Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Nov 14, 2015 at 12:24 AM Post #8,731 of 83,449

Odin412

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That depends. Once upon a time, I thought the LCD-2F was the clear cut winner over the HD650. However, once I upgraded to a Gumby, it's not such an easy choice. Both shine, but for different reasons. The HD650 has been getting more head time lately.

 
You're right, they are both wonderful ​headphones. However, the LCD-2F is a lot heavier than the HD 650. Not a deal breaker for me, but I find it harder to lean back in my chair when earing the LCD-2F.
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 4:45 AM Post #8,733 of 83,449

jimmers

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  sounds like the O2 amp.. its was clean, cold and boring, also i might add horrible clipping at high volumes.

As you introduced OT I'll reply: Unfortunately some people didn't RTFM as it were, used correctly an O2 that is not damaged will not clip into the loads it was designed for.
 
Nov 14, 2015 at 3:11 PM Post #8,737 of 83,449

atomicbob

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Update: the system pictured here has been so enchanting, so immersive that I have ripped more CDs from my large library in the last 7 days than the previous 7 months combined. To say that I enjoy this system would be an understatement. What Jason said about the Multibits being designed for the music you already own is so very true.
 
Nov 15, 2015 at 12:37 AM Post #8,738 of 83,449

earnmyturns

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What I've been envisioning is a post-preamp for the 21st, century - a control center. All the digital and analog ins and outs, the volume and other switchgear, but with a streamer and NAS controls added; a music server without internal disc storage. This would almost certainly require a touchscreen, and probably a Rag/Ygg size case just for all the jacks. Which would leave room for a DAC, possibly even of Ygg quality but more likely Gumby-grade.
 

When you get into streamers/NAS control/touchscreens, you get seriously into software. If you take a look at what's commercially available in that space, you mostly find very expensive gear (naim, Auralic, Linn, ...) with often buggy software. After several iterations, and just because I'm sufficiently comfortable with Linux and NAS protocols, I landed on a hobbyist setup: CuBox-i mini server, Volumio open source streamer distribution (bare Linux distro + MPD + ... ) and BubbleUPnP on my Android devices to control play. The only not extortionately priced UPnP renderer I found before was the SOtM sMS-100, which I use to drive my Bifrost + Asgard setup, but it has been discontinued. If I were in Schiit's shoes, I'd think long and hard about getting in the swamp of server software, poorly specified protocols like UPnP/DLNA, and the seemingly infinite ways it can go wrong when connecting to your NAS and DAC. In past careers I used to run Unix and Linux servers, and I remember enough to debug most problems, but I doubt that's the case for the average audiophile.
 
Nov 15, 2015 at 12:19 PM Post #8,739 of 83,449

atomicbob

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  When you get into streamers/NAS control/touchscreens, you get seriously into software. If you take a look at what's commercially available in that space, you mostly find very expensive gear (naim, Auralic, Linn, ...) with often buggy software. After several iterations, and just because I'm sufficiently comfortable with Linux and NAS protocols, I landed on a hobbyist setup: CuBox-i mini server, Volumio open source streamer distribution (bare Linux distro + MPD + ... ) and BubbleUPnP on my Android devices to control play. The only not extortionately priced UPnP renderer I found before was the SOtM sMS-100, which I use to drive my Bifrost + Asgard setup, but it has been discontinued. If I were in Schiit's shoes, I'd think long and hard about getting in the swamp of server software, poorly specified protocols like UPnP/DLNA, and the seemingly infinite ways it can go wrong when connecting to your NAS and DAC. In past careers I used to run Unix and Linux servers, and I remember enough to debug most problems, but I doubt that's the case for the average audiophile.

There is a disproportionate distribution of the audio world populace that do not possess adequate troubleshooting or reading skills to handle SW based systems on a self sufficient basis. The support burden would eat Schiit alive. Then we all would lose.
 
Nov 15, 2015 at 12:34 PM Post #8,740 of 83,449
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Yep, to follow up on the previous two posts...
 
