Schiit Bifrost 4490 impressions
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cyberridz

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I recently upgraded to the Bifrost Uber and is wondering if the new Bifrost 4490 is worth upgrading from the Uber?
 
Has anyone upgraded to the new Bifrost 4490 card? I would like a discussion on its advantages (if any), and what are the sonic differences between the 4490 and the older Uber card? Is it worth the upgrade?
 
Thanks.
 
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That is something I would also really like to know.
I went from original Bifrost to Uber and now wonder, if 4490 would really make a difference, or if Multibit is the way to go.
Multibit being complicated, since it has to be upgraded professionally and I am in europe...
 
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I'm a Bifrost Uber user and I would say I would if I want a upgrade go for direct to Multibit instead of such a incremental upgrade to 4490, just imho. I have the iFi micro iDSD which acts on "Bit-perfect" setting for the last 6bits like a Mulibit DAC and the sonic difference is small but you can hear it quite easy compared to the DAC from Bifrost Uber. So my guess go for Bifrost Multibot or keep your Uber, instead to go for the 4490 upgrade.
 
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cyberridz

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My biggest worry is, if the "Comboburrito" filter is really better than the tried-and-tested AKM in-built filters? AKM has been perfecting their DACs for years now. And wondering if bit-perfect is too accurate as to sacrifice sound quality for resolution? AKM doesn't just take into consideration resolution and accuracy but also sound quality and aesthetics too. Any thoughts on this?
 
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  My biggest worry is...
Judging by the impressions found here towards the end, I'd say its just the opposite from your concerns. I'm a current Uber owner myself and was considering the 4490 upgrade based on price and install since I live in Canada. After some of the initial reports, think I'll just save my money till i'm ready to do the MB upgrade. 
 
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One thing about the Multibit is that the firmware needs to be changed. Would have loved being able to switch back and forth between the two options. But I am still an AKM fan as I have been using them for years and have found them to be an excellent DAC chip. I guess I'll wait a while before the reviews come in before deciding between the two.
 
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Hope there will soon be a couple of more reviews on multibit vs 4490. I am actually very happy with my Uber - but obviously getting more out of my Bifrost is more than interesting.
 
The Uber definitely made a difference to the standard, wonder if the 4490 will be as much of a difference - or just slight.
 
The two or 3 people who have the Multibit Bifrost are very excited about it. But I do wonder if they really remember what the Bifrost sounded like, before they shipped it to be upgraded. The main thing that keeps me from jumping on the Multibit is the shipping and upgrade time in europe. I also like AKM and they worked great for Schiit - who were also very happy with them - now multibt, is it a fad - or is it really spectacular? 
 
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My Bifrost 4490 was self-installed yesterday.   At first the differences between 4490 and Uber were subtle; however, upon extended listening the differences began to emerge..  The Bifrost is used as an outboard DAC between a Fisher tube amp and a CDP transport.   My reference CD's were Mary Black's "Speaking with the Angel" and Leonard Cohen's "The Essential Leonard Cohen."  With the 4490 the female and male voices are more transparent and distinct.  Much of the digital edge is gone.  Overall, the sound is smoother.  Individual instruments are easier to follow.  The bass was a bit tighter and deeper.  The Uber was a pleasant upgrade, and so is the 4490.  I won't be going back to Uber if that says anything. Maybe a Multibit upgrade is down the road, but I'm very happy right now with the 4490.   That's my 2 cents worth.       
 
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  My Bifrost 4490 was self-installed yesterday.   At first the differences between 4490 and Uber were subtle; however, upon extended listening the differences began to emerge..  The Bifrost is used as an outboard DAC between a Fisher tube amp and a CDP transport.   My reference CD's were Mary Black's "Speaking with the Angel" and Leonard Cohen's "The Essential Leonard Cohen."  With the 4490 the female and male voices are more transparent and distinct.  Much of the digital edge is gone.  Overall, the sound is smoother.  Individual instruments are easier to follow.  The bass was a bit tighter and deeper.  The Uber was a pleasant upgrade, and so is the 4490.  I won't be going back to Uber if that says anything. Maybe a Multibit upgrade is down the road, but I'm very happy right now with the 4490.   That's my 2 cents worth.       
Thank you for your impressions! I'm anxious to read more, my 4490 upgrade should be here Wednesday. I'm bypassing the Multibit upgrade at the moment for two reasons, the overall cost in addition to having to ship the Bifrost to Schiit for the upgrade. I just got a new amp (Lyr 2) and new headphones (he-400i) and would hate to be without the Bifrost for the week or so it would take to do the upgrade. Please keep the impressions coming! 
 
