Thanks for all the inputs! Its been a quick roller coaster of research to the point of questioning my sanity.
I would just like to give a shout out to ItsCraig
, he has been so generous and nice to borrow me a couple of amps and a headset for a week to listen to. What was intended for a quick 30min stop over the weekend, turned to a 2 and a half hour visit that was so insightful and interesting that my wife had to tear me away from the toys! Listened to some awesome stuff! Thanks Craig!
After a week of listening the uDSD sounds great through the Magni 2 AMP and pairs very well with the Philips Fidelio X2s. When I was at Craig's, that was also my quick conclusion that I liked the X2 best over the Magni 2 solid state. His Soekris DAC sounded better over the Magni 2 than over the uDSD but it was also in another class, as expected.
Headphone wise, I definitely enjoy the Philips Fidelio X2s more than Sennheizer HD 598's, on any combination of dac and amp. If someone is interested in X2s, I bought mine a month ago and locally. You wait a bit for it, but it was not a Amazon import etc and much cheaper. So if there is enough interest, I will share the link in the headphones heads-up thread. Just note, my X2s has no quality issues associated with the Gibson versions (check Amazon and head-fi reviews). They also sounded tinny and had very stiff base at first, but they completely changed after a week of over night burn-in with random music tracks and some burn-in specific tracks. So give them some time.
As a side note, I am not sure if I should be embarrassed by this within an audiophile community, but my really cheaply priced and built Samson SR850 headphones sounds really good over this setup as well, and I might even prefer it to the 598's, especially considering its price point on a Takealot deal. These are very closely related to the SuperLux headphones if you want to read up on it. The SR850s I would use for classical orchestral and some jazz music since it is more detailed in the high-mids and highs to my ears (not that the bass is bad or missing at all), where the X2's really works well with contemporary, experimental, electronic, most jazz, and any music with some nice base notes, interesting highs, with less emphasis on vocals. The X2s are very comfortable and non-fatiguing and awesome for long hours of relaxed listening. The SR850s also reacts the same as the X2s on some good burn-in at first.
So in the end, only 3 practical options remained for me.The first option
was to run uDSD to a new Magni 2 Uber (I would like to run powered speakers from the pre-outs). I also have a Chromecast Audio that I would like to feed into it as well so that I can listen to music effortlessly without the PC running in front of me, distracting me or enticing me to "quickly" waste a couple of hours on whatever, when I am supposed to study for some serious board exams. But I would have to use the Chromecast DAC then, and have something like a Schiit SYS to toggle the analog signals. I was also considering getting a Schiit WYRD to feed the uDSD some velvety power and signals. This all ads up to a REALLY BIG pile of Schiit on my desk. Nasty.Second option
was to get the Magni 2 Uber with a Modi 2 Uber. Magni amp reason same as above. The reason for a new DAC was that I could feed 3 types of digital signal into it eliminating any switch boxes and extra cables, and especially eliminating the Chromecast DAC (apparently its not bad and I was very happy with it) and passing the optical signal directly to Modi to do a better job. And then I am still able to feed it the COAX signal from the uDSD for specifically DSD tracks, and the uDSD does not even have to be powered on to work over the COAX. That sounds pretty perfect to me and bang for buck for all the extra functionality.Third option
was basically the same as option two above, but I wanted to add some insurance into the DAC equation, trying to avoid having buyers regret with the Modi 2 Uber vs the Nuprime uDSD (that I absolutely love and which you guys pointed out to not to get rid of - awesome advice). I surely was afraid of that feeling that the Modi was a waste, or no real upgrade except for the extra optical port.. So I did some extra research and decided to take out a Modi Multibit policy
So with Scott's help I have pulled the trigger tonight, and went for option 3. The Schiit just got real! I can't wait for my Modi Multibit and Magni 2 Uber to arrive on our shores. Thank you very much Scott for your awesome service and patience with me to arrive at a final order.
Have a great weekend everybody! For my budget and audio experience level, I think that my newly acquired (or soon to be) audio equipment for a study desk setup, fits me well and I am positive that I will enjoy it very much for a reasonable time to come. I am very well aware of the fact that I could not have done it within the time and with the confidence without the feedback from this community and the generous offerings of various members for auditions and purchase options, and even invites to social meetings. This was my first interaction with the forum and it was absolutely fantastic! I thank you sincerely for the time invested in my first thread and the personal messages - ItsCraig, ScottulusMaximus, Hi-Phibian, kamikazi, JonnyP, xenithon, thomas24, AdrianDeLau, seeyou, Wolvebain, Scubadude (in not particular order). And then also thanks to Kemosabe for introducing me to the forum and the various intense discussions and testing of equipment to help with the decision making process. I hope I did not cause too much frustrations in time of confusion..