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Schiit Modi+ DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 10 3.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 161 59.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 97 35.7%

  • Total voters
    272
SINAD at 1Khz 44100Hz sample rate,10-22K measurement is 112db but in the SINAD vs freq measurement (48000Hz sample rate 10-90K ) is close to 92db (doing a lot worst right after)
What I'm I missing?
 
it makes no sense to want to measure up to 90khz in 48k.. :-0
you need to be in 192k..

moreover, increase the bandwidth, you will degrade the thd enormously.. except to carry out very long measurements....very...
 
Clearly built to a price. No DSD not an issue for me. I’d rather play an originally mastered flac with good dynamic range than more modern remastered DSD stuff that’s had the dynamic range sucked out of it. YMMV of course

The back of the unit looks like a 10 year old wearing an eye patch was in charge of socket alignment. It looks atrocious. The ASSY wording is comical too.
Now that you mention it, it sure is some assy good schiit :)
 
is schiit still relevant in today's post-chifi market?

I'd say so yes. I'm very biased towards chinese products as I live in Brazil and importing stuff from the US is a pain while Aliexpress/hifigo is a godsend. Had I lived there though, I would certainly prefer their products over most chinese offerings because of the higher reliability of internal components, safety standards and warranty. Schiit isn't known to have the greatest customer support, but they do provide it. They also often offer upgrade services for the higher end products, with warranty renewal to boot.
 
Bit depth beyond 24 bits is not usable so there is no reason to ask for 32 bits.
So, Amir, this confuses me a bit. Then does the JDS Atom+ have 32 bit selections? (While I'm not taking advantage of that now, I thought might be useful for purchased hi-res track playback down the road. I'm not into MQA in any way, but I thought having a DAC that went up to 32 bits would be a good thing.)
 
Schiit did a great job with this. Now I am more convinced that their new Magni+ (or was it named differently?) should be an attractive choice too!
As I'm sure they sell just a Schiit-ton of Modi and Magni units compared to their higher-price products, I'm sure they intensely look at development tweaks they can make to offer new models every 2 or so years. I have the 3 series and they are great, apart from the volume pot on the Magni being a little scratchy if not 'worked' a bit before using. But I think it's great that they keep improving these steadily as they are, for many people, a perfectly good no-muss, no-fuss audio solution (same goes for JDS). I do like the metal cases, they are a nice plus.
 
I would buy a Schiit DAC if it had DSD, especially a Modius. What I won't do is convert my large collection of DSF to another format. Not happenin'.

There are cases where DSD is the best available version of a title. Especially some Classical, Jazz and acoustic music recordings. I prefer not to transcode from one format to another because I think there is some sort of loss from the conversion.
 
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I believe Schiit is the only American company able to produce these DACs with metal case at competitive prices relative to far east companies. The fact that they can do this is quite remarkable.
To be honest and with all respects, i find metal cases for devices for which they aren't necessary the most overrated feature ever.
Plastics have come a long way since they were perceived as a cheap, ugly and underperforming replacement for metal and if aluminum cases are forcing producers to make compromises in other departments it would be a shame (i don't know if this is the case, just inferred from amir statement). I have the feeling that the preference for metal cases is just a consequence of the average age of the audio hobbyists or an extension of what can be true for amplifiers or other things. My 2c.
 
So, Amir, this confuses me a bit. Then does the JDS Atom+ have 32 bit selections? (While I'm not taking advantage of that now, I thought might be useful for purchased hi-res track playback down the road. I'm not into MQA in any way, but I thought having a DAC that went up to 32 bits would be a good thing.)
Re purchasing a DAC that has the ability to set varying bit depths from say 32bit down to 16bit - then the most value of having a DAC that can do say 24bit or 32bit is that when you set your operating system (or playback device) to 24bit or 32bit then when you use digital volume control you won't really lose any noticeable dynamic range when running at low digital volumes - I dunno say 5% on your Windows volume control. With a DAC you'd always want to run it at it's greatest bit depth so that you lose less or practically zero dynamic range when using digital volume control. Most DACS support 32bit, just run them at that. In terms of purchasing recordings, there's no advantage of anything beyond 44kHz/16bit - that's a seperate story to the digital volume control scenario I mentioned where you'd set your DAC to run 32bit: there's nothing wrong with setting your DAC to 32bit when playing 16bit music.....it just enables you to use digital volume control without losing dynamic range from the original recording. Where the dividing line is that makes audible vs inaudible is up for debate, but suffice to say if you set your DAC at 32bit then you don't need to worry about losing dynamic range when using digital volume control.
 
