2 and odac in those days and it was a great big jump in sound
 
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Very interesting.  It's hard not to like something that is labeled as "medical/military-grade" .. sounds neat.
I'm going to go ahead and ask if I can connect this to my laptop?  Essentially it would have to be Computer ------> Modi MB ------> Burson Soloist SL -----> Headphones
 
EDIT:  I'm also assuming that I'll need to buy PYST cables in order to connect the Modi to the Burson?
EDIT #2:  I'm also assuming that I'll need to buy their USB cable in order to connect the Modi to my computer?
 
 
With a HP as resolving and revealing as the HD800, everything in the signal chain is going to take on greater importance than usual.  I say this having experienced first hand the HD800's response to even the slightest tweak in the singal chain.
 
That said, you do not need to be sucked in by snake oil tactics meant to drain your wallet.  There are many great and low priced alternatives to stock cables.  The PYST cables are good, but my system took a huge leap forward with just a $50 pair of Morrow MA1 RCA cables, which pretty much blew everything I've ever tried out of the water, including more expensive cables.  Back when I was using computer audio, I purchased a LH Labs 1G usb cable which retailed for almost $200 for $70 from someone on the forums.  This blew away the stock usb cable I'd been using.  It was only SLIGHTLY better than the PYST usb cable, but to me the difference was worth the price.  The point is, there are stunning deals to be had with a little research and your HD800 will thank you for any upgrade in the chain.  
 
It also needs to be said that the Modi MB is an amazing DAC, and easily competes with multi thousand dollar DACs including Schiit's statement DAC the Yggdrasil (Yggy).  I have personally compared them both and Modi MB came away holding its own... I'd call it the Yggy's little brother since they are very very close in tonality.  Yggy just had a little extra of everything that made the extra cost worth it.  But I would challenge anyone to tell the difference between those DACs in a blind test... the real differences only become apparent after extended listening, at least for me, as initially I did not find alot of difference between them... it is all in the subtleties, but those subtle changes make all the difference for music.  If I had the money right now I would not hesitate to get a Yggy, but if I could only have Modi MB for the rest of my life, I would not be upset.
 
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According to a comparison between the uber and multibit there seems to be a perceived 'fatness' in sound with the multibit.  Warmer, richer, fuller, more bodied, etc.  However, I am definitely looking to retain the characteristics of the HD800 without warming the sound.  I want it to be as neutral as possible -- although the perceived 'fatness' may contribute to neutrality, although I feel otherwise.  This is why I purchased the Burson Soloist SL -- no coloration. 
 
Basically, something that has the least amount of coloration is what I'm looking for.  I want to hear the headphone, not the gear.  This is why I considered the ODAC, but I wonder if the uber does the same thing.  (both are at the same price point)
 
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chimney189

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Alright, thanks for the help.  Much appreciated.
 
Before I make a purchase I have one more question:  is there a difference between have a DAC that uses a wall wart + usb cable in order to be connected to the computer, compared to having a dac that only connects to a computer with a usb (minus the wall wart)?
 
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Alright, thanks for the help.  Much appreciated.

Before I make a purchase I have one more question:  is there a difference between have a DAC that uses a wall wart + usb cable in order to be connected to the computer, compared to having a dac that only connects to a computer with a usb (minus the wall wart)?
If you'll use it on a desktop, it's safer to go with one that uses external power source. USB power may not be enough and you may get random disconnects, especially if it's a laptop.

That being said, for a well implemented DAC, it doesnt matter. So it shouldn't be your deciding factor. Id highly recommend powering your DAC through a powered USB hub though, those can be has for around 30 bucks.
 
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  Can anyone recommend a DAC that is $200 or below that I can pair with an incoming Burson Soloist SL?
I right away thought about the JDS ODAC, but I can't think of anything else.
 
EDIT:  I was banking on selling my AKG K712's at this time -- so who knows, if that goes through then the budget can jump up to $400.  If you can list an option for both price points then that will be greatly appreciated!
 
Keces da-151mk2
 
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DavidA

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According to a comparison between the uber and multibit there seems to be a perceived 'fatness' in sound with the multibit.  Warmer, richer, fuller, more bodied, etc.  However, I am definitely looking to retain the characteristics of the HD800 without warming the sound.  I want it to be as neutral as possible -- although the perceived 'fatness' may contribute to neutrality, although I feel otherwise.  This is why I purchased the Burson Soloist SL -- no coloration. 
 
Basically, something that has the least amount of coloration is what I'm looking for.  I want to hear the headphone, not the gear.  This is why I considered the ODAC, but I wonder if the uber does the same thing.  (both are at the same price point)
somethings to consider:

If you want no coloration why have the SDR mod?
 
Your reasoning of the multibit being warmer is also a contradiction, to some the Mimby is the neutral and the uber the leaner cleaner sounding
 
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chimney189

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  somethings to consider:

If you want no coloration why have the SDR mod?
 
Your reasoning of the multibit being warmer is also a contradiction, to some the Mimby is the neutral and the uber the leaner cleaner sounding
I have the SDR in order to tame the treble peak. 
 
I'm also going off of someone else's comparison rather than my own because I have not owned a Schiit product.
 
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DavidA

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  I have the SDR in order to tame the treble peak. 
 
