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Schiit Modi 3+ Review (Stereo DAC)

LTig

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May be I should have highlighted what I wanted to complain most about:
... and a few tracks took me back to the old days when stereos actually sounded good (almost everything sounds like shit now unless you spend $$$$)
This is so wrong. Get a good measuring DAC with volume control (no need to spend more than $150 .. 200) and a pair of JBL 305p (less than $250). Compare with anything in the same price range from "the old days".
 

DarkLord

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May be I should have highlighted what I wanted to complain most about:

This is so wrong. Get a good measuring DAC with volume control (no need to spend more than $150 .. 200) and a pair of JBL 305p (less than $250). Compare with anything in the same price range from "the old days".

I can't tell if you're trying to make a joke or not. I'm guessing that most of you are almost deaf from listening to music too loud or you just don't have good hearing, which is fine and all but don't try and tell me your jack ass DAC sounds good, you don't know what that means. "Good measuring" LMAO.

Do you think I give a shit how something measures? I only care how it sounds. I will concede that it is a surprisingly complex subject matter. And sometimes good measuring DACs sound good, but for the most part the really good measuring ones sound like trash. Why is that?

Are you all really so dumb that you think it is that simple? Uh, derp, my DAC measures real gud so it MUST sound real gud too, right? I used an oscilloscope, durrr, I'm so smurt.

Fucking monkeys.
 

LTig

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Major Edit (somehow hit the send button too early):
I can't tell if you're trying to make a joke or not.
I don't make jokes.
I'm guessing that most of you are almost deaf from listening to music too loud or you just don't have good hearing, which is fine and all but don't try and tell me your jack ass DAC sounds good, you don't know what that means. "Good measuring" LMAO.

Do you think I give a shit how something measures? I only care how it sounds.
If this is true and you intend to stick to this, ignoring a wealth of science I do really wonder why you are here in the first place. It's Audio Science Review, not Audio Believe Review.
I will concede that it is a surprisingly complex subject matter. And sometimes good measuring DACs sound good, but for the most part the really good measuring ones sound like trash. Why is that?
Could be several reasons:
  1. Preference and accuracy are not identical. You may prefere a DAC with quite some even order HD. This is absolutely fine but it does not allow you to claim accurate DACs sound bad. They just deliver what's feed to them.
  2. Flawed recordings may sound worse through a transparent DAC than through a coloured DAC because the former reveals the flaws in the recording while the latter covers them, for example by adding more HD which drowns the recording's HD.
  3. There is no audible difference in the first place and your listening tests were not properly controlled.
Are you all really so dumb that you think it is that simple? Uh, derp, my DAC measures real gud so it MUST sound real gud too, right? I used an oscilloscope, durrr, I'm so smurt.
WIth electronics it really is that simple. If the difference between input and output is below the limits of human hearing (which are known) such a device is transparent. It cannot get more accurate than this. Transducers are the problems still to be solved, and their distortions are several magnitudes higher than SOTA electronics.
Fucking monkeys.
:facepalm: This not how we talk here. Getting aggressive earns you nothing but a ban.
 
Last edited:

LTig

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And there are people out there who think the materials don't matter. These are the real nut jobs! Doesn't matter what kind of wire you use, it's all the same. Man, those people are dumb.
Oh, a real hard core believer. Any Gandalf, Galadriel or Aragorn available here for aid? Frodo? Who throws the ring into the fire of doom? :p
 

DarkLord

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Oh, a real hard core believer. Any Gandalf, Galadriel or Aragorn available here for aid? Frodo? Who throws the ring into the fire of doom? :p

I can't be converted bro. The thing is this: people who can buy whatever they want, who have the means to listen to it all at any price, they don't like how the crap recommended by this website sounds.

Naturally, the poor people just think to themselves, "Those snobs are wasting their money..."

Meanwhile the "snobs" got all the money and all the girls and all the nice houses. But yeah, keep telling yourself SNR matters, personality is the most important thing, and you know, all the other lies poor ugly idiots tell themselves.
 
OP
amirm

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I can't tell if you're trying to make a joke or not. I'm guessing that most of you are almost deaf from listening to music too loud or you just don't have good hearing, which is fine and all but don't try and tell me your jack ass DAC sounds good, you don't know what that means. "Good measuring" LMAO.

