Schiit Bifrost 2

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

  1. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Can the $100 discount be applied at checkout or does that happen later?
     
  2. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Holy @schiit you guys really packed a TON into the new version. This is really a whole new platform/paradigm shift for all your DACs going forward. Congrats!
     
  3. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    I am only guessing this is because Unison is not supported on Windows 7?
     
  4. RobS

    RobS RobS? More like RobDiarrhea.

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    Jason, not that this matters anymore, but there was some speculation that the silent revision of the Bifrost Multibit last year had 8X oversampling which might explain some of the sonic difference to the original BM release. Is that true?

    Windows 7 support ends in January 2020, so timing of the Unison release for the other Schiit DACs coincides with it
     
  5. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    They would have had to develop drivers for Win 7, which makes no sense since it’s EOL in Jan. So they didn’t. Win 10 and all other major OSs have built in native drivers that support UAC2.

    EDIT: By the way, the chapter on HF may answer a lot of your questions if you haven’t read it: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sch...bable-start-up.701900/page-3313#post-15152491
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  6. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    I'm gay for all the features in a great price, but what about the sound? How this is different (not going to say better) than the Modi 3 and the older MB Bifrost that I had in the past?
     
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  7. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    At it's price and new capabilities, I'm more interested in the gap between the Gungnir Multibit and the new Bifrost. Very close to used Gungnir in prices (and functionality) now.
     
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  8. Inoculator

    Inoculator Friend

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    I am going to considering my purchase of a Gungnir Multibit in the last week to have been the necessary sacrifice to the audiophile gods to get this announced. Cannot wait to hear how it compares.
     
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  9. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Price and functionality aside, sound will be the key metric. They use different DAC chips remember. Having heard neither DAC, I wouldn't be surprised if a similar delta exists between Bifrost 2 and Gungnir Multibit that exists between Gungnir Multibit and Yggdrasil. Largely due to the better power supplies, and probably more noticeable on good speakers vs. headphones.
     
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  10. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Checked out HF for the first time in ages, well worth it for the Bifrost and Asgard read. Much as I knew the whole Yggdrasil A2 debacle must have weighed heavily on you guys, I hadn't realised how much bitching was actually going on (since I only really hang around here). That wasn't deserved, I think, and much as it chagrins me the fancy box I have on my desk is pretty much gonna stay as-is now, the decision makes rational sense to me— I'm just happy that I now have a viable desktop-sized option for when I'm looking at new DACs in a few years, since my desk is only so large.

    Current one probably gonna end up as a high-end stocking stuffer. That said, there'll still be people turning their noses up at it. Ah well.

    Thermonuclear option FTW. Can't wait for the post-hypetrain reviews and all the pleasant, well-intended conversations that'll inevitably colour the same :)
     
  11. Ntbm3

    Ntbm3 Friend

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    Woohoo! Ordered :)

    I bought the original Bifrost in 2014 and have all upgrades.

    I have the current Gungnir A2 so look forward to comparing,

    I would LOVE a baby Gungnir in my work set up, joy!
     
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  12. Roman

    Roman Facebook Friend

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    Is it truly balanced or balanced outputs are rather for convenience? Anyway - very nice and unexpected upgrade. I was not hoping to hear a new Unison USB this year but now I definitely will.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Will answer questions in a minute...ending a meeting right now.
     
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  14. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    There always seem to be beta testers for new schiit stuff, so hoping someone can chime in about SQ.
     
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  15. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    So would I. And I'd like to know how the new Unison USB would compare to the likes of the new BF with an EITR.
     
  16. RobS

    RobS RobS? More like RobDiarrhea.

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    Nobody noticed this from the FAQ?

    Also glad Schiit went with the "True Multibit" moniker to separate it from multi-bit DS DACs,.

    Love that it has a phase invert option too
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Give me 30 minutes to type. Lurk moar. Type less.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    SCHIIT BIFROST 2 QUICK REVIEW AND SUBJECTIVE IMPRESSIONS


    OK. Here's the deal.

    Why would I want a Bifrost 2? How does it sound like?:

    This is for guys who liked the warmer sound of the Gungnir Multibit A1 and found the A2 to be too cool or too 'bleached" (stealing a term from @k4rstar). The Gungnir Multibit A2 needs to be in the right system, warmer sounding speakers to work well. For example, I run Yggydrasil with my JBL 4498b. Despite their big woofers and buttcheck horns, these speakers are tight and lean (but can be mean and hefty) in the bass and are gently in the highs. The Yggdrasil A2 with its thicker, almost mushier lows and sharper highs is a better fit for this system. The Gungnir A2 goes better my other speakers with the cheap OB 15" woofers which get pushed hard (less tight) and the wide-bander with horn (rough and spikes in the highs). If you do not like the general presentation of the first iteration of the Gungnir Multibit, then stay away.

