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Decision: Schitt Modi Multibit or Pro-Ject Pre Box S2


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Hello All,

I have been a member here for several years, but I don't post often. I am in the market for a new USB DAC for my computer based music collection. I am torn between the two models that I have mentioned in the thread title so I will give you all some background info.

 

I live in the USA and I work in retail, so my budget is very slim. I currently own a Music Streamer II + that I am relatively happy with, but I feel the itch to upgrade. I have been collecting CDs since 1984 and I own about 6,000 CDs which I am in the process of ripping to my hard drive via dbPowerAmp. I use foobar 2000 as my music playback app, but I could change that if I have to.

 

My digital music collection consists of about 90% 44.1/16 bit music files derived from my personal CD collection. I download some stuff from HDTracks so I do dabble in high rez music. I do not stream music and I really have no intention to ever stream music.

 

The reason I have chosen the Pro-Ject  and Schitt as my choices is because of price and features. I see the benefits of the Pro-Ject for future expansion into DSD and MQA, but i kind of doubt that I will really dabble in these. (There are a lot of DSD titles at Acoustic Sounds that look interesting, but I am on a budget.) I have read a lot about the Pro-Ject on the other thread, but I don't think that I can afford an upgraded power supply right now. The Schitt seems to fit my needs because my collection is 100% PCM and mostly 44.1/16 bit, which the Schitt seems to specialize in.

 

My computer stereo consists of a cheap Marantz amplifier connected to a pair of desktop PSB Alpha speakers.

 

Any opinions and ideas are greatly appreciated. I have not committed myself to anything and I am not in a hurry. A shout out to left channel over at the Pro-Ject thread for all of the valuable information.

 

Rocky Bennett

 

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Hi, I have the Schiit Modi 2 Uber and am very happy with it. I also own the Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital you're considering, but that has been more of a fun science project and IMHO not worth the trouble since your collection is all PCM there.  Either would be an improvement over the old HRT DAC you're using now, but they offer very different sound signatures and support scenarios.

My listening impressions may not matter because you're considering a different Modi model based on a different chip, but I prefer the smoother sound of the Modi 2U and of AKM-based DAC designs in general. ESS-based "reference" designs, and Pro-Ject's clear crisp airy sound in particular, actually hurt my ears. It's been fun to use the Pro-Ject for playing with DSD, but my ears actually prefer those downsampled to 88.1 PCM, and since you don't stream or even download much it's still early days for MQA. The Schiit DAC will also be more plug-and-play than the Pro-Ject, the Schiit includes an external linear PSU, and — as I mentioned in another thread — Pro-Ject's current ability to support the Pre Box S2 Digital leaves much to be desired. Most find Schiit support to be exemplary.

Also, as you may know the influence of a DAC is more subtle and much less immediately noticeable than that of amps, headphones, and speakers. You mentioned PSB Alpha speakers. I had the Alpha PS1 speakers and found they swallowed the midrange.

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have you considered the used market?

i would have thought an ifi micro idsd would compete favorably.

 

also , Left Channel , i believe your Modi is not the multibit variant?

have you tried both?

 

PC(flac/foobar/wasapi)>Ifi Micro Idsd>Headphone correction filter>Garage 1217, Project Ember/Violectric V200>HD800>Old Git

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i would consider the original micro idsd (not the newer "BL" model).

not sure if still available new but i've seen them go on ebay for a shade over £200.

i currently use one and have compared briefly to chord mojo, i kept the ifi.

come to mention it, a used mojo would also be an excellent choice though you obviously will need a mini jack to rca adapter.

PC(flac/foobar/wasapi)>Ifi Micro Idsd>Headphone correction filter>Garage 1217, Project Ember/Violectric V200>HD800>Old Git

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1 hour ago, oldson said:

also , Left Channel , i believe your Modi is not the multibit variant?

have you tried both?

 

 

As I wrote, the OP is considering "a different Modi model based on a different chip" so my impression of the sound signature may not apply. If I had tried the multibit, I would have mentioned it. I believe the information I provided is still helpful for a comparison of the DACs he is looking at and the companies that make them.

 

 

1 hour ago, Rocky Bennett said:

I looked at ifi. Maybe I'll take another look. Any particular model?

 

Big love for iFi here:

 

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Left channel, please dont think i was trying to criticize your post, far from it and i apologise if thats how i came across.

i was just curious to know if you had compared the MB variant, as i know the mb/ds debate divides opinions.

i too was interested in the project unit but reading on the the other thread, lets just say my interest has cooled somewhat.

instead i have decided to wait for a couple of new/recent releases , the rme adi-2 dac and ud-505 from teac. (more money of course).

still may consider a used teac ud-503, myself and maybe the Op here should also give that some thought (if budget can stretch?)

