Schiit Modi Multibit Vs Magnavox CDB650 with Phillips chip


I finally pitted the latest Schiit Modi Multibit DAC which retails for $249 plus handling against the Magnavox CDB650 CD player which apparently houses a much older Phillips DAC. This CD player can be had on eBay for as little as $100. I was hoping to hear if any improvement could be made to the already legendary Magnivox CDB650 which has gotten rave reviews for many years as a CD player by audiophiles. My friend John Pons who specializes in classic audio repair as a profession suggested the Magnavox. Pons has compared countless CD players from customers who brought them to compare on his system and always found the CDB650 to be superior including his customers, in fact, he said you would have to spend a great deal of money to match its incredible dynamic performance.


How well would a modern DAC compare and would it make any improvement? First, my friend Luigi and I already compared the CDM650 CD player to several others including DVD players and even during blind tests, the differences were obvious without a shred of a doubt that the CDB650 prevailed. The blind tests were that easy. So, for this next comparison, I used my Klipsch Heresy's along with a Decware SE84UFO tube amp which puts out 2 watts per channel. This may not seem like much, but it is when you're running 99db speakers. IMO, this setup is a thing of beauty and the Heresy's will shine a spotlight on even the most subtle of intricate instruments and musical details.

 

The Schiit Modi Multibit has gotten rave reviews by many enthusiasts, so I thought I'd give it a try to see if there was any room for improvement. For my comparison I played Bill Evans Peace Piece. The piano in this song is very delicate and subtle yet profound when listened to quietly. I also played some Andrea Bocelli vocals with guitar. After switching back and forth between the Schiit Modi Multibit and the stock CDB650, I was unable to detect even the slightest audible difference in musical details in fact I even placed my ears next to the Heresy horns and switch the Modi on and off and it was just too difficult to hear any differences.

 

So why do others rave about the Modi? IMO, I think it stems from many inferior DAC's used in computers and other devices and as a result, an improvement is heard. I called several audio friends to share my experiences and they said there's most likely no way of improving the Phillips DAC that already exists in the CDB650 CD player unless you're spending a good deal of money. So, my next test is going to be the Schiit Bifrost Multibit which I intend to barrow from a friend this weekend. This DAC is Schiit's next step up, so I'll report my findings in another update.


rankaudio
BTW, I was going to post a couple of images but I can't seem to find any provision or option to attach them.
+1 rankaudio! Looking forward to your further comparisons! 
If I read your post correctly it seems that the Modi Multi sounded every "bit" as good as the vaunted (rightfully so) Mag 650. As the owner of a Modi Multi I'm pleased to hear that. Brand new, with a warranty, cute-looking, no dings or scratches, the Modi Multi is a winner IMO. 
Nice post, and looking forward to the Bifrost Multi comparo...

Tom
Tom,
Yes, that's a very good point. Indeed, it verifies that the little Modi is a nice, little option.