Mar 26, 2018474 views

Does Multibit actually sound better?

Was locking at the Schiit-website and saw that there are some DACs with a multibit-option or -upgrade avaiable. They are significantly more expensive and I don´t really understand how they are supposed to sound better or if they even sound any different.
On other forums there seem to be only two sides: The one half says this is snakeoil and the other half says that you shouldnt buy anything else... I haven´t heard multibit yet, so I can´t tell but the explanations don´t make much sense to me.
Do you guys have heard a difference with one specific model (like Modi 2 and Modi Multibit) or at least know what exactly it does?

Add a comment...
Schit multibit hardly resolves 8 bits of audio it's garbage get A topping instead
I wouldn´t rely so much on numbers when it comes to audio.
The only thing that matters to me is, how good it eventually sounds and not how many bits it resolves. And so far, I mostly read positive things about the sound of the Modi and Modi Multibit.
Now I would agree to the 'view' if you were talking about amps. But DACs my man are all about the measurements . The whole point of getting a better DAC is to resolve more and if it doesn't do that what's the bloody point
Having owned a Schiit Modi Multibit (Aka Mimby) and now a Cambridge Audio Dac Magic Plus. From what I can hear, The Mimby has a very relax and slightly dark signature to it, having upgraded to the Dacmagic Plus I find this to be a lot more resolving and offers better layering. The Mimby simply can't beat my Dacmagic in detail and sounded muddy in comparison. I ended up selling the Mimby simply because of that.

How I see it is if you want a relaxing sound the Mimby is the way to go but at the expense of some details (IMO defeats the purpose of a Dac). And also you do have to leave the Mimby on for at least a few hours/days for it to sound at its best which wasn't ideal for me. Sorry couldn't give you a modi 2 impression but hope this helps.

P.S. If you are getting the Modi 2, please go for the Uber variant to avoid USB jitters.
Load 4 more comments
In the case of Jot, it's clearly designed for you to utilise its balanced output where the SE is there mainly for convenience. If you look at the newly announced lyr 3, despite being "just" a SE amp is a more powerful device. If you read on headfi or reddit and various forums, one of the main complaints about the Jot has been the balanced dac. Also, neither the multibit module nor mimby are balanced.
Ok, thanks. Then my choice will probably be the Mimby. I also read that the balanced DAC in the Jotunheim is the complaint and I dont want this to be the case with the Multibit-module +I get to have an optical input with the Mimby.
I have the Modi 2 multibit, and admittedly haven't heard the standard/ uber versions, so I can't (and won't) be trying to compare them. However, I can at least try to explain the difference between the standard (and uber), and the multibit and why it is "better" (quotes because it is subjective and based on personal preference like so many other things in the audio world).

DACs come with a specific number of "steps" that they can break a digital signal up in to. This will likely vary depending on the DAC that you are looking at, but for these purposes I am going to state that 16 is the "standard" (may be completely incorrect). That would mean that a digital signal sent from your source has 16 bits of precision. Typically speaking the more precision a value has the better it can be represented... but that is a simplification because it really depends on the type of number, etc. For instance a floating point number (number capable of storing a decimal value instead of just an integer) can have varying mantissas associated with them to give different values to the power section or the integer section of the number at hand, while an integer can only count by whole numbers (so 1, 2, 3, etc.). Either way, the more bits a digital number has access to the more values can be represented by it.

For example, a 16-bit digital value can store 2^16 different values ranging between 32,768 and -32,767 (0 is counted as a value, so positive or negative has 1 fewer possible values than the other... I can't remember which at the moment, so I chose negative arbitrarily. It is probably wrong, so if you really care I suggest googling it). This gives you a total of 65536 "steps" that can be represented in the sound wave from the digital signal. This also means that when you are converting the signal to analogue there will be only so many different values that can be represented.

Now, when looking at the multibit, it supports 24 bits of resolution. That means all of the sudden instead of having 65536 total values that the digital number can represent to the DAC, it can represent 2^24 total values (16777216) which is significantly more than a 16-bit value can represent. This means that the analogue graph _can_ (not necessarily _will_) have more "stairs" in it and be a smoother transition since each of the steps is smaller.

Basically what it comes down to is the more values your DAC is capable of converting from digital to analogue, the smoother the sound wave your DAC is able to output to your amp and subsequently your headphones/ speakers. Sorry, that last sentence sounds horrible, but I also haven't come up with a way I like better, so it stuck.

One other thing to keep in mind is that depending on the audio files you have access to and how they were recorded, they may have more or fewer bits available than your DAC can handle, so it is possible that you won't notice a difference because your music doesn't actually have a difference encoded within it. Likewise, having a 32-bit or 64-bit DAC would be even better than a 24-bit DAC, but most music has nowhere near that many bits of resolution at this point, so it would be a significant waste to get a DAC with the resolution since it would never be used (as of now).

I am not sure how well I stated that, but hopefully it gives you some insights.
Load 3 more comments
Schiit runs a blog detailing the design process of the Yggdrasil as well as what makes it different:

The details of the tech is in one of the chapter but totally forgot which ones as it has been about 2-3 years since I read the earlier chapters.

you may want to also dig on a username "baldr" post in his blog as he is the designer of the DACs (Mike Moffat).
Multi-bit doesn't discard the original samples... nothing that comes out of a D/S is the "same" as what went in (they are all recreations). Whether or not this actually has bearing on the sound is up for debate but the discarding of the original samples is what Mike Moffat dislikes about D/S DAC chips.
"Better" is subjective, different maybe.
Load 1 more comment
Those are subjective terms, body and naturalness can mean totally different things from one person to the next.

There is a real difference in measurements which IMO is enough to justify the higher price point.
Ok, thanks!
This is a train wreck I want to see!
Add a comment...