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Schiit Modius Balanced DAC Review

Pluto

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It could become an issue with video lip-sync if you’re using a lot of DSP
No, because in the post-production world everything would be compensated (largely automatically) to accommodate any latencies involved. To put it another way, if you know that the sound has, say, 3s latency because of processing, the vision is run 3s later to compensate. Decent post-production systems handle this kind of thing without the user being the tiniest bit aware of what's going on; actually, in the above situation the user might be aware as there would be a 3s delay on pressing 'play' while the various buffers are built.

Why shouldn’t we expect stable performance from a modern device with 5ms or smaller buffer?
Maybe you can, maybe you can't. But what difference does it actually make? Are we in a buffer race? Mine's smaller than yours!”
 

Theriverlethe

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No, because in the post-production world everything would be compensated (largely automatically) to accommodate any latencies involved. To put it another way, if you know that the sound has, say, 3s latency because of processing, the vision is run 3s later to compensate. Decent post-production systems handle this kind of thing without the user being the tiniest bit aware of what's going on; actually, in the above situation the user might be aware as there would be a 3s delay on pressing 'play' while the various buffers are built.


Maybe you can, maybe you can't. But what difference does it actually make? Are we in a buffer race? Mine's smaller than yours!”

We’re on a forum worrying about noise four orders of magnitude below audibility vs. five orders of magnitude below audibility. Who said anything about post-production? I’m talking about consumer use of a cheap desktop DAC on a desktop or laptop computer.
 

Pluto

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Sorry, I thought you might be interested!

In any case, lip sync errors aren't usually noticeable below 20 or 25mS (1 frame is 40mS at 25FPS). And incidentally, we are typically more tolerant of late sound than early sound because, as sound is slower than light, we are used to experiencing the arrival of the sound after the visual stimulus. The converse grates far more.
 

bboris77

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Sorry, I thought you might be interested!

In any case, lip sync errors aren't usually noticeable below 20 or 25mS (1 frame is 40mS at 25FPS). And incidentally, we are typically more tolerant of late sound than early sound because, as sound is slower than light, we are used to experiencing the arrival of the sound after the visual stimulus. The converse grates far more.
Keep in mind that most monitors have at least 10mS latency, so it is actually not bad to have some latency in your audio chain to ensure that the sound does not arrive before the video.
 

Theriverlethe

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Sorry, I thought you might be interested!

In any case, lip sync errors aren't usually noticeable below 20 or 25mS (1 frame is 40mS at 25FPS). And incidentally, we are typically more tolerant of late sound than early sound because, as sound is slower than light, we are used to experiencing the arrival of the sound after the visual stimulus. The converse grates far more.

I’m definitely interested. I have a videophile/video production friend who insists 5ms of lip-sync error can be noticeable. I haven’t tested it myself.
 

Theriverlethe

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Keep in mind that most monitors have at least 10mS latency, so it is actually not bad to have some latency in your audio chain to ensure that the sound does not arrive before the video.

Mine is around 34ms. I guess it depends how many VST’s you’re stacking... I’m probably an edge case.
 

Pluto

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friend who insists 5ms of lip-sync error can be noticeable
Possibly; I find that the more I stare at lip-sync, the harder it becomes to judge.

Some people are remarkably rubber-lipped and never appear to be ‘in sync’ no matter what you do.
 

bboris77

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Very good point.

Not like the good old analogue CRT days of zero latency o_O
CRTs were so awesome in many ways. Not even plasma screens can beat the fluidity of motion on those screens. I really miss gaming on CRT. How are OLED screens these days?
 

Theriverlethe

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CRTs were so awesome in many ways. Not even plasma screens can beat the fluidity of motion on those screens. I really miss gaming on CRT. How are OLED screens these days?

My friend says 2019 and 2020 LG’s are comparable to a consumer HD CRT with framebuffer. Not 0ms like an SD CRT television or CRT monitor, but still pretty good.
 

odyo

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As an owner of a pure amp Asgard 3, I can tell you that it performs and measures exceptionally well with high impedance headphones at both gain settings. I would love to see a comparison of the frequency response at both gain settings to see if it is perfectly flat in either one.

