T1 x Meier vs Schiit stack
Unfortunately I have run out of time with this RazorJack, so here are tentative impressions based on two of my test tracks. This has actually opened some questions I haven't had time to explore. I will get back to this next year.
As before, levels were matched closely; or 'exactly' if my SPL meter can be believed, which I doubt!
Background blackness: Stagedac-Concerto (SC) is silent, period. Bifrost-Lyr with the stock GE6BZ7 (BL) - sometimes silent, sometimes not. There can be faint hum at times. It does not seem to intrude when the music's playing, but it's there (sometimes).
Sub-bass quality/quantity: With 'Lydia' (sparse arrangement, low-tuned bass guitar, drum and female vocalist kicks off this track), still present is the tendency I noted previously for the Bifrost to have a little more surface detail around the string, a little less of the fundamental and the first harmonic or two of the note. The SC combo dug a little deeper, but seemed less clean-cut - the bass a little woolier but maybe accurately so, I don't know!
SC also - as noted before - showed voice to good effect. BL wasn't too far behind though. And BL excelled by presenting more 'twang' when the lead guitar came in. This is a strength of the Lyr IMO, and it certainly doesn't disappear when fed by the Bifrost.
With John Paul Jones Bass 'N' Drums I had quite a different impression! There's more texture in the bass guitar work (probably thanks to JP Jones doing the production!) and this seems to show in the BL's favor,largely thanks to Bifrost's outstanding clarity. Two points stand out. First, sound-stage is better with BL - instruments are set out with nice focus and instruments seem better separated sonically, not just spatially. The overall effect is more engaging. Second, dynamic range seemed noticeably better - more hush and more loud.
In comparison, SC seemed a touch drier in the upper bass/lower mids, making it slightly more distant or detached and making the track a little less engaging. Sound-stage was narrower and less focused. I think this may have contributed to an illusion of less dynamic range because really - when I concentrated on this one aspect - I don't think there's any less loud and soft with SC. (As you'll remember, when it comes to voice Stagedac is very good on this point).
This raises more questions than it answers because whilst I slightly preferred Lydia with SC, I more than slightly preferred Bass 'N' Drums with BL! There are logical test-tracks to go to from here, but this will have to wait.
It may be that BL is a little mono-tone when one-at-a-time (deep) bass guitar notes are being played with clean picking and 'straight'., i.e. without a lot of note-bending or other technique. Hence, the first minute or two of Lydia may have played to BL's weakness. But once we moved to JP Jones inimitable technique, the Bifrost has more to work on and more to give the Lyr.
That's speculation, and I think doing the cross combinations might tell us a bit too - Bifrost with Concerto and Stagedac with Lyr.