Do you think I give a shit how something measures? I only care how it sounds. I will concede that it is a surprisingly complex subject matter. And sometimes good measuring DACs sound good, but for the most part the really good measuring ones sound like trash. Why is that?

Are you all really so dumb that you think it is that simple? Uh, derp, my DAC measures real gud so it MUST sound real gud too, right? I used an oscilloscope, durrr, I'm so smurt.

Fucking monkeys.
We don't speak in this manner in this forum. You can have any point of view but you do not have the right to speak with such foul language. Member banned.
 

KTN46

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Why not just get a perfectly measuring DAC and then tweak the music so you get your distortion when you want it, instead of built into machine?

I don't get the DAC reviewers who say "ah yes this dac sounds so FUN" as if a parametric EQ can't induce equal levels of 'fun' without the built in distortion. Perhaps someone can explain the limitations of software vs hardware distortion to me, but in my testing I've found no difference.
 

JohnYang1997

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Why not just get a perfectly measuring DAC and then tweak the music so you get your distortion when you want it, instead of built into machine?

I don't get the DAC reviewers who say "ah yes this dac sounds so FUN" as if a parametric EQ can't induce equal levels of 'fun' without the built in distortion. Perhaps someone can explain the limitations of software vs hardware distortion to me, but in my testing I've found no difference.
In 2021, sota modelers can reproduce distortion characteristics insanely accurately. See Quad Cortex. In last decade, there were Kemper Profiling Amp, Axe fx and many vst plugins doing pretty well too.
 

tyreman

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Schiit Modi 3+ DAC. It was kindly sent to me by the company for testing and costs US $99 from the company direct.

Externally there is not much that indicates the new revision of the Schiit Modi series of DACs:

View attachment 99702

The back side is the same as before:

View attachment 99703

Internally though the USB implementation has been replaced by Schiit's own design. I am assuming there is some cost saving there as otherwise I don't see the reason for reinventing the wheel there.

As before, USB is self-powered but you need to use an external USB power to use S/PDIF or Toslink interfaces. I compared using Schiit's supplied USB adapter to using my computer's output and result was the same. So if you misplace the external adapter, and don't have a phone one handy, you can just use a port on your computer.

As is typical of Schiit DACs, it somehow identifies itself to Windows differently causing my ASIO emulation layer to resample (and screw up) the samples. So I used my Roon player to send it static signals and Coax for "sweeps."

Schiit Modi 3+ Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard of 1 kHz, 24-bit tone using USB input:

View attachment 99705

The ranking is quite good although the game has advanced by some other competitors:
View attachment 99708

And zoomed:

View attachment 99709

Signal to noise ratio likewise feels a few dBs behind especially in one channel:

View attachment 99710

The design does improve on the old Modi 3 however if we look at intermodulation distortion as an example:
View attachment 99712

Jitter over USB is very good although there are some clear signs of benign jitter:

View attachment 99713

Any time you see spikes symmetrical around our 12 kHz tone, they are most likely jitter. As is typical though, the other inputs are significantly worse:

View attachment 99714

Linearity is very good and shows attention to detail:
View attachment 99715

The DAC filter is "bog standard" as our UK and Australian friends would say:
View attachment 99716

Good attenuation in the stop band but a bit slow. Again, very typical.

I was disappointed in THD+N versus frequency:

View attachment 99717

As well as multitone:
View attachment 99718

Conclusions
When it comes to DACs -- even budget ones -- we are quite spoiled. The industry through fierce competition has really sneezed every bit of noise and distortion given the cost constraints. The Schiit Modi 3+ is also in that game but as noted in the review, a small step behind. In return you get a US made and supported product, matching any other Schiit gear you may have.

So while I can't gush over its performance since it doesn't best the category, I am happy to still recommend the Schiit Modi 3+.

