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post #1486 of 3320

+1 It's all about enjoying the music. Great Photo and well-written impression. Turn on the music! L3000.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wberghofer View Post

after a few minutes I forget to look for new layers of detail and instrument separation (which of course are there), but simply get lost in the music instead. Think this is the best one can say about equipment built for music playback.

 

Werner.



 

post #1487 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by wberghofer View Post


Thank you for your kinds words, and thanks also to the other dudes liking my gear. But credit must be given to the product designers at Schiit Audio and Beyerdynamic for creating good looking and great sounding products. I’m just a customer :-)

 

In case anybody is interested to see more from my multi-room setup: I posted some pictures in the computer audio forum here at Head-Fi.

 

Werner.



With a view like that I'd play "Also Sprach Zarathustra" on the speakers every morning at sunrise.  Then "Eine Alpensinfonie" on the headphones every evening.  :)

post #1488 of 3320
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
With a view like that I'd play "Also Sprach Zarathustra" on the speakers every morning […]

 

Great choice! I like it, but most of the time when played in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. I wouldn’t be possible on a regular basis; I usually get out of bed in the morning quite early, but not always exactly before sunrise :-)

 

Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
Then "Eine Alpensinfonie" on the headphones every evening.  :)

 

Again, great choice. I prefer “Tirol Concerto” by Philip Glass, performed by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra with Dennis Russell Davies.

 

Werner.


Edited by wberghofer - 11/8/11 at 12:48am
post #1489 of 3320

Don't know how many of you are in a similar situation to mine, which is that I've been an audiophile for more than 30 years, have had much of my current equipment for around 20 years, and just fairly recently have begun to explore computers as audio sources.  I have a 20 year old DAC that was a pretty fair piece of equipment for its day, but it is limited to 16/44.1 or 16/48 resolution.  So when the designer of my old DAC (Mike Moffat) came out with a new one that could handle resolutions up to 24/192 at a very nice price point, I was interested, and soon ordered one.  There's a 15-day money back guarantee, so the focus of my early listening has been to compare my older DAC to the Bifrost on 16/44.1 CD rips, which makes up virtually all of what I listen to these days.  If anyone here has an older DAC and is considering the Bifrost, perhaps you'll be interested in my early listening impressions so far.

 

Details of my setup are in my sig.  All listening was done with the Audirvana Plus audiophile player for Mac.

 

24 hours:

 

Still burning in and had only the briefest of listening opportunities Thursday night, then a bit longer session last night.

The USB input sounds better (clearer, hear more of the recording) than the optical input. Not light years difference, but noticeable. Both sound better than coax input through the V-Link.

 

Comparison with the Theta so far is interesting. Bifrost is so clear and unadorned that on some very plainly produced music it is almost in-your-face raw. For instance, on Silver Dagger from Gillian Welch's latest, The Harrow and The Harvest, there are two points - one where a harmonica enters and another where Welch gives a kind of "Hoo!" call - where the suddenness of the attack through the Bifrost is absolutely startling. Welch's voice is so plainly and clearly rendered it seems as if she's in the room singing, no mic, no amp.

 

The Theta, on the other hand, makes things (including Gillian's voice) sound prettier. But though the Theta is no slouch as far as clarity, there isn't quite the same absolute immediacy as with the Bifrost.

 

The sound of the Bifrost does seem to be getting more full and musical as it burns in, so I'll be very interested to see how it compares to the Theta once it has 100 hours or so of playing time.

 

80 hours:

 

Now after about 80 hours (should have been 96, but forgot to reconnect wall power for MacBook so battery ran down) the clarity and immediacy are still there. What's improved:

 

- Sound is far more full. When plugged in for the very first time there was a bit of a thin quality. That's completely gone.

 

- Sound is more integrated into a whole. In early listening there were individual instruments in a high, wide soundstage, but that soundstage wasn't a completely seamless illusion of musicians in a space, and it wasn't always evident how instruments were playing off each other. Now not just individual instrument locations and parts, but also the interplay between band members (e.g., of Alison Krauss's terrific band on Paper Airplane) is clear in the context of a full, solid soundstage.

 

- Sound is more musical. The beauty of Alison Krauss's voice is all there, while losing none of its clarity. My wife preferred the Theta at 48 hours because of its musicality. Now she prefers the Bifrost, and I agree. For $450, that's an accomplishment. Yes, the Theta is 20 years older. But it was a $2000 piece when purchased, then had an $800 upgrade. Even apart from the digital components, for which 20 years is an eon, there was a lot of analog goodness bought by that $2800, and the Theta heard by itself still sounds lovely. In spite of the years between them, for a unit 1/6 the price by the same designer to be so clearly superior does surprise me.

 

Frankly, I'm finding little or nothing to criticize in the Bifrost's sound, which is somewhat remarkable to me considering its price, the fact that it is still not completely burned in, and reasonably revealing associated equipment. Now I'm very much looking forward to beginning to explore some 24/96 material I've bought on DVD-A, as well as some high res downloads.

