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Schiit DACs (Bifrost and Gungnir down, one to go)? The information and anticipation thread. - Page 190

post #2836 of 3320

hmm, I am a bit confused. could I have some more in depth explanation of this? is it a USB limitation or is it just digital audio data in general?

are you perhaps saying USB is not the best choice for digital out from a computer?

oh and another relevant question: I am planning to use the Bifrost with a USB hub (powered) - is there any reason why it should not work very well, that way? I mean, it's just digital data right? it's not drawing power from the USB hub/computer?

 

thanks! 

post #2837 of 3320

I use all 3 inputs on my Bifrost (mostly USB) and they all sound very good.  I initially had some doubts when I first got it, but that was cleared during the first few days I got it.  So no complaints what so ever on using USB.  


Edited by jman06 - 8/4/12 at 9:18am
post #2838 of 3320

I'm skeptical to say this but burn-in actually improved the bifrost over time.

 

I use both optical and USB and both are great. 

post #2839 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchzilla View Post

hmm, I am a bit confused. could I have some more in depth explanation of this? is it a USB limitation or is it just digital audio data in general?

are you perhaps saying USB is not the best choice for digital out from a computer?

oh and another relevant question: I am planning to use the Bifrost with a USB hub (powered) - is there any reason why it should not work very well, that way? I mean, it's just digital data right? it's not drawing power from the USB hub/computer?

 

thanks! 

 

Some people feel that USB, being a generic interface as opposed to an audio-specific one, is less-suited to audio. With that said, when using a computer you'll either be doing digital data -> sound card (integrated or otherwise) -> DAC through optical/coax or digital data -> DAC through USB. Both of these methods involve various hardware and software steps, and a weak link in any step can reduce the quality (USB or otherwise).

 

The main thing is that (at least on sites like this one), historically the belief has been that USB implementations have not been as good as using the computer to output through optical/coax. However, there have been quite a few good USB DACs recently, to the point that I would expect the better ones to be indistinguishable in a double-blind test.

 

A powered hub shouldn't cause any problems with the Bifrost. From what I can tell it powers its USB card through the USB connection but the DAC itself is through the normal outlet.

 

 

Oh yes, and as a programmer I'd be curious in an actual technical explanation as to why USB as a protocol isn't ideal for streaming audio, since it's not like it's a lot of data and it's not like it requires much effort to keep a buffer full of data. I can understand an appreciation of a dedicated method just for audio (simplicity is always nice), but complexity doesn't inherently make something inferior.

post #2840 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant00 View Post

 

Oh yes, and as a programmer I'd be curious in an actual technical explanation as to why USB as a protocol isn't ideal for streaming audio, since it's not like it's a lot of data and it's not like it requires much effort to keep a buffer full of data. I can understand an appreciation of a dedicated method just for audio (simplicity is always nice), but complexity doesn't inherently make something inferior.

 

Well, current USB audio is a dedicated method within the USB spec. However, the Bifrost and most recent USB-connected DACs doesn't use it, instead using some sort of asynchronic USB audio implementation. This is the beauty of universal but still open connections: you can write your own protocol if the standard doesn't cut it. And therefore, USB is (in my humble opinion) the absolutely best connection between a computer and a DAC for now. The only thing that could be better is if it was optical.

 

But we need more developers doing something about the interface, the protocol. Right now, the computer just sends out the bits in PCM encoding, with the right order and timing, and hopes they make it to the receiver reasonably intact. Asynchronic solutions improves on this by giving the computer a more correct clock signal for the timing, sourced from designated oscillator in the DAC. A big step in the right direction, I think, but there is more to be done.

 

I have no Bifrost. I have the Devilsound Audio Cable, which is USB only. Before asynchronic. Before hi-res. It still sounds awesome, but that doesn't mean there isn't more to do :)

post #2841 of 3320

OK, I think I understand a bit more now (also did some research on my own!)

I'm really not worried that USB will sound bad - got a USB powered DAC at the moment, the AMB Gamma2 (DIY) and it sounds fantastic.

 

thanks!

post #2842 of 3320

It's not that all USB DAC inputs sound bad--some definitely do though. Without going into the technical reasons, USB inputs that sound bad can be improved by an outboard USB to spdif converter. IME, USB inputs that already sound good will not be improved by an outboard converter.

 

For example, my Mini-i's main weakness is its adaptive 48k USB input, it really sucks. But when I hooked up the asynchronous Vlink 192 or Firestone Bravo converters, things improved so dramatically that I wonder how much of an improvement a Gungnir will actually be.

