Schiit Bifrost Uber Analog Upgrade
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kstuart

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I have never directly compared the two products, but from my comparison of the Bifrost Uber with DACs with the same chip as Titanium HD, then there is a definite improvement, BUT it is subtle.  It might depend on your music tastes and/or experience (of which I have no idea of course).
 
As mentioned, Schiit has the 15-day return policy.  It ends up costing both directions of shipping (plus a small percentage they pass on from their payment processor), so the "rental" does cost a little, but you learn something from that "rental".   I think they offer the policy because few people return it...
 
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post-10082551
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TheGame

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  I thought the Titanium HD was only 96 not 192?
 
The Titanium HD is 24/192 you can also switch out OP-amps. The Titanium HD allows Bit-Matched playback as well.
 
So the million dollar question is - Will the Uberfrost make much of a difference from the Titanium HD to make the $419 cost of the Uberfrost worth it? That's something I really want to know too because I am in the same boat as you Alexnova. I really want an Uberfrost to go with my Vali, but when I compare specs between the Titanium HD and the Uberfrost I just don't see (on paper) that the $419 cost of the Uberfrost (without USB, extra $100 if you want that option) is worth it.
 
I have to absolutely agree with kstuart on this - if you really want to know and you have the money, go ahead and try it out and compare the two. If you feel there is a significant difference between the Uberfrost and the Titanium HD where the Uberfrost sounds much better to you, then keep it. On the other hand if you cannot notice a difference or if the difference is very subtle like kstuart suggested then it may not be worth spending the $419 or $519 (with USB Option) for it.
 
But like I said I am in the same boat and would like to know if there is a good enough improvement over the Titanium HD to get an Uberfrost. If you do end up getting it Alexnova, I would really appreciate you writing a review on it comparing the Titanium HD and Uberfrost, it would help me out greatly to know what you think of them.
 
To save you some research, here are the comparisons of the Titanium HD and the Uberfrost (of course these are just spec sheets, sound quality between the two will obviously be subjective from one listener to another):
 
Creative Titanium HD - Input Capability: up to 24/192
 
Bifrost Uber  - Input Capability: up to 24/192
________________________________________________
 
Creative Titanium HD – Frequency Response: 10Hz-90kHz
 
Bifrost Uber – Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
________________________________________________
Creative Titanium HD - Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS

 
Bifrost Uber - Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS

________________________________________________
Creative Titanium HD - THD: <0.001%
 
Bifrost Uber – THD: <0.002%
________________________________________________
Creative Titanium HD - S/N: >122dB, referenced to 2V RMS
 
Bifrost Uber - S/N: >110dB, referenced to 2V RMS
 
 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102033
 

 
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post-10083207
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Chris J

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Interesting.
IM is not listed.
What are they hiding?

In addition, do they both list their jitter spec?
 
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TheGame

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I didn't see any specs on jitter or IM. But considering the Titanium HD is about $180 (maybe even cheaper) and the Uberfrost without USB is $419 the Titanium HD is a pretty good deal IMO. I really enjoy mine. I would like an Uberfrost, but I am just not sure how much of a difference it would make when looking at the specs between the 2. If there is a difference, it is probably subtle. I did ask Schiit about this and showed them the spec comparisons, and the reply I received was:
 
"Specs don’t tell the whole story. That’s about it."
 
Which is a good response IMO simply because unless you can really sit down and listen to them both to compare, there is really no way to know for sure if the switch from the Titanium HD to the Uberfrost is worth the money. But gosh I want an Uberfrost so badly lol
 
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john57

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First, I do not believe  that the Creative Titanium HD has S/N: >122dB at the outputs. That is not possible with a computer sound card. IM spec is really not important since in many cases it is far below audibility that the human can hear. jitter specs  are meaningless unless it is measured at the output. Only a few manufactures that I know do this.
 
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TheGame

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  First, I do not believe  that the Creative Titanium HD has S/N: >122dB at the outputs. That is not possible with a computer sound card. IM spec is really not important since in many cases it is far below audibility that the human can hear. jitter specs  are meaningless unless it is measured at the output. Only a few manufactures that I know do this.

Why do you say it is not possible to have a S/N >122dB on a soundcard? Asus Xonar Essence STX specs show it has a S/N ratio of 124dB
 
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john57

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Why do you say it is not possible to have a S/N >122dB on a soundcard? Asus Xonar Essence STX specs show it has a S/N ratio of 124dB
Because that is very close to the specs that DAC chips can produce plus the noise that the DAC chip itself produces. It also mater what bit rate and sample rate you are using. Some manufactures will mute the outputs when the signal is quite low to give you the impression of better SNR on paper. A  sound card inside of a computer is working in an environment that very harsh to achieve good SNR. Even with outboard DAC’s units is still a challenge to get good SNR. A actual SNR of 113dB maybe be possible in certain situations.Some manufactures love to play the Specsmanship game to fudge the numbers a bit. Specifications are just a tool, a step in determining how good a sound card is actually is for your needs.  
 
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TheGame

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  Because that is very close to the specs that DAC chips can produce plus the noise that the DAC chip itself produces. It also mater what bit rate and sample rate you are using. Some manufactures will mute the outputs when the signal is quite low to give you the impression of better SNR on paper. A  sound card inside of a computer is working in an environment that very harsh to achieve good SNR. Even with outboard DAC’s units is still a challenge to get good SNR. A actual SNR of 113dB maybe be possible in certain situations.Some manufactures love to play the Specsmanship game to fudge the numbers a bit. Specifications are just a tool, a step in determining how good a sound card is actually is for your needs.  

