Life after Yggdrasil: Watering the Ash

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

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  1. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    1/10, 1/100, pick a number, but in most cases it's just a number. Also, that Linn system is an integrated (amp/Dac/streaming - all in a lock box proprietary network if memory serves - could be wrong). After you get past a certain BOM, it's all in the implementation, preferences, marketing, and all the other factors in a luxury market where Old Audio Farts are sold things. Schiit and a few others swim upstream in that they explicitly design/sell value, which you're not supposed to do in a luxury market, until you become part of the landscape which Schiit has managed to a certain extent...
     
  2. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Found it:
    1. Chord DAVE (via Blu Mk2 or Hugo M-Scaler)
    2. MSB Select DAC (with Femto 33 clock and 2x Mono Powerbases)
    3. dCS Vivaldi (w/ Upsampler and Master Clock)
    4. Linn Klimax DSM/3 (Katalyst)
    5. Hugo TT 2 (via Hugo M-Scaler)
    6. dCS Bartok
    7. Schiit Yggdrasil A2 (w/ Unison USB)
    8. Mola Mola Tambaqui
    9. Matrix X-Sabre Pro MQA
    10. Schiit Bifrost 2
    There is no consideration of value in this listing.​

    https://forum.headphones.com/t/im-sailing-away/5367/59

     
  4. Aklegal

    Aklegal Friend

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    I looked the Mola Mola up out of curiosity and mainly because I already know that DACs 1 through 6 are prohibitively expensive for me. Of course the Tambaqui is $16,000 - why wouldn't it be lol.

    Every time I try stepping out on my Yggdrasil price tags bitch slap me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    $10k dac for $2.5k kinda does that.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Rockna Wavedream XLR non-uber version beats all of them.
     
  7. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    When it comes to SE outputs only, is there any DAC that beats Bifrost 2?
     
  8. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    DAC1541
     
  9. exocer

    exocer Acquaintance

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    Probably a silly question but would one think this list would differ for 2-channel speakers vs headphones?
     
  10. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    1. Torq copied other people’s impressions. Who cares what he thought. Half that crap does not sound nearly as cool as an almost 20 year old Lavry piece. There’s very good stuff now that starts at a couple hundred bucks (cut down SSL Alphalink and MOTU AVB conversion, the Grace sdac, used market is a buyers market now with tons of great deals) that just didn’t exist just a few years ago. Schiit is 100 bucks and doesn’t suck. Once you get past “doesn’t suck” your speakers, amplification, and room matter more than the conversion. Good power amps are much harder to find than good conversion in 2020. It’s the opposite of the 90s.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
  11. neomax

    neomax RobS / hinterlander

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    personally i never got anything out of a torq review.

    i read his modi 3 review and came away learning absolutely nothing about the product.
     
  12. scottcw

    scottcw New

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    Revisionist history is strong tonight.
     
  13. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Pyrate Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    Torq was a deaf blowhard who recycled popular opinion. He would even review old meme gear from years ago and recycle other’s impressions from years ago. Good at selling stuff 6moons style? Yes. Informative impressions of new gear? Hell to the no.
     
  14. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    @exocer correct, most of torq early impressions were with Woo-goo and stuff like Abyss. Which had it's merits but his speaker rig was mid tier at best, hence he rated Dacs like Dave highly, which are not really top shelf with speakers.
    Not sure what he has been running lately.

    I want to revise torq's list. (torqs list with xec comments
    1. Chord DAVE (via Blu Mk2 or Hugo M-Scaler) - heard this, mid tier at best - off the list
    2. MSB Select DAC (with Femto 33 clock and 2x Mono Powerbases) - heard this - unfortunately its amazing
    3. dCS Vivaldi (w/ Upsampler and Master Clock) - heard this: euphoric, holographic weird.
    4. Linn Klimax DSM/3 (Katalyst) - never heard
    5. Hugo TT 2 (via Hugo M-Scaler) - hot trash
    6. dCS Bartok - not heard
    7. Schiit Yggdrasil A2 (w/ Unison USB) - loses magic resolution of v1
    8. Mola Mola - heard this same as La-scala ii -
    9. Matrix X-Sabre MQA - great value but not top tier
    10. Schiit Bifrost 2
    Xec revised list - I've heard 90% of these in home systems or my own.

