Schiit Unison USB

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by gaspasser, Aug 31, 2019.

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  1. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    ooof... you may find the Desktop the worst of all, but give it a shot. ...and I admit, need to try the usBridgeSig, it's very well designed, but at the same time, sorta a crutch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
  2. Yethal

    Yethal Facebook Friend

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    For me the main appeal over similarly priced sms-200 or microrendu is the ability to juggle software and not having to rely on a single entity for updates as is the case with sotm/sonore/auralic etc
     
  3. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    Thought you might like to know that the latest version fixed this behavior.
     
  4. Tube crazy

    Tube crazy Rando

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    I have a Gungnir A2 gen 5 being fed by an innuos zen mk3 and I'm considering upgrading to unison to find some more micro details and 3d space. But I can find very little information on Gungnir with unison. Can anyone share his impressions/reviews concerning Gen 5 vs. Unison in combination with Gungnir?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Same differences (good, bad, neutral) observed to Yggdrasil apply to Gungnir A2. I actually find the more "tubey" presentation to gel even better with the cooler sounding Gungnir A2.
     
  6. MrChinaCat

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    So, I took the plunge and upgraded my Yggdrasil with the Unison card.

    With the G5 card, all was well. With the Unison card, the front input selector will not allow me to select the USB input -- it just steps through the other four inputs.

    Looking at it from the Mac end of things, the Yggdrasil is recognized as being present and is enabled. The usual drill of powering down and bringing everything back up again made no difference. Attached the Yggdrasil to another Mac instead -- no difference. Lugged it to another system and attached to microRendu -- same story.

    DOA Unison card?
     
  7. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    It’s obviously not seeing the new card. Did you check again that the card was seated properly after doing this? And also swap back the G5 card and see if it still works?

    Best bet after that if no luck, contact Schiit.
     
  8. MrChinaCat

    MrChinaCat Rando

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    ...and now for an oh-Schiit moment.... diving back into the box to check that the board is properly seated, I had the heads of two case screws snap off. Oh joy, oh rupture unforeseen...

    Stepping back to cool down a bit before deciding what to do next...

    A note to Schiit requesting assistance is on the way.
     
  9. MrChinaCat

    MrChinaCat Rando

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    Durrrr.... :)

    Managed to pry & pop the cover off; backed out the broken screws with pliers.

    Immediately obvious what was wrong -- the ribbon cable from the motherboard to the front panel was misaligned. Fixed this, and now the selector works.

    So, aside from me being a better electrical engineer than mechanical engineer, two comments...

    (1) The screws are too soft/fragile. They were not torqued down hard; the heads should not have snapped off.
    I think Schiit knows this -- the upgrade kit came with 4 spare screws.
    (2) The ribbon cable to the front panel is too short -- attaching it requires contortions that another inch worth of ribbon cable would make unnecessary.

    Now to enjoy the fruits of my labor and frustrations.... :)
     
  10. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    Sorry to hear of your troubles @MrChinaCat ... and this is why I have not self installed the Unison board in my Yggdrasil:) I will send it back to the factory some time, not a real priority right now.
     
  11. MrChinaCat

    MrChinaCat Rando

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    My apologies for my Grumpy Cat imitation. :)

    Pilot error cleared out of the way, the upgrade sounds awesome; totally worth it.

    With 45 years experience in the lab, you would think I would be less of a klutz.
    But no...... :)
     
  12. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    I’ve done this too, so don’t feel bad. The Schiit screws are weak as anything. I had a real challenge getting one of the broken screws removed from the front of the case as well becuase I couldn’t get the case off (because it wraps around the inner chassis and the broken screw was holding the outer casing in place.). At any rate, be very gentle with those screws for sure and make sure the outer case holes are aligned well with the inner case so it doesn’t put pressure on the screw from turning. I did not turn them very hard and they still broke.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    LOL, you saw this right?
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...l-gen-5-unison-usb-upgrade-instructions.4842/

    I made it a point to check alignment or the ribbon connector.
     
  14. MrChinaCat

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    Nah, did not read it, I was over confident that I knew what I was doing — long time in the computer business working with prototypes, no one needs to show ME what to do! :)

    On the other hand, I did eventually get the case open on my own; the upgrade really is almost a no-brainer, I just forgot to use any brain whatsoever. While I had the case opened, I did admire the quality of the engineering that went into the unit. Yggdrasil is sexy in a way only an engineer can appreciate.

    But I still think that ribbon cable is too short, and the screws too fragile. :)
     
  15. JellyRhino

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    I compared the USB Unison input of Modius with Eitr. With Unison, it's easier to hear subtle harmonics in Tangled Up in Blue, in guitars and hi-hats for example. They sound more real, less stuffy. There was a hardness in the bass and midrange of Eitr that is gone. Unison is less rounded, yet smoother. Bass is indeed more bloomy. I'm not sure it's artificial because it sounds more natural in the mix. In general, Unison is more involving.
     
  16. HumdrumPenguin

    HumdrumPenguin Rando

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    The last version of what? Schiit firmware? I have the same behaviour on my Bifrost 2 since I got it around Feb or March this year. All works fine on Windows 10, but simple rate changes more than it should on the latest version of MacOS.
     
  17. lagadu

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    Tidal update. On my 2012 MB Air it now works fine with Unison on my Gungnir after an update to the app around the time of my posting with no extra clicking from the muting relay.
     
  18. HumdrumPenguin

    HumdrumPenguin Rando

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    Yeah, that's bad for me then. I have the latest version of Tidal (even completely wiped out from the system and reinstalled), and still have the same problem. Last version of MacOS available, using an iMac from 2019.
     
  19. Melvillian

    Melvillian Friend

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    I added the batteries first and there was a very noticeable improvement, especially the bass. The linear PSU does kind of make it sound like Unison with the Bifrost 2.

    Just did A/B testing with Digione Sig vs Unison and the digione sounds tighter, more focused and resolving without having any harshness or unpleasant emphasis in the lower treble. Nothing jumps out. Main thing I notice with Unison is more midbass and limper sound from the Bifrost 2 which probably contributes to the bloom. It can be pleasant with instruments like saxaphones where they sound more upfront and less sharp.

    I prefer the DigiOne because I think it's more true to the source, but considering how shitty my PC is as a USB source, Unison is very good. I think on a DAC that wasn't already a bit midbass heavy and dark sounding up top, I'd really like Unison.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  20. NationOfLaws

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    I have a question. I’m not super well-versed in Schiit’s product history, so please forgive the ignorance.

    In December 2019 I bought a b-stock Bifrost Multibit. Not a Bifrost 2, for clarity’s sake. Did any of the Bifrosts (again, not Bifrost 2) ship with Unison? If so, is there a way I can tell whether mine has it? Otherwise I’m keen to upgrade.
     

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