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My new Audinst HUD-mx1 unboxing - (Warning. Tons of Pics) includes Schiit Asgard

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

After ordering my DAC on the 26th, it finally arrived from South Korea to Boston, Mass on the 30th! It was packaged really well, tons of bubble wrap. Opening it was impossible without tearing the whole damn thing apart. Make sure you save the receipt on the front side of the package! I was really excited through the whole thing. I noticed the lack of pictures and love for the Audinst in the Source section of the forums, and felt that I had to personally hastily contribute some pictures taken from my Blackberry. Don't mind my feet lol. 

 

 

IMG00109-20100830-2241.jpg

 

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Everything in the package... A great fuzzy feeling inside opening the box.

 

IMG00116-20100830-2251.jpg

 

Size comparison. I had my TI 83 at the same, and felt that some college students mind want it as a size reference. =P

 

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My current setup with my Schiit Asgard. 

 

Here's what everybody's waiting for. How does it sound? Amazing. It's everything that I want in a DAC and in an amp as well. The amp was surprisingly decent, giving my HD 650's more than the necessary amount of juice to remove the veil in the mids. I was planning on using the Audinst as a DAC to power my Schiit Audio, and was blown away by the synergy that these two components had with each other. Honestly, separately, I heard very little difference, but it was together that I learned what a dedicated DAC serves for an amp.

 

It was a match made in heaven. I felt that the highs became more crisp and the vocals became more clearer. The bass remained the same, but felt more refined. In the end, was the $180 worth it? Yes definitely. For those who are considering purchasing the Audinst as a dedicated DAC or as a DAC/amp, by all means, try it out! It's an amazing piece of work with a 2 year warranty. I hope this helps those who are considering buying this DAC/amp. 

 

Edit 9/7/10

I would like to revise the italicized statement.

 

To an untrained ear, they would sound similar, but after listening to my Schiit Asgard more and more, I realized that there is a subtle difference between the Audinst's built in amp and the Asgard. The Asgard felt more CLEAR and had a WIDER sound stage. The Audinst's sound stage, in terms of geometry, felt like an 120 degree angle on both sides of the ear. The Schiit Asgard felt like a 150 - 160 degree angle on both sides of the ear. It's hard to put it in terms of tangible numbers, but there is a difference.

 

 

 

-A happy head-fier. 


Edited by Endless - 9/7/10 at 12:35pm
post #2 of 45

Looks like a nice combo. What do you think of the headphone amp of the MX1 vs Asgard? Big difference I'm assuming

 

Also, can you control the volume using the windows volume control? I need a DAC that can mute with a press of a button from my keyboard

post #3 of 45
Thread Starter 

Honestly, the headphone amp of the MX1 and of the Asgard was surprisingly similar. I don't know if i'm going deaf or not, but I could not hear any significant difference between the two. However, together, they somehow complemented each other and a more refined Asgard sound came out. That's the best I can do to explain it. 

 

And yes. You can control the volume using the windows volume control. The DAC acts as a sound card on my Windows 7, and all the same rules that apply for a sound card also applies for the Audinst. 

post #4 of 45

How many hours have you had on the Asgard?

 

Try to listen to the soundstage, that was the one thing that struck me when I was comparing it against my Nuforce Icon HDP's amplifier. The Asgard widens the soundstage, and it sounds very open to me.

 

Good to know you can control the volume, apparently not all USB DACs can be controlled using the Windows Volume control. I learned this lesson with the Nuforce uDAC.

post #5 of 45

Would this be an accurate summary:

 

PC soundcard DAC + Asgard amp + HD650 == Good

Audinst DAC + Audinst amp + HD650 == Good

Audinst DAC + Asgard amp + HD650 == ZOMGWTFBBQ AWESOME!!!

 

?

post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by kite7 View Post

How many hours have you had on the Asgard?

 

Try to listen to the soundstage, that was the one thing that struck me when I was comparing it against my Nuforce Icon HDP's amplifier. The Asgard widens the soundstage, and it sounds very open to me.

 

Good to know you can control the volume, apparently not all USB DACs can be controlled using the Windows Volume control. I learned this lesson with the Nuforce uDAC.