It will be fascinating to see what the measurements show because a lot of people have stated that this amp is on the warmer side especially using the high gain setting with less negative feedback. Keep in mind that it is also biased into Class A up to 500mW, so it would be interesting to see what exactly happens measurement-wise before and after this threshold is exceeded.
Is it good with low impedance headphones too ? Something like Ananda ? Does it have any ground loop or interference issue ? Looking for dac amp but worried about those issues. I heard RCA cables causing ground loop so all in one Asgard 3 might be headache free ? or should i just go for balanced dac amp ?
 

Theriverlethe

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Is it good with low impedance headphones too ? Something like Ananda ? Does it have any ground loop or interference issue ? Looking for dac amp but worried about those issues. I heard RCA cables causing ground loop so all in one Asgard 3 might be headache free ? or should i just go for balanced dac amp ?

It's grounded, so you'd be more likely to get noise from the USB port than from an Atom or Magni. Unless you have a powerful desktop, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The internal DAC has low output, but you'd still have more than enough power for Ananda.
 

OP1M.DR3M

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Lot of questions about the Modius sound, so here goes- After juggling DACs for 15 years in the sub $1,500 range, this is the keeper for my 2 channel room. 2 weeks in and it's all smiles. Schitt got the best attributes of AKM and ESS while somehow avoiding the flaws of each. Last DAC was Topping D90 in both pre and DAC mode, 'velvet sound' should be in all caps. No wet noodle bass / mid bass D90 feel on the Modius, none of the ESS harsh treble at the limit either. Comments from friends like 'how does it do that?' and 'you can feel the voice'. Using with Freya S / Bryston & Aragon amps / Magnepan 3.6. Can't believe it's only $200, 2 years of time and effort in the design was well spent.

Ooooo D90 just got SCHAAT on!!
 

CedarWind108

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I get how this can sound silly but I banned non-USB-C devices a few years ago, and that’s the only reason I’m going to wait for a future Schiit DAC vs this.

Would love to see a slightly higher end version with the AK4499 and USB-C for around $299.

And a Schiit amp with Purifi modules would also be awesome. I think a lot of people on this forum would be buying that!
 

Ultor

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Hi,
I'm looking for a new DAC/Amp (stack or 2 in 1, doesn't matter very much to me) in replacement of my actual Schiit stack : modi multibit and vali 2.
Don't judge :)

After this review I was thinking of something like this Modius in a first time, then later replace the vali 2, but I'm wondering if the Sabaj D5 isn't a better choice?

My requirements are Balanced XLR and SE for compatibility reasons (two different headphones Akg Q701 - soon with balanced mod- and HIFIMAN Sundara).

What do you think?


Sincerely,
Ultor

NB: My apologies for my English, I'm French and tired
 
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Veri

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Hi,
I'm looking for a new DAC/Amp (stack or 2 in 1, doesn't matter very much to me) in replacement of my actual Schiit stack : modi multibit and vali 2.
Don't judge :)

After this review I was thinking of something like this Modius in a first time, then later replace the vali 2, but I'm wondering if the Sabaj D5 isn't a better choice?

My requirements are Balanced XLR and SE for compatibility reasons (two different headphones Akg Q701 - soon with balanced mod- and HIFIMAN Sundara).

What do you think?

Sabaj D5 will drive Q701 over balanced no prob. Sundara over SE however might be less good. Sabaj D5 + magni heresy could cover all bases, if budget permits. (DAC with XLR output, magni heresy over RCA for Sundara and other single ended headaphones).
 

Ultor

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Sabaj D5 will drive Q701 over balanced no prob. Sundara over SE however might be less good. Sabaj D5 + magni heresy could cover all bases, if budget permits. (DAC with XLR output, magni heresy over RCA for Sundara and other single ended headaphones).

What if I buy a balanced cable for Sundara?
I would prefer only one Amp to rule them all.
Schiit recommend the jotunheim as the perfect match, but if I remember, this Amp is not very good, even just as an Amp...
 

Veri

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What if I buy a balanced cable for Sundara?
I would prefer only one Amp to rule them all.
Oh right a balanced cable would work :D personally, not a fan of Jotunheim..
 

idiomatically

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Jotunheim used with balanced cable for Cans is fine imo, using it without is poor however. I actually quite like my Jot but I do not use it very often with Cans and if I do it’s always balanced. The JDS Labs Element 2 is my goto Can solution, looks great on my desk and sounds good.
 
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