It seems to us (after some experimentation on the server side of things) that you really have two choices--both bad--and end up with one very vicious end when it comes to audio server stuff:
 
Choice 1: Hide the fact that it's a Linux computer as much as possible. Super-simple UI, no interface for updates, use physical buttons, etc. While this addresses the audience that doesn't want to deal with drivers/updates/computer crap in general, it is also profoundly limiting. What happens when you find a bug and can't do a network update? What happens when you need a new output interface, or if formats change? In all cases, you're kinda boned. But, if you do it right (big if--there is still a LOT of software work on this), you could have a magic box that, for a few years, would be relatively easy to use.
 
Choice 2: Embrace that it's a computer as much as possible. Touchscreen, remote via smartphone or tablet, OTA updates, etc. While this is all cool and IoT and all, you're now deep in software hell. Hell, you are a software/smart device company at this point in time. Staff up. You'll need it. This device will cause endless confusion in a large percentage of your audience. Hint: we polled a selection of our customers as to whether they'd want a remote via a cellphone app or a physical remote. Almost NOBODY wanted the cellphone app--and this is amongst the youngest audience in the business.
 
The vicious end: in 2 years, when the touchscreen you chose is (a) laughably low-resolution and (b) not purchasable anymore, and the software you've developed is not supported by the developers anymore (because they left for greener pastures, or code has moved on), and you have to make and support more products...well, then the fun really begins, doesn't it.
 
So, that's why we make Choice 3: realizing that your audio server is nothing more than a computer. Just buy a Mac, set up a Linux system, or use a Windows box. Done.
 
Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
Nov 15, 2015 at 5:46 PM Post #8,741 of 83,449

ganzosrevenge

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  Yep, to follow up on the previous two posts...
 
It seems to us (after some experimentation on the server side of things) that you really have two choices--both bad--and end up with one very vicious end when it comes to audio server stuff:
 
Choice 1: Hide the fact that it's a Linux computer as much as possible. Super-simple UI, no interface for updates, use physical buttons, etc. While this addresses the audience that doesn't want to deal with drivers/updates/computer crap in general, it is also profoundly limiting. What happens when you find a bug and can't do a network update? What happens when you need a new output interface, or if formats change? In all cases, you're kinda boned. But, if you do it right (big if--there is still a LOT of software work on this), you could have a magic box that, for a few years, would be relatively easy to use.
 
Choice 2: Embrace that it's a computer as much as possible. Touchscreen, remote via smartphone or tablet, OTA updates, etc. While this is all cool and IoT and all, you're now deep in software hell. Hell, you are a software/smart device company at this point in time. Staff up. You'll need it. This device will cause endless confusion in a large percentage of your audience. Hint: we polled a selection of our customers as to whether they'd want a remote via a cellphone app or a physical remote. Almost NOBODY wanted the cellphone app--and this is amongst the youngest audience in the business.
 
The vicious end: in 2 years, when the touchscreen you chose is (a) laughably low-resolution and (b) not purchasable anymore, and the software you've developed is not supported by the developers anymore (because they left for greener pastures, or code has moved on), and you have to make and support more products...well, then the fun really begins, doesn't it.
 
So, that's why we make Choice 3: realizing that your audio server is nothing more than a computer. Just buy a Mac, set up a Linux system, or use a Windows box. Done.

Personally, I'd rather have choice 1.  Simple, no frills, maybe outdated in OS but works a treat, player that does 192/24 without a hitch.  I tend to keep my phone a phone (I use a flip phone), I use my PONO strictly for music playing, and my 598s strictly carry sound.  Even things like "wifi updates" or "bluetooth" are extraneous for me... because they take away from the bottom line.  Can it do the one thing I ask it to do (play music) and do it well, and not have "extra cost" features that only add to the complexity and fall under "more #@!$ to break?"  Yes if the connectors change you are boned, but even so, connectors on portable devices aren't modular (ie: i can't pop out a micro USB connector from my PONO and pop in a USB Type-C from a Google Nexus, and vice versa), and that's a part of the reality of portable digital technology.  Additionally,big screens, touchscreens, bluetooth, wifi, etc., eat at battery life just as much as components inside the player do, so by minimizing these parts to only what's necessary (maybe a touchscreen), wouldn't one end up with more battery life?  Is there a market for something that is strictly a no-frills high-res player that focuses on only one thing, and one thing only (The music and ensuring maximum quality of the music / audio going through?)  
 
