NEW - Schiit Asgard 2

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by mab1376, Feb 7, 2013.
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  1. Gojira81
    Yes that's why I'm skeptical about replacing the DAC since it may not make a big difference. I'm not an expert at all as I'm new to all of this, I just want an on a budget setup that makes me enjoy my music. Thank you for the advice.
     
  2. theveterans
    In my experience, above budget/entry level setup, DACs makes a noticeable difference to the sound. You can have the best headphone amp, but if the signal its receiving isn't good, it'll just amplify garbage. Unless you have a decent mid-fi DAC like Chord Mojo, iDSD, Questyle or Modi/Bifrost Multibit, upgrading to higher level DACs will yield a much worse price/performance ratio.
     
  3. Gojira81
    Makes sense!
     
  4. StanD
    A DAC as simple as a D/S Modi has a flat FR and distortion levels far lower than what any human can detect. It wasn't long ago that everyone was stamping their feet for 24 and 32 bit DACs, even though a true realization of less than 32 bits would result in a cataclysmic event and many proclaimed that 16 bits wasn't enough for a true audiophile. Gee, isn't that Modi multi-bit 16 bits? I'm just not going to buy into anecdotal information and the latest wave of audio excitement. If anyone wants to buy any wizbang DAC and it pleases them, I'd consider that part of the audio hobby and they should enjoy it.
    The USB Uber Bifrost I bought a few years ago sounds just as good today and my Asgard 2 fits perfectly on top of it. IMO the rest is up to imagination and expectation. If I didn't have a DAC and bought the Modi Multibit today, it would be because it's a steal, whether it's multi-bit or not.
     
  5. theveterans
    IMO It's not even about bits or flat FR or THD+N, distortion or objective measurements that make a certain DAC more preferable than the other. Heck higher level DACs actually measure worse than the ones that came with smartphones because the higher/more expensive DACs usually have a custom in-house digital filtering (WTA filter for Chord, Comburrito for Schiit for example) that makes them sound different than say a default (most accurate) digital filter from a smartphone, etc. Those digital filters are kind of synonymous with Dolby Digital sound DSP, but it's built-in to the DAC implementation rather than using a software decoder/processor outside of the DAC. I bet the realtek chip inside my laptop measures far better and sounds truer to the source than my Schiit Bifrost Multibit DAC, but I just prefer the sound signature of the Multibit as it emphasizes certain frequencies to make the sound more "live", e.g. voices are more forward (might sound shouty in some headphones), drums have more thump (slight bass boost) and many more noticeable differences.

    Like you say, It's a hobby as you stated. If you can demo the Modi Multibit and like its sound (you don't need to listen critically IMO as it sounds noticeably different from the get go) then you'll prefer it even if you know it's not accurate sounding.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  6. StanD
    Well, let's think about the part about "emphasizing certain frequencies." That would mean that the FR would not be flat, that is an easy thing to measure yet all of these DACs have a flat FR, no "slight bass boost," and if they didn't have a flat FR we would be very critical of them. If one wants to emphasize the FR, I would suggest using EQ.
    Isn't it odd that every year we hear about products that are notably better than the previous year with no end in sight, yet we are the same beings, evolution does not work that fast, in fact with age our hearing degrades (I hate that part). I might suggest that our ability to believe might come into play far too often and if we were subjected to a proper comparative environment the experience would be eye opening. I'd bet that if we were blind folded and compared a Schiit Modi 2 Uber D/S and a very expensive wiz bang boutique DAC that's all the rage, we'd pick the Schiit at least half the time. I'd bet that comparing an Asgard 2 with a very expensive wiz bang boutique Amp would result in the same outcome.
     
  7. PolarBehr
    Almost all DACs have ruler flat frequency response, ultra low THD+N, distortion and objective measurements to the point that there is a lot of discussion that differences are well below what can be heard. Yet the differences in the filters can be heard. I have heard a CD player that allowed you to select different filters and they made a difference in what I heard. The same was true with the DAC I heard that allowed selection of different filters.

    I have a Shiit Modi Uber with an Asgar 2 and it is the most natural sounding DAC I have heard (note I do not have a lot of experience listening to more expensive DACs). When I say natural sounding I mean an recorded acoustic guitar sounds more like a live acoustic guitar, a piano sounds more like a piano, etc. Better than my phones, tablets and CD players (even my very expensive $1000 CD player from 1980s).
     
  8. StanD
    I always wonder how much of this is subjective. As humans we are terrible witnesses to audio due to many factors, Equal Loudness Contour, Echoic Memory limitations and expectation bias, etc.. It is easy to remember an opinion but not the actual sounds that were heard, thus it is impossible to actually compare. Unless there was something that one found excessive, the finer details are impossible to compare, especially if even a short time has transpired. I'm not trying to foist my views on anyone, just stating what my thinking is.
     
  9. PolarBehr
    I agree that our brains have the biggest impact on how we think something sounds followed by the room or the headphones.
     
  10. ColtMrFire
    I've been hearing a faint crackling sound coming from my Asgard 2 in the left channel of my Beyer T90s. It started a few weeks after I got the amp, doesn't happen all the time, just occasionally. Switched cables and everything, no change. And I don't hear it when the HPs are hooked to other sources, so it's not the T90. Anyone else had this issue?
     
  11. theveterans
    Summer weather contributes to a noisier AC power delivery. Use a power regenerator like those from PS Audio to eliminate the issue. FYI, power conditioner won't cut it
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  12. ColtMrFire
    Weird, because I already use an excellent power conditioner (Belkin PF60).
     
  13. theveterans
    That happened to my Asgard 2 during summer until I had completely isolated the AC power through a power regerator. (I used to use a Furman power conditioner) All those crittery clicks are gone and music always sounded really good any time of the day and not just at night after 9pm.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  14. ColtMrFire
    When I switch to low gain the crackling vanishes.
     
  15. ColtMrFire
    I'm pretty miffed that I have to buy another power unit just to use a $250 amp properly. Doesn't make sense.
     
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