I just received my Bifrost today, but I'm not sure what to think.
Compared to the DAC in my Audiophile 192, everything sounds much less lifeless now---it's as if the bass has been sucked dry. While everything seems to sound cleaner with more notable separation, I'm also hearing a very harsh boost in the treble. Dynamic range also seems significantly compressed.
I don't know if my Audiophile 192's S/PDIF output has anything to do with it. (AFAIK, its output is bitperfect.)
I know other users are saying that your SPDIF output on your soundcard shouldn't be the issue, but IMO it's worth playing around with. There's even another user on here who made a separate thread about how his iPod dock's SPDIF out and his motherboard's sounded significantly different to him (he preferred the motherboard's by a large margin) with his Bifrost. At the very least do some Googling or poking around with the M-Audio soundcard to ensure it isn't somehow processing the audio data before sending out the SPDIF signal. If you can, however, try another SPDIF out (if your motherboard has one, for instance - mine does for my Gigabyte motherboard), or, if possible, the Toslink and/or USB inputs and compare them. You could even poke around with some cMP site suggestions (this is a site/project started out of Computer Audio Asylum, a separate forum, which involves building a PC purely for audio playback, kind of like Computer Audiophile.com's "CAPS" server project - anyway, there's a lot of suggestions on the cMP site, even though they're specific to Windows XP, that you can fool around with in any version of Windows to optimize SQ - some are more controversial than others, mind you - lots of registry edits, service disabling, that sort of thing), specifically this page on soundcard settings in Windows, like checking your card has a dedicated interrupt (IRQ): http://www.cicsmemoryplayer.com/index.php?n=CMP.10Soundcard - not necessary, though, as I doubt that's really the overall problem. I also concur with the suggestions to allow for some more burn-in, though - download good ole' Pink Noise or something similar (you can grab Pink Noise in WAV format here: http://www.burninwave.com/), set it on loop in your player of choice, and let the Bifrost run for awhile, then compare. Good luck!
Edited by internethandle - 11/10/11 at 1:03pm