Yggdrasil Refined - New Schiit Yggdrasil Analog 2 (Yggdrasil A2) Sound Impressions

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by drgumbybrain, Jan 16, 2018.

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  1. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Everything is relative and a matter of perspective.

    Moving from one USB implementation to another when you’ve been listening to something for 6 or 12 months or more can sound like a major improvement. But someone coming to that from a good SPDIF transport or a better USB inplementation might go “meh”. This is why context and keeping hyperbolic language in check is important. We’re talking about fucking DACs here, the differences between them are actually small compared to most downstream parts of the chain. And the USB implementation is then yet again even smaller.

    But that’s what we do here in audiophileland, we focus on the minutiae.

    The hyperbole of trashing something is also a problem though as much as hyping. The point of SBAF I thought is to try to stay critical and objective while describing the aspects and differences between various gear, because ultimately people have different fucking tastes and priorities.

    And that’s ok. Some people prefer Yggdrasil, some prefer Onyx, some prefer Convert, some prefer PS Audio or something else. It’s a subjective hobby and we’re not all preprogrammed fucking cyborgs. But it doesn’t mean the one you don’t like is “garbage” either - that’s inflammatory bullshit. But of course being objective is not as fun as trashing something or hyping something and doesn’t give you that endorphin rush.

    Also people’s minds and tastes can change. That’s fine. Just tell us as objectively as possible where you hear the diffs. Sure, there is real dog shit out there, but there’s been enough ears on Yggdrasil that have heard many, many other DACs (including Convert) that substantiate it’s a damn good DAC.

    What I don’t get is, if Yggdrasil is garbage, but it’s better than Gungnir A1, what is up with all this (this is less than 4 weeks go):

    Personally I don’t care that Rob changed his mind and prefers Convert now, but calling Yggdrasil garbage definitely seems like way over the top rhetoric.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  2. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    I think the difference between his opinion then and now is in the transducers. He clearly liked schiit DACs with headphones, disliked them with speakers, and the opposite with the Convert-2.
     
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  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Because his speakers were shit, even he said that and sold them. And no I don’t think that a $300 pair of little plastic JBL nearfields are a good way of definitively evaluating a $2500 DAC. Synergy is a real thing too - Convert’s dialed up to 11 contrast probably sounds fantastic on some speakers and like a brutal cartoon jackhammer on others.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
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  4. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Maybe, maybe not. At the end of the day we're talking about DACs, so what's down the chain will matter more. I doubt he would find the Yggdrasil much better even on a system where it synergizes well with all components, based on his description. Synergy is all nice and good but if you really don't like the sound signature of a DAC that's not going to magically change when you get new speakers.
     
  5. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Exactly what I said like 3 pages ago and what I said in my previous post in bold.

    You can synergize the shit out of a previous Gen Sabre DAC to get it to sound way better and I’m probably still going to hate it.
     
  6. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Yep, it's just his personal preference is all. To him the Ygg sounds like garbage, that's as valid an opinion as any in my book. At the end of the day he's just one guy on the internet with his own opinion. No need to get all up in arms is what I'm saying.
     
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  7. RobS

    RobS treboR (Psalmanazar Groupie)

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    LOL that's because you have an OG Freya in your chain. You can't possibly hear any differences thru that thing. Thinner than a supermodel on anorexia, blurrier than a fogged windshield in the winter, the most completely flat stage with ZERO depth, the most horrific uneven sounding dynamics. If the Yggdrasil is garbage, that thing is a fucking landfill.

    And how can anyone take your transport shootout seriously when you had the Freya in your chain.
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...sports-shootout-with-unison-usb-and-aes.8810/

    Here is what you said when you compared the Freya to other Schiit passive DACs:
    Yet somewhow you were able to say this in the transport thread:
    LOL wut? I'm calling bullshit now.

    And yeah if you have transparent components in your chain, the differences in DACs becomes quite obvious. It's super easy to notice the differences even on my "$300 pair of little plastic JBL nearfields".