 

 

 

post #1490 of 3320

That's interesting because I'm finding the Bifrost a little thin and raw too but I have only burned it in about 20 hours.  Hope it does warm up and get fuller.

I love the Asgard for the Grado RS1i but the Bifrost, while I love it's soundstage, detail and airiness, it is thin and raw at times. To me at this point, while it is more detailed (or gives it the impression because it is more bright and has more instrument separation than the NFB-3) but it is more thin and colder than my NFB-3.  The NFB-3 is definitely more fuller and warmer dac.  I'm hoping as you said again, that the Bifrost does warm up and get fuller because I love the other qualities of the dac.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by judmarc View Post

Don't know how many of you are in a similar situation to mine, which is that I've been an audiophile for more than 30 years, have had much of my current equipment for around 20 years, and just fairly recently have begun to explore computers as audio sources.  I have a 20 year old DAC that was a pretty fair piece of equipment for its day, but it is limited to 16/44.1 or 16/48 resolution.  So when the designer of my old DAC (Mike Moffat) came out with a new one that could handle resolutions up to 24/192 at a very nice price point, I was interested, and soon ordered one.  There's a 15-day money back guarantee, so the focus of my early listening has been to compare my older DAC to the Bifrost on 16/44.1 CD rips, which makes up virtually all of what I listen to these days.  If anyone here has an older DAC and is considering the Bifrost, perhaps you'll be interested in my early listening impressions so far.

 

Details of my setup are in my sig.  All listening was done with the Audirvana Plus audiophile player for Mac.

 

24 hours:

 

Still burning in and had only the briefest of listening opportunities Thursday night, then a bit longer session last night.

The USB input sounds better (clearer, hear more of the recording) than the optical input. Not light years difference, but noticeable. Both sound better than coax input through the V-Link.

 

Comparison with the Theta so far is interesting. Bifrost is so clear and unadorned that on some very plainly produced music it is almost in-your-face raw. For instance, on Silver Dagger from Gillian Welch's latest, The Harrow and The Harvest, there are two points - one where a harmonica enters and another where Welch gives a kind of "Hoo!" call - where the suddenness of the attack through the Bifrost is absolutely startling. Welch's voice is so plainly and clearly rendered it seems as if she's in the room singing, no mic, no amp.

 

The Theta, on the other hand, makes things (including Gillian's voice) sound prettier. But though the Theta is no slouch as far as clarity, there isn't quite the same absolute immediacy as with the Bifrost.

 

The sound of the Bifrost does seem to be getting more full and musical as it burns in, so I'll be very interested to see how it compares to the Theta once it has 100 hours or so of playing time.

 

80 hours:

 

Now after about 80 hours (should have been 96, but forgot to reconnect wall power for MacBook so battery ran down) the clarity and immediacy are still there. What's improved:

 

- Sound is far more full. When plugged in for the very first time there was a bit of a thin quality. That's completely gone.

 

- Sound is more integrated into a whole. In early listening there were individual instruments in a high, wide soundstage, but that soundstage wasn't a completely seamless illusion of musicians in a space, and it wasn't always evident how instruments were playing off each other. Now not just individual instrument locations and parts, but also the interplay between band members (e.g., of Alison Krauss's terrific band on Paper Airplane) is clear in the context of a full, solid soundstage.

 

- Sound is more musical. The beauty of Alison Krauss's voice is all there, while losing none of its clarity. My wife preferred the Theta at 48 hours because of its musicality. Now she prefers the Bifrost, and I agree. For $450, that's an accomplishment. Yes, the Theta is 20 years older. But it was a $2000 piece when purchased, then had an $800 upgrade. Even apart from the digital components, for which 20 years is an eon, there was a lot of analog goodness bought by that $2800, and the Theta heard by itself still sounds lovely. In spite of the years between them, for a unit 1/6 the price by the same designer to be so clearly superior does surprise me.

 

Frankly, I'm finding little or nothing to criticize in the Bifrost's sound, which is somewhat remarkable to me considering its price, the fact that it is still not completely burned in, and reasonably revealing associated equipment. Now I'm very much looking forward to beginning to explore some 24/96 material I've bought on DVD-A, as well as some high res downloads.

 

 

 



 

post #1491 of 3320


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecohifi View Post




I cant wait for your findings Aidee,  10 days is toooooo far away!!!  Please please keeps me posted everystep of the way. 

 

Aidee, have you ever tried opamp rolling in the EE mini max?

 



X2! Camped!

 

post #1492 of 3320

Judmarc,

 

Thank god I'm not alone,  I have built my amp and speakers when I was 22-25, I still used them today.  My son is 21.8 and this stuff is older by 3-4 years.  When my daughter was 6, I had to explain to her what a Linn LP12 did because she was bought up with CDs!!

