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Schiit Modius Balanced DAC Review

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Oh don’t you worry. I’ve still got plenty of discrete amps objectivists can fillet.
I think you have plenty of credibility with subjectivists to retain their interest, enough ASR-verified credibility with objectivists now to interest them and sufficient marketing panache to steer each to the products they will like AND get a few of us LIKE ME to try both for fun, especially at your entry level price points (I bought a Modi 3 and Multibit at the same time to investigate their sounds and have had a great time doing so - even if I have yet to be able to claim I can hear a difference - I can still try all I want, though, and have lots of enjoyment for the money spent).

Keep up the good work and keep cool products coming!
 
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Yeah, and there’s still Yggdrasil. Objectivists can pee their pants over why that costs more than Modius.
And just think of all the fun subjectivists will have trying to describe the differences in sound between them (such is already happening, of course!!). Win-win-win IMO!
 

escalibur

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Yes, one has been offered for testing.
Cool! It's one of the most interesting amps atm in terms of estetic looks and promising performance. :)
 
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Well I couldn't resist and have ordered one direct for shipment to the UK, hopefully be here soon and looking for it to improve on the performance of the internal DAC of my Node 2i. I'm hopeful of there being genuine merit behind the measurements aspect.

I do however have a couple of questions, firstly in terms of outputs. My amp has both SE and XLR (Audiolab 8300A) - however I've no XLR cables and honestly know very little about them. But it looks like the measurements are similar for both outputs? I do already have nice SE cables and the equivalent XLR version of them is not a million miles off the price of the DAC - would they really provide an audible benefit?

What would be the recommended method to power this too, any 5V phone charger, or how is something like an iFi iPower X viewed around here? I can't see myself spending silly money on a linear psu, but an iPowerX doesn't seem a criminal amount to spend and pair with?

Thanks
 

solderdude

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Power it directly via USB. Only when using the other inputs (USB seems by far the best) do you need to use an external USB adapter.
It is absolutely pointless to use a second (fancy or not) power supply because internally everything is fed by SMPS. Don't worry about that.
It is designed to be fed with USB power.

When you have connected it and you have no hum, no weird noises and wonderful sound keep using RCA (SE) connections.
In thid case there is no technical benefit.

When plagued with weird noises, hum or other nasties, try balanced cables first. When it is still there use an external adapter and TOSLINK (optical) when possible or buy an USB galavanic isolator (the usual filters etc may not always have the desired effect)
 
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Thanks for the reply. I will need to power externally and use either Coax or Toslink for signal as my streamer does not output USB audio. Toslink is my preferred based on the the isolation aspect... and also I have some spare in the draw :)

If using an external SMPS though, does it not benefit to have it's output clean - there is no additional SMPS inside the Modius is there as it is expecting 5V DC?

Great, will stick with SE (assuming no hums).
 

solderdude

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If using an external SMPS though, does it not benefit to have it's output clean - there is no additional SMPS inside the Modius is there as it is expecting 5V DC?
Just use a regular phone charger to feed the Modius.
Internally that voltage is cleaned and fed to the internal DCDC converter.
That internal DCDC converter in the DAC is ALWAYS used, regardless if it is fed by USB or other inputs.
 

odyo

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Oh don’t you worry. I’ve still got plenty of discrete amps objectivists can fillet.
I'm curious what your in house opinion. You guys have the most experience. You guys selling them so it might not be wise to share but most people entitled to their opinion anyway :)
 
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It´s all there.
They love Schiit but hate good measured performance ... now this is a real dilemma.
?

They measure regularly, Schiit even gave one of the guys there a hand me down Stanford Research instrument... that I think used in their Garage when starting ten years ago. Listening is important also, sorry, it just is regardless of one note bar charts.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #276
Just use a regular phone charger to feed the Modius.
Internally that voltage is cleaned and fed to the internal DCDC converter.
That internal DCDC converter in the DAC is ALWAYS used, regardless if it is fed by USB or other inputs.
A phone charger comes with the Dac!
 

Theriverlethe

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?

They measure regularly, Schiit even gave one of the guys there a hand me down Stanford Research instrument... that I think used in their Garage when starting ten years ago. Listening is important also, sorry, it just is regardless of one note bar charts.
Interesting assertion... care to present a shred of evidence?
 

ElNino

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They measure regularly, Schiit even gave one of the guys there a hand me down Stanford Research instrument... that I think used in their Garage when starting ten years ago. Listening is important also, sorry, it just is regardless of one note bar charts.
They measure regularly, but then regardless of the measurements, Schiit gear always gets effusive praise, regardless of its performance. The Bifrost 2 is emblematic of this. Their own measurements show extremely high amounts of IMD (and worse overall IMD performance than the Modi Multibit), but the guy doing the measurements is all "Great job Schiit!".

(It's also a toxic forum in a lot of ways, and I honestly think being affiliated with SBAF hurts Schiit's brand more than it helps. And I say that as someone who's bought a few items from them in the past.)
 

majingotan

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They measure regularly, but then regardless of the measurements, Schiit gear always gets effusive praise, regardless of its performance. The Bifrost 2 is emblematic of this. Their own measurements show extremely high amounts of IMD (and worse overall IMD performance than the Modi Multibit), but the guy doing the measurements is all "Great job Schiit!".

(It's also a toxic forum in a lot of ways, and I honestly think being affiliated with SBAF hurts Schiit's brand more than it helps. And I say that as someone who's bought a few items from them in the past.)
The thing is an average joe like me can’t really hear the 2nd,3rd nth IMD distortion under normal listening volumes let alone the auditory masking involved when listening to music. Multibit stuff is the Schiit subjective realm and I’m pretty sure they’ll come up with SOTA measuring DAC that will serve as antithesis of Multibit stuff they have to cater the objectivist side. Better yet, they might do a ala Holo Audio May approach in that they will opt out of chip ladder to a discrete one for better measured performance. There’s still a lot of approach for Schiit to making their own SOTA performing DAC custom implemented (like Mola Mola or Chord) or simple/reference board design implementation with the latest off the shelf DS chips
 

ElNino

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The thing is an average joe like me can’t really hear the 2nd,3rd nth IMD distortion under normal listening volumes let alone the auditory masking involved when listening to music. Multibit stuff is the Schiit subjective realm and I’m pretty sure they’ll come up with SOTA measuring DAC that will serve as antithesis of Multibit stuff they have to cater the objectivist side. Better yet, they might do a ala Holo Audio May approach in that they will opt out of chip ladder to a discrete one for better measured performance. There’s still a lot of approach for Schiit to making their own SOTA performing DAC custom implemented (like Mola Mola or Chord) or simple/reference board design implementation with the latest off the shelf DS chips
For normal levels of IMD, I'd agree with you. But the Bifrost 2 19+20kHz IMD measurement shows distortion products -62dB down in one channel (and a couple dB better in the other). At those levels, distortion audibility is a realistic and valid concern, objectively speaking, even taking into account masking, etc.

I'm not just looking at charts. I've owned the Bifrost 2 and returned it. At least to me, it's subjectively audible.
 

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