Schiit Yggdrasil Stereophile Review + Measurements

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Marvey, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Darren G

    Darren G Almost "Made"

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    /nod, the Mjolnir 2 has that switch for SE and balanced in, so I'll be trying both at some point, eventually sending the Bimby to Dad if the Yggy sounds more pleasant.

    That written, for me at least, I think that digital glare, repetition, and aliasing patterns that grate on my nerves is hard to hear in a simple A/B test, but I am guessing my brain registers it, filters it, but still leaves me feeling fatigued. I don't get that sense of fatigue at live events, and tubes have helped, as well as headphone choices, to alleviate that feeling of something is wearing me down, often quickly.

    For whatever it worth, there is a really good website that hosts 3 files to demonstrate MP3. There is the original Tom's Diner, no compression. There is the compressed version, and there is the diff version. If you listen to the diff version it's clear what has been removed. Problem is if I compare the uncompressed version with compressed version, I admit, I really cannot hear the differences consciously (maybe to a minor degree, but not reliably). Our human psycho-acoustics hearing really just is for most of us. Problem is if I listen to the full song, compressed vs not-compressed, many times over, one leaves me fatigued, the other does not. I have a very 'prove it to me' kind of mind, and well aware of the placebo effect, but I'm also open to the possibility that while we cannot consciously hear something, our brains have to work harder to sort through the noise, artifacts, etc, which leads to fatigue vs 'that just sounds amazing!'
     
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  2. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Wow. My respect for RH has increased as much as my respect for JA had decreased.
     
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  3. gbeast

    gbeast Mighty Moral Power Ranger

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  4. artur9

    artur9 Rando

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    One thing that struck me about Stereophile's review is they just did the DAVE. They show how the noise floor drops when bit depth is increased and say, "Oh, it shows it's effectively a 20b DAC. State of the art." I thought 20b would make it obsolete?

    And, the kicker? The Yggy's noise floor drops to below the measurability of the device they use for that measurement, 160dB.
     
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  5. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    No fuck. Here's JA at it:
    Fig.5 Chord DAVE, spectrum with noise and spuriae of dithered 1kHz tone at –90dBFS with: 16-bit data (left channel cyan, right magenta), 24-bit data (left blue, right red) (20dB/vertical div.).:
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Almost "Made"

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    Perhaps if the folks at Schiit priced the Yggy at 10K and chucked a big slice of that extra revenue at marketing rags like Stereophile that might make them warm up to it a bit more?

    Yggy represents a multi-pronged threat to the folks at Stereophile. Does it really cost that much more to research, design and build a Dave vs Yggy? I doubt it. The absurd pricing of products like the Dave oils the wheels of the marketing and distribution organisations, of which Stereophile is a part. Sane pricing + direct sales + limited marketing budgets are poison to a lot of the "establishment" as this is a direct threat to their revenue streams. It's all about the money. Hence the anti-Yggy bias at Stereophile.
     
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  7. haywood

    haywood Facebook Friend

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    It's not like Schiit doesn't advertise with them, it's not that.

    I think the bias against them is less about performance and more about Schiit being seen as irreverent and not taking the hobby seriously enough. Schiit is the Rodney Dangerfield character in Caddyshack vs the Judge Smails-like audio establishment.
     
  8. Darren G

    Darren G Almost "Made"

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    All technical debate aside, Yggy is Holy C**p... Wow, I am just amazed!

    This sounds nothing like a DAC, just a black background, and Music. That digital glare/sheen and murk is just gone.
     
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  9. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    Cool! So you must be hearing a dramatic difference between the Bimby and Yggy, then?
     
  10. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Almost "Made"

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    As much as Chord or Bricasti ... etc? My opinion - for what that is worth - is that the company's attitude is not nearly as much a factor as the business model. Low margin, direct sales, pricing that actually reflects the cost to produce the goods (including R&D). What really is unforgivable is that the Yggy beats many 10K DACs (Bricasti M1) and is right up there with the best (Dave) - for a small fraction of the cost. That is what gets up Stereophile's nasal passages IMHO, because the Schiit business model makes publications like Stereophile increasingly irrelevant and is a threat to their revenue stream, if not their very existence.

