Schiit Yggdrasil Less is More (and MIL and OG) Impressions + Measurements

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, Sep 9, 2021.

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Should SBAF get a loaner Yggdrasil Less Is More?

  1. Yes, please!

    74.8%
  2. Only if there isn't anything else more interesting

    12.2%
  3. No, I would prefer for a loaner an overpriced planar that looks like it's from House Harkonnen

    6.1%
  4. Save up for something better

    7.0%
  1. Soundmancan

    Soundmancan Rando

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    Does anyone have any AMP recommendations that would pair well with the LIM? Currently using Jot 2 and it sounds great with plenty of power. Was considering possibly Rag 2 as the natural companion piece but cant find too much info on how it sounds, especially compared to the Jot 2. I like solid state, dont have the patience for tubes except for my Vali 2+. Possibly Burson soloist 3x? Thanks in advance. And yes, if I got the Rag 2 I would consider expanding using the speaker outs in the future. Right now I only have room for headphones :(. I guess a little more detail is in order regarding preferences. Would like a nice headstage side to side and depth where possible. Does NOT need to a measurement monster, not concerned about measurements, just the sound which ideally would be like the LIM itself "musical" and where the instruments sound and feel like they should.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    If it sounds great, then keep what you have. It's impossible for anyone to give advice without knowing your preferences. How did you feel about the Vali 2+ vs. Jot 2 with LIM as the source? If you do a quick compare and contrast, even write up a sentence or two including info on headphones used, balanced or unbalanced HP connectors, it would be helpful for those who have all heard all these to point you in the right direction.
     
  3. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    @schiit will need to verify this, but Jason said in his chapter the new firmware chips support all 4 versions of cards... LiM/MiL can run all 4, you don't have to swap the chip. Maybe this changed... my plan was to leave the LiM fw chip in when switching back to A2... but not until I got more confirmation on that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  4. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Nope, I did not say this.

    There are different EEPROMs for all versions.
     
  5. Justin S

    Justin S Friend

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    After a full week of power-on, I spent some time with the LIM this weekend in my 2CH system. My previous listening had been with the brand new LIM + 48hrs on it, 10 minute shutdown (to move it to my home system) followed by 2hrs of warmup.I understand now that it needs to be left on for 48hrs to sound its best.

    I reviewed my notes from last weekend against my most recent listening, and they stand up well. However, I made adjustments where needed as the there are a few differences. I will highlight these at the end.

    My notes are more coarse than the more experienced listeners and reviewers here, but I thought it might be helpful to put together a comparison of the LIM with the 2541 on a 2CH system.

    I focused on 3 tracks for detailed notes and then listened freely for a more general sense of how the LIM sounded. I did a brief comparison notes with the 2541 as well.

    The chain is Tidal Flacs>W10/Roon>LAN>Pi2AES>AES>LIM/SPDIF>2541>SE>Heed Obelisk SI MK3>Harbeth P3ESR+Rel t7i.

    The Harbeth P3ESR XDs are small sealed speakers loosely based on the LS3/5s.

    The XDs are not pipe-and-slipper-speakers. I've had a few different Harbeths over the years and these are my favourite: they're faster, more open sounding and more detailed than the P3 standards or the larger C7s. They smoothed out the bass bump and the tilt is decidedly not dark. They feel a bit more like a sweet sounding studio monitor than a "hifi" speaker to me. The mid-range and imaging are my favourite things about them. I know there is not a lot of love for them here, but every time I try going to something else, I end up coming back to them.
    Brian Blade, Landmarks.

    LIM

    - very nuanced rendering with the delicate brushwork and cymbals presenting clean and clear without a hint of hash
    - the light percussion stays in the BG where it should rather than leaping to the foreground
    - The bass is very well controlled and presents with detail I've not heard before - the best I've heard in this system
    - There are sections of this piece that get busy and can present as confused or congested with other DACS. The LIM renders these sections with clarity and articulation of all the instruments.
    - There are moments with the soprano sax that can get honky and move to shrill with other DACs. The LIM steers well clear of these issues. Again, I've not heard better in this system.

