Schiit Eitr Preview Thread

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Rotijon, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Torq

    Torq Prob should liquidate and live on a sailboat

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    Not enough to want to spend my own money on one.

    The PCM-1704 based units, including the Master 7, were okay. Though I'm not a fan of the PCM-1704 on a good day, no matter how many of them you stick on your board. I'd still spend my money elsewhere though.

    But, in general, they seem competent enough - the S19 is just a stinker.
     
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  2. Chianti

    Chianti Rando

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    My wife's reaction to Eitr: "Get the orchestra out of the living room, this is too much"

    (Allo Bridge -> Eitr -> McIntosh MDA 1000 -> 2x Marantz MA-9S2 -> Piega C10 Ltd w/ Sub 1 Mk ii)

    Compared to same chain out of trusty/rusty Logitech Transporter
     
  3. TomHP

    TomHP Acquaintance

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    Have one on the way to feed my Mojo via SPDIF instead of USB. Curious to hear the differences, since I kept reading here that Mojo is better not fed over USB.
     
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  4. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Almost "Made"

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    I think you'll be very happy with it. It not only took my D/S Gungnir to another level that I had not heard before in over 3 years of using it only with the USB interface, it also really helped my Modi 2 Uber, which cannot be upgraded to Gen 5 USB. I'd recommend using a 75 ohm digital coax with it for best sound performance.
     
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  5. TomHP

    TomHP Acquaintance

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    Yup! That's what I'm getting :)
     
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  6. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Almost "Made"

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    Maybe Eitr should be considered/nominated for a Golden Schlong Award. From the consistency of reports and remarks from happy customers, it really seems to be a terrific product that brings significant sonic improvements at a very affordable price, creating a genuinely strong value proposition for customers.

    One of the big wins for me in discovering what Etir was providing was more insight into the differences and most importantly, full potential of my Schiit DACs (Gungnir and Modi 2 Uber). I had always used them USB-only, never knowing how good they truly were using SPDIF (before Gen 5 USB was implemented).

    I realized that I'd been listening to Gungnir for the last three years not actually knowing how good it truly was (for a D/S DAC). Now I understand...

    When you can have a more compelling, beguiling and engaging musical experience AND learn new things about the products you use and digtial music reproduction, it's a win-win...at least for this happy customer.
     
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  7. ckwong

    ckwong Rando

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    Agreed. It has to be one of Schiit's most raved about products so far, and love how it's not a top-tier priced "flagship" product like you said.

    I'm currently running a Mimby + Jot setup, while I'm seriously considering upgrading to the Sagaheim, I might have to grab an Eitr first.
     
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  8. Luckbad

    Luckbad Basshead - Friend

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    As someone who has run that setup, you'll get more out of the Eitr than the Saga. For real.
     
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  9. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Acquaintance

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    The Eitr > Mimby > Jot combo is incredibly good, and the value is pretty hard if not impossible to beat.
     
  10. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Friend

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    Ran a little Eitr experiment recently. I've had a Bifrost MB (pre-Gen 5) and a Jot waiting for a convenient digital source to use at work. Finally decided on a Raspberry Pi with touchscreen and a portable drive with my music library, running RuneAudio. The Bifrost was waiting for its turn at Gen 5. In the meanwhile, I got the Eitr which I plan to use with an Allo USBridge to compare with my current microRendu+LPS-1>SU-1 source for the Holo Spring KTE 3, when the USBridge gets here. So, I compared RPi>USB>Bifrost>Jot>Æon with RPi>USB>Eitr>S/PDIF>Bifrost>Æon. Without the Eitr, the overall system was a sad shadow of what I knew from experience the Bifrost can do with a better source. With the Eitr, the Bifrost>Jot>Æeon system sounded as good as with any of the other (much more expensive) digital sources I tried it with. Now, the Bifrost is in SoCal being Gen-5-ied, and the USBridge is arriving tomorrow. I'll be doing the serious testing and comparisons this weekend, but it's not impossible that a microRendu, an LPS-1, and an SU-1 will end up looking for buyers. At least on this first test, the Eitr really shined.
     
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  11. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Almost "Made"

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    Nice write up. What has possibly surprised me the most was how much Eitr has transformed my Modi 2 Uber. I bought M2U right when it first came out (at least a year before Mimby debuted) for use in a bedroom office headphone system with a Valhalla 2, and it sat with very little use all that time as I am predominantly a loudspeaker listener (never bought a Mimby, FWIW).

    But, as my D/S Gungnir is presently in Valencia for its MB/Gen 5 upgrades, if I wanted to listen to Roon serving up digital files in the loudspeaker system, the M2U was all I had, so it's now in the main rack in the living room loudspeaker system.