I'm also going off of someone else's comparison rather than my own because I have not owned a Schiit product.
I consider the use of the SDR mod to tame the treble peak coloration, and its making the HD800 warmer like the 800S, something you didn't want to do.  Also, if you are using the SDR to "tame" the treble peak the difference between the Mimby and Uber will be way less/insignificant compared to the effect of the SDR mod.  I can understand trying to get "neutral" but what if the "neutral" sounds terrible to you?  I would think one would  try to find something that sounds good versus an arbitrary notion of "neutral".
 
I'm not trying to tell you one way or the other but to hopefully give you a little to think about what you are trying to achieve, I might be way off but most people I know want to find something that sounds good to them regardless of coloration.  Another option would be to use Sonarworks to get a flat FR which I feel is easier and cheaper than going with various DACs and amps unless you are not using a computer as a source.
 
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If you use the Modi MB (Mimby) with the Soloist you may not even need the SDR mod. The Mimby is a very smooth analog DAC (characteristic of the R2R/multibit sound). If you have a smooth non bright amp with it, it may be fine. I use the Mimby with the Lyr and have no problems with the treble peak. It is extremely smooth and euphonic.

If I were you I would spring the extra $50 for the Mimby and forget the Modi uber (nice DAC but not in the same league as Mimby). Try the pairing with stock HD800 and see how it sounds. If you then feel you need to add the SDR then do that. But the Mimby is going to get you practically end game performance no matter what. (Be sure to let it break in for a couple days and never turn it off, the schiit multibit DACs sound best left on)
 
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  I consider the use of the SDR mod to tame the treble peak coloration, and its making the HD800 warmer like the 800S, something you didn't want to do.  Also, if you are using the SDR to "tame" the treble peak the difference between the Mimby and Uber will be way less/insignificant compared to the effect of the SDR mod.  I can understand trying to get "neutral" but what if the "neutral" sounds terrible to you?  I would think one would  try to find something that sounds good versus an arbitrary notion of "neutral".
 
I'm not trying to tell you one way or the other but to hopefully give you a little to think about what you are trying to achieve, I might be way off but most people I know want to find something that sounds good to them regardless of coloration.  Another option would be to use Sonarworks to get a flat FR which I feel is easier and cheaper than going with various DACs and amps unless you are not using a computer as a source.
 
 
Think you are a little mixed up on your terminology.  There is a glossary of terms on Head-Fi and it's worth checking out:
 
http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary
 
"Coloured - Having timbres that are not true to life. Non flat response; peaks or dips."
 
Meaning that, buy reducing the 6Khz peak you are making the HD800's less coloured, not more.  
 
The HD800S I personally won't not describe as warmer than the 800's.  The have the peak fixed and a bass boost at the cost of resolution.
 
"Warm - Good bass, adequate low frequencies, adequate fundamentals relative to harmonics. Not thin. Also excessive bass or mid bass. Also, pleasantly spacious, with adequate reverberation at low frequencies. Also see Rich, Round. Warm highs means sweet highs."
 
The HD800S is still thin with most gear and certainly does not have excessive bass, mid bass or sweet highs.  
 
Also, your use of the term 'neutral' - what if 'neutral' sounds bad to you...  Well, that's possible.  But if you don't like neutral sound then you are looking for something coloured (neutral would be as 'colour free' as possible) which is totally fine - it is 100% a personal choice thing, there is no right or wrong here.  
 
You said, "I would think one would try to find something that sounds good versus an arbitrary notion of "neutral"."  
 
"Neutral" isn't really all that arbitrary, what "sounds good" is totally personal.  Some people love the TH900's and feel they sound excellent - I hate them.  To each their own.
 
 
  According to a comparison between the uber and multibit there seems to be a perceived 'fatness' in sound with the multibit.  Warmer, richer, fuller, more bodied, etc.  However, I am definitely looking to retain the characteristics of the HD800 without warming the sound.  I want it to be as neutral as possible -- although the perceived 'fatness' may contribute to neutrality, although I feel otherwise.  This is why I purchased the Burson Soloist SL -- no coloration. 
 
Basically, something that has the least amount of coloration is what I'm looking for.  I want to hear the headphone, not the gear.  This is why I considered the ODAC, but I wonder if the uber does the same thing.  (both are at the same price point)
 
What I think people are trying to articulate with the multibit is that it is tonally richer and smoother which can make the HD800 a little easier to listen too.  I know your original question was about the multibit vs non but I'm not sure I understand your path...  It sounds like you have HD800's which you are happy with (I love 'em too!!) and a Soloist and you are looking for a DAC.  My question is why?  What is it you aren't getting, or is lacking, with you have?  What are you hoping to  achieve by upgrading?  
 
I think people here are trying to give you guidance and help but are struggling a bit because we don't really know what you are after.  
 
Most people with HD800's ask something like, "I need a DAC that makes the HD800's more musical/thick/warm/less harsh/and so on" - they give us direction.  You are contrasting two DAC's asking about their characteristics but are giving us confusing answers.  
 
 
"I want to hear the headphone, not the gear."  Then sell your HD800's and buy LCD-X's.  Revealing your upstream gear is what the HD800s are all about.
 
 
Forget about terms for a moment and listen, figure out what you are and aren't liking (this is hard, I still struggle with this sometimes).  Listen to as much other gear as you can and try to find what you love.  Start with the end in mind - what does a perfect setup sound like to you.  Then ask for gear advice.
 
Anyway, that's just how I see it all...  
 
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