    2541

    - The stage is less deep and delicate around the edges. It is more forward.
    - Overall, it's very pleasing to listen to.
    - The bass detail is very good on the Soekris, but the control is not at the level of the LIM.
    - It comparison to the LIM, it is more crowded in the busy sections.


    Massive Attack, Paradise Circus

    LIM

    - The staging depth on this piece is very deep with the LIM.
    - Voice is presented in a very believable way.
    - Again the bass is very controlled. I generally keep my SUB quite low to just "indicate" the low end. I find subs get smeary quickly. I found myself turning it up a little with the LIM. At no point did it feel out of place or like it called undue attention to itself. It felt very integrated and a part of the music.

    2541

    - Staging is less deep
    - the bass is almost a bit boomy when working with my sub. I turned it back down from having turned it up with the LIM. It does not have the same control of the bass.
    - Despite these details, it gives a great performance that I would be happy with.


    Songs: Ohia - Peoria Lunch Box

    LIM

    - Again the sense of space it really marked in this piece. It was recorded by Steve Albini and is an exciting recording - direct and full of room cues. The LIM really renders a lot of this detail.
    - LIM puts the recording into a larger space. I feel that it sounds better when it is a little more forward.
    - There's a piano walk in this piece that is always a bit piecing, it's really enjoyable with the LIM.

    2541

    - The 2541 offers a more direct, immediate sound with this recording.
    - The way the 2541 renders tiny room reflections bring a lot of presence to the instruments and voice.
    - The piercing piano walk sounds good on the 2541, but not as easy to listen to as the LIM.
    - Next to the LIM I prefer the rendering of the 2541 in this piece. Steve Albini's direct approach to recording really show off the capabilities of the 2541. Clean, direct, and crystal clear.
    LIM

    - The LIM is revealing and incisive without being a circus of effects.
    - Reverb and space are rendered well without overemphasis
    - I was really struck with how cymbals and brushes are rendered so clean and clear without a hint of noise
    - I hear the top end smoothness that people have been reporting. I am quite sensitive to treble, the Harbeths have aluminum tweaters, and so the LIM is a great match in my system.
    - The vocals are a little more relaxed than I usually like them, but this is something I can get used to, given all of the other positives

    Soekris 2541

    - The sound stage is pleasing. It is more forward than the LIM. This can work for or against the 2541, depending on the material and listening preference.
    - I would say that the imaging is very precise with the Soekris on the Red filter. I can imagine things in the stage a bit more clearly with the 2541.
    - Flipping between the Soekris and the LIM, the LIM pulls me in a bit more than the Soekris.
    - The Soekris can get a little congested in really complex stuff - not overly so, but back to back with the LIM, you can hear it.
    - The Soekris has great, detailed bass. It's not as slamming, and not as controlled as the LIM, but it's very good.

    General observations.

    In direct A/B listening, the LIM and 2541 trade blows. As an example, Peoria Lunchbox is more engaging on the 2541. It's more forward presentation suits the song better. With Paradise Circus, the bass detail/slam/texture and sense of space are more involving on the LIM.

    The LIM richly presents a lot of detail - early listening feels like the first time trying a good Champagne where it feels like the bubbles have bubbles inside them. With the LIM, the sounds within the sounds become evident - not in any weirdo effect-y way, but it's there for the listening if that's what you're into (I am).

    The 2541 and the LIM are closer than I would have thought. The LIM edges it out in my 2CH listening because of all the little things it does around the music, the sense of space, the bass control, the little micro details, the ability to render complex material with greater clarity.

    I would say that, sometimes, the sense of space with the LIM can make things feel a bit less immediate and present. But overall, things sound more exciting with the LIM in my system, principally because of the staging and bass.

