Schiit Fulla 2 Released

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by neogeosnk, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. wonderbrah

    wonderbrah Rando

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    I thought if I set it to an incorrect sample rate/bit depth compared to the audio source, Windows will up/downsample appropriately and Windows does not have the best up/downsampling technique.
     
  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    It's lossless CD quality so I would say 16bit and 44.1k. I don't know what voodoo the computer does sometimes to convert 16 to 24. Plus Schiit says it's best to transmit the original bitrate to their DACs.
     
  3. a44100Hz

    a44100Hz Friend

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    From the product page:

    Sample Rates and Bit Depths: 16/44.1 to 24/96 supported without drivers on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (UAC 1 device)

    So you can set it to 24/96 and worry no more! Or follow what Cs said above. Confused yet? :p
     
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  4. wonderbrah

    wonderbrah Rando

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    Yes, but I don't hear a discernible difference between setting 24/96 and 16/44.1 so I guess I'll leave it at the latter to take advantage of those Tidal Master recordings whenever they come up in my playlists. Is there a software/application that will tell me what sample rate/bit depth my music is playing? Well I guess that's pointless for Tidal. From what I remember regular recordings in the Hifi subcription tier are CD quality (16/44.1) and Master recording 24/96.
     
  5. gepardcv

    gepardcv Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Going from a bit depth of 16 to 24 should do no harm, as the extra bits should just be set to 0. I think. Upsampling from 44.1 to 96 doesn't seem right, as it's no longer just a matter of padding bits or doubling the value. TBF, I never heard much difference in my brief experiments with this stuff. In any case, I typically listen to Tidal through Audirvana+, which switches output settings automatically. Perhaps there's a Windows Tidal client with the same feature (a foobar2k plugin?).
     
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  6. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    I don't think that's a dumb question. Here's my take:

    If your audio player, ie whatever you are using for Tidal, has the option to output in WASAPI mode, choose that and then it will bypass the Windows 10 mixer and you don't have to worry about those settings.

    If the player doesn't give you a WASAPI option, it is using the Windows 10 mixer, and then you want to set those Sound settings to match the source music sample rate. Bit depth can be increased without harm, and in fact helps by giving some room for software volume adjustment. So, if you are playing a CD Redbook source file, you want your settings to be 16/44.1(or 24 or 32 for bit depth). It is not recommended to use a different sample rate, as that will cause a more invasive upconvert. For master quality I would think you would want to set it to 24/96.
     
  7. wonderbrah

    wonderbrah Rando

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    You know, that that I think of it, I think Tidal does have a sort of Wasapi-like plug-in. It has an exclusive mode in the settings which will only allow sound through Tidal, no other applications while open. https://inspiringheadphones.com/are-you-getting-the-best-out-of-tidal-hifi

    That article says it uses Wasapi. So maybe I've been listening ideally all along.
     
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  8. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    Righto, that's the ticket.
     
  9. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    Schiit Fulla 2 & the Sennheiser HD650 - Quick Impressions & Comparisons
    [​IMG]
    I’ve been needing a proper reference point at this level as I went pretty much from an O2 right up to a Mjolnir 2. I also wanted to be able to recommend something that goes well with the HD650 that would be a high value one stop shop solution for people, and that I've actually listened to myself.

    Portable Chain
    MacBook AIR -> Tidal -> Audio Hijack & TDRNova -> Fulla 2/DFRED/GO450 > HD650 & TH900 w/pad mod and EQ

    Desktop Chain
    MacBook AIR -> Tidal -> Audio Hijack & TDRNova -> Eitr -> Modi Multibit -> Mjolnir 2 w/Siemens Halske CCa Late 50s Vacuum Tubes, DC Blocker, RFI/EMI Filter -> HD650 & TH900 w/pad mod and EQ

