Schitty Magni and Modi

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The Modi

No USB cables included. Thankfully, I own the Aune T1 Dac, which happened to come with a good B-USB Cable. Build quality is identical to the Magni. The backside features only standard RCA-out and the USB input. Shockingly, my trusty Aune T1 sounds near identical to the Schiit Magni and Modi Combo. I mean it. Its 95% the same, right down to build quality and size. The only differences would be the T1′s tube rolling options and that it can be used as both a DAC or a powerful 1-watt amplifier and the ocassional track that seems to push the upper region more forward on the T1 than the Modi. Tracks like Michael Jacksons’ “Billie Jean.” Noticeably more forward hi-hats on the T1 experience by itself. The Modi is more solid, more intimate, and noticeably less broad sounding than the Aune. The T1 is more aired out and both wider and taller in sound staging by a small degree.

I feel the Modi to be one of the better DACs that I have come across in any price range. I would rate the DAC experience as excellent, very responsive to low-end EQ and smooth in the mids and upper regions. Normally, in the $99-and-under world, USB DACs tend to have sharp upper regions that are splashy and unable to stay in control when there is a load of low end. The Modi plows through like a champ. I have nothing to gripe about. It is a simplistic design that gets the job done, and gets it done very well. The overall experience is smooth and excellent on the HE-500 and most other headphones known for a more linear sound. This Magni is going to make a lot of business people or college students very happy. I recommend it for those who are looking for a stepping-stone amplifier, an introduction to Hi-Fi Audio and do not want to break the bank while doing so. Also, for business people at a desk who want a very small, very powerful amplifier for their budget-midrange headphones…this Schiit is for you. If you have a good portable player or source, the Magni will be a great choice. If your source does not have good EQ, then you might want to skip using bassy headphones with it. It is a great little dac. If my T1 wasn’t equally as good by itself, I would keep the Modi as my primary DAC. It is noticeably better than the Fiio E10 in every way. I also enjoy it more than the Fiio E17! Which, by comparison, seems a bit loose on the upper end and noticeably sharper, especially when amped with either the T1 or the Magni. For what it is worth, the Modi is the real brains of the operation. It won’t cost you $99 though, in reality it will cost you more like $130 with the purchase of a B-style USB cable that is not total garbage or recycled from your decade-old printer.

 

End Words

The Thorson Combo is a real win in my book.  I think most audio enthusiasts will go bananas for this setup. Unfortunately, I have already technically owned the Schiit Combo for some time. The Aune T1 DAC/amp sounds almost identically the same but due to tube customization and it being both a DAC and a very good amplifier all by itself, I am going to say the Schiit combo is a step or two behind the Aune in quality. I think the T1 offers more.

I can dedicate an entire page to headphone combinations that I think will sound great with the Schiit Combo, but I am going to encourage you to ask questions instead. Headphones that are smoother sounding should sound really nice here, sets like the Sennheiser HD598, Sony MA900, Hifiman HE-300/500. I’d avoid bass-heavy headphones, as well as sets known for great soundstage depth. The Schiit Combo just doesn’t cut it in those areas. If you prefer to use the bassier headphones with these little pieces of Schiit, I recommend investing in a Digizoid Zo2 or using Foobar2000’s Bassexciter DSP.  If not, you are going to miss out with the Basshead headphones. This $200 DAC and amp Combo becomes more like $250-275 when you factor the need for higher quality RCA cables for use with expensive headphones, as well as a decent USB cable for the Modi. My cheap Monoprice RCA interconnects sound atrocious with the Magni and Modi. Despite that, I enjoyed the hell out of them both. I prefer the Magni and portable player much more than with my USB DAC. The reason is because the USB DAC line-out method generally relies on the amplifier to provide the low end, and the Magni does not have the low end to do justice with the Ortho headphones or anything bassy. Beyond that, the sound staging qualities are not up to par with the Schiit Asgard, so it doesn’t go well with spacious sounding headphones. However, again I enjoy the Magni+HE400 and HE500 when I am using my Cowon J3 portable player as a source. It has a magnificent EQ and puts out excellent bass. Without that extra boost on the low end, the Schiit Combo will fall very short for use with those bassy headphones.

