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Review, Measurement and Comparison of Schiit Modi 2 Uber and Topping D30

amirm

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#21

sonci

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#22
Also my test methodology for USB is somewhat different than S/PDIF so the results are not 100% comparable.
I think this is more likely the reason, because judging by ears the D30 is superior on the spidf input.
 

amirm

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#23
What do you make of the FFT measurements showing the humps at 9kHz and 15kHz on the 12kHz tone chart for the D30 and the higher noise floor of the D30 in comparison to your measurements?
A bit hard to diagnose fully. I don't know what hardware he is using for measurements. But let me share some data regardless.

I tried to match his parameters as close as I could and ran the test against Topping D30 and Schiit Modi 2 Uber. First, their results:

Topping D30:


And Modi 2 Uber:


Notice the broadening shoulders around the 12 kHz tone with Schiit Modi 2 which agrees with my review measurements. And this new set, run with just a 12 kHz tone (rather than J-Test):

Topping D30 versus Schiit Modi 2 Uber DAC 12 kHz Noise and Distortion Measurement.png


The broadening of the shoulder due to jitter/noise is apparent again in Modi 2 Uber.

The Topping D30 has higher noise floor as I indicated in my last post over S/PDIF. Note that its output is 3 dB higher so you need to move the Schiit Modi 2 Uber up by the same amount to be apples vs apples comparison in that graph. When done, as the graph says, Schiit Modi 2 Uber has higher noise/jitter around the main signal tone of 12 kHz, but lower noise farther out. So a mixed result.

There are no humps though in Topping D30 that they are showing. Since my measurement is able to reveal the lower noise floor of the Schiit Modi 2 Uber, it is not a problem with my analyzer not being revealing enough. The noise is dominated by what the DAC is doing, and not the ADC of my Audio Precision Analyzer.

My only guess is that the higher levels of Topping D30 is overloading the the ADC in the soundcard he is using. He should run a test with another source that generates that higher output and see if the problem is in the source or his audio capture setup.

A side rant: this kind of discrepancy is why I use the (expensive) Audio Precision analyzer which is the #1 device for this type of testing in the world. This means that anyone can repeat my results by using the same gear. This is not true of sound card testing which the poster on the other forum seems to be using. So at some level, you need to ask him why his results don't agree with mine than the other way around. :)

One more note: they are always showing jitter across a narrow range of frequencies. Here they cut off at 5 Khz on the low end in the measurement. It is important to keep going down to 20 Hz as that shows power supply problems and importantly includes distortions in the 2 to 5 kHz where our hearing is most sensitive. This is why my measurements show the full spectrum. Their method leaves out data that is critical for determining audibility of distortion products.

Summary:
Their results agree with mine for Schiit Modi 2 Uber indicating random low frequency jitter/noise. I cannot reproduce their results for Topping D30 other than the fact that it does have higher noise floor over its S/PDIF input than USB. In comparison to Schiit Modi 2 Uber over S/PDIF, it outperforms it in low frequency random noise but loses in the wider range. Since my equipment and process is the industry standard, my suggestion is that they do some calibration of their measurement against the same so that they know whether their results are due to device being tested or the measurement gear itself.

Importantly, they need to show jitter spectrum that includes full audible band so that perceptual analysis can be performed on the results.
 
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#24
A side rant: this kind of discrepancy is why I use the (expensive) Audio Precision analyzer which is the #1 device for this type of testing in the world. This means that anyone can repeat my results by using the same gear. This is not true of sound card testing which the poster on the other forum seems to be using. So at some level, you need to ask him why his results don't agree with mine than the other way around. :)
Although the quality of AP's work is beyond reproach, the logo on those graphs indicates that the system used is something from Avermetrics (https://www.avermetrics.com/), most likely an Averlab (https://www.avermetrics.com/products/averlab/). Strangely, I can't find complete specifications for the Averlab, but at the least it's more than just a generic sound card (and looks pretty neat, actually).

Edit: Yep, you can see the "AverLAB" in this image at the top left http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?attachments/modi-2u-1khz-png.12746/
 
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#27
This post really helped me to decide. I almost buy the schiit modi 2 multibit instead of topping d50 (not even d30)
 

Jimster480

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#29
Although the quality of AP's work is beyond reproach, the logo on those graphs indicates that the system used is something from Avermetrics (https://www.avermetrics.com/), most likely an Averlab (https://www.avermetrics.com/products/averlab/). Strangely, I can't find complete specifications for the Averlab, but at the least it's more than just a generic sound card (and looks pretty neat, actually).

Edit: Yep, you can see the "AverLAB" in this image at the top left http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?attachments/modi-2u-1khz-png.12746/
Looks like the prices start at 3K! Maybe this will be a viable alternative for people like me who want to get into doing these sort of tests.
 

