The Mike Moffat (#2 at Schiit) Blog

Discussion in 'Schiit' started by baldr, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Lyer25

    Lyer25 Old at heart, young in other places

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,517
    Dislikes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    Sorry, was that earlier in this thread or elsewhere? Don't think I recall reading anything of the sort, and for... reasons, I've been keeping an ear to the ground for GUMBY upgrade news :p
     
    Jerry likes this.
  2. aamefford

    aamefford Nothing like chamberpot coffee

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    302
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Between SF and Sac
    Me-thinks quite a few of us have. Mine’s a used maybe 2 year old upgrade to gen 5 model. I plan to a wait, rather than sell, and buy a new one with the maybe upgraded silently or not status.......
     
    Lyer25 likes this.
  3. Lyer25

    Lyer25 Old at heart, young in other places

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,517
    Dislikes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    Mike was nice enough to give us a few hours' warning before the official Yggy A2 launch and price bump, kinda doubt we'll be so fortunate again but eh, they deserve every cent.

    Still sucks that a few very loud... people, ruined the fun for everyone else by raising a stink about the A2 silent revision. Ah well.
     
  4. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,190
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Northern Californium Valley
    Knowing Mike he will somehow let us know (quietly) what’s up. At least I hope so. At least tell me. :p
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    34,467
    Dislikes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    I gotta get the screwdriver and tools out. Will report back in a year. Yeah, I haven't heard Mike get so geeked in a while.
     
    Jinxy245, Lyer25, A1Gear and 2 others like this.
  6. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,863
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    So Cal
    To be fair, based on his latest update, he seems to be neck deep in work. I think telling anyone about a new board for the Gumby would be a low priority based on the last time something like that was announced. It will happen when it happens. And yes, I am waiting too. Just that thinking about it makes me furious at the morons who put Schiit in this position. So I try not to think about it much.
     
  7. baldr

    baldr Schiit-sterer

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,699
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    On “designer” DACs and why I do not build them:

    I have been on record saying that the Yggy is the best DAC I know how to build. By and large, that statement stands given my current design worldview. Note that I did not say design philosophy. The philosophy concept implies that I am building a DAC to my own best thinking on how to do them. Some of those ideas were good, some so-so, and some were wet dreams. So much for “design philosophy”. I have built, and continue to build designs based upon new ideas, most not in an effort to make something to justify an Yggy 3 (III – more nose in the air, no?) I have been building DACs since 1984. I have designed a fuck ton of them with a fuck ton of approaches. What this means is that I have traveled the DAC world, which is needed to have a worldview.

    Let me put that in the context of an Yggy. Well, an Yggy is very similar to my first “Frankenstein” which was the first DAC with a megaburrito filter. The DSP processors in those days have been replaced with faster ones with more bits, the DACs have gone from 16 to doubled 20 bit silicon. The only thing better was the BWD hookup which still is the best way by far I have found to connect a digital source (in those days, nothing but a CD player) to a DAC. Back in the 1980’s the digital audio tech was quickly changing so the Original 16 bit Theta Dspro went from 16 to single 20 bit technology within a 5-6 year period. Now this was back in the day when I was still trying to build the best. I was using fancy pants resistors and caps from a variety of vendors such as relcaps, caddock, vishay, and mills (among many others). I was even using teflon circuit boards which were a major pain in the ass – they would coldflow, sag into, and short out from the chassis below and were unsuitable for reliable surface mount and would collapse into the solder bath when the boards were flowed.

    Now back then I was selling into the high-end market. It was becoming less and less fun. Finally, Crystal Semiconductor came out with digital audio parts based on sigma delta and delta sigma technology. I was excited! Something new! I built my first proto and it sounded like ass. Really like diseased ass. I some other bright ideas to improve the ds tech but it really, really sucked. As a bit of time went by and more and more vendors came out with delta sigma parts I realized just how bad it was. As the supply of multibit DACs began to get more and more expensive, I saw the writing on the wall and got out of the DAC biz. I began to do a lot of surround digital processors, where it didn’t matter so much for sound since it was all about the video. I kept doing that for quite a while.

    Twenty years went by and Schiit started. I caught up to current tech and realized that ds tech was all that was left. So I built some ds dacs to buy some time to get new multibit designs going again with the Analog Devices AD5791 DACs. They were industrial and had a bunch of funny setups, glitch to get rid of, and odd formatting of the audio. In the meantime, resistor and capacitor technology had improved for less expensive parts, in fact orders of magnitude better for a lot less money – I applied it all to Yggy, and we used our scale it up know-how to make it cheaper.

    Today at my age I am so fuckin’ happy to be out of the high-end business. All that matters there is that yours is the biggest, hardest, and longest. Period. I talked with a certain high-end vendor that I shared my very first high-end room at the Chicago CES show in 1977 for the original Theta Electronics. He shared the difficulties of out-performing and out-maneuvering all of his competitors to get the best possible reviews. I asked him how often that happened and he said not often enough. What I didn’t tell him is that Yggy gets great reviews as well (although he probably knows).

