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Got a Schiit Modi2 Multibit DAC while waiting for my Yggdrasil


gmgraves
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On Wednesday, the nice UPS man dropped off a care package at my front door from Mike Moffat, one of the co-founders of that strangest of all hi-end audio companies, Schiit audio. I asked for one of the companies "flagship" products, a Yggdrasil ladder DAC. Mike said that he would send me one within "the next couple of weeks", but in the meantime, he wanted me to hear the $250 Modi2 Multibit DAC, which, according to him, sounds very similar to the Yggy at "one-ninth the cost".

 

The pricing on the Modi2 can be confusing until you figure out that there are actually 4 different Modi 2s ranging in price from $100 for the basic USB-only Modi2 to the Modi2 "Uber" with is basically a regular Modi2 with the addition of both Toslink and coaxial inputs for $149, a "B-stock" version for $139 (slight cosmetic flaws) to the $250 Modi2 Multibit Ladder DAC. The circuitry for the Multibit is totally different from the other two Modi's. If you are familiar with Schitt, then you know pretty much what it looks like. The Modi 2 Multibit is a true ladder DAC design using the Analog Devices AD5547 true 16-bit DAC chip and is not a Delta-Sigma DAC like almost everything else on the market. Moffat has designed some unique filters for this DAC, which, it is said, restores the frequency domain accuracy that ladder DACs traditionally trade for amplitude accuracy.

 

Even though, most of us know what a Schiit component looks like (they have a standard corporate "look" to their equipment), I was somewhat taken aback by the size of this thing. It is tiny at 5" (127mm)X 3.5" (88.9mm) X 1.25" (31.75mm) and weighs less than 1 pound (454 grams). For a power supply, the DAC uses a wall wart, but it is just a 16 volt, 500mA AC transformer and is used because an internal transformer would have required a larger case, and the addition of an IEC connector, cord and bigger case would have raised the price.

 

They say (whoever "they" are) that one should let the Mod2 Multibit burn-in for 24 hours before listening to it, but, of course, I couldn't do that and listened to it directly out of the box. Listening to some of my favorite tracks, I immediately noticed things that I had never heard before. There was a level of detail and ambience retrieval that simply was never there on any other DAC that I have had connected to my system, including a Benchmark DAC2L and a Bryston BDA2! After my initial impressions were set (and an almost all night listening session) I left the Mod2 on (it draws less that 2 Amps) and went to bed. Yesterday, after the 24 Hours were up, I went through another listening session with many of the same tracks I had listened to the night before. I also listened to some streaming internet radio like WCRB, Boston (192 kbps MP3) plus many 96/24 sources (the Modi2 Multibit will natively handle up to 24/192 on all inputs without down-converting to 24/96) Including the Albenez and Debussy piano works so kindly supplied to us here at CA by our friends at PlayClassics.com and Mario Martinez. While I noticed no difference between the DAC out of the box and after a 24 hour burn-in, this little DAC continues to delight and amaze me. It is easily the best sounding DAC (other than perhaps an all to brief audition with a Schiit Yggdrasil - which I hope to repeat soon and at greater length) that I've had in my system and I've been auditioning DACs sine around 1998. If you're in the market, give it a listen. I think you'll like it.

George

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I am jealous, because my Bifrost Multibit is on the fritz. I know (or at least have an educated reason to believe I know) and love the sound you are describing from the Modi2 Multibit. On the assumption there is a family resemblance. Depending on what it costs to fix the Bifrost, I might just purchase a Modi2.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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It is insane value for what it costs, all of $249. I got myself one just for kicks (and obviously because it's so damn cheap), and as you have described even my Internet radio, streaming services, Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc. have never sounded so good/musical. I have in fact been digging into streaming services and classics more than my own CDs and FLAC rips.

 

Astonishing value considering it does nearly everything my Gungnir multibit DAC does, and that costs 5 times more.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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