 

9/10 Value. This is some good Schiit.  
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  • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

    Thanks to Julius for this review!

  • Steve

    Thanks for the review.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      You’re welcome, Steve!

  • Jack Kennedy

    awesome review!
    How would a combo like this compare to an amp/DAC combo like say the E17?

    • Julius

      I didn’t enjoy the E17 when used with the Modi. The upper regions were “splashy” and uncontrolled. I think the Magni is a much better amplifier all around than the E17 is, so I wouldn’t recommend the E17 anymore.

  • Trent_D

    We have discussed it before, but I think you are fairly spot on in your review of the Magni. I can’t lie though, when I compared them head to head, although the Magni is much more clear, I preferred the warmer, more spacious sound of the cMoy. The Magni was a touch bright for me. With my HD660, the sibilance got ugly on a few songs. Of course, my dacport lx can push the treble forward a bit, which is why I like it with darker gear.

    Very nice review!

  • http://twitter.com/Original_Ken Ken Stuart

    Schiit offers half-foot interconnects that are designed for the distance between the Modi output and the Magni inputs, for $20 (called “Pyst”).

    I have not heard them, but I would guess that they sound better than Monoprice $5 interconnects. Or maybe they don’t. Someone should review them.

    • http://twitter.com/Original_Ken Ken Stuart

      Actually, Jason says that the PYST cables are ” It’s Straight Wire, and the cable is Flexconnect II.”
      Which means they definitely sound better than Monoprice cables – which is not a criticism of the great value of Monoprice cables, but rather a recognition of the equally great value of Straight Wire cables in the “really great sounding but not expensive” category of cables.
      In fact, my HRT MS2Plus is hooked up with the same Straight Wire cables that used to connect my high-end modded CD player before I wore it out…

      • Julius

        I was unaware Schiit was offering cables as well. If they say its good, I trust them.

        • Trent_D

          They are about 6 inches long. They were intended to be used with the bifrost/asgard (or valhalla or Lyr). If not banded down in the middle, I have seen PYST lift the Magni off the Modi.

  • Thibault Thomas

    Thank Julius for this review. You say that you use T1 amp/dac with Hifiman HE-400. Do you think that the T1 will drive well other orthos like HE-5, 500 or even HE-6 ?

    Thank you.

    • Julius

      Yep! Check this video out I made a few weeks ago. It drives the HE500 very well and sounds very good with it. This combo was my primary home setup for a while, so I feel safe in saying the HE500+the T1 ( Or the Magni and Modi Combo ) are very good together. The low end of the HE6 needs a ton more power than what the T1 and the Schiit Combo has to offer.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cheou2FdpY

      • Thibault Thomas

        Thank you :-)
        I’m interested in buying a HE-5 in a relative near future, so I am glad to know I will not have to buy a new amp. ^_^

        • Julius

          Have your cable cryo treated. I got to listen to the HE5 just about 2 weeks ago and A/B’ed the stock cable vs one that was Cryo Treated and the difference was audible.

          • Thibault Thomas

            Thank you again. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.latta.18 Kevin Latta

    I’m glad to know that you thought the Modi was a good DAC. I ordered one on Sunday to replace my HRT MSII. I read a link showing the tech specs of the chips used in the both the Modi and HRT, it looks like the async USB has come a long way in the past few years.

    Schiit Modi

    CM6631 USB Controller
    - C-Media Electronics
    - USB 2.0 High Speed, 480 Mb/s max
    - USB Audio Class 2 (32/384 max sample rate)
    - 32/192 max sample rate
    - Asynchronus/Isochronus mode

    AKM4396 DAC
    - Asahi Kasei Microdevices
    - 24/192 max sample rate
    - 128 x oversampling

    HRT MSII

    TAS1020B USB Controller
    - Texas Instruments
    - USB 2.0 Full Speed, 12Mb/s max
    - USB Audio Class 1 (24/96 max sample rate)
    - 24/96 max sample rate
    - Asynchronus/Isochronus mode