    In my notes from this weekend I wrote that the LIM works on you over time with all the little things it does. Tracks that sounded like good, even great recordings on other DACs become full-on sound experiences (The 2541 does this, too...but just a little less). It does this in a normal-sounding way that gives you the choice to take it all in or to follow the elements of the recording. This is something new to me. In my 5 or so years of working through a bunch of DACs, this has mostly been an either/or proposition. With the LIM it's both.

    48 Hrs vs a full week of on-time:

    The differences I heard from the previous weekend to this weekend were principally in the sense of staging and in the highs. The previous weekend, the stage was a little less full-bodied and integrated, whereas this weekend, everything felt very "whole" while maintaining delineations between the instruments. The highs were also sweeter after having left the LIM on for a week.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
  6. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    Thanks! Wow where the heck did I get that from... miss-read something along the way or dreamt it, sorry!
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
  7. Wojciech Czupta

    Wojciech Czupta Rando

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    MIL upgrade ordered. LIM has to wait due to backlog. is my experience with Dave comparison (the gap which seamed to favor Dave is very small now) related to Yggdrasil loving to be always on? - I have keept both DACs on since friday evening.
     
  8. sp33ls

    sp33ls Facebook Friend

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    Yeah, part of the reason I was contemplating the LiM before my upcoming move has been my experience of trying to get passive electronics and PC parts over the past year. I thought about waiting for more reviews...

    But, Marv's impressions and then comments about them being out of stock within a couple weeks post-launch only accelerated my haste on ordering the LiM.

    I have not been let down.
     
  9. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    My LIM arrived today its big, black and beautiful. Putting lots of play time on it to break it in. Will post impressions in a week or so.
     
  10. Wojciech Czupta

    Wojciech Czupta Rando

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    anyone else opted for MIL? Mine is on the way already in Germany. Expected delivery next Thu (including all custom procedures). I'm curious if this will be any improvement over my A2. Do you think LIM can be overhyped here a bit? I see the votes - I think we are killing MIL option basically - I guess Schiit will stick to one eventually.
     
  11. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    @purr1n, based on the above and your experience thus far with Yggdrasil OG and LIM, how do they (or how do you think they would) synergize with brighter, more energetic headphones and tweeters? Particularly interested in synergies with the Focal Utopia headphones and with speakers with metal tweeters like the Focal's Be tweeter or other popular metal tweeters. These types of drivers are fast/zippy, have varying amounts of overshoot, and can be fatiguing (especially in the treble) depending on implementation due to rising high frequency response and/or breakup above the audible range.

    Initial take based on the quote above is that because these transducers would be zippy and bright in the highs, they may synergize better with the LIM than the OG. But wondering too if that may be too much if paired with not-bright amplifiers, etc.

    /////

    Separate question for you or others relates to using the Yggdrasil LIM when playing back 24-bit content. I understand the LIM uses four 16-bit DACs and per the measurements posted earlier that it resolves more than 16 bits of information. The spec page on Schiit's website says that all Yggdrasil models can receive up to a 24/192 PCM signal. But I would like to better understand implications of moving from OG to LIM when playing back a 24/192 audio stream from Qobuz and watching Blu-rays or video content coming through AppleTV 4K that contains a 24/48 audio stream. Almost all music I listen to is 16/44, but my DAC is used in a living room video 2.0 system so gets a lot of video use as well.
     
  12. sp33ls

    sp33ls Facebook Friend

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    Most likely is they'll keep both of the new flavors, and phase out OG overtime as the AD chip becomes EOL or too cost prohibitive. They may end up improving performance of the MiL someday too.
    Why did you go with the MiL out of curiosity?


    No implications. You'll see from the measurements that the LiM is just as capable as the OG in that regard (or at least any difference is inaudible). It's more about flavor than pure, measurable performance.
     
