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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by purrin, Dec 5, 2013.
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  1. Ableza
    I hope for the opposite.  Don't dilute the position of Yggdrasil by making lower cost versions (if that's even possible.)  Keep the technology for the Top Of The Line.  The Schiit DAC lineup is already pretty full of closely priced selections... and the predicted price point of Yggdrasil is already very low for its design.  Just finish it, launch it, and call it good.
     
    nicolo and Tuco1965 like this.
  2. wahsmoh
    713bifrost.inside.jpg
     
    I don't see the problem with just unplugging the DAC board and putting in a new improved one. Doesn't seem implausible that Gungnir or Bifrost Uber couldn't be easily upgradeable with their configurations.
     
    Also, depending on the success and implementation of the Yggy I don't see how the guys at Schiit wouldn't be planning any sort of trickle-down technology in the 1-2 years following. Seems like the Gungnir would have more space for an upgrade. It also has to be feasible and in the 2 years prior, Mike has been developing the Yggy up to this point. We can't expect an upgrade for another 1-2 years but that is the case of my Theta Progeny which came out in 94' and got the upgrade in 96'.
     
  3. Stillhart
     
    You should be the one defending it.  If you like it, that's all that matters.  :-D 
     
  4. hodgjy
    I'm considering pulling the trigger on a Gungnir to upgrade from my Bifrost. Upgradeitis has the best of me right now, but I'm not going over the $1000 mark.
     
  5. pldelisle

    But for the price, is the Gungnir the best DAC I can get right now (I mean, a new one) ? 
     
    I know it is a question on which we can debate for long and that has a lot of variable to consider, but item makes 2 weeks I'm trying to convince myself to push the button for this DAC. 
     
    I saw Audio-GD products too, but with import tax and shipping, it will roughly cost more than a Gungnir which is made in USA and duty free with NAFTA (I live in Canada). And by preference, I prefer to get something made in USA.
     
    I would have took the Bifrost, but everyonee seems to upgrade for the Gungnir here ! So I'll directly buy the Gungnir and keep it the longest possible. 
     
  6. immersifi
    Sorry that I am so late to this party, but with 250+ pages in this thread to peruse I'm just not willing to plow through all of them. However, I'm more than willing to ask the question as to how the comparisons (in this thread) were made. Were they double-blind, or is all of this opinion? If someone can provide some post links in which these matters are addressed, I would be grateful.
     
    What I am most interested in is whether these comparisons were doing using typical double-blind controls when paired comparisons are made (i.e. ABX, Bradley-Terry et al) or if all of this thread is based on uncontrolled tests.
     
    Lastly, does anyone know of any recently-published papers either by IEEE or AES that looks into such matters? That is, a published paper that can be found in a peer-reviewed journal?
     
    Thanks,
     
    Mark (immersifi)
     
  7. Sonic Defender Contributor

    The Gungnir is a fantastic DAC, very musical, plenty of detail, but there will always be people who find it doesn't quite hit their sweet-spot. I typically don't like Sabre based DACs (I haven't heard that many so I say typically), others don't like a NOS DAC as much as a Sabre DAC. As another poster said if you like the Gungnir, then that is all that matters isn't it? Of course it isn't perfect, but maybe for you it is? I only recently decided to get another DAC after having a Gungnir for I think 2 and a half years. I loved it, but I get bored easily enough and I wanted to try a new sound signature. Enjoy the Gungnir, plus it is upgradeable and you have to know the team at Schiit will eventually roll out an upgrade and the Gungnir 2 will quite likely be stunning. Don't feel bad because a few people say the Gungnir wasn't for them, maybe what they like you wouldn't like?
     
  8. Stillhart
     
    Well, Conquerator just wrote a big post about how he prefers the Theta and the X12 and the NFB-7 over the Gungnir...  everyone has their own preferences so it's not possible to call one The Best in the price range.
     
  9. wahsmoh

    We can't all do double blind tests and ABX with the way our configurations work. I did do an ABX though with my Bifrost Uber and Theta Progeny v. A since I have the ability to switch sources since I am using USB and coax separate. I also spent months listening to the Uber before receiving the more recent DAC so my audio memory is fresh.
     
    Conquerator is spot on when he says that the imaging reaches out of the earcups and doesn't hit this "wall". Also the slightest bit of glare in the treble is evident on the Uber. Take the imaging and treble glare and that is my main caveat with the Uber. I would go as far as saying the Uber's bass extends very low and nice, but doesn't have the same kind of slam as the Theta. This slam in the upper mids and lower bass is what makes the Theta sound more enjoyable and musical with percussion. Then of course it has the super burrito DSP filter that stabilizes the image and offers a 3D soundstage that the Uber just doesn't have.
     