 

Great write up on your impressions, I have the EE mini max + I have just bought recently and it is now harder to keep my money in my pocket!

 

post #1493 of 3320

Ok. I received my bifrost about 20 hours ago, unexpectedly two days early. Yesterday morning I was still sorting out review tracks, so I was caught unprepared!

 

Anyway, I had auditioned five possible tracks earlier in the morning (see note 1 for rig), so I repeated those tracks (see note 2) with Bifrost (BTW no-USB), and made some notes. I nearly posted those early impressions yesterday, then decided to wait out the 50-100 hours burn-in Jason suggested.

 

However, there is substantial overlap with both Judmarc's and sling5s's impressions, so I shall post now. These are first hour impressions from yesterday - treat them as such. Health advisory - each to be consumed with a large grain of salt!

1. clarity is the stand-out feature. It's rather striking. I did not expect this, given both the EE MiniMax (EE) and StageDAC are quite detailed, resolving DACs.

2. attack is very good. Actually, I feel there may be a bright balance (or the EE is a little dark in the presence region), which could lead to this impression

3. well-defined bass. One track is a rock-pop ballad with a nice, low bass-guitar tune running through it. Hitherto (from memory) it has sounded a little muddy. I assumed it was deliberately mixed that way to complement the mournful "my boyfriend left me for another girl and she's so darned perfect" theme of the song. However, the bifrost rendered this bass-line with quite striking definition

4. just slightly "thin" and "raw" I would agree with; a touch relentless. Of course this has implications concerning the sound of the MiniMax! Still, this led me to look for burn-in notes in HeroKid's post 1, where I duly found them. Great job!

 

So far I am impressed. Compared to the EE - my usual headphone DAC - Bifrost stands up well. ATM, I suspect I will call the sound signatures somewhat different between the two, maybe a bit closer between Bifrost and StageDAC.

 

What next? I see this taking at least ten days. Some days I won't get to this at all. I have some exhausting projects on ATM, and there's no point listening when tired or stressed. However, I am happy to report any large findings/changes along the way, once I'm 'sure' of them.

 

More in due course.

 

note 1 - MacMini - iTunes - ALAC/WAV - TOSLINK - EE MiniMax DAC - Meier Concerto - LCD2 rev 1. I use Concerto about 50%, Lyr 45%, Violectric V100 or Meier Opera the other 5%. BitPerfect was disengaged as I've had some problems with it recently. Fidelia may make an appearance for some classical FLAC files. My T1 and Stax Lambda Pro will make cameo appearances, once I have solid impressions with my usual rig.

 

note 2 - leveled to 80dBA, the same level I set with the MiniMax in preparation for Bifrost's arrival. My meter claims +/- 1.5dB accuracy, and reproducing probe placement is approximately right but not perfect. Perfect level-matching cannot be guaranteed.

post #1494 of 3320

BitPerfect was disengaged as I've had some problems with it recently. Fidelia may make an appearance for some classical FLAC files.

 

Please do have a look at Audirvana Plus.  I've listened to both Bit Perfect and Fidelia (other players as well) extensively, and prefer A+.  Free trial period.  It's very good with subtle nuances on instruments and vocals as well as transient attacks, all of which suits the Bifrost well.


Edited by judmarc - 11/8/11 at 1:25pm
post #1495 of 3320

Thanks judmarc - will do, but probably not for the present purpose - at least not initially - as I don't want to introduce a 2nd new variable. Cheers.

post #1496 of 3320
It's interesting that people are commenting about how raw and aggressive they are finding their bifrost. I may keep my W5000's modded after all, because they're pretty dang fatiguing unmodded and I'm sure a raw sound may only add to that. I'll have to see for myself I suppose. I'll know in a couple of days now, I'm excited.
post #1497 of 3320

I don't want to introduce a 2nd new variable.

 

Yep, can certainly understand that.  Ain't it grand when you can make a little research project out of one of life's pleasures?  :-)

post #1498 of 3320


Quote:

Originally Posted by Butler View Post

It's interesting that people are commenting about how raw and aggressive they are finding their bifrost. I may keep my W5000's modded after all, because they're pretty dang fatiguing unmodded and I'm sure a raw sound may only add to that. I'll have to see for myself I suppose. I'll know in a couple of days now, I'm excited.

 

Raw right out of the box, yes.  That changes in a couple of days - at least it did for me.
 

 

post #1499 of 3320
@judmarc

What are your preferences set to on A+? I'm using the last release of the free version and was crippled by CPU overloads until I realized I had integer mode on. Once I took that off, it's been great. I only has able to get about 50 hours of run in before I had to leave for the week but the Bitfrost has really opened up.
I can't wait to get back home. biggrin.gif
post #1500 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by AiDee View Post

Thanks judmarc - will do, but probably not for the present purpose - at least not initially - as I don't want to introduce a 2nd new variable. Cheers.



Finally, a measured approach! Looking forwarded to reading how your impressions develop AD.

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