  13. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    When I bought my LIM the Schiit website said it would ship in 4-12 weeks or something. But it shipped a week later. However, FedEX is God awful and requires a signature for such expensive packages. I'm always going to request UPS from now on everywhere possible. Schiit is like a 5 hour drive from me, I should have gotten the LIM a week ago. But there were delays, then they have made two delivery attempts during the literally one time of day when someone was in the bathroom or couldn't run to the door immediately. And they're supped to try again the next day, but they skip a day each time so it's taking forever and driving me bananas. Someone will literally have to sit outside and wait for them to show up tomorrow or it will be returned to Schiit. Ridiculous.

    /vent

    I've had a thought about the resolving difference between the A2 and LIM that I've been meaning to post. The A2 is a more resolving DAC, but the output has to be put through transformers because the SE outs are gimped. (unless all your amps are balanced). This actually lowers the resolution of the DAC to be run through the transformers as well as coloring the sound in other ways.

    What I'm saying is that I'm not sure there is much difference in resolution between

    LIM -> no transformer -> amp
    A2 -> transformer -> amp

    I'll try to make this comparison later when my LIM gets here. But it's something I'm not sure has been specifically mentioned. Not needing a transformer is a real bonus to the LIM.
     
  14. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    The LIM has been turned on for 3 days, about 20 hours of music played through it so far, has gone from slightly harsh on the top to smooth without any harness. It has gone from some what a small space to very spacious, I mean the space where the music takes place has really expanded. Want to listen more before saying more. The fact is I want to listen to lots of different kinds of music then I normally do, It all sounds good, classical, vocal, 90's pop, country. Its a joy so far.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  15. Justin S

    Justin S Friend

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    I am reassessing my 2CH LIM listening a bit, I am finding that there is a quality to the LIM that does not favour nearfield listening in my system. Things start to feel a bit small and less meaty in nearfield. While I love the imaging effects in nearfield, I prefer the overall picture I get when I back the speakers off to 7-8'. For my tiny P3ESR XDs, this is an odd configuration, but things feel more full at this distance. There is something about the Schiit filter in the LIM that changes the game when it comes to 2CH listening. I have had a BF2 in this system and it was really good in nearfield.. It's a bit of work to figure this out, but part of the fun.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  16. leafy

    leafy Acquaintance

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    I'd play a bit with the toe-in of the speakers. My A1 gave me about 3-5m of comfort listening, but LIM is best between 3.5-4m, greater than that it became less real. I found that the toe-in needed readjustment to make it sound more like the older listening position range.
     
  17. laevi

    laevi Friend

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    I have been requesting that Fedex leave all of my packages with Walgreens down the street so that I can pick them up. It gives me peace of mind that my packages not requiring signatures will be safe and flexibility to pick up my packages after work because Walgreens is typically open until later than Fedex. Once you are provided with the tracking number, there's an option on the Fedex website that allows you to pick up from somewhere else of your choosing instead. Hope that helps.
     
  18. Justin S

    Justin S Friend

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    Toe-tally. I am always tweaking the toe-in depending on position and material.

    It is curious that the LIM changes the way that the sound works with my speakers - my old nearfield configuration that was excellent with the 2541 or the BF2 doesn't produce the best results with the LIM.

    The P3s are little babies that are usually great in a 4' (about 1meter) nearfield triangle. They're based on broadcast truck monitors and are designed for close quarters.

    The surprising thing about the LIM is that the P3s are now best at almost double that distance. When they are too close, it seems like there is some kind of phase cancellation going on, they present more quiet than they should, and the frequency response gets a bit weird.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  19. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    WOW the combo of the LIM and the EC studio B just keep getting better and better. Really good music for hearing what they can do.
    Naim Recordings this recording is a two mic with nagra tape, no editing.
    Rebel Roots
    Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls
    The LIM continues to open, more space sweeter high end. drums are so very real to me(I was a drummer) will continue to post as everything breaks in more. I just want to listen, its beautiful music.
     
  20. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Remind me: are you listening on headphones or speakers?
     

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