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Schiit Bifrost Uber Analog Upgrade

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  1. Byrnie
    Same here.  In fact, I helped them fix some typos on their FAQ and Jason responded like 5 minutes later with a "Thank you!"
  2. kstuart
    Just for lurkers, the current 1.03 drivers are working flawlessly in ASIO with USB over Windows Vista 32-bit.
    (I think Vista was slammed because of poor support upon release... the later SP2 version exhibits no more problems than my XP or Win7 machines)
  3. bleudeciel16
    I just ordered the uber board to put in myself.  (just looks like a daughterboard using two row 0.1" headers, so how hard could it possibly be?)  For $70, why not?
    I have a question though, since we're in a bifrost thread.  Is the USB upgrade worth using over COAX?  Benefits?  Downsides? 
  4. mrscotchguy

    1st gen USB is inferior to the toslink and coax options (my opinion as well as Schiit's, though theirs was a bit more sugar coated). The general consensus is the gen2 USB is now slightly better which supposedly makes it equal to the other input options.

    Most agree that if you already have USB, don't bother with the upgrade up to gen 2. If you don't currently have USB, and you'd like more flexibility, then it's worth the upgrade price.

    Passing along what I learned and read in the forums, so don't go thinkin' I'm stirrin' up trouble or Schiit :evil:
  5. bleudeciel16
    I went with coax since I bought my bifrost really early on when they only had the gen1 usb.  If I remember correctly, they said digital coax was the best choice for best quality and bandwidth, but now I see lots of people talking about using the gen2 usb which makes me think it might be the new best option. 
  6. blasjw
    Holy %$#@, I didn't not realize the uber analog and usb gen. 2 boards were cheaper if you installed them yourself.  I just got a Bifrost last week with standard analog and no USB.  I thought I was going to be out $250 for the uber analog + gen. 2 usb.  $170 for both sounds much better!  [​IMG] Loving the Bifrost so far:
  7. mrscotchguy

    Honestly, I have no firm opinion on the matter, as convenience is alway a top priority for me. But the owner of a HiFi shop next door to my job swears at if all other things are equal, Coax implementation as nearly always better sounding than the other two options.

    Each format has its pros and cons. I found that each implementation in my setup (PC to Bifrost) had its quirks.

    Important notes from my perspective:

    1) Toslink and Coax sounded Identical to me when connected to my motherboard's soundcard.
    2) USB Gen1 sounded more sterile and the eensy-weensiest bit small in the sound stage department
    3) My XFi-titanium soundcard via toslink sounded just marginally better than the rest, but heavily dependent on the infinite combinations of drivers and settings configurations!
    4) I never truly enjoyed the sound because I was too busy listening to gear rather than music.
    5) Quirks = system hiccups or an overwhelming number of clicks from the sample rate relay switch
    6) The USB port of choice can seriously change the sound quality
    7) The PC of choice can seriously change the sound quality (even with identical settings)
    8) OS of choice can seriously change the the sound quality...

    So here's the 2 cents... If you're content with your sound, don't buy the USB option. That said, the USB is worth every penny the very first time USB is your only option.

    I apologize in advance for the circular information :p
  8. Byrnie
    Nice congrats man and welcome to the club!
  9. StanD
    Regarding #2, #6, #7 and #8. As long as sound quality is not about glitches and the like or affected by sound enhancements in Driver settings, I can't agree with this. If you change the sound enhancements at the driver, the USB or SPDIF ports on the Bifrost are not part of the effect.
    The port hardware of the Bifrost is for the transport of data the same sequences of ones and zeros will be received as was sent by the source. From this perspective, the timbre, soundstage and such audio qualities are determined by the actual D/A chip and analog circuits that are after the digital USB or SPDIF hardware. That sequence of ones and zeros are lets say in a FLAC file and originate there, so unless you have software on the PC that is modifying the data, that is what is going to determine what is heard. If the software on the PC is modifying the data, then the same result will be had with either a Gen 1 or Gen 2 USB or Toslink or Coax as data is not determined at the Bifrost. Either you will have sound, no sound or some glitches (data errors).
    I have a Gen 2 USB card and don't know what the deal is with the Gen 1, perhaps it didn't follow the USB 2 Audio protocol or not properly. One could always shoot an email to Schiit and ask about the Gen 1, they answer pretty quickly. I'm pretty happy wth my Schiit so I'll not bother them Gen 1 USB implementation details, they already answered today's question about USB current draw at the Bifrost.
  10. fenderf4i
    Here we go again...
  11. StanD
    So there's no room for discussion?
  12. mrscotchguy
    I'm the first person to have a differing opinion, but I just cannot stand how fast a conversation can escalate into a full on argument so quickly on this forum. (not saying this one has or will). I find the level of mutual respect has decentigrated, so I tend to lurk more than comment.

    I think every DAC has its quirks. In my situation, I just found my Schiit a bit too finicky for my convenience... So I upgraded/downgrade (varies from each viewpoint) to my AQ Dragonfly. Mostly for pure convenience while I save up for my (hopefully) end-game DAC. It too has its quirks, though much of them so different but somewhat less interruptive ( <--- is that a word?!)

    Let me know if I need to clarify any of my thoughts on the Bifrost post...
  13. bleudeciel16
    Guess I'll stick with coax.  It's worked great so far.
    Also, somewhat off topic, yet still somewhat related, I swapped out my GE tubes for russian 6n1p's from schiit today.
    Initial impressions: The GE tubes sounded, to me anyways, like the highs were a tad bright, and lacked in lower mids and bass.  (both punch and extension)  These new tubes immediately sound better in the bass department.  Better punch.  Slightly better extension.  Mids are wonderful.  Highs are more tame.  Not sure I'd go as far as to say they're rolled off... but I'm no expert at analyzing this crap.  Maybe if I had two lyrs side by side, it would be easier to differentiate.
    Now to find some amperex oj's and maybe some jj's to add to the collection to try
  14. StanD
    I'm not into a brawl or name calling, just to discuss things. I should simplify my point. I don't think that the digital aspects of a USB port will affect the soundstage or tonal character of the sound and that you might consider looking at other aspects of the Bifrost that might be affecting what you hear.
  15. mrscotchguy

    I honestly cannot give you a scientific or even logical reason for what I heard, but I can tell you that different USB ports (connected to difference hub locations on the motherboard) had slightly different sound -- just like using in on my windows 8.1 netbook produced a different sound than my hand built (using best parts at the time) Win 7 PC. But I honestly think that is a processor issue rather than a Bifrost issue.

    Not knockin the Bifrost, just it's user friendliness to set it and forget it and get the best sound out of it.
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