Schiit Bifrost 2

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by RobS, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. MyPetSasquatch

    MyPetSasquatch Friend

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    Are you guys with this issue both running it with Windows PCs as the source? And it only happens when you open a music player and try to play a track? Is it a specific music player like Foobar or is it anything that outputs sound to the Bifrost 2?

    I haven't experienced this, but Unison is being fed by my Roon server.
     
  2. jnak00

    jnak00 Acquaintance

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    I've had a similar issue running Tidal in exclusive mode. No sound but if I hit the "back" button to go to the start of the track, the sound starts. I assumed it was a Tidal thing.
     
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  3. Inoculator

    Inoculator Acquaintance

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    Glad I am not crazy, I will try power cycling it. I have had on 24/7 since I got it. Maybe this is a small bug that can be handled with a future firmware update though?
     
  4. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    It happened on Windows 10, latest version. Using Qobuz wasabi direct mode. It only happened once, and was resolved in 3 seconds. Flip switch off, wait, flip switch on. Sorry I can't provide much more than that.
     
  5. Dsaam17

    Dsaam17 Rando

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    Hmm... interesting. I’ve been wanting to get the original Bifrost Multibit for a while but then Bifrost 2 came out. I can usually find a used Bifrost Multibit with gen 5 usb for half the price of Bifrost 2. Would you say Bifrost 2 is that much better.

    I really want a good usb connect even though coaxial will be my primary use. I’m leaning towards just buying a used Bifrost Multibit though as I think I also prefer the warmer/darker approach. Not sure if Bifrost 2 is worth twice the money.

    Would you say Unison is that much better than gen 5?
     
  6. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    yes better. this has been discussed for over a year here if you do some homework and search.
    cleaner presentation, more precise.
     
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  7. internethandle

    internethandle Rando

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    FWIW, have never experienced the silence/input cycling issue. This is with a Bifrost 2 with newest firmware, delivered 10/3/19. Source is a nervosa fest, though (Paul Pang TCXO modded mobo + V2 TCXO modded USB 3 PCIe card, Chi-fi linear PSU to the card, etc.).
     
  8. squishware

    squishware Almost "Made"

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    Bifrost 2 arrived at lunch today. Been on since. I cannot get "ASIO for generic USB device" driver to recognize it. Frustrating. I really do not like WASAPI or ASIO4ALL. Any ideas? It definitely kicks the bass vs. the Multibit card in the Asgard 3 more detail as well but if I cannot get my preferred driver to work its going back. All the others just sound weird and ASIO4ALL just stays in 32 bit no matter what.

    I should mention with the driver change AND changing to the analog inputs I am assuming its the Bifrost that is the source of enhanced bass and detail.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    @Hands has warmpoo setup, so he needs to offset that with his hard SPDIF source. :p
     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Don't worry about it. I opened a chest in WoW without rolling on it too.
     
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  11. jnak00

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    I think it's something to do with exclusive mode. If I have Tidal in exclusive mode, it will happen every time I start Tidal. Power cycling the Bifrost didn't fix it. If Tidal is not in exclusive mode, it works fine. It's an easy fix, just pause and play Tidal again, and once it's running it's fine until I close Tidal.
     
  12. internethandle

    internethandle Rando

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    Jason confirmed with me on Head-Fi a little bit back that "native" ASIO drivers aren't supported with Bifrost 2, which makes sense given that Unison relies on Windows 10's/Microsoft's UAC2 driver to function and not a third-party driver. It seems unlikely to me that Microsoft will prepare a separate ASIO driver to complement the native UAC2 functionality for neurotic audiophiles like ourselves. I'd encourage you to just give WASAPI or ASIO4ALL another shot, however -- I, too, preferred C-Media's native ASIO driver to WASAPI on my Bifrost (1) Multibit but have found the sonic improvements in the Bifrost 2 have made WASAPI w/ BF2 more enjoyable than ASIO on the Bifrost Multibit. Not giving too much into nervosa is also a net positive, IMO -- Jason was intimating to as much, said they just "plug and chug" at the Schiit offices with Unison/BF2.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
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  13. squishware

    squishware Almost "Made"

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    I emailed support and Grover replied to try ASIO2WASAPI. Makes guitars sound funny, like a slight phaser or flange effect that reads as sibilance to my fussy ears. I'll leave it on more and check again after work. "Try ASIO2WASAPI. That said, the basic wasapi push plug and play driver IS the unison driver... so there's really no reason not to use that unless you truly hate wasapi for some reason. All ASIO drivers are going to run the signal through a conversion from wasapi anyways." Grover from Schiit
     
  14. internethandle

    internethandle Rando

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    Give it a week or so of being on 24-7 and keep listening. Like all of Schiit's multibit DACs, the BF2 will benefit from time/warm up. If you still can't abide by the sound in some configuration by then, you can return it and just return to Asgard 3 w/ DAC card. (edit: re-reading I see that was already your plan partially -- but yeah, time might shape the sound back to your liking)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  15. squishware

    squishware Almost "Made"

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    In the name of less conversion I switched to straight WASAPI and engaged the -2dB HF trim on the monitors. Sounds pretty good. A week and my bias will be retrained. The instruments that comprise the soundstage are much more distinct from each other and it wraps around more (compared to the Multibit card). I think it is warming up as well as I am warming up to it. Sounds more HIFI by the minute.
     
