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Schiit DACs (Bifrost and Gungnir down, one to go)? The information and anticipation thread.

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by hero kid, Mar 23, 2011.
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  1. olor1n


    Quote:


    While I normally advocate spending time with any component for proper evaluation, I think your post had some merit. You weren't scathing of the Bifrost and clearly divulged your reasons for letting it go. It'll probably be drowned out soon by the trigger happy endorsements, but the counterpoint you've provided should be of some value to discerning readers.
     
  2. caracara08


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    finally a true review..  people wont agree on a product because people see things differently.  i view this and schiit products as all competing around its price range. theyre not spectacular but if someone sees it as spectacular and competing out of its price range, then power to them. the simple fact is that they really dont.
     
  3. 45longcolt
    Some people have asked for impressions, others declare it's too soon, but I'll wade in based on about 8 hours of listening to mostly rock and jazz. Classical will come once I stop running back and forth digging out old faves, which may be awhile. And maybe that tells you something.
     
    System is Marantz SA8004 player > Black Cat coax > Schiit Bifrost > Audioquest interconnects > Schiit Lyr > Norse 8-strand cable > Audeze LCD2 Rev. 2. 
     
    Caveats: Haven't heard any $5K - $12K DACS in my system, and my ears ain't golden. Current DAC is PS Audio DLIII w/Cullen Circuits mods ($1.5K when new, less now.)
     
    First word that came to mind was Slam. This is a good thing. Bifrost propels the music along, moreso than the DLIII. Bifrost is also very good at communicating all parts of a note - the instant start, the main event and the fade whether quick or sustained. I suspect that if you are a percussion fan, this DAC could be your new best friend.
     
    Tonally, I haven't caught it out. Horns sound like horns; with full body, and bite when called for.
     
    There's at least as much detail as the DLIII, but the Bifrost does seem to separate instruments a little better. Are those two guitars, tuned almost identically? You will have no doubt. Did the vocalist overdub herself? You'll know. LCD2s aren't known for their soundstaging, but with the Bifrost there seems to be as much spread as is on the recording.
     
    Voices are lovely (where that's the appropriate adjective.) Of course the LCDs are known for vocal prowess. Kate Bush's voice can be screechy when poorly reproduced. (Some would say all the time, to which I reply (1) she hasn't always been well recorded, and (2) be nice.) Her 1989 album The Sensual World is one I always thought had been digitally recorded, with about as much depth and color as faded wallpaper. Only recently did I discover it was analog. On the reissue SW CD (from her 2011 Director's Cut deluxe set) her voice is rendered most agreeably by the Bifrost, with her inflections and edge intact, but without the teeth-on-edge quality that comes with inferior reproduction.
     
    Bifrost is good at that sort of balancing act. Tinkly high piano notes are sharp and clean as an ice-cold martini down the gullet, but never sharp like an ice pick into the ear canal.
     
    All told, I'm so far very pleased with the unit and would recommend it for the sound. Not to mention the company's customer service and the Made in USA cachet. And the great value.
     
    Listening over the main speakers comes next. Somehow I doubt I'll get much done this weekend...
     
    sridhar3 likes this.
  4. Kremer930
    That is a big claim.  I think that there would be many that would disagree.  Just because someone decides to keep a HRT after two days when they had already provided a financial reason to sell it prior to even comparing isnt a solid basis to support a conclusion.
     
    Quote:


     
     
  5. sridhar3
    Quote:

    Lol @ use of the word "fact" to describe a cognitive and emotional response to a purely subjective sensory experience.
     
    Butler likes this.
  6. Kremer930
    Thanks for your response.  This is one of the first comparisons against a harder end segment dac...although technology marches pretty quickly in this area I suspect.  But thanks for your comments.  I will be very pleased if I am even half as happy as what you appear to be.  
     
    Quote:


     
     
  7. ecohifi


     
    Quote:

    If there is no WOW factor that there are distict improvements of what you have, then one must decide whether it is good value and worth keeping.  I have notice that  it may take a while for you to notice improvements over what you already have, and when it gets to that stage I begin to question myself whether it is worthwhile keeping or let go. 
    I will one day prove the theory of burn-in with SS components, because every review I have read has a mention of burn-in!  But every reviewer have never explained to me, that they have proved that burning in actually happens and SQ improves.  So as far as I'm concern I will be happy with first impressions.  If there is a WOW factor and there are noticeable improvements compared to what you already have then it is a +. 
     
