🔷 Schiit Modi Multibit 2

This is the official thread for the Schiit Modi Multibit 2 This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Point1: Multibit
  • Point2: Inputs…USB, Toslink SPDIF, Coaxial SPDIF
  • Point3 Output RCA (single ended)

:red_circle: Schiit Link

[Reviews]

Z Reviews…

One of these should be landing on my porch sometime today. Review coming, of course. Stay tuned!

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I got one for Christmas from my girl and I think it’s pretty killer. I have done some back to back listening with the Bifrost 2, Ares 2, Soekris DAC1321 and DAC1421, and the Audio GD R2R-11 Mk2 and it does very well. I have purchased an OG Mimby with the updated firmware so I can listen against that, but I won’t be able to do that until I am home for a few days later this month.

Overall, the MMB2 is a very good value and is my favorite DAC I have tried until you get to the Bifrost 2/Ares 2 level. When I get a chance, I will transfer some comments I made on the head-fi product thread about the DAC itself and it’s performance against others over to this thread for people to check out.

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Here is my initial reaction post from the MMB2 thread on Head-fi. I’ll search out and find some others to add, but this has some good general impressions regarding the MMB2 and it’s comparison to the Bifrost 2 and Ares 2 in it. Quoted post below:

I am currently on the road and will be for the majority of the next 18 months. Knowing this and that I have a penchant for Multibit/R2R DACs, my fiancee snagged me one of these MMB2s so that I could stack it with my Magni 3+, Piety, or whatever other amp I decided to take with me for my hotel room desktop rig. Gotta love a woman who knows and supports your interests like that, huh?

I actually ended up selling the Piety because I just didn’t enjoy its treble presentation, but in the time before I headed out and the couple weeks I have been bouncing around I have tried the MMB2 on everything from the Magni 3+ and my self designed and built amp to the JDS Labs El Amp 2+, GS-X Mini, and Ferrum Oor/Hypsos stack and I couldn’t be more impressed. I have ample experience with other Multibit/R2R DACs from the budget Massdrop Airist to mid level offerings like the Ares 1&2 and Audio GD stuff to Soekris 1321/1421/2541, Musician Pegasus/Draco/Aquarius, Chord Qutest/Mojo/Hugo/TT2/Dave, SMSL VMV D3, Gustard R26, Holo Audio Cyan/Spring 2/ May KTE, vintage Theta Digital, etc. I have also owned or own the Schiit Yggy and the Bifrost 2 and I won’t even go into the countless DS DACs I have had over the years. I wrote out that whole list because I wanted my assessment to have context and, hopefully, to carry some weight/credibility coming from someone who has ample experience guiding his opinion.

I like multibit/r2r DACs in general for many reasons some of which come down to individual DACs and implementations, but some are properties that I have found to be general to the technology. In general, I find that multibit/r2r DACs tend to recreate space and spatial cues better than their DS counterparts, they seem to layer better keeping instruments separate, detailed, and discernable from one another in busy or complex mixes/tracks, and they tend to have a smoother, effortless, more organic/natural presentation that I find not only enjoyable, but less fatiguing. I will add the caveat that these advantages over DS DACs don’t exist 100% of the time, especially as you get into higher quality DS implementations and also, that these are just my opinions guided by my experience and I’m not here to debate them.

The MMB2 specifically, does a wonderful job bringing all of those general multibit traits to the table, rendering music (I haven’t tried other audio yet) beautifully! When I initially was given this DAC, I kinda figured I was about to get some watered down, mediocre multibit implementation that would bear only a passing resemblance to well implemented multibit/R2R DACs that I really dig. I mean, let’s be honest, $299 is a shoestring budget for putting out a multibit DAC, which is why you don’t see many options near that price. That said, I was very surprised with just how well done the multibit implementation on the MMB2 is.

I have owned the Massdrop Airist in the past which was near this price when released ($350) and I liked it, but it was a much less refined R2R DAC that was a good intro to the sound. The Airist, IMO, was all about giving you a taste of the R2R sound, but it still had quite a few wrinkles and shortcomings holding it back like some blurred imaging, it didn’t have crisp transients, its presentation could come across as blunted or dulled, etc. The MMB2 doesn’t ask me to forgive those types of issues in order to have the multibit sound at this price. It renders detail effortlessly on all my 16/44.1 to 24/192 tracks, transients are crisp, dynamics are bold, and the space, separation, and layering are well beyond anything I am used to hearing near this price.

