Life after Yggdrasil: Watering the Ash

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Torq, Mar 1, 2017.

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  1. SPAZ

    SPAZ Rando

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    Thanks everyone. I was planning on trying a new cable and had the option with or without power. I will get the option with power.
     
  2. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    Ps audio direct stream just upgrade their firmware and a good friend that have the DSD Sr. Just chat me raving about the improvement... excluding the hype, it would be nice if someone from here could demo this new firmware
     
  3. winders

    winders Easily Manipulated

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    I have it in my DirectStream. It’s another incremental improvement that some people get a little too excited about. With this release, Ted Smith focused on changing how he utilized the FPGA and some hardware in the DirectStream SR to generate less hardware noise. He did a good job as there are sound quality improvements in soundstage, clarity, and resolution. The soundstage offers better isolation of voices and instruments along with more precise locations. This makes for a deeper soundstage with a more 3D sound it. I don’t hear as much sibilance yet highs are just as present. The bass is a bit tighter too.

    Windom is a nice improvement. I don’t think it is as earth shattering as some people make it out to be but the improvements are not insignificant.
     
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  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    With all those updates, the sound stage now reaches the neighbors and the sibilance is so low that treble completely disappeared.
     
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  5. winders

    winders Easily Manipulated

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    Mock the DAC, and I guess me, if you will. But Ted Smith does keep making genuine improvements with each release. As I have said, the improvements are subtle but noticeable. Playing some of the SHM SACD rips I have can leave tears in my eyes. They sound that good.
     
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  6. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

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    With so many successive improvements, one can wonder what was the starting level for this dac.
     
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  7. winders

    winders Easily Manipulated

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  8. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Someone grab the Costco pack of tissue, there is a lot of butthurt towards PSA going on
     
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  9. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Has anybody put the PSA Direct Stream through the measurement ringer at each successive software revision?
     
  10. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    Thanks @winders. I was just asking for sincerely impressions. But I think I have opened the “pandora box” |\/|
     
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  11. winders

    winders Easily Manipulated

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    I couldn’t care less about how the thing measures. I only care about how it sounds.
     
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  12. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I'm only being inquisitive.
     
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  13. Audionics

    Audionics Rando

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    As I am looking to buy a new under $3000 DAC I would be very much interested in a new watering of the ashes comparing Yggdrasil Unison with some of the current highly regarded DAC's.

    I am leaning towards an Yggdrasil.
    However it gets bashed lately in several threads(soundstage, lean mids, losing the LSB in THD+N etc.) which makes me doubt. As I have little time to go listen DACs and I live in an area with few listening
    possibilies I would appreciate any advise on which DACs to go listen.

    I would be interested in any advise or listening experiences.

    @Torq Is there any thread that you know of that compares Yggdrasil Unison to current offers?
     
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  14. totlsota

    totlsota Rando

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    In a fledgeling effort to emerge from shameful rando status...

    I have been looking for a similarly priced DAC. I have been considering primarily {Yggdrasil (recent unison or A2), Holo Spring KTE L3, SW1X DAC II, Lampizator Amber III}.

    I am no expert nor have I listened to many, many DACs. I have however been trying as of late.

    I have an amber3 on loan presently and it is much more enjoyable than my RME ADI II.

    Several people seem to have "gone-through" the Spring DACs (i.e. bought/ sold). Therefore, I passed on listening because I would have had to order/ return within 14d from Europe with shipping and risks/ costs therein. I do know a few happy owners of this DAC.

    I am leaning towards an SW1X DAC II. I know two other people who have them, and I have gone to hear their various DACs recently. I did get to hear on a beautiful 2-channel system I brought my current DAC and replaced it in that setup to A/B the 2-channel system w/ my DAC & SW1X DACs. I also brought my headphone amp, etc there to listen for at least a while. Needless to say, they are very pleasant to my ear at least. They are, however, a small vendor compared to others so if that is important to you it is worth considering.

    I was very close to just getting a Yggdrasil and being done with it. Given that I can only audition so many DACs myself, and based on the many readings, this is where I am. That said, if you have limited time to look, I have a hard time believing you would feel bad about a Yggdrasil.
     
  15. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    DAC options/tech haven't changed that much in the last few years to think that Yggdrasil would be automatically outshined by other options in its price range. Most DACs have been playing catch-up. Yggdrasil is a great DAC, full stop. Most measurements of DACs don’t mean shit TBH because they are either boiled down to a single number that means nothing, and/or are pointing out issues below the audibility threshold. Just because it can be measured to show an issue, if you can’t hear it, why does it matter? Get out of the weeds man.

    That said, it’s not for everyone. So the question is whether it will meet your specific sound preferences. You’re going to need to provide more info to narrow in on this:
    • What DAC do you use now and what are you trying to improve?
    • What DACs have you heard before and what did you like or not like? Have you heard other Schiit DACs?
    • What’s the rest of your chain?
    • Overall what are you trying to achieve with the new DAC?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yggdrasil A2 is finicky. It's something you build a system around rather than drop into anywhere. For most people, I would recommend Bifrost A2. In most systems, the Bifrost will sound clearer, cleaner, just as hefty, and with no evident loss of resolution. IMO, Bifrost 2 is already superior to the Denafrips Terminator.

