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Holy Schiit! Add DSD to any DAC for $149. Meet Loki... - Page 5

post #61 of 116

Too much trouble for Foobar setup...hell, I will wait for the Yggdrasil then.

post #62 of 116
D/A conversion in native mode means direct DSD to analog conversion?
post #63 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

Schiit doesn't believe in DSD, yet in response to their customers clamoring for a format that very few people use (or can use), they give them the world's cheapest DSD DAC that can integrate into most computer based systems so people can try out DSD without spending $900+ to do so. 

Kudos to Schiit, and Seriously? to everyone who can't figure out what this is and/or is complaining about what this isn't.
+1 to this. Schiit has been absolutely consistent in their marketing philosophy and the products they have produced. Loki fits perfectly.
post #64 of 116

Anyone has this?

Any impression?

post #65 of 116

Just received my second Loki - the first one seemed to have the wrong firmware flashed into it.

 

Rather than use the front switch I just plugged it into my MacPro along side the Gungnir.  I now see two DACs in the setup:

 

The Gungnir as: "Speaker-Schiit USB Audio Device"

The Loki as: "Schiit Audio DSD Device"  and can select either DAC in the preferences of the player app, either Audirvana+ or JRiver MC18 for OSX.

 

Does it sound good?  Yep.  Does it sound better than the Gungnir?  Well, it doesn't sound *worse* and for $149 I can play all of my native DSD content.  What DSD content you say?  All of the SACDs I've purchased over the years and which I store as .iso files on my server.  Pretty cool I think, and a signal path that is a WHOLE lot more minimal than any other solution.  As an Engineer, I think less is always better to achieve the same result, right?

 

My "iPod" can now consist of: MacBook->Loki->Twisted Pear->Sennheiser HD800.  The only component that needs lines power is the Twisted Pear as the Loki runs off the power supplied by the USB.  The Bifrost is optional and only needed to play PCM (flacs).  I'll be looking into converting all of my flac to DSD if possible.  If anyone has experience with this, please lemme know.

 

Cheers - Frank

post #66 of 116

Thank Frank,

 

Seem like not much fellow headfiers are getting this..

 

May be, I should start a new thread on the Impression of Schiit Loki..

 

I am thinking of getting the Loki and do a comparison between the UD501 which I had for a month plus..

Sell it off if the Loki is comparable or better...

post #67 of 116

You guys say :
"Can I use Loki with a Raspberry Pi for streaming?
Yes, Loki works with RaspyFi for the Raspberry Pi to create an inexpensive DSD server. "

 

But yet the manual clams no support for Linux , but may work.

 

So what is it :
1) Works , but you won't give ANY help or care

2) don't work with Linux.

 

1) is a perfectly fine option.  :)

post #68 of 116

Just placed an order for mine. I'm looking forward to comparing it with the Fostex HP-A8 and Audirvana. While it will do DSD over DoP, there is a 2 second gap of silence where music should be playing any time I start or skip to a new track (along with a ~4 second delay as it clicks over to DSD). Also, playback isn't gapless, even with SACD ISO backups. I'm hoping that this Loki gives seamless and gapless playback and offers same/better performance to the Fostex!

post #69 of 116

Haven't had a chance to do too much listening - so far there are only 2 "issues"

 

1) gain is lower than typical SE, and WAY lower than balanced  - because of USB power - not a problem per se, just be aware

2) firmware needs a tweak to suppress output on start play so we don't hear pops N clicks

post #70 of 116

I have been breaking this dac in for 4 days now.  

 

As it stands it is not a finished product, there is a pop when you first send a music stream to it (come on guys get your schiit together). As fankty says, needs a firmware upgrade. However this does not get in the way of making an assessment of the SQ.

 

Yes the gain is lower, makes it more tricky to A/B to my PCM dac, but otherwise not a problem.

 

As for the sound, hmmm! Well,  I have been comparing it to the superb Metrum Octave dac which is several times more expensive. Seemingly unfair, but this is also a comparison of PCM vs DSD. Perhaps the DSD only design, of the Schiit might compensate for its lower cost build compared to the PCM Octave?

 

On windows 7 I could not get foobar outputting to this dac, but  this is my problem not the dacs. Jriver build 19 works a treat. After setting  Jriver up, just drop a SACD iso into the playing now window and your away. 

 

As expected the cold Schiit, straight out of the box, was trodden on by the Octave (soggy base, suppressed highs, mixed up soundstage, and limp presentation {like being attacked with a wilted lettuce leaf).  But after 4 days the sound has improved enough to make meaningful comparisons with the Octave. 

