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ebodt
51
Oct 18, 2015
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It's really quite amusing that the alternative that keeps popping up here is Schiit.
http://nwavguy.blogspot.no/2011/07/banned-at-head-fi.html
Oct 18, 2015
socks_OCD
224
Oct 19, 2015
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After owning and then selling schiit modi 1, magni 1 and asgard 2.... I'd never recommend any schiit product. I've not owned an o2 or odac, so no comment there. I agree that head-fi can be a lot of hype, but reddit is no better and taking someone elses words without any first hand experience with the product. I'm not a redditor either. On head-fi you have to know when to pick your battles and avoid bashing a product that has a loyal customer base + sponsor on head-fi. Both Audeze and Schiit products have huge markups imo due to excessive marketing and they get away with it thanks to the hype train following. You won't find me saying this on head-fi as I don't want to get banned asap. I choose to recommend an alternative or say nothing. Users that speak out against some of these products and sponsors, even when being polite, get banned permanently.
I'll admit I'm biased to prefer some other brands/manufacturers products because I've had a good experience with them. It's as simple as that. The only time you recommend a bad product is to push sales and last I checked I'm not an e/retailer of audio products. Lol.
Sorry for the off-topic commentary O2 drop participants. On topic, if you're considering the O2 or the magni... skip the magni.
Oct 19, 2015
DeathbyMusic
157
Oct 19, 2015
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I think many of us here who are considering the O2/ODAC combo have come across the Schiit M&Ms as an alternative choice. Being that is the case, I think I speak for at least a few others here when I say that I'm curious to know more about your experience with Schiit. Perhaps you can tell us what you liked about Schiit, or didn't. And of course, why you'd never recommend the brand.
Thanks for your input thus far.
Oct 19, 2015
eddd
27
Oct 19, 2015
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I've purchased a Valhalla 2 from Schiit and I'm quite happy with my purchase. And I'd say it's quite good for the price, so I don't really understand your claim of them having a "huge markup". And it's very unhelpful to badmouth them without providing details on your experience. Furthermore, why would you purchase 3 products from them if they were so awful? I would think that you probably made at least 2 separate purchases since two of the products you mentioned are amps.
Oct 19, 2015
socks_OCD
224
Oct 19, 2015
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I replaced a Xonar Essence STX w/ upgraded opamps with an original Schiit stack. The performance gains were close to null. I replaced the Magni with an Asgard 2 as I could take advantage of the active pre-amp functionality having some KRK Rokit 8G3's. Either the Modi 1 or Magni 1 were bright. Hell, both could be bright. I felt the same way with the Asgard 2 which is supposed to be a warm solid state amp; it's still bright. Bright dac + amp + bright headphone = garbage user end experience. A lot of Schiit's dacs are also prone to noise. Why do you think Schiit offers their Wyrd? I have a really garbage excuse for a "finished basement" that delivers some questionable power; it's not clean by any means. I ended up buying a usb power isolator regardless, so that might not be Schiit's fault 100%.
I had a FiiO E18 for a good stint and would pick it over the Schiit gear without question. That said, I didn't care much for the E18's amp section when I used it's line-out to a dedicated amp. My iBasso DX90 makes for a better user end experience than all of those products mentioned above when paired with a bright headphone and my music preference. YMMV of course. Warm and smooth.
"Why did I purchase that many products if they were so awful?" How can you tell if a product is indeed quality with a lack of experience and nothing to compare it to? Call me a sucker. Taking word of mouth reiterated nonsense that was spewed by one too many that had already drank the koolaid or are quoting some reviewer's impressions of the product. They sucked compared to what I've enjoyed from other manufacturers offerings which at the time I had not had the pleasure to hear yet. I wouldn't know that if I remained ignorant to everything else and only listened to the Modi/Magni/Asgard 2. Having an analog volume control was the biggest advantage over my soundcard, so at the time that is all I really cared about in terms of performance advantages.
I believe synergy plays a big role in whether or not a headphone may sound unappealing to your ears. Bright, grainy, harsh, sibilant reproduction that was riddled with noise is not going to be my first choice. A lot of my headphones have been on the bright side of the spectrum. Maybe if I was pairing and excessively warm/dark headphone my experience may have been different. I don't like dark headphones...
My current Matrix Mini-i Pro has plenty of I/O, an LED display, a remote control, digital volume control if you need it. It's an active pre/amp/dac (AIO; all-in-one) solution. It's 10 ohm hp output impedance doesn't make it the best pairing for low impedance headphones either. It's input is equally prone to noise as the Modi and E18 in my system; this is why I added a usb power isolator to the chain. It has a balanced output too. It even has the option to adjust its decay: choose 'fast' or 'slow'. I don't recall hearing of any other product to offer such a feature. I leave it on fast... It offers DSD which who cares about? Not me. Native ASIO is more useful which it also includes. The Mini-i Pro is feature packed for it's just beyond entry-level pricing. Even with all of that said, I use it particularly as a dedicated dac and pre-amp.
