Schiit Yggdrasil Less is More (and MIL and OG) Impressions + Measurements

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, Sep 9, 2021.

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Should SBAF get a loaner Yggdrasil Less Is More?

  1. Yes, please!

    72.4%
  2. Only if there isn't anything else more interesting

    14.9%
  3. No, I would prefer for a loaner an overpriced planar that looks like it's from House Harkonnen

    6.9%
  4. Save up for something better

    5.7%
  1. sp33ls

    sp33ls Acquaintance

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    I had the same experience as you. It was more apparently with my headphone setup than my 2 channel, though.
    When I tried the BAL, I literally said "whoa... holy details..."

    But I would agree with the others -- I think it really depends on the system, and it's not like using the SE outputs is like using a "broken" DAC.

    IIRC, I remember seeing some measurements showcasing something like -0.5dB down from 300Hz and below with the SE outputs? Don't quote me on the validity of that statement.
     
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  2. MetalStef84

    MetalStef84 Rando

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    Thanks for the feedback, so I can say I am normal at least :)

    Thanks for having said this the n+1 time :oops:

    BHA-1 inputs the two phases (for channel) in two differential couple (reference is this --> https://mans.io/files/viewer/448684/1) each one driving the high side and low side pass elements of the first push pull output stage of the first buffer. That input stage is exactly the definition of differential, even if the second stage is SE (so it's not strictly balanced from in to out). I don't know if this is what you call current summing... the OTA actually works with delta currents. They did not care about matching the Early effect of the input bipolars (for each couple, the one not going to the next stage is always pushing/sourcing current to high or low rail, while the collector of the other sees a VBE in abs term). But detail aside, I would say this stage only gives you those 6dB gain when using the XLR in, and it should be quite insensitive to SE vs XLR.
    Much stranger is the output stage to me, where it looks like the XLR R+ and L+ are driven from the R- and L- and not from the input buffer out's... but that's OT.

    Oh yes, about the jot as pre... it's just that my speakers are 100€ Edifier and I don't care. I do it for the Yggdrasil not to sweat to much :p
     
  3. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    does anyone have experence comparing the LIM to the holo dac 2 (all copper). I have not heard either dac or any of the Yggdrasil'. using a EC studio B , waiting for jar600, have fostex rp50 moddied, borrowing Focal Elex ( want to get Utopia)
    thanks
     
  4. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I own both OG Yggdrasil and Holo Spring 2 KTE. Two different locations, both with EC Af (and other stuff I won't discuss). I've never done A/B because of the distance between the two locations. Similar but not exactly identical tubes (when are tubes identical, anyway?) ZMF Verité (open and closed), Auteur -- details on woods and pads may also influence these impressions). So, subjective, memory-dependent. OG Y is more forward, incisive in the higher frequencies, but has a somewhat flatter (not flat) presentation. S2 is a tad wetter, tonally denser in the upper lows-mids, deeper stage, somewhat smoother but still great transients in the higher range. S2 benefits from external upsampling for 44.1 or 48 material to remove a slight smearing in the midrange. OG Y doesn't need that given its internal upsampling filter. I prefer S2 tonally overall with that models upsampling, but without it, OG Y is more realistic on 44.1 or 48 material.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  5. sp33ls

    sp33ls Acquaintance

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    First quick impressions of my LiM compared to my previous GS/A1... Definitely less incisive in the upper frequencies. A bit more smooth and "analog" if you will.

    It's not even fully warmed up and I can already tell this is still a very engaging DAC, not lacking in detail -- just not as in your face about them as the OG.

    I've not heard the Holo May or Spring DAC, but this LiM sounds like it's a closer in that presentation (from what I've read in reviews) when compared to Yggdrasil OG. So, I would think an A/B comparison between this LiM and the KTE would actually be really interesting to experience and/or read about.

    I'll share more after spending more time with it. I do have a feeling that this is going to be a very popular DAC, and offer a lot of value for a lot of people. People like myself who may have been eyeing a KTE but would rather allocate the $ difference to another pair of cans or better transducers. :)
     
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  6. kukur9

    kukur9 Acquaintance

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    Well, this may all change after I get Yggdrasil A2 back with LiM, but when I finally got balanced outs to preamp SE via Lokius, I too went "whoa!" and I was definitely not expecting it. This is on speakers (Monitor Audio Silver 500) and Naim gear, using AES in. Thanks to all the peeps here for pointing out this difference all these years!
     
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  7. sp33ls

    sp33ls Acquaintance

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    Seems like the SE outputs on the new boards may not have the same difference as was present with the OG.

    At least based on Marv's impressions. I haven't tested BAL on mine yet
     
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  8. Ti_Leo

    Ti_Leo Facebook Friend

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    I have both Yggdrasil A1 (not GS) and Holo Spring Level 3 (Chinese version, only got better caps, no fancy transformer). Both fed by Pi2AES, while Yggdrasil using AES, Spring using I2S.

