Schiit Modius DAC Review and Measurements

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

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Modius Multitone BAL Out
    -12dbFS (can't go any higher with the Motu UltraLike mk4. AverLAB won't do 131k FFT window size)
    upload_2020-6-5_12-0-39.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Modius BAL Out
    600 and 1700Hz
    upload_2020-6-5_12-12-54.png

    Modius BAL Out
    600 and 1700Hz
    upload_2020-6-5_12-13-56.png
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    CONCLUSIONS:

    + Crazy price for performance
    + Measures extremely well. The THD at line out is better than spec of the AKM4493 chip!
    + AES, toslink, and SPDIF coax inputs - huge flexibility
    + Custom USB solution tricked down from higher end DACs - Unison - sounds good and measures good
    + Only USB power needed - "less wires" as my wife puts it
    + Incredibly resolving of low level information, on par with TOTL DACs costing thousands and thousands (subjective)
    + SE and balanced outputs
    + Assembled in USA with a lot of parts from USA - rest assured that most your money will not be going to evil global corporations or nascent authoritarian empires hell-bent on taking over smaller Pacific Rim nations and rewriting history claiming these nations were at one-time states of an ancient empire.

    - No LEDs or display for sampling rate and lock
    - Chassis not milled from single piece of billet aluminum
    - Lack of companion headamp of same form-factor that accepts BAL outs
    - Iconography over input selection LEDs too small and of poor contrast (dark gray letter over silver) for old people

    SE Output
    Warm sounding. Warmer than Modi-3. Maybe too much, so take that into consideration when pairing with other gear. To put things into context in terms of warmth: Modius SE > RME ADI-2 > Modi 3. Attacks are no longer Velvet Sound soft, but compared to BAL output, bass isn't as distinct and lacks texture. Overall sound quality and technicalities among other AKM based DACs goes like this: Modius > RME AD-2 > Modi 3 > Topping D70.

    BAL Output
    Coherent timbre from lows to highs. Tone is not warm like with SE. Mids and upper mids are brought up and not so mellow and more along the lines from prior generation AKM DACs. Despite less relaxed and more aggressive nature relative to most other Velvet Sound DACs, high-end rendering is less grainy and digital. Used with balanced outputs, the Modius has tone, timbre, and resolution suitable for professional work. Schiit has been successful in engineering out the most deleterious elements (soft attacks, mushy lows, recessed mids, excess air, etc.) of the Velvet Sound (or at least what has been associated with it). Great blackground too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  4. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    So I got the Modius in. Hooked it up to the Gilmore Lite Mk 2 (which someone bought...so I'll be looking for a used Jot here soon.)

    Wow, you weren't kidding. Now I feel like a dumbass for buying the RME and the Topping D90 (even though I didn't lose money on the D90.)

    This thing got more treble detail out a HE4XX. (Heads up: Rip and Tear and BFG Division from the Doom OST are weirdly good tests for treble detail, as the cymbals sound completely different depending on your setup and how much air it's presenting.) And it's weird to hear an AKM with some measure of bass texture.
     
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  5. Raimei Templar

    Raimei Templar Almost "Made"

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    Out of curiosity when you took your SPDIF measurements did you use the dedicated power supply USB port or the regular data one. I am wondering if the reason Amirs measurements are worse is that he just used the data port. I asked it on ASR just for clarity as that could certainly make a difference. Not that it matters as none of this is audible anyway, but just for SCIENCE!
     
  6. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    So, Marv, based on your review, I’m thinking that the Modius SE output may be a touch too warm with the Asgard 3 and may be a better match with the Jot using the balanced out. However, you have stated that the current Jot revision is warmer than the original. How do you think these two would synergize?
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Hmm, hard to say. It could be too warm, but the stronger attack and less mushy lows may help.

    The SPDIF measurements were taken with the included USB outlet adapter plugged into the USB port indicated with power icon.
     
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  8. Matias

    Matias Rando

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    I guess:
    - No LEDs or display for sampling rate and lock => + Crazy price for performance
    - Chassis not milled from single piece of billet aluminum => + Crazy price for performance
    - Lack of companion headamp of same form-factor that accepts BAL outs => soon
     
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  9. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    What inputs did you use? I assume the DS is non-unison?
     
  10. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Put it down to an occupational hazard, but are the logo and model names on the Asgard and Modius slightly misaligned?

    IMG_20200606_212521.jpg
     
  11. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    To be honest, that would bother me less than the different shade of brushed aluminium finish. Personally, If I get the Modius, I will not be stacking it with my Asgard 3 as it gets very hot on the bottom of the case. How warm does the Modius run, btw?
     
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  12. JellyRhino

    JellyRhino Acquaintance

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    It's dead cold this morning. The Asgard was turned off all night. The Mobius is probably this big only to accommodate the many inputs. I think it's a fantastic heat sink for the Asgard, and more obviously.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I used Eitr USB to SPDIF with Gungnir DS. It's still Gen 2 USB.
     
  14. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    Call the companion amp Maximus, and have both op-amp and discrete circuits in it, with a fun/pro mode toggle switch. :)

    The fun mode can be what Marv was talking about when the Magni 3+ was launched - a full on, “I don’t care how it measures because it sounds awesome” mode. The pro mode can be just the Heresy circuit.

    Personally, I would prefer the companion amp just to have SE outputs. The real benefit to balanced lies in eliminating noise between the DAC and the amp.
     
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  15. Matias

    Matias Rando

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    "Heresius Maximus" ==> "Heresius"
    You read it here first!

    What should the Modius + Heresius combo be called then? "Combus Maximus" ==> "Combus"?

    Sounds pretty schitty to me.
     
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  16. bboris77

    bboris77 Friend

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    Schiit Brutus. Lol.
     
  17. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    Interesting idea, but probably too costly.

    I would propose the name Here-cules, a play on Hercules.
     
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  18. Matias

    Matias Rando

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    Nordic series and Roman series?
     
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  19. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    [JK47]
    Hereticus!
    Heretanical!!
    Heretisaurus Rex!!!
    [/JK47]
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  20. coatessey

    coatessey Rando

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    Sometimes it’s the little things. Received my black Modius today, on the back side the silkscreen label “output” is all but missing the T.

    Really enjoying single ended right now and looking forward to balanced once my cables arrive.
     

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