Life after Yggdrasil: Watering the Ash

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

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  1. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    since THD+N appears to be very important to you, and you cannot afford to buy another DAC every few years, perhaps some more reading would be helpful to you:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...thd-and-thd-n-specifications-and-graphs.5074/

    https://superbestaudiofriends.org/i...-of-6-amps-thd-n-and-thd-specifications.6194/

    https://superbestaudiofriends.org/i...lies-and-usb-dac-technical-measurements.5770/

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...rasil-v2-upgrade-technical-measurements.5820/
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    You win. I would then advise you to purchase a DAC on the leftmost bars of the latest ASR SINAD bar graph. Just two things I will mention before you do:

    1. Honestly, I would be worried a lot more about the THD+N of your power amp (especially so for your Pye HF2 tube amp), the THD of your speakers, and the N of your listening room. If you live by measurements, then you should die by them - there should be no selective application.

    2. Since you do not have the opportunity to listen, you shouldn't be considering Yggdrasil if a 20-30% loss to sell is too much. Playing the audiophile game isn't for the meek. Buying HiFi gear isn't an investment. It's more like dollar or euro loss averaging to zero. Putting money into stocks or your own business is an investment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  3. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Was going to start as a reply to audionics, but figure I'll just talk in general in case other people are wondering:

    These and other criticisms against Yggdrasil are totally true in about 8 months of owning Yggdrasil A2 with USB5... but IMO this is a preference issue. 60% of the time I don't want row 4/5 soundstage, my transducers (and many that are much more $$$$$ than mine) don't take full advantage of it's strengths, etc... but 40% of the time I want to listen more critically and enjoy the strengths of the Yggdrasil as much as my gear allows or sometimes the row 4/5 stage, etc. Hence why I'm not selling it.

    With that being said my purchases for this year were going to be Sonnet Morpheus and EC Af and preferred chains were going to be: Morpheus --> Stellaris and Yggdrasil --> EC Af instead of the Yggdrasil --> Stellaris I currently run. Yes, multiple inputs/outputs mean I can keep running what I have now, but just not what I generally prefer.
     
  4. Audionics

    Audionics Rando

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    Yes I understand what you are saying. It is not an investment and I do not see it as such. But even if I won't replace it every year I will replace it if I am not happy. And I would like to minimize that chance.

    My friend owns a Gungnir and I listened to that extensively:
    I like the nature of this DAC and the not aggressive but detailed highs. However at some music I notice it to be a little too relaxed which veils if ever so small the recording's room acoustics and depth of instrument placement. It sounds quite organic/ natural though. I would like a DAC that is a step up from the Gungnir.

    I do believe in a straight conversion without DSP soundshaping disguised as needed filtering. I do understand that any filtering method shapes the sound(transient response) in some way. I view too much of that and digital equilizer functionality in the same light as tone control. I don't need it in any equipment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  5. Audionics

    Audionics Rando

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    Yes I think I understand what you try to say. With my amlifiers and speakers having waaay more THD than a DAC that is not a selection criterium. My amps due to being tube amps have a very slight hum and have little noise if you listen at the speakers. And yes my room is not 100% quiet as well.

    The overall transient response is more important as it determines how the DAC sounds. And the noise floor and behaviour with very small signals also saying something about the Yggdrasil measurements. The -120dB input spectrum on the Shiit test file shows it is perfectly capable of reproducing that. And even this is doubtful whether I am able to hear that.

    I think like most things in audio it comes down to personal taste and harmony with the other components in the setup.

    Any suggestions which DACs in the price range would be useful to listen too?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  6. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Do you enjoy specs more than listening to music? On a tech level the specs on a graph/tech sheet will not tell you if you will enjoy the sound or not.


    Downvote because well there's Google. We can't give you all the answers without you doing the legwork first. Try to research. :)
     
  7. Audionics

    Audionics Rando

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    I you had read my reply before commenting you would have seen that I agree.
     
  8. Audionics

    Audionics Rando

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    Most reviews and even forum comments are commercially driven or might be preventing buyers remourse. From serching and reading on internet you et only so much wiser.

    The only place I expect to get honest advice is on this forum. At least here are people that listened know equipment and give lesser biased info than other places.
     
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  9. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    @Audionics, Purr1n gives his DAC reccos, and reasons why, quite frequently if you search around in the DAC threads. You may want to do some searching. Here’s a recent example:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...-venus-r2r-dac-review.4792/page-2#post-289915

    I moved up from the Gungnir Multibit A1 and A2 to the Yggdrasil and would not go back. It’s clarity and transients are excellent, even though some feel the bass is too “organic” I find it very natural and a good balance of euphony vs. dryness/squareness. YMMV.
     
  10. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Since you seem to be in the Netherlands, local DAC manufacturers Metrum and Sonnet should be easier to check out. I had a Metrum Onyx in my main headphone system for a while, but when I switched my speaker setup to all-Linn, I was left with an Yggdrasil A2 that I prefer with my favored tube amp (see my comments earlier). Still in Europe, Soekris dac1541 is great value (I own one for my work headphone system), although it does not meet your THD hopes (most resistor ladder DACs do not). What I like with the dac1541 is a very smooth, neutral presentation and several filter options that make it a solid match for a variety of headphones and amps. If falls a bit short of the Yggdrasil or the Onyx on dynamics, but it is great for the minimalist music I prefer for work.
     
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  11. Michael87

    Michael87 Rando

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    Hello dear SBAF community.
    I have decided to ask you about my next purchase, becouse you are somewhat of Schiit specialists.

