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. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    The single-ended outputs on the A1/GS and A2/OG do not sound as good as the balanced outputs. To get the best of out these DACs, one needed to use the balanced outputs. Some crazy folks, myself included, chose to use a passive expensive balanced to single-ended line level transformers because we liked that sound. Anyway, some folks felt the use of the SE outputs super gimped the performance of those DACs. I prefer to think: not as bad as people say and also as good as people say.

    On the LIM and MIL, the single-ended outputs sound just as good as the balanced outputs. There's no need for BAL to SE conversion and doing so in my opinion made the sound worse. This is why a member of two asked: how is the SE?

    It's not uncommon for DACs which have both SE and XLR outputs to have the outputs different sounding or worse sounding. Back in the day, many DACs would take the SE output and run through a phase splitter for XLR. That made the XLR output sound worse. The other method would be to take the balanced output and sum it to get the SE output. The best method is dual parallel circuits for both outputs or a single circuit that can handle both, instead of piggybacking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  2. schneller

    schneller Rando

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    Great. That's important information.
     
  3. Empyah

    Empyah Facebook Friend

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Need more time. The MIL boards are heading back to me.

    Well, from the measurements, the LIM is totally extremely flat all the way up to 20kHz. The filter is steep linear phase with no early roll off per Schiit's typical design approach:
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...essions-measurements.11391/page-3#post-358702

    From a perceptual angle, I would say that it's more dark than rolled. Rolled is bad word to me. Dark means that the overall balance is tilted more to the lows and highs, and even then, this tilt is minor (leave it on for two days before you finally decide).

    Now let's compare. Is the LIM as "airy" as the Schiit Modius or Geshelll JNOG (mid line AKM chips)? Nope. I feel those two DACs do sound quite airy with maybe the RME ADI-2 being even airier. The LIM has about the same level of air as most ESS DACs, with the difference that the ESS stuff is a more edgy in transients. The LIM isn't particularly edgy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  5. Fullalover

    Fullalover Rando

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    So if we are using only SE, how does OG compare to LiM
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Easy choice. LIM. Too much of a difference in clarity (and a little bit of everything else). It will be like a thin blanket has been removed. System component synergy is still important; but after a certain leap in sound quality, it's worth it to rejigger and move stuff around again.
     
  7. k1arg

    k1arg Facebook Friend

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    If I can ask, when LIM is described as not quite having the same detail retrieval as the OG, does this still hold if the source material is Redbook? I mean, the measurements seem to indicate that the 17-bit LIM can distinguish signals from noise a couple bits beyond that, somehow. So I wonder, if all I have is 16 bit music, is the LIM still a smidge behind the OG in resolution?
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    I more or less use Redbook and hear no difference in Qobuz between the CD-quality and hires tracks for the vast majority of recordings with either DAC.

    Therein lies the disconnect between SINAD and perception. The LIM actually resolves more bits, yet the A2/OG resolves more low level information perceptually. Maybe there is no disconnect - that we are looking at the wrong measurement.

    The INL/DNL of the DAC8812 looks a bit better than the INL/DNL of the AD5791 too. (See their datasheets, DNL and INL at 25 degrees C). So there is nothing in the chip spec that says otherwise.

    I suspect the difference is that the A2/OG uses a very simple discrete two FET output whereas the LIM uses opamps, maybe even two sets because the DAC8812 almost requires an opamp for IV because multiplying DACs as weird. And again, therein lies the disconnect between SINAD and perception. Properly implemented discrete circuits have almost always resulted in less errors of omission (perceptual) compared than opamps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    What does engagement mean?

    seems completely subjective to me and replaceable with the word “favorite”

     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  10. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    I think engagement is a fair term that's not necessarily synonymous with favorite. I think engagement means attractiveness, in the way of charisma. Does it grab you immediately and hold your attention?

    Say you are a manager interviewing two candidates. One might initially be an attractive, highly engaging talker but ultimately you conclude them lacking in technical capability, a bad fit for your company, or have irritating qualities that make you favor the other candidate who is a bit more boring but superior in other areas.
     
  11. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Engagement is a really nebulous term I agree and IMO does border on “something I like”. Most times I think it can be replaced with a better word(s) like “lively” or “PRAT” or “nimble” or “immediate” or whatever term more precisely describes the quality of the sound, rather than the feeling that it creates, because everyone can be “engaged” by a wide variety of sound qualities.

    Euphoric is another one that doesn’t make sense to me. Euphoric is a feeling. Euphonic is a quality of the sound.
     
  12. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    But it's +-1 INL in 65,536 voltage levels VS. +-1 INL in 1,048,576 voltage levels... a vast world of different precision isn't it?


    Measure the differential (DNL) (in sample compared to out sample, the error) with a megabuck oven-controlled voltage meter; it'd randomly flip between these values (roughly, trying to visualize it). -->

    0.00001 / 0.00000 / -0.99999 VS. 0.0000001 / 0.0000000 / -0.9999999 (on a warmed up AD5791)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  13. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    Thank you for this detailed response Marv! It sounds like the A2 is more with the Tannoys and 311B/300B amp/Tamura trans. With the Studio B, while the LIM sounds compelling, I'm going to stick with the Gungnir A2. I just replaced the Radial Twin-ISO 600/600 with the Cinemags 15/15B (thread). To use the terminology above, listening with the Elex, the Cinemags increased the harmonic richness and tamed the sharp edges compared to the Radial/Jensens without losing details (on the other hand, the Radials sounded like they had almost too much detail).
     
  14. wasupdog

    wasupdog Rando

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    For those buying the new boards with a GS/A1/A2/whichever would you still get the benefit of the single ended outputs sounding about the same as the balanced outputs? It seems like that would be something more integrated in the main board layout.
     
  15. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    FWIW I use the term 'General Character' in my reviews with adjectives like 'Lively' 'Neutral' or 'Rich'. I think it can get out of hand though. Someone called the DarkVoice 'Oily' and this is getting just a bit too poetic for me although Sophia Vergara and bubble bath seem to routinely make appearances in Marv's descriptions so I guess it's relative.
     
  16. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I don't know what immediate means either. But wet/dry make total sense to me and seems to confuse a lot of people..

    Maybe we need a thread on these terms.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Doh. Yes you are correct. I was thinking INL/DNL error is per bit, but it's spec'd per LSB. It's still closer than that though because the DNL is packed more tighter together (but also has occasional farther variance) on the DAC8812.

    DAC8812
    upload_2021-9-13_0-21-35.png

    AD5791
    upload_2021-9-13_0-21-51.png
     
  18. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    If/when you have enough time with it, I’d be curious to know where you think the MIL fits into this schema. Based on your previous comments, I’m assuming it rates very low on engagement, but does it actually resolve any more low-level info than the LIM?
     
  19. haywood

    haywood Friend

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    Engagement is a little confusing but that was just the chart label. Marv said “Engagement / microdynamics / immediacy” in the post which goes some way in defining what he meant but I took it to basically mean “how much do I want to keep listening to this”. And that’s fine, I’d rather see a subjective term like that than another measurement that most people won’t understand anyway *cough* sinad *cough*.

    An article that defined terms would be cool as jargon can lead to confusion. If ever a hobby needed to demystify and make itself more accessible to new blood it’s this one.
     
  20. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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