Thank you for answering my question and for your input. I love learning as much as I can about audio, so I really appreciate your input and knowledge on the subject. And I agree, I am sure when manufacturers post specs, they are posting the specs they can achieve in an optimal environment, which in real-life usage situations most people cannot achieve an optimal environment for their product.
 
Very informative, thank you john57.
 
When looking at a graph for the Titanium HD's S/N Ratio at 24/192 it shows this:
 

 
At that setting, the S/N Ratio is only 112.4dB @ 24/192
 
I'm still at odds though whether or not it is worth it to upgrade to the Uberfrost. If I had a choice between the Uberfrost and Titanium HD, I would pick the Uberfrost in a heartbeat as I love Schiit's products, I am just concerned that if I fork over the $419 or $519 if I get the USB option if there will be much of an audio quality difference.
 
Thank you again john57 for your input, I really appreciate it.
 
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Chris J

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First, I do not believe  that the Creative Titanium HD has S/N: >122dB at the outputs. That is not possible with a computer sound card. IM spec is really not important since in many cases it is far below audibility that the human can hear. jitter specs  are meaningless unless it is measured at the output. Only a few manufactures that I know do this.

Then you may as we'll say that THD is unimportant because it is below audibility.
SNR is unimportant....
Forget jitter while your at it...........it doesn't matter.
etc.
 
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john57

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Then you may as we'll say that THD is unimportant because it is below audibility.
SNR is unimportant....
Forget jitter while your at it...........it doesn't matter.
etc.
That is not what I said. SNR is important I just disagree the way manufactures measure it. THD is important especially for amps to determine maximum power in watts RMS based on what THD setting  the measurement is based on.
Can anyone hear the difference between .00010 and .00012 THD? Jitter does matter I just disagree the way manufactures measure it. Total jitter from the DIR to the output is going to be higher than the DAC itself. The main point I am trying to say that some manufacturers try to show off their products in the best possible light and less on real life measurements. You have to know what the measurements is based on and sometimes you can not tell.
 
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Alexnova

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Wait a sec, The Game, according to my specs on the TitanHD it is 24-bit/96kHz HD headphone output? So then the red/white output would be 192kHz?
 
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bearFNF

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  Wait a sec, The Game, according to my specs on the TitanHD it is 24-bit/96kHz HD headphone output? So then the red/white output would be 192kHz?
Heh, probably more than you needed or wanted to hear but I was bored....
 
From detailed spec sheet:
Max. Playback Quality
24-bit / 192kHz (Stereo-Direct Mode)
24-bit / 96kHz (5.1)
 
And from the manual:
Professional Digital Audio Processing
24-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion of analog inputs at up to 96 kHz sample rate
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of digital sources at up to 96 kHz to analog 7.1 speaker output
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of stereo digital sources at up to 192 kHz to stereo output
16-bit to 24-bit recording sampling rates: 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96 kHz
ASIO 2.0 support at 16-bit/44.1kHz, 16-bit/48kHz, 24-bit/44.1kHz, 24-bit/48kHz and 24-bit/96kHz
Supports Sony/Philips Digital Interface (S/PDIF) format of up to 24-bit/96 kHz quality
S/PDIF output at selectable sampling rate of 44.1, 48 or 96 kHz
S/PDIF output not available during playback of protected digital audio content authored with DRM
(Digital Rights Management) technology
ASIO 2.0 with direct monitoring
Accelerated ASIO for ultra low latency
Enhanced SoundFont support of up to 24-bit resolution
Notes
Depending on your system configuration, output sampling frequencies may only be available at 48 and 96 kHz.
 
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Chris J

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That is not what I said. SNR is important I just disagree the way manufactures measure it. THD is important especially for amps to determine maximum power in watts RMS based on what THD setting  the measurement is based on.
Can anyone hear the difference between .00010 and .00012 THD? Jitter does matter I just disagree the way manufactures measure it. Total jitter from the DIR to the output is going to be higher than the DAC itself. The main point I am trying to say that some manufacturers try to show off their products in the best possible light and less on real life measurements. You have to know what the measurements is based on and sometimes you can not tell.

Then what you're saying is IM doesn't matter.
 
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JWahl

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Thank you for answering my question and for your input. I love learning as much as I can about audio, so I really appreciate your input and knowledge on the subject. And I agree, I am sure when manufacturers post specs, they are posting the specs they can achieve in an optimal environment, which in real-life usage situations most people cannot achieve an optimal environment for their product.
 
Very informative, thank you john57.
 
When looking at a graph for the Titanium HD's S/N Ratio at 24/192 it shows this:
 

 
At that setting, the S/N Ratio is only 112.4dB @ 24/192
 
I'm still at odds though whether or not it is worth it to upgrade to the Uberfrost. If I had a choice between the Uberfrost and Titanium HD, I would pick the Uberfrost in a heartbeat as I love Schiit's products, I am just concerned that if I fork over the $419 or $519 if I get the USB option if there will be much of an audio quality difference.
 
Thank you again john57 for your input, I really appreciate it.
 


If you're that concerned about price I would highly recommend the Modi plus a USB battery with splitter cable as I'm currently doing. The battery was about $50 on Amazon and is 15,000 mAh and 2A max output. I've owned DACs costing over $1000 and sever $1000+ flagship headphones in the past and this certainly "gets me by" very well. The total cost would be less than what you paid for the Titanium HD. It would also match your Vali aesthetically. Not to mention not drawing power from the PCs switching power supply.

Also, if you listen without doing anything to CPU intensive, try out a program called Fidelizer. It's free, and essentially changes the windows processor scheduling and other settings for optimum audio quality until you restart your computer. Though, it will make everything else a touch laggier while enabled.
 
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