    PCM1793 DAC
    - Burr Brown
    - 24/192 max sample rate
    - 8x oversampling

    Source: http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=490471&page=3

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Kevin, I don’t think you can read a DAC by its numbers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.latta.18 Kevin Latta

        That’s fair, I just thought specs were interesting…

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Alright I just didn’t want you to come to the wrong conclusion. Cheers

        • Julius

          Trust your ears, not the spreadsheet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.lucas.9235 Ray Lucas

    Thanks for the review. I am very interested in this combo for my desk at work. I typically listen to one of three sets of cans. I use a pair of Klipsch Image x10 in ears, a pair of Klipsch Custom-3 (2-way) in ears, and don’t laugh…a pair of Bose OE headphones (they are comfortable , I got them really cheap at Frye’s and sometimes I just like a change from IEM).

    So my question, is a desktop setup like this a good match for these headphones? Thanks in advance for any advice. My other option is just to send Schiit a couple hundred bucks and treat myself. If I don’t like the sound then I buy new headphones until they do. (Some might say I have a problem. I might agree!)

    • Julius

      I think they will work just fine. I wouldn’t worry or stress, unless your headphones are monsters on the low end or with soundstaging, I say go for it and report back here promptly with impressions.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ray.lucas.9235 Ray Lucas

        Thanks! Placing an order soon. Appreciate the feedback.

        • Julius

          I’m sure I’ll get shot at for saying this…but I absolutely hated the HD700. I mean…with the fury of 1000 suns. :P

          • http://www.facebook.com/ray.lucas.9235 Ray Lucas

            Hmmm…I am now torn. I know we are veering off topic, but my other option is to go for the HD-650 with the Mjolnir/Gungni combo. Or…just keep waiting for points to amass and go for the HD-800. First world audiophile problems.

            • Julius

              Yikes! If thats what you want Ray, I say go for it. But, know that combo with the HD650 s overkill and might not be the best choice for the soundstaging capabilities. I would go with an upgraded Bottlehead and your pick of one of the nicer dacs. Hell, don’t leave out the Modi or the Aune. Both with the HD650 and the SEX kit for the Bottlehead would be one of the best setups you can get. The Dacs will be the weak link in the chain, if you can find reviews on “dacs known for great sound stage”, then swap out for which ever one someone else would recommend for that.

              With the HD650, Balanced mode usually takes a hit with sound stage. Thats just in my experiences. Clarity and smoothness are noticeably better especially with an aftermarket cable. But, generally, I think thats a bit of a waste. If you haven’t heard the nicer Bottleheads with a Sennheiser headphone, you are missing out.

              • http://twitter.com/Original_Ken Ken Stuart

                Julius, if you feel that the HD700/800 are cold and analytic, and the HD600/650 are lacking in soundstage, then it sounds like you have preferable alternatives – but you haven’t mentioned them.

                • Trent_D

                  I think he was commenting on the HD650′s soundstage when run in a balanced set up. Mike has said something similar, that you get better width in balanced, but you lose overall soundstage coherence, center image and depth. So, running the HD650 balanced would be counterproductive to having the best soundstage. Correct me Julius if I have you wrong.

                  • Julius

                    Yep. In Balanced mode, the HD650 gets wider sounding with the cost of depth and height. But, clarity and dynamics are boosted. Its a trade off. Useless, IMO for the HD650. Kids do it to be cool. Who would honestly sacrifice that wonderful soundstage for a 10% boost in clarity? I wouldn’t…but thats just me. I am unwilling to pay the astronomical price of the balanced cables AND the balanced Dac AND the Balanced Amplifier just to get that extra 10% out of it…especially not after hearing the stock HD650 on a very spacious amplifier tailored for it like the bottlhead crack. Crack+5998+HD650+Aune T1=epic win.

                    • Trent_D

                      You might be able to get a small boost in clarity with aftermarket cables anyway. Once I have my setup set up, I might audition some just for the fun of it. I hope my crack comes out ok. These big, sloppy butcher’s hands aren’t meant for delicate DIY work.

