Schiit Bifrost 2

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

  1. GoldfishX

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    This is probably one of those unseen but understood pieces of advice by a lot of veterans here, but one I've found myself agreeing with more and more as I've switched from a Bifrost MB1 to an OG Yggdrasil as my main DAC. It's just worded exceptionally well here. For both this reason and the fact that the new Bifrost design has the phase inverter feature (this sees a LOT of use on the Yggdrasil!), I would probably lean towards the BF2 64 for a secondary/office setup (I tend to lean towards V-shaped/dark amp and headphone preferences, with ease in the upper mids) and probably relegate the BF1 MB to driving game consoles.
     
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  2. schneller

    schneller Rando

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    At another forum, they are chatting about substantial differences between the BF2 OG and the BF2/64. The former was warm and organic and the later plays taller, deeper, wider, but maybe more harsh and digital. What does SBAF have to say? Agree with these sentiments? Is the BF2/64 now Schiit's "brightest" and least organic DAC? Almost a polar opposite to Yggdrasil LIM?
     
  3. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    Maybe we need a loaner tour for the upgrade card. It would be interesting to be able to compare them. Get everyone to agree on a core set of tracks to use for comparison and share notes.
     
  4. Mdkaler

    Mdkaler Friend

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    Yes it sounds taller and deeper, but not sure about wider.

    Maybe it's less lush, warm and thick than BF2, but still dark tilted with good bass impact and texture.

    BF2/64 isn't bright or neutral at all compared to Gungnir A2; pretty much the opposite in terms of FR and the head stage.
     
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  5. schneller

    schneller Rando

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    So which of the Schiit DACs is most bright or sparkly on the top end without being harsh?
     
  6. schneller

    schneller Rando

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    So to your ears, Gungnir A2 is brighter, more neutral then BF2/64?
     
  7. internethandle

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    The conventional wisdom seems to be that the AD chips (which are all slightly different from each other in model but similar enough sonically) used in the original BF2/Yggdrasil A2/Gungnir A2 have a high end “sparkle” that, at least in LIM, was not there. I think when you pair the TI chips (same model as LIM) in BF2/64 with BF2’s unique power supply and OPA1656’s, you could tilt the tonal signature toward something more “bright” in some chains and to some ears than either LIM or the OG BF2, sure, although I also think there can be a lot of potential for confusion of terms when people describe things as “bright”/“neutral”/“sparkle” etc. So yeah, getting more ears from SBAF’ers on BF2/64 would definitely help to triangulate its sound with impressions that use the kind of lexicon of subjective sound common here.
     
  8. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Just got my BF2/64 boards. Luckily I noticed there was some solder bukkake overspray on the edge connectors that was shorting 3 pins.

    20220912_111920.jpg

    Not sure if it would have affected functionality, but thought it was better to remove it using some solder wick.

    20220912_113009.jpg


    On initial power up, it sounded slightly brighter, a bit of hash in the treble, a bit of mid suck(?) making vocals sound hollow, bass a bit tighter and possibly more extended(?). A couple of hours later there was less hash and vocals sounded less hollow, still more sibilant than OG. Will continue to check periodically.
     
  9. Grattle

    Grattle Friend

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    Pretty poor QC for a $300 board upgrade. Two stamps that appear to be inspections as well. Glad you didn't fry your BF!
     
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  10. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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  11. nishan99

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    First impressions of the Bifrost 64 after 4 days of warming up:

    I don't have experience with other similarly priced DACs, my other DACs are the SMSL SU-9 ($430 ESS 9038pro) and the built in DAC of the IFI micro BL.
    I find the Ifi to be dead neutral with the standard filter and the SU9 to be a bit dark with some thinness in the mids.

    Chain: Windows laptop streaming lossless from Deezer > USB Bifrost se > Freya S 4× se > Kinki studio M7 > Triangle Cellos speakers.

    The immediate difference to the SU9 is the bigger soundstage depth, width and height with better tangible images. Also the second most obvious improvement is the decay is better captured, full decay.

