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usb or spdif in schiit bifrost

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, nub here on the forum, so I apologize if this has already been answered!


I have some Sennheiser HD598s and I'm loving them, but I want to get a DAC and amp for them. I've settled on eventually (when I get the money) getting the Schiit Bifrost and the Asgard, but I have a question.


The Bifrost is $350 if you leave out the USB connection and just use SPDIF, and $450 if you add the USB. Neither would be a problem for me, my computer has the outputs for both. Basically, I'm asking if there is a technical difference between them. Is one better than the other?


I did a search and found a thread from 2009, so I dunno if that info is dated, anyway.


Thanks in advance guys!

post #2 of 8

Great question, I am wondering this myself. Part of me thinks that having USB means it will truly be universal, able to hook up to any laptop or destop (eg my work computer which does not have SPDIF). Then again, I can just leave it at home and save $100.

post #3 of 8

I heard second hand that Schitt recommends coaxial>optical>USB.

But might as well check with them on that.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

I guess I can email them. I've seen firsthand that Jason Stoddard over at Schiit is awesome at answering emails. Thanks for the advice PurpleAngel!


And sygyzy, I'll let you know what I find out from them.

post #5 of 8

I seem to recall Jason Stoddard stating outright that their USB implementation was not as good as their SPDIF in one of the schiit dac threads. I suggest that you just buy the non-USB version and save yourself a hundred bucks.


EDIT: found the post! 


Edited by Hedonism - 8/21/12 at 3:57am
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Exactly what I needed! Thanks!

post #7 of 8
I have heard some really good stuff about using a wyrd + schiit dac combo. From my understanding though it seems the wyrd is another bandaid for usb audio and not better then SPDIF. Adding usb + wyrd on the Bifrost is $250 proposition so i would rather go without it uf i dont need it.

Can anyone comment on the sound or measurements comparing spdif vs usb + wyrd?
post #8 of 8

Datacoms guy here.

SPD/IF is theoretically inferior to either USB or digital audio over co-axial as it depends on the sender and receiver having clocks that are absolutely synchronized. If one or the other drifts, the sent data won't be read correctly. There's no 'bit stuffing' to force a string of, say, zeroes, to have a one in there somewhere SNA - an IBM networking protocol - works like this (there has to be a 0-1 transition every so often) so SNA is not clock synchronization dependent.Neither is USB, nor co-ax (for different reasons)

Does it matter in the real world? I don't think so.

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