Schiit Bifrost 2

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

  1. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    Check your settings for output from your player. Bifrost maxes out 24/192. Make sure you aren't feeding it higher, especially intermittently (Click-apocalypse).
     
  2. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Can't see how this would affect the output of the PI2AES or DEQ2496. The SW51 is plugged directly into the wall and the rest are plugged into the same power strip (both into the same dual wall outlet). Being a tube amp, I'm reluctant to repeatedly turn the SW51 on and off to test this. Anyway, I just thought it was a bit strange, especially since it didn't used to do it. I'll play around a bit more and report back if I find anything definitive about the behaviour.

    Not sure if this was directed at me or @TheIceman93. I don't have anything that hirez, and there's nothing playing when I turn the amp off.

    Presumably, all songs on a given album should be the same sample/bit rate, so it shouldn't click. You lose about a 1/2 second of audio when it does click, so that would be annoying. It does that on my test playlist when switching between tracks with different sample rates. At least it's shorter than with the Modi Multibit.
     
  3. yonson

    yonson Facebook Friend

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    Well, I finally bit the bullet and ordered a Bifrost 2.
    I've gone back and forth over the last couple months on what DAC to replace my Oppo UDP - 205 with and had narrowed it down to the Gungnir MB, Yggdrasil GS, and Bifrost 2. After reading tons of threads on countless forums etc... I finally decided on the Bifrost 2. My source will be a PC with only USB out, so I really wanted the benefit of Unison. I think the 2 main things that pushed Bifrost 2 over the edge for me was Gungnir MB is not available in Black, and with the recent release of Modius I was concerned that if I did buy Gungnir or even Yggdrasil that there would be an upgrade for either one shortly after which would not make me a happy camper... I'm looking forward to comparing it with the PC as a source to the Oppo 205!
     
  4. Melvillian

    Melvillian Friend

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    @gixxerwimp just noticed my bifrost clicks When I turn on/off the subwoofer, which is connected to the speaker taps on my integrated. Doesn’t make sense why the relay should be clicking
     
  5. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Thanks, at least that tells me I'm not going nuts ;)

    I've tried to replicate the behaviour consistently, but it happens sporadically, usually when turning the SW51 off, but sometimes when turning it on. I have an NBM connected in parallel, but it's not used much and I haven't heard any clicking when turning it on/off. With only the SW51 connected to the BF2, the behaviour seems the same. I'm not concerned about it and will nervosa no longer.

    In other clicking news, alone the PI2AES results in one click when turned on. When powering up the DEQ2496, there's 1 click followed by a double click about a half second later. I put this down to an initial signal followed by cycling through different sample rates during the DEQ's boot cycle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  6. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    Mine is connected to my windows 10 Thinkpad and sometimes on MSN or other commercial site those embedded videos make a single click. PS: I use MSN to see what they WANT us to think.
     
  7. Rcayn

    Rcayn New

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    So I got the Bifrost 2 finally, been on and "burning in" for 2 days now. My previous DAC in use is the Dragonfly Red.
    I'm using Unison USB as input and XLR as output.

    Overall I'm not ecstatic. But I never am with new gear, I was prepared for this.
    I can hear that Bifrost 2 is technically superior and more detailed than the Red overall but in some of the most important areas, it stumbles.

    The bass of Bifrost 2 is tight, controlled, and punchy. But it seriously lacks heft and depth! It's holding back and sounds stifled as if it's scared to lose that precious control.
    A possible reason could be because the Red lacks this control, it pumps out more bass that I perceive as more heft. Whatever the case is, I prefer the Reds bass so far.

    I also think the sound overall lacks physicality. It doesn't convince me that there is a guitar in my room but rather a ghost guitar somewhere in the back. I can see the music but I can't feel it...

    It presents music behind the speakers and fails to bring the music forward in an engaging way.

    I'll keep listening but so far I'm not impressed.
     
  8. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    What's the rest of your downstream chain? Dragonfly is an AIO so you're comparing more than just DACs.

    And this:
     
  9. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Try feeding it a good SPDIF source, like the DigiOne Signature or Pi2AES. Those are probably the most easily accessible without having to spend $$$. Plenty of other decent SPDIF sources around, of course. Avoid optical.

    I found Unison too "sleepy" and lacking in the sort of incisive, engaging nature I desire.
     
  10. gefski

    gefski Facebook Friend

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    Yep, keep listening to lots of music, no rush.
     
  11. Rcayn

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    Thanks for the tip! Yes, that is exactly what I mean, It's lacking drive.. I'm actually quite shocked by how much, I noticed immediately that something was wrong. I would even go as far as to call it compressed. No matter how much I crank the volume, the sound is never truly unleashed, especially the bass.
     
  12. Metro

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    As @gixxerwimp said, you need to tell us the rest of your system. You're listening to differences in not just the DACs. SE out from Dragonfly Red vs XLR out from Bifrost, into what preamp and amp? Did you also try SE output from the Bifrost?
     
  13. RobS

    RobS RobS? More like RobDiarrhea.

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    I hear you. Or rather I hear what you are talking about with regards to the Schiit Multibit DACs. It has a more compressed sound than other DACs I've heard. Below the Yggdrasil, I never found the Multibit stuff to have the enough crunch and honk and drive in the midrange. It was like something was suppressing it from opening up.

    Just wanted to chime in to say you are not alone in this. A friend of mine thought the Bifrost 2 was too warm and he missed the more incisive, forward presentation of the Yggdrasil. I'm not suggesting to get a Yggdrasil, because I'd guess you would have similar criticisms. It isn't the best at macrodynamics but I'm a microdynamics/timbre junkie.

