Schiit (MultiBit) Bifrost

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by FlySweep, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    Well, what I can I say. The overwhelming peer pressure worked on me so I placed an order for the Bifrost Multibit + Lyr 3 combo. I already owned both of these (not at the same time) and sold them for various reasons. One exception is that Bifrost Multibit I had was the very first revision.

    I have owned a number of different amps over the last 5 years (The original Vali, Vali 2, Magni 3, Valhalla 2 , Lyr 3. Burson Soloist Mk2, Atom, Bottlehead Crack) and my two favourite ones of all by far have been the Valhalla 2 and the Lyr 3. Schiit must be doing something right when it comes to their tube amps. Like I said before, I really like the predictability and non-existent floor noise of solid state amps, but I just don't get the same level of satisfaction listening to them.
     
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  2. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    What do we think the odds are on B-stock Bifrost MB's having all the latest revisions? Schiit says they meet all performance standards, but I don't know what that reference is (original sales version, current version).
     
  3. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I'd email them to confirm. Depending on the B-stock product, they will sometimes confirm which revision and other times it's a crapshoot.
     
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  4. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I ended up emailing them and they said that due to the nature of B-stock, they can't guarantee any particular revision. Fair enough. Will save up a little longer and get a new one.
     
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  5. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Waiting might also unlock the new USB for free when that comes out, possibly within the year. However, with how much time has passed since the analog 2 revision, chances are you'll get an A2 Bifrost. I took my chances with the Modi Multibit B stock and got a revised one verifiable with measurements.
     
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  6. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Dunno if this might be indicative, but the last B-stock batch of Vali (mid-March) included at least some that are 'v 1.1', first reported in the wild AFAIK in late Feb (see here).

    I imagine that the current B-stock Bifrosts would for sure be A2.
     
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  7. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    So I got this combo today and it sounds amazing. It literally wipes the floor with the D50. No noise floor audible on the Bifrost Multibit even when I turn the Lyr 3 to the max. My old Bifrost Multibit definitely had a some white noise there.

    One question for the people with the A2 Bifrost Multibit: Do you hear a little pop in your headphones when the relay clicks switches from 16/44 up to 24/96 or 24/192 bit? I don't remember this happening on my A1 Bifrost. I am using Jriver Media Center and Wasapi interface with no filters. The 16/44 files are AAC and 24/96 and 24/192 are FLAC,

    To summarize:

    From 16/44 to 24/96, the relay clicks but there is also a mild pop in the headphones.
    From 16/44 to 24/192, the relay clicks, the pop is audible.
    From 24/96 to 24/192 and vice versa, the relay clicks, no pop audible.
    From 24/96 to 16/44, the relay clicks, no pop.
    From 24/192 to 16/44, the relay clicks, no pop.
     
  8. treboR

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

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    I never heard any audible pops when the bitrate changed in foobar2000/WASAPI. I had a Bifrost Multibit A2 as well. Have you tried using a different media player?
     
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  9. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    I tried foobar2000 wasapi mode and I can still hear the click. It is not dependent on the software - I can even reproduce it by going to the Sound menu in Windows and changing the "Default Format" under Speakers (Bifrost Gen 5) entry and then running a test sound. In a nutshell, the only time that a soft pop is audible through the headphones and speakers is when the sample rate is changing from 44.000Hz or 48.000Hz to any higher sample rate. If you switch between any higher sample rates (88,200Hz-192,000Hz), there is no audible pop from the speakers. Also, if you switch from the higher sample rates back to 44 or 48KHz, there is no audible pop. Bit rate (16 or 24) has no effect whatsoever.

    It looks like it is some kind of glitch, whether software or hardware. It could be software since I assume that the mechanical relay should be either making an audible pop through the headphones for all sample rate changes. Perhaps the timing is a bit too aggressive for the muting relay and it is leaking a small amount of audible noise for in certain cases. Unless there are multiple relays for different sample rates and one of them is a bit noisier than the other.

    Any feedback would be welcome. I am still waiting for Schiit to voice their opinion.
     
  10. treboR

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

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    There's a few other things you could try:

    1) Do you have another computer source you could use?
    2) Does your motherboard have an opitcal TOSLINK output? You could connect an optical audio cable from that into the Bifrost and determine if you still hear that soft pop.
    3) Do you have a USB decrapifier like a Schiit Wyrd or Eitr? Instead of plugging the USB cable directly into the Bifrost and hear if that eliminates the pop.
    4) Try another USB cable and/or USB port on the motherboard.
    5) Try using a powered USB hub.
    6) You might have DPC latency problems. Make sure all of your drivers are updated.
    7) I would review a Windows optimization guide (assuming you use that OS) that includes recommended power management and USB settings. Look into processor throttling, might have an impact.

    This should be enough to rule out if your PC is the issue or not.

    The only thing you should hear is the mechanical muting relay. There shouldn't be any kind of pop/click in your headphones when the sample rate increases. My assumption is there is something going on from your USB output.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  11. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Do you mean you emailed Schiit support? Definitely the right course of action with this. @treboRs tips are good ones too in the meantime if you have the ability to try some of them.
     