 

PC(flac/foobar/wasapi)>Ifi Micro Idsd>Headphone correction filter>Garage 1217, Project Ember/Violectric V200>HD800>Old Git

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In the FWIW column.

 

Had a Nano, bought an iDSD, sold the iDSD 60 days after as I wasn't impressed.

The Gen5 USB section in Schiit DAC's is terrific for PCM

I've auditioned multibit with Gungnir and Ygdrassil; multibit is great, has a natural sound, no digital artifacts that I could hear..

Stick with Schiit or Chord as the pack leaders; don't buy yesterdays DAC tech.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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7 hours ago, Rocky Bennett said:

The reason I have chosen the Pro-Ject  and Schitt as my choices is because of price and features. I see the benefits of the Pro-Ject for future expansion into DSD and MQA, but i kind of doubt that I will really dabble in these. (There are a lot of DSD titles at Acoustic Sounds that look interesting, but I am on a budget.) I have read a lot about the Pro-Ject on the other thread, but I don't think that I can afford an upgraded power supply right now. The Schitt seems to fit my needs because my collection is 100% PCM and mostly 44.1/16 bit, which the Schitt seems to specialize in.

 

My computer stereo consists of a cheap Marantz amplifier connected to a pair of desktop PSB Alpha speakers.

 

Any opinions and ideas are greatly appreciated. I have not committed myself to anything and I am not in a hurry. A shout out to left channel over at the Pro-Ject thread for all of the valuable information.

 

Rocky Bennett

 

3

 

I favor the Schiit DACs, I own the Modi 2, and am going to test the Modi Multibit. At $99 it is a great 'first Dac'.

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18 hours ago, oldson said:

Left channel, please dont think i was trying to criticize your post, far from it and i apologise if thats how i came across.

i was just curious to know if you had compared the MB variant, as i know the mb/ds debate divides opinions.

i too was interested in the project unit but reading on the the other thread, lets just say my interest has cooled somewhat.

instead i have decided to wait for a couple of new/recent releases , the rme adi-2 dac and ud-505 from teac. (more money of course).

still may consider a used teac ud-503, myself and maybe the Op here should also give that some thought (if budget can stretch?)

 

 

Thanks, maybe I'm on these forums too often...I'm starting to get impatient. I have never owned or listened to the Modi multibit ("Mimby"). I like my AKM-based Modi 2U enough that I feel no need to try a multibit. In fact, when I needed a larger remote-controlled DAC for my media room, I looked only at products with AKM chips, and selected the NuPrime DAC-9.

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8 minutes ago, left channel said:

 

Thanks, maybe I'm on these forums too often...I'm starting to get impatient. I have never owned or listened to the Modi multibit ("Mimby"). I like my AKM-based Modi 2U enough that I feel no need to try a multibit. In fact, when I needed a larger remote-controlled DAC for my media room, I looked only at products with AKM chips, and selected the NuPrime DAC-9.

Thanks for your help.

I should be receiving the Mimby today and am anxious to hear what difference the chip makes. I have been very impressed by the Modi 2, and tested both iFi nano LE and the iOne. IFi has a different sound than Schiit. Neither better or worse- just different. The 'pro' of the iOne is native Bluetooth. And the 'pro' of Schiit is it sounds more musical, and less 'technical' than either iFi. I didn't need a headphone amp, so that was a feature on the nano that I thought might be contributing to the hatdhness

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I was considering exactly the same options as you and I chose Pro-Ject. I am very happy with this device. However I believe (for a lot of reasons) we should support local business. So I I were you I would choose Schitt. But I would not go for the MultiBit Modi. Go for regular version for 99 USD. Additional 150 USD for AD5547? Not sure, I think there  are more better ways to spend 150 USD. 

 

But there is second path for you. Audioquest DragonFly Black (99 USD) and headphones (BEYERDYNAMIC DT-770-PRO-32(150USD), thinksound On2 monitor series(199USD). I think you might enjoy music more than on your Marantz PSB set (which still will be there). Just my 2 cents. 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, PunkRiot said:

 

 

But there is second path for you. Audioquest DragonFly Black (99 USD) and headphones (BEYERDYNAMIC DT-770-PRO-32(150USD), thinksound On2 monitor series(199USD). I think you might enjoy music more than on your Marantz PSB set (which still will be there). Just my 2 cents. 

I own a AQ Dragonfly v1.2 which cost $79 when they came out with the Black and Red. It would be great with a headphone to RCA connection. The only drawback is it is 24/96 and the Schiit is 24/192 on Mac or Linux and with drivers on Windows.

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36 minutes ago, Rocky Bennett said:

Thanks guys. I am considering all of this great advice and I will post back with my final decision. Right now I am leaning toward Schit Audio.

