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Schiit DACs (Bifrost and Gungnir down, one to go)? The information and anticipation thread. - Page 197

post #2941 of 3320
Perhaps, soundstage width may be limited in my system due to my components (big horn speakers). I think the Bifrost is an excellent DAC, it is in a completely different league to the well regarded Dragonfly DAC for example.
post #2942 of 3320

It's kind of annoying that optical digital audio hasn't attracted more interest.

 

The problem really is more one of interest (commercial) than any need for an improvement in the technology itself.

Optical network hardware has been used for years, and has absurdly high bandwidth and maximum range.

 

The problem is that there is a step up in price when you go from Toslink to "real" digital optical links.

A set of receiver and transmitter that can handle GIGABITS easily, and has a reach of several kilometers, costs in the $1000 range.

 

As with most other computer technology, if commercial interest (aka sales volume) were to go way up, the price would drop like a rock.

Honestly, though, HDMI looks like it might be "the next audio thing" - in which case optical will remain stalled until it gets a turn.

(I'm a bit surprised that optical VIDEO isn't giving HDMI a run - since you would be able to get much better distance than with HDMI....

although, I guess, not that many people want to run their video across the house...)

 

If you think about it, optical probably IS how you get your video.....

most of the cable companies use fiber for their main trunk lines already - it just hasn't caught on inside the house.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjikiran View Post

When you think about it, optical technically has perfected the form of power conditioning.  Sending probably the cleanest signal to your dac if you disregard the jitter caused by the transmitter and receivers and reflections. 

 

Due to HDMI I doubt optical audio transmission will progress any further but if it did and they perfected it.  I think optical could easily become the best technology.  Possibly in the future, that will be how we get video.  Optical, laser, whatever.  Its a beam of lighted goodness.

post #2943 of 3320

You need to read up on the various TYPES of USB audio transfer.

 

The "lower forms" of USB allow the computer to send the data when it chooses (in adaptive, there is feedback which adjusts the rate, but the actual clocking is still erratic). Since most DACs derive their clocks from the data, if the data flow isn't perfectly smooth, the DAC gets an unstable clock (otherwise called jitter). Since the analog output is dependent on both correct data, and on that data being clocked at the correct times, the end result is rather unpleasant distortion. Because the computer is multitasking, and just because it wasn't designed otherwise, it's hopeless to try and improve the output timing on the computer to a sufficient degree to fix the problem. [Check out a cool open source thing called CPlay for more about that...] (And, the DAC HAS to let the computer control the timing, otherwise it might run out of data or overflow its buffer - if it even has one - which most don't.)

 

Modern USB implementations use a mode called ASYNCHRONOUS USB, which allows the DAC to request data when it wants it. Of course, the computer still can't be trusted to send the data out at precisely the correct times. The big deal, however, is that, since the DAC controls data flow, you can put a buffer inside the DAC (because the DAC controls the data flow, it can keep the buffer from under- or over-running). Now you can clock the data out of the buffer by a local clock in the DAC, which pretty much eliminates the whole timing problem. There are still issues where the computer may actually fail to send packets, or otherwise screw up, but most of that is under the programmer's control. [The programming we're talking about resides on the USB interface chip, which is really a microcontroller with its own code.]  USB is considered to have much more jitter than optical, which is worse than S/PDif - opinions vary. However, Asynch USB should eliminate this entirely.

 

 

Quote:

 

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 #2944 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post

Perhaps, soundstage width may be limited in my system due to my components (big horn speakers). I think the Bifrost is an excellent DAC, it is in a completely different league to the well regarded Dragonfly DAC for example.

Although I have nothing against the Bifrost, I find it unfair to speak its qualities in comparison to the Dragonfly. I find that the Dragonfly is "well regarded," as you put it, largely because of its small form factor. That the Dragonfly is able to keep a relatively high level of quality taking into consideration its incredibly convenient size. Comparing that to a full sized desktop DAC does no justice to either of these quality products.
post #2945 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by niten View Post


Although I have nothing against the Bifrost, I find it unfair to speak its qualities in comparison to the Dragonfly. I find that the Dragonfly is "well regarded," as you put it, largely because of its small form factor. That the Dragonfly is able to keep a relatively high level of quality taking into consideration its incredibly convenient size. Comparing that to a full sized desktop DAC does no justice to either of these quality products.


A good point. The comparison would be much more notable if the Dragonfly in fact outperformed the BitFrost.

post #2946 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by niten View Post


Although I have nothing against the Bifrost, I find it unfair to speak its qualities in comparison to the Dragonfly. I find that the Dragonfly is "well regarded," as you put it, largely because of its small form factor. That the Dragonfly is able to keep a relatively high level of quality taking into consideration its incredibly convenient size. Comparing that to a full sized desktop DAC does no justice to either of these quality products.


Art Dudley found the Dragonfly as good or better than his reference DAC (Wavelength Proton).  RH in TAS gave the Dragonfly a remarkably good review.  I found the Dragon a fairly decent sounding DAC in a remarkably small box.  I just can't report hearing the quality of sound from the Dragonfly reported in many reviews, I think the Schiit Bifrost is much better sounding.  That being said, the Dragonfly is a cool idea and a step up from the soundcard in my PC and Mac computers.

post #2947 of 3320

i am considering buying a used bifrost.  unfortunately it has no box or manual.  has anyone come across a manual online?

post #2948 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by bensl View Post

i am considering buying a used bifrost.  unfortunately it has no box or manual.  has anyone come across a manual online?

 

While their manuals are hilarious I'd say they're also entirely unnecessary since Schiit's products are intentionally very simple/focused.

 

And in my opinion that's entirely a compliment; they do one thing and do it very well and are simple enough that you shouldn't ever need a manual except for a laugh.

post #2949 of 3320

emailed schiit directly and got a reply with a pdf copy in minutes! great service.

 

and yes, i can now see what you mean...

post #2950 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant00 View Post

 

While their manuals are hilarious I'd say they're also entirely unnecessary since Schiit's products are intentionally very simple/focused.

 

And in my opinion that's entirely a compliment; they do one thing and do it very well and are simple enough that you shouldn't ever need a manual except for a laugh.

I would say they are necessary. Considering some of the questions asked over time.

 

I particularly like this FAQ:

 

It doesn't turn on, what do i do?

"Plug it in to a different AC socket. Ensure you are not currently in a blackout.

Then call us if it still doesn't turn on".

post #2951 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

I would say they are necessary. Considering some of the questions asked over time.

 

I particularly like this FAQ:

 

It doesn't turn on, what do i do?

"Plug it in to a different AC socket. Ensure you are not currently in a blackout.

Then call us if it still doesn't turn on".

 

You have an excellent point.

 

And yes, great advice as usual from Schiit smily_headphones1.gif

post #2952 of 3320
So is there any chance that the upcoming statement DAC will it have HDMI and/or AES/EBU inputs?
post #2953 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

So is there any chance that the upcoming statement DAC will it have HDMI and/or AES/EBU inputs?

You are desperate for some specs.

post #2954 of 3320
Not really, I just want to know how the feature set competes with others in the category like the M51 for example.
post #2955 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

Not really, I just want to know how the feature set competes with others in the category like the M51 for example.

Well you posted in another thread, so I figured since you couldn't wait..

 

I still don't think anyone knows.

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