(Yeah, I'm an anomaly... I don't care about low-res screens and ooh la la so long as what I buy it for, it does an absolutely kick-ass job at it... and I don't like wireless anything, android phone modernity, etc.,)
 
Nov 15, 2015 at 6:59 PM Post #8,743 of 83,449

valiant66

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I used to be really excited about the prospect of being able to control my stereo from my iPhone, until I actually set up a rig so I could do so. What a waste of time. A dedicated physical remote is -S-O-O-O- much more practical than a phone it's not even funny.
 
E.g. to change the volume / skip a track / turn stereo on-off using a phone:
 
  1. Grab phone
  2. Click to wake it up
  3. Plug in password (and if you don't password protect your phone you're doing it wrong)
  4. Find appropriate app on 1st / 2nd / 3rd app screen, or search for it
  5. Wait for it to configure itself
  6. Go to the screen with the control you want
  7. Push the appopriate icon
  8. Wait for it to weave it's way through your Wifi - RF - IR bridge and do its thing
  9. That's it, unless it takes multiple commands
 
Elapsed time: up to 90 seconds (1.5 MINUTES!!) to change the volume one notch.
 
C.f. with remote
 
  1. Grab remote
  2. Push appropriate button
  3. That's it, unless it takes multiple commands
 
Elapsed time: less than ten seconds unless you're powering things up, then it's up to your stereo.
 
The only (ONLY) time I use my phone to control my stereo any more is when I'm taking a nice long soak in the tub with a good book and a glass of scotch... It's faster to walk into the living room from my office and grab the remote than it is to haul out my phone wherever I am in the house and use that.
 
So I really don't want Schiit to do anything network-y. It would be a waste of too many lifetimes. Mine included.
 
[PS this applies to so many other things too - I had a working X10 remote system running my lights and decided to "modernize" it with a "compatible" Insteon rig. I should have just stuck with the X10 - using a phone to dim the light right next to you is just stupid when the remote worked just fine.]
 
Nov 15, 2015 at 7:44 PM Post #8,744 of 83,449

mkozlows

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E.g. to change the volume / skip a track / turn stereo on-off using a phone:
 
  1. Grab phone
  2. Click to wake it up
  3. Plug in password (and if you don't password protect your phone you're doing it wrong)
  4. Find appropriate app on 1st / 2nd / 3rd app screen, or search for it
  5. Wait for it to configure itself
  6. Go to the screen with the control you want
  7. Push the appopriate icon
  8. Wait for it to weave it's way through your Wifi - RF - IR bridge and do its thing
  9. That's it, unless it takes multiple commands

 
This is very implementation-dependent. With a Chromecast and a modern Android phone, changing the volume is as simple as pushing the volume buttons on the phone; pausing or skipping a track is as simple as turning on the phone and then hitting the pause button that's right on your lock screen. And, importantly, choosing music is super-simple and done with a great visual browsing UI in a way that non-phone remotes simply can't match.
 
The problem for Schiit getting into this market, though, is that a bunch of solutions exist and work well, and really need to be integrated with mobile OSes and music services in a way that is not obviously in their wheelhouse.
 
Nov 15, 2015 at 8:18 PM Post #8,745 of 83,449

FrivolsListener

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  Update: the system pictured here has been so enchanting, so immersive that I have ripped more CDs from my large library in the last 7 days than the previous 7 months combined. To say that I enjoy this system would be an understatement. What Jason said about the Multibits being designed for the music you already own is so very true.

 
I have a mix of 44kHz and 48kHz FLACs in my playlist these days.  Since you have experience with Bimby and Gumby, I wanted to ask -- do you find the relay switching between sampling rates to be an issue with, for example, dropped starts of tracks?
 

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