Life after Yggdrasil: Watering the Ash

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Torq, Mar 1, 2017.

Tags:
  1. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    8,365
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yes.

    Close enough that I cannot, with any degree of reliability, distinguish between either Eitr/USB Gen 5 and my Aries via AES (which I previously considered to be the best source I'd heard into Yggdrasil via AES or any other input).

    I would say so.

    If you're using a computer as the source I would just go with the USB Gen 5 you'll get as part of a new Yggdrasil and call it good.

    I'd rank the inputs as:

    AES = USB Gen 5 >= S/PDIF BNC >= S/PDIF RCA > Optical
    This assumes an interface on the level of Eitr/Aries for the non-USB connections (in other words, if you use a lower quality AES source, it's very likely that the USB Gen 5 input will beat it). With some other interfaces/DDCs/sources the differences between AES and the BNC/COAX connections, and especially the optical connection, will be more varied.

    At this point, with Yggdrasil (and I have no reason to believe it'll be any different with Gungnir) the only reasons to use the non-USB Gen 5 inputs are a) because your source (CD transport, Roon end-point or other streamer) requires something else or b) you want to use more than one input.
     
    drez, Turdski, Delayeed and 9 others like this.
  2. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    8,365
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Soekris Engineering

    dac1541 (-):

    I’ve already written a fair bit about the dac1541 in a “stream of consciousness” style thread, which you can read here. That’s where you’ll find things like it’s performance driving headphones directly, how well it works for IEMs, notes on the crossfeed feature, and so on. There will be some inevitable repetition here, but hopefully not too much.

    About the “dac1541”:

    This is a discrete R-2R sign/magnitude balanced DAC and headphone amplifier. It offers USB, AES, BNC/RCA Coax and TOSLINK inputs. The electrical inputs are transformer coupled, so already offer some electrical isolation. There are balanced (4-pin XLR) and single ended (1/4” TRS) headphone outputs, and balanced (dual 3-pin XLR) and single ended (RCA) “line” level outputs. It offers four different cross-feed settings and four different filter options. It’s possible to set the power-on output level for the headphone and “line” outputs independently, as well as which mode the unit fires up in.

    [​IMG]

    TL;DR;

    The Soekris dac1541 is a really nice, excellent even, DAC/amp. It’s fluid, articulate, highly detailed, largely natural (though with a somewhat analytical tilt) with excellent separation and layering, good dynamics, a rich array of features and is entirely capable as both a pure DAC and as a DAC/amp combination (for most headphones).

    I like it.

    Value is solid if taken as a complete package.

    More so if you just use it as-is and don’t mess around with external gadgets, even though I did find that using Eitr, or Aries, into COAX/AES instead of a direct USB resulted in a slightly more relaxed (softer) sound (differences are minimal, take this with a few pinches of salt).

    That value gets diluted, to a greater or lesser extent, if you’re going to use this as a pure DAC …

    DAC/Amps, Integrated Products & “Life after Yggdrasil”:

    Integrated products are interesting devices to evaluate in this context. They obviously offer better effective value if you’re going to fully utilize them. When you’re only interested in one aspect of their functionality, then the perception or realization of value becomes skewed.

    I say “perception of value”, as it is not always clear what parts of an integrated product account for what aspects of its pricing. Is it a $1,250 DAC with a $250 amp? Is it a $1,000 amp with a $500 DAC? Is it a $1,400 DAC with an $100 amp that performs like a $500 amp because the design only required a simple buffer and a volume control input?

    I bring this up, because this issue affects this particular comparison of the dac1541; in “Life after Yggdrasil” I am principally concerned with the unit’s operation as a “pure” DAC.

    Rocks & Hard Places:

    Taken as a pure DAC, it’s priced in a manner that puts it squarely between a rock and a hard place. It sits between Yggdrasil, which remains my benchmark even after almost 18 months of serious DAC comparisons. And Gungnir MB which is probably the sweet spot in terms of price/performance in the Schiit multi-bit DAC line-up.

    Then there’s the Spring DAC. The basic version of which (“Level 1”) runs $1,499. This has a very different presentation, even in OS mode, has differential performance with DSD (if you care about DSD), and is one of a relatively limited number of price-comparable DACs that has some useful signature variability and also has balanced output.