 

I am not going to compare DSD to 16/44 etc because there is a lot of discussion elsewhere about this. But  DSD with Loki, vs Metrum Octave with PCM 16/44 and 24/176 (both through Jriver) yes. In a nutshell, what I hear.

 

The Octave is the more exciting, and presents the structure of the music with more detail. On the other hand the Schitt, presents a richer, denser tonal palate. The Schitt is also is easier to listen too for long periods, perhaps just not so dynamic.Extended listening is normally the Octaves forte, so this is quite an achievement for the Schitt here. So the Octave is cleaner, tighter base, more dramatic, but the Schitt paints a more colourful picture. 

 

The big plus for the Schitt (the 'one more thing' moment if you like) is when I play my huge collection of 16/44 rips through the Schitt. Jriver will convert PCM live to DSD to ouput to the little Schitt. (the only fly being, that Jriver will not play video sound through this dac)

 

Not only does this allow me to use the Schitt Loki for all my music without switching dacs, but the sound of the 16/44 files improves considerably. They acquire a lot of the tonal richness I hear in the DSD/SACD files. I can only attribute this to superior processing by Jriver on my i3 music server, then you would get in the hardware of many dacs. I will let somebody who is knowledgeable figure that one out.

 

So which do I prefer the Loki or the Octave? If the Loki was my only dac, I could quite happily live with it, which is remarkable for its price. But I will not be selling my Octave, because I will miss its directness.

 

For the price you cant go wrong with the Loki, it gives a different presentation of music (analogue?) without giving away to  many audiophile qualities.Not only does it scratch that DSD itch, but Its a great dac for leaving music playing all day.

 

 

 

 

If there are any further changes to the sound of this dac over the days, I will update.


Edited by Wood - 9/28/13 at 2:54am
post #71 of 116
Thread Starter 

Wood, Frankty, actually the "pop" when starting up a stream is a known issue with many, many DSD DACs. This is why JRiver and other players have the option to "Play silence on startup for hardware synchronization" and "Play a little silence on stop." 

 

It's a computer-based issue. We don't have the problem on any of our Mac installs, nor on any of our current test PC installations, even without those options enabled, but some systems will need it.

post #72 of 116

Hi Jason, very nice dac you have there with the Loki.  I take on board your explanation of the 'pop' being a combination of system dependence and a DSD issue. . To add some context here, the pop is barley audible on my setup, and only occurs infrequently, it doesn't bother me at all so if I had to I would not hesitate to buy this dac again. As I said above I believe you cant go wrong with this dac.

 

In the short time since I penned my first impressions, the dac has continued to improve and now plays DSD better than my Octave via Jriver-DSD-PCM. This is with bitstreaming set to "DSD over PCM". I wonder now what a hi-end DSD dedicated Schitt dac would sound like?

post #73 of 116

I got my Loki set up this weekend so I could listen to all 6 of the available DSD releases!  ;)

 

I choose to set up with Audirvana and it was really easy on the Mac.  So far it seems a really capable little DAC.  

 

I think I'll go the route of running a second USB from my Mac to the Loki as the permanent set up.  The analog connection and switch aren't a great match for my current set up.

 

It's a great little product to play with.  Nice job Schitt.

 

Time to listen to some music.


Edited by shipsupt - 9/30/13 at 11:31am
post #74 of 116

Hi Jason,

 

On my setup the "pop" is 100% coincidental (and is always present) with the lock light coming on no matter what SW I use.  Given all that going on, that the HW has control, and can manipulate the lock light, just please add a net to the circuit which by default is mute, + of outputs pulled to GND, and which goes off when the lock light is on, following the lock light by some # milliseconds - try 100ms to start.  Easy fix - might even be able to do it in the "EasyWare via Evil JuJu(tm)."

 

Cheers!

Frank

post #75 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant00 View Post
 

So, Schiit speaker amps next year then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post
 

 

Bigger surprises than that. I hope.

 

 

Um, If Schiit started making speaker/subwoofer amps in the 2000 Watt range,

along with a DAC that can do 6 or 8 channels..... perhaps with an adjustable bass crossover, and be fed by HDMI with support for the latest bluray audio formats (basically a simple receiver) and pass that HDMI back out for the TV......

 

I would go ape Schiit. Probably replace my home theater setup with them as money allowed.....

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