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Schiit DACs (Bifrost and Gungnir down, one to go)? The information and anticipation thread. - Page 199

post #2971 of 3320

Yep, it's a hot topic. I've been listening to DSD natively with both of my DAC's for quite some time now, and to my hears - a good recording played natively via DSD is the best I've ever heard digital music. I certainly can't get all the music I'd like in SACD format, but still - I find my listening biased toward the good DSDs; it's that much better to me. I've talked to Jason (as others have) about this, and I understand why they're not going after DSD in their mainline products. I realize that given the encryption issues around SACD/DSD - not many are pursuing this. No matter; with a little effort - the components are readily available in the DIY world to put together a best of breed DAC that handles native DSD like a champ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by judmarc View Post

 

So interesting how respected industry vets can think very differently about certain issues.  See Paul McGowan's (PS Audio) take on DSD here: http://www.pstracks.com/pauls-posts/ps-dsd/8946/

 

My player does on-the-fly conversion of DSD to PCM, allowing me to play it through my Bifrost, and to me it sounds great.  I'm thinking it would sound even better if the DSD signal didn't have to be converted, and could be handled in native format by the DAC.  But Jason and Mike have made their decision for separate-if-any DSD-capable hardware after an extensive survey of their customer base here.  As it is, I'm looking forward to what the statement DAC will bring.

post #2972 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by judmarc View Post

 

So interesting how respected industry vets can think very differently about certain issues.  See Paul McGowan's (PS Audio) take on DSD here: http://www.pstracks.com/pauls-posts/ps-dsd/8946/

 

My player does on-the-fly conversion of DSD to PCM, allowing me to play it through my Bifrost, and to me it sounds great.  I'm thinking it would sound even better if the DSD signal didn't have to be converted, and could be handled in native format by the DAC.  But Jason and Mike have made their decision for separate-if-any DSD-capable hardware after an extensive survey of their customer base here.  As it is, I'm looking forward to what the statement DAC will bring.

Everyone has the right to be wrong.

 

Not being snarky--WE could be wrong, just as much as Paul could be wrong. Bottom line, we're both covering our asses. They say, "We'll do DSD with no significant penalty for PCM." We say, "Our stuff is upgradable for future standards." 

 

What this means (for us) is that if DSD becomes a significant part of the market, we can offer a new USB input card that will accept it for Bifrost and Gungnir. Your total cost, probably about $150. As of right now, we don't have any real interest in doing that, since you're looking at new firmware as well, and a great way to double the cost of, say, Bifrost, is to have unending development on the hardware and software side. Same reason you can't have a HDMI port instead of a USB port or a wireless card instead of a USB card. Not at the moment, anyway. But the capability is built in.

 

Now, on the statement DAC, that's a different story. It's architecture doesn't support DSD, period, no way, no how. Which means you'd need another BIG module to do it right, or (more probable) an external box. If we choose to do DSD, we will have a unique take on it for the statement product.

 

But again, until DSD proves itself as a significant force in the market, we're going to develop for the majority of what's out there. If it becomes the predominant audiophile music format, we're ready for it, thanks to the upgradable nature of our products. If it doesn't, well, I'm sure we'll have other upgrades for you to consider. 

post #2973 of 3320

Makes perfect sense to me Jason. While it's not my personal preference, I think it's the right position as this time.

post #2974 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post

Everyone has the right to be wrong.

 

Not being snarky--WE could be wrong, just as much as Paul could be wrong. Bottom line, we're both covering our asses. They say, "We'll do DSD with no significant penalty for PCM." We say, "Our stuff is upgradable for future standards." 

 

What this means (for us) is that if DSD becomes a significant part of the market, we can offer a new USB input card that will accept it for Bifrost and Gungnir. Your total cost, probably about $150. As of right now, we don't have any real interest in doing that, since you're looking at new firmware as well, and a great way to double the cost of, say, Bifrost, is to have unending development on the hardware and software side. Same reason you can't have a HDMI port instead of a USB port or a wireless card instead of a USB card. Not at the moment, anyway. But the capability is built in.

 

Now, on the statement DAC, that's a different story. It's architecture doesn't support DSD, period, no way, no how. Which means you'd need another BIG module to do it right, or (more probable) an external box. If we choose to do DSD, we will have a unique take on it for the statement product.

 

But again, until DSD proves itself as a significant force in the market, we're going to develop for the majority of what's out there. If it becomes the predominant audiophile music format, we're ready for it, thanks to the upgradable nature of our products. If it doesn't, well, I'm sure we'll have other upgrades for you to consider. 

 

Thanks, Jason, very much appreciate the clarity as always.  Not only does everyone have the right to be wrong, but we all have our biases.  Mine comes from the fact that a number of classical artists, and on the rock side the Mobile Fidelity people plus a couple of others, are issuing content I enjoy in the DSD/SACD formats.  But you're absolutely right that it's very much a niche market, and no way to know at this point whether or not it's a dead end.  Especially for a smallish company (though hopefully with ever increasing revenues :-) , sinking development and fabrication costs into such a path is obviously risky.

