Schiit Yggdrasil GS

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Vtory, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Would a $1600 multibit DAC, based on a former flagship, be a “natural step up” from a $200 delta sigma DAC?

    That answer to that would be “no”.

    If you want to get into Schiit Multibit, the “natural step up” would likely be Bifrost. But it depends what your goals are.
     
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    @Gungrave

    I don't dislike gear spinning. But if you want to spin fast, it's much better not to ask anything about next things. Just secretly do it (and do pre-research by yourself), experiment things, then report back to the right threads. That will gain much more love from folks.
     
  3. Gungrave

    Gungrave Rando

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    I appreciate the helpful tips, I'll try to articulate where im coming from, where i am going in future posts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  4. dncnexus

    dncnexus Friend

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    Background

    I have jumped into the DAC territory rather quickly, and would like to give a bit of background on my DAC experience since this will be a contributing factor in how I feel about this DAC as well.

    I originally started with the FX Audio DAC X6 a couple years ago when I was not able to really afford any other gear, and I was not that knowledgeable on the hobby. I worked with that AIO for a couple years until recently that I saw that the Modius was released. I soon upgraded to the Modius + Asgard 3. From there, I started to lust over multibit DACs. I was undecided on what to get, so I was in conversation with @ChaChaRealSmooth about his opinion between a Gungnir Multibit vs Yggdrasil GS since he also has a Starlett, which is what I was wanting to pair my DAC with when the Starlett arrived. After conversing, I was pretty sold on the Gungnir due to a cost vs performance metric, but decided through research maybe the Bifrost 2 would be a better buy, since it was so well regarded in the forums.

    I bought the Bifrost 2 and was immediately impressed by the multibit sound, but I still felt I was somewhat lacking or leaving some on the table, so when a friend put up his Yggdrasil GS for sale at a great price I had to pick it up. So I quickly returned the Bifrost 2 and awaited my newly purchased Yggdrasil GS.

    I have had the Yggdrasil for about 2 weeks now and feel I can give a pretty solid impression on the sound, so here we are.

    Chain

    iMac -> Yggdrasil GS -> Eddie Current Black Widow 2/Bottlehead Electrostatic Amp/Asgard 3

    Sound Impressions

    I knew about the whole warm-up time, so I decided to plug the Yggdrasil GS in and leave it for about 2 days before I even listened. Due to this I can't really say if I have heard the effects of the warmup time, but since I listened at day 2 to now I don't really feel I have heard that much a difference, but I might just be blind to it.

    The Yggdrasil tonality is very nice, I found it to be more pleasing than the Bifrost 2 paired with my chain. I found the Bifrost 2 a bit too warm, but the Yggdrasil GS is very even through the FR and slightly cooler sounding. This pairs well with the amps I have since they are leaning warm. The immediate thing that I noticed with the Yggdrasil GS was the amount of microdetail or "plankton?". There was extreme nuance in the music, with the ability to play such low level detail that I was blown away. The amount of heft and slam behind this DAC is impressive. The Modius and Bifrost 2 never allowed me to feel the feelings of weight I felt when listening to a 2 channel setup, but with the Yggdrasil, I feel the weight of the notes being played. It feels like it has substance. The dynamics are impressive, with the ability to go from so soft and quiet to loud and weighty with the slam of a drum. The biggest thing with the Yggdrasil is that it makes the music feel the most real I have heard.

    I found the staging to be similar to the Bifrost 2, but much better than the Modius. Sounds come out from the background, and can fade just as suddenly. It really is impressive, with the ability to create a 3D space.

    As for amp pairings, I found this to pair extremely well with the EC Black Widow 2. When initially pairing with the Asgard 3, I was blown away, but after hooking it up to the BW2, I feel that maybe the Asgard 3 is holding back the Yggdrasil's full capabilities. Yes it still sounds great, but when hooked up to the higher end BW2, the biggest difference is the amount of detail and plankton that appeared that wasn't there with the Asgard 3. While I don't think its a bad pairing to pair this with something like an Asgard 3, I think if you are putting in the time and money to get a Yggdrasil, you need an appropriate amp to pair with it to get the fullest ability out of the Yggdrasil.

