yggdrasil technical measurements
May 1, 2015 at 1:19 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 97

atomicbob

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 27, 2012
Posts
986
Likes
1,030
2015.12.12 update - THD measurement corrected.
 
I will never know how the first three hours of the yggdrasil sounded as I let the DAC warm up for an hour and proceeded to make technical measurements. If the measurements presented are familiar territory, then you should be as impressed as I am. If such graphs are not familiar, then please note that these graphs are  extended, some down to -160 dB for example. Extreme. Much farther than most other graphs you will see elsewhere on other DACs on the internet or in brochures. So be careful when making comparisons. Watch the X and Y axes in other data. The graphs presented here are not marketing graphs. They have not been prettied up as is often the case in mainstream consumer goods.
 
Schiit claims THD <0.006%  THD+N (more stringent) measured  Left 0.00233%  Right 0.00239%
Schiit claims IMD <0.007%  IMD measured  Left 0.00067%  Right 0.00162%
Schiit claims SNR >117dB    Dynamic Range measured  Left 121.7 dB  Right 122.0 dB
 
Schiit has specifications for these measurements published on their website and in their operating instructions. In my measurements, my yggdrasil performed better than Schiit's conservative specifications in every single measurement. Every single one. Well done Schiit!
 
Commentary added to the end of this post.
 
The data presented were collected as follows:
 
1.  PrismSound dScope III, picoscope 2205, FLIR E63900
2.  DAC balanced output used for measurements except oscilloscope square wave response which used unbalanced output
3.  100 Kohm load used for measurements
4.  44 KHz  sample rate, 24 bit depth
5.  USB input - cables to go USB cable
6.  Balanced cables Tecnec Canare starquad Neutrik XLR cables
7.  Unbalance cable BlueJeans Belden RCA
8.  Vaunix Lab Brick USB hub
 
Frequency Response

 
Expanded Y-axis Frequency Response, 0.1 dB / major division

 
Dynamic Range

 
THD and THD+N - unweighted - updated 20151212 - measurement corrected

 
 
Intermodulation Distortion

 
Left - Right channel crosstalk

 
Jitter - what jitter - yggdrasil laughs at your USB cables

 
For comparison this is the jitter measured for an ODAC

 
20 Hz square wave response

 
expanded time base for 20 Hz square wave response - minimal pre and post ringing
exceptional performance for a digital recovery filter

 
For those of you worried about the Yggdrasil's slightly warm feeling to the touch, don't worry, be happy. Here is a comparison to an Asus Ultrabook
 
Yggdrasil

 
Asus Ultrabook

 
Commentary:
 
The previous THD+N graph measurements were artificially high due to a driver / OS interaction on my computer. The corrected measurement now appears above. Update made 2015.12.12.
 
Designers are often faced with trade-offs for various reasons. I believe the Schiit design team has made trade-offs that result in best auditory experience over best measurements possible on all fronts. I have a colleague who gives a "13 dB miracle" demonstration showing that SNR isn't the best predictor of auditory experience. So THD+N may not be that influential on the final sound while jitter may have a bigger effect. Those of you who will reference the 1992 and 1998 AES papers on the topic of jitter may note that no trained subjects were used to determine the masking thresholds. With many more listeners now well experienced in digital audio listening we might see much lower thresholds if the experiments were repeated today and trained listeners employed.
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:26 AM Post #2 of 97

amalgamist

Aka: thee8thgoonie
Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Posts
103
Likes
28
Thanks for these measurements but for those who are unfamiliar, like myself. What are your thoughts and interpretations on how it measured ? Also, how does it measure against other top tier equipment you've measured in the past ?
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:32 AM Post #4 of 97

atomicbob

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 27, 2012
Posts
986
Likes
1,030
This weekend I will try to do the same for my Auralic Vega, though John Atkinson has already performed these measurements and declared the Vega exemplary. I see the yggdrasil as also exemplary.