    On the other hand, I had to switch over to different transducers to get the layering and staging the Multibit stuff is good at. A speaker set I had felt like I was looking at aural wallpaper. The fix was getting speakers that were better at time domain response, group delay, bandwidth, impulse and phase response. And coupled with the time domain optimization of the Multibit filter, I get that 360degree sound-stage I crave with impeccable imaging.

    Maybe consider trying a different DAC without the Multibit to see if it performs better in your setup(s). Bifrost 2 might not be the right fit with what you have, I'm not familiar with what you are using.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  14. Hands

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    Even if you don't currently have a decent SPDIF source, it's worth trying anything with the DAC to see how the sound changes relative to Unison. It might not totally answer if that will be the differentiating factor for you, but it could provide hints at the least.

    IME, the Schiit MB DACs are oddly sensitive to source. Sensitive might not be the right word, because that implies differences disappear once you have a "good enough" source. I've heard surprisingly stark differences between good SPDIF sources even on the Modi MB.

    Of course, you would not be at fault for not wanting to bother and trying a different DAC, especially if you're preferential towards or tied to USB.

    Still, I'd have thought the Bifrost 2 with Unison was a completely different DAC compared to how it sounded over SPDIF had I not known.

    @RobS I think I've asked you this before, but what all sources did you try with what variety of Schiit MB DACs? Again, "good enough" doesn't mean "no differences" when it comes down to SPDIF on these.

    I would not be so quick to attribute anything to the multibit nature of their DACs, considering the varying DAC ICs, varying I/V and output stages, and so on. The I/V opamp on Modi MB and older Bifrost MB makes a surprising difference, for one example, but is not what I'd call a beginner-level mod to make. As you move up the stack, I'd even wager the same principles that make the Modi MB sensitive to SPDIF source at least play some sort of role in the higher end DACs.

    And that's just part of it, a couple examples. I also forgot to list the OS filter as a variable...

    Not to say the multibit ICs and OS filter don't have their own flavor of sorts, but they're only part of the whole. I think it's harder to pin down cause and effect or generalize these DACs and their characteristics than most seem to suggest. But that's just me.
     
  15. RobS

    RobS RobS? More like RobDiarrhea.

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    Hi Hands.

    Sources as follows:

    Rednet D16 and Unison USB w/ Wyrd
    Yggdrasil A2
    Gungnir A2
    Modi MB A2 (D16 only)

    Eitr
    Gungnir A1
    Bifrost A2

    Gen 5 USB
    Yggdrasil A2
    Gungnir A1
    Bifrost A2

    Early 00s Onkyo 30lb CDP
    Yggdrasil A2
    Gungnir A1
    Bifrost A2

    I agree that the Schiit Multbit stuff is very sensitive to good SPDIF sources. I'm a firm believer in having a top source to go with the Schiit DACs. I wouldn't like Yggdrasil if I didn't have my Rednet D16. I hated it with Gen 5 USB. Unison USB w/Wyrd is the best USB source in relation to other USB sources I have heard (and if I can somehow isolate its "sound" over other solutions like XMOS, C-Media) but Rednet is a step above it with more resolution and more of an aggressive, sharper character.

    I think if you keep the systems the same, and just swap out the DACs, it's easier to tell the differences, although they can be very small.
     
  16. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Good to know, and interesting. I've always been curious about the Rednet stuff, but the generally high price and what seemed like complicated setup and use put me off from exploring it.
     
  17. tranq

    tranq Friend

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    Do you fellas have any tracks or albums you can give as an example of what you are hearing, or not hearing?

    I've been listening to Unison pretty heavy lately, but I'm always up for trying out something else.
     
  18. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    With regards to Bifrost 2 digital inputs, Unison vs coax, I wanted to throw down some long term impressions. It took me a long time to figure out which of the two was better. For a while, I settled on USB and restricted myself to albums with decent dynamic range. Then I went to the Pi2AES as my main source, then back to xDuoo, etc. My Unison USB source is an xDuoo X10TII portable digital transport. It will be facing off against the Pi2AES BNC output.

    Right off the bat, the xDuoo unit loses because it doesn't play nice with Unison... loud portions of modern music will cause horrible popping noises. Well produced music and hi-res files don't have this issue, so I'll be focusing on those songs that don't ruin the experience and pretending the popping doesn't exist. That said, I DO NOT recommend this combination to anyone unless you exclusively listen to really dynamic classical and jazz.

    The winner is the Pi2AES, but not by a huge margin. The biggest difference is the Pi2AES does super fine textural microdetails better, and is less in your face. Unison sounds slightly more defined at times but has some hard edges with the xDuoo. Those fine textural details may not sound like a huge loss, but to me they allow the sound to take on a much more realistic presentation, as everything just sounds so much more real. I was surprised, given that the coax is connected via RCA rather than an actual 75 ohm BNC connector (that manufacturers use RCA for coax SPDIF at all is a pet peeve, personally), and given the rave reviews of Unison.

    I will pick up a USBridge Signature at some point, and will compare the Pi2AES vs USBridge to see if the latter is able to overtake the Pi2AES with the help of Unison.
     
  19. EagleWings

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    @ohshitgorillas , did you try the coaxial out of the Xduoo to feed the Bifrost 2?
     
  20. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    I haven't because so far I've been too lazy to build a cable that goes from 3.5mm to RCA for that purpose. What I DO have is an AES to BNC converter, so I need to try AES output>AES to BNC adapter>BNC to RCA cable vs Pi2AES. I suppose I could also just make a damned 3.5mm to RCA coax cable finally...

    My experience with the Mojo is that the xDuoo sounds best out of its USB port, but that's also kind of dependent on the USB cable (I know, I know...). Coax isn't far behind, and is ahead of USB with the xDuoo's stock USB cables. In this case I just wanted access to Unison and the xDuoo was the easiest way to achieve that.
     

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