Schiit Bifrost 2

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by RobS, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I'm not sure what you mean by hotter outputs but I also picked up a Modi 3 to compare and that's louder than the BF2 as well.
     
  2. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Three flashing lights means the Bifrost is not finding an internal card. If it works now, that's fine, but if you want us to do a rapid return/replace we can swap it out as well. Alternately, you can see how it goes and have us do a rapid return/replace any time in the future, since this counts as a DOA/early fail. In those cases, we always do a swap--we send you a shipper and send the replacement as soon as yours is in the post back to us, without waiting for it to arrive here. If you're overseas and this isn't feasible, we set up reimbursement for your shipping and send another one right away as well. Any customs issues are handled as well. You shouldn't have to live with an early failure. If you want to swap it, just contact [email protected] and they'll get you taken care of immediately.
     
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  3. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Thank you kindly Jason. I'll hang on to it for now and see how it goes over the next week or so. If the problem happens again, I'll send it back for replacement.
     
  4. Phantaminum

    Phantaminum Friend

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    I’m also experiencing this. Since I’m connected to my PC I thought it was Windows 10 crapping out and causing the drivers to fail. It seems that the BF2 is looking for a source and can’t find it. Turning it off and back on usually does the trick on my end.
     
  5. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Iif you're having trouble, contact us and we'll swap it out.
     
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  6. Phantaminum

    Phantaminum Friend

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    For sure Jason. I’m going to let it be for a few weeks and if it keeps happening I’ll contact support for a swap. Thanks for the response!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  7. Aelms

    Aelms Facebook Friend

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    Skimming the specs, seems like it’s because BF2 has higher output impedance than the Geek Out.
     
  8. McFly

    McFly Rando

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    So I was ready to roll in here and crap on the bifrost but read on;

    So I was ABing (preamp switching) with the Gungnir Multibit (A2 but I don’t accept it officially) for the last couple days as I mentioned. The rest of the chain was identical. Roon is awesome for this. All my findings were that the gungnir still had more bass punch, weight, voices had a nicer richness to them that made them sound natural and more realistic. Usually with DACs the thing I notice is drums, particularly snares. Here there was no difference. The highs also exactly the same between the two. The gungnir was seemingly louder due to this heavier bottom end. I said earlier I thought the gungnir was louder. I have a rather honest and transparent setup, and will favour a dac with just a little warmth.

    After two nights of back and forth, I was done and thought nah, this bifrost ain’t for me. Got up to unplug it. Lo and behold I had confused myself. I got my ABs the wrong way round. Holy crap I am an idiot. All my findings..were the wrong way around.

    So I originally grabbed the bifrost for the remote thinking, yeah I can take a small hit in SQ for the added convenience, but hot damn the bifrost is the better of the two SQ wise. I am one very happy camper. For those with speaker/TV/HT setups, buy this wonderful little dac and have a gungnir beater with a remote to switch sources.

    Check your connections people. Or don’t, and be pleasantly surprised.

    P.s. edit - I’m not saying throw away (sell, for people who downvote sarcasm) your gungnir. The gungnir is still slightly the clearer of the two eg. if your a girl with a guitar listener. Thats where the gungnir has the win. But if you want a punchy bottom end, audition a bifrost 2.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  9. rott

    rott Secretly hates other millenials - Friend

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    You mentioned Roon, so is your comparison via USB - Unison & Gen5? Or S/PDIF coax?
     
  10. Ice-man

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    Flashing lights are back, so this one is going back to @schiit for exchange. If wonder if this could be as simple as the usb card not being "seated" well to the primary PCB. Possibly the retention mechanism isn't holding up during shipping. Not sure. It would be a shame (for schiit and myself) to do this exchange simply for reseating the card.
     
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  11. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Isn’t the USB card user removable? And the analog board for that matter? Of course if there is some issue with the riser boards or how they connect, it’s not going to be possible to address without opening it.

    But it will probably be good for Schiit to have a chance to see and diagnose it anyhow since it seems like it may be happening to others, it may be something that needs to be addressed more broadly.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  12. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    It’s quite possible that it’s something this simple, but why deal with this on a new product? Just contact us on Monday and have us do a rapid return-exchange. In the meantime, if you want to reseat the cards, that’s fine too, they are meant to be swapped by the owner. It’s just the two bottom screws on each card, then they slide out,
     
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  13. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I will certainly do some trouble shooting with your permission. I just didn't want to open up something that I was sending back. But I don't think it hurts anything to take a peak. Thank you.
     
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  14. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I didn't do a direct Modi Multibit vs. B2 (S/PDIF) comparison per se, but had a quick listen to B2 fed by Unison (RPi) vs. Eitr (Android phone). I'd say most everything I previously described is still there using S/PDIF, but the presentation is a touch warmer or one could say very slightly veiled (don't know if this is because of Eitr or inherent in the S/PDIF input). Guitars and vocals have a touch less bite. I'll reconnect everything so RPi > Eitr > B2 and listen to it like that for a while. If all the other improvements stand but there's a little less Unison "edge", I may prefer that in my setup.

    Also, @batriq pointed out that I didn't specify in my comparo that my MB is FW v2. Now fixed.
     