    I should note that I’d be most curious to hear a version of the dac1541 as a NOS implementation – whether offered as fifth filter (which might cause problems with the four-state bi-color LED used to show the filter setting currently) or with it replacing one of the existing filters.

    Davids” and “Goliaths”:

    While there are certainly a number of more expensive products that I’ve auditioned/owned that the dac1541 either clearly outperforms, or which I simply prefer the dac1541 over, I would not, generally, put this in the “giant killer” category of products. Which, from reading a number of posts/threads in various places, seems to be either a hope, or an expectation, of some people.

    Sorry to be a disappointment there.

    At the same time, it does best a number of units that are more expensive and have excellent reputations of their own, so this is something of a matter of perspective*. For example, I would take the dac1541, even if just used as a DAC, over the following units, not just in terms of value - but also in terms of my thoughts on how much I like them for listening to music and my assessments of their absolute performance with regards to audible technicalities*:

    Auralic Vega, Chord Hugo & 2Qute, Ayre Codex and Bryston BDA-3​

    For some that might well define it as a giant-killer; I could see that point. But the titular elephant in the room is Yggdrasil (this is “Life after Yggdrasil”, after all), which handily clobbers all of those units and then some. And then there’s the hippo-in-an-elephant-costume looking nonchalant over in the corner – Gungnir MB, and that bests all of those contenders as well …

    So, it’s probably best we get to the meat of this thing …

    How Does it Sound?

    Excellent, really.

    In terms of raw, audible, performance there is really nothing to complain about. It’s immediately obvious, as in within seconds of running something well recorded/mastered through it, that it has great resolution and separation. The basic signature is also pretty readily, and rapidly, apparent – neutral/analytic vs. colored/romantic.

    Listening to “Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso, Op.28 for Violin and Orchestra in B Minor” (Saint-Saëns) provides a vivid demonstration of dac1541’s resolution and separation. You can easily focus on the solo or the orchestra. Nuances in bowing are discernible, down to changes in contact pressure (and “bounce”) in the movement of the bow, and the varying drag, along the length of the bow, from differences in rosin coverage on said bow.

    It is rare company that exposes things like this. Yggdrasil and Gungnir MB expose a little more dynamic variance, particularly when it comes to the rosin/drag/bounce factor, but most DACs gloss over this entirely.

    Quick aside … I’m not sure I’ve ever heard this from a D/S-based converter – no wait, that’s a lie, I’ve heard it with DAVE and Linn’s Klimax DSM/3 as well. And it’s also not readily apparent with planar cans (first heard it with the Utopia, later confirmed with HD800S).

    On the same piece, it is possible to “feel” the difference in how impassioned the soloist is in each breath. This speaks to separation, as there’s enough going on that while the breaths are easy to hear with better DACs, how deep they are, and how hard they are, is much harder to discern. While the Schiit duo makes it possible to separate, and consequently evaluate, such things routinely, it’s impressive to see the dac1541 do so also.

    This is first-class stuff (as, no doubt, evidenced by my wordiness on the matter).

    On tonality, I find the dac1541 to be largely natural and neutral. I had originally thought I was hearing a slightly U-shaped presentation. More time with the unit indicates that my increased (and persistent, to this point) awareness of the lowest and highest registers is not related specifically to frequency response. I’m not 100% sure what causes this shift in my focus … but it’s still evident even after more than a week of listening.

    In this matter, hearing “individual wires” of a brush over brass (cymbals), is somewhere between Gungnir MB and Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil is definitely ahead. And there’s not much in it vs. Gungnir MB, but I’d put the dac1541 in the middle here.

    I have mentioned that I find the dac1541 to have a somewhat analytical leaning. I don’t necessarily consider this a negative thing … for example Yggdrasil is closer to that designation than, say, Gungnir MB. This was initially apparent in Mary Black’s “Ellis Island”. There’s a sweetness to the opening notes in that piece that is most prettily portrayed by Gungnir MB, then Yggdrasil, and then the dac1541. Run that same piece through a KTE-edition Spring DAC and the sweetness is even more in evidence, and I like that portrayal – A LOT.