I've had the Asgard for a few days, but neglected it due to some summer assignments for school that needs to be done. So, i'm assuming 10 - 20 hours of burn in I guess? I will definitely keep a close eye on the soundstage and see how it will change.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoga Flame View Post

Would this be an accurate summary:

 

PC soundcard DAC + Asgard amp + HD650 == Good

Audinst DAC + Audinst amp + HD650 == Good

Audinst DAC + Asgard amp + HD650 == ZOMGWTFBBQ AWESOME!!!

 

?

 

Pretty much. Tl;dr version of my thread. The purpose of my Audinst was to reduce the static and interference in my computer, and so far, it's doing a swell job at that. However, when I attach my Asgard into the setup, I still hear the occasional static and jittery. I'm starting to think it's the Asgard itself that's the problem. 
 

post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless View Post

Pretty much. Tl;dr version of my thread. The purpose of my Audinst was to reduce the static and interference in my computer, and so far, it's doing a swell job at that. However, when I attach my Asgard into the setup, I still hear the occasional static and jittery. I'm starting to think it's the Asgard itself that's the problem. 
 


Did you ever have any of that using onboard sound feeding to the Asgard? If not then it could be the MX1. Jittery isn't really associated with an amplifier, more like source.

post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 

I hear the jittery noise when I have my Audinst as an DAC and Asgard as an amp at max volume while pausing my music. When I use the Audinst as both a DAC/amp, I do not hear any jittery noises when I pause my music at max volume. Just complete, utter silence. 

 

I also had this problem when I was using onboard sound with my Asgard, that was one of the reasons why I got my Audinst in the first place. Does cable play a factor? 

post #9 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless View Post

 However, when I attach my Asgard into the setup, I still hear the occasional static and jittery. I'm starting to think it's the Asgard itself that's the problem. 

 


When you use the Audinst in standalone DAC mode, does it's volume knob have any effect on the output? (i.e. works like a pre-amp)  I might have imagined this, but I think I read somewhere that there's a switch inside the Audinst to allow you to defeat the volume control for a standard line-out.

 

I mention this because right now you have 3 separate volume controls:

1. Windows

2. Audinst

3. Asgard

 

This is just speculation, but I think you'd get the cleanest audio signal by maxing the volume in Windows, and setting the Audinst to pure line-out with no volume control. Then only use the Asgard's volume knob.

 

Another possible reason is that the metal enclosures of the Audinst and the Asgard are touching each other.

 

Okay. I think I'll stop now since I have neither the Audinst nor the Asgard.

post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless View Post

I hear the jittery noise when I have my Audinst as an DAC and Asgard as an amp at max volume while pausing my music. When I use the Audinst as both a DAC/amp, I do not hear any jittery noises when I pause my music at max volume. Just complete, utter silence. 

 

I also had this problem when I was using onboard sound with my Asgard, that was one of the reasons why I got my Audinst in the first place. Does cable play a factor? 


I get some jitter noises with the Audinst plugged into my Matrix M-stage with a certain USB port on my macbook pro. An SMC reset fixed the problem for me. I'm not sure if there is an equivalent systems management controller reset on Windows but that fixed my problems

post #11 of 45

Cool, i will be buying a Audinst sometime soon.  really like its looks MUCH better than the uDAC

post #12 of 45


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by darknessproz View Post

Cool, i will be buying a Audinst sometime soon.  really like its looks MUCH better than the uDAC

The surprising thing with this amp is that it really isn't that much bigger than the uDAC. It's a lot smaller than the pictures make it out to be. Excellent DAC section though. Really brings out the goods from my Matrix m-stage
 

post #13 of 45

Do you actually keep the dac on top of the Asgard? I mean, won't it get too hot?

post #14 of 45

Just thought I'd let you know, "jitter" is not something you can hear.  It results in distortion to the music.  You might be hearing some form of electrical noise or some other kind of electrical artifact, however.

 

It's always pleasant when you get a nice match with DAC, amp and headphones. Indeed sometimes the differences might be subtle, but the overall feeling is good.

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Just thought I'd let you know, "jitter" is not something you can hear.  It results in distortion to the music.  You might be hearing some form of electrical noise or some other kind of electrical artifact, however.

 

It's always pleasant when you get a nice match with DAC, amp and headphones. Indeed sometimes the differences might be subtle, but the overall feeling is good.


I had a lot of distortion that made the voices crackle at one point from the DAC. Would that qualify as jitter?

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