Schiit Audio Bifrost 2
Aug 1, 2021 at 1:01 PM Post #2,251 of 2,540

duranxv

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Thanks to you both for commenting on AnalogEQ vs software, this has led to an afternoon of playing around with both my Mac and iPhone as sources to the BF2, and trying to A/B the Mac with and without SoundSource EQ app running. In every case, I'm using Tidal in exclusive mode (and really enjoying Primal Scream's Vanishing Point)

End of the day, I can't hear any difference with or without SoundSource in the chain on the Mac, except of course if SoundSource has any EQ's enabled, in which case I get whatever 'colour' I'm after. I didn't actually purchase SoundSource for EQ, rather I find it really useful as a switch for multiple audio inputs into whatever outputs I like. I'm working at home a lot these days, and likely for as long as I can foresee, so being able to have find control of source audio from Tidal, Apple Music, bandcamp, browsers, or whatever along with Zoom, Teams, Meet etc is very very handy. Anything I want to hear in my IEMs/HP, I just set the output to Bifrost2 Unison USB and all is Good in the World.

Maybe I need to get a hardware analog EQ like a lokius at some stage to really test it out, but for now I'm not sure I need to spend those $$ there...

Funny enough, I actually read the opposite when it comes to analog EQ and software EQ - that software is actually better since you can be much more precise in your frequency tweaks than analog.
 
Aug 1, 2021 at 10:38 PM Post #2,253 of 2,540

Lvivske

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yeah thats why I said I like using software for precise, lower db tweaks. It's better as a scalpel.

Bifrost question though: On the GoldenSound review on youtube, the dude says that the balanced outputs sound better than single ended - true or BS?
 
Aug 1, 2021 at 10:54 PM Post #2,254 of 2,540

Ripper2860

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It tried connecting BF2 simultaneously via SE and BAL into my Rag v1 and by switching inputs between SE and BAL inputs could hear no difference. But then again, my interconnects were pretty short (12" length) for both SE and BAL
 
Aug 2, 2021 at 4:37 AM Post #2,255 of 2,540

Arcayne

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Bifrost question though: On the GoldenSound review on youtube, the dude says that the balanced outputs sound better than single ended - true or BS?
I think it depends on the amp used. Some amps perform better with a stronger input signal, in which case it'll sound better using XLR outs from the BF2. I personally don't find that there's much of a difference (if any at all) between the outputs, but for amps with both balanced and unbalanced inputs I'd always be using balanced anyways.
 
Aug 2, 2021 at 5:18 AM Post #2,256 of 2,540

omniweltall

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The dynamics of SE out is slightly below the balanced out. Not a major difference, but it is there, to my ears.

Another point of interest, I also find the Bifrost 2 quite sensitive to source. Usually I don't find too much difference between USB cables with my previous DACs. But it does with the Bifrost 2. And the difference was quite perceivable. I didn't expect that.
 
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Aug 2, 2021 at 9:25 PM Post #2,258 of 2,540

ttocs

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I did my best to do an AB test of the single ended and balanced outputs this weekend and was unsuccessful in hearing any difference. My test was not even close to scientific as the only way I could level match with my current gear is to set volume levels and switch manually back and forth with relatively large gaps in playback. That said after playing six songs on both outputs I came away with the conclusion that any difference was not noticeable through my MHA200/LCD2F combo.
 
Aug 2, 2021 at 9:35 PM Post #2,259 of 2,540

Guidostrunk

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To my ears after level matching and using the same brand/model interconnects, the Balance outputs sound a tad more separated, cleaner, and distinct than the SE outputs. Its easier to hear into the music and the suble details. Not night and day different, but noticeable. YMMV.
Absolutely agree with your findings
 
Aug 2, 2021 at 10:43 PM Post #2,260 of 2,540

Alcophone

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To my ears after level matching and using the same brand/model interconnects, the Balance outputs sound a tad more separated, cleaner, and distinct than the SE outputs. Its easier to hear into the music and the suble details. Not night and day different, but noticeable. YMMV.
Into what device? If it's an internally balanced device, then maybe Schiit's "cheap ass balanced" conversion is better than what the target device does for its single ended inputs.
If it's an internally single ended device and very short interconnects, I'd expect single ended to sound better since you're avoiding the needless conversion to balanced and back.
Or maybe it works out better in terms of impedance this way, who knows.
 
Aug 2, 2021 at 10:51 PM Post #2,261 of 2,540

Rattle

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I will try and see if there's a difference for me... I've been listening to my Jot 2 SE from BF2 since I went balanced to my LP last time I listened to it.

The last 3 listening sessions were with JoT2 fed SE from Bifrost 2. I'll swap back and see if balanced makes an audible difference for me. Volume levels are the same on both amps with either connections anyway.
 
Aug 3, 2021 at 12:34 AM Post #2,262 of 2,540

Lvivske

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Everything in my chain is internally SE but if there's some truth to the BF2 Balanced out doing something better somehow, very tempted to order a pair for science
 
Aug 3, 2021 at 9:20 AM Post #2,264 of 2,540

Smoothstereo

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Into what device? If it's an internally balanced device, then maybe Schiit's "cheap ass balanced" conversion is better than what the target device does for its single ended inputs.
If it's an internally single ended device and very short interconnects, I'd expect single ended to sound better since you're avoiding the needless conversion to balanced and back.
Or maybe it works out better in terms of impedance this way, who knows.
I feed both the BF2 outputs to a Jot2 and use the 4pin xlr headphone out to headphones, currently using Denon D5200 and Hifiman Sundara.
 
Aug 3, 2021 at 9:36 AM Post #2,265 of 2,540

Lvivske

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It's good to have a pair of XLR cables around anyway and no need to spend a lot.

i can tie them into pigtails, for show
 

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