    The criticisms of Yggdrasil mostly have to do with its organic lows, row five soundstage, and people using the SE outputs which are less than ideal. Most people, including many audiophiles with $100000 systems, don't have amps and transducers capable of Yggdrasil's ability to resolve low level information (plankton) or ability to convey depth localization on instruments in the soundstage. Few DACs I have heard meet or exceed the Yggdrasil in these specific traits, for instance only the Rockna Wavedream immediately comes mind.

    Knowing the above, most people should pick DACs according to tonal balance, timbre, dynamics, and transient response. And most importantly ensure that the DAC synergizes well with the rest of the components, amp, headphones, etc.

    As far as the recent bashing, the criticisms are legit, but they are exaggerated and originated from one person who has managed to single-handedly crap over the Yggdrasil thread, responsible for 20% of posts in the thread in a two week span, this for a thread started years ago. And with nothing new being said.

    The linearity tests of the Yggdrasil that you saw on ASR were borked. Amir did not do the test properly, i.e. he did not apply a bandpass filter for the 1kHz linearity test.

    Amir has since corrected his methodology after being called out by Jude. However he never went back to correct his mistakes, that is take down errant measurements or redo them. Amir has also since changed his single number bar graph metric from his self defined ENOB (to within 0.1db) to SINAD.

    In addition, there looked to be a ground loop, he also did not test BAL outs (which do sound significantly better), and also borked distortion measurements, which differed from that of three other different sources: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ments-deconstructing-asr-amirs-hack-job.6442/

    There are many reasons to get Yggdrasil or not get, but ASR results are definitely not one of them.

    P.S. In comparing, note that Yggdrasil will be an oversampling DAC, which will sound different from non-oversampling DACs, which have seemed to be all the rage in the past few years. Only with most people who have had them just cycle on through.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  17. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    One of the most disliked aspects of Yggdrasil (and other Schiit DACs) for some folks is its incisiveness. I can understand why, but I personally find it to be well balanced in that regard, taking you close to the edge, but not going over. The right transport however is needed IMO.
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    And them again, Yggdrasil is also criticised for being too mushy or lacking incisiveness.

    Goldilocks trying to find the right bed.
     
  19. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    These two comments go together IMHO. Yggdrasil's oversampling filter was designed to get the best out of CD resolution. I've cycled through two highly-regarded NOS DACs (Holo Spring KTE 3 and Metrum Onyx) but in the end it's the Yggdrasil that stayed. The NOS DACs are a lot of fun, but they smear CD resolution material. In contrast, Yggdrasil reveals the instrument lower-amplitude overtones and fast transient edges. For the genres I favor, especially modern jazz, with intense higher-frequency transients from cymbals and the higher notes on the piano, and a lot of overtones and breath effects from sax and trumpet, and which is often still recorded at 44.1 or 48 in small studios, the Yggdrasil gives a more realistic, dynamic, layered presentation relative to the many live gigs I attend. With higher sampling rates (88.2 or above), the difference between NOS and Yggdrasil fades away, unsurprisingly. But for the most "present" 44.1 or 48 experience with small-ensemble music, Yggdrasil is the best of the several DACs I've listened to extensively.

    The rest of the chain does matter, though. After several years of trying a lot of different things, I've ended with the following for headphones that I do not feel any itch to tweak much:

    Roon>Pi2AES+Pi4B streamer>AES>Yggdrasil A2>XLR>EC Aficionado (RCA 5V4GA, Ericsson 396A, Psvane ACME 2A3) > ZMF Verité silkwood

    Listening to the new Fantastic Mrs. 10 release from Tim Berne's Snakeoil, recorded at 44.1/24, I experience good depth/layering among Marc Ducret's electric guitar, Matt Mitchell's piano and synths, and Ches Smith's extensive percussion kit. I heard Tim Berne and Matt Mitchell last Monday at a small local venue, no amplification. This recorded rendering does not disappoint, as just now in a fast-paced duo between Berne and Mitchell.

    PS. On the incisive or not debate, I think it has a lot to do with both the rest of the chain and with listener musical tastes and expectations. For what I listen to, the Yggdrasil provides unbeaten presence and physicality for bass, sax, piano, trumpet, cymbals, vibes, together with a capable representation of electric guitar. The higher-frequency components of this mix can be very incisive, as they are in a live gig that is not over-amplified to deafening mush.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  20. Audionics

    Audionics Rando

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    However when I look at the measurements of Schit (addded in the specs page) of the Yggdrasil I also see that everything below 16 bits resolution gets lost in the THD+N. THD is only around -88/ -90dB FS That 16 bit depth.
    From the Schiit report: THD+N Ratio (10/8/2019 1:45:22.434 PM) Ch1 0.003656 % Ch2 0.003036 %

    Obviously the Yggdrasil was designed to resolve CD quality files and might not do well with high-res files. However I have no listening exerience nor do I have the possibility to compare this ever.

    For me the investment in a DAC is one I have to make for many years. For me it is like buying a car. I cannot afford to buy one every few years. It will have to last and be up to the challenge for the next years developments in audio.

    I currently play with an Allo Signature player or laptop, Bifrost , Schiit Saga+ as passive volume control and very well tuned and fantastic sounding Pye HF25 (GEC KT66 Melz1578 , Mullard ECC35 ) mono blocks and Rogers LS5/9 loudspeakers. So no balanced inputs. However i have many amps: none of them have balanced inputs at this moment. (I could create balanced imput though) For those who think only modern amps and loudspeakers can compete: I compared this setup to several other over $15,000+ systems and the consensus was that it was superior) exept for the DAC. Hence I am looking for a DAC.

    Maybe on that info more advice can be given?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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