    Clearly a step above everything else

    1. MSB Select DAC II (with Femto 33 clock and 2x Mono Powerbases) - as close to perfect as I've heard
    2. Rockna Wavedream signature balanced XLR - incredibly well rounded, nuanced, attack could be slightly harder
    3. Bricasti m1 SE - convert 2 with more resolution and air, better noise floor etc



    better than midfi (marginal)
    4.Convert 2 - some disagree but in the right system this is down right nutty but not well rounded
    5. Holo May NOS with HQ player or something to upsample - still not engaging
    6. dCS Vivaldi (w/ Upsampler and Master Clock) - way overpriced and kinda coloured but tastefully - not for me
    7. Boulder 2120 - solid DAC, overpriced, their amps are really good
    8. Esoteric D1 - good dac, overpriced, the cd-t these guys makes is in my opinion the best source you can get
    9. Waversa DAC3C - solid dac, best sabre so far, bit of bloat in tone

    10. mola mola: cold and sterile, fast but lacks tonal density, sounds good with warmth in system
    11. yggy1 - warmed up this was special but had well documented weaknesses
    12. Termi with new board
    13. Holo May NOS without HQ player
    14. Abbas 2.3 SE with RCA meat ball and a good source - fun and engaging but smeared with NOS mono imaging bit of a wall of sound
    15. Matrix X-Sabre MQA - big value and features - lacks body and slam
    16. Bi-frost 2 - great tone and timbre - Because we need a good sub 1k dac.

    Yggdrasil v2 - slightly above mid-fi - but lacks v1 special sauce resolution


    mid-fi at best
    dCS Bartok, not engaging, decent with some headphones,
    Pavane - good NOS Dac but not a big step up
    Dave with Blu2 and M-Scaler - no stage, flat, lacks depths, transients dull and boring - great with headphones
    ps-audio DS - soft, weak sauce - tried the last two firmware, this is really mediocre
    la scala ii - nothing special here
    Termi with old board - new board makes a big difference,
    Luxman, mytek, lampi, ifi, border patrol, all in here somewhere.


    I would like to hear the Total Dac, Pasithea, Aries Kassandra, Nagra, lavry, Prism, Ayre Dacs as they are candidates for above midi-fi or better.

    OFC, IMO, YMMV depending on system- I value transient speed and edge, dynamics and resolution above staging.
    For some home auditions - I dragged my tube amp, transport and DAC to a lot of these auditions to hear their DAC with an amp and headphones I knew, then used their speakers to compare my convert 2/rockna to their DAC. Not as good as doing it in my system, but the next best thing.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2022
  15. Ntbm3

    Ntbm3 Friend

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    How does your old sonic frontier SFD1-MK II stack up on your list?

    thanks for sharing the impressions above!
     
  16. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    LOL I guess it's an ORFAS world out there.
     
  17. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    I would say better than mid-fi - I didn't want to add it to the list because it is no longer in production. I would put it below Yggdrasil 1 and above the Matrix.
     
  18. Koth Ganesh

    Koth Ganesh Friend

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    Xec, the Bricasti is $10k new. The Convert-2 is over a fifth of that price. What's your opinion on the value proposition here? Thanks
     
  19. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    I think its insanely good value. It misses out on top tier placement because it lacked final word in resolution, stage is also a bit 'U shaped' and forward and it definitely exacerbates some transients to slam harder than they probably should.
    The bricasti is a more well rounded and hifi presentation, has more air, stage is more normal, has the detail the c2 misses. But both have their merits.

    Probably why @MrTeaRex owns both of them.

    I dont want to try and quantify differences and then equate that to price differences, especially when in my top 10 dacs there is a 100k dollar spread.

    The bricasti is not 5 times better, its marginally better and someone who values transients heft over stage will likely prefer the c2. I was offered an m1se+ for 3k usd, after hearing it a couple of times i decided the c2 was a better fit for me, however I conceded that the m1se was a more well rounded DAC WRT to sound.

    I should of mentioned that cost and features did not carry any bearing on the rankings.
     
  20. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Pyrate Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
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    Dangerous is probably technically better with the medical grade power supply, sicko clock, and beefy analog stage but it’s just voiced to be colored in a cool way that the Bricasti isn’t. Dangerous rarely sounds bad unlike Prism and Apogee (varies a lot). You can always hear Dangerous gear in the path but... it makes a lot of stuff sound better. Now if you’re running a recording through it... you might want that Dangerous DA imprinted on it. Or even BURL. But I like my da that I listen off of to be less colored in treble. For headphones, who gives a shit but for speakers it matters.

    Dangerous DA sounds like an expander is on all transients. Dark, smooth console like sheen on top. Not a hifi, brighter sheen like Prism and a bunch of good hifi gear has. A darker console sheen. My MOTU gear actually has more treble detail and is flatter but the Dangerous is way punchier in midrange. Bog standard good sound is just better for a lot of setups. The prisms (phat bass and hifi sheen) and apogee se (some color but less than the other symphonies) had even more detail. The specs... didn’t matter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020

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