So, Amir, this confuses me a bit. Then does the JDS Atom+ have 32 bit selections? (While I'm not taking advantage of that now, I thought might be useful for purchased hi-res track playback down the road. I'm not into MQA in any way, but I thought having a DAC that went up to 32 bits would be a good thing.)
Here is my setting for my JDS Labs Atom DAC +.
zzzzzzzzz dac+.png
 
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To be honest and with all respects, i find metal cases for devices for which they aren't necessary the most overrated feature ever.
Plastics have come a long way since they were perceived as a cheap, ugly and underperforming replacement for metal and if aluminum cases are forcing producers to make compromises in other departments it would be a shame (i don't know if this is the case, just inferred from amir statement). I have the feeling that the preference for metal cases is just a consequence of the average age of the audio hobbyists or an extension of what can be true for amplifiers or other things. My 2c.
I have the Schiit Heresy and the JDS Labs Atom DAC+ with the plastic case and the plastic case does it's job. No issues, does not run hot and no weird RF issues etc. I think the plastic case is great. It's just a USD $109 DAC that is great value for the dollar. I don't have any issues with cables weighing down the DAC or moving it around but I did purchase the 6" RCA cables from JDS Labs and that makes everything hold together better than without the cables. :D
 
Re purchasing a DAC that has the ability to set varying bit depths from say 32bit down to 16bit - then the most value of having a DAC that can do say 24bit or 32bit is that when you set your operating system (or playback device) to 24bit or 32bit then when you use digital volume control you won't really lose any noticeable dynamic range when running at low digital volumes - I dunno say 5% on your Windows volume control. With a DAC you'd always want to run it at it's greatest bit depth so that you lose less or practically zero dynamic range when using digital volume control. Most DACS support 32bit, just run them at that. In terms of purchasing recordings, there's no advantage of anything beyond 44kHz/16bit - that's a seperate story to the digital volume control scenario I mentioned where you'd set your DAC to run 32bit: there's nothing wrong with setting your DAC to 32bit when playing 16bit music.....it just enables you to use digital volume control without losing dynamic range from the original recording. Where the dividing line is that makes audible vs inaudible is up for debate, but suffice to say if you set your DAC at 32bit then you don't need to worry about losing dynamic range when using digital volume control.

Even with a 24 or 32 bit DAC you will still lose dynamic range if you use digital volume control. A 24 or 32 bit DAC will reduce quantization noise associated with digital volume control but because the analog noise level at the DAC output is constant reducing the signal level will by definition reduce dynamic range. Also important to note that no DAC can actually achieve the equivalent of 24 bit dynamic range as a result of the inherent noise at the DAC output.

Michael
 
To be honest and with all respects, i find metal cases for devices for which they aren't necessary the most overrated feature ever.
You need fair amount of heft to keep the box in place with the cables dangling from the back of it. If it is too light the cables can tug and cause it to potentially fall on the floor. With a plastic case, it might chip, etc. Since it can be done at such low retail prices, I see no reason to not have it until we move below $100 mark.
 
Maybe they should make a "Black Hole Edition" with gravity so strong even EMI can't escape.
 
Here is my setting for my JDS Labs Atom DAC +.
View attachment 246097
If you don't use ASIO or Wasapi exclusive where the above is bypassed, those settings are forcing the OS to upsample everything to 384 kHz. Since most content is 44.1 kHz, best approach is to use that sample rate with 32 bit wide samples.
 
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