Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Rotijon, Jul 17, 2017.
Time to upgrade to a Schiit multibit DAC with Gen 5 USB obviously!
You'll never be a successful YouTuber with that mentality.
Seems like an ideal solution for using phones/tablets as a source. Not only does it clean up the signal, but the 0mA current draw saves on battery power. Great for SPDIF systems with coax only like miniDSP.
I knew better, but couldn't come up with a proper term. I know you guys wouldn't intentionally downgrade the performance, but thought there may have been some initial handicap sourcing from USB that would make AES/EBU perform at levels less than it was capable of.
Thanks for the tip on the Sennheiser transformer.
Can I get one for free? You know, coz I'm cool...
Like one or two others here, I’ve been lucky enough to have an Eitr, in prototype clothing, along with the USB Gen 5 interfaces for Yggdrasil and Bifrost, for a few months now.
If you’ve been looking for an alternative to your existing USB-to-DAC connection, the TL;DR version of my thoughts here is simple:
Buy the USB Gen 5.0 board if you have an upgradeable Schiit DAC; if not buy an Eitr - then call it good and move on.
Compared to their respective USB input options, and to Schiit DACs with the USB Gen 2 and 3 boards, the raw character of the DACs doesn’t really change here, but there’s a discernible improvement in resolution/detail, and in the case of Bifrost MB, Gungnir MB and Spring DAC a blacker background. And, in all cases, protracted listening sessions generally left me with a sense that the overall presentation was smoother and easier to lose myself in and any sense of "edginess" to the music was gone.
I found it to be a very worthwhile improvement, and the degree of improvement was higher from computer based sources than from other devices with USB outputs. Definitely worth the asking price in all the scenarios I tried, and a much better deal than any of the alternatives I've tried.
Speaking of which:
Compared to the Singxer SU-1:
Back-to-back into Bifrost, Gungnir MB or Yggdrasil, I either get better results with the Eitr or I can’t tell the difference. In which case, what you want to do is hopefully obvious as the Eitr is less than half the price of the SU-1.
Feeding my Spring DAC KTE, Eitr also outdid the SU-1 via COAX or AES (via a balun/converter).
The only case in which the Singxer SU-1 beat the Eitr for me is if I use the SU-1’s I2S output to feed my Holo Audio Spring DAC. This is DAC and protocol specific. Either the COAX or AES S/PDIF inputs into the Spring DAC sounded better from Eitr, but still behind the I2S input. My recommendation for the Spring DAC remains to run it via I2S.
Compared to the Sonore microRendu & SonicOrbiter SE:
This is easy - in my opinion, Eitr does a better job than either, at least from a sound-quality perspective.
Yes, the microRendu gives you remote operation and support for a number of network-audio protocols, including Roon, but unless you need that specific functionality then you’re better off just using Eitr/USB Gen 5.
While normally the microRendu performs better than the SonicOrbiter SE, sonically, both are improved by adding an Eitr. And when both are fed through Eitr, I cannot tell the difference between them (which is definitely not the case when they’re used directly). So, if you want the remote/network operation, you’ll be just as well served with the SonicOrbiter SE/Eitr combination and you’ll save several hundred dollars into the bargain.
Compared to the Auralic Aries:
Feeding Gungnir MB and Yggdrasil I cannot reliably discern a difference between the Aries and the Eitr, regardless of whether I use a direct COAX connection from both or if I use the native AES output from Aries and a balun/converter out of the Eitr into Yggdrasil’s XLR input.
Bifrost, perhaps oddly, sounded better out of the Eitr than via the Aries - direct or otherwise.
The Aries provides a lot of functionality not present in Eitr, and if you need/want that functionality (I do, personally, at least at home) then it makes sense. And if you have an Aries (at least the full-fat version - I’ve not tested against the LE unit) then you aren’t going to gain much, if anything, adding an Eitr.
Interestingly, while there’s no reason at all to do it that I can think of, sticking an Eitr on the USB output of the Aries sounds better than the Aries’ direct USB output. Wasn’t expecting that.
