Schiit Audio Bifrost 2
Feb 9, 2022 at 2:34 AM Post #2,641 of 3,548

akelew

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I found a really cool little device that you can use with Bifrost if your using XLR for your amp. It's a little OLED spectrum analyzer that you can connect to the single ended connections (with an rca-3.5mm adapter). Since bifrost 2 sends out signal on both at the same time, you can listen to your amp through XLR while the device shows some pretty cool spectrum analysis in real time through single ended. The device lets you select between 0-8khz, 0-16khz or 0-20khz analysis, and also allows you to adjust the gain. Watching the video here on Alibaba it looks like it has a really fast update rate and seems to be quite accurate. It has english mode too and a few other settings. I'm thinking of ordering one to set on top of my bifrost and i reckon the white OLED would go great with the Bifrost silver. Anyone using anything similar?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001178614031.html
This link has a different video showing better how acurate it is, the video in the link above shows all the different modes
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33004773999.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000023.1.2d3e2a8f9R3izM

Also wondering, would running single ended at the same time affect sound quality through the balanced out?
 
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Feb 9, 2022 at 3:02 AM Post #2,642 of 3,548

kumar402

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I found a really cool little device that you can use with Bifrost if your using XLR for your amp. It's a little OLED spectrum analyzer that you can connect to the single ended connections (with an rca-3.5mm adapter). Since bifrost 2 sends out signal on both at the same time, you can listen to your amp through XLR while the device shows some pretty cool spectrum analysis in real time through single ended. The device lets you select between 0-8khz, 0-16khz or 0-20khz analysis, and also allows you to adjust the gain. Watching the video here on Alibaba it looks like it has a really fast update rate and seems to be quite accurate. It has english mode too and a few other settings. I'm thinking of ordering one to set on top of my bifrost and i reckon the white OLED would go great with the Bifrost silver. Anyone using anything similar?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001178614031.html
This link has a different video showing better how acurate it is, the video in the link above shows all the different modes
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33004773999.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000023.1.2d3e2a8f9R3izM

Also wondering, would running single ended at the same time affect sound quality through the balanced out?
If you are using Roon and streamer connected to DAC then you don’t need to connect it to same DAC. I am someone who likes to keep DAC away from unnecessary devices. I would rather get Aux to RCA adapter and connect this device to the headphone out of laptop and will group laptop headphone out and streamer connected to main DAC, BF2 in your case, in same group. So the music out of headphone out of laptop and DAC is same. In case you don’t want to add such device to DAC directly
 
Feb 9, 2022 at 4:16 AM Post #2,643 of 3,548

Neweymatt

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Also wondering, would running single ended at the same time affect sound quality through the balanced out?
Nope, you can use both at the same time. I’ve got XLR out to the Jot2, and SE out to the Vali2+. Works just fine, I really like to have the option of one amp or the other, depending on which headphone or IEM I want to use
 
Feb 9, 2022 at 5:55 PM Post #2,644 of 3,548

hikaru12

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I just got my BF2 in and I'm very amazed how the coax sounds out of the Pi2AES with a Shanti LPS. I had reserved the Pi2AES for the living room 'big brother' system but very impressed with the results. I used to use this thing with the Unison and the improvement in details with the Pi2AES is really nice. Now I just need a nice upgrade coax cable.
 
Feb 9, 2022 at 6:02 PM Post #2,646 of 3,548

hikaru12

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Nice. A friend of mine built me a custom dual PSU for the PI2AES back then. I remember how good the upgrade was from the default Meanwell supply. I absolutely love it.
If the SOTM SPS-500 output 5V I would totally go for it. I'm using the internal jumper to power the board and the Pi at the same time but it's limited to 5V (lowest the SOTM goes is 7V). If there's any other better LPS in the 1-2k range please let me know! I still need to upgrade the power cable for the LPS.
 
Feb 9, 2022 at 6:23 PM Post #2,647 of 3,548

Fegefeuer

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No idea about retail PSUs to be honest. There's too much weaselwording anyway in their marketing. Same with power cables.

I find active parts more important in terms of power delivery than cables themselves or let's say secondary to them.
Personally I use two Airlink Balanced Power Supplies for audio stuff and played around with DC blockers. Those helped most depending on where stuff had to be connected to or how gear reacted.

Power cables I use are mostly DIY too, some use the Viablue X-60 as a base, some Lapp Ölflex and for noisy stuff I use Supra cables (e.g.) PC. All very well crafted.
The market is big and full of crap and everyone will have his own recommendation. Just loan and see if it makes a difference.
 
Feb 10, 2022 at 12:50 AM Post #2,648 of 3,548

Neweymatt

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I just got my BF2 in and I'm very amazed how the coax sounds out of the Pi2AES with a Shanti LPS. I had reserved the Pi2AES for the living room 'big brother' system but very impressed with the results. I used to use this thing with the Unison and the improvement in details with the Pi2AES is really nice. Now I just need a nice upgrade coax cable.
I’m curious, how is a Pi2AES going to change my life vs using USB from my iphone or MacBook Pro/Air into the bifrost2? I have always assumed UnisonUSB would solve any noise/jitter issues.

I pretty much only use streaming, either Tidal or AppleMusic

Tx.
 
Feb 10, 2022 at 2:57 AM Post #2,649 of 3,548

kumar402

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I’m curious, how is a Pi2AES going to change my life vs using USB from my iphone or MacBook Pro/Air into the bifrost2? I have always assumed UnisonUSB would solve any noise/jitter issues.

