Schiit (MultiBit) Bifrost

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

  1. Martigane

    Martigane Rando

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    Hi all,

    I just bought a Bifrost MB and a Modi3 to upgrade my HiFi system. (Bifrost MB Serial number start with a B)
    I have to say that at first, the improvement over my Cambridge Audio 640C v2 (modded) was not obvious. But now the Bifrost has been on for 3 days, and the performance improvement is now clear:

    - Bass is much more articulate, less bloomy (which also means less meaty acoustic guitars xD). It really becomes enjoyable to follow bass lines and cellos without the relatively overwhelming un-controlled bass I experience with 640C v2 (also true, to less extend on the Modi3)
    - Mids are less shouty
    - Highs have more texture and extension (more subtle this one)
    - Stereo image and localisation is a tiny bit better.

    Modi3 does not even compare, but that was expected.
    - Modi3 is much less transparent, and seem to lack a lot of high frequency details and snap compared to the Bifrost/640C.
    - I was not able to use Schiit's power supply, and used some other. I got surprising differences by using various ones.

    Note: I experience some important hum on the Bifrost when pluging the SPDIF from the 640C. It might be a ground loop, to be investigated. At the moment Optical and Usb inputs on bifrost give same performance to my ears (usb is noisier if I push the volume, but not a concern.. I might need to play around with the windows audio configuration).
    I'll post a separate detailed review once all set.
     
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  2. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Almost "Made"

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    I just joined the Bifrost Multibit club, upgrading from a Modi Multibit/Eitr combo (v1 firmware). The rest of the setup is a *heavily* modified Crack and Atticus cocobolo. I guess you could say I like it warm. This is effectively* my end-game (*until I can find a better job that pays me a lot more money).

    It's "only" been on for two days, but I have definitely noticed that the stereo imaging/separation/soundstage is much more precise and spacious. In my experience modding the Crack and building a little regulated PSU for the gamma2, power supply upgrades generally improve separation and staging, and as I understand it the Bifrost Multibit is basically a Modi MB with a fancier power supply and analog section. The Eitr/Modi sounds a bit bloated, compressed, and smeared in comparison (but is still an excellent DAC for the price--it's now hooked up to a Chromecast Audio and Oppo Blu-ray player which go into my speakers). I am a pretty big fan of the idea that this thing is upgradeable; I know there's an even better USB input next year.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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  3. sheldaze

    sheldaze Friend

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    This is just a short commentary, a couple points of pro and con regarding my recent purchase of a Bifrost Multibit.

    Less a sonic review and more a dollars-and-sense proposition - this is the entry to the world of Moffat DACs. I say this because it does allow for rolling changes, to include analog and digital board updates. And my two cents are that Moffat makes some interesting-sounding DACs. No way to describe it, properly, technically - best to hear it, decide if you like it, using your own ears. But the sound, for me, allows focus on elements of the music, which I enjoy. I cannot see the instruments, musicians, expression on the faces of the performers - but I get a more keen sense of these things, the emotion part of the normal experience of music when viewing it live, or when listening to the Moffat sound. From the Bifrost through the Yggdrasil lineup, these all convey music in a similar way.

    Audible improvement - the bass no longer gets in the way of the mids. This is not to say there are more mids, or better mids than before. Best way to describe it - let’s say you could take some instruments away from the band. Take away the bass guitar and the bass drum. That song played by the band, missing instruments, would likely sound about the same on the original Bifrost Multibit as it does on the newest version. But add these two instruments back in, have the band play again, and the Bifrost today would be more clear.

    However, there’s a cost. Where is the bass? My goto setup is DSHA-1 into HD580, which does not have a lot of heft in the bass. I thought this was the issue when I first connected the new Bifrost. However, bass quantity was immediately restored to normal quantity when switching to a Gungnir Multibit A2 or the much less expensive RDAC source. It definitely has me wishing for more reference level lower frequency heft.

