Bigger Bang For My Buck - Digione Signature or Schiit Modi 3 Multibit

I’ve got a RasberryPi 4 with an Allo Digione Hat going into a Schiit Modi 3.

If I were to upgrade this modest setup, what would yield better sonic results? - upgrading to a Digione Signature (with the standard PSU)
Schiit Modi 3 Multibit and keeping the Allo Digione?

Will either of these two make any noticeable difference with a very basic amp, preamp and speakers.


If you’re intent on a new DAC, the Schiit Modi Multibit may not be the best choice. Both measurements and listening reviews appear to put the Modi 3 (particularly using S/PDIF) ahead of the Multibit.

Given the Schiit Modi 3 is a very good entry-level DAC, especially when paired with the excellent Allo DigiOne, you may do better spending money on new speakers or amp first–what do you have?

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Thank you, Martin. This is exactly the guidance I was looking for!

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Try a Khadas Tone Board.

I’ve had one about a month now and it’s fantastic.

Only £85 too.

There’s a lot of love on the Roon forums for it.

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Looking into that now… Thanks!

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Keep in mind that ESS-based DACs tend to sound a lot brighter than AKM-based designs like the Modi 3. Personally, for delta-sigma DACs, I’ve never liked ESS-based designs. Of course, your taste could be the opposite. Schiit multibit designs (I’ve not heard the Modi multibit, but I’ve owned the old Bifrost multibit and I own the Yggdrasil) are to my ears smoother in the highs, more dynamic in the lows, and more realistic (I listen to lots of live music for reference) than ESS-based designs I’ve listened to. TL; DR my feeling is that Modi 3 is closer in overall presentation to Schiit multibit than to a typical ESS-based DAC.

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Agreed. I do listen at low volume levels usually so the extra brightness works well at bringing through the details.

I use a Modi 2 multi bit with an Allo Digione. Great combo.

1 Like is the place to go for measurements and numbers. It’s cut and dry numbers only, not listening tests (which is more important), but sometimes other users will chip in with their take. I’m sure both those DACS are on there.

I have no experience with the Schiit products so can’t comment…however…the beauty of the digi sig is the ability to run the digital i2s to spdif side via battery. If you don’t want to do that just stick with the regular digione.
I can say that I’ve found over the last few years that each time I improve the quality of the digital signal, music (out of the same dac…that hasn’t changed) sounds more relaxed and less digital.
Mo better.
Have fun

I think you’re all forgetting that the Modi 3 is a £100 DAC; upgrading to the Signature is not going to benefit the OP in this instance. I really think he’d get better bang for his buck upgrading either speakers or amp

@Jerry_Zigmont what amplifier and speakers do you have?

O.K. Barring my soul here. A blast from the 80’s:

Adcom GTP-500 PreAmp
Acurus A250 Power Amplifier
Revel Performa m20’s

Open to suggestions… Don’t be afraid to tell me to throw something out.

Well there’s nothing wrong with the speakers or power amp. The preamp is very old, so may need servicing, but if the MKII is anything to go by you have a respectable system.

I’ll pose another question … why are you thinking of upgrading either DAC or transport? What do you want to improve upon?

Well, that’s good to hear.

This all came about because I needed another Roon endpoint and was thinking that there might some small improvement or change to the existing DAC setup. Whatever I discarded, I would use for the other endpoint.

I assume that the Tone Board will sound different, so I am willing to make the $99 investment and give it a listen.

Is your pre-amp even necessary? I haven’t used one in years!

Looking at reviews of that gear, speakers and power amp look very good, but the pre seems rather dated, and with not as good SNR as you could get now Something like this has much better SNR for a fairly low price.

PS: Just occurred to me that some good current DACs with digital volume control could replace your Modi + pre setup. This in particular, which is the baby sibling of the dac1541 I have at work and find a close runner-up to much pricier DACs.

Thank you, @Fernando_Pereira . That is very helpful and an affordable upgrade.

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Just added another suggestion to my earlier post.

That’s not a given. Well designed DACs have evolved to the point that differences are very subtle, if audible at all. And the one’s that do sound distinctly different do so by sacrificing accuracy. The primary factor is actually how much clean voltage can you get over the noise floor, and is the noise floor of the DAC/endpoint below the noise floor of your listening environment.

I agree with Fernando that unless you’re using the preamp to switch between other inputs, you can likely get significant improvements going straight from a DAC to your power amp directly. However, personally I wouldn’t recommend a R2R architecture DAC, but if you can get one to audition without too much trouble then why not? If I were in the market for a DAC/Pre combo the RME Adi-2 would be at the top of my list.

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I’m a fan of some R2R designs that to my ears bring me closer to the live acoustic music that I listen to very often. I recommended the Soekris unit because of its price and my positive experience with that particular design. I don’t know a comparably priced delta-sigma DAC/amp that I’ve heard. The RME ADI-2 is quite a bit more expensive.