    I’d hesitate to describe the dac1541 as actually BEING “analytical”, “clinical” or “dry”, it just leans more that way than Yggdrasil. And even more so than Gungnir MB (definitely “moister” than Yggdrasil). Compared to the Spring DAC the dac1541 would be considered analytical, though. And perhaps in comparison to other NOS DACs as well.

    I digress …

    Compared to the superlative macro-dynamic performance, and low-end slam, of both Yggdrasil and Gungnir MB, the dac1541 does give up a little ground. I would still put it ahead of almost every D/S DAC I’ve heard in this regard, but the intro to “Under African Skies” (Paul Simon, Graceland) doesn’t leave you in much doubt as to which unit can hit hardest. You do, of course, need transducers that can convey this as well and an amplifier that can keep up.

    This was, incidentally, one of the tracks that “separates the men from the boys” when it comes to the performance of the amplifier section vs. using a SERIOUS external amplifier.

    Piano … a hot-button for me. Yggdrasil just does it better. “Apparent vibrato” in notes is portrayed in a more easily discerned fashion by Schiit’s flagship. Stage seems correct (width wise, which is all I can “realistically” evaluate at this point) vs. say, the Spring DAC, but positional cues are FAR more easily interpreted as “scales” are run. Sustained, individual, notes and pure-chords, almost seem to waver with the dac1541 when compared to either Yggdrasil or Gungnir MB. This might be responsible for my feeling that timbre here was not what I’d expect, even if the differences from my “reference” are rather minor. I would have to characterize the differences as being of those of a “live” performance (Yggdrasil) vs. a recorded one.

    The Soekris unit has a somewhat “leaner” sound vs. Yggdrasil and especially Gungnir MB. I would shy away from describing it specifically AS “lean”, but it’s definitely leaner. I think this contributes to my perception that things are more analytical with the dac1541 than with either Schiit DAC. Some people like this, you might be one of them. I like some weight and/or density to my music. And, interestingly, when using the iFi Pro iCAN, a unit which I think tends to have a denser delivery than my WA5-LE or Ragnarok, some of that density was notably absent.

    Top-end air/sparkle is evident and natural and, in DAC-mode, did not exhibit any added sibilance. Julie Fordham and Heart remained suitably edgy but not exaggerated.

    Bass resolution, particularly the ability to play “tunes” in the sub-bass easily goes to Moffat’s designs. dac1541 definitely does NOT exhibit one-note-bass, and it’s not lacking in quantity, but it is not quite on the same plane here and both bass texture and resolution would favor BOTH of the Schiit DACs.

    I may add more thoughts here in the next day or so … I often update my initial posts … but wanted to get this out ahead of the weekend.

    Balanced vs. Single Ended

    I’m firmly in the camp that believes performance trumps topology. My primary amplifier is a single-ended design that just has convenience-balanced inputs/outputs. Bear in mind that a balanced solution requires twice the hardware (and consequently twice the price on the BoM), for potentially minimal gains.

    With DACs this might translate into one extra bit of dynamic resolution … which with Redbook content isn’t really relevant anyway.

    In the case of the dac1541, while dynamic performance is slightly improved, it requires pretty focused listening and specific material to discern (and yes, I used a fully-balanced chain to make this determination).

    This is a long-winded way of saying that the balanced outputs on the dac1541 offer a very small improvement over the single-ended, but that it is not something I’d consider a major factor unless you’re feeding something that really benefits from balanced input (say, Ragnarok). That does not necessarily mean that there aren’t other deltas in performance between the dac1541 vs. the single-ended version Soekris offer (would have to try it to know for sure). It does mean that if this is the DAC you want, you don’t have to worry about it being “gimped” if used single-ended.

    One example here is if you used it as a DAC for a single-ended speaker rig, but also used the balanced headphone output. No reason AT ALL to be concerned here.

    To take this a bit further, flipping between both balanced and SE outputs, into the iFi Pro iCAN, it takes a decent part of most songs to determine which connection is selected (starting from a randomly, blindly, selected, connection). With the right material, I managed better than 80% success in identifying the connection, with some other pieces I did no better than chance. This speaks VERY well of the SE output implementation.