    Which brings me to the last point - do not buy this expecting a reference sound. I’ve read things on this forum and elsewhere, which are simply not true. There is no generation of Gungnir, which I have heard, matching the resolution of any generation of Yggdrasil. There is no generation of Bifrost that will replace the Gungnir. Close - sure. Nice to listen to - absolutely yes! But, and this is especially true on speakers, the size, depth and placement of the sound is bigger, more resolute, more precise on Gungnir, versus Bifrost. If you are a person planning to upgrade (and hopefully, you know who you are) this is not your stopping point. Keep what you have or buy cheap. Then save your money. Wait. Buy a Gungnir Multibit or Yggdrasil, if you are a fan of the Moffat sound.

    I'm still planning a more thorough comparison of this and the Airist RDAC, but I need more time to evaluate the RDAC.
     
  4. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Friend

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    Several months ago I parted ways with a setup I adored, but other priorities came up, a new hobby surfaced, and I don't listen as much in the spring/summer as I do in the winter, so needless to say, I am currently sitting with just a Tascam CD-500b as my source, using the built-in DAC.

    Listened to it like that last night on an album I got to be very familiar with on the old rig (Yggdrasil 2A, Jay's CDT-2 mk II transport) and while I didn't necessarily run from the room screaming, it was just ok. The rest of the setup is intact and makes up for as much as it can, given the significant downgrade in source.

    So I've been contemplating a new DAC. And while I can't afford another Yggdrasil, I decided to give the Bifrost MB update a try. I ordered it today, and hope to let it burn in next week while I'm away on business. I have no expectation that it will match what I had, but I do hope it provides a good stopgap until about this time next year when I hope to be able to reunite with whatever version of Yggdrasil is out at that point.

    Either way, thanks for the impressions of the updated Bifrost Multibit in this thread, it put me over the top to go ahead and buy. I was looking at some of the Phillips-based NOS R2R dacs like MDHT and Border Patrol, but I am a fan of the Schiit sound so if I can get a reasonable interpretation of Yggdrasil out of Bifrost Multibit, I'll be a happy camper. It'll be feeding a tubed Saga, Odyssey amp, and Dynaudio speakers. Looking forward to spinning some CDs again.
     
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  5. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    A local Bifrost here has the following model number: sch-04 revision f. Is there anyway too see which USB generation it has?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  6. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Gen 5 has a small sticker that says Gen 5 USB
     
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  7. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    There is none, so I assume it is Gen 2 USB version, most likely a 2017 model. I see that the USB is user upgradeable, but the multiboard itself is not. It seems that upgrading an older version too the latest A2 will pretty much cost the same as buying new.
     
  8. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Almost "Made"

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    I am thinking about moving my Bifrost MB to my speaker setup permanently (to sit with a Saga OG) and picking up a used Metrum Musette for about $450 for my headphone rig (heavily modded Crack>ZMF Atticus, HD800). I like lush, rich, full-bodied sound. Good idea? Bad idea? Someone stop me.
     
  9. Martigane

    Martigane Rando

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    Hi Ohshitgorillas,
    "lush, rich, full-bodied sound" This sums up how I would describe the Bifrost Multibit (bought 3 months back) compared to Modi3, if that helps. I do not know the Metrum Musette.
    I am very happy with this purchase.
     
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  10. treboR

    treboR Friend

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    sheldaze, if you have the time, would you mind answering some questions I have? I just placed an order for the Bifrost Mulitbit.

    Are there any tracks that you would recommend that makes this lack of bass obvious? I would like to do some comparisons with the Modi 3 and BM.

    I wonder if that lower level frequency heft is tied to the Gungnir Multibit having a better power supply. That would make the bass tighter and go deeper at lower frequencies because of the lower impedance due to the power supply. The Modi Multibit has a thicker sounding, but less cleaner, bass in comparison because of this.

    Really interested in this lack of bass heft you got from the BM and how that could change the way the HE-6 does bass heft.

