Author Topic: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review  (Read 400 times)

Offline Cross_over

Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« on: October 12, 2018, 09:55:05 PM »
Have just had a visit from the Fedex fairies today with my new toy. The Schiit Modi 3 has just been released and I thought forum members might be interested in a review.

For a bit of context, I owned an NAD M51 dac for a number of years, followed by a two year stint with a NuPrime uDSD.

I quite enjoyed the NAD M51, but sold it when I heard the uDSD which got about 80% of the way there for a fraction of the price...and it had DSD capability which I at the time thought to be important.

My system currently consists of a purpose built silent pc running JRiver MC 19. Amplifier is a recently purchased Electrocompaniet ECI3 integrated and Apogee Centaur Minor hybrid ribbon speakers.

First impressions of the Schiit are positive. The sound is somewhat more sophisticated and refined than the uDSD and bass is definitely deeper. There is a laidback character to the sound which I find unusual and I need to do more listening to decide if it is a negative or positive.

Will post some more impressions once the Modi has run in a bit.

Offline Cross_over

Re: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 08:03:44 AM »
Just a few more thoughts. The Modi 3 has three digital inputs (USB, coax and toslink) while the Modi and Modi 2 only had USB. You had to step up to the Modi 2 Uber to get additional inputs. It therefore replaces not only the Modi 2 at $99 but also the Modi 2 Uber. It strikes me as a very cost effective way to upgrade an old cd player.

The Modi 3 uses an AKM AK4490 dac chip, with dc coupled audio output (no capacitors in the signal path). The uDSD uses an ESS Sabre 9010K2M while the NAD uses a custom solution.

More listening impressions to follow.

Offline chrisc

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Re: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2018, 08:41:39 AM »
If you are using a USB cable (recommended) then make sure it is well constructed.  This is of utmost importance.  A cheapie printer cable won't cut it, but again you don't want to spend thousands. 

The Audioquest range is pretty good, and if you want something less expensive, but as good (IMHO) then the Lindy range sold by Loot offers excellent value for money
Even duct tape can’t fix stupid… but it can muffle the sound

Offline Cross_over

Re: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2018, 09:21:35 AM »
At this stage I am using spdif out on the pc, connected with a Kimber DV75 cable. In previous experiments I have found spdif to sound better than usb, but will try with the Modi 3 also. I have a nice AQ usb cable, however the slight challenge with the Modi is that it has micro usb sockets and as far as I am aware there are no high end cables for that. Will try the cable that came in the box until I can find a better alternative.

Offline Cross_over

Re: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2018, 09:10:59 PM »
I see that AQ now have USB A to micro cables. Guess I will have to invest in one soon.

Offline ron g

Re: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 09:43:54 AM »
In previous experiments I have found spdif to sound better than usb,

i have had this in the past as well.
going to a croak audio style usb cable, which has the power & the data split, has made a significant difference, with much cleaner audio out the usb.
is it just me or have bitcoin people gone a bitquiet because its a bitdown? #bitter

Offline Rotelman

Re: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 08:07:12 PM »
......In previous experiments I have found spdif to sound better than usb, but will try with the Modi 3 also......

It would be very interesting to see the outcome of your Modi3 experiment on the spdif vs usb, particularly considering the lower noise floor as measured at ASR on spdif vs usb where the spdif had jitter spikes close to the test tone and the usb showed jitter spikes at the lower quarter of the frequency spectrum. Quite an odd scenario.

Offline Cross_over

Re: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 10:41:01 AM »
Will report back on my findings. Just enjoying the sound from this cheapie. It is still running in, but already it is sounding much better than it has any right to.

Offline Cross_over

Re: Schiit Modi 3 DAC review
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 07:35:09 PM »
I bought a Type B to micro USB adapter today so now I can use my AQ USB cable with the Modi. Had a quick listen and I have to say that the USB input sounds very good.