    Before Eitr arrived, and connected to my microRendu, compared to Gungnir (or even Bifrost for that matter) M2U, when being fed via its USB interface, sounded, well, decent. I could live with it. But I found it a bit lean-sounding, somewhat thin with respect to soundstage and imaging and instrumental timbres/overtones and voices were on the cool side of neutral and sllightly dry-sounding. Most importantly, I didn't find it particularly engaging. Truth be told, if I didn't have M2U, I would be spinning LPs on the Michell TT until my Gungnir came back metamorphosed into Gen 5 Gumby.

    But, I was really impressed with what Eitr did for Gungnir while I waited to send it in, so I popped M2U into the system: microRendu > Eitr > S/PDIF > Modi 2 Uber.

    Have to say I am quite impressed....I've left everything and connected and powered up since last Tuesday when Gungnir shipped out, and I gotta say....it sounds quite good! Eitr has turned Modi 2 Uber into a quite-nice-sounding D/S DAC. It's musical, smooth with natural-sounding warmth and sweetness, but not syrupy, It has notably better imaging, a wider and deeper soundstage, more accurate and defined insturmental placement, and with rather lovely instrumental tone colors and texture, with nice delicacy and articulation of instruments and voices ( for example, listen to Se Voce Me Ama on Melody Gardot's The Absence. Really quite lovely). M2U sounds like a completely different DAC with Etir, and all for the better with respect to any audio attribute one would, or should, care about.

    Most importantly, I've been spending entire evenings listening to it, thoroughly absorbed in the music and not listening to equipment.

    Alll this tells me that not only can M2U, when fed a nice clean S/DIF source, be quite a nice, musical (and with well-recorded and mastered source content, lovely-sounding) and engaging DAC at a paltry $149, Eitr is a helluva product....especially at it's price point. I'd love to have a David vs. Goliath shootout with Eitr against something like the Berkeley Audio Alpha USB, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Eitr blew it into the weeds.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  12. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    Here are some impressions on Gen 5 USB in the Yggy. I self-installed this following @Marvey's excellent guide. Had it not been for that I would not have bothered, as I was actually quite happy with my digital source, an AES16 (PCI, not PCIe) in a specially rigged HTPC box. But for $100 I figured I might as well see what all the fuss is about.

    As many others have said, this is legit. My chain is Yggy -> Freya w/ Sylvania VT-231 -> Klein + Hummel O300D. I am comparing AES16 via Mogami 3080 to the Yggy AES input; and a Schiit PYST USB cable to the Gen 5 input. My PC is too far away for the PYST cable to reach, so I am going through a USB port in my monitor.

    First things first: the Gen 5 is clearly technically superior. Not by much; neither source exhibits anything so egregious as obvious digititus or glare. But in a direct comparison, the AES16 has fuzzy transients and a slight grain, which are not present with the Gen 5 USB. Moreover, the Gen 5 USB has better separation, more precise imaging, a noticeably wider soundstage, and better definition in the bass. I am impressed. Relative to other digital sources I have tried:

    Gen 5 USB >> AES16 in HTPC >>> AES16 in desktop PC > RME 9632 AES in desktop PC >> RME 9632 S/PDIF in desktop PC >>>>>> Gen 3 USB

    What I did not expect was the difference in presentation between the two sources. The AES16 seems slightly rolled off at top with a euphonic boost in the lower mids. By comparison, the Gen 5 seems more U-shaped: more extended at extremes, slightly colder in the lower mids, and slightly more in the upper mids/lower treble. Sort of like the difference between a HD650 and an HD800 though of course to a much lesser extent. Indeed, the absolute magnitude of this difference is small enough that it could easily be accounted for by simple tweaks elsewhere.

    In my case, I will probably try swapping out the Sylvania 1945 VT-231 for something marginally more euphonic like the Sylvania 1951 GT. I think I am also having some impact mucking about with driver/buffer settings but I have to be careful drawing conclusions about this kind of stuff and go slowly or else I drive myself mad and start hearing things. In any case, I will certainly stick with the Gen 5, because once you've heard the technical improvements there is no going back.

    It is a total no-brainer to me that anyone getting into this from scratch should just get the Gen 5 USB and not worry about source any more, it's that good. If you already have a good digital source then it may well still be worth getting the Gen 5, though you may need to shuffle other parameters about a bit to retain your desired tonality.

    Other notes:
    • I also tried the USB port on my Macbook Air. It's not bad in any absolute sense, but somehow it still sounds a bit off compared to from the PC.
    • I am certainly going to get shit for this like the last time I mentioned it, but in my system, I have to disconnect the shield on my cables at one end, or else I get really bad sibilance. For the PYST USB cable, I did this in the most simple-minded way possible, by putting masking tape over the outside metal surface (the shield connection) of the USB A connector. If I do not do this, the Gen 5 sounds clearly worse than the AES (which I also run with shield disconnected at one end).
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  13. Golmang

    Golmang Almost "Made"

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    I'm using WYRD -> DU-U8 -> Modi Multibit. I still want an EITR as I'm curious how much of an improvement it could be.
    With WYRD, EITR, MIMBY I'd have a pretty cool Schiit stack but I guess the EITR is making the WYRD totally obsolete.
     