    The third most obvious change which unfortunately is not a welcome change is the softer treble attacks, it's not a natural attack it's a hifi rendition of the real smack of a real life instruments.

    Tonality wise I find the Bifrost 64 to be warm v shaped, more bassy than bright. It's the most colored DAC I have.

    I also find the Bifrost to have slightly more texture and also clarity even tho it got more grey background than the SU9 o_O.

    Another significant improvement that was not so apparent at first is the better flow and microdynamics, really amazing shit here :D

    The only disappointment aside from the soft treble attacks is I was expecting denser and richer tones, it got that but it's not significant over the SU9, maybe 5% denser and that's it.

    Overall I like this DAC but not as much as I expected.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  12. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I've been trying to squeeze as much listening time in as is possible with a 4+ mo in the house, and I think I've finally solidified my impressions about the BF2/64 upgrade. Unfortunately, it's not all good. The strange vocal tonality went away, but I was disappointed that the sibilance persisted, mainly vocals on modern pop recordings. I like all the other improvements (tighter bass, more clarity and cohesiveness overall), but the sibilance was really bothering me. I swapped in copper cables for the DIY elcheapo pure silver that has been my recent regular, and this helps a bit but doesn't get rid of it altogether. NOS mode rolled off the treble when I tried it on the OG board but didn't help with the sibilance. I ended up EQing roughly -3dB cuts from 6-8kHz, depending on the phone. I can still hear it but it's tolerable now.

    It's not as bad with SW51. Focals from ECP 3F are the worst offenders. I swapped to the nickel transformers but didn't hear any reduction in sibilance.

    I can't unhear the other improvements so I don't really want to go back to the OG board, so maybe over time my ears will get used to it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  13. EagleWings

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    Sounds like you need some Abbas in your life.
     
  14. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    It's strange, I never had any problems with the BF2 OG in this regard. Some have said that 2/64 treble was smoother. Oh well ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  15. crenca

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    @gixxerwimp , with used gungnir multi-bit prices coming down that might be a realistic upgrade, as I think it would offer everything you like about this bifrost upgrade but not the exaggerated siblance. Of course a Wavedream is the ultimate solution ;)
     
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  16. nishan99

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    idk about the 2 OG but the 64 got a very smooth treble to a fault using USB, it's ~1.5dB elevated but it's refined and smooth unlike my other cheaper DACs. Try Unison maybe it would fix that sibilance you hear.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Yeah, like what others have said, it's kinda U-shaped. Better quality more textured lows, but the highs can have harshness depending upon system. I wish the 64 were tonally more like the LIM, but it ain't. I couldn't get the 64 to play with my BLHs, whether with the ECSB or my custom 445 as the amp, or with the 166Ns or 168Ez drivers. Folkvangr as a headamp for the 64 worked fantastically though for many headphones.
     
  18. schneller

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    @purr1n

    I think my logic is as follows: my NAIM Supernait 3 + Dynaudio Contour 20 combo is very very neutral with a very strong mid-range. Getting a more neutral, warmer DAC would not be the direction I would take the overall setup. I would want to add a little rumble down below and little more sparkle up high. It sounds like the BF2/64 might just do that. And since my chain is single-ended (amp has RCA and DIN inputs) then I just think a Yggdrasil LIM would be a bit wasted on me. A true Gungnir 2 could be of interest, however.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
  19. yotacowboy

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    You're in DC so, (though I'm not volunteering anyone!) but there's a handful of us in the DC/MD/VA region are that could possibly open up some of this gear to audition. I've got BF2, Yggdrasil LIM (installed), and A2 boards that could be made available if you're not just window shopping.
     
  20. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I use a DEQ2496 for EQ so can't do USB, but I tried Unison direct out of of my phone for science. The bottom registers sound warmer than S/PDIF, but the upper mids and treble are pretty similar and the sibilance is still there.
     
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