The Schiit Modi 2 @$99 is your best bet, unless you need Bluetooth. I have tested two iFi (nano LE and iOne) but I think it's apples and oranges. I will recommend iFi if DSD is in your future, but if your library is MP3 and FLAC, stick to Schiit.

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Rocky-Consider the source side, I believe a Sonore microRendu or SOtM sMS-200 would have more impact on sound quality in your system. Quite a few used microRendu's have hit the market since the ultra was released.

 

Another dac to consider at $199, the MicroMega MyDac. It has a very smooth sound signature and it renders 16/44100 files impressively. Food for thought!

 

The USB input on the Schiit Modi Multibit is fair, combining that fact with your laptop might not yield the improvement you seek.

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On 2/11/2018 at 2:20 PM, Rocky Bennett said:

I looked at ifi. Maybe I'll take another look. Any particular model?

 

any with the selectable filters I'd recommend.  
 

13 hours ago, bigbob said:

Neither better or worse- just different. The 'pro' of the iOne is native Bluetooth. And the 'pro' of Schiit is it sounds more musical, and less 'technical' than either iFi. I didn't need a headphone amp, so that was a feature on the nano that I thought might be contributing to the hatdhness

 

I had modi multibit (mimby) and loved it.  Sold it just recently in mint condition for $200USD, so I agree you may want to check the used market.  Headfi.org has wanted/for sale section.  Mimby is Very musical and "sweet" sounding - analogue like.  More musical than my current iDAC2 Micro by iFi ($350 USD).  However, just like bigbob, I do think the iFi has more technical prowess.  I can't speak to other iFi models, but the iDAC2 nails it, with their selectable filters and crisp sound.  It's a tad more fatiguing than the mimby, and a tad bit more resolving to me at the same time.  Surgical vs musical, but this is what I was after.  I realized I didn't like the linear phase filtering going on in Schiit, and prefer the lower ringing and sterile dryness of the iFi.  I think I'm somewhat in the minority on that though!  

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Hello Everybody,

Again, thanks for all of the opinions, insights and information. I know I am going to make everybody mad and disappointed but I ordered a new Mimbe straight from Schiit Audio. There is more to it than just the multi-bit features, but I really wanted to get away from USB DACs that were powered from the PC. Even though I built this PC and it has a clean, stable Evga Supernova PSU, I am still concerned about the transients and ripples present in PC power. The analog stage of the Mimby should be to my tastes, so I am looking forward to adding this to my system.

 

Again thanks to everybody that has posted here, it really means a lot to me. I will report back my impressions of the new Schiit when I have installed it and listened to it. I am also exploring some new Andrew Jones speakers to go with this DAC based on earlier comments regarding the mid-frequencies of my little Paul Bartons.

 

Rocky Bennett

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1 hour ago, Rocky Bennett said:

 

 

Again thanks to everybody that has posted here, it really means a lot to me. I will report back my impressions of the new Schiit when I have installed it and listened to it. I am also exploring some new Andrew Jones speakers to go with this DAC based on earlier comments regarding the mid-frequencies of my little Paul Bartons.

 

 

 

Rocky Bennett-- I have read some rave reviews about the Jones designed ELAC bookshelf speakers that sell for $279 a pair.

 

That would be a very wise investment, as would a Schiit Modi as your DAC.

 

Should you want to upgrade your receiver/amp keep an eye open for my listings of Vintage electronics over on "Computer Audiophile on the Cheap" in Facebook land. I will be offering "classic" vintage electronics, which have been thoroughly refurbished by my technician and made "better than new" along with my line of RasPi based music servers for plug and play convenience in a dedicated mini-computer which has been optimized for Audiophile music playing.

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11 hours ago, buonassi said:

Mimby is Very musical and "sweet" sounding - analogue like.  More musical than my current iDAC2 Micro by iFi ($350 USD).  However, just like bigbob, I do think the iFi has more technical prowess.  I can't speak to other iFi models, but the iDAC2 nails it, with their selectable filters and crisp sound.  It's a tad more fatiguing than the mimby, and a tad bit more resolving to me at the same time.  Surgical vs musical, but this is what I was after.  I realized I didn't like the linear phase filtering going on in Schiit, and prefer the lower ringing and sterile dryness of the iFi.  I think I'm somewhat in the minority on that though!  

3

 

Your comments validate my hearing the exact same characteristics.

 

I found it was "apples and oranges" trying to compare the entry-level iFi and the Schiit Modi.

 

It really boils down to three things:  Is DSD in your future? Do you want a headphone amplifier with your DAC? and Do you prefer a more 'musical' or a more 'technical' presentation of your files?  Answers to these are as subjective as your tastes.

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