Schiit (MultiBit) Bifrost

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by FlySweep, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    Hi everyone. I am thinking about buying an A2 version of this DAC.

    I used to own Bifrost Multibit for a couple of years, upgraded it to Gen5 USB and then sold it when Modi 3 got released. I liked the Bifrost Multibit and the only downside it had was relatively high noise floor which could only be heard if I turned my amp up past my normal listening levels.

    I enjoyed my Modi 3 a lot but experienced some mild RFI with it and eventually moved onto the Topping D50 that I currently own. It is a good-sounding and good-measuring DAC. However, I can't shake the feeling that it leaves me a little underwhelmed and unexcited. I am combining it with the Atom amp, so I am wondering if that could be the culprit. The combination is super-clean sounding with great resolution and slam but I rarely get lost in the music for some reason.

    I have a couple of questions:
    1. Has anyone tried the Atom with the A2 Bifrost Mulltibit? Do they combine well? What other amp works well with it? I would prefer avoiding tube amps as I am sensitive to low-level hum most of them produce. I used to own the original Vali 2 which had a low level hum in high gain mode for example.
    2. Is there a significant difference between the original Bifrost Multibit with Gen 5 and the A2 revision?
    3. When comparing the Modi Multibit to the A2 Bifrost Multibit using the USB input, what are the main differences.

    Any input will be helpful in making my decision.
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The A2 Bifrost is better than OG Bifrost, but not overwhelming better. A2 is more cohesive where the lows and highs sound less like they are from different DACs. Other improvements such as resolution, richer timbre, and deeper stage seem minor.

    Modi 3 is actually pretty nice. Different tonality from Bifrost. Actually extends well in low and highs with strong and notable bass. Downside is things are a little unfocused and blurry compared to the best stuff.

    The thing with Bifrost is possible future USB upgrade that I read about on HF. Some in-house deal that supposed to be totally awesome and make it finally comparable with good SPDIF CD transports. But I wouldn't know until I actually get my ears on it.

    Yes. Topping measures well. It sounds dull and unengaging.

    None of the DACs mentioned above will have measurement irregularities detected by the human ear. The multibit DACs will measure the worst, but still well, that is far below human detectable thresholds.

    FFT and linearity measurements below a certain point are useless. Blind tests volume matched or long term evaluation are better ways.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    yvv, FlySweep, obsiCO and 6 others like this.
  3. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    Thank you for this great comparison. As much as measurements are important, I do value subjective opinions from experienced listeners just as much. One last thing - if you had to compare Modi Multibit latest revision to the original Bifrost Multibit with Gen 5 USB, what would you say the main differences are?
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Modi Multibit is slightly dark sounding. A little thicker. Bifrost A2 is has the potential to be significantly more resolving with even more depth and layers to the stage. Bifrost A2 should slam a bit more too. I don't know how much your amp will be a limiting factor as I have no experience with it. The Atom is a two stage chipamp?, but IME, chips never quite resolve or emotionally connect as well as discrete designs. Another consideration is the tonal balance of the rest of the chain. Modi Multibit is best paired with brighter / leaner / neutral amps and headphones.
     
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  5. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    This is what I finally decided after much back and forth - I sold both my D50 and Atom. The combination just did not work for me at all. The sound was too clinical and lifeless. I do have a feeling that whoever designed the D50 just measured it and really did not spend much time listening to it. I liked the Atom as a concept but could not get past the cheapness of the materials and the knob.

    I placed an order for the Modi Multibit, Eitr, Magni 3 and Sys (so I can hook up my phono preamp). I almost got the Bifrost Multibit but decided to go with the Eitr+Modi Multibit combo as recommended by multiple people. I cannot wait to see how it compares to my old A1 Bifrost Multibit. It has been less than a year since I sold it and I really did miss the Schiit ComboBurrito Multibit sound.

    Now my only dilemma is whether to create a large Schiit stack (4 units on top of each other) or 2 mini Schiit stacks, side-by side. :headbang:
     
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  6. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    @bboris77 I would have gone with a new Bifrost just for the upgradeability and resale value but you will certainly be well served by the Modi Multibit. However If you aren't happy with the sound quality using the Magni 3 consider sending it back and getting a Vali 2 instead. I have been using my IEMs the past week using either a Magni 3 or Vali 2. I can't drive my IEMs properly from my main tube amp due to impedance mismatch. I find the Magni 3 to have a two dimensional sound stage while the Vali 2 (with a better tube) has real depth and is laid back compared to the Magni 3. Now I prefer tube and tube hybrid amps to most solid state, your preferences may differ. Enjoy your new gear!
     