    When you say the Gungnir has bigger depth, size, placement, more resolution, precision, compared to the Bifrost, how much can you quantify that? Is there a 5%, 10%, 20%, etc difference here? You did preface your impressions as a "dollars-and-sense proposition" so I'm curious just how wide the difference is.

    I exclusively listen to redbook CDs and my digital library is 16-bit/44.1hz. I didn't see a need to go higher than a Bifrost because of that, since it's retaining all the 16-bit samples in that combo-burrito filter which attributes, I think, to 60% of how that DAC sounds. I don't have any other gear that has balanced outputs/inputs either, my 2-ch and headphone system is entirely single-ended. I'm very satisfied with what I have but I miss having either Modi or Bifrost Multibit in my chain. Upgrade later with Schiit's Unison USB and whatever else is in the pipeline.

    Thanks for your commentary.
     
  11. joeexp

    joeexp Don't ship this man FD-X1 ever

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    The Gungnir has 9.267879090% bigger depth, size, placement, more resolution, precision, compared to the Bifrost.
     
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  12. sheldaze

    sheldaze Friend

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    Don't know much about electronics (unfortunately), but a few locals have surmised this too. Nothing beats a good design and a good power supply is about as best as I could say this (without some additional knowledge on the topic).

    However, I'm listening to my Bifrost and an HE-5 headphone as I write this - it just happens to be the DAC that stuck to my desk, after trying some of the new competition. I'm also listening to some Steely Dan, if that matters. Can I hear that the last bit of bass heft/depth is missing - yep. Does it bother me - nope, not really. Just need to post the truth is all.
     
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  13. magicscreen

    magicscreen Rando

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    So my HD6XX is good for the Bifrost/Gungnir Multibit or the Yggdrasil?
    What is the example for a proper amp?
    I am using now the JDS Labs Atom, but I am disappointed, do not like the hollow sound of the Atom :(
     
  14. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Almost "Made"

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    Looks like Bifrost 2 is here, now with balanced and way easier to upgrade from home. Of course it comes out less than 6 months after I bought a new unit, but as long as the single ended circuit is still the same, I'm going to keep mine since I don't need balanced outputs.

    I am excited to hear what Unison can do, but my Bifrost doesn't use the USB input in the first place, so I'll have to wait unti they repackage it into a standalone unit.
     
  15. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Almost "Made"

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    Their website is selling Bifrosts with Unison as of today
     
  16. zonto

    zonto Friend

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  17. Richgard

    Richgard Friend

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    Just got a Bifrost MB (A2) (Gen V USB) here is a bit of a comparison to the Modi MB (old firmware)

    Bare in mind that I mainly listen to Punk Rock and associated genres.

    The Bifrost MB is hands down better at detail retrieval and imaging soundstage seems to a bit larger.

    Bifrost MB seems to play complicated passages in fast music with less effort. For example it is far easier to follow the bassline in this song



    Then with Modi MB especially when it come to the ending part of this song

    Tone wise like many people noted Modi MB is darker sounding then Bifrost MB

    I feel like with the prices on the current used market Bifrost MB might be a better option in terms of DAC for the money, then Modi MB that is if you are willing to buy used.
     
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  18. redrich2000

    redrich2000 Acquaintance

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    Quick question... does an 'A...' serial number mean Analogue 1?
    If it was origianlly an AK4490 version that was upgraded to MB, would it have had thee analogue upgrade as well or not necessarily?
     
  19. Sqveak

    Sqveak Friend

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    The Bifrost Multibit uses an opamp based output stage.

    The (DS) Bifrost, Uber & 4490 have "analogue" discreet output stages.

    My Bifrost Uber serial number also starts with an A. It's probably a revision marker.

    The only publically disclosed upgrade to the Multibit is a firmware update. Just like the the one the Modi Multibit got.
     
  20. Pogo

    Pogo Almost "Made"

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