  14. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Friend

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    I am curious about this too. I hope you wouldn't mind expanding on this.

    I got the G5 installed in Gumby and so far tried Chromebook, iPhone 7, and RPi 2 with Redbook FLAC files. I am also sorting out adding Freya and Vidar to the mix so I am still waiting to pass judgement. Initial impressions are favorable but CDP/coax/Gumby seems to have more presence in the upper mids and I hear more ambient noise/cues in that region and above.
     
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  15. k4rstar

    k4rstar Friend

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    Hey, my initial idea was that because the Eitr involves an additional conversion step (i2s > S/PDIF); uses a different input on the Gungnir (S/PDIF input which also sees another stage of clock regeneration?); and has its own power supply (not shared at all with the DAC) that there would be some audible difference.

    I got to do a short A/B test here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...t-k4rstars-place-comparison-impressions.4997/

    Couldn't tell a difference from rapid switching but taking note of minuscule differences even in mini-meet conditions is a tall order. Regardless, if the difference wasn't immediately apparent I wouldn't worry about it for long-term use either.
     
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  16. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Friend

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    Second brief Eitr impressions: Roon>ethernet>Allo USBridge>Pyst USB>Eitr>Nordost Blue Haven coax>Holo Spring KTE 3>Neurochrome HP-1>MrSpeakers Ether C Flow doesn't suck. In fact, I can't hear much if any difference vs Roon>ethernet>microRendu+LPS-1>USB that came with SU-1>SU-1>I2S>... But I need to do a lot more listening this weekend. If the new, way cheaper setup measures up, lots of "fancy" gear to sell. I do know that according to @Torq I2S is the best Spring input, but my hearing is almost surely way less refined than his, so if I can't hear a worthy difference, I'd rather liquidate the "fancy" source to spend more on music or audible-to-me improvements.
     
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  17. TomHP

    TomHP Acquaintance

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    Eitr + Mojo. Definitely noticeably different in the HF. Take Five is a great example to show the difference. The cymbals in the beginning sound harsh and overly metalic through the Mojo USB, but with the Eitr and COAX suddenly a lot more refinement is heard between the individual strikes and much less harshness. Never would have expected the difference to be so noticeable... I understand now what people say when they say the Mojo USB stinks.
     
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  18. Freddy1201

    Freddy1201 Rando

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    Let me tell you a little story... once upon a time...

    I always found my speaker system ''grainy''. I read at the time about my speakers and found that some people found that the midrange was not smooth. Anyways, this ''grain'' always annoyed me. So, 1 year ago i upgraded my speakers to better (and bigger!) speakers. The speakers were smooth as silk in a store demo. After the initial burn-in, the grain was still there...and it was...cleaner. I. had. clean. grain.

    I was pyst! (get it?)

    I finally concluded that the problem was from my computer and usb (i remembered Mike Moffat telling usb was basically crap). Loaned a decent cd transport, played the same song on the computer and in the transport. The difference was amazing, the dynamics and overall soundstage size was similar, BUT, everything was smoooooooooth and in the end more musical. To quote my wife: with the computer the sound is dirty, and with the cd it isn't.

    Then i started the usb nervosa... i read about the decrapifiers and the endless chains possible. I concluded that this new usb obsession is madness and i wasnt gonna spend hundreds or a thousand. To cut it short, i ordered eitr when i heard about it. The concept is making sense.

    Just plugged the eitr on my speaker system (rotel rc-1590) and the grain is gone. The sound is more ''you are there'' and the kind of 'fizzle'' i had is gone. I cannot really say the sound is sweeter, but my system was a bit cold, and now it's closer to neutrality. The harmonics of acoustic instruments are much better. I have no other thing to compare, but i can say that it works very well and i am going to keep it.

    In conclusion, the eitr did it's job : having a sound similar to a cd player with my library :D
     
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  19. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Rando

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    Just hooked up my Eitr today and put a decent writeup about it on the Hoffman forums. I won't crosspost it here unless that's kosher, but suffice it to say - I am pretty gobsmacked by the change it has imparted into my digital chain. Basically I'm running Roon on a gaming/Office PC, using FLAC, Hi-Rez FLAC, and DSD, all downsampled to 96k thanks to a limitation in my Anthem I just learned about today, but nevertheless it sounds far and away more improved than I could have hoped. Like others have said, digital music now sounds like what converted me to vinyl two years ago - effortless, smooth, deep, controlled sound that never gets fatiguing. That's what I feel like I have now. I'm not giving up analog, not by any stretch, but it is frickin' fantastic to know I don't feel like I'm missing out if I choose to play something from my digital library because I don't have it on vinyl. Best $179 I could imagine spending. Well done, Schiit.
     
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  20. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Reading through this thread, the EITR seems to be a no brainer/must buy?? I'm using a Mimby currently.
     

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