 

One of my favorite DACs to date is unfortunately single-ended, the Bel Canto DAC2. It only has optical or coax inputs; when I hook up a cheap USB to spdif adapter it sounds just as good as it does with the Bravo or Vlink converters. This is not the case with the Mini-i, it needs a quality outboard converter while the Bel Canto does not.

 

I am leaning toward getting a Gungnir, and am looking forward to comparing its optional USB implementation to my other USB processors via coax, and to optical.


Edited by grokit - 8/5/12 at 11:47am
post #2843 of 3320

If you are really curious about USB-to-SPDIF converters, you might find this long-ish thread interesting.

 

Also waiting on Gungnir with some impatience. I won't be getting the USB option, as I've gone the dedicated file player route (an Auraliti PK100 with BNC S/PDIF).


Edited by MtnSloth - 8/5/12 at 12:11pm
post #2844 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSloth View Post

If you are really curious about USB-to-SPDIF converters, you might find this long-ish thread interesting.

 

Actually, a better resource for USB-to-S/PDIF converters can be found here: http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/USB_SPDIF.htm

 

It's a list of most of the currently available options, along with pricing, feature sets and websites.  Gives a good comparative view, and allows you to shop by price.

 

The rest of the website is an interesting read as well.

post #2845 of 3320

Has anyone received their Schiit Gungnir yet? Im asking because some early impressions of the Mjolnir are starting to pop out

post #2846 of 3320

Gungnir is supposed to start shipping later this month.

post #2847 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchzilla View Post

OK, I think I understand a bit more now (also did some research on my own!)

I'm really not worried that USB will sound bad - got a USB powered DAC at the moment, the AMB Gamma2 (DIY) and it sounds fantastic.

 

thanks!

 

Each type of input has advantages and disadvantages.  Which sounds better in your system will depend on the rest of the system.  I've posted at length about this in this thread previously, so it's available if you want to search.

 

The Bifrost USB implementation is a very good one, async to minimize jitter.  In my particular system, it is the best sounding of the three inputs.

post #2848 of 3320

I haven't done that much digging but i did find this which is promising. ( note this is not said by me but the opinion of another head-fi user )

 

This is what ''Brunk'' had to say

 

 

I'm using the T1/Mjolnir combo and I can tell you that imaging and soundstage is superb. It's the most convincing combo yet. It's like Dolby Headphone without the processing lol. After 30 minutes of listening to them on the HA-160D and B22 (friends) i would get listening fatigue. I haven't experienced fatigue on the Mjolnir at all! The only amp I've heard that can hold a candle to the Mjolnir is the Violectric, but I think it will get pushed out the spotlight in a few weeks once more reviews and impressions are in. I sometimes find myself turning up to louder volume than I should because its so clear and life like. The music and detail/transients just pour in that no sub $1k amp on the current market can come close to. The unit runs cool for quite some time, but after several hours of heat pooling up, it does get a bit hot. Mjolnir's heat sinking ability is very well engineered and really isnt a problem at all. This is also in a ~78 F room.
 
I can't stress enough just how convincing the Mjolnir+T1 pairing really is. It's a match made in heaven for sure. There is a very flat sound signature, unlike the V shape of Burson units. The Burson units sort of put the vocals "outside" your head ,but they are actually hurting the SQ in the end. The Mjolnir is more of a " \ " bass tipped curve, but doesn't drown out those ever-so-fine treble details and transients. That means a very flat frequency response for those neutral-nazi people out there. However, it doesn't try to get in the way of the music like Burson and others do. I'm done searching for headphone equipment for atleast a year, I might occasionally login to headfi now. That is the only compliment a manufacturer needs. Yulong D18/Mjolnir/Beyer T1 combo = Peace out HeadFi. Thank you Schiit!

 

 

(A link to that thread is here)

post #2849 of 3320
Gratz Shauny!
post #2850 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by judmarc View Post

 

Each type of input has advantages and disadvantages.  Which sounds better in your system will depend on the rest of the system.  I've posted at length about this in this thread previously, so it's available if you want to search.

 

The Bifrost USB implementation is a very good one, async to minimize jitter.  In my particular system, it is the best sounding of the three inputs.

is there any reason why it should not be the best in another persons system?

nonetheless, that adds to my excitement - I might actually be able to listen to it since I have located a seller locally. very much looking forward to it! smily_headphones1.gif cheers

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