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Schiit Modi+ DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 9 4.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 130 59.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 75 34.6%

  • Total voters
    217

Veri

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I could be missing something, but at this price what other DAC does thing better to deserve the Golfing panther?
A bunch of the limits this thing hits have already been discussed though, just comparing with something like the E70 should highlight notable changes like better SNR/SINAD as well as DR, slightly better jitter and multitone, filter choices with much better attenuation, intermodulation distortion.. The THD+N measurement here especially shows things being rather leaky.

For the $100-$150 dollar range though? It's definitely good performing.
 

peng

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I feel the same way but we have to be fair.
The multiple threads reporting issues here comes mostly because a lot of people here (far more than other forums) buy and use these devices and sometimes more than one of them,low cost helps in this.

Don't get me wrong,my first concern is always reliability/safety/etc,far before performance (ok I'll admit I'm a sucker for looks too) but the fail rate amongst known manufacturers,with some exceptions of course must not be as high as it seems.

Agreed, have had many dacs, and so far the only one that I had to sent back for repair was the Oppo HA-1 (I think it was assembled in usa), none of the cheap made/or assembled in China ones had given me any trouble, and I used them a lot more than I did with the Oppo. It seems most of the trouble reports on made in China audio electronics has been about the Topping PA5 (just going by memory), not so much about the DACs. I am sure many of those are not as reliable, but I think many are..
 

staticV3

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I could be missing something, but at this price what other DAC does thing better to deserve the Golfing panther?
SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKIII ($120)
Topping D10S ($90) if you don't need spdif
Topping DX1 ($85) if you don't need spdif

and if you're fine with a dongle DAC:
Ugreen 80583 ($40)
Moondrop Dawn ($65)
E1DA 9038D6K ($130)

All of these measure better than the Modi+.
It's still a nice DAC though and I wouldn't have any issues recommending it.
 
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Curiously, the APx555 measurement report that Schiit provide for the Modi+ shows an SNR of 117.8dB instead of the 119dB in the specs sheet :

Maybe there was some miscommunication between engineers and marketing?
Perhaps if someone messages their rep. they might clear that up? I don't think many people will care, few seemed concerned by the Topping G5 spec sheet being off, but answers are always nice.
 

staticV3

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@mctron Measurements are here.
Keep in mind that the isolator used here is to get around a quirk in the APx555. It is not required to get that level of performance at home.
Btw, had Amir addressed this quirk in his review of the Meizu HiFi and Meizu HiFi Pro, then they would've performed just as well.
 

Robbo99999

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I marked it down because the original Topping E30 performs slightly better for the same price and has volume control included via a remote. This DAC does not have that. It also needs marking down for it's reconstruction filter. We obviously have a bit of inflation of the price, due to the inflation that's going on at the moment, but this product was released over 2yrs later than the E30, so I'd expect the pricing to be a bit more competitive, especially given the no volume control & slightly worse measurements.
 

amper42

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The horrible after sales service from Topping more than makes up for the additional features

While Topping service isn't great, any DAC that doesn't have volume control offers super limited functionality. You may end up spending any savings plus a lot more on a pre-amp. I'm spoiled with the wonderful pre-amp of the RME ADI-2, Flex and D90SE. I can't imagine wanting a DAC without XLR out as my Buckeye amps sound great with them. Buying a DAC without a volume control requires a specialized configuration. Not a useful tool for any of my systems. (If I did need that I would get an $8 Apple USB audio dongle). I'm not sure the consequence of NO volume control is clear in this ASR review or the recommendation?
 
Last edited:

tagomago1979

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I own this for my TV.

I've had a few drop outs over optical. Don't know if it was because of the optical signal, or because of the powering over one of the TV's USB ports.

What is annoying though, it makes a short weird chirping sound when powered on and since it gets powered on via my TV, I hear that often.
 