Jimster480

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#30
I then tested the S/PDIF input using my generator as the source and there was no glitch at all. This leads to the conclusion that the Schiit Modi 2 Uber has a broken USB implementation. This is completely repeatable on my system.

Before any owners say they have this unit and don't have this problem, I played a bunch of music with the DAC and I could NOT detect the glitch there. Whether it was masked by music or is a problem that occurs at 0 dBFS, I don't know. What I do know is that in identical situation with dozens of DACs including the Topping D30, this problem does not occur.
^This is what i was banned on headfi for uncovering... I have waited more than 1 year now to have this scenario reproduced.
It happens often in classical music with very quiet notes at the beginning of songs. Or right when the tracks are starting and there is a small period of silence.
If you play through some quieter classical music, especially songs that have quiet sections, you should find it.
Try a song like this:

It has some silent periods in between the piano strokes, as do many of his other songs. And songs done by Lang Lang, both originals. I mean in the world of classical music you will find many songs like this. Lots of jazz has quiet points in songs too before / between the music.
 

Jimster480

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#32
Hmmm...I see you're not banned right now, but you haven't posted since Dec. last year. It's good Amir was not banned there...yet. :)
I am banned. I can only send pm. Every message I post has to be approved by admins.
 

Ron Texas

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#35
This is the review that made the kooks at SBAF completely crazy. They made some very uncomplimentary posts about Amir. When someone upsets the established order with facts, those living in fantasyland will go crazy.
 

Jimster480

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#36
This is the review that made the kooks at SBAF completely crazy. They made some very uncomplimentary posts about Amir. When someone upsets the established order with facts, those living in fantasyland will go crazy.
Well thats true because overall they are just believing whatever is written by Jason. The sad part is that the Modi 2 Uber is using the same DAC chip as the RME ADI Pro 2 which measures so well... obviously it might cost a bit more than $250 to hit that level of performance especially when built in the USA but when you look at Topping they deliver a ton of features and still manage to deliver that price point (and relative level of performance).
Yet instead the Modi2 doesn't compare to even the lowest grade of "Audiophile" components, that literally you have to drop down to $20 devices to get that bad of performance.
 

derp1n

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#37
Modi 3 announced, looks like this may actually be competitive (Schiit's AP test run linked) with the D30 performance wise. Of course, the SBAF marketing crew have been provided one early to start the hype train ("As for the sound, I find it hard to believe that it's a SD DAC"). If Schiit were as ballsy as they pretend to be, they would've sent one to Amir for review too... but (aside from publishing the AP test suite) that'd be paramount to admitting the earlier ASR measurements were correct.
 

Jimster480

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#38
Modi 3 announced, looks like this may actually be competitive (Schiit's AP test run linked) with the D30 performance wise. Of course, the SBAF marketing crew have been provided one early to start the hype train ("As for the sound, I find it hard to believe that it's a SD DAC"). If Schiit were as ballsy as they pretend to be, they would've sent one to Amir for review too... but (aside from publishing the AP test suite) that'd be paramount to admitting the earlier ASR measurements were correct.
Can't wait to have Amir test this one :)

It has the same DAC as the previous model, so lets hope they just fixed the shoddy input.
I guess the D30/D10 is taking way too much marketshare from them :)
 
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#39
I just gave a listen to my buddies schiit stack. A Modi 2U and Magni 3. I don't know if something is wrong with his equipment but I am literally awestruck in how horrible it sounds. I was listening to all my favorite tracks and it sounded as if the life was sucked out of the music. The soundstage was so congested and 2 dimensional, the timbre did not sound natural, poor separation between instruments, horrible detail retrieval. Small nuances in songs that I know are there where practically non existent. I do have to prop the optical cable up otherwise the dac won't produce any sound. Maybe it's just a defective dac. But I still experience pretty much the same tonal characters and issues with the sound when using the magni 3 with my Enog2 pro dac. The audio was severely downgraded even more when I went from the enog2 pro to the modi 2u.
 

derp1n

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#40
I just gave a listen to my buddies schiit stack. A Modi 2U and Magni 3. I don't know if something is wrong with his equipment but I am literally awestruck in how horrible it sounds. I was listening to all my favorite tracks and it sounded as if the life was sucked out of the music. The soundstage was so congested and 2 dimensional, the timbre did not sound natural, poor separation between instruments, horrible detail retrieval. Small nuances in songs that I know are there where practically non existent. I do have to prop the optical cable up otherwise the dac won't produce any sound. Maybe it's just a defective dac. But I still experience pretty much the same tonal characters and issues with the sound when using the magni 3 with my Enog2 pro dac. The audio was severely downgraded even more when I went from the enog2 pro to the modi 2u.
I'll have two of whatever you smoked, please.
 
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