    Non-gimped SE outputs:

    Every other person knows that the Gungnir MB and Yggdrasil sounded better from the balanced outputs and with an amp with true balanced inputs. With 8-chips, 4 per side, these DACs were inherently hardware balanced from the chips. SE required another stage that summed the balanced signals, and this caused slight performance degradation. I know a few here tried to squeeze out slightly better sonic performance with the use of XLR to RCA transformers. This is no longer required with the Bifrost 2.

    Bifrost 2 has SE outputs that are not gimped. When I get the Freya Nexus back, I will listen more comprehensively between SE and BAL output differences. It's hard to keep things apples to apples. I think for most people, this will be a lot more convenient. Most people run gear with SE inputs. This is a no-brainer.

    Despite having 4 fewer chips, the non-gimped SE output more than makes up for it. Huge gains in clarity, no veil, focus.

    Opamps:

    As far opamps, I was quite surprised. I had always felt that opamps inhibited performance, but after hearing a few DACs now (Convert 2 one of them), some of these newer diff opamps are sounding really good. (Thinking out loud: these diff opamps could be a way to make a really good cheap phonostage). It's getting to the point where huge efforts would be necessary to make a discrete stage that sounded better. Of course, I would be curious to see the Nexus or the diff-amp "buffer" on the Freya used for a discrete analog stage in the future for higher-end DACs from Schiit.

    Opamps do measure better if that's important to you. I haven't taken a look at the AP measurements yet posted on the Schit, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are better than the Yggdrasil and Gungnir Multibit measurements. Still, if you play music at that requires 160dbFS peaks (that's 128db SPL over 32db SPL ambient), you might want to get an Oppo or whatever the pseudo-science people say is best as of last week's SINAD chart.

    Nevermind that your typical recordings have a SINAD of no better than 85db at best, but that's just an inconvenient sciency fact that we can overlook. Extremism is fun!

    Unison USB:

    I think it's safe to say that the beta users can spill the beans. There are many different thoughts on this. Many mentioned improved technicalities. I eschewed from this from. Simply put, Unison sounded so different from everything else that I asked @baldr if he was pulling one on me by doing digital manipulation. He did mumble something about having control of the clocks. I didn't press. He's allowed to keep his secrets and most of you guys who have DIY'd know that designing audio gear is just as much wizardry as much as a science.

    In short, the Unison USB sounded tube-like as in tube-like engagement, almost a sense of bloom, with the better technicalities such as focus, etc. becoming an afterthought. None of this is supported by the AP measurements. This purely subjective. A comparison with the Bezerkly Alpha 2 USB to SPDIF converter might prove to be interesting.

    Does the Unison beat the pants off my best CD transport, the Theta Data III? (Note that all CD transports are not the same.) Nope. But it's awfully close (and different) that I won't lament the day that the Data III dies, which will be soon. Unison does tie or slightly beat my second best CD transport though, and that's huge! USB doesn't suck or isn't a level of suck anymore.

    For USB users, having 4 fewer chips, the Unison more than makes up for it.

    Da bass and concluding points:

    One major weakness of the Bifrost series throughout was the bass. Depending upon the model: not enough heft, maybe too much mid-bass bloat, lacking ultimately extension, mushy and muddy, etc. The bass power and quality are one of the most surprising aspects of Bifrost 2. I don't know WTH they did to finally fix this.

    With all things being maxed out, the Bifrost is only a bit less capable of the Yggdrasil and Gungnir Multibit A2 units. Yes, it's that close. Including the bass slam. For most people and their typical use cases, the Bifrost 2 will be superior to the Gungnir Multibit A1 for the following reasons: non-gimped SE and Unison. Also, the tonal response is probably more agreeable to most people: slightly warm, slightly dark.

    --

    FYI, I spoke with Jason about these impressions and told him that I would be forthright in my observations, even though they might lead the Bifrost 2 to cannibalize the higher-end products.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  19. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

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    Holy frig. This thing is INSANE for $699!
     
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  20. RobS

    RobS RobS? More like RobDiarrhea.

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    purr1n, for context, what was the rest of your chain? What amps do you think would have good synergy with the Bifrost 2?
     

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