I pretty much only use streaming, either Tidal or AppleMusic

Tx.
Well for starter your laptop or phone won't be connected with DAC with any cord and hence you can take it where ever you want while working. Also with Spdif the clock in the PI2AES will reclock and send over the digital signal which may be better then USB.
 
Feb 10, 2022 at 3:47 AM Post #2,650 of 3,548

akelew

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I’m curious, how is a Pi2AES going to change my life vs using USB from my iphone or MacBook Pro/Air into the bifrost2? I have always assumed UnisonUSB would solve any noise/jitter issues.

I pretty much only use streaming, either Tidal or AppleMusic

Tx.
From my understanding, UnisonUSB on the Bifrost 2 does not address jitter, because it does not have 'Schiit Adapticlock' built in. Only galvanic isolation. You need to step up to the Gungnir to get Adapticlock/clock regen.

I suggest you read through the SuperBestAudioFriends Bifrost 2 thread, there is where you will find extensive discussion on the differences between unison and spdif on the Bifrost 2.
 
Feb 10, 2022 at 4:58 AM Post #2,651 of 3,548

kumar402

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From my understanding, UnisonUSB on the Bifrost 2 does not address jitter, because it does not have 'Schiit Adapticlock' built in. Only galvanic isolation. You need to step up to the Gungnir to get Adapticlock/clock regen.

I suggest you read through the SuperBestAudioFriends Bifrost 2 thread, there is where you will find extensive discussion on the differences between unison and spdif on the Bifrost 2.
It does say in the Schiit website that they use high quality clock for unison now I'm not sure how good it is
“Unison USB is special because it was developed for a single purpose: to provide the highest performance input for PCM digital, period. It doesn’t have ten thousand un-used functions, nor is it trying to optimize for five different unicorn formats that will probably be gone tomorrow. It also uses very high-quality local clocks and offers complete electrostatic and electromagnetic isolation from the source. It also provides lower power draw and complete UAC2 compatibility. “

But ya it doesn't have Adapticlock.
However does it matter a lot if Unison has good quality local clock? That's the question.
 
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Feb 10, 2022 at 5:11 AM Post #2,652 of 3,548

kumar402

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Correct me if I'm wrong but if someone has very good DDC then do we need Adapticlock? However if we are using some normal SPDIF source then I feel Adapticlock makes more sense and in that regard to use BF2 with SPDIF input we need better source then say with Gungnir. But with USB input since DAC USB chip is the master so does Adapticlock makes any difference if Unison has good clock?
 
Feb 10, 2022 at 9:18 AM Post #2,653 of 3,548

akelew

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From my understanding, for USB signal you need clock on both ends, send and recieve, and then the clocks sync the two up like a metronome on each end clicking at the exact same time, but if the sending end jitters, the recieving clock doesnt magically buffer the jittered signals and process it at the correct clock rate.. I think Adapticlock works like a buffer that recieves the signal, and then passes it on the final hop at a constant rate, so if the sending side jitters, it doesnt matter because it just resends it along at the proper clock rate, and adding a tiny bit of latency in the process as its always playing a signal that was recieved just a brief moment ago in the buffer.

So i believe with Schiit saying it contains a 'high quality clock', that just means, if all is going well, the timing is aligned very well. Because it needs a clock to function at all, it just so happens the one they include is high quality.

But i may be completely wrong.
 
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Feb 12, 2022 at 2:52 PM Post #2,654 of 3,548

MardukSonofEa

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Plugged the Bifrost 2 in last night for the first time and listened for a couple of hours on my Arya V3 driven by Soloist 3XP. First impressions, coming from the Modius:

- I was expecting it to sound slightly darker at the top end based on reviews, but I actually noticed more treble detail on cymbal resonance. Polyphia - Loud surprised me with how much brighter the cymbals sounded. It's very smooth, just a lot of energy and not as pulled back as I expected. Cymbals are very present all the time on this DAC. Loved it on everything else I listened to, but on this track it was honestly a little too much. I'll have to go back to this track after a few days after more brain burn-in.

- The soundstage - I'm not sure if it's wider, maybe a little, but it is noticeably deeper, and center image depth and imaging is vastly improved with a track like Tool's Chocolate Chip Trip. The Modius + Arya sounded like an oval that was wide on the sides but shallow in the center. The Bifrost made that a perfect circle and pushed out the closer boundary a little so that vocals are more clearly in front of me. It's also much easier to tell when sounds are coming from behind me.

- Punch and slam - slightly more of this on already-slammy tracks, plus noticeably more thump in the bass on mellower tracks, which adds nice rhythm and body to the music.

- "Details" - I hate the vagueness of this word but it feels appropriate here. I'm hearing more resonance and air in the reverb around midrange instrumental notes (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, even harpsichord synth) on tracks I've listened to 100 times. It really adds some soul and richness to the Arya and complements the fast attack.

I'm mindful that these impressions will probably evolve as I listen more over the next couple of weeks, but so far the Bifrost is sounding like a really synergistic addition to my setup. The improvements are subtle but probably worth it to me.
 
Feb 15, 2022 at 7:21 PM Post #2,655 of 3,548

RickB

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Something I'm very curious about is, if the Bifrost 2 is galvanically isolated, why does plugging other things into my Mac mini's USB ports degrade the sound quality? I say this because I was using an Apple brand USB-C to USB-A adapter which I used to make backups to an external HD. I started making backups another way and removed the adapter from the Mac. I immediately noticed that the sound quality had more air with better imaging. With the adapter plugged in, the sound reminds me of entry-level vinyl in that it's rolled off.

It's nice that I got a sound quality boost, but it perplexes me as to why.
 

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