    Like most people on SBAF, they like the sound of mud, jitter and they hate clarity. That's something I noticed immediately when I got the Goldpoint and Convert-2 in my system. You guys just don't have the components to sustain dynamics. Freya just muddies and smears over any kind of clarity.

    Heck you got a guy using TWO plugins to unfuck the Yggdrasil soundstage. And somehow there is no degradation in clarity from doing so? BS.

    OG Freya, give me a fucking break. What an absolute abomination. I even warned the guy before I sold it to it sucked balls because I felt bad handing it over to someone, but I wanted to get my money back on the worst audio purchase I ever made.

    And my Gungnir A1 impressions were one night I was happily drunk and in a great mood so I'm sure anything would sound good. The next morning I listened again and it was like the worst hangover asking myself "WTF" was I thinking.

    You like what you like. I just think the Yggdrasil is a hot steaming turd. And I did elaborate quite a bit on why I think it sucked. I hope to get rid of it shortly.
     
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  8. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    And that's kool, but let's hear what other people think as well.
     
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  9. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    @ultrabike is being polite. We get it, @RobS. You don’t like the DAC. You’ve made your points, repeatedly. Now please shut up, sell it, and stop posting for a while. I’m sick of seeing your username in my inbox and alerts notifications.
     
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  10. Buddha1979

    Buddha1979 Acquaintance

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    The Yggdrsil is no garbage. I have had plenty of DACs in the 500 Eur price range and compared to Yggdrasil they were all shit, yes.
    Don't expect good results with a few hundered dollar speakers, sorry it won't work - that is my experience being a hobbyist for 25 years and previous HiFi salesman. Get some speakers that can handle dynamics well like some of the Klipsch stuff with horns or some of the older JBLs and you will beg for a DAC that plays smoother or even "muddy". I use DIY broadband speakers with no corossovers - so nothing is holding them back and they are fast. My system can handle PRAT very well and the Yggdrasil does not sound muddy especially on AES in and XLR out. I guess the Convert 2 would be overly bright or too analytical in my system and I am not going to give it a try as it is almost 3000 Eur in the EU.
    When it comes to soundstage also amps and the room play important roles. I have heard amps where the music is stuck at the speakers - when you close your eyes you know exactly where the speakers are and there is no real soundstage. The amp that I am using know plays very much 3D. Why there are differences - I have no explanation.
    I try to read between the lines here and still I am missing mentions of true alternatives for the Yggdrasil in the same price range. If there is a true alternative I might give it a try and post my impressions here !
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  11. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Just to be clear, the quote about Freya was comparing passive modes. I don’t use passive mode on Freya, it’s not good, exactly as I described. Earlier in the post I had this:
    Yep that’s right, tubes. More distortion and coloration I know, horror of horrors. There’s other aspects of tube mode I like over passive as well, but won’t get into it here.

    I actually go between that, and running Yggdrasil directly into the Vidar monos (no preamp) and using digital attenuation in Roon. Would Goldpoint be better than that? Maybe, will see at some point.

    Really I’d love to actually hear Convert some day- who knows I may actually prefer it over Yggdrasil, and if so I’ll let people know why. Doesn’t mean Yggdrasil’s not still a great DAC though.

    Peace man, enjoy the music.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  12. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    I get that you wanted to rant/make a point but what does jitter even have to do with anything? The Convert-2 is not any better at being jitter-free than its similar priced brothers. Jitter was never a concern here..
     
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  13. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    I just want to say something about staging.

    If you take 3 Yggdrasils and set them up in different rooms with different speakers, you'll get 3 completely different takes on staging.

    So, staging impressions are really only useful relative to prior observations made on the same set up. Not really comparable across set ups.
     
  14. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    I very much agree with @rlow here. Personal preference is absolute, for that person. Aggregation of performance observations into trends is a bit harder and requires thought by the reader along with familiarity of the multitude of posters' personal preferences to triangulate. There are only a few DACs that really deserved clear, generalized trashing such as S19 and several Topping DACs and some ESS9018-2M DAC implementations as demonstrated by universal trend among a large number of listeners.

    Schiit DACs do not fit this generalized trend so in my opinion don't deserve the harsh labels applied as if a universal observation.