Differences between the MMB2s performance and some of the mid level favorites like the Bifrost, Ares 2, etc are VERY minor. I’m not going to do the “MMB2 gives you X% of the Bifrost” thing, but I will say that you’re paying twice as much for some slight improvments and that with the MMB2, Schiit has really created a product that will force many to reexamine where diminishing returns no longer justify the price increase for themselves. With some of the midfi R2R/multibit favorites like the Bifrost, you’re getting a bit more of the layering and spacial rendering, a touch more detail, and a touch more refinement mostly in the treble, but I can’t stress enough how minor those increases are. I’d like to add that for the first week I had the MMB2, I spent 2 days with the Bifrost side by side and 1 day with the Ares 2 and Audio GD R2R-11 Mk2 side by side. Once I heard the MMB2, I borrowed these DACs because I no longer owned any of them and wanted to see if what I was hearing and remembering was accurate. I don’t think the R2R-11 keeps up with the MMB2 or the others and I’ll leave it at that for the purpose of brevity…kinda.

*Edit: After a question I got over PM, let me just add this. For most tracks the differences between the MMB2 and Bifrost are neither apparent nor important, IMO/IME. On the tracks where they are discernable you will need to be listening critically to pick them out. I hope that gives some extra context to what I mean when I say the differences are slight.

I think what Schiit have done here is basically created the best DAC I have heard in the sub ~$600 bracket. I haven’t heard them all obviously, but it beats out the common competition from the likes of JDS, other Schiit, Topping, Geshelli, SMSL, Fiio, etc. with one big if. It’s only the best IF you prefer your DACs to have those multibit/R2R characteristics. I know some folks that prefer the more etched and clinical presentation of DS DACs. If anyone has any questions regarding a certain comparison or anything else, just ask it here and I’ll be happy to answer, but please note that I have a pretty hectic and irregular schedule while on the road so it might take me a day or so to check in a respond so please be patient. If you have been on the fence about the MMB2, I think you should grab one for sure and if you have the chance to give one a listen, please do yourself the favor. The value the MMB2 represents for the price to performance ratio attached to it is really incredible and Schiit should be applauded for releasing what is, IMO, a product that kinda redefines its price bracket. I really don’t think this level of sonic performance has been available at this price point before.

P.S. Sorry for the essay. I came on here to post this because I feel really strongly about just how amazing the MMB2 is for just $300 plus shipping and tax (my girl says it came out to something like $335 total for mine). I don’t normally do much forum and/or impressions posting when I’m busy on the road, but I felt that I needed to make time to do it for this product because of it being something truly special in my book. I hope this was useful, helpful, and enjoyable. TL;DR: MMB2 is good Schiit!

Edit 2: The “SuperComboBurrito” filter used on the MMB2 is really a testament to the quality of work and skill that Mike Moffat, Jason Stoddard, and Schiit put into this DAC. The NOS setting is interesting and useful on certain albums and tracks, but the filtered setting is really how you experience this Multibit implementation at its best, IMO, and boy is it good!

Edit 3: I wanted to add this edit specifically for HFG. I have come to find more and more situations where I find the NOS filter quite useful so my comment in the edit above about the SuperComboBurrito filter being the best is not as cut and dry as I thought it to be at that point. I think both the NOS mode and the filter have different strengths and both are quite useful. The subsequent convo on the head-fi thread has made that apparent over there, but I’m including this edit to make sure it’s apparent here as well.

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I have an OG Mimby with the firmware update waiting for me at home. When I fly back to SoCal for my birthday in a couple weeks I am definitely looking forward to doing some side by side listening with the MMB2. Some of the comments I have read from people who have heard both caught my attention and have me anxious to hear the differences for myself. I also happen to have an OPA1656 available to replace the stock op amp. I have read in a few places about that being a great mod that really brings up the level of performance from the Mimby.

Also, I’m looking at borrowing a Hifiman EF400 from a friend or perhaps just buying one to compare with the MMB2 as I have been asked a couple times if I have heard and can compare both. I know it’s a combo and not a pure DAC, but it is another option that folks interested in Multibit/R2R DACs are looking at along with the MMB2 so I figured it would be interesting to see how the two compare. TBH, I have been interested in trying the EF400 anyways and likely would have picked one up at some point anyways.