  12. roscoeiii

    roscoeiii Facebook Friend

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    Sorry if you mentioned it elsewhere in the thread (I couldn't be bothered to go hunting and it isn't in your profile or signature), but good amp pairings I find to be most important for the amp-headphone match. So what cans will you be using in this set-up? If you have/want a wide range of cans or envision lots of turnover in what you are driving you may want to choose an amp that pairs well with a wide range of headphones, rather than an amp that is just best suited to high impedance cans, or planars etc.
     
  13. bboris77

    bboris77 Acquaintance

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    So, I heard from the Schiit support team. To paraphrase, they says the slight popping sound is normal. Apparently, when Bifrost Multibit uses higher sample rates than 48kHz, the oversampling rate is changed and that generates a tiny amount of DC. The muting relay should prevent most of the DC, but in some cases it may be audible. As long as it is not causing large pops or thuds, it is fine and safe. They knew immediately what I was talking about so I can only assume that they are aware of this phenomenon.

    To put this in perspective, the pop is about 25% as loud as the pop that the Vali 2 makes when it powers up which is a rather powerful thud. It is about equivalent to the pop that my new Lyr 3 makes after it goes through its power-on routine. Funny thing is that I tried another Lyr 3 a few months ago that did not have any pop up on the boot up. It seems that this is not a matter of black and white - there is some degree of variance between different units, but it is all within reasonable and safe margins. For curiosity, I hooked up my multimeter to the Bifrost Multibit output to measure DC voltage offset. There was no measurable rise when switching the sample rate, and the voltage never went past 3mV, most of the time being around 0-1mV. I believe this is an excellent result.

    By the way, the sound quality of the Bifrost Multibit A2 is mind blowing and a significant improvement to my old Bifrost Multibit. I did an A/B comparison between the Bifrost Multibit and the DAC built into my Yamaha using Toslink output. This was using my desktop speakers. The timbre of the vocals and layering between various instruments on the Bifrost was impeccable . The Yamaha DAC sounded muddy and hazy in comparison. When comparing it to my most recent combo of the D50 and Atom, all I can say is that the Bifrost Multibit/Lyr 3 combo proves that the conventional measurements do not correspond AT ALL to the perceived sound quality and that the sound science still has ways to go to capture all the ingredients that go into creating a realistic depiction of sound. While the D50/Atom combo measured fantastic, it sounded absolutely dead to my ears. To be fair, I don't think the Atom was the issue per se as it amplified my vinyl source beautifully (I just could not get past its build quality). The real issue was the D50's sound signature that simply did not work for me. It was clean, clinical and one-dimensional. The Bifrost Multibit on the other hand is beyond words - it is three-dimensional, multi-layered and surprisingly resolving.

    Back to the Lyr 3/ Bifrost Multibit nirvana.

    Thank you all for your input!
     
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  14. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    So... what is the story with regard to @schiit providing upgrades to their upgradeable products. I remember reading something about Schiit getting some static when they released the yggdrasil upgrade, and subsequently changing their upgrade policy? Do they still do upgrades? Will we get an upgrade option for the Bifrost Multibit at some point?
     
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  15. edd

    edd Acquaintance

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    Jason’s post on head-fi said this re: the Yggdrasil upgrade:
    So, with one upgrade, we had a chance to irritate and inconvenience a whole lot of people. Which we took. Not our brightest hour. Again, going forward, we will be careful with timing of future hardware upgrades and we will be working to ensure that the maximum number of upgrades do not have to come back to us (or a distributor) to be performed.

    And, considering that they have a new USB interface on the horizon, I imagine they’ll wait until that’s ready before the next round of upgrades on their DACs.
     
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  16. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Upgrades will certainly continue, but we're going to be more careful about timing, and also with trying to ensure that the DAC doesn't HAVE to come back to the mothership. That's all.

    Any running changes we don't call out as upgrades are changes we don't consider significant.

    However, we have also decided on a "no running changes without attribution" approach going forward. This way, there won't be any speculation about which version you got.

    So, for running changes we consider significant, but do not affect product functionality, expect to see new naming that reflects that fact. Like, say, we change the "Schiit Arglebargle" to the "Schiit Arglebargle+", for something that acts the same, but performs better. We're going to be saving the "2s" and "3s" for products that are actually functionally different.
     
  17. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Thanks Jason, that makes a lot of sense. Updates on Bifrost have been pretty quiet around here (considering the usual nervosa about rev 1.100293847 vs 1.100293848-B-A2). Can you speak at all that there may be a Bifrost + or 2 coming down the line this year?
     
  18. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    I obviously can't comment on any updates or changes to existing products.

    I will say that the pace of upgrading is a lose/lose thing.

    • If we don't upgrade a lot, then people think the product is stale. Tell that to the near 7-year-old Valhalla 2. Sometimes there are simply no meaningful changes.
    • If we upgrade a lot, then people complain about the inconvenience and cost. Both of these are valid criticisms. I'd rather shoot for less upgrades than more.
    One thing's for sure, if there are changes we consider significant, you'll know when they happen from now on.
     
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  19. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    Maybe the Valhalla 2 is perfect lol. Lyr3 is better in a lot of ways, but the Val2's my fav for some reason... In this throw away world, I think the Val2's refreshing that it's so... stale.
     
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  20. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I don't think Valhalla 2 or Asgard 2 users really expect updates. They're both built around classic architectures that have proven the test of time.
     
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