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  16. squishware

    squishware Almost "Made"

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    Caught myself dancing around the apartment playing tug with the dog. Seasick Steve "Can you Cook" album at 16/44.1 FLAC streaming from Tidal. Just turned off the HF trim. The bass is going to get me in trouble the sub is well isolated but the monitors are feeding through the desk into the floor. Completely different experience than with the Multibit Card. The Bifrost can Juggle, when the card gets confused and drops the ball. The extension is a remarkable, clean, defined and stable image. Wow.
     
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  17. Golmang

    Golmang Friend

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    I've owned the Gungnir Multibit B for a good while and I honestly sold it in fear of loss of value because surely sooner or later something will happen about the high end Schiit DACs as it did with the Bifrost class. Speculation based on nervosa of course.

    Anyway: after a few weeks without the Gungnir I actually felt withdrawal. I never had this before, so precious was listening to the Gungnir for over a year. I thoroughly enjoyed it, its signature was so well memorized in my brain that I noticed stuff like macrodynamics, staging immediately, in DACs that I was allowed to borrow or owned as a backup, e.g. ADI-2 DAC, Bifrost Multibit.

    It was not all sunshine flowers with the Gungnir of course but it was simply the best DAC I ever owned and there are attributes in which it still excels over the Bifrost 2 but what I "disliked" about the Gungnir the Bifrost actually did right to the benefit of my whole setup.

    TL:DR: The Bifrost 2 to me is no real downgrade from the Gungnir MB I owned, it actually has a more saturated overall tonality and presentation that actually complements my system better. My setup went from overly excited to better balanced with the missing piece of warmth, euphony. Tonal synergy vs. last word in technical prowess.

    Since I didn't own the Gungnir anymore the comparison is out of memory so I apologize for not giving you proper and direct comparison but I am confident enough to say I have a good memory of the Gungnir.

    Lynx AES/Allo DigiOne -> Bifrost 2 -> V281 HD 800SD, JAR 650, HE-500, JBL L7 speakers on a Denon AVR :

    overall presentation:

    Gungnir is brighter in presentation while the Bifrost 2 is rather warm, glowing. Not warm as in slow or gooey or clouds of fart, more warm as in romantic, smoother, not smearing textures or transients. Simply more relaxed about everything, less "hail of shards" transients like the Gungnir, meaning transients appear or blend in smoother, less energetic/excited. Yet the BF2 can hit hard, be lively as well, just a step below the Gungnir. Both DACs stay very loyal to their core character.

    The Gungnir <-> BF2 experience taught me most about how tiniest differences of DACs can lead to overall important synergy changes and it helps that both DACs are thoroughly cohorent in their design or tonal character.

    Gungnir is not bright as in having Mt.Beyer or anything similar, but bright as in turning up Gamma in special areas a bit to see people in corners better which to my shame I did back when I was younger and played MP shooters. Gungnir actually feels like that in comparison. Makes slightest details a bit easier to pick up but to the slight detriment of the overall picture as in less colorful, saturated. I am not saying the Gungnir's background is grey or anything. Not at all.

    Transients are sharper with the Gungnir, they feel slightly enhanced however, everything feels a bit more aggressive, in your face, is overall more slamming and popping. The Gungnir feels like flexing muscles all the time and pushing hard for it. It's restless but not uncontrolled and more hyperactive than the BF2 and yet it can back it up all the time so don't confuse this with the classic Sabre attention whore sound that falls flat in slam, treble definition, naturalness. The Gungnir never loses control but is a bit too strict about it.

    Bifrost 2 is overall slightly softer in comparison as already mentioned above. It gives you a bit less of the Gungnir's sensation but is no slouch either. The difference is noticable however.

    Staging and imaging:

    This is a strength where I find Gungnir superior but it's hard for me to describe. Let's say the "3D space" is less restricted in its boundaries and everything that travels through it or (dis)appears, explodes out of it, vanishes back has more nuances and is slightly sharper, finer drawn. Gungnirs sense of space really is something to behold and so far I could only dream about how the Yggdrasil might possibly improve upon that.

    It's not a night and day difference, the BF2 does this very very well like all high end Schiit DACs do, just less than the Gungnir. It's the first Bifrost to able to reach those heights and thats impressive.

