Schiit Magni and Modi – First Listen

Schiit Stack 2

UPDATE 1/17/13 – Apparently, the Magni itself didn’t break. The AC adapter, however, did. Curious, I tested the Magni with the 12VAC adapter I bought for the O2+ODAC and, lo and behold, the Magni turned on and functioned as normal. I plugged the other adapter into the O2 and it didn’t work. I contacted the folks at Schiit and they’re sending me a replacement AC adapter. So, I guess my earlier complaints were a bit unjustified.

UPDATE 1/9/13 – The Shit broke.

No that wasn’t a typo.

Less than one full day after I received the things, the Magni won’t turn on. Just…perfect. Just freaking perfect.

After thinking of upgrading from my Fiio E7+E9 combo that has served me well for a little over two years, I waffled back and forth between merely upgrading to another Amp from Fiio’s catalog, going for another well reviewed combo, the NwAvGuy developed Objective 2 and ODAC and another amplifier and DAC set from Schiit Audio, a startup headphone amplifier and DAC company based in California, the Magni amplifier and Modi DAC.

I’m guessing you already know the decision I ended up making.

Yes, I bought the Schiit Magni/Modi combo for a little under $200 plus shipping. This wasn’t, however, without a great deal of consideration and contemplation. I like being an informed consumer, especially when the price of whatever I’m looking at is in the triple digits. With prices for the O2 and built in ODAC reaching up towards $300, this wasn’t a decision made lightly and in the end, it came down to a handful of comparisons I came across on Head-Fi comparing the Schiit Stack (Pile of Schiit?) with the O2 + ODAC combo. I’ve read many of them but this wonderfully succinct comparison/review was my favorite, the two are virtually identical in terms of subjective listening performance.

Notice I said “subjective”.

Schiit Stack 5

There aren’t any objective measurements of the Magni and Modi as far as I know but I was feeling a bit adventurous and I was willing to give the Schiit Stack a chance.

My box o’ Schiit arrived today. I took them upstairs, tore the package open, plugged them in, turned on the Magni (the Modi is always on when the computer is) plugged in my HD 600s and started to listen. Impressions?

This is some goooooooood Schiit.

No, seriously. It sounds really good. It’s better than the E9 +E7/E10 combo I’ve been using as far as I can remember (no I haven’t done any double blind A/B comparisons. I just got the things) and…well, that’s it. What do you want me to say? It looks nice, it sounds good and it’s relatively cost effective.

And as far as I’m concerned, that’s good enough for me.

About Justin McBride

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  1. disqus_6P1E9TkAV4

    I see you have the HD 600 in the photo. Do they pair up well with it and how much of an improvement do you notice comparing the Magni/Modi with slightly more expensive or cheaper amps/dacs? I’m considering buying the m&m stack for my HD 600. Thanks.

    • Well, the main thing I noticed about the Magni is what I didn’t notice. I didn’t really “hear” the M/M stack in my setup, all I heard was the music and the HD 600. This sounds a bit cryptic but the point is that the Magni and Modi were transparent in my short time listening to them. I don’t have them anymore so I’m saying all of this purely from memory but I’d say the M/M are definitely better than the Fiio E9 and E7 Amp/DAC set I was using prior and about on the same level as the O2 + ODAC. I’m using the O2 + ODAC as my daily amp and DAC set and I have nothing but good things to say about it but I don’t know if it’s about $100 better than the M/M stack overall.

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