Adding a Modius to my Asgard?

I use an Asgard 3 with an onboard DAC card and am quite happy with it.

If I were to add to it a Modius, how much of a difference would it actually make? I understand that an external DAC would mean I’d be able to benefit from the A3’s full power. I’m not sure what that means though, esp. as at the moment I use gear that doesn’t require a lot of power, an HD660S, and Campfire Andromeda.

Would either sound better? Or would it only matter if I were to get cans that require more power?

Edit: the DAC in my A3 is an Ak 4490.

I run single-ended.

Doesn’t the Modius and the Asgard DAC card both use the same ES9028 chip? I would expect the modius to basically just be an enclosure around that chip with extra inputs/outputs, and you’re not going to get much benefit. What do you mean by “full power”?

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They both use the same chip, but the DAC cards have a lower output voltage so the Asgard can’t get as loud because it’s amplifying a weaker signal. At least, I assume that’s what OP is referring to.

To OP, I have never heard the ES9028 DAC card. I know what the differences between the multibit card and the Modi Multibit and Bifrost are like and they are very worthwhile, IMO. Whether that translates to the same or similar performance gains on the ESS DACs, I have no idea. As you mentioned though, you would at least be gaining a stronger output voltage and thus more power. With your current gear that might not mean much, but if you move on to harder to drive cans, it may come to mean the difference between being able to adequately drive a pair of headphones or not so if you intend to keep growing and expanding that futureproofing alone might be worth it. Hopefully someone else can chime in here and be more helpful.


Think the biggest difference would be that the modius has unsion USB and the integrated DAC hasn’t, that should give you better signalbut like always DAC upgrades are highly personal and you’ll have to search for the improvement but once you’ll hear it it’s hard to go back to lesser DACs :smiling_face_with_tear:
On another node why not try a modi multibit as an r2r flavor and see if that could give you more of a change for your money :wink:

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On that note, I got a new Modi Multibit 2 for Christmas and I have been very impressed by it.

To OP: If you cruise on over to the Modi Multibit 2 thread in the DACs section of the electronics subforum, you can read a summary of my thoughts and impressions. There’s also a growing thread over on head-fi that has more impressions from me and a lot of input from plenty of other owners.

I think the MMB2 is the best DAC I have heard for anywhere close to its price tag so it’s definitely something to consider unless you’re committed to a Delta Sigma DAC in general or and ESS chip based dac in specific. Also, if you’re specifically looking for balanced output from the DAC, the MMB2 is only single ended. I think @DuerumBen is definitely on to something with suggesting that MMB2 as a DAC likely to provide a greater difference from your current card.

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I guess - you can drive Argons with the A3 + DAC card though so I don’t think extra power is realistically that valuable.

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The DAC card does have Unison USB, just look at their product page.

OP here: i hadn’t realized that schiit had updated the DAC chip in the card. My A3 is somewhat older: the onboard DAC chip is an Ak 4490. Does that change the equation for you all?

I’ve heard some people prefer the AK4490, but in my personal opinion, in terms of making a difference to your experience, I would invest into other headphones first, other amps second, other designs of DACs (like r2r) third and other solid state DACs last.

Gonna second @JAnonymous5150 on Schiit Modi Multibit 2. Got one in for review and am thoroughly impressed. Quick take is Schiit has yet again warped the price/performance curve in the positive direction with this one.


i noticed that the multibit 2 has a swappable opamp socket and passion for sound said it was a little on the soft side. couldn’t help but wonder if a punchier opamp could work some magic in that thing.

When I get home to my op amp collection I will definitely try a few options just for kicks. That said, I have been very pleased with it’s sound stock. I don’t find it to be soft or lacking punch, though I do think his has a slightly smooth character to its sound when the MegaComboBurrito filter is engaged that may be what is being referred to. As for punch, it provides great dynamics, especially in the low end so I don’t find it lacking in punch.

Thus far I am finding the MMB2 to be a particularly sweet match with many of my planar headphones, particularly the HE6, HE6SE, and HE560. It seems to have great synergy with the older Hifiman presentation. This DAC has the ability to soubd refined with a touch of smoothness or dynamically edgy depending on what the music calls for. They way in renders the harmonics from acoustic instruments, transients/decay, and spatial cues/info is not something I’m used to hearing from a DAC in the price range. IMO, with the MMB2 Schiit has created the best DAC that I’m aware of for the money and a bit more.

Edit: I haven’t even cracked the MMB2 open yet. I hadn’t even thought about op amp rolling until you mentioned it, but that does sound like fun.

Not mine and I haven’t used one before, but someone is selling the MMB2.

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Wow, that’s a pretty good deal. The silver case MMB2s go for $319 plus tax and shipping from Schiit (black case is only $299) so $265 is a nice discount for something that is only a month and a half old.

Edit: To be clear, I have no affiliation with the seller and am in no way vouching for him. Just commenting in general.