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Schiit DACs (Bifrost and Gungnir down, one to go)? The information and anticipation thread. - Page 53

post #781 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butler View Post

I plan on using the the bifrost as a sound card in itself and doing the optical straight off the opitical from an on board port on the motherboard- anything lost in quality should be negligible and unnoticeable… hopefully.


This is the same situation I'm in as well.  Shiit is clearly saying that they recommend SPDIF (without being converted from USB) over any USB implementation.  That leaves the motherboard's Realtek optical out or using a sound card.  In the case of the sound card you're most likely paying for one with DAC's you'll never use.  We would need a high end 'SPDIF out' only card.  And this is still based on Shiit's premise that SPDIF is preferred for the Bifrost over a USB->SPDIF converter.  I just don't know what interface to go with now confused.gif

post #782 of 3320

Honestly, I wouldn't stress about it too much When you get Bifrost, try SPDIF, and that lacks try USB. A good USB implementation (which I believe the Bifrost will have) can outperform a weak SPDIF. My 2 cents.

post #783 of 3320

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Yeah, I'm post #3.  wink.gif  I think there needs to be a digital compendium.  Digital is orders of magnitude more complex and varied than Analog yet everyone runs around shouting "It's just 1's and 0's!"  


I realized you were already on it shortly after I posted that link redface.gif

 

For a compendium, there's always the Computer Audio Forum, but there does seem to be a bit of shouting there at times wink.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obazavil View Post

I think Schiit said their USB module is as good as USB can get. So we can just play safe and get the USB module instead of doing magic :P

 

But those Creative x-Fi (i know are not in the same league) sounds too tempting with optical and 5.1 output :P

 

I would definitely spend the extra $100 for the USB option on the Bifrost rather than getting a USB to spdif converter for it, it's a no-brainer.


Edited by grokit - 9/13/11 at 9:16pm
post #784 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misterrogers View Post

Honestly, I wouldn't stress about it too much When you get Bifrost, try SPDIF, and that lacks try USB. A good USB implementation (which I believe the Bifrost will have) can outperform a weak SPDIF. My 2 cents.


But here's the rub.  The USB option is a sizable chunk of the overall cost of the device.  The USB option is one that Schiit doesn't even believe in yet offer as a convenience by their own philosophy.  Not to say the USB module won't compete w/ the best of the rest but these two facts make the calculus a bit more complex than just buying and trying in my mind.

 

post #785 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

I would definitely spend the extra $100 for the USB option on the Bifrost rather than getting a USB to spdif converter for it, it's a no-brainer.



Yup!

And if you dont need it up front you can always buy & install it later. It is also asynchronous.

Try and find an async aftermarket convertor for that price that will support those bitrates. Rotz-O-Ruk!

 

post #786 of 3320

I already have the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro connected to my HTPC all the time, which I can always take it out for use for my laptop with BiFrost via SPDIF. Is this set up significantly better than laptop->usb->BiFrost? Not to mention, i can save that $100 too.

post #787 of 3320

I'm convinced that nowadays these USB-to-S/PDIF converters are the new snake oil. There are so many products but without any clear distinction between them feature-wise and the prices are steadily climbing to ridiculous levels. 

post #788 of 3320

I've plugged in my Anedio D1 via USB and via SPDIF and I can't hear a difference - and the Anedio isn't even asynch! I'd think Schiit's USB option would be sonically capable, and Schiit's dismissal of USB inputs is more engineer-OCD than anything. *shrug*

post #789 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post

I'm convinced that nowadays these USB-to-S/PDIF converters are the new snake oil. There are so many products but without any clear distinction between them feature-wise and the prices are steadily climbing to ridiculous levels. 


I'm wary of the same.  Trying to get a clear answer about how various products actually operate in the digital domain is like pulling teeth sometimes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioImpemba View Post

I've plugged in my Anedio D1 via USB and via SPDIF and I can't hear a difference - and the Anedio isn't even asynch! I'd think Schiit's USB option would be sonically capable, and Schiit's dismissal of USB inputs is more engineer-OCD than anything. *shrug*


I am not surprised.  Despite every claim about X>Y>Z standard every piece of gear I try (from $30 to $3000) yields a different result as to which is the best.  I can draw no conclusion other than it's all in the implementation and execution of the chosen standard.  There might be a theoretical answer but practical listening makes it seem more complicated to me. 

 

post #790 of 3320
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumper View Post





This is the same situation I'm in as well.  Shiit is clearly saying that they recommend SPDIF (without being converted from USB) over any USB implementation.  That leaves the motherboard's Realtek optical out or using a sound card.  In the case of the sound card you're most likely paying for one with DAC's you'll never use.  We would need a high end 'SPDIF out' only card.  And this is still based on Shiit's premise that SPDIF is preferred for the Bifrost over a USB->SPDIF converter.  I just don't know what interface to go with now confused.gif


Exactly! I dont want to buy an expensive sound card with a nice DAC when it's just going to route right past the DAC going optical from the card into the bifrost. Honestly, if there's an issue I'll put down the money and install the USB card in the bifrost, but chances are- on a nice mobo with optical out it's going to be notably better coming from a optical out on a expensive card. Some people may say that USB > Average SPDIF but that's to be determined, IMO.
post #791 of 3320

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

I am not surprised.  Despite every claim about X>Y>Z standard every piece of gear I try (from $30 to $3000) yields a different result as to which is the best.  I can draw no conclusion other than it's all in the implementation and execution of the chosen standard.  There might be a theoretical answer but practical listening makes it seem more complicated to me. 

 

 

Exactly.  Implementation is going to trump "theory" every time in audio.  I put "theory" in quotes because so often some small truth gets unjustifiably enlarged to an absolute, and in audio the truths tend to be quite small, not so widely applicable as to cover the entirety of what's going on in any given piece of equipment.

 

I've got a Bifrost on order and will be very interested to hear the S/PDIF optical, coaxial, and USB inputs.  There are "small truths" in favor of each of these interfaces (optical eliminates all electrical sources of distortion through ground; coax has greater bandwidth than optical; async USB tends to have lower jitter than all but very expensive S/PDIF implementations), but none large enough to say that one absolutely will sound better than the others in my system.  I will have to wait and listen to find out.
 

 

post #792 of 3320

What puts some doubt in my mind is that they say that their usb is poorer than their optical, when clearly other manufacturers have made usb equivalent if not superior to optical in some cases, this imo would give buyers who intend to primarily use usb cause for thought.

post #793 of 3320
From all that I have read especially on computer audiophile pages the USB is still lagging behind optical and coax. I think that Jason is being honest. I have tried dacs with USB capabilities and even tried a Hiface and the coax and optical still triumphs IMO. Do some research and you will see that most agree.

I personally keep hoping that USB catches up as it is so convenient to use USB.
post #794 of 3320

When Schiit says spdif is better than USB, I think they are talking about ultimate performance, not using some rubbish spdif output on your computer/laptop.
 

Schiit has also never said that Optical is better than USB. When they say 'spdif', we know they are actually talking about coaxial, because coaxial has lower jitter and sounds better compared to optical.

If your only source is an iMac or laptop, then sure, you will probably find async USB better than the cheapo optical or coaxial output. But put your USB laptop up against a good transport or audiophile network streamer, then I believe spdif will come out on top.

post #795 of 3320
Computer audiophile conflicts with what you are saying. The Mac mini is popular for a reason.
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