Terrific stuff, Andre - thanks! Nice to understand a little more about what I'm looking at.
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Disclaimer First of all, huge thanks to Audrey (@Salsera) for considering me to actually review the Brainwavz S5. My deepest gratitude...
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Schiit DACs (Bifrost and Gungnir down, one to go)? The information and anticipation thread. - Page 60
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Yeah thanks a ton, Andre - very insightful for those of us without the required knowledge to know what we're looking at.
I think I posted this earlier in this thread or the other one in the Sponsor announcements board, but I had asked Jason a month or so ago via e-mail about Schiit's transformer choice of EI transformers versus toroidal (or even R-Core/C-Core), which seems to be the most popular transformer choice in modern DACs, his reply being:
Yeah, transformers get down to more of a religious discussion sometimes, but, bottom line: why would you want a transformer that bleeds more high-frequency hash back onto the AC line (like a toroid or R-core) in a DAC?
EI's the way to go for power (or C-core.)
Toroid or R-core is the way to go for output coupling (for tube amps.)
That's how we see it.
Here is a marked up picture of the Bifrost guts:
edit: fix up the transistor text to say it's 1 of 8.
edit: here is an updated picture pointing out the two LEDs on the analog board, and one more crystal on the USB board: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-yZIzBrpRx-I/To4WTkP72QI/AAAAAAAABD0/A8K4L_T_F0Q/bifrost.jpg
Edited by AndreYew - 10/6/11 at 2:03pm
Good work AndreYew. We knew the USB board was plug in, but what suprised me was the audio board being a seperate module.
It looks like this audio output board will be used in the mid range Schiit DAC as well, but with balanced outputs using those extra pins.
Thanks Andre. I was impressed this morning when I read your commentary of the board design. I dont know much more than what's a capacitor and whats a resistor so it is great to have someone explain the build. The annotated photo is really great.
It will be interesting to see how Schiit goes with the modular designs. We already know that they have shared components and chassis for their amps to date and the Bifrost. We also know that the Bifrost will have upgradeable modules -USB and Dac at least. I am guessing that the need for the larger chassis will stop the upgrading from going too far. ie taking a bifrost to a balanced output.
I am still really impressed with Schiit. Even the wait for the Bifrost is not even dampening my excitement.
Bring on the announcement of the intermediate Dac and Amp and then the Statement Gear. I wish Schiit all the best in their business.
I believe the toggle is for power, and the button up front is for selecting between inputs (USB, Coaxial, S/PDIF).
I think the rear toggle switch is power on/off. The front button select from the three inputs, and the 3 led's at the edge of the mainboard are the visual light for each of those inputs. The other internal LED's must be for diagnostic?
Edited by agisthos - 10/6/11 at 6:07am
Midweek update for everyone (well, kinda past midweek . . .)
Our lives at the boardhouse are winding down. I can now say we will be shipping a handful of Bifrosts on Friday, another handful on Monday, and will have good supply as of Tuesday.
Apologies again for the delay.
Not at all --- I'm glad people find it interesting. I've added a couple more things to it. For example, there are two yellow LEDs in the analog output stage --- I know diodes are sometimes used as references, so perhaps this is another way of doing it? Also, there is another clock crystal, for a total of 3, on the USB card. Here is the new pic, and I've kept the old one so I don't break any links:
edit: the connector from the DAC board to the main board has 24 connectors. Probably some are grounds, and some are power supply lines but there are more than enough pins to implement some kind of differential transmission of the digital data to the DAC itself especially if they're doing just 2 channels. That would be 4 pins for the differential audio data, and 20 leftover for plenty of ground and power-carrying capacity. Some might be unused for future expansion, too --- it's hard to say without the board in hand.
Edited by AndreYew - 10/6/11 at 2:09pm
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