    I am excited to hear this paired with the DNA Starlett. I don't think I will be upgrading my DAC anytime soon, this seems to be what I have been looking for in a DAC and it pairs well with all the gear I have. I know the Yggdrasil GS is kind of a forgotten DAC in the Schiit lineup, but if you are looking for Yggdrasil quality, since it is a Yggdrasil, while trying to get a more cool tonality sound this could be for you. Just be aware that you will probably need to have a higher end chain to get the fullest capability out of this DAC.
     
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  5. Jeffjazzer

    Jeffjazzer Rando

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    Excellent review. It took my Yggdrasil 30 days to stabilize and sound it’s best. Know that sounds crazy but I heard changes during the 1st 30 days. So it will get better. I was always curious about the Bifrost 2. I would have purchased one when it came to the market, but missed it when it came out and purchased a used Yggdrasil 2 and upgraded from my Modi Multibit. I do wish it had remote control inputs like the Bifrost 2. Good to hear I made the right decision. More than I wanted to spend even on a used one, but I am enjoying it tremendously and it sounds like music, and being a musician that’s a good thing
     
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  6. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    It is 3 weeks before it sounds like a TOTL DAC and worth it over BF2. I even tried to speed the warmup by playing music 24/7, didn't matter. Something just clicks into place at the 3 week mark (maybe a day earlier).
     
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  7. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Your brain did. You just got used to it :D

    @dncnexus : now you need a balanced amp and headphone to fully take advantage of the Yggdrasil!
     
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  8. dncnexus

    dncnexus Friend

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    Yeah I hear the Yggdrasil is better out BAL. I'm gonna try and build the SE to BAL convertor I've seen in the DIY thread since all my amps seem to be SE
     
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  9. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Yeap. Everybody's brain clicks into place at the same time.
     
  10. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Nah, some are slower than other.
    For most people it's a couple days. Some, I guess, take up to 30 days. Too bad this also coincide with the return window for most audio goods :rolleyes:
     
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  11. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    The problem with brain burn in is that it's inconsistent. Turn the Yggdrasil off and it goes back to zero, even having owned it for months or years. If your brain is burned in, you shouldn't hear any warm up nonsense. I really wanted the 3 week thing to be a lie, because I hate waiting. But it had to warm up twice within a month because of a storm in the middle. Both times I could take or leave the DAC before whatever magic juju takes places at 3 weeks. Before that it's really not much better than the Bifrost 2, even using balanced. Pretty good and perfectly listenable, but weirdly thick and muddy sounding. Like something is just off. Some people either don't notice or care. I did not notice this stark difference with the Gungnir Multibit, which sounds like it should after a few days. Yggdrasil seems more temperamental.
     
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  12. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    .....wut?

    "Brain burn-in" just means your brain adjusting to your system. This shouldn't need to happen if you have owned a particular system for a while (I'm talking having owned it for months/years, being vary familiar so changes made during auditions/gear changes are easily discerned). How is that inconsistent?

    It's been well-documented that R2R DACs sound terrible stone cold. This is within audibility and is not related to brain burn-in.

    On another note, since this is the Yggdrasil GS thread, and as an owner of one, I'll say that this particular Yggdrasil takes only a day or two to sound good. It's already been speculated that the used A1 cards are the reason why this is; Yggdrasils that have been used for a while seem to have shorter warm-up times. The first startup seems to take the longest (fyi this was also true of the Wavelight, where I was told 30 minute warmup time but the first time on could take a few hours).
     
