DAC resolution?

I have a question about DAC resolution. My library is mostly FLAC, and some are high-res from HDTracks or whatever. I do have some 24/192 files, and in general I’m trying to buy files with the highest quality as I move forward. My main setup is a Pi 3 with a Hifiberry Digi+ endpoint feeding a Schiit Modi (the original one, with Toslink/Coax inputs). The Schiit handles up to 24/96. Assuming everything else is the same, is it worthwhile upgrading the DAC to get 24/192 capability?

Probably not, but that depends on your sound system and your ears. That said, what’s worthwhile doesn’t seem to be a factor for many here.


To add, the DAC is one of the least important parts of your system, and it doesn’t make sense to upgrade it unless you have your speakers and room sorted out.


I could not disagree more with this statement. Literally everything I play goes through my DAC. It me it is the most important part of my system.

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Well, everything you play goes through the speakers, and the amp and resonates in the room. (Obviously different for headphones). However, changes to those elements do not necessarily have the same “bang for the buck”.

I rate changes this way… Room, (Speakers, Amp), DAC, Source (Mastering over Resolution). The DAC is on the list, but, not at the top of the list.

So, if someone is wanting to change DACs, great, but, if they haven’t sorted out the items higher in the chain, then any benefit from changing the DAC might not be heard.

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I think it probably depends on what is the weakest link in your system at the time.

Thanks! This makes sense to me. I’m sorting out how this is going to work and where I want to put endpoints, so I’ll get that all sorted out before upgrading.

I think it would be worth upgrading the to Modi Multi, for the multibit filter (96k or less). Higher than 96k files are played in NOS mode. So you can still play native 24/192. But, don’t upsample. If your files are 96 or lower, leave them. The benefit of the filter outweighs any upsampling benefits. Obviously, imho, having listened extensively to the Modi Multi.

Imho, highest quality is absolutely not necessarily the highest resolution. Quality begins at the mastering/remix level. So, I suggest chasing the best masterings and remixes before any resolution. A fantastically mastered 16/44.1 release will destroy a 24/192 recording from a horrible mastering. So, mastering/remixing matters, resolution not so much.


Oh yeah, to be clear, I’m not just buying high res files for the high res part.

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Sorry, I didn’t mean it from a functional perspective. In that case, they are clearly very important. However, virtually all good DACs sound alike - their job is simply to ensure that the digital signal in, equals the audio signal out. Anything else is distortion. And any minor differences between DACs will be lost to the far greater impacts of speakers and rooms, where such transparency does not yet exist.

Generally speaking I agree in terms of DAC families. For example, those which use the ESS chip vs AKG, etc.

No, they do not. Not at all.

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I don’t disagree. But in your statement the DAC comes after the speakers the room and the amp. The original post that I had issue with said:

That’s the comment I have issue with. Pick the wrong DAC and you will never get the best out of your system.

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I don’t want to take this thread off topic. Happy to discuss it separately if you want to start a new thread.

No need. We just disagree. Have a great afternoon.

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Consider the Yaggy from Schitt, It was a big upgrade form my older Wadia.

But from an objective standpoint DACs are amazingly low distortion devices. The best to the worst is a tiny difference.

Speakers on the other hand produce several orders of magnitude worse distortions of the signal. Speakers are awful at what they do, that’s why they all sound so different. And that’s also why dollars spent on speakers makes the biggest difference.

So if it were me, and I had money burning a hole in my pocket, I’d invest in better speakers.

Turntables and cartridges also fall into the same “suck” category as speakers, but we are on a digital music forum so that doesn’t really apply here.

It WOULD be worth upgrading your DAC to something that has a less awful name. So there’s that…



I can’t hear a difference between 24/96 and 24/192, and I’m not sure anyone can if they’re honest. 24/192 FLACs are also huge, so you may also need local network and storage upgrades… if you really want a new DAC, try an ADI-2 DAC FS which gets great reviews.


get a better server get a better dac, upsample to 786 32 bit pcm

None of that will help a horrible source.