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

Discussion in 'Jason Stoddard' started by jason stoddard, Jan 23, 2014.
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  1. RoundRound
    Hello people,
    I have a small dilemma, tell me what you think.
    I'm really interested in Freya but wonder if it'll be an upgrade to the sound - in my set up.
    I have a really minimal setup - A RaspberryPi driving a Yggy, that connects (via attenuators) to an ATI 6002 power amp that then drives a pair of ML Electro motions. 
    I also have a REL s/3 sub that's being fed from another output o the Yggy. 
    I control the volume from the Raspberry Pi - running Jriver. It sounds very good and I'm quite happy. 
    A while ago I had a home demo of the Lyr 2 (connected to HD 700 HP) and I was really impressed - it was the first time I heard decent (non distortion) tune sound and it was lots of fun. However I still prefer my 2 channel system and so when Freya was announced I was thrilled. I love the idea of switching between passive, to tube. Not sure how useful the JFET stage will be - I have very short balanced cables and I understand it's very similar to the stage in the Yggy.
    However, while Freya on its own isn't very expensive, I'll need another power cable (the Yggy and ATI have 3 Nordost blue heaven cables) and another pair of balanced ICs, I'll also need another shelf...
    For a while now I believe that in Hifi 'less is more' and 'the best pre-amp is no preamp' - and adding the Freya (both in tubes and passive mode) goes against it. 
    I wonder if the passive mode freya will sound better or worst than my Attenuators? I have these balanced -30db and they sound quite transparent to me. Furthermore, if I add a pre-amp (and use it to control the volume) than I'll have to run my sub from it - and i wonder if using tubes on a sub is a good idea - they often add noticeable distortion at the bass...
    What do you guys think? Thank you!
  2. US Blues

    A Freya will sound better than using your digital source in front of the Yggy to do volume adjustments.
    JoeKickass likes this.
  3. US Blues

    No Schiit. 
  4. KoshNaranek

    Agreed. I use a Raspberry pi as well. Controlling volume with the pi will lower dynamic range as volume goes down.
    US Blues and FrivolsListener like this.
  5. RoundRound

    I actually looked into this, and I'm not sure I agree - 
    Using the -30 Db attenuators (analogue) means I only change the volume on the RPI between 80-100 - so in theory the volume control in the digital domain doesn't reach 96db SnR of red book. It is very convenient changing tracks and volume form the phone. 
    From my tests with the Lyr 2 (for volume control I ever had in my system) it wasn't a very noticeable difference - but it's hard to compare the headphones and toes made a big difference. 
  6. KoshNaranek

    I personally notice a difference in sound with the pi set to 80 vs 100 with lower volume on preamp. MY wife thinks it sounds better, but I disagree.

    Remember that your target audience is you.
  7. bigro
    From the Jriver wiki on the output bitdepth section.    http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Audio_Bitdepth

    Output Bitdepth

    .......If you apply any digital processing, including volume, the sound quality will be worse

    The Lowly Rasp Pi solution With a Digi+ hat has Been Co-opted by Bryston and they are selling it basically at the cost of a Gumby. I use a RasPi Digi+ hat with Coax into my bimby and there is a noticeable improvement over USB , I will be building another one soon.. There are even companies making some very nice cases for the RaspPi solutions now . I plan to use a freya as Volume/Source switching and replace My Valhalla 2 that I use for a Preamp .  Your 2 Channel setup Is pretty nice in my book you have some things I want actually. I have yet to see a digital volume control that was absolutely bit perfect. I see no reason to use digital volume control if you do not have to. Don't starve the Yggy, The Norse Gods May not like this. 
  8. 0UKIM
    I'm see that so many people are excited for fast approaching new product launches. I look forward to it as well,
    One thing I've thinking lately.
    Is Schiit interested in creating another portable DAC/amp combo, that will provide cleaner, a little more powerful sound from smartphones to efficient (common 16ohm and 32ohm) headphones?
    (lightning, micro b, type c compatible)
    I gifted Fulla to my brother, great product, apart from the sharp edges and slippery volume knob, and defect usb cable (its okay, i filed the corners smooth, and got a new cable before i handed it to my brother)
    Its been couple years since Fulla came out, do you agree that it is time for an update?
  9. KoshNaranek

    Hold off on making your new one if you can. HiFiBerry just came out with a new hat with 2 clocks. On for 44.1 multiples and one for 48 multiple. I already have one, but have put off assembly until picoreplayer support is available
  10. RoundRound
    Thanks, I hear you. 
    But digital volume aside, I can't not think that adding a whole device between source and power amp will add noise and degrade quality? I'm a big fan of Schiit and sure they know what they are doing, but that's just physics no?
  11. 45longcolt

    Schiit is always eminent, even when not imminent.
    JoeKickass likes this.
  12. bigro
    Thanks, Parts Already Ordered, I knew Hifiberry was coming out with a new one, I have been waiting, but there no actual date of release. No Biggie they are not super expensive.
    If you had a bad design,  Bad power or a bad connection sure their could be noise. I am no Engineer so I will Not say absolutely no noise is introduced. You are weighing Using a Digital Volume control that is known and stated to have a degradation in Sound quality Vs. the Possibility of Noise that may not even be audible. The general consensus is the best way to do attenuation is in the analog domain. Unless you have Linear power supply on your Raspberry Pi,  that switching power supply they come with can introduce more noise in the chain than adding a properly designed preamp.
    As KoshNaranek Said you are your target audience. If the DIgital Volume Control Makes you happy then by all means use it.
    Edit: this is an interesting paper on the topic of digital Versus Analog Volume Control. http://www.esstech.com/files/3014/4095/4308/digital-vs-analog-volume-control.pdf
    Turdski likes this.
  13. JoeKickass
    For a minimalist 'less is more' system you sure have some serious gear!
    The Saga/Freya give a way to control volume by essentially using relays to switch different value "attenuators" like the one you already have. It will sound just as transparent passive (probably active too)
    You always want to control volume on the hardware either on an integrated amp or preamp, keep your digital output at 100% volume, and make sure the computer driver is set to max quality too. 
    Your system probably sounds very good because it is so good, go that extra mile to make it perfect and you should definitely notice!
  14. bigro
    Thats What I Thought. I would not mind a less is more setup like that.
  15. RoundRound
    Funny that you say that... I actually do have a Linear PSU for the PI:
    That black box with a green light - made by Tomanek in Poland. 
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