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So Schiit has just released the Modi 2 and Modi 2 Uber. I bought my brother a Modi 1 for Christmas and I'm wondering if I should return it for a Modi 2 or if stepping up to the Uber is worth it.

Thoughts?
 

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That is honestly a hard question because they say on their website that the they are all sonically the same, talking about the Modi series. The reason you upgrade is for the extra features i.e. Coaxial and spdif and aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

No it is actually very simple.

Return it and get the uber. Since the uber has optical, you will not have to suffer with USB noise.
USB noise? Can you please elaborate? I have a Modi 1 and have never noticed any noise in the line even with my system gained up pretty high.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmark2 View Post

USB noise? Can you please elaborate? I have a Modi 1 and have never noticed any noise in the line even with my system gained up pretty high.
There are people that will swear to their grave that USB is not, and never will be a proper way to connect an audio interface. Obviously if it sounds better to *your ear* then you have every right to dump your life savings into it, and I have no problem there. After all, its only a placebo if it doesn't work.

These people are also coincidentally probably not the people being Schiit products, since Schiit openly says common Audio-woo myths are in fact bogus.

What I understand and believe (and what I find is generally accepted as the "technological" reasoning) is such:

1. Yes early USB devices sucked, and often had noise, and lots of jitter due to the fact they used the system clock which is unstable.
2. luckily we now have asynchronous DACs (like all the modi models), that use their own dedicated clocks and crystals to clock the USB signal, so pretty much any jitter is reduced.
3. Some people have crappy USB ports that give poorly regulated power, which can cause issues. If you have such a system, well first I recommend a quality motherboard that has good USB ports. Second Schiit sells a product called "WYRD" that basically just properly powers a USB port for your DAC. They also allude to some users saying it removes the "noise" that the other poster is talking about, but Schiit seems to believe that this is of questionable merit.
4. Optical connections are outdated for the most part, and many modern computers have issues outputting high res optical signal, due to low quality components, build quality, software, etc. (Apple limits most of their computers to 96KHz on optical because of this). I'd say this is probably the biggest downside to Optical. USB is USB, and as long as your cable is <2M, and USB Cert, it should be bit perfect.
5. Assuming you don't have any DSP in the way, Optical and USB should sound otherwise the same, and theoretically be bit-perfect.
6. USB is more convenient. except for windows (kinda), almost everything supports the USB audio standard well.
7. Optical can be run for longer distances which is an advantage. USB chords should be <2M i believe.

At the $100 level though, all of this is rather unimportant, maybe at higher prices you would worry more about this kind of stuff. At $100, the USB modi is a fantastic deal (although not without flaws; ex. "brightness" of highs, slightly lacking bass definition).

I believe the Modi 2 Uber has a better analog stage though, so It could sound different, which I'd say is the biggest difference. Optical/USB is personal preference at this point.

Regarding the original question: the Modi 2 supports higher sample rates, but I EXTREMELY HIGHLY DOUBT TO THE MAX that your brother will ever be listening to 24bit 192KHz tracks, especially if he doesn't have a 'prosumer' level dac already. Even then, OG Modi supports 24/96KHz, which *MOST* people regard as the highest resolution worth pursuing. (personally I agree)

I guess if I had to TL;DR this:

USB/Optical is personal preference.

I welcome any corrections to my understanding. I am still relatively new to the HiFi world myself.

Full Disclosure: I own a Modi, and Asgard 2
 

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I think you wrapped it up pretty well actually, reflex. At least to my level of understanding. I think one thing to note though is that the wyrd is pretty much a glorified powered USB hub. The advantage you get from it isn't anything you couldn't get from a ~30 dollar USB hub other than a nice looking case.
 

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I love my Modi and it works well with my computer setup. I don't get USB noise. It is dead silent with no whisper or static in the channel when I have audio paused, no matter what the volume is at (a good way to test). Your milage will vary with other headphones and USB ports I'm sure.

The only reason to return and get the Uber is if he wants to hook it up to any other audio source besides USB.
 

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Yeah pretty much. It is the reason I ended up finally putting the money down for a schiit product. The ability to switch between USB,coaxial, and optical is pretty awesome. Not to mention the brushed aluminum body. Only thing it needs is to have been one of the ones that was "accidentally" coated with black.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by watsaname View Post

I think you wrapped it up pretty well actually, reflex. At least to my level of understanding. I think one thing to note though is that the wyrd is pretty much a glorified powered USB hub. The advantage you get from it isn't anything you couldn't get from a ~30 dollar USB hub other than a nice looking case.
The advantage of WYRD Id say is that it is a very high quality USB hub.