                    • Julius

                      Depends on the company you bought from. I’ve had plenty of “expensive” cables that sound like crap. Just make sure you look for some reviews or they have a good return policy just in case.

                    • Trent_D

                      What companies have you tried, out of curiosity? (and I did use the word might)

                • Julius

                  I never said I felt the HD600 and 650 had a lacking sound stage. Where did you read that? The HD700 and HD800 are cold and analytic. I doubt anyone would debate that. My preferred alternatives to the HD800 don’t exist, because I hate analtical headphones. No musician wants you to pick the details and subtle track quality flaws out of their recordings, nor do any real musicians want you to say “yes, this is very accurate to the recording.” I think most real musicians would rather you have fun and enjoy the experience rather than pick it apart. No singers want you to hear any potential flaws in their records. The HD700 is harsh on the upper regions, too cold, too boring for my tastes. My alternatives to the HD650 would have been the Grado RS1i or the GS1000i. Both slightly warm on the low end, with the Audeze tonality that is gently colored with a mix of natural flavor, and with smooth highs and a nice sound stage on the GS, both of which require hardly any amplification at all compared. Neither benefit from balanced recabling, where the HD650 definitely does.

          • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

            And you’re out! ;-)

            • Julius

              Ewww !!

            • Julius

              Indeed, I am.

  • http://www.facebook.com/donunus Don Vittorio Sierra

    This is some seriously good lookin’ Schiit! I want!!!

  • Mr14

    Nice review!

  • http://www.facebook.com/uhh.as Uhh As

    How does the Magni compare to the O2 amp?

    • Julius

      Magni is equally as clear. I didn’t want to keep the o2 when I had it a few weeks ago, but I do want to keep the Magni.

      • Robert_T

        Hmm, I wonder how the Aune X series stack compares against the Schiit MM Stack. The Aunes looks pretty slick as well. Someone should grab them up and compare for science haha :D

        X series photos: http://en.auneaudio.com/html/2011/X-Series_0831/9.html

        Oh and great review by the way.

        • Robert_T

          Nvm, just read the X2 are for speakers lol. But the X1 vs T1 vs MM is intriguing

          • Julius

            I asked for a loaner of the X2 weeks ago and never heard back from them. Odd, generally Aune is awesome with their support. Maybe they didn’t get the email or lost it or something.

  • Frank

    So are you saying the Magni has rolled off bass or what? The review is kind of general. I mean you say it’s not the best with “spacious sounding” headphones just because it’s soundstage is smaller than the Asgard. I feel like I have to decipher what you’re saying. Why is it also better with “smoother sounding headphones”?

    • Julius

      I’m not sure I follow you. Smooth sound means generally an equal quantity of bass, mids and highs, as well as one that is not punchy or fatiguing. If the bass was rolled off, I’d have said it. I actually said it was impressively responsive to EQ in the review. The review isn’t general. I disagree, I made sure to get as many points across as possible in the short amount of space I had. What exactly are you trying to decipher? I thought the sentiment that the Asgard sounds more spacious than the Magni is pretty self explanatory. What exactly was cryptic about that? Please let me know so I can make sure not to repeat the mistake in the future, I am just not seeing anything that wasn’t clearly explained.

  • Andre

    Loved that review!

    I’m finally upgrading my amp situation and this is exactly what I wanted to read about. I’m choosing between the little Schiit stack, Fiio e07k, and now the T1 along with some others that may not be high up on my list. I’ll primarily be running them with my Denon D5000′s and future HE-500′s. Source will be 5.5 generation iPod classic 30gb/iPhone 5/Macbook Pro (don’t laugh). This will be my first trip into DAC country so I’m very green at the moment and not quite sure what else I’m going to need to get this all working. I currently have the e11 and since I upgraded I can’t use it with my iPhone 5 because the new stupid lighting connector… But this gives me a chance to improve my setup and get a lot more out of my D5000′s which can’t be close to their real potential with the e11. The amp will likely sit next to my bed on my nightstand or in my office so the smaller size is a must have. The T1 looks very very intriguing and sounds like is your amp/dac of choice in that under $200usd price range and I see why! Able to do the job of both but with ability to upgrade and still have compact size and big sound. Sounds like a winner to me. But based off of my situation, what would you recommend? I’m “trying” to stay within the $200 range but I still want to do this right so I’m open to suggestions.