    Bass: Both have the same extension imo, Gungnir gives more slam, its overall character is also more supportive of feeling the slam because everything is a bit more vivid. Both DACs deliver bass according to their overall tone and character. Can't tell you how much I missed the slam and also the macrodynamics part.

    Mids: Both DACs have a natural tone and saturation about them. Gungnir feels more technical in its presentation, it's more stoic vs. the romanticism of the BF2.
    I wish I could word it better. Mids on both have neither haze or any hints of metal about them, I can't say which is more natural as the differences are very slim. Again, they strictly follow their core character throughout the whole spectrum which speaks volume about the cohoerence of their design. Nothing is disjointed or detached. Well done.

    Treble is softer on the BF2 yet highly refined. No grain, coarseness, no sandpaper or teeth on hoody strings. Very beautiful tone about it, more relaxed and enjoyable. Gungnir's treble is slightly brighter, more strict, wants to show you as much details as possible.

    Verdict: If I could one thing of the Gungnir's traits to the BF2 it would mostly be how Gungnir handles imaging/space but that would also mean adopting the protruding character of its transients. Might be a neverending wish list so I'll just stop there.

    The choice for the BF2 can very well be a matter of synergy and matching gear above pure technical prowess. In my case it turned out to be that way. I can't imagine how the Yggdrasil improves upon that and I'd like to find out one day. For now, around 829€ in Europe gets you one hell of a DAC that is actually not inferior to latest the Gungnir Multibit
     
  18. MyPetSasquatch

    MyPetSasquatch Friend

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    When I first got the Bifrost 2 I found I had to use the button on the remote to invert the phase as it sounded really off and was making my ears feel as if I just got off a plane. Switching absolute phase fixed whatever weirdness I was hearing and I've been enjoying it immensely since.

    Well, today I got an Ayre K-5xeMP preamplifier that I picked up used to replace a Simaudio P-7 pre I sold recently. It sounded off as soon as I had it plugged in, and I had done nothing to my setup except swap out preamps. I've owned more than one of these preamps in the recent past (don't ask) so I have a pretty good idea of what they sound like. I flipped the phase again (back) on the Bifrost 2 and all is good. Is it common for equipment to have different absolute phase? That seems bizarre unless I'm missing something.
     
  19. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Edit: There was a discussion of this in, IIRC, the MCTH thread. The reason is that in many designs it enables shorter signal paths.

    Edit 2: Yeah, here it is - start at this post and scroll up & down for the discussion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  20. will_f

    will_f Almost "Made"

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    Hello folks- brand new member who received a Bifrost 2 last Wednesday. It’s basically been on since then. Below are my impressions after a few days with it. The rest of the music chain is as follows:

    Source: iPhone 8 with Tidal, Spotify, or high bitrate tracks through Onkyo’s HD app.
    DAC: Bifrost 2 replacing a Topping D50
    Amp: Lyr 3 with a Psvane CV181-T Mk II tube
    Headphone: Focal Clear

    For those that don’t want to read the details: The Bifrost 2 is an easily discernible step up from the D50, which I thought was a small improvement from my Modi 2U.

    The Details:
    HD Albums (96/24 or higher- All highly recommended for general listening)
    Tool- Fear Inoculum
    Patricia Barber- A distortion of Love
    The Allman Brothers- Live at Ludlow Garage
    Mark Whitfield- Live and Uncut

    Tidal Tracks (Generally CD quality):
    Gabin- The Supreme Collection
    Dido- Still on my mind
    Spafford- Lots of tracks

    Spotify (320K)
    Whatever Spotify thought I should listen to

    I started out listening to high bit rate recordings first and then as I got bored moved to Tidal, then Spotify. As I worked my way down in bitrate, the difference between the BF2 and the D50 diminished, though the BF2 did manage to maintain a more punchy, dynamic character with the D50 sounding more laid back and softer. At higher bitrates the imaging was improved with a better sense of the recording space and better sound source location. Apparent detail and resolution also improved more than with the D50, which actually didn’t sound that different with changes in bitrate.

    Overall the most obvious difference is a noticeably more euphonic sound signature. Specifically, a more textured and engaging bass and a somewhat tubelike sound (a little more alive sounding with perhaps better capture of echoes and reverberations and slightly smoothed treble). Beyond that, it has what I think of as the Schitt characteristic sound- muscular and energetic. With the Modi 2U and Magni 3 that would sometimes make for a little harshness and metallic character to the treble, which is really the reason I switched to the D50 and Lyr 3. The BF2 manages to add the energy that was missing from the D50 but avoids the occasional metallic glare of the Modi 2U.

    The biggest downside for me is now that I can hear differences in bitrate, I’m less interested in listening to Spotify which despite sounding inferior to Tidal and HD recordings, is just really good at finding new music that I like. I can see myself eventually running out of room on my iPhone 8 for HD tracks.

    Forgot to add: I’m 54 and can’t hear much past 15 kHz so weigh my opinions accordingly
     

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