I am the proud owner of an Asgard 3 with a 4490 card. It’s great. But, of course, I’m already thinking about the next thing, and I’m wondering about the dif a Modius would make. Would I even notice? How?
IIRC, many say that the 4490 card they put in the A3 isn’t all that great. So a Modius would likely be an upgrade in overall sound quality for one.
Second, you get more input options with the Modius. With the 4490 card you’re limited to USB input only. With the Modius you get USB, Toslink, Coaxial, and AES inputs.
Third, the Modius has a balanced output which is helpful if you ever want to upgrade your amp. It’s not that balanced is inherently better sounding but some higher-tier amps perform better from their balanced connections (Liquid Platinum, for example).
Fourth, apparently the DAC modules that go in the Asgard have a lower output level than standalone dacs. This reduces the overall output power the A3 can kick out.
Don’t know if you’ll be able to hear the difference in quality right away. However, if you listen to the Modius + A3 for a week or 2 and then switch back, you probably will.
Thanks. I think of all those reasons (since I’m ok with USB for now), the greater power output might be the more meaningful one, but it’s hard to tell.