    DSD:

    For native DSD source material, doing on-the-fly conversion to PCM in either Audirvana+ or Roon resulted in indistinguishable performance vs. feeding the dac1541 the actual DSD data and letting it do the PCM conversion internally (since that’s how it handles the DSD format). The practical upshot of this is that, even with DSD material, unless you’re using a source that cannot do on the fly conversion, the comparisons to other DACs here remain unchanged.

    For me this means that DSD support in the dac1541 is a convenience feature.

    Summary:

    The dac1541 is a solid unit. I enjoyed listening to it. It beats a number of well-regarded, and more expensive, units. It’s certainly worth an audition**, particularly if you prefer a somewhat more analytical presentation and/or focus on apparent resolution ahead of other factors. I still think the top-end is ESS/Sabre like without all the issues so commonly found there.

    Would I buy one?

    Given the competition and current price, not as a pure-DAC.

    Gungnir MB meets, or beats, it on audible technicalities while yielding a more engaging, musical, emotive performance, and does so for less money. Even compared to Yggdrasil, Gungnir MB might well have a preferable signature, and value proposition, for many here.

    Yggdrasil offers enough improvement, across the board, while shifting to a less-moist, but still resolutely musical, delivery, that I personally think the extra $700 easily justifies.

    I’m forced to wonder what it would take to have a pure-DAC version of this and what that might do to the pricing. That’d be a change in the value proposition rather than performance.

    I expect, in many systems, the Gungnir MB is going to be a better fit for people here than either the dac1541 or Yggdrasil. The dac1541 is closer to Yggdrasil in terms of apparent neutrality than either unit is to Gungnir MB. Yggdrasil out-resolves both, has superior plankton, better dynamics at micro and macro level, exhibits similar (or superior) separation, while delivering a more musical, emotional, involving performance.

    --

    *As always, personal preferences, systems and synergies vary and I’d recommend auditioning any units you’re considering prior to plonking down the cash.
    **If you’re on the SBAF loaner-tour for this unit I am going to encourage you to take a decent stab at posting impressions of it.
     
    Josh358, Clemmaster, Lyer25 and 31 others like this.
  3. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    5,089
    Dislikes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    London, UK
    Thanks, @Torq - I've been waiting for this one, just out of curiosity.

    It's great to hear that it's a solid, good-sounding DAC, after the S19 disaster. It almost feels a little unfair comparing it to Gungnir Multibit and Yggdrasil (even though that's the whole point of the thread) as they're such unicorns. Hell, Schiit's whole multibit range with those weird AD DACs and what seems like unusually nice filters, is the culmination of at least one (if not more) trailblazing career's worth of expertise. There's no shame in not topping them. Coming close is more than most can manage- even much larger and better-funded outfits.

    Alternatives are good. Being able to avoid a monoculture is always handy, when the tentacle hits the pentacle. I'd love to see a version "built down" without the headphone out, too.
     
    Turdski, sacredgates, Jerry and 2 others like this.
  4. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,032
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary AB, Canada
    Perhaps @soekris could elaborate on the similarities/differences between the DAC in the 1541 and the upcoming DAC-only dac1321. This might help us in considering @Torq 's "perception of value" conundrum.
     
  5. Melvillian

    Melvillian Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Likes Received:
    709
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thank you for another beautifully written review @Torq. Seems like a good DAC. I hope people read the review instead of seeing a red minus sign and moving on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
    msommers, elguapo and Thad E Ginathom like this.
  6. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    8,365
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    That is a potential problem/concern, and one that it might be worth making changes to the overall thread/format for.

    The devil is in the details for a lot of this stuff and those indicators are, mostly, a holdover from the original purpose of the thread. In this case (-) indicated that the DAC just hadn't met the bar necessary to be in my "shortlist" of DACs that I'd potentially buy at the end of the process - not that it was necessarily bad in anyway.

