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Schiit DACs (Bifrost and Gungnir down, one to go)? The information and anticipation thread. - Page 105

post #1561 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalith View Post

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
post #1562 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

That S/PDIF out should have nothing to do with it unless it's malfunctioning. 



S/PDIF implementations DO matter.  People hung up on overly simplistic notions of 1's and 0's can believe whatever they want.  I got into digital expecting to hear no variations between digital sources as they are all binary like many think.  Upon actual listening, that turned out to be a rude awakening.  I'm actually finding more sonic variation between digital transports than using simple analog output.  

post #1563 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjikiran View Post

I would just go with different headphones if their treble is not to your liking. 

I have them modded which has addressed their fatiguing trebles and was hoping to unmod them because supposedly the bifrost+asgard is a good synergy. We'll see I suppose.
post #1564 of 3320

Well I am not using my high end cans on the lyr/bifrost atm but they definitely bring my 770pros to a different level.  The synergy was better than I expected with them thats for sure.  No noticeable treble peaks with them at all,.  And when I say noticeable my ears don't want to bleed yet.


Edited by ninjikiran - 11/10/11 at 1:39pm
post #1565 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post



S/PDIF implementations DO matter.  People hung up on overly simplistic notions of 1's and 0's can believe whatever they want.  I got into digital expecting to hear no variations between digital sources as they are all binary like many think.  Upon actual listening, that turned out to be a rude awakening.  I'm actually finding more sonic variation between digital transports than using simple analog output.  


I am discovering this as I change between different digital transport(CD)  but analog out such as buffers makes a huge difference.
 

 

post #1566 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post


Just goes to show different ears and gears.  The E7 is not even in the same class as the DACPort LX for me.  When I hear 3-4 DACs such as those offering little to no audible benefit over the E7 I tend to suspect some other bottleneck in the chain.

 


+1, and I'm thinking it comes down to phones. One of the things I look for in a pair of cans is something that will scale with improvements in source/amp - for example, I love my KSC-75s, but they are never going to justify buying more expensive kit than the DAP I already own.

 

post #1567 of 3320

Ah, seems that some of my problems did involve the S/PDIF (Audiophile 192). I was initially listening with foobar set to 0dB, and it wasn't until later after monitoring the control panel that I realized there was quite a bit of clipping going on. I have it set to -15dB now and, while I have to turn up my amp (Valhalla) up all the way, things are starting to sound natural again.

 

The sound still seems very recessed, though, and reminds me of my HD650s when they were only being driven by my soundcard and not getting enough juice. I'm starting to think the surge protector I have everything plugged into is the problem. It takes me back to when I was experimenting with power filters and fancy surge protectors in my HT, and they absolutely ruined the sound, taking away all dynamics and setting a huge veil on everything.

 

The sound seemed to be fine when I was just using my soundcard's DAC with the Valhalla, though (was listening with foobar set to 0dB, with everything connected to the same surge protector). I guess its possible that the additional load of the bifrost is making the power strip choke.

post #1568 of 3320

Doubt its a problem, shouldnt be a case over spdif.

 

Something is wrong as you should not be getting those problems in the first place.

post #1569 of 3320

Quote:

Originally Posted by Megalith View Post

Ah, seems that some of my problems did involve the S/PDIF (Audiophile 192). I was initially listening with foobar set to 0dB, and it wasn't until later after monitoring the control panel that I realized there was quite a bit of clipping going on. I have it set to -15dB now and, while I have to turn up my amp (Valhalla) up all the way, things are starting to sound natural again.

