Schiit Modius DAC Review and Measurements

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    Good. Good gear shouldn’t have too many options that can turn it into vomit like Chipotle.
     
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  2. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    I was gonna say "how do you screw up Chipotle to the point where it tastes like butt?", while taking into account Mike's Hierarchy of Restaurants, which is something like Taco Bell < Forms A Stool < Silver Bough, where Chipotle is in the middle, and then I remembered that some people think that toasted fennel and guava hoppy sour beer is a good thing. So never mind.

    To contribute, Dave usually just picks the filter that sounds best on the delta-sigma gear. And that's that.
     
  3. Jay

    Jay Facebook Friend

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    I hope I'm not too off topic, but I had a chance to specifically do a little experiment. We had some big storms come through last night and today, so I turned off my gear and unplugged it, like I always do. Usually, I let it warm up several hours before attempting to listen to it.

    On cold start up, the Gungnir MB A1 was definitely etched in the treble. Bass had pretty good definition and texture. At the 5 hour mark, some of the treble etch faded, and it will continue to do so for the next 7-19 hours or so. My Gungnir MB is one of the OGs--bought it pretty much right when they rolled out, so it's 5ish years old.
     
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  4. Pogo

    Pogo Friend

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    no complaints with the chosen filter, this is a great sounding dac.
    but since it is our duty to whine about something....
    The top plate rings like a steel drum given the finger nail flick
    Not gonna void the warranty to open it up to add dampening sheets to the top chassis.
    But still, my ocd is squealing here.
     
  5. JellyRhino

    JellyRhino Facebook Friend

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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    You see, stuff like this this is why I complained to Jason that the guts should have been put into a chassis milled from a block of Aloo-min-nium.

    Yup. Unison = generally tubier (good tube, not warmpoo), with both the good and the bad.
     
  7. Jay

    Jay Facebook Friend

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    Question for the gurus:

    My headphone amp accepts balanced input but it only outputs SE. It sums the signal. If I get the Modius and use balanced, would that still result in the sonic differences from using the Modius' SE? I use Senn HD 650 and I don't need to go any warmer in my system.

    Anecdotally, I've been using the balanced out on my Gungnir Multibit A1 because the SE out had a higher noise floor. If I crank the volume, I can hear the hiss. However, when my amp does the summing of a balanced signal, there is no hiss at high volumes. Also, I've read in several places the SE was inferior due to noise, not timbre, dynamics, etc.
     
  8. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    What amp? There are topologies where summing is done by the input stage and shouldn't differ from using SE.
     
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  9. Jay

    Jay Facebook Friend

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    Teac HA-501.
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    You should reap the benefits of balanced by using the balanced outputs of the Modius. The balanced outputs are a different circuit from the SE outputs using different parts. In essence, it's almost like two DACs in one considering the importance of the analog output stage.

    The question becomes this: how good is the summing circuit in your amp.
     
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  11. Jay

    Jay Facebook Friend

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    Thank you.

    I don't have any measuring equipment, but to my ears, the amp sums the signal better than the Gungnir does. Lower noise, for sure.
     
  12. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    They're using a MUSES 8920 opamp for the front end, which can be driven either way. There's no sign of a dedicated summing circuit, so you should be good with using BAL inputs.
     
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  13. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    My understanding that 4493 outputs are differential so balanced is the "native" mode for the DAC. After that it is up to your ears :)
     
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  14. Jay

    Jay Facebook Friend

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    Fantastic. Thanks for your input.
     
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  15. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Totally OT, but you've mentioned this a few times. I've searched but can't figure out if this is a completely analog device, or if it does its magic in the digital domain, even though it only has analog in/outs.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Baxandal. It's a curve that is relevant to shelf EQs.

    For analog EQs: Pultec tube EQ. Two band low / high parametric. One channel only. Really more suitable for music production. There's Schiit Loki too.
     
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  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Expect color and spider web charts from me very soon. Will be comparing several DACs.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Usual caveats apply. Used a number of recordings, good and bad, orchestra and pop. Some to bring out the worst, others to bring out the best. All results were from computer USB.
    • Modius BAL and DAC in the UltraLite mk4 have almost opposite in qualities. The UltraLite is the easier going more liquid sounding with layered depth. Modius BAL throws everything out there without hesitation. It's actually the one I would prefer to mix or master on.
    • Modius SE and BAL are a little different. Could almost be different DACs. Modius SE retains some vestiges of "AKM Velvet Sound". Modius BAL retains none. The ultimate expression of the AKM Velvet Sound still remains the RME ADI-2.
    • Modius SE is still a good improvement over Modi 3. Stop worrying about balanced out so much because it's possible you may prefer the SE output.

    upload_2020-6-10_19-16-13.png
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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Spider diagrams get me ere...who said that.
     
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  20. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    The Pultech rules on anything that needs more weight in the bass. Stick one on any bassy instrument with the low end trick of both boosting and attributing at the same time to have a shelf and cut mud. The frequencies don’t match what they do. 20 boosts 60, 30 80. With a cut in the mud. It’s good because the design was unintentional. the manual warns agaisnt both boosting and attenuating but that’s the best use of the unit. The cheap clones suck. Some of the clones north of 1k are good but the real thing is the real thing, still made by Pulse, and 5k. The free Ignite amps plugin version is good and the 200 Apogee plugin is great. Better than UAD’s sharp chip racket.
    http://www.igniteamps.com/#pteq-x for anyone that wants to check out what’s on a ton of commercial recordings. Selectable tubes on this one that change the timbre and it works in stereo.

    The Bax EQ is really for mastering. It’s killer for it. It’s like a home stereo eq that actually works meets high level mastering equipment. The Dangerous high end sheen and low end texture help a lot.
    One of the Tokyo Dawn Labs guys made an excellent free plugin of it a while ago. 32 bit and windows only. It sounds great but different than the hardware. He was a much better developer than a lot of the big names and gave everything but slickeq away for free
    https://varietyofsound.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/baxtereq-–-released-today/amp/
     

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