    So, one option would be to simply remove the (-) indicator and only use the (=) and (+) markers. Another would be to repurpose the (-) indicator to indicate something I think is either truly bad (S19) or is just extremely poor value (Bryston BDA-3) - with the risk there being that those already familiar with the thread might not spot the change and continue to interpret things the "old" way.

    Or I could come up with simple, graded, "performance" and "value" indicators, and use those instead. Those would still require someone to actually read the first couple of posts and pay attention to what those indicators actually meant (doing something like "$$$" to suggest good value would otherwise probably be read by some as suggesting it was expensive, and the alternative is an inverted scale). And this is all relative anyway ... since there's no such thing as an universally acceptable absolute scale for such things.

    Finally, I could just yank all the indicators and make everything reliant on the text/body of the review/impressions with no other hints as to what they might contain.

    That last approach would move things to be more of a "simple review" type of presentation. That is, for me at least, probably the least useful way to talk about a product - as without comparison to something well-known and consistent, it's mostly just flowery language that is impossible to translate into anything meaningful. You can read it anyway you want, depending on your existing biases (which is, I'm sure, why things like the Hugo 2 tour wanted the reviews you had to commit to not be comparative).

    --

    So my gut feel is either to pull the (-) indicators for anything that's just not particularly bad or exhibits notably poor value; and my lazy-streak just says "leave things as they are".
     
    pavi, dmckean44 and elguapo like this.
  7. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I say just leave them be. If someone wants to treat it as some official ranking system, that is their problem. Anyone really interested in DACs is going to read a bunch because they find it interesting or worthwhile. Someone who just wants to read about the top contenders worthy of their conversation can skip straight to the good stuff or maybe see "oh, my DAC is in the (-), wonder why that is" and learn a thing or two.
     
    artur9, Melvillian and Dino like this.
  8. Dino

    Dino Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,504
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I don't pay much attention to the symbols. I read the entire write ups. (Some more than once.) I've had the time, I'm interested in this stuff and @Torq is very talented.
     
    elguapo, Gaspasser, CCC and 5 others like this.
  9. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,209
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    San Diego
    I say keep the (-) symbol but also add a lesser (-) symbol for those DACs that don't quite mesaure up but sound great anyway and are a good value.
     
    PTS, 9suns, Rapt and 1 other person like this.
  10. strangecargo

    strangecargo Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Likes Received:
    46
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    San Francisco
    @Torq , do you have any plans to revisit the PS Audio DACs with the Huron firmware update? After living with the DS Sr + Huron for a few weeks, I'm still surprised that this is the same DAC that I've owned for a couple years and that a software upgrade could make such a big difference. I've currently got my newly upgraded Yggdrasil and the DS hooked up side-by-side in a 2-channel setup, using the DS as a point of comparison to help figure out when the Yggdrasil has finally come up to temp and I can start evaluating the Gen 5 USB board. I think the Yggdrasil settled in thermally a few days ago, but I still find myself favoring the DS as I switch between the two. The last time I did something similar, before Huron, I thought the Yggdrasil and DS traded blows, in that "sounds different, but who can say which is better?" way, with the DS perhaps being the more tonally consistent of the two. Post-Huron, however, the Yggdrasil's portrayal of harmonic overtones, decay, reverb, and room acoustics now seem relatively muted and "off" or incomplete in comparison to the DS.
     
    9suns and msommers like this.
  11. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    8,365
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    As it happens, I have a friend's PS Audio Direct Stream on loan right now, specifically to give the "Huron" update a listen (mentioned here, so you don't think this is unrealistically convenient timing). I've done a little of that since I finished my listening to the Soekris dac1541. And this will include before/after comparisons as I switch between the firmware versions. Unfortunately I don't have two units that I can do a direct Torreys/Huron side-by-side with (though I may see about recording outputs from both states to see if anything is visibly different there ... just for the fun of it) - though differences are discernible nonetheless.

    I cannot say I find the same thing in listening to the unit with Huron side-by-side with Yggdrasil. I will say that Huron is an improvement over Torreys. Too early to say any more than that though. With a bit of luck I'll get my listening finished by the weekend (the Denafrips units are about to come on deck), but the proper write-up of those listening tests will likely trail those of both the Ares and Pontus, as well as my four-way Schiit multi-bit write-up.
     