  13. k4rstar

    k4rstar Done his time

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    it's not really R2R DACs that sound terrible cold... do you guys think people in the 80s were waiting a few hours or days for their CD players to sound good after turning them on? :confused:

    having owned countless R2R DACs now, I can say the schiit ones are the only ones that truly sound bad after being off for a while. the rest are largely good if not great within 10-15 minutes. I think the analog devices chips they use are just temperamental like that
     
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  14. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    This was in context with the original quote, implying that the warm up impressions of the Yggdrasil are due to brain burn in, unless I misunderstood his point. My point was this would be inconsistent if you believe this to be true, since the Yggdrasil changes when cold.

    Yes, I've heard the varying warm up times related to old Yggys. It's interesting to note that the Yggdrasil A2 I bought was a converted model, so it was quite old. This is why I was curious about the warm up. It still took 3 weeks before I was happy with it.

    There is alot being repeated here, so I'll just reiterate that I don't think the people experiencing 3 week changes are imagining things. I wish they were because I prefer shorter break ins and it's the one thing I don't like about the Yggdrasil. And in the interest of winding this weird discussion down, I'll leave it at that.
     
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  15. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    No, they weren't. I probably worded it terribly, but what I did mean is that turning a R2R DAC on and listening immediately is not going to get you optimal results. The actual time required seems to vary, and I think you may have a point with Schiit DACs; they do seem to take an inordinate amount of time to warm up. Maybe it's the analog filter, maybe it’s the Analog Devices chip.

    FWIW the Bifrost 2 significantly cut down on warmup time.

    Dude I'm sorry but this makes no sense.

    If you're adjusted to the sound of your system, you should immediately notice a difference if you switch your Yggdrasil off for a day and listen again while it's cold. In other words, you're going to notice the "warmup nonsense." I notice it when I move my Yggdrasil down to my speakers and forget to immediately turn it on (same when I move it back to headphone duty).

    The problem with trying to evaluate something like Yggdrasil from cold is that the sound changes while you are trying to listen to it. In other words, your brain wouldn't actually "burn-in" until the warmup is done. This is why I let things warm up before I do any serious listening. Of course, some people may not have the luxury or patience to let their Schiit warm up all the way before listening and that's fine as long as they are cognizant of the warmup times.
     
  16. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    If you take the original quote into account, which claims that warm up equals brain burn in, then warm up should not be discernable after something like the Yggdrasil (which requires thermal stabilization) is turned off after a while, and started from cold. I think you might be confused by the way I worded it, and since I am literalizing what he said (which may be a mistake). Relax, we actually agree with each other.... that the Yggdrasil sounds bad cold. The nebulous part becomes at what point everything "clicks into place". For me and quite a few others, it seems to be 3 weeks. For some, it's much earlier. But everyone seems to agree it sounds much better after a couple of days.
     
  17. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    The 30 days thing was what I was referring to. This, is BS.

    That it takes a few hours/couple days for Yggdrasil to settle I’m not debating. I too find Schiit DACs sound better after some warm up.
     
  18. Empyah

    Empyah Rando

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    If I may chime in for people still on the fence between Gungnir A2 and Yggdrasil GS...
    Thanks to Golmang, who sold me the Gungnir Multibit A2 and a year later the Yggi A1 I could compare
    the two in detail.

    I believe I can confirm all the above you have mentioned in your observations plus the slight but noticeable increase in detail (plankton - or the feeling you are "there"?) and a more coherent, less diffuse stage than the "wider-to-the-sides" staging of the Gungnir Multibit.

    Personally I would buy the GS new, or the Gungnir Multibit used up to 800 bucks.
    The Yggi A1 is still a better DAC in my opinion, more mature and serious of sorts, so I presume the same goes for the GS but better.

    *heard all that on my V281 and Wa22 with NOS tubes through my PC with Lynx AES-16e and Tidal.
    Headphones used were an HE1000, Ether 2, HD800 SD and LCD2.2 pre fazor.
    No power cleaner, DC blocker and betterer "audio grade" cables back then.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020

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