And for the record, I continue to be VERY impressed by the MMB2. It easily bests any of the other DACs that I have heard anywhere near its price point. It brings a whole lot to the table that I’m not used to having available for only $300 plus tax and shipping. I would encourage anyone who’s looking for a new DAC that won’t break the bank to put the MMB2 on their shortlist for consideration and do it while you still can since Schiit only did one run and it’ll be going away after stock runs out until they get more parts or do a redesign with more readily available parts.

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I have owned the Massdrop Airist R2R DAC before, but I’m meeting up with a friend of mine who owns one tomorrow so I can do a good side by side session with the Airist. My friend is interested is potentially buying the MMB2 so this is a perfect opportunity for him to get a demo and for me to get to do another comparison side by side with one of the few R2R/Multibit options available near the MMB2’s price range. If you’re interested stay tuned and I’ll post some impressions here.

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Curious how this would compare with the aune X8 18th Anniversary Edition DAC that’s been getting a lot of attention lately. I’m in the market at this price point and interested if either of these is significantly better than the other.

I haven’t heard the X8, but I think the two devices are very different. Aune has packed just about every connectivity feature they can into the X8 and they also made it 32/768/DS512 compliant in the decoding. Maybe I just missed it, but they also don’t seem to include what chips or decoding tech they’re using in the X8 aside from that its FPGA controlled which doesn’t tell us much as that can range from high end fully bespoke designs like Chord stuff uses to off the shelf solutions of various qualities.

So basically, if all that connectivity and higher decoding ability is something you’re gonna use, then the MMB2 doesn’t have it. Sound wise, the only Aune DAC I have tried before is the X1s and I left that experience thinking I could get that sound for less. That said, the X1s is using an ES9038 with filters Aune developed and implemented so without knowing what they have under the hood on the X8 it’s hard to know how useful thoughts about the X1s are likely to be. I’ll keep my fingers cross for you that someone does a comparison on the sound. It would be interesting. :crossed_fingers:

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Quite a glowing report from an Experienced person, thanks.
I bought the BF2 a few months ago…but I won’t say sadly! :wink:

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And you shouldn’t be sad about it at all. I owned the BF 2/64 until it got sold of with a bunch of other gear to fund my high end adventures over the last year or so and it is a great DAC no doubt. I don’t think we’re going to see a trend of folks downsizing from their BF of choice to the MMB2. It’s just a great option that gets you very close.

Thanks for the kind words, BTW. I’m just trying to put the word out there about just how good I think the MMB2 because I really was quite surprised, even shocked by it myself. I’m heading home on Sunday morning and I’ll get to give the OG Mimby a listen. I’m very interested to hear what’s different, what’s the same, and where it fits into the pecking order for me. I really have a ton of fun doing stuff like this for kicks. :sunglasses:

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Read a review recently that said something about the MM2 “clicking” when it switches back and forth from different bit sample rates (I think). As I’d probably be using this more for TV/hometheater in addition to CD playback, that caused me some concern. Any thoughts?

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JAnonymous5150 said:

“So basically, if all that connectivity and higher decoding ability is something you’re gonna use, then the MMB2 doesn’t have it.”

That’s a good point. I would be basically using it for a two channel home theater application and CD playback, both mainly over headphones. (live in a condo so can’t blast speakers :wink:)

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It has a muting relay that clicks in the unit itself when the sample rate changes and when it goes in and out of standby. The click is very soft and it doesn’t come through the headphones, speakers, etc. When I’m sitting basically right next to it I don’t even find it annoying when the bit rate is changing every couple tracks on a shuffled playlist. With something like a TV setup your audio is mostly going to be presented at the same bitrate all the time so it would just click once when you start and a couple minutes after you stop. That’s it.

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Also when playing back a CD, that’s all at the same sample rate so it would basically click once when the audio starts and once anytimes you stop for long enough that it drops into standby which will have more to do with your listening habits and how quickly your CD transport goes into standby itself.

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FWIW, I mostly listen by the album even if I’m streaming from Qobuz or my locally stored downloads so for me it generall clicks once softly at the beginning of an album, clicks once softly anytime the sample rate of the next album is different, and clicks once if I pause things for a couple minutes and again when I resume. Point being, in sessions many hours long it’s only clicking a handful of times. For me it doesn’t matter because I don’t find the click bothersome and if I’m not paying attention it doesn’t even register anymore. Based on your use case it would click even less. I should also add that I have showed my MMB2 off to a lot of people and all of them have agreed that it’s a non-issue for them as well.

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