  12. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    607
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, PA
    Yggdrasil is a very bright and lively DAC. Yea, maybe there is a symbol or color between - and + that would better convey the difference, but agree, best to read all of Torq's comments to get the big picture. In that bigger picture the Soekris DAC/AMP looks to be quite a good value. Would be a shame if someone just skipped all the - signs and doesn't read deeper, but some will. Thanks for the impressions Torq!
     
  13. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Validated by Tyll removing Utopia from WOF

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    256
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I would suggest the Yggdrasil is a tad bright and a tad forward/lively. I would not call it "very bright" (particularly in this thread which seems to be Yggdrasil fanboi central).

    EDIT: the dislikes tell me that I am on the right track with my fanboi comment. This is the only thread I have found on SBAF that reads more like a HF fanboi thread. Get a grip, people. The Yggdrasil is a great DAC for the money and does a lot of things extremely well. It is also somewhat bright and forward and lacking in musicality (probably as a result of the first two characteristics). Live with it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
    Clemmaster, Thenewerguy009 and 9suns like this.
  14. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,599
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Sector 8023 of the Third Quadrant
    I guess @Torq would be the biggest "fanboi" here.
     
  15. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    499
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Europe
    Agreed. Even though I read all of them, one by one, when I try to get a grasp of the situation as a whole I can't remember most of pros and cons but I do remember the ones that weren't as good or were poor value.

    A system like the one dmckean44 suggested would help a lot, at least that's what I believe.
     
    Jerry likes this.
  16. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    814
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Online
    I wish you had put this in a new post so I could dislike twice. If you want people to respect your comments, you need to respect everyone else's as well. This preemptive fanboi shit to ward off disagreement is just moronic noise.
     
  17. k4rstar

    k4rstar Sad on the inside

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Likes Received:
    3,513
    Dislikes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Canada
    [​IMG]

    Probably not what you're saying so much as how you're saying it. Also, please define "musicality" and what makes a component "musical". I'll wait.
     
    A1Gear, elguapo and winders like this.
  18. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    607
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, PA
    @TonyNewman I don't think Yggdrasil is perfect. There is still a sense of a grey background, and still a touch of digital buzz for me, but it does seem to get the essence of the hard instruments, by which I mean -

    Bells - Metallic sound with most of the tinkle and ring coming through
    Cymbals - Sound metallic with bright shimmer
    Piano - That hard percussive attack comes through (yea like hammers hitting strings, good stuff)
    Brass horns - Plenty of metallic BLAT and SHEEN (I personally wouldn't mind a bit more)
    Violins - That lovely sweetness comes through but still that rough edginess is not paved over
    Cellos - Like violins, but with that deep reverb and sense of bravato
    Guitar - Metallic strings retain their metallic ring and bite, well differentiated from nylon
    Global impression - Reflections are not drowned out

    Okay I'm not so great with the adjectives, but even though it's not perfect, I still remain blown away at how well Yggdrasil pulls out these details heard at a live concert. Possibly no DAC can be perfect, but it aligns well with my musical push buttons. Can it be too much? Yep, same way few of us could stand a live concert 24/7, but I am good with it leaning toward the lively/energetic side.
     
    A1Gear, earnmyturns, Aklegal and 3 others like this.
  19. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Validated by Tyll removing Utopia from WOF

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    256
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Apologies if I over stepped the bounds.
     
    Jerry likes this.
  20. Aklegal

    Aklegal Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    97
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    After years of listening to "musical" dacs, I just find that the Yggdrasil just does it for me. Its the only piece of equipment (not counting speakers) that I have ever owned that continues to impress me and this even after 2 years. It has faults I guess but those faults tend to err on the side of being clinical or too revealing. If I want to soften things up it is much easier and cheaper to find an amp or preamp to do that since I'd have to spend 3 times the cost of the Yggdrasil to get something I am happy with. Or I could just find a used romantic dac like the Monarchy NM24 or something from MHDT for my emotional days.

    I'd love to hear the latest LaScala optologic dac but again $$$$$$
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    A1Gear likes this.

Share This Page