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  7. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    I get where you’re coming from. I used to own a Vali 2 and it was great. However, I’m kind of done with tube amps and the unpredictability factor. The Vali 2 I had used to hum very slightly in high gain mode regardless of the tube.
    As for the Bifrost vs Modi Multibit Eitr combo, what swung it for me was the difference in price, the form factor (I like small Schiits lol) and the fact that the Eitr is a stand-alone USB Gen 5 to Spdif device. Correct me if I’m wrong but once you pair up Modi Multibit with Eitr, the only advantage that the Bifrost Multibit has is a better power section.
     
  8. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    and improved analog output section.
    perhaps eventually a much superior USB input card once future majik is used, leading towards better than SPDIF.
     
  9. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    I had no idea that there were any differences in the analog output section - do you have any information or at least where this was mentioned?
     
  10. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    memory is foggy can't recall exactly when, where or if exact Bifrost revisions were ever confirmed.
    maybe in 50 pages of this thread or HF.

    [edit]
    perhaps analog improvements were inferred from recent V2 mentions pages back,
    or hopeful tech trickle down from higher end models.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  11. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    I really tried to research this before making my decision. I know that the Bifrost 4490 has a better analog discrete section than the Bifrost Multibit, which is op-amp based, same like the Modi Multibit.
     
  12. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    They weren't ever, just like Gungnir A2 was never confirmed, because of the shit storm from Yggdrasil A2.

    But both started coming out with 'B' serial numbers that sound very different. I would have gotten a Modi MB if it wasn't for that.
     
  13. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    The Modi MB also has an "A2" revision, although as far as confirmed by Schiit, its revision was only added dithering in firmware and nothing in analog, which could still be a source of changed sound. So apart from Yggdrasil, we don't know if the changes on the other DACs are beyond firmware or not unless we look inside. The shitstorm caused a lot of confusion over whatever the heck got changed and what hasn't, which I'm guessing will be confirmed once the new USB comes out and they redesign the upgrade process to avoid Gen5/Analog2 bitching.
     
  14. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    The new Bifrost Multibit (A2) is significantly better than the newest Modi Multibit. I was floored by how great the Bifrost Multibit sounded when I got it. The clarity and resolution is much better than the Modi MB. Busy tracks do not get muddled like they do with the Modi MB. The old Bifrost MB was not much different than the Modi MB. I really enjoy listening to the Bifrost MB and could listen to it all day.
     
  15. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    Man, you guys are making me rethink my decision. Maybe I will cancel the order and just go for the broke :)
     
  16. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    One additional question. What would be a good amp pairing for the Bifrost Multibit A2? I know that a lot of people have recommended the Lyr 3 and the Vali 2, but I am not sure if I want to go for a tube amp. I also know that people do not think highly of the Asgard 2, but I am attracted to the fact that it is not an op-amp amplifier and it obviously visually matches the Bifrost beautifully. As an outside contender, I have been considering Arcam RHead.
     
  17. haywood

    haywood Almost "Made"

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    It’s tough because they’ve been teasing the new usb section, but iirc the bifrost multibit has gen5 usb which is basically the same as eitr so you’d save some money there.
     
  18. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    Oh, I really don't care about the new USB section. I think it will not be ready for a while, and Gen 5 is fantastic anyway. I am really more interested in getting back the best possible Comboburrito/Multibit sound without spending too too much money.
     
  19. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    I am really happy with the Lyr 3 with my HD 650 headphones. Just get a nice Sylvania 6SN7GT VT-231 or standard Sylvania 6SN7GT NOS tube and you will be set.
     
  20. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    My brief summary of the Schiit amps I've used that match the Bifrost Multibit's form factor:

    Asgard 2 < Jotunheim < Lyr 3

    I used Bifrost Multibit (A1) with Jotunheim for MrSpeakers Ether C Flow for quite a while until I gave the DAC and amp to my daughter. Some people complained that Jotunheim is too bright, but overall I preferred its mid-to-high range over the Asgard 2.
     

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