 

Of course you've once again whetted my appetite for info about the statement DAC - very curious about its unique architecture.  Care to drop any more hints?  ;-)

 

Also: I'm sure we'll have other upgrades for you to consider.  Mmm, yummy - upgrades!

post #2975 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post


Now, on the statement DAC, that's a different story. It's architecture doesn't support DSD, period, no way, no how. Which means you'd need another BIG module to do it right, or (more probable) an external box. If we choose to do DSD, we will have a unique take on it for the statement product.

I think this is a confirmation that the statement dac is a r2r dac, and here I am hoping that it's not an off the shelf dac chip biggrin.gif
post #2976 of 3320
Whoops
post #2977 of 3320
Whoops
post #2978 of 3320

i guess actually that it's the confirmation that it's a NAD m51 type of dac

post #2979 of 3320
I dont really get the insanity over DSD, high res. etc! I guess, if I had a ton of that stuff I would be more interested. Still, the fact remains that you cant EASILY rip an SACD. That means you have to use a player. If you're going to do that then let the player do the deal (ex. Oppo, etc) and use the analog outs. As far as the 'high res.' downloads, I have been a bid disappointed by their lack of a clear superiority to redbook.
post #2980 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by kr0gg View Post

i guess actually that it's the confirmation that it's a NAD m51 type of dac

That would be incorrect. The m51 style dac is basically perfect for DSD audio though. The only style that wouldn't is a monolithic ladder dac chip which can't run DSD audio without conversion to PCM first.

I'm hoping its like a cheaper SMD version of the Totaldac, that would be a game changer I think
post #2981 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post


That would be incorrect. The m51 style dac is basically perfect for DSD audio though. The only style that wouldn't is a monolithic ladder dac chip which can't run DSD audio without conversion to PCM first.
I'm hoping its like a cheaper SMD version of the Totaldac, that would be a game changer I think

Oh, that would be exciting as schiit.

post #2982 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Oh, that would be exciting as schiit.

very_evil_smiley.gif

 

i know when to plant a seed or two

 

and they already said it wasnt off the shelf, so its not one of the current ladder dacs thats still left in production, and it isnt sigma delta or it would be able to do DSD...logically this is the only option tongue.gif or maybe im getting ahead of myself lol

post #2983 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

very_evil_smiley.gif

 

i know when to plant a seed or two

 

and they already said it wasnt off the shelf, so its not one of the current ladder dacs thats still left in production, and it isnt sigma delta or it would be able to do DSD...logically this is the only option tongue.gif or maybe im getting ahead of myself lol

Jason has said that their statement will use technology never before seen. So, while it's already exciting,

it could get over the top. Hopefully at least. biggrin.gif

post #2984 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Jason has said that their statement will use technology never before seen. So, while it's already exciting,

it could get over the top. Hopefully at least. biggrin.gif

If it turns out to be what i think it will be...ill have to buy one to compare to the Anedio D2 lol i wont be able to pass up a ladder dac Schiit dac from Mike Mofat, thats just too much awesome in one box

post #2985 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwaxxer View Post

I dont really get the insanity over DSD, high res. etc! I guess, if I had a ton of that stuff I would be more interested. Still, the fact remains that you cant EASILY rip an SACD. That means you have to use a player. If you're going to do that then let the player do the deal (ex. Oppo, etc) and use the analog outs. As far as the 'high res.' downloads, I have been a bid disappointed by their lack of a clear superiority to redbook.


I have an Oppo, and the ripped DSD file is very clearly better sounding.  (Think of a file ripped from a CD and played through a good DAC versus recording a disc player's analog output.)

 

You're right about most downloads.  Except for classical labels like Channel Classics, Linn, etc., and very small niche studios like Blue Coast Records (I have their first DSD sampler as a download, mostly acoustic blues-rock stuff, and it sounds amazing), the vast majority of hi-res downloads from the "big guy" in this market in the USA, HDTracks, are taken from "classic" jazz and rock albums remastered by the record labels to compete in the loudness wars.  So you get a high resolution version of a recording with most of the dynamics squeezed out of it.  Great, eh?

 

You can get a rough check on the dynamics of a recording (including some HDTracks downloads) at the DR Database, http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/ .  This can help you pick out good recordings/downloads (e.g., the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds") from among the loudness war casualties.  As with any tool, exercise caution.  When coding the foobar2000 plugin responsible for almost all the measurements in the database, the programmer had to make some more or less arbitrary decisions about what would be relatively quick and easy to measure among the many aspects of a recording that go into perceived loudness variation.  Thus the database numbers offer no more than a rough idea of which recordings are more dynamic, let alone great sounding.


Edited by judmarc - 11/26/12 at 8:50pm
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