    Well, the Yggy with the best commonly available high grade parts is typically within 10 ppm worst (absolute and rare) case compared to the most expensive designer parts. There is no guarantee fancy parts will be better, and many times they are worse, manufacturer to manufacturer and package to package. Typically they are also constrained from a standpoint of distributed capacitances and inductances, which can add odd resonances and slow them down.

    Here is how it works in the real world. If the resistors are used as feedback elements, brand x may sound better. If they are filters or loads, brand y series better from 1 to 10000 ohms and brand z from 20000 ohms up, etc, etc. Now some are loyal to some brands, others to other brands. The brands have different sounds in different locations. If I followed this down as an obsession, I would be dead or crazy. Further, some combo of parts is better for classical and others for techno, and so on. It would be like trying to open Mike’s Mexican-Chinese-Italian-Indian-Coprophagic-Mediterranean-Japanese-Indonesian-Vegan-Vegetarian-French-Booger restaurant. When you try to please everyone, you please no one. No matter how much I bitch and shout that warranties vaporize as soon as the product is opened, there are those that will do so. I understand why some of you do so, but you still don’t get your warranty back. If you want a DAC that has the fanciest parts, there are many used to new car priced ones out there. I know there are those out there who would modify those as well. This is due to the Dunning-Kruger effect which explains why competent modifiers have their parades pissed upon by cretins.

    From more experience comes a new worldview. The Yggy comes from a 34 year long history. After 1990, there have been two technical innovations worthy of new product, and one of them is based on a 1980’s innovation. I leave the USB out of this for the moment because it is a relatively new input in the context of 34 years. One real revision in 28 years sometimes makes me wonder why it is upgradable. Ah but except the USB is the least reliable part of any DAC, particularly in the winter when it is dry and we jump sparks as we plug in our USB cable. Saves throwing out the Yggy just because the USB blew out. What was I thinking, after all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  8. Garns

    Garns Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,799
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Sydney, AUS
    Another one for Alternate Tuning Corner. I'm always a sucker for "Selling England by the Pound" picking, but it's the fruity tuning which makes this more than just accomplished pastiche.

     
    baldr likes this.
  9. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    668
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Rare perusing for me at headfi, read Mikes latest post & was in the mood at the time... cut-paste/repost/crosspost here ;D Apologies for the repeat if you guys already read this.

    @baldr

    Photograph-of-a-silicon-chip-with-the-three-platinum-resistors-2.png

    Transistors on silicon are essentially free, a 45 dollar chip may have a billion+ transistors.* Resistors, capacitors, inductors– not so much. Intel had a breakthrough several years ago, where they could do wifi 100% on silicon (the capacitors were the tricky part) -- and it was the most amazing "die shot" ie. magnified picture of the silicon I'd ever seen. Can't seem to find those pictures anymore, I think chipworks locked us out. That was wifi, the 4G wireless chips are insane... ever see a "fractal antenna" ** in silicon?

    ^ Pictured is just 3 resistors on silicon, no doubt romper-room simple-->

    Imagine how exotic the AD5791BRUZ internally may be. Could be worthwhile sanding down a damaged one to see the classic R2R layout, each resistor having that zigzag pattern (at least 40 right?). Then 4x of 'em for the ya2!

    Shit, I'd like to see it!

    Makes sooo much sense, super precise. Instead of going external with the inherint complexities of board layout, component/power/ground/capacitance/inductace interaction, discrete resistor tolerances, distance, bla bla bla !

    * LOL, I hear you thinking, no schiit
    ** https://www.head-fi.org/threads/wha...n-robert-hunter.784471/page-576#post-14350043
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  10. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    San Diego
    The rest of the head-fi post sounded like @baldr has some good ideas. But if he built it discretely, it would be pretty difficult to move it to IC. NRE on a full custom IC is like $500k and a $5 million dollar minimum order amount. Plus if you screw something up you're stuck with bad chips and you have to do it all over again.
     
    Darren G likes this.
  11. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    837
    Dislikes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Which is why it is more cost effective to reverse engineer an off the shelf industrial IC for audio decoding. Wait...Schiit already did this.
     
    thoth and Jerry like this.
  12. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    660
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    It’s not reverse engineering, they had the specs.
     
  13. MWSVette

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

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    257
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Happy Birthday Mike @baldr , I hope you have a great Birthday weekend...
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  14. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:
    837
    Dislikes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I didn't know Mike has the same birthday as my dad.

    Happy Birthday @baldr!
     
    a44100Hz and Gofspar like this.
  15. Jerry

    Jerry Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2017
    Likes Received:
    152
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Asia
    Happy bday, o' father of dac!
     
    rtaylor76 likes this.
  16. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,120
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Happy happy birthday Mike!
     
    rtaylor76 and a44100Hz like this.

Share This Page