Schiit Bifrost 2

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

  1. scottcw

    scottcw Rando

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    I could see that when the output device is the built in speakers/output jacks, is it also the case when the output device is the Bifrost?

    If so, where should I set the volume?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    It doesn't care what the output device is, any stream at full volume causes it.

    Setting the incoming - into the system audio mixer - volume to 99% fixes it.
     
  3. scottcw

    scottcw Rando

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    Thank you. I've set to 24/48 and 99% across the board.
     
  4. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I finally got my micro SD card to upgrade the firmware. When I went to put it in the slot in the back, it just fell in and is now out of reach. I think there must have been misalignment between the case and MSD card reader.

    Anyway I can't get it out without opening the Bifrost, which one isn't supposed to do. Is it safe to use with a card lose in it? @schiit, can you advise what I should do?
     
  5. scottcw

    scottcw Rando

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    I'm hoping someone here, maybe even @schiit, can help with an issue I am having with my Bifrost 2.

    Some background, I contacted Schiit a couple of weeks ago for guidance on which DAC would best fit my use case and chain. Important to note, I made it clear that my source was AmazonHD via Windows 10 USB port. I ordered the B2 after a couple of emails and a lot of research here.

    I am getting regular clicks, pops, crackling in my headphones while music is playing. This is NOT the B2 clicking when the sample rate changes from track to track. That click distinctly comes from the Bifrost, this is in my headphones. It sounds like an old record that hasn't been cleaned.

    I thought this was a sample rate issue at first because there seemed to be less noise when I set Windows to16/48 than 24/48 or 24/192. But changing the sample rate didn't completely eliminate it.

    I researched this and found some info that it may be system sounds and other devices interfering with the music. I routed all other devices to my internal speakers, with AmazonHD only routed to the Bifrost. I even went so far as to mute system sounds. I still get noise in my headphones, though much improved like I cleaned the record.

    I emailed Schiit yesterday and got this response, "Amazon wrote their drivers like idiots and the sample rate defers to the computer drivers, so they do not 'set' themselves automatically. This means that anytime you want to play an amazon track of a different sample rate than a previous one, you have to go into the windows sound settings and change the bitrate and samplerate to whatever that particular track is natively."

    I confirmed that the sample rate is changing for each track by clicking the “HD” or “Ultra HD” icon next to the song title. It shows the native sample rate for the current track, the max sample rate for the Bifrost, and the ”playing at” sample rate for the track. The native and ”playing at” rates always change together and are always the same. All tracks show B2 capability as 24/192, and all tracks play at their native rate of 16/44, 24/28, or 24/192.

    My response to Schiit was, "Let’s say you are correct that this is a sample rate issue in Amazon HD. In my very first email inquiring about the Yggdrasil, Gungnir, or Bifrost, I was very clear that my ONLY source is streaming AmazonHD. If there is a known issue with popping because of AmazonHD sample rates, why would you not tell me from the start instead of recommending the Bifrost???"

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to eliminate this noise in my headphones? I don't get it with any other DAC.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  6. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    Excuse me, may be I missed something, do you hear "...clicks, pops, crackling..." inside tracks during playback or between tracks?
    If it is when music is playing, I'd say is not resampling, resampling issues on modern systems are much more subtile. I'd bet it is your USB port. Try to plug the DAC into USB2 port or find USB2 powered hub and check.
     
  7. scottcw

    scottcw Rando

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    I'm sending my B2 back for a refund.

    I certainly can hear why the Bifrost 2 has so much positive feedback, but it came down to sounding more impressive than natural to me. The sense of space, placement, details, and the huge stage are not what I hear in real life and it bugged me. As someone else wrote on here, a grand piano is 5 ft. wide, not 12 ft. wide.

    I put my Red Wine Isabella NOS DAC/pre/headphone amp in place of the B2 and everything sounds much more natural. The B2 was comparatively exaggerating a lot of information that the Isabella lets flow. I'm sure the Isabella is not as impressive as the B2 in a technical sense, I just prefer how it presents the music.

    All in all, the B2 is a high quality DAC from a great company with amazing customer service. I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone depending on their listening preferences.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  8. BrokeSkoolBoi

    BrokeSkoolBoi Acquaintance

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    I found a great deal on a used bifrost 2. I was hoping someone could tell me if the toslink is worth using over USB. I'm sure Unison is better than the modi multibit usb, but I've never had a pc to connect to via toslink until now.
     
  9. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    The consensus is that Toslink stinks but try it and report back!
     
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  10. fastfwd

    fastfwd Friend

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    Why not try it and see?
     
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  11. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    Get a Pi2AES, better than Unison/toslink.
     
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  12. BrokeSkoolBoi

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    I assumed this would be the response. Fair enough! I bought a toslink cable. Will report back with my experience. Thanks!
     
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  13. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Can't speak to TOSLINK, but gains from USB to PI2AES were marginal but noticeable. See how you go with what you have and work "upwards" as funds allow.