I don't own WYRD personally, but since my MacBook only has 2 USB ports, which have a habit of sleeping themselves, I use a powered USB hub. Anecdotally I've been through 2 hubs that we're name brand (belkin, rosewill) that definitely were poorly supplying power to the DAC. Drove me nuts since I am always skeptical of this kind of thing, but they seemed to lack the power to allow Modi to fully output the track and messed with the dynamic range. My third (and current) hub (pluggable brand) does not seem to exhibit such problems.

I'd imagine WYRD is fairly well built and will do its job better than it needs to, but i guess if you want a garaunteed good USB hub, that's what it is. For a price.
 

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Quote:
Wait, you added more features to Magni and it's still $99?
Yep. Development improves the breed. Plus, if nobody else is going to compete with us, we figured that we'd go ahead and do it.

Now you're just being cheeky!
Yes. You're right. Sorry about that. Seriously, Magni 2 addresses one of the limitations of Magni: it adds a gain switch, so that it's more usable with highly sensitive headphones. While we were at it, we had another look at the gain stage and refined it. And, while we were at that, we made a "do-all" Magni with preamp outputs and a bigger transformer and an even more refined gain stage. And we liked that, too. So we decided to introduce both of them.

So what's the difference between Magni 2 and Magni 2 Uber?
Lots of things. Let's break it down:

Preamp Outputs: Uber has them, standard doesn't.
Gain Stage: Uber has a complementary-input VAS, standard doesn't.
Power Supply: Uber has 3x the transformer (24VA vs 8VA) and 1.6x the filter capacitance (6,400 vs 4,000uF), as well as more sophisticated regulators (programmable vs fixed) and a higher rail voltage (+/-16V vs +/-15V)
Chassis: Uber gets an aluminum top cover and solid aluminum milled knob, standard is painted steel and an aluminum-covered plastic knob.

Isn't this just a trick to get us to buy a Magni Uber for $50 more?
Um, no. If you don't need preamp outputs, you're gonna be plenty happy with Magni 2, no matter what headphones you use. It's probably the only amp anyone really needs, but because we don't live in a regime where the Headphone Amp Commissar decides what headphone amp you're going to get, we have a lot more choices as well.

So did you say these amps will drive any headphone?
Yes. Except maybe the HE-6. That's about it.

Including hard-to-drive orthos?
Yes.

Including IEMs?
Yes.

So you probably cheaped out and left the protection off this amp, or something stupid like that, right?
No. Magni 2 and Magni 2 Uber have relay mute for delayed startup and fast shut-down. You can leave your headphones plugged in all the time. Magni 2 Uber also automatically disconnects the preamp outputs when you plug headphones in. Amazing things, switches.

What the hell is a Magni?
In Norse mythology, Magni was one of Thor's sons. There's this amazing resource called Wikipedia. You may have heard of it.

I want a combined DAC/amp! Why didn't you put a DAC in here?
We did. They're just in a different chassis and costs another $99-149. They're called "Modi 2" or "Modi 2 Uber" Stack the two and tell yourself it's a combined DAC/Amp for $198-298. Mix n match to get exactly what you want. Ha. Try that with a combined DAC/amp. Oh, yeah, and only scrap the DAC when technology changes. Try that with a combined DAC/amp, too. Yeah. Thought so.

Hey, so does that mean I can plug in some uber-special, gold-plated, cryo-treated, 85-lb 2000VA wall wart and have even better performance?
Unless you know what you're doing, we don't recommend that. Magni2 and Magni 2 Uber use an AC wall wart. Most are DC. DC won't work.

Let's talk tech. What's the big deal about discrete design?
Discrete design allows us to create a DC-coupled stage with excellent power output and low output impedance, as well as good performance. It also allows us to do things we could never do with op-amps, like design a stage with constant feedback across the audio band.

What's the big deal about "constant feedback?"
Magni 2 and Magni 2 Uber use a gain stage that has an open-loop bandwidth greater than 20kHz. That means that the feedback is constant across the entire audio band. By comparison, most op-amps start rolling off at 10-100Hz, which means there could be 20-30dB less feedback at high gain.

What's this about DC coupling?
Magni has no capacitors in the signal path at all-that's what we mean by DC coupling. It uses a DC servo to eliminate DC on the output, which is a more sophisticated method than using coupling caps.

But I heard all amps sound the same!
If it's your experience that all amps sound the same, that's cool. There are plenty of other options out there, including the one that came in your phone, for free.
 
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