    Terminology
    Micro-detail - Plankton, low level information
    Macro-detail - Overall detail, resolution
    Micro-dynamics - Small gradations of volume, like reverberations
    Compression - Total range of volume, or lack thereof
    Slam/Impact - How hard bass hits, how much air pressure you feel on your ear drum
    Clarity - Lack of veil, purity
    Speed - Separation, clearly defined individual sounds, how well you can hear each individual string in the strum of a guitar
    Texture - The detail within individual sounds
    Tactility - Solidity of presentation, tangible feel
    Ethereal - Ghostly nature of presentation, low density
    Air - High frequency ambience/presence
    Closed-in - Lack of air, high range treble cut-off

    First Impressions
    Clean, sterile, coarse, precise, forward, pretty fast and powerful for such a small usb powered device, and possesing some texture. A bit bright. Does a surprisingly decent job with the HD650. Using an external battery with it’s secondary power input didn’t seem to have any impact on sound quality.

    Vs. Geek Out 450
    The Fulla 2 is at a minimum a step and a half up over the GO450 in clarity, micro-dynamics, speed, and impact. It’s presentation being more precise, tactile, with more forward vocals. Fulla 2 volume control is only set to about half the GO450's to reach the same volume. GO450 presents more softly and ethereal. Fulla 2 drives the HD650 with much more control. Demonstrating better separation, resolution, and even a little texture.

    Vs. Dragonfly RED
    The RED is better in character and presentation. It’s not unlike the Modi Multibit. It’s character engaging, smoother, realistic, with better bass reproduction. Having a warmer, and darker tone. On the down side it’s a bit soft and rolled off, and the bass isn’t nearly as tight. The amp section is letting it down, especially with the HD650. Moving over to the Fulla 2 and it wipes the floor with the RED in technical performance. Much better well defined micro-dynamics, with texture, and tighter more impactful bass. It’s presentation much cleaner, and more neutral and clinical.

    Vs. Desktop System (Eitr -> Modi Multibit -> Mjolnir 2 w/Siemens Halske CCa Late 50s Vacuum Tubes, DC Blocker, RFI/EMI Filter)
    With the HD650 the Fulla 2 is fairly compressed, sterile, and lacking in engagement. What the desktop system has that Fulla 2 lacks is it’s incredibly involving presentation, especially the vocals. Wonderful dynamism, tremendous impact, bringing out all the nuance with it's ability in micro-dynamics and micro-detail. Having much better texture, and additional speed. Bringing out the TH900 the Fulla 2 in comparison is abrasive in character, the audio equivalent of pixelated. Which gives the impression of much reduced resolution, probably in combination with an actual reduction in resolution. Maybe this is what others mean by grainy? If that's so then this grain is a little sharp (EDIT: This isn't as apparent with the Focal Utopia).

    It's important to note that the higher up you go the more the improvements are in the nuances.

    From Memory
    O2: O2 had great impact for a portable, with a dead silent background. Otherwise it was a POS with awful micro-dynamics, and the ability to massively degrade any dac's resolution.
    iPhone 6S: Warm, dark. Muddy and low resolution.
    Neco Soundlab V5: This battery powered current feedback amplifier was FAST. Had a surprisingly engaging presentation, though was overly smoothed. Being a dedicated high voltage portable amp I'm surprised it didn't do a better job with the HD650 than the Fulla 2 seems to. It's a shame I didn't have one on hand to compare.

    [​IMG]
    Conclusion
    The Fulla 2 is a great affordable pairing with the HD650, and based on the comparisons above I expect the Vali 2/Modi Multibit/Eitr stack to be a worthwhile yet comparatively expensive upgrade with that headphone. My impression is that the potential in using higher end gear with the HD650 is rather limited in most areas barring micro-dynamics, which just seems to scale and scale and scale. On the TOTL side of things the Fulla 2 though having good driving ability, for something so small and running from a USB port, cannot fulfill the potential of those headphones. Lacking in engagement, dynamics, resolution, and being too clinical with a somewhat raw and coarse presentation. Of course this is an unfair description as you can only cram in so much performance into something with this form-factor, price, and it's power constraints. In my limited experience I would say that it is likely one of best options available at any price, and almost certainly at $99. Though I've yet to hear a Geek Out 2A.