-----
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/


So the Schiit Modi 3+ is a few DB quieter correct?
 

precisionav

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I've been educating myself on DAC's primarily on this site reading reviews, stats and recommendations. I just registered and this is my first post so please forgive me if what I'm asking is in the wrong thread. A little background. I've had a dedicated 2 channel listening room for almost 20 years. Always the same tubed preamp and modified solid state amp with Thiel 2.4's and now Source Technologies floor standing which sound great. I retired my Jolida CD player and began using a Sony HAP-S1 server with FLAC files, some hi-res. I wanted to try Euphony on a dedicated PC and chose the Modi 3+ to feed my preamp. It sounds every bit as good and I feel better than any CD player I've used in the system and is more pleasant than the Sony server which sounded a bit cold, edgy and bright in my setup. I did A-B them analytically. All in all I'm very pleased with Euphony, the Modi DAC and how it sounds in my listening room. Everything is dead silent when it needs to be so no ground loop issues etc and most importantly the same music is every bit as sweet sounding now as it's ever been. With all this being said I suppose I could appreciate even greater sound improvements with a DAC incorporating a chip higher up the food chain. OR....am I going to chase after perceived improvements which costs outweigh that "perceived improvement"? I don't need a headphone amp or BT, not even volume control and FLAC 24/192 is about max for me. The Modi 3+ at 100 bucks sounds pretty damn good in my system so I don't desire to go over 500 to improve on that. If anyone has experience with the Modi 3 and others please let me know if you've experienced a higher level of listening pleasure with something else inside these price parameters. Thank you all very much.
Jim
 

Raindog123

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...a higher level of listening pleasure with something else inside these price parameters.
I now own three Modi 3's (two 3's and one newer 3+)... While also owning multiple $300-$500 DACs in the past... and ending-up selling those. Speaks for itself. :)

I think the consensus here is that a $100 Modi (and a few similarly priced ones from Asian vendors) is as good as it gets! [Sans MQA, if you care about that... Many of us don't.]
 

precisionav

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Yeah, good to hear. It's been difficult wrapping my head around the idea that this little $100 DAC could be all that is really needed in many cases. I looked over plenty of the test results here and it is refreshing to see a company deliver an affordable product that does the job so well.
 

enricoh

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I have a problem with a new Schiit Modi 3+ DAC. I use an Allo DigiOne as Roon streaming device which is connected with Coax to the Modi 3+. Within Roon i got some sort of ground hum on the beginning of a track if I switch from an 16/44 track file to a HI-RES file and vice versa. Please someone have an advice to solve the problem?
 

nessism

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Subjective opinion request time...

A connection snafu fried my Topping E30 so I'm in need of a DAC. I've got a brand new (updated) L30 amp and a low mileage Schiit Magni.

What dac? Another E30 for $150 or a Schiit Modi for $100? I'm not a super hifi guy and simply listen though my HD6XXX headphones so I'm guessing either will be more than adequate? I've also got an Asus Xonar Essence STX card in my computer using 3rd party drivers which sounds great to me too. The STX pops a lot when switching songs or such so that's an annoyance but I've done back to back sound tests with the Topping setup and I can't hear any difference. Anyway, I'm open to opinions on what you folks would do...
 

Helicopter

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Subjective opinion request time...

A connection snafu fried my Topping E30 so I'm in need of a DAC. I've got a brand new (updated) L30 amp and a low mileage Schiit Magni.

What dac? Another E30 for $150 or a Schiit Modi for $100? I'm not a super hifi guy and simply listen though my HD6XXX headphones so I'm guessing either will be more than adequate? I've also got an Asus Xonar Essence STX card in my computer using 3rd party drivers which sounds great to me too. The STX pops a lot when switching songs or such so that's an annoyance but I've done back to back sound tests with the Topping setup and I can't hear any difference. Anyway, I'm open to opinions on what you folks would do...
Both perform at a high level and are well beyond audible differences. Get the one that looks better, or has a better story, etc.
 

Veri

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Subjective opinion request time...

A connection snafu fried my Topping E30 so I'm in need of a DAC. I've got a brand new (updated) L30 amp and a low mileage Schiit Magni.

What dac? Another E30 for $150 or a Schiit Modi for $100? I'm not a super hifi guy and simply listen though my HD6XXX headphones so I'm guessing either will be more than adequate? I've also got an Asus Xonar Essence STX card in my computer using 3rd party drivers which sounds great to me too. The STX pops a lot when switching songs or such so that's an annoyance but I've done back to back sound tests with the Topping setup and I can't hear any difference. Anyway, I'm open to opinions on what you folks would do...
My only nitpick with modi is a bit higher low frequency distortion, but it is no problem with the 6XX whatsoever in any case. So for $99 you can get Modi 3+, Atom DAC. Liquid spark DAC measures very good too... many options ;)
 
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