Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by RobS, Aug 28, 2019.
XLR balanced outputs are only 6db hotter because you have double the signal: + and - .
That's what I thought.
Quick question that probably applies to all USB implementations.
If I attach my Bifrost 2 to a USB hub or through my monitor (as I undock my laptop multiple times a day) do I still get the benefits of its great USB implementation? I'm not sure whether its a "weakest link in the connection chain" situation or if the signal simply needs to be converted well once and then can happily move along multiple cables.
I would most likely connect it through my monitor if that was an option.
If the USB implementation is immune to bad USB power and signal, then you get the benefits. But I didn't test that on my monitor, as it's USB is really bad.
Will the Bifrost 2 give me any advantage for hi-res 24/96 files over the older Bifrost with the USB 5 card?
It depends on your ears... and your upstream and downstream gear. You need to provide more info before anyone can even try to offer an opinion.
In my understanding and experience, unison is not a direct treatment to noised usb signal. Passive or active filters should be for those situations.
USB hubs are not the same in terms of noise. Some are much noisier some not. Archimago measured some products. If interested, google his blog.
If noise is a real problem for your circumstance, wyrd (schiit) or idsd products (they have several such products) may help. Then unison might benefit 'cleaned' signal. But I don't think unison or various usb converters immune to signal noise beyond a certain extent, as they are generally for reducing timing errors.
Sorry about that. Using a Mac desktop running Audirvana, most likely going into a Bottlehead Crack and starting off with a set of 650’s for headphones. Currently using a Dragonfly Cobalt straight from the computer but needing to move to a more serious rig, which is why I’m looking at a Bifrost, just debating whether to go with version 1 or 2. I have a bunch of live recordings that are in 24/96 FLAC and want to make sure that I’m starting down the right road. Any advice between the Bifrost Multibit 1 and 2 would be appreciated, or do I need to go with a DAC with a 24bit chip?
If the $350 (Bifrost 1) versus $700 (Bifrost 2) cost difference isn't enough to sway your choice one way or the other, I must assume cost is not a problem. And only then would I recommend a Bifrost 2. However, I will still list what you are getting:
XLR thrown in for free (no penalty).
Unison today (coming next year for Bifrost 1).
In my case, I was actively seeking a source with XLR and a slightly better bass to treble balance, versus the Gungnir Multibit A2. Bifrost 2 was a stupid, simple choice. If I were you, I would be getting a Bifrost 1 - your amplifier does not use XLR, Unison is coming, and bass is not really where-it-is-at with the HD650 and Crack.
Only because you seem to be not concerned with price would I suggest Bifrost 2 - stop the nervosa in its tracks. In ALL other cases, I would suggest Bifrost 1.
Super helpful even though I wasn’t the one that asked. I’ll have to dig around to see how the Unison upgrade will be handled; I’m sure it’s been discussed somewhere here.
There will be a replacement USB board around January 2020 for the original Bifrost I assume you can buy and install yourself if capable, or send your Bifrost back in to Schiit to swap it out just like the Gen 5 upgrade.
Nice. I pulled the trigger on the Bifrost Multibit on close out, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Besides the coaster and a SYS this’ll be my first Schiit hardware so I appreciate the information about how they do updates.
This is very helpful - many thanks. Will there be any issues with the 24/96 FLAC tracks played on the 16 bit chipset? Any thoughts on that?
That's non-issue. It's like that number of pixels of digital camera is easily dominated by optical limits.
IMO anything beyond 16 bits are barely meaningful for at least two reasons.
1. Most recordings do not utilize extra bits well. Analyze any high-res track by bit. Then draw a histogram by bit. You'll easily find a lot of lowest bits are useless.
2. Even if every bit is well utilized, Neither transducers, human hearing, nor environmental situation can support 24 bits well. Note that 24 bits mean the lowest bit is less loud than the full scale by 144 db.
This is a huge help. Thanks. I think I’m going to go with the closeout Bifrost 1, from what everyone is saying. Many thanks to all.
The 16 bit chips in the Bifrost multibit and Modi multibit are not an issue. Even for high-res 24-bit recordings. I'm able to hear and recognize differences between CD-res and high-res recordings with some recordings. I'm able to hear and recognize those differences when using my Modi Multibit (OG version). With my Gungnir Multibit (OG version) I hear those differences a little bit better. Contrast that with some of the well measuring DACs with lots of ENOB and I can struggle to hear those differences. So the 16 bits of the Bifrost multibit or Modo multibit is not an issue with high-res. Now the Bifrost multibit and Modi multibit only doing the burrito filter thing up to 96 kHz is an issue for high-res files above 96 kHz. But if you're only interested in doing high-res up to 96 kHz it will work fine. If you are interested in high-res files at 192 kHz or 176.4 kHz then spring for the Bifrost 2.
I dunno, I measured a newer Bifrost MB (not 2), and it had less treble roll off on the FR measurements than an OG or new Modi Multibit. They might have done a silent upgrade to have it do 8X OS.
Or just add dithering.
There could be a silent upgrade in later versions of the Bifrost multibit. I doubt it's doing 8x oversampling now. I recall Mike saying the AD5547 chips in the old Bifrost multibit didn't sound good at 8x so they limited them to 4x. While the AD chips used in the Gungnir MB and Yggdrasil could do the 8x. I doubt that's changed. But could be other silent upgrades going on.
And a bit of background for me since I don't post here much and don't want to seem like a weirdo with bat hearing. A big part of what I hear with high-res is what I hear with phase and polarity. If a DAC lets me hear when absolute phase (absolute polarity) is flipped then that DAC is very likely to let me more easily hear differences in CD and high-res. The Schiit multibits do that well (very well). Some other DACs can also let me hear when absolute phase is flipped. The DACs that don't are ones that end up being ones that I have a difficult or impossible time hearing a difference between CD and high-res. There are other things going on as well. But the degree of how well I can hear when absolute phase is flipped correlates very highly with how well I can hear a difference between CD and high-res. The bit depth of the DAC likely factors in some, but the absolute phase thing is more important for me and what my ears and brain are more tuned to. So the 16 bits of the Modi multibit and OG Bifrost multibit isn't something I've considered a limitation I'd get concerned about. Now that the Bifrost 2 is using 18 bit chips the concern is even less. With the Bifrost 2 having a button on the remote to flip the phase I would want a Bifrost 2 over the old Bifrost just for the convenience of that remote button.
FWIW Torq claimed he measured (and listened) to the Bifrost Multibit A2 and concluded it was doing 8x oversampling. Post here
Posting this in case this matters to @bobc248 to buy one on closeout. For $350 bucks (it comes with Gen 5 USB too) that's a great price. Like @sheldaze pointed out, with Bifrost 2 you'll get future upgrades, the additional features over the OG Bifrost, and presumably much better bass. But your system, with the HD650, probably doesn't matter too much. I don't give a shit about bass with the HD650, it's all about those euphonic mids for me. Personally the Bifrost Multibit with the HD650 just wasn't my cup of tea; staging was too upfront for me, a penetrating sharpness that was fatiguing especially with female vocals in my face. It was cold and analytical, lacking euphony to my ears. But hey you may like it a lot. Maybe it's a better combo with the Crack than it was for me with the Valhalla 2. I prefer a more relaxed presentation with the HD650.
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