    I use mainly HD650 KISS and AQ Nighthawk with velour pads on Liquid Platinum, and HD800 modded with leather pads on EC ZD SE (right channel broken, but I can still listen to it with both channels for half an hour at a time, I think I should mention that, as there could be and should be something wrong when the right channel's playing, but I can't sense it). I agree with most of @earnmyturns 's opinion except I don't use any external OS, so basic Yggdrasil vs basic Spring.

    From my low fi hearing, for Liquid Platinum, I would 90% choose Yggdrasil. As it's more incisive. Or using my boring wording: a bit faster, clearer. And the whole music sounds more "correct" and "as-a-whole" using Yggdrasil on LP. It's fine using Spring with LP, but even if I didn't compare it to Yggdrasil, because it came before Yggdrasil, I found myself sometimes wanted something more, maybe it's a bit soft to my taste pairing with LP. And Yggdrasil sounds just right.

    On ZD SE, different story, 50: 50. Yggdrasil sounds a bit too incisive now... And Spring sounds just about right to me, especially that a little of sweetness really gets me. But Spring makes that "OMG, that instrument sounds so good" moment, that pulls my focus out of my work sometimes, I loved it at the beginning but got tired of it a few days, as I found it a bit focused and unnatural, that got me tried to find how good one instrument or one part of the music was, and forgot about the whole image. Yggdrasil is bit too bright to me, and it hardly gives me any "OMG" moment, but if I listen carefully, everything is there, nicely, maybe it's just too many good things happening together and makes me ignore the details. Yggdrasil moves me as a whole solid musical body, while Spring gives me sweet but a bit scattered sparkles (good and lovely sparkles, not bright glare). I'd choose the timbre of Spring and those technical things from Yggdrasil, so it 50: 50 to me, and I'm fine with either of these DACs on ZD SE.

    (Forgot to say, I used both bad basic BAL to SE converter to fed ZD SE from both units and direct SE connection, and I didn't find much difference, maybe the direct SE connection sounded a little bit less incisive? Good thing for Yggdrasil to me, so I kept it this way.)

    So now, I turned off my Spring, since I'll have a few days of, but I will not turn off my Yggdrasil (and of course, because Yggdrasil takes longer time to heat up). And from @sp33ls 's impression, I think Yggdrasil LiM is the thing I need. Thank you!
     
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  9. leafy

    leafy Acquaintance

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    Got my LIM today. Couldn't wait to install it and get it up and running. My old setup was Pi2AES -> Yggdrasil GS -> Freya-S -> Vidar -> LS50.

    I never realized that though my GS sounded very detailed, it was at the same time very shouty around 2~3kHz range, which the LIM completely cured. The soundstage is a tad wider than the GS and depth roughly the same. But LIM sounds "full" compared to the GS and I appreciate the improved coherence, which gives instruments a much more realistic sense of presence.

    One example is Janos Starker's Bach Cellos suites. The LIM connected the sound from the very low notes to the high overtones of the cello, it sounds just like he is playing in my living room. GS had a tiny issue where the lower notes sounded a tiny bit further than the higher notes/overtones.

    Will be putting more time into LIM and come back with more thoughts.
     
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  10. Justin S

    Justin S Facebook Friend

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    I received my LIM today, too. I'm burning it in at the office listening to trash on Genelecs and working. Right off the bat, the staging in monitors is noticably great. This was a big part of switching it up for me. I went from the BF2 to the 2541 as I liked the tone better. I LOVE the 2541 but I have not been 100% with the staging and found myself missing the BF2's sense of space. I have thought that a combination of the BF2 and the 2541 would be awesome. Hoping the LIM is it. I'm going to wait on making any more detailed impressions until it has had a chance to settle. I am going to let this run in for 48hrs and then hoping I have time to bring it into my home system and do an A/B night with the 2541.

    Edit: I just can't resist. I turned it up to an SPL of 83db and I hear nothing that makes me wince on the uppity monitors. Verrrry promising.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
  11. Soundmancan

    Soundmancan Rando

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    I have also received my Lim as of this past Tuesday and have been trying to find the right words for this space. Up until this point, The Bifrost 2 and Gungnir multibit were the highest end sounding Dacs that I have heard. I have my Jot 2 and Vali 2+ connected via balanced and SE respectively using Unison USB to my PC. Where my preference between the Bifrost and Gungnir rests with the Bifrost, I have to say, the Yggdrasil Lim takes the cake easily, IMHO ofcourse. I am not one for sound descriptions but I will say that listening to this does not leave me wanting anything. I am totally satisfied and emotionally engaged with what I am listening to and I can't ask more of it than that. Usually, I'll be listening (I listen primarily via headphones HD800s's) and something feels lacking or too much of or whatever. Not here, this just sounds right, and oh boy, that bass just sounds amazing. It really does make my HD800s sound like a new headphone. Voices, instruments all sound like they should and sound "real" as it were. The texturing or whatever is spot on. More thoughts to come...
     