Eitr vs. USB Gen 5
I’ve only done this comparison with Bifrost and Yggdrasil - and it’s another easy one to sum-up. The choice isn’t about audible differences, it’s about what gear you have and how you want to run it. If you want to keep things as simple as possible, go with the USB Gen 5 upgrade. If you want to use non-Schiit DACs, or you’re running an AOIP setup with USB-output that you’d like to improve, Eitr is the way to go.
Using the Eitr and Squeezebox Touch would be a killer combo I think, so much functionality with the USB out. I'm almost curious enough to try it vs. DirectStream Junior's ethernet input.
Why would you use the USB out on the SBT when it already has Coax out?
Because the coax out of the SBT sucks, big time.
That's the main reason why John Swenson created the EDO add-on (enhanced digital output) to allow the use of external UAC 2 audio devices (asynchronous USB 2.0).
Any of your lucky prototype owners have any comments vs something from Mutec? I'm currently using PC->USB->Mutec MC-1.2 ->BNC->Gungnir Multibit.
Any comments on Digi+ Pro coax vs Gen 5 USB w/ Yggdrasil @Torq ?
I'm triangulating, based on comparisons with an MC-3+ and various other interfaces, but I found Aries to outperform the Mutec pretty much across the board (sonically, at least, as they have rather different net functionality). Eitr was not discernibly different into either Gungnir MB or Yggdrasil to the Aries. So I'd wager that Eitr will match, or better, the Mutec into either Gungnir MB or Yggdrasil also.
But, this is not much more than informed speculation. I've not done a direct comparison.
Only via a similar triangulation at this point, in which case I'd expect to take the USB Gen 5 or Eitr, unless I was using the RPi solution to get remote/network operation. I will, at some point, just see what we get running an RPi USB output into an Eitr or USB Gen 5 without using an add-on board - though that's mostly about getting, say, a remote-accessible Roon endpoint and using Eitr to fix the nasty USB output of the RPi.
I was thinking of the potential application of going USB from a Pi to an Eitr and out to a DAC, or a Pi to a Gen 5 equipped DAC. I'd be very curious to hear the results of that!
Damn, I bought my Gungnir Multibit with a Wyrd less than a month ago! I wonder if it has the Gen 5 module. If not, Schiit is obviosuly forcing me to upgrade, but the price of shipping across the Pacific back and forth (approx $200) would probably cost more than the Gen 5 module ($150) itself. I could've saved $350 if I had waited for a month...
Also makes me wonder if there is a self-installation option which is easy to do, not requiring soldering and definitely not risking voiding Schiit's warranty on my Gungnir Multibit.
Another interesting comparison would be with the ALLO DigiOne, which features (galvanic) isolation and whose coax output has very low (measured) jitter.
A third comparison would be using the Eitr with the ALLO USBridge, which has a clean USB output (as measured).
You can't live life wondering if or when upgraded products will be released. Nor can you blame the vendor for the timing of the release.
If you want to save money, wait until Schiit offers a "do it yourself" upgrade with the new Gen 5 USB board. That shouldn't be too long.
How cow. It's really that good? I guess I will have to try it out then.
Anyone got shipping notification on their Eitr shipping today? I ordered as soon as it went live and I see some Vidars have shipped... no big deal... just wondering if they were waiting until tomorrow to start shipping those out.
I don't know people on Head-Fi unless they are also on SBAF. Here is what some guy said, FWIW:
"If it's like the current USB cards, remove screws/nuts, pull the board out, pull the card off, line up the pins on the new card and press. Put it back together. As someone who has swapped USB cards between his Bifrost and Gungnir, the hardest part is the damn LEDs. They are hard to get lined up. After that, just put the screws back in. There was/is a tutorial of it around here somewhere with pictures." (source)
Edit: The point of my posting this is hopefully it won't be too hard to DIY and maybe instructions will come either from Schiit or show up online somewhere.
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