    Thanks again for the review and help,

    Andre

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Andre, I will let Julius answer your question

      Sent from my mobile device. Sorry for any mistype.

    • Julius

      The Aune is the better option but will cost you a bit more. Where else can you find a $200 or so Tube Dac with so many useful options inside of it like the T1 offers? $200 becomes more like $350 with a great tube, $400 total with a good RCA interconnect. I suggest The Atratus by Epiphany Acoustics. Phenomenal cables.

      On a budget though, I’d eyeball the Schiit Combo instead for the HE500. You don’t really need the sound stage boost the T1 offers. I wouldn’t SUGGEST either of them for the Orthos, but if you need a cheap starter amplifier, either of them are the best budget amplifiers and dacs right now. Best of luck.

      • Andre

        Thanks, so the T1 is the best option for my D5000′s right now and if/when I get the HE-500′s they’ll work the best but for Orthos there are much better options but how many are in that $200 price range? I can get the Aune T1 through eBay shipped here to the states (seller is located in US) for $198. So same price total as the Schiit combo. I do like Bassy headphones like the D5000′s so it sounds like the T1 will be the better option for what I have now. Would you concur?

        Thanks again,

        Andre

        • Julius

          Depends on your Tube choice. Some tubes are better on the low end than others, make sure you research first. I would choose the T1 for the sound staging qualities for use with the D5K, not the low end. Unfortunately, thats the only lacking qualities I can think of with the T1. But, there is a free DSP called Real Bass Exciter for Foobar2000 that makes the low end much more enjoyable. If not, Get a Digizoid Zo for your preamp.

  • Calvin Purnomo

    Quite curious down here about how they go along with the Beyer DT880.. Any clue? :D

    • Julius

      I thought it went really nicely with my DT880, but I own the 32 ohm version so I am not sure how the harder to drive versions would react on the Magni. I’d still invest in a Zo2 or a Cmoy BB+ as a pre amp if you are going to use it with any of the older generation Beyers.

      • Calvin Purnomo

        Can’t wait until this amp is sold in the other side of the world. Although I know that it’s very unlikely to happen :(

  • iMusicLover

    Hello Mike, i will go for Hifiman HE-500 my max budget for Amp, Dac are 300$ what do you recommend Schiit Magni/Modi or JDS Labs O2+Odac combo? And how you compare Lyr/Bifrost vs Magni/Modi for he 500 ? in future worth to invest for Schiit Lyr/Bifrost combo ?

    Regards Justin

    • Trent_D

      If using them for computer based audio (meaning a usb dac), it is a little unfair to compare $200 setups (Magni/Modi) to $900 setups (Lyr/Bifrost). For the he500, the Apex Butte or if you like tubes, the La Figaro 339 seem to be the heavy hitters. If you are going to save up, they might be the way to go.

      • Julius

        No its not. The Magni and Modi are not that far off in quality. Jason Specifically designed them to perform exceptionally well against their current mid range setups. I agree with the amplifier choices Trent offered for the HE500.

  • iMusicLover

    Julius what your nationality ? You are Lithuanian ? :)

    • Julius

      Gypsy

  • paranoidroid

    Sorry but this is just a horrible review. Seriously, once a reviewer claims they can hear a difference in USB cables or RCA cables (“My cheap Monoprice RCA interconnects sound atrocious”) I write them off. I recommend Headfonia start doing blind A/B tests and most of the good reviewers are starting to go this way. If you can hear a difference that way (and the difference between ‘atrocious’ and ‘great’ should be easy right?) and document it I’ll applaud you, until then this review is laughably poor. Sorry if this is harsh, but I think I’m ready to write off Headfonia due to this one :(

    • Julius

      I respect your opinion and thank you for the mini review on my piece. But, The quality of the Aune T1 and the Schiit Combo bests a lot of rigs that are 3x their price and well into the mid range set up price tier. The Monoprice cables do not react well to high voltage output and work disturbingly poorly on highly sensitive gear that can output something like 1.2watts. They also have no shielding what so ever and are poorly insulated and prone to signal interference and as a result ends up performing terribly in electrical resistance levels. My $60 Epiphany Atatrus is audibly better than the Monoprice Interconnect I have, due to proper shielding, proper blending of materials.