Doodski

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While Topping service isn't great, any DAC that doesn't have volume control offers super limited functionality. You may end up spending any savings plus a lot more on a pre-amp. I'm spoiled with the wonderful pre-amp of the RME ADI-2, Flex and D90SE. I can't imagine wanting a DAC without XLR out as my Buckeye amps sound great with them. Buying a DAC without a volume control requires a specialized configuration. Not a useful tool for any of my systems. (If I did need that I would get an $8 Apple USB audio dongle). I'm not sure the consequence of NO volume control is clear in this ASR review or the recommendation?
Headphone amps have volume controls. Home amps usually have volume controls. Yours is the exception to the usual case.
 

Doodski

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I'm not sure the consequence of NO volume control is clear in this ASR review or the recommendation?
Topping units have a nasty fault of powering ON with full volume. That can't be good for anything. Relying on the digital volume control at the DAC before the amp is not a wise choice to implement. It blows tweeters or worse.
 

Steve Dallas

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While Topping service isn't great, any DAC that doesn't have volume control offers super limited functionality. You may end up spending any savings plus a lot more on a pre-amp. I'm spoiled with the wonderful pre-amp of the RME ADI-2, Flex and D90SE. I can't imagine wanting a DAC without XLR out as my Buckeye amps sound great with them. Buying a DAC without a volume control requires a specialized configuration. Not a useful tool for any of my systems. (If I did need that I would get an $8 Apple USB audio dongle). I'm not sure the consequence of NO volume control is clear in this ASR review or the recommendation?

I use a Modius into an integrated amp that has a volume control and remote. Many desktop amps and headphone amps have volume controls. There is definitely a place for a device such as this.
 

Doodski

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I use a Modius into an integrated amp that has a volume control and remote. Many desktop amps and headphone amps have volume controls. There is definitely a place for a device such as this.
Yeah, talking rubbish. It's always safer having a volume control between the amp section and the source(DAC). To say otherwise is foolish and risky.
 

Doodski

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SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKIII ($120)
Topping D10S ($90) if you don't need spdif
Topping DX1 ($85) if you don't need spdif

and if you're fine with a dongle DAC:
Ugreen 80583 ($40)
Moondrop Dawn ($65)
E1DA 9038D6K ($130)

All of these measure better than the Modi+.
It's still a nice DAC though and I wouldn't have any issues recommending it.
All of these are foreign product and we all know that the repair shipping fee to China is about USD $80-$90 and that takes a extended time period to process. Plus jumping through several or more email hoops taking pictures and making a video for the maker is a pain in the butt. Why buy from far away lands when one can buy from their home country or continent and get proper after sales service?

SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKIII ($120)
Topping D10S ($90) if you don't need spdif
Topping DX1 ($85) if you don't need spdif

Ugreen 80583 ($40)
Moondrop Dawn ($65)
E1DA 9038D6K ($130)
 

AndreaT

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Competent and competitive with current offers in the market. However the poor attenuation filter might be concerning. Yes, as I experienced it, Schiit offers superb customer support.
Thank you Amir for an impeccable review.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Hard to imagine any DAC at any price would render audibly superior performance. Theoretically it falls below the 122+ Sinads of the Toppings, and some other companies' offerings, but consider that this performance is right where the miniDSP SHD was a couple of years ago. I don't believe I could ever tell the difference between this and some 122db+ Sinad DAC in a blind level matched test, nor, I think, could most anyone else. Nor do I doubt that I would find it flawlessly transparent in everyday, real world use. All for $129.
 

levimax

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While Topping service isn't great, any DAC that doesn't have volume control offers super limited functionality. You may end up spending any savings plus a lot more on a pre-amp. I'm spoiled with the wonderful pre-amp of the RME ADI-2, Flex and D90SE. I can't imagine wanting a DAC without XLR out as my Buckeye amps sound great with them. Buying a DAC without a volume control requires a specialized configuration. Not a useful tool for any of my systems. (If I did need that I would get an $8 Apple USB audio dongle). I'm not sure the consequence of NO volume control is clear in this ASR review or the recommendation?
I think a lot of people underestimate the value of "less can be more" especially with "value" priced products. If you don't need features such as a volume control or XLR outs you are better off not having them included. They will only add costs and or reduce reliability.
 
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