My opinion of the Mini-i Pro wasn't in their favor at all initially. My product ended up dying on me within the first two weeks of ownership. That sucked. No audio product I had owned prior had done so before or after that isolated incident. However, their customer service was excellent and I got it fixed/replaced in a timely manner. I've had no issues with it since that fluke event.
I pair my Mini-i Pro with my Violectric HPA V100 which is clearly in another price bracket. Price doesn't dictate performance, but this amp isn't f$%#$%#$ing bright or grainy like the two Schiit amps that I tried and it doesn't underpower even my DT990/600 or planars. It's pre-gain stage is an excellent feature as well allowing for proper listening levels from IEM's to power hungry headphones. It won't do a Hifiman HE-6 justice, but few amps do... The pairing of the Mini-i Pro + HPA V100 makes for a very smooth, coherent sound. I experience no harshness from my DT990/600 which is excellent. I have paired my Ultrasone Signature Pro with it as well without any harsh treble or impedance mismatching. I'm biased because my experience hasn't been schiity.
My opinion of the HPA V100 has always been in their favor. It does everything that my prior amplifiers failed to do. It really is that simple. My ears weren't being bombarded with overly hot, harsh and piercing treble. The hp output impedance is so low that it should be impossible to have an impedance mismatch. There is no channel imbalance to be found. All except for the first 2 steps of it's analog volume control knob are audible/usable.
I tried the pairing with my HD600 before I sold them and it let me know that I don't care for the HD600. I dislike the HD600 just like the Modi, Magni, Asgard 2, E18, etc. It isn't for me; if you like it, great. Audio is all personal anyways. The goal is for YOU to ENJOY it. Not force yourself to bend you will to someone else's expectations and impressions of the product. I gave my Fidelio X2 a good, hard try with the Mini-i Pro + V100. The X2 was much more enjoyable compared to the schiit and fiio offerings that I had, but it was still too warm and felt slow due to it's decay. It made for an easy, relaxed reproduction of audio. I could listen to music for hours, but it was boring. Simply a clash of preferences. There are other headphones I don't like on any level due to a lack of a proper seal or overall comfort.
I feel like I'm going into excess detail for no actual gain for either myself or the user who will read this comment. If you like individual ____ manufacturer product offerings, feel free to enjoy and praise them. I do the same thing. I don't always bash products, but seeing as the O2/ODAC and Modi/Magni are recommended so frequently due to their price.... I felt that I would include my own user experience, albeit lacking specifics. I don't see the point in buying a cheaper product if you're going to be prone to buyer's remorse and look to replace it ASAP. What a waste of money. Buy used if that's your plan. You lose less money in the long run. You don't have to agree with my opinions and experiences either.
Your experience with a Valhalla 2 could be completely different from my experience with Schiit as I only tried their SSA amps and none of the OTL or hybrid amps.
I'll be in the market for a balanced amplifier within the next year. Should I consider a Schiit Mjolnir 2? No. Why? It's a bright amplifier and that clashes with what I plan on pairing it with. Should I consider a Schiit Rangnarok? No. It sound like an excessively boring amp being too soft and polite. I'll likely buy another Violectric amplifier [HPA V181/V281] as their house sound makes my ears pleased and puts a smile on my face. Due to my positive experience with their HPA V100 amplifier, I'm interested in potentially replacing my Mini-i Pro with one of their dac offerings as well [V800/V820/V850].
I mentioned Audeze due to their excessive driver failures with regard to their LCD-3 headphones. I would never buy a $2000 anything that is prone to product failures having known beforehand. The LCD-2 hit the market at a lower price than it currently sits at as well. How isn't that a markup? Their LCD-4 is $3995. No thanks. Not under any circumstance, but especially imo considering if it might be prone to the same driver failings of the LCD-3. Audeze also has trouble with regard to product variations on an individual level. Ultrasone does as well to be fair and I'm sure there are more manufacturer's prone to the same QA/QC issues. Put a few LCD's next to each other, even from the same production run, and one might sound brighter by a good margin in direct comparison. Oh, I suppose I'm quoting multiple users end experience and of course people with a bad user end experience are more prone to be vocal online about it as opposed to a good experience.... fair enough. You can choose to ignore that entirely or look it up and decide for yourself if you value their input on the subject or deem it not worth respecting.
I respect everyone's input on every matter. That doesn't mean I have to agree with them or the majority. If you don't care about anything I said here, that's okay. Life goes on. If you enjoy any of these products that I personally dislike, that's okay. All the better for you personally. At the end of the day I hope that each individual's end experience is one of satisfaction. If that only requires some apple earpods, congratulations. You're lucky and have more money to spend on other things! lol.
I'm sure that I've covered a lot of this in my previous Massdrop comments at some point, albeit some might be dated (no longer my current opinion). My profile is public on here and all it would take is some scrolling. I'll add : http://www.head-fi.org/t/715478/headphones-for-metal-music-ultimate-solution/2640#post_11972379 and http://www.head-fi.org/t/715478/headphones-for-metal-music-ultimate-solution/2670#post_11985675 If anyone cares, my head-fi profile: http://www.head-fi.org/u/419059/socks-mk2
Oct 19, 2015
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