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  12. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Several years ago I had those two DACs and my impressions agreed with yours to the extent that I sold my Spring, even though I was using different amps from yours. I later upgraded the Yggdrasil to A2, and more recently I bought a Spring 2 KTE. I feel that there's a significant improvement in coherence from the original Spring to the Spring 2, which may account for the more positive perception I have of it relative to Yggdrasil A2.
     
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  13. Michael Kelly

    Michael Kelly MOT: Pi 2 Design

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    Please tell me our PI2AES is still in the new chain?
     
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  14. leafy

    leafy Acquaintance

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    I would never let it go, sir!
     
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  15. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Since I'm on Gennies (8030b/7050b) and Dac2541 I'd be very interested in an A/B on your work setup if you could manage that at some point.
     
  16. sp33ls

    sp33ls Acquaintance

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    Using the balanced AES output into my LiM as I type this... Love this little device. :)

    Just really curious if the Yggdrasil doesn't like 24/192 via optical, or if it's my cable that's dropping the signal.
     
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  17. futbutts

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    Today I traded in the Gungnir Multibit I'd been auditioning for the last two weeks for a LIM. Honestly, I kinda figured that for a mere extra $30 on the Gungnir restocking fee, I might as well hear how the LIM sounded... you know, for fun. (Schiit waives restocking fees on returns if you exchange for a more expensive item, in case you don't follow my logic.)

    No way can I justify spending this much money on a DAC. A Gungnir was pushing it, and this costs like twice that.

    ...but... I'm probably going to keep it. It's phenomenal. Visceral yet not strident or brash. Detail is just seemingly endless and there for the picking, just all over the soundscape around you, and the blackground is immaculate -- just utterly natural in a way that makes the 2541's blackground sound kind of exaggerated or contrasty. The sense of soundstage is new to me -- the way reverby guitars "fill the room" is something I'd always read people describe in impressions and figure they were exaggerating, but I hear it with the Yggdrasil LIM.

    Marv was spot-on about the timbre; it's fantastic, maybe perfect. Piano, drums, acoustic guitar, vocals, it's all just absolutely right. I kind of didn't know bass could reach so low, and it falls into some kind of weird zone of being both bloomy and muscular without becoming overbearing whatsoever. Highs are really fucking great -- the sense of texture from cymbals (especially like semi-open hi hats) is like getting a massage in your ear canal.

    Even passive listening is oddly enthralling -- for example, I've been playing the new game Deathloop, which has a kinda jazzy spy soundtrack... fine as background music, but not exactly captivating. And yet at one point while gaming with the Yggdrasil I realized I was tapping my foot and nodding my head to this music -- music I was basically tuning out for the past couple of days via the Gungnir and Bifrost MB. It's just so effortlessly immersive and engaging and seductive! And all via my little Jot 2!

    It's bizarre being so superlative since it's probably still warming up -- if the Gungnir is anything to go off, since that took like a week to stabilize -- and it's already improved quite a bit over the last ten hours of listening. (It started off a little compressed and recessed-sounding.) It's so expensive... but worth every single penny.
     
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  18. Justin S

    Justin S Facebook Friend

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    I'm on the smaller 8020s/7040 - video post suite, small well treated room.

    Unfortunately, my work system is not setup for a proper A/B. I can certainly do impressions of each DAC for comparison with a few benchmarks. Do you have a track or two I could do some observations with that would be helpful to you?
     
  19. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Thanks, basic impressions are just fine, whatever you can manage, no formal A/B required at all. I have a few tracks I tend to use as a reference:

    Stacey Kent - The Boy Next Door (from the eponymous album) - microdetail, room reverb in the opening bars, digititus in the cymbals later will show up easily.
    David Gray - Cake and eat it (from Mutineers) - good rendition will bring out the plosive sort of chuffing in the opening rhythm well.
    Bruce Hornsby and the Range (The way it is (eponymous)) - this is a sibilance nightmare, especially on metal tweeters, but I believe it's basically irremediable. That said, any improvement in taming it will be very evident.

    Sibilance is my bugbear - I find DAC2541 improved over DAC1541 in this regard, and I know the Gennies will play this up. I also know I need treatment, as it's pretty manageable in the sweet spot. But I'm intrigued by LIM and what it brings vs DAC2541.

    Thanks!
     
  20. sp33ls

    sp33ls Acquaintance

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    Congrats. You've ruined yourself [and wallet].. ;)

    It somehow gets even better after 24 hours of warming up. I also felt like the first 10 hours were a tiny bit "congested" or "recessed". Came back the following evening and literally said out loud "DACs don't make a difference -- my ass!"
    My wife just smiled... she knows I've already lost my mind. :)

    I also noticed something really interesting about reverb... You know the game studio Supergiant Games (Hades, Bastion, etc)? Remember The Bastion came on during my Roon auto-play. For the first time I really noticed the reverb that comes around 0:46. It was never really apparent to me before.
    • LiM: sounds like you're actually in the room and the reverb is just a natural attribute
    • BF2: sounds more like the producer added a reverb effect via a DSP plug-in
     
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