    The folks at Stereophile want to see the old school of fat margins and huge markups remain forever, with a restricted supply chain via distributors and brick and mortar retail outlets, all taking a big cut along the way. Plenty of cash sloshing about for hefty marketing budgets and free junkets for "reviewers" to bath in with that setup. A DAC that costs 2K to produce is retailing for 10K. Everyone is happy except for the consumer - but they don't really count in this equation. This is the business model that Stereophile knows and thrives in. Yggy is a threat to all that, and they don't like it, so they attack the product no matter how flimsy the pretext.
     
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  11. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I knew someone years ago that placed ads in Stereophile for his product. It was $3000, on the high priced end at that time. Sam Tellig gave it a Class A rating. The company had only purchased two ads at that time. When the recommended components list came out, it had dropped to Class B. No accusations. Just interesting how many times products from certain big advertisers end up in Class A. Stereophile so often complains about the current state of the hobby, but seems to be part of the problem.
     
  12. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Stereophile / JA: With undithered 24-bit data, the DAVE output a noisy sinewave (not shown).

    [​IMG]

    John Atkinson selectively hiding / showing measurements from certain vendors' products is cause for concern. Especially when these measurements reflect a stated important criteria by Stereophile for DACs (24 bit resolution). Not just double standards, but this Atkinson guy now seems super shady.

    It's like if I omitted one of my headphone CSD or HD distortion measurements and told you guys "oh won't worry, it looks fuzzy, I'm not going to show it." You guys would be all over me going WTF!@#$%^&

    1pfasn.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  13. dmckean44

    dmckean44 Friend

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    I'm pretty sure equipment needs a milled chassis and capacitors the size of your forearm to maintain a Class A ranking.
     
  14. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    That does seem to be the pattern. I remember the days when Stereophile would review Radio Shack portable CD players because they sounded great and where a value.
    I just wonder who their target audience has become, because it sure isn't me. $150,000 and up speakers??? $8000 power conditioners ??? WTF?

    What fries my fritters is there is so much great equipment out there that is reasonably priced, but barely get a mention if at all in Stereophile. And when they do they are way way behind the curve. I mean how long has Yggdrasil been out?
     
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  15. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Almost "Made"

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    2 reasons, I think.
    1) Folks like to read about the super high end gear. Same reason that Top Gear focuses on super cars and doesn't feature Toyota Corollas.
    2) Ultra high end has huge markups and lots of cash to throw around on glossy adverts and junkets for the favored media folks who can help boost sales.
     
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  16. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    Agreed. I like to read about the occasional super high priced equipment. But most of the time the sound and performance of the equipment is not in line with the price not even close. At least with cars no one is trying to sell a Toyota Corolla for $300,000.
     
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  17. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Almost "Made"

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    Yggy has super car performance for a Corolla price - that makes Stereophile very uncomfortable. If your business model depends (to a large extend) on helping to market super cars, how are you going to survive on the thinner margins (and therefore smaller advertising budgets) of Corollas? Direct sales just throws extra salt into the wound, helping to knock down the traditional distributor/retailer chain that also contributes to advertising revenue (as well as inflating the price to the consumer).

    If Stereophile was remotely objective/honest and actually gave a crap about the consumer they would come clean and say what fantastic value the Yggy really is with statements like ....
    "Better than Bricasti M1 for 1/4 the price. If you want to pay 4x the price for a pretty milled case and some extra features you are unlikely to ever use, go for it".
    "Very, very close to Dave performance, for 1/5 the price. If that extra 5% of performance is worth paying 5x the price for you, then go for it".
    ... and so on ... but that won't happen, because that would destroy a good chunk of the revenue stream, at least in the DAC world.

    Schiit and others, like MrSpeakers, are helping to redefine the audio market. Direct sales and pricing that reflects the costs of producing the product - not raping the consumer for whatever they think they can get away with.
     
  18. k4rstar

    k4rstar Friend

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    Sounds about right.
     
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  19. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Almost "Made"

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    I don't quite understand that response (unless I missed a joke in there). There are others, like HiFiMan (Edition 6 / Susvara) and Audeze (LCD-4) and JPS Labs (Abyss), where I would point the finger way before MrSpeakers. Did I miss something?
     
  20. dmckean44

    dmckean44 Friend

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    It really is the direct sales that allows for Yggy to exist. If Schiit had decided to sell this through dealers, their distributor would have probably required fancy casework. The final cost would have been at least $7-8k but the distributor would probably insist on it being priced higher to not interfere with other DACs in their portfolio.
     
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