    I hope they can find a way to fit multibit into something like this eventually, then it'd probably be as close to perfect as we could ever hope for in this category. Lastly, volume knob FTW.


    Follow Ups

    [​IMG]
    The Morning After

    The next morning I decided to listen to a little music, as you do, and just wanted something quick and simple. So I grabbed a CCK and external usb battery and hooked up the Fulla 2 and HD650 to my iPhone. Nice and simple, no fuss no muss. Man, this sounds really good. I'd used descriptors like clinical, sterile, and clean above. But I must say I think that it's incredibly beneficial in dealing with the HD650's veil. I think a lot of people could buy this pairing and just stop. If your desktop system has gotten out of hand like mine is getting, this is also serves as a good sanity check.

    This Thing Has An Input? (Brief DAC Comparison)
    The Dragonfly RED was a little clearer vs it's own output but the sound didn't really change. Eitr -> Modi Multibit That veil is even more apparent through a solid state amp vs other DACs. The trade off of course is a more engaging, realistic, and full sound. Geek Out 450 Sweeter treble, notably more resolution, with background sounds clearer and much more present. Fulla 2 DAC sounds a bit dulled in comparison. The GO450's internal amp really holds it back.

    If you have a Fulla 2 and see a cheap GO450 going, I suggest you consider grabbing it. It's a pretty decent affordable DAC upgrade to plug into the Fulla 2.


    EDITS
    20/08/17 - Added The Morning After entry, clarified that Fulla 2's technical performance was better than the Dragonfly RED's.
    22/09/17 - Added Brief DAC Comparison entry, clarification on Fulla 2's abrasive presentation vs resolution with the TH900.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  10. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Appreciate you defining your terminology - with different people using some terms differently I can never keep up. :confused:
     
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  11. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    Can you clarify, do you mean that the DF Red beats the Fulla 2 in technical performance?
     
  12. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    Thanks for pointing that out, I meant the Fulla 2 was much better than the RED. The article has been updated to make this clearer.

    -
    Added "Follow Up" entry
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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  13. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    Updated with Brief DAC Comparison entry, and clarification on Fulla 2's abrasive presentation vs resolution with the TH900.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  14. auleia

    auleia Rando

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    ho un pc, e vorrei comprare il fulla 2. anche usare un microfono, devo comunque abilitare l'integrazione audio scheda, giusto? è sensibile il miglioramento del suono, rispetto al semplice scheda scheda madre?
    tradurre da google
    ho un pc e voglio acquistare il bug 2. Utilizzo anche un microfono, devo ancora abilitare l'audio scheda incorporata, giusto? Il miglioramento del suono è sensibile, rispetto alla scheda semplice della scheda madre
    l'ascolto sarà con le cuffie.
     
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  15. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    @auleia

    If I understand your question correctly, you want to use Fulla 2 as well as a microphone with your PC. Fulla will only handle audio output, so you will still need the onboard audio card for the microphone. How you set this up will depend on your operating system and audio playback software.

    Someone whose actually done this feel free to jump in.
     
  16. auleia

    auleia Rando

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    ok, per il microfono. grazie.
    migliora l'audio con sennheiser hd 598, rispetto alla scheda incorporata? translate by google...
     
  17. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Yes, that is correct, you should get better audio out from the Fulla 2 than from your PC motherboard. What PC do you have?
     
  18. auleia

    auleia Rando

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    GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
     
  19. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    I have the same motherboard. I have Modi Multibit but I feel confident that Fulla 2 will be an improvement.
     
  20. auleia

    auleia Rando

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    faccio a comprare il sennheiser allora? thanks.
     

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