    My ultimate frame of reference: comparing sound of instruments in studio and on stage with recordings of same. I have many raw tracks, prior to mixing, available to me but not shareable for obvious reasons of musicians' property rights. Recording the sound of an excellent musician playing a Monette trumpet into an AEA R92 and hearing playback approach the reality provides moments of auditory clarity, as one (of many) example(s).

    Examples available include Foxy Trot from Invisible Sounds, Steve Treseler Group:
    https://www.whirlwindrecordings.com...ca-nov-16th-video-of-foxy-trot-recorded-live/
     
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  15. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar was: dingleberry; now: chill + interesting

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    Schiit DACs all sound very different. My favorite was the Bifrost Uber. I hated the other Bifrosts. I believe @RobS was trying to say the Yggdrasil A2 suffers from the dreaded "one note bass" syndrome common to a ton of hifi gear. It's not entirely one note bass like fart rocket ported powers but a lot of people like that warm, solid, blurred together presentation that gives weight to the low end of many recordings. Entire eras have common production issues so many people don't like: 1970s Asahi Super Dry drums, 1980s coked out, inadvertently high pass filtered due to the crappy caps in the console SSL 4000 mixes that all went through the bus compressor that lacked a sidechain high pass filter, 1990s ADAT and overdriven SSL 4000 distortion, most modern classical production, awful modern pop and indie music done on Macbooks with shitty Apogee Duets and UAD Apollos. There's a ton of widely chosen poor production decisions that people who want solid bass and big sound hate. I just get a different master. For Led Zeppelin, I prefer the 1990s CDs for half the records because they are the only masters with any low end. Iron Maiden? I go for the mastered for iTunes or latest CDs all day. Van Halen? the most recent CDs have the best balance. Motorhead? early 90s or the deluxe recent digipaks. They key is to avoid flat transfers from shitty 80s mixes or transfers from shitty old tapes like 80s Zeppelin, which came from metal tape cassettes.

    Then there is stuff just losing low end weight due to going through other common gear like RME converters, dbx 160 compressors, etc which often imprints things that aren't fixed or can't be easily fixed later in the mix or master without totally changing the sound of the record. These will be used in lots of modern no budget productions or in even in big budget studios. Modern 2020, in the box, digital production methods are more distorted than ever. Where Prince would just use a channel strip containing a filter, eq, and compressor on a drum, a Bruno Mars type production will use a channel strip plug and then shit tons of distortion plugins, have drum hits blended together with samples (think Andy Wallace but even more artificial than his 80s drum machine, I mean straight up sine wave reenforced bass), etc to make a highly artificial product for lossy streaming on far from flat Apple earbuds and modern broadcast limiters. The end result is slick modern pop but in reality, far more distorted and further from reality than 1990s Darkthrone, which is just lofi and sometimes tape saturated to hell with the first two records done pretty well in real studios.
     
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  16. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Not to beat a dead horse here, but a Yggdrasil going into JBL 305 (or 30X) monitors from Drop. Possible impedance mismatch here? With passive pot in the mix as well (or even without)?

    I tried to find the the input impedance for the 305/30X but wasn’t successful - this is all I found:

    https://drop.com/buy/jbl-lsr305/talk/130423

    Says the balanced input impedance is only 600 ohms?? I know almost nothing about pro gear, but that doesn’t sound like a good match with Yggdrasil’s 75ohm output impedance, esp. going through a passive pot. Wouldn’t that potentially sound super soft?
     
  17. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I thought A2 was supposed to be able to drive 600ohm (pro) gear just fine?
     
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  18. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Yep seems to be the case, it’s actually right on the Yggdrasil product page that it will drive 600ohm pro gear. I wonder how a 10k passive pot/pre in the middle might affect it though? Probably fine. Ah well.
     
  19. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    LSR305 balanced input impedance measures 10K ohms (pin 2 to 3)
    I have one here on the bench and performed 4-wire measurement with Keysight 34465A.
     
  20. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Pretty sure he sold the Goldpoint before buying the Ygg.
     
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