      Seems a bit harsh to write off an entire website based on one users personal opinion. I tend to agree with the sentiment that mid range cables and high priced cables sound the same. High priced cables $100 and up are useless and a rip off. However, the difference between the Monoprice $5.99 RCA cable to my Kimber GQmini or the Atratus IS audible. Just like balanced cables make the headphones sound different, or when cables and tubes are Cryo treated they end up sounding better. Toss Hifiman, Audeze, Sennheiser or Grado a message about this. I’ve already had the debate with them. Cheap Speaker cables to mid range quality is a step up in clarity and noise reduction. Mid range to immensely expensive cables is an absolute rip off.

      With all due respect, these experts are much smarter than most of us. I believe them when they tell me it is true and especially so when I have neigh 15 years testing, reviewing, comparing and contrasting headphones, cables, amplifiers and speakers on a near daily basis.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.thompson.5815 Eric Thompson

      RCA’s yes but I thought the part on USB cables was a little weird too its digital, If it makes a difference ripping the CD would change the sound and the act of putting it on your iPod would change the sound and moving it from one computer or another or on to an SD card would change the sound

      • http://www.facebook.com/eric.thompson.5815 Eric Thompson

        Plus theres the computer HDD and the cable to the HDD, nobody ever talks about replacing those for better sound so I’m pretty sure that the information makes it from the USB to the DAC fine

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

      Mike and myself normally do not state we can hear differences between cables. If we did we would review them and we do not do that at all. This is one of the reasons why it is important to understand the difference between a guest reviewer and a house reviewer. A guest reviewer’s point of view isn’t necessarily our point of view. And just so you know, Julius will no longer write for Headfonia, that’s his choice and it is not related to the content of his article/the cable thing. I can’t force you to stay however :D

      • paranoidroid

        Thanks for the clarification. I won’t write off the site just yet then ;) BTW this thread has been talking about the review. http://www.head-fi.org/t/640783/schiit-magni-headphone-amplifier/750#post_9032767

        • Julius

          No offense to the users on Head Fi, but there is an entire for sale area dedicated to just Cable sales that is booming. Expensive Cables are sold often. Nobody of credibility is talking about the review. They are all brand new users with no experience or firm ground in the audio community. Mateohead has a problem with understanding basic sentences and I would love to pick his reply apart:

          “Umm . . . what? Either it makes enough power, or it doesn’t. Amps don’t have bass quantity, headphones do.”

          -Not at all. Ortho headphones have exceptional Bass quality and in the case of the HE400, LCD3,LCD2 and the HE6, the bass is immensely pure and potent. The magni simply does not have the low end to deal with it and in the case of the HE4, the HE-5LE and the HE6, it has nowhere near enough power to satisfy their low ends. Now, as a ” I’ll need something to get my by for a little while” type of amplifier, the Magni is great. Was that not clear?

          So the amp hisses. That would make it BAD for IEMs and other headphones in general. Having hiss does not = quiet, real quiet. Unless you are are used to blaring hiss, I guess.

          -He didn’t read the sentence properly. The amount of hiss is very low, but its there. There is hiss on most amplifiers with sensitive Customs. Does he have the ClearTunes CT200 or any other sensitive IEMs? Hmm…I’m betting no. So why listen to him? The Magni is a fantastic iem amplifier for home use.

          I can’t really recall any portable amplifiers that claimed to compete with dedicated desktop equipment either, so this is a pretty apples to oranges pointless comparison. I am sure that my O2, at 1/1000 the price of some equipment is also “equally clear” – lol.

          -Try the TTVJ Slim, The PB2, the RSA SR71B. Once again, his inexperience shines through.

