Originally Posted by yage
The Schiit Modi uses the output stage implemented within the DAC itself. That means that the DAC does the digital to analog conversion *and* the amplification required to send a line level output to a preamp / headphone amp. The Bifrost bypasses the integrated analog output stage with a custom designed, fully discrete circuit. This has potential for improving performance. The Gungnir takes this a few steps further and reclocks the incoming signal in order to more accurately sample the data (the 1's and 0's) and also swaps out the analog output stage on the DAC with a fully balanced design, which should further reduce the noise floor. This would have the greatest benefit if connected to a fully balanced headphone amp.
So the increase in price comes down to an increase in parts (both number and quality), the time it took to develop the circuit designs, and the more complex assembly required as you move from Modi to Bifrost to Gungnir. In each case, the more you pay, the better quality and the more features you get (or so it seems).
Hope this helps.
I am very appreciative of this post...cos I haven't got a clue what the big deal in "dac"is all about technically. Have to admit it has been the last thing I felt the need to change in each upgrade cycle..
My headfi dac journey had gone from fiio e7 ...to udac2 ..to nuforceHD ..to dacports ..n now a balanced dac from audioGd. ..so it's from 100 to 400 range...ehem.
The e7 n udac2 didn't leave much impression...Better clarity n " yaaa I have got a dac"
HD impressed me with its depth...
The dacports v black silent background....
audioGd, so far the most " being there" ...Very airy...bad congested CDs became listenable...
Like old lawrence of Arabia....
this is my best blind puchase todate...I just dumped in 400 n prayed.
Doubt I would move up further.....I think....nervous lauf.
Ok, back to u techqies