    [I am speaking here only about speakers experience, no headphones involved]:

    I owned Gungnir MB (A2) for about 1.5 years and finally sold it, becouse of it's first row in your face music presentation. Voices for example are projected just before your face. It makes me somehow uncomfortable. And the stage is not going much behind speakers, which I would like to have.
    Everything else about Gungnir is fine for me - tonation, timbre, no digital, but analogue sound etc.

    Now I red in this topic Yggdrasil is having 4-5th sitting row presentation. I am interpreting that, that stage will start not just before my nose, but few meters away and that is exactly what I am after.

    Also another person said/wrote, that Yggdrasil is having deep stage going behind speakers. That is also something I am after.

    Can you confirm both of these statements?
    Thank you in advance for any answers helping me to decide what is right for me.
     
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  12. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Please read this and do an intro post before continuing.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    If the soundstage is too close for you, and this can't be tweaked by speaker placement or use of different amps or preamps, then avoid the Schiit DACs (and also many others like X-Sabre and likely all NOS DACs). I use a Freya S with Nexus on x4 gain to push the soundstage back a little bit. (Nexus is a great gain stage).

    Crane Song Solaris (pro BAL outputs only) has a nice deeply placed soundstage with precise localization, but it is more clinical sounding and brightly tilted. Sonic Frontiers SFD-1 or 2 with tube output (still supported by pcx) has fantastical deep soundstage placed not only behind the speakers, but behind the walls! Downside to the Sonic Frontiers is diffuse presentation and solidity of images and less than modern resolution. For something modern similar in R2R goodness (clearer, possibly more resolving, just as slamming, but more mellow) would be Rockna Wavedream. A-GD Reference 7, Masturbator 7, something 7, etc. is more romantic, organic, a touch of syrup, and also has deeply placed soundstage, but instruments have no depth and are placed on the same plane (just as potentially annoying IMO, but in another way), and requires outboard conversion to use its i2s inputs (all other inputs suck on it).

    Question: are you using the SE outputs of the Gungnir A2?
     
  14. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I used to have my Yggdrasil A2 on a speaker system that gave quite a nice stage depth and distance. Still remember how spacious well-recorded orchestral works felt there, for instance the SACD remasters of Fritz Reiner/CSO 1950s Living Stereo recordings. The space was around 6m wide x 7m deep x 5m high, with complicated openings and insets. Hegel H360 amp, KEF Reference 1 speakers on stands 3m from the back wall, 3m from the ideal listening position, rugs and soft furniture, REL T7i subs against the back wall. I moved since and the DAC is now doing headphone service because the new space needed a very different speaker arrangement and aggressive room correction (Linn Klimax).
     
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  15. Michael87

    Michael87 Rando

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    No problem, I did now.
    Speakers and amp need to stay, I know them well and like them. Problem is DAC and that needs to be tweaked.
    I will avoid then Schiit DACs if you recommend so.
    I use mainly XLR, but sometimes with tube amp I need that SE, so can't go with Crane Song Solaris.
    About A-GD and everything placed on same plane (just speaker line, no more, no less) I have now that with my RME ADI-2 DAC FS and it's boring - I fell asleep listening to it, but atleast it's not annoying!
    I'm going to read a little about rockna wavedream, but I had Black Dragon DAC which also was placing vocals right on face (it's technically Audiobyte, but the invoice came from Rockna, so I think it's the same guys).
    I was using Gungnir with XLR output.
    I would like to stick with modern equipment if that's possible.
    Thank you for your time and have a great day.
    PS. Any thoughts about Soekris?
     
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  16. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Yggdrasil in my speaker setup pushed the stage back behind my speakers compared to the Gungnir Multibit (A1 or A2). I wouldn’t say way back, but definitely further back than other DACs I compared it to at the time. It opened everything up as well and gained space/size in all directions. Width only gained a small amount, but height and depth was noticeably improved. That said, I think it’s somewhat speaker dependant as well - although it was improved, I didn’t notice as much of a difference on my ATC speakers, but they don’t stage particularly well anyhow. However on my Graham LS6 (which stage better than any bookshelf speaker I’ve owned) the stage change was an immediate and significant improvement. However again on my Buchardt S400 speakers, these are pretty forward staging speakers, so you don’t experience it as much as on the Grahams.

    The stage size/placement is actually one of the main reasons I stuck with the Yggdrasil over the Gungnir Multibit - soundstage and depth is a major factor in my gear selections, and Yggdrasil is very good (although I’ve not heard any of the DACs Purr1n mentioned as being large/deep in stage.) The only thing is, expect to lose a bit of body and tonal density through the mids compared to Gungnir Multibit A2, and also to add a bit of brightness up top from the Yggdrasil - but without direct comparison you may not notice.

    So although I wouldn’t call it a night and day difference, it’s definitely a better, deeper stage, and you are sitting further back than Gungnir Multibit A2. I would say row 2 vs. row 5-6 is probably accurate (Metrum Onyx for me was row 1), but again, I believe it is somewhat speaker and amp dependant. Not to mention room/placement dependant (get your speakers out and into to room and away from the walls behind them to improve depth).

    Also what are you using for a transport? PC/MAC USB direct input can be fairly flat in stage as well. A better transport can add depth.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  17. exocer

    exocer Rando

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    Thoughts on Soekris can be found earlier on in this thread...

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...sil-watering-the-ash.4036/page-33#post-154624
     
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  18. jp11801

    jp11801 Rando

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    Hi has anyone compared the A2 model to the GS. The price of the GS I just too low to pass up and I am wondering how close they are given the rom upgrade.
     
  19. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Sorry for your wallet but A2 is a significant upgrade.
     
  20. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Yeah, A2 from A1 is pretty huge. I thought the performance jump to A2 was about 10x more noticeable than when I upgraded USB Gen 5 to Unison.
     
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