     
  8. Edoardo
    - Listening to SS components for the first time
    - semi-counscious expectations for a WOW factor
    - No WOW factor
    - initial delusion
    - following critical listening 
    - it sounds good
    - therefore, SS burn-in must exist
     
  9. ecohifi


    Quote:

    45longcolt,
     
    very well written.
     
    Looking forward in reading your follow up!!!
     
    C'mom Bitfrost owners,  people like me are still starving for your experience and impressions on this Bitfrost Schiit!!!
     
     
  10. ecohifi


    Quote:

    This still does't prove that burn-in exist.  
     
     
     
  11. Edoardo

     
    Quote:
     
    Of course not... In the SS/IC world, Nothing does, IMHO... 
     
     
     
  12. ddoyle777
    Reflections on 4 days in and the Bifrost.
     
    My system currently is a MacBook Pro > optical out > Bifrost > Arcam A85 > Lyr > LCD-2 Rev 2. My speakers are B&W Monitors
     
    I replaced an early HeadRoom MicroDac with the Bifrost.
     
    My first response is that the music is sweeter and smoother with the Bifrost - it sounds more like music.  There was a harshness that did not sound musical with the HeadRoom Dac, especially on piano.  It was not an aggressive harshness or I'd have dumped the HeadRoom long ago.  But the Bifrost seems to round the sharp edges off and the final product is easier to listen to.  The more I listen the more impressed with the piano on this Dac.  I'm wrestling with using "sweetness" here as I do not want to convey that the final product is in any way syrupy.  It's sort of like when you taste something and it's just a bit tart, when you weren't expecting tart.  You add a bit of sweeter and then your tongue says, "Ah, this is what I was expecting."  My ears have had the same experience.  Ah, this is more like music than the former was.
     
    I haven't noticed a huge difference in sound stage but I think the separation between instruments is better.  So far I've only listened to my best classical stuff where the recording was top notch.
     
    The only listening downside I've found is that some of my Bach organ is a little tamer.  There isn't the same "blart" in the pedal that is in the recording.  I think the digital edge from the HeadRoom gave it a slight edge, or else I'm listening at lower levels because of the musical clarity and the LCD2s need a bit more power.   I still need to listen more, and I'll continue to do so.  Mainly I've been listening to my favorites and that could bias my feelings.
     
    Another thing I've found is that my tinnitus doesn't seem to flare as quickly.  I can listen longer without saying, "oops, my ears are starting to ring."  That used to happen fairly quickly - usually within 30 min.  Now, I stop as listen after a couple of hours and I don't notice it.  Again, perhaps it is because I am listening at lower levels.  But I don't' usually listen at loud levels, and generally turn the volume down when I notice ringing.  I don't really understand the mechanics of tinnitus, so I could be totally out to lunch here - all I can do is report my observations.   
     
    I do wish it didn't have the click when it starts - I haven't gotten used to it so I go looking for what made the noise until I remember the Dac clicks.  I imagine I'll get used to it in time.
     
    Bottom Line - this is better than the early HeadRoom Dac and I feel like it's a steal.  It's musical, and it's not going back!  Besides, how many folks can claim a matched piece of schiit in their study!
     
  13. sampson_smith
    Quote:

    Sounds a heck of a lot like brain burn-in, to me!  [​IMG]
     
     
  14. ecohifi


    Quote:

    +1 
     
    Hoping for this as well!!!  Why? because I have one!!!   Guess what,  I didn't think the EE Minimax Plus is all that worthwhile, not at $1100AU
     
     
     
  15. lordfiend
    I am using my Nationite S:Flo2 as the source to feed into Biifrost and I was wondering from the line out of the player what cable can I use to connect it to Biifrost. Basically I am looking for 3.5 mm to Coaxial SPDIF/Optical SPDIF that Biifrost can take. Please suggest a cable. Thanx :D
     
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