 

The sound still seems very recessed



Adjusting foobar to -15dB means the stream isn't bit perfect any longer.  0dB should be right, odd to hear there's clipping occurring.  Sorry I can't help further.

post #1570 of 3320

There is definitely something wrong.  I would connect the bifrost to a motherboard spdif, or USB or toslink and see if the issue persist.  Rule out the bifrost first.

post #1571 of 3320

Yeah... I was very confused about this too, since the E7 seems like such an obvious bottleneck. I thought the DACport would make an obvious/noticeable difference. I even burned in the DACport for several days, hoping the situation would improve (same with the MS, and MS+). I'm always mindful of expectation bias. I usually do blindfolded ABX testing with tracks I'm familiar with and then with materials I'm not familiar with. Always lossless of course. But honestly upgradig the DAC had very minimal impact on the sound quality. I'm using the Lyr, HE-500, HD650, Q701, D2000, and Telefunken 60s tubes for the rest of my chain. I was able to correctly identify DACs using tracks I was familiar with, I always knew which one was the E7 compared to the others like DACport, HDP, MS+, but on songs I did not know, it was difficult to say which was offering more sound quality, during the blindfold AB testing.

 

Just my experience with changing out a super low end DAC for several different mid-fi DACs. For me the money is better spent on tubes or saving up money for the Liquid Fire. I'm hoping I'll read something here that convinces me that the Bifrost will make a huge/immediate impact to my chain and that it will be so obvious I won't have to ABX test or anything like that. Kind of like when I upgrade tubes, amps or Headphones.

 

So the difference between your E7 and DACport was huge? like noticeable within 10 seconds for even songs you're not familiar with? Can I ask what the rest of your chain was?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post


Just goes to show different ears and gears.  The E7 is not even in the same class as the DACPort LX for me.  When I hear 3-4 DACs such as those offering little to no audible benefit over the E7 I tend to suspect some other bottleneck in the chain.

 



 


Edited by M-13 - 11/11/11 at 2:57am
post #1572 of 3320

My 2 cents:  I find the Bifrost very realistic and very revealing. The bass is tight, so you won't hear the flabby boominess that some ears are accustomed, but Scott La Faro never sounded so good. The double bass sounds exactly right, with the added dimension that you can hear all his sliding fret work and slapping strings. The tympanis in Gergiev's Rite of Spring rocked the room, as they should.  You are definitely going to hear some piercing treble, but that's just like live music.  Hit a high note on a trumpet or violin in a live venue, and it is piercing.  I'm in awe of the Bifrost.  I listened to Prokofiev's Violin Concerto 1 by Vengerov and it was a revelation.  For the first time, I heard everything the orchestra was doing.  I've also noticed audible tape hiss on some high resolution downloads (Rachel Podger from Linn Records).  What I especially like is the roundness and decay of notes. As it has been noted, the soundstage is superb.  The Bifrost is transparent but still very musical.  At $450, I have no complaints.

post #1573 of 3320

Judmarc, thanks for the tip - I'll try that program.

 

Music Direct's latest sale flyer had the Nordost Baldur interconnect on sale. Just couldn't resist the Nordic theme, so I now have Bifrost to Baldur to Lyr. And the urge to play Ride of the Valkyries incessantly.

 

Of course this means I'm using a $250 pair of wires between a $350 DAC and a $450 amp. Yes, I need help. And a second job.

 

And yes, the cable set does bring an audible improvement. Further clarity, as well as getting rid of the last vestige of anything approaching edge-iness. Worth the money? Well, YMMV but I'm keeping it. Er, them.

 

Also bought a fancy wall outlet, which made an infinitesimal-if-any difference. Not worth it, IMO. But you never know until you try...

post #1574 of 3320

I have had the Bifrost for about a week now.  I'm using the Bifrost paired with Asgard listening with Grado RS1i.  Later I will listen to it with my JH16pro.

But I can confidently say that in terms of these qualities: clarity, detail, openess, soundstage and resolving power, it surpasses all my previous budget dacs: Pico dac, Yulong D100, Nuforce HDP, Music Streamer II+, and Audio GD NFB-3. It's like my window into the music just got more clearer. Pretty impressed. 

 

post #1575 of 3320

placed an order finally for this. been using the muse nos dac until now.  will be paired with a csp2+ + t1/hd650.  i had almost just went cheaper and got the hrt at 150 but decided to wait for reviews on this one.  my last dac was the minimax EE so im hoping it will compete with that.  

 

i decided given my situation, its smarter to save money than to get it sooner so i placed an order with their retailer.  they wont get them in until december but right now saving that 40$ in shipping and tax is a bigger deal to me than getting it within the next couplw eeks.

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