Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
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rlow

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A few problems with this: in a Freya S chassis, a passive-only preamp is still going to be $499 or so. And Freya S already has passive relay attenuation at $599 (plus gain). That chassis is not cheap to make. And I don’t see the point of removing the gain stage if it only saves about $100. The fact that the gain stage is there isn’t affecting the passive performance.

Here are your real options for a cheap balanced preamp, based on educated guesses about costs:

1. Saga sized, maybe $399 with a feature set similar to Saga, but balanced.
2. Smaller than Saga in a cheaper chassis (that does not exist), with a motorized pot rather than relays, maybe $249. No way no how at $199. Maybe totally passive at $199 with no gain, but that’s still a pot. A motorized pot isn’t cheap, and relays + a motorized pot is super not cheap.
3. Smaller than Saga in a cheaper chassis with just a pot and a switch for 2 inputs and no remote, $99.

None of this is on the books, so we can keep talking about it, but those are the constraints if you want a preamp with good parts, made in the USA.
If you’re thinking of this mostly for for the 2-channel market, you need a motorized pot. I vote for a completely passive, with motorized pot, but make it a really good pot.

The goal should be to give folks a way to add the most transparent and simple volume control to your balanced DACs. Want input switching and gain, get a Freya S. But it needs a remote for sure. My two cents (for what it’s worth).
 
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bcowen

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ScubaMan2017

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.....{{{snip}}}....On a tangent, my little Sys preamp is still one of my most useful purchases.
Tangent. Really? Tsk. :ksc75smile:
My SYS is sitting neglected under my EITR and MODI. I was using it as a glorified A/B switch with the pot @ 100%. @Lurker0918 ... what are you using yours for?
 
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bcowen

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@Jason Stoddard , I promise not to say anything about 300B's (in this post). :slight_smile:

If this has been covered in previous posts, my apologies 'cause I obviously missed it and I'll go re-read if necessary. But how does the new USB interface compare to the goings on with the EITR? Personally I think the EITR gets nowhere near the acclaim it deserves. In both my big rig and HP systems it makes a very noticeable improvement, which I assume is mostly due to isolating the crap-laden USB bus signal as it converts to the S/PDIF format. Is Unison a step up from that even?
 
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artur9

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Subs,

You could try 2 Subs located next to the speaker stands. I get the tight lower mid, upper lows (cross over area) I normally hear in good full range but better bass extension of the sub and the quicker, smoother, tighter mid and lower mid of the smaller bass/mid driver.
When integrated well, the added transparency and dynamics that flanking subs* bring to your mains is very very nice. I got my bookshelves (measured to 70Hz) to integrate with dual subs and the system got down to ~25Hz and sounded glorious. My current speakers measure almost flat down 20Hz (in-room) so I use the flanking subs to even out the bass. My better half says she's never heard music sound that way. Hopefully, that's a compliment :wink:

Using Room EQ Wizard (shareware) and a USB mic to integrate subs and smaller speakers makes the process more scientific but it can be done by ear.

*flanking subs is a google-able term. Lots of good information out there about the technique.
 
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Charente

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I think the EITR gets nowhere near the acclaim it deserves
Perhaps, although I have heard no-one de-crying it ... all positive views and, I agree, it thoroughly deserves that ... it is a pity that the sales numbers don't justify its continued production or further development. An EITR 2, with Unison, would have been stellar IMO. I have bought my third and (probably) final EITR ... they are that good !
 
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Alcophone

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Bifrost 2 in the house! Woohoo!
The LEDs are less bright than the Silver LightDims covered one of the Jotunheim:



The metal work looks smoother than the Jotunheim's and Mimby's, with a slightly different tint, and the print is darker and thicker. I don't know whether that just faded over time or came like that, though.



While hooking it up, I realized that the XLR jacks are upside down. I know the cards are mounted upside down, and maybe this is the only way you can attach the jacks to the card. It threw me off when I was trying to insert XLR cables though, because I was doing it without seeing the jacks.

Jotunheim vs. Bifrost 2, crops of images from schiit.com:



With the Ragnarok 2, muting turns off the speaker and/or headphone LED instantly, and it stays off. With the Bifrost 2, muting is a bit more playful:


I'll save sound impressions for later.

Edit: Another little side note, unlike Mimby, Bifrost 2 does not have an "Enhancement" tab in the Windows control panel. I only looked for that to check "Disable all enhancements", but if you rely on the EQ features normally available there, they won't be available with Unison.
The "Spatial sound" tab, however, is still available.
 
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Perhaps, although I have heard no-one de-crying it ... all positive views and, I agree, it thoroughly deserves that ... it is a pity that the sales numbers don't justify its continued production or further development. An EITR 2, with Unison, would have been stellar IMO.
Yes, the ability to use Unison with Modi Multibit would have been fantastic. But if Unison won't be offered with MM, it may be a deliberate decision to highlight the differences the higher tier products have with the entry level Multibit DAC.
 
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Robert Padgett

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Yes, the ability to use Unison with Modi Multibit would have been fantastic. But if Unison won't be offered with MM, it may be a deliberate decision to highlight the differences the higher tier products have with the entry level Multibit DAC.
IF Unison USB sounds better than ModiMB EITR, it is going to be worth buying in. I finally got the EITR from a fellow Head-Fier and I simply cannot express how much better it sounds than Allo/DigiOne or HiFiBerry DigiPlus... no comparison. I can live with this. Bifrost 2 sounds like my next DAC, but I just bought a Modi 3 off b-stock...
 
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Derrick Swart

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I say: go cheapest.

There could be a need for a plain and simple ($99) XLR splitter / switcher with an even simpler volume control which would just get the work done. A quick google search gave some pro (read: ugly) results in that price range with more or less functionality so there may be a targeted market out there.

I also don't see much point in doing a low-to-mid priced balanced "preamp", as people who decide to go balanced have an excelent, capable and bargain choice in Freya S (and Freya +).

And it could be called "Big Sys". :ksc75smile:

Edited for product name.
Keep line up simple and replace the SYS with SYS S the same plus balanced connections for a bit more, i think that might be a hit, more expensive must be better logic !!!
 
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RickB

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IF Unison USB sounds better than ModiMB EITR, it is going to be worth buying in. I finally got the EITR from a fellow Head-Fier and I simply cannot express how much better it sounds than Allo/DigiOne or HiFiBerry DigiPlus... no comparison. I can live with this. Bifrost 2 sounds like my next DAC, but I just bought a Modi 3 off b-stock...
I agree that the Eitr is great; it's a fantastic combo with the Modi Mulitibit.
 
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adydula

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ScubaMan 2017:

a. Did you try different players (example: Foobar, VLC, Clementine) = perceptable differences?
Yes and no perceptable difference between Jriver MC 24 and Foobar 2000.

b. Replay Gain (i.e., loudness control): on/off?
Off.

c. WASAPI: set as "event" or "pull" or "disabled"... Did you percieve a difference with this on/off?
Tried both push and event in Foobar, in Jriver its only WASAPI, no choices.

Tried all the choices, they all were very close...I prefer WASAPI event. But its for technical reasons not a sonic attribute.

I'm pleased you got a chance to play with the beta-board and chose to share your musings, eh. :smile_phones:

Me too!!

I am totally elated that Mike and Jason released Unison and so glad I get to try it out instead of having to wait until January!
Its a real winner here IMO. I have to say its "much" better sonically to me...

I will pop the Gen 5 back in after a few days to see what my "brain" percieves. :smile_phones:

I am now thinking of actually buying a Bifrost 2....the added benefit of all the other stuff in it and the price break for Bifrost owners is
hard to pass up...thinking!!

Alex
 
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