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  15. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I've done a lot more listening between the original multibit/gen 5 USB and the version 2/Unison. My set up is:

    Hackintosh -> both DACs (USB) -> Mainline. The Mainline has two inputs, and the Mac can output to both DACs at the same time, so it's as simple as flicking the input switch to A/B test. I also tried having the Mac output to one DAC at a time, and switched DACs in the control panel at the same time flicking the input switch. I also switched the USB cables at one point to see if anything was related to the cables or the ports. I used the Fostex TH900 (with MrSpeaker doggie treats and hybrid velour/leather pads) and a utopia for the listening.

    I let the DAC warm up for a few days. It sounded muffled the first hour or two. After that, it seemed to have stabilized.

    I also closed my eyes while listening, concentrated, and looked as much as I could like an audiophile (holding my chin and bouncing my head to the music, maybe even a little swaying back and forth).

    I listen to jazz, classical, and rock, instumentals, male and female vocalists.

    I then switched to my SS amp, a DIY WHAMMY. I used a DIY switch box, so both DACs into the switch box, then into the WHAMMY.

    All RCA cables are bluejeans.

    My conclusion: I cannot hear a difference. YMMV based on many factors, but take all the reviews that hear "night and day" differences with a grain of hype-salt. Sure, it's possible there are differences in certain systems, but it's also possible they sound exactly the same.

    I did notice a difference when I upgraded the Bifrost to Gen 5 USB. I used to have some USB issues, but they went away with Gen 5.

    Note, I could barely hear differences between other DAC comparisons I've done in the past, but I could usually hear something. Between these two Bifrosts: nada.

    That all said, the Bifrost is a great DAC, and I certainly recommend either version.

    My rig:
    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  16. McFly

    McFly Rando

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    ^^love that fried chicken bucket

    Yes, My Gungnir Multibit is Gen5 USB, the bifrost is unison USB. Roon grouped zones (allows for simultaneous playback from more than one output) through identical 1m USB cables, from the same USB header on a HTPC motherboard. I’m yet to hear the differences people speak of using remote networked endpoints with Roon.

    More listening has revealed a wider soundstage in the Bifrost, but I think this is perceived by the weightier bottom end. Switching to the Gungnir and the stage drops back between the speakers. This could be my slightly small room. The Gungnir still has a better clarity/imaging in the sense that if someone is using a shaker just right of centre stage you can pinpoint it as if it’s actually there, it’s quite spooky and surreal, or awesome. Switching to the bifrost the stage gets bigger but I can no longer feel like I could ‘touch’ that shaker.
     
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  17. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I've been listening for probably 20 hours since my initial impressions. Here are some more, in no particular order.
    • From warm to bright: BF2 - Modi 3 - Geek Out V2A.
    • From more resolving/detailed to less: BF2 - GO V2A - Modi 3.
    • Modi 3 makes everything a little blurred or smeared or less distinct in comparison to BF2. Kind of like if you stretched a sheet of plastic over a model city.
    • Modi 3 has a sharper, more metallic sound than the BF2. BF2 by comparison is a little rounder/mellower, could stand to be a little sharper/snappier for some sounds like the snap of a guitar string. I guess its impossible to do timbre equally well for all types of instruments and I would prefer a slightly warmer/organic sound over a more metallic one.
    • BF2 bass is really present and slams hard. This can be a weakness as it shows up too forceful on acoustic tracks that don't call for it in a way that can be distracting. The bass does have good texture and is tight enough. The over prominence of the bass on some tracks is the main weakness of the BF2 for me.
    • BF2 much more dynamic than Modi 3.
    • BF2 renders rich, complex sounds with harmonic overtones such as the lower keys on a piano really really well.
    • Small gradations in volume are more apparent with the BF2 than I've ever heard them. This increases emotional involvement w/music.
    • Instrument placement on the soundstage becomes much more accurate with BF2.
    • Maybe because of the quiet background, with BF2 you hear and enjoy the beautiful shimmering sustained vibrations of notes at the end of a song that you might otherwise get impatient with and skip forward on.
    • In general, the BF2 reminds me a little bit of the organic tonality of the Sony ZX2 except with more punchy bass.
    Edit: shout out to the rest of my audio chain (Gilmore Lite MK2 - HD6XX - Ears - Brain) for making these differences pretty obvious. I've read that DAC differences are sometimes hard to hear but these weren't (granted the large price gaps).
     
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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  18. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Like the ZX2 but better is the best review I’ve yet seen of the BF2.
     
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  19. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    It’s because of Eitr. I’ve run my USB streamer through Eitr into the SPDIF on Yggdrasil and Modi Multibit and compared it to running my CD player/transport (with the same recordings, ripped from the CD in the case of my streamer) into the SPDIF of each and the CD sounds way more dynamic, open, clear and less warm than Eitr. In fact, I would say it sounds even a bit more dynamic than my streamer with Unison, but it doesn’t sound as clean/clear and is missing some low level details/plankton.
     
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  20. RobS

    RobS RobS? More like RobDiarrhea.

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    @Stuff Jones , thanks for comparing to the Modi 3. Do you find you are much closer to the stage with the Bifrost 2 than the Modi 3 (which to my ears I'm further away from the stage)?

    How about the bass extension and impact compared to Modi 3? Do you find some of the bass bleeds into the mids with the Bifrost 2?

    This sharp, metallic sound from Modi 3 compared to Bifrost 2, any tracks that make this obvious? For me the Modi 3 is creamier, fuller bodied, a bit smeared (as you said) than my Bifrost Multibit which is a lot sharper in contrast.
     

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