 
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The only plus with the AKMs (compared with the Multibit) is that it has gone through a lot of revisions and is now a mature platform. One way to enjoy both would be to upgrade to Multibit and maybe get another Bifrost for the AKM's...
 
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Hmm two bifrosts would be one too many.
But that is also what I thought about AKM it has been around long, whilst Multibit is completely new and based on an ancient digital concept, even though updated.
I am confused and wonder if I could return Multibit and get new 4490 , even though Firmware got updated.
 
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OK, I just decided on the 4490. I am pretty sure it will be a more refined and upgraded sound. As for Multibit, it is too early for that technology for me and the thought of being without my Bifrost for a few weeks (europe) is unberable.
 
The Impressions posted here, moreless used the same wording as the impressions on the new 4490, I am sure the amount of entusiasm rise with the pricepoint, maybe I am too critical - but I simply cannot imagine the sort of night and day differences, that some upgraders hear.
 
I am pretty sure I will be happy with my upgrade, my last upgrade was also a full success.Will write once it arrives.
 
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  I'm a Bifrost Uber user and I would say I would if I want a upgrade go for direct to Multibit instead of such a incremental upgrade to 4490, just imho. I have the iFi micro iDSD which acts on "Bit-perfect" setting for the last 6bits like a Mulibit DAC and the sonic difference is small but you can hear it quite easy compared to the DAC from Bifrost Uber. So my guess go for Bifrost Multibot or keep your Uber, instead to go for the 4490 upgrade.

How would you describe the sound of that iDSD as compared to the Bifrost Uber (and what amp are you using with the Bifrost as a stack)?  As in, resolution, clarity, soundstage, etc.?
 
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How would you describe the sound of that iDSD as compared to the Bifrost Uber (and what amp are you using with the Bifrost as a stack)?  As in, resolution, clarity, soundstage, etc.?
 
I'm using the micro iCAN as amp for my Bifrost Uber DAC for my local music box (a Gustard U12 USB interface is feeding my Bifrost Uber over optical toslink, from my Daphile server).

The iDSD on Standard and Minimum phase filter setting sounds pretty similar to my Bifrost Uber stack. Only difference is if the iDSD runs on "Bit-perfect" filter setting, with this you can hear the difference between iDSD and Bifrost Uber. Whithin "Bit-perfect" filter the iDSD is almost "acting" like real R2R / Multibit DACs, the highs roll off on top end and a "smoother" tone in gernal (but still no real R2R / Multibit, but a good mix of both worlds to my ears), which I prefer for classic music listening (PCM format, in my case 16/44 FLAC files only). You get an incremental boost for clarity and soundstage, but it lacks slighty with the resolution. Bass and mids keeping great (a nuance more focus on I would say), but as said the highs rolling bit early off (normal for 16bit PCM in this case). For all other genres I prefer typical delta sigma (AKM DAC from Bifrost Uber) and iDSD on Minimum phase filter setting. Because my baby STAX SR-002 IEMs needs more weight on the highs on top end, like on typical R2R / Multibit the highs roll off don't match well in this case. I hope this helps.
 
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I'm using the micro iCAN as amp for my Bifrost Uber DAC for my local music box (a Gustard U12 USB interface is feeding my Bifrost Uber over optical toslink, from my Daphile server).

The iDSD on Standard and Minimum phase filter setting sounds pretty similar to my Bifrost Uber stack. Only difference is if the iDSD runs on "Bit-perfect" filter setting, with this you can hear the difference between iDSD and Bifrost Uber. Whithin "Bit-perfect" filter the iDSD is almost "acting" like real R2R / Multibit DACs, the highs roll off on top end and a "smoother" tone in gernal (but still no real R2R / Multibit, but a good mix of both worlds to my ears), which I prefer for classic music listening (PCM format, in my case 16/44 FLAC files only). You get an incremental boost for clarity and soundstage, but it lacks slighty with the resolution. Bass and mids keeping great (a nuance more focus on I would say), but as said the highs rolling bit early off (normal for 16bit PCM in this case). For all other genres I prefer typical delta sigma (AKM DAC from Bifrost Uber) and iDSD on Minimum phase filter setting. Because my baby STAX SR-002 IEMs needs more weight on the highs on top end, like on typical R2R / Multibit the highs roll off don't match well in this case. I hope this helps.

So you're saying I'd be able to get pretty much the same sound-quality from the iDSD as from a Bifrost Uber+iCan stack?  Good to know!  Thanks!  That pretty much settles it that I'll probably get the iDSD.  The two other choices I'm considering are the Audio-GD NFB-11, and the JDS Labs Element.
 
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