Now listening to the yggdrasil, and I get what @purrin is on about. Two very fine DACs, but so far there is something missing from the yggdrasil - the digital hash or glare that exists with S-D designs. Digital vinyl is now real.
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:48 AM Post #5 of 97

lojay

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Posts
1,091
Likes
246
How do you assess THD or distortion? I wonder how the performance is in this aspect? I've read that's the main drawback of R2R DACs.
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:53 AM Post #6 of 97

EraserXIV

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Posts
1,654
Likes
82
  This weekend I will try to do the same for my Auralic Vega, though John Atkinson has already performed these measurements and declared the Vega exemplary. I see the yggdrasil as also exemplary.

Now listening to the yggdrasil, and I get what @purrin is on about. Two very fine DACs, but so far there is something missing from the yggdrasil - the digital hash or glare that exists with S-D designs. Digital vinyl is now real.

 
After warming up for 5-hours, can you measure the Vega in both the default and Exact mode (Femto mode) to compare? Would be very interesting to see what the effect of the Exact mode is.
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:56 AM Post #7 of 97

DACLadder

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Posts
1,963
Likes
1,225
Nice job! Any way to easily perform a linearity test especially on the low level side? Always a demanding test for a multi-bit DAC.
 
May 1, 2015 at 2:59 AM Post #8 of 97

johnjen

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 13, 2010
Posts
3,345
Likes
2,764
Location
Well Grounded, here and now
DAMN!
 
Those numbers are amazing…!
120dB crosstalk
0.3db channel balance
FR 20K -0.1dB 
IM dist. 0.0016% or less
THD  0.002%
THD + N 0.011%
And those square wave 20Hz responses are majorly impressive as well.
 
All these measurements are equalling the best, or are setting new levels of performance.
 
DAMN!  
atsmile.gif

 
Them are some spicey meat balls!  
 
JJ
 
May 1, 2015 at 3:23 AM Post #9 of 97

eddypoon

Aka: epoon2, realfacer
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Posts
67
Likes
18

I don't know what to say - Heroic craftsmanship. Dedication to details, beauty, accuracy. Solid, innovative and advanced engineering and number crunching.
 
This is incredible.   
 
May 1, 2015 at 9:08 AM Post #12 of 97

atomicbob

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 27, 2012
Posts
986
Likes
1,030
  DAMN!
 
Those numbers are amazing…!
120dB crosstalk
0.3db channel balance
FR 20K -0.1dB 
IM dist. 0.0016% or less
THD  0.002%
THD + N 0.011%
And those square wave 20Hz responses are majorly impressive as well.
 
All these measurements are equalling the best, or are setting new levels of performance.
 
DAMN!  
atsmile.gif

 
Them are some spicey meat balls!  
 
JJ

Careful John. The results are spectacular, but the numbers displayed are usually for a single frequency. One really needs to look at the graphs. The crosstalk reduces to approx 100 dB between 100 and 200 Hz for Right to Left and approx 95 dB for Left to Right in the same frequency range. Still exceptional but refer to the graphs for exact values by frequency.
 
May 1, 2015 at 9:13 AM Post #14 of 97

atomicbob

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 27, 2012
Posts
986
Likes
1,030
   
After warming up for 5-hours, can you measure the Vega in both the default and Exact mode (Femto mode) to compare? Would be very interesting to see what the effect of the Exact mode is.

 
Nice job! Any way to easily perform a linearity test especially on the low level side? Always a demanding test for a multi-bit DAC.

Further measurements will need to wait for a few days. That pesky career thing is demanding my time to do these types of tasks for corporate. The measurements themselves are not time consuming. Setup, thermal equilibration, calibration, signal verification, screen capture and up-loading all take much more time and are not insignificant.
 
May 1, 2015 at 9:14 AM Post #15 of 97

DACLadder

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Posts
1,963
Likes
1,225
Bob this is great information.   Just wondering how SE outputs compare to the balanced?   You mention using a Blue Jeans SE cable in the equipment list. 
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top