  10. Tuco1965
     
    Yeah then comes Yggyitis after that.  [​IMG]
     
  11. wahsmoh
    Also if you search the Art of Sound forums there are some British chaps who liken the Theta DAC to American-made quality with testosterone fueled sound. It has balls, it makes music sound real with more slam than some people like for their setups. Yes they mentioned testosterone like this is some kind of manly DAC
     
  12. hodgjy
    Probably, but I'm not sure the Yggy can survive in the woods I'm living in after I'm evicted for not having rent money.
     
  13. mikek200
    I saw a few on the buy/sell forum,in the $699- range
    Just make sure it is the Gen2,usb version
    also,see here:
     
    6 Schiit Gungnir Gen2 USB Board (USB)
    Highly dynamic. Great tonal balance with bite when the recording calls for it. Like the Lavry DA11, it doesn't do much wrong. Sweet sweet tone. Excellent tonal response with some balls in the bass. Compact but well defined stage with great localization of instruments. Very good sounding treble, one of the best we've heard with a sigma-delta chip. Vocals are only second to the AGD M7 or Metrum. Resolution is not the best, but it can still hang in there. With the Gen 2 USB upgrade, the Gungnir has now found its way into my regular rotation. Now I can feel comfortable lending out one of my better DACs to friends because I have a DAC good enough as a substitute. Some have found the Gungnir Gen 1 to be overly dynamic - having a tendency to be too loud. Think rock arena. That drummer that hits really hard. This is the top one or two hardest hitting DACs out there. This does create a sense of tension which can either be good for bad depending upon you sensitivities. I've never fallen asleep to music listening to this DAC.
     
    The Gen 2 USB brings to the table some finesse through the restoration of low level sounds which were previously compressed or lost in the Gen 1 USB version. Gen 1 USB also sounds less lively (microdynamics) and less clear. The Gen 2 USB upgrade is significant. It's interesting to note how Schiit has removed all the bad things they said about USB on their website with the release of the Gen 2 USB.
     
    I almost bought one myself...but..?
     
    Mike
     
     
  14. immersifi
    No, I'm not suggesting that all tests should be done via ABX, I realize the logistics. I was asking more about the original assertion that something 'sounds bad' and whether that was opinion, or the result of well-controlled listening tests with many subjects.
     
    It does kind of make me wonder if at the CAN JAMs ABX tests are run for specific electronics. (Dr.) Sean Olive presented some interesting findings here in Detroit back in '14 (at least I think it was) about the difficulty of doing blind tests with 'phones due to differences in (cup) aspect ratios, clamping force etc., so I get that in terms of 'hiding' the identity of headphones. However, for electronics (DACs what have you), ABX is fairly easily implemented; I think it would be interesting to perhaps have a poll of gear that people would like to see tested in a non-biased fashion (ABX) at one of the CAN JAMs to see the outcome.
     
    We all make comparisons with gear that we own (it's the practical thing to do), but that we know what we are listening to skews the results - it just 'is'. I mean, if there are clear, unmistakable differences between two signals, pieces of gear or whatever, then the confirmation bias matters less, if at all (if the signals are very disparate) and one needn't worry about double-blind. However, if two signals or pieces of gear are very close, performance-wise, then double-blind really has to be performed to determine if there is a repeatable, identifiable difference.
     
    Again, I am not saying that for someone to say that something 'sounds awful' or 'sounds great' is wrong when comparing two things. What I am saying is that 'awful' and 'great' are subjective and unless backed by controlled tests are opinion. That does not invalidate the opinion or its weight, but opinion should not be confused with a factual case wherein a repeatable statistically significant result is realized as a consequence of double-blind tests. This is why I had asked the question about peer-reviewed papers having been published on the subject - I'm somewhat curious about that...there have to be several...somewhere out there...
     
  15. estreeter
     
    You're in the wrong thread - and probably the wrong forum - for a discussion like that. My understanding is that purrin's rankings are entirely subjective - initially, he did confer with others before he started trying to rank each of the DAC but by the time he got to the vintage R2R designs I believe it was a case of 'this is the best, forget the rest' : he has since climbed down from that lofty stance slightly but most of the recommendations now are along the lines of 'if you cant afford Yggy or you're not willing to wait, these are your options'. I know I'm putting words in someone else's mouth, but the posts are there for those who feel I'm being liberal with the facts. 
     
    I havent ventured into Sound Science for a very long time - its more 'Mad Science' in many of the threads - but that's where you may find more pertinent discussions of the topics you seem to be focussed on. 
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/f/133/sound-science
     
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