          I am equally sure that anyone that wants portability will never, ever buy the Magni. Because its not portable.

          -No offense to Audiophiles who are fine with large rigs, but I see people walking around with CLAS rigs all the time. A Cowon J3+Magni+one of the newer portable battery packs out there are the same size as the CLAS set up. His user has no idea what he is talking about. You can use the Magni near a wall outlet anywhere you go and hardly anyone would notice. College students are going to go nuts for this, as I recall sitting around waiting for class to start and plugging my laptop into the wall outlet near by.

          Doesn’t cut it in what areas? An amp can’t add bass or take it away, unless it is a s*** amp. So which is it?

          -Honestly, I have no idea what the heck this even means. With all due respect…what!?

          Got it – avoid using this amp with bassy, spacious headphones. Even though you’ve contradicted yourself for two pages, this rules out every buying this amp, since I doubt people are shopping for bass-less headphones with no soundstage.

          -Huh!? Bassless? How did we go from Bass Heavy headphones to bassless headphones. This user is clearly trying to twist my words around. Apparently, to this guy all amplifiers and headphones sound exactly the same. The Bottlehead crack sounds equally as large and spacious, equal in depth and dynamics as the Fiio E5. By his logic, this is a truthful statement.

          Guys, seriously. I made sure to mention that dirty cheap and old cables are probably not the best move for you to make and use with expensive headphones and amps. I went on to say that recycling a 10 year old printer B-USB cable is not the best idea to use with an expensive Ortho on a $99 Amplifier.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eric.thompson.5815 Eric Thompson

            Your being to nice, its your opinion on a subjective review, tell them to deal with it haha.

      • Trent_D

        Awww, Julius, where are you going?

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Please keep that discussion outside of this site.

          • Trent_D

            ok

        • Julius

          Originally, I only signed on to write for Headfonia for a few reviews. The remaining two products I planned to review on Headfonia are being delayed, so my time is up.

      • Julius

        Sorry, but you don’t have the experience I do on this subject L. Monoprice cables have no shielding and react poorly to high output voltage. Inference at high voltage levels is audible. 15 year old Printer B style cables are worn, torn, abused and degraded and by this point using them with a highly sensitive headphone on a $99 amplifier is a poor choice. The Atratus only costs $60 bucks, not very expensive at all. Budget to mid range cables will sound different but in my experiences the mid range to immensely overpriced cables is where the rip off begins. I’ve never heard any differences between my mid range cables and the super expensive ones. There IS a quality difference between my $5 monoprice RCA cable to the $60 Epiphany Atratus. Get them both together and decide for yourselves.

        • http://www.facebook.com/eric.thompson.5815 Eric Thompson

          Agreed

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-WIlkins-III/22912611 Will WIlkins III

          All USB cables have shielding. Ever open up a cheap USB cables? A USB cable is vastly different than an analog cable since a USB only sends data(1 and 0). Signal quality isn’t really a factor as long as the information arrives.

          If your USB cable is having serious issues it’s likely not going to work at all.

          Worst case senario is you need to add a clip on ferrite core($1) to a cheap usb cable or buy one with a ferrite core.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eric.thompson.5815 Eric Thompson

        You guys did do a cable review of the sennheiser calbes

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.thompson.5815 Eric Thompson

    What about the asgaurd and modi together? Is the bass issue with the magni or modi or both? and its it soft and lack impact or something or are they just more top down with less bass?

    • Julius

      I wouldn’t worry about it, Eric. Unless you are using something bass heavy, that shouldn’t be on your mind at all. The Magni and the Modi are linear sounding, no area sticks out more than the other, nothing is prominent over the other areas. Its a smooth experience in both of them. They are not immensely soft, nor lacking impact. They are right in the middle and have some impact, and plenty of a solid bass feel without being overbearing.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eric.thompson.5815 Eric Thompson

        D5000′s or HD650′s?

        I’v kind of decided I don’t wanna pay and extra $100 for the bifrost USB input so I’m thinking about the modi but its only $100 so I could easily afford the Asgard but I like the extra power from the Magni that normally you would have to go with the lyr or Valhalla to get.