    Edit: I should have specified, going from rPi Zero USB to PI2AES S/PDIF coax into Bifrost 2.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
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  14. will_f

    will_f Friend

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    I tried USB from a Pi4 and TOSLINK & Coax from a Pi2AES. I found both TOSLINK and Coax to sound a bit better than USB, but I can’t honestly hear any difference between TOSLINK and Coax.

    YMMV.
     
  15. auvgeek

    auvgeek Acquaintance

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    Many years ago, I tried TOSLINK from a macbook. Maybe 2014-2016 time frame. When I first tried TOSLINK, it was a little better than the USB implementation in the Audio-GD DAC I had. So I'd say TOSLINK is better than early 2010s USB implementations. But a decent USB conversion from mid-2010s forward just destroys it.

    I'd put TOSLINK about on par with Schiit's Gen3 USB, IIRC. That comparison was done when I had a Gungnir DS with Gen3 USB, I think. But TOSLINK sucks compared to Schiit's Gen5 USB and other external USB converters circa 2016.

    Again, all going from memory, but I recall playing with it quite a bit compared to USB. And this is TOSLINK directly from a macbook pro laptop, not a fancy rasp Pi or whatever.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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  16. Dzerh

    Dzerh Friend

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    just to remind that there are different implementations of TOSLINK, plus cables matter too.
     
  17. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Sure, better cables with less internal reflections help, but the implementation in basically all dacs is the kind that you get for free with an spdif chip, and the optical part is mostly a black box.

    As a result its worse than the spdif/AES which is the main focus of the transceiver.
     
  18. will_f

    will_f Friend

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    here’s a link I found that gets fairly in depth about the differences between SPDIF /TOSLINK, SPDIF /Coax, AES, etc. I’m no expert on the subject, but the information lines up with what people on this thread are saying. A key point is that the differences between USB and SPDIF depend on the implementation more than anything else and may be inaudible on a well designed system.

    https://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/Intro/SQ/SPDIF_AES.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  19. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Toslink is pretty effective under quite noisy environment -- so are USB and XLR AES. At least these three are way better than i2s (the naivest connection) or coax spdif (relative ineffective) in my experience.

    Except noticeable noise, I am not quite usb-nervosa type person -- rather not bother -- as long as usb implementation is decent.
     
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  20. BrokeSkoolBoi

    BrokeSkoolBoi Acquaintance

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    While I was reading this thread trying find ways to explain what I'm hearing in with the Bifrost 2, I found I agreed strongly with Vtory's 1st and 3rd points within their impressions which I have quoted here.


    My first dac was the Modi Multibit which took way too long to warm up, even as a budding audio enthusiast. I'm still convinced my Macbook sounded better during the first few days.

    In contrast, the Bifrost 2 sounds great immediately after plugging in and pressing play. The only dac I have to compare with me is my Sdac that lives inside my CTH. The Mids and treble couldn't sound more different in terms of their presentation of sound. Presentation is the word I keep coming back to. All the detail is there in the sdac, but the Sdac is forcing it into my ears where as the Bifrost 2 doesn't have anything to prove. It respects my ears and pushes the performance farther away, but still provides the same detail. For anyone interested in how it does this, I would say BF 2 increases the size of the stage (vs sdac) and also your distance from your stage. It feels like there is a gatekeeper preventing the front of the stage from becoming crowded, unlike the sdac which is more forward, attempting to be impressive but can also be fatiguing.


    My impressions are mostly coming from my Toslink experience. My Asrock Fatality b450 motherboard's toslink sounds pretty good! I think it was Purrin1 or Hands who said Unison sounds tube like and I agree, it's like I'm running a pre-amp tube into my CTH. It's very enjoyable, or as Vtory says 'preferrable', but in my experience the Unison stage is more congested Edit: I am only listening with an hd600, so I blame this on the headphones more than anything, at least through my CTH!

    It is way louder than my Sdac and the BF 2 Toslink (like a 2x 3x gain.. cannot volume match accurately) and the upper mids/treble of badly recorded/harshly mixed&mastered content can actually be painful to listen to (CTH already provides extra energy in this region). The rapper/producer JPEGMAFIA's music was unbearable via Unison, in terms of 'loudness' it is some of the loudest music ever made, his beats are oppressive and smothering which works to great effect when your ears are still being respected! I wish this wasn't so because Unison Bass sounds so much more fun..

    The most incredible difference compared to the Sdac is how the Bifrost 2 is more concerned with the music that lies beyond the attack. The sdac is visceral and demands your attention by showing you every attack that occurs closest to the front of stage, but the tone after attacks are secondary, practically tertiary simply because they are almost inaudible and forgotten. BF 2 excels here and exists to bring out the tones that occurs after the attacks. Modi Multibit did the same, might be Schiit multibit house sound.


    Anyways, I mostly wrote all that for people doing research on the Bifrost 2.
    TL;DR, Tosllink (more easy going) >Unison
    Dac is fun and resolving. Would buy again 10/10 (also inverse phase works perfectly)


    Edit: With newly acquired 2nd 6xx, Unison doesn't murder my ears. Sounds good, dunno why lol. Toslink still more easy going though. Guess soundstage helps in this aspect



     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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