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Bifrost Gen2 USB Vs V-Link 192


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Up until today, I had been using a V-Link 192 to go from my Mac mini to my uber bifrost because it didn't have a USB input. I bought and installed the gen2 USB card and thought I'd share the differences.

I wasn't really expecting there to be a big change, but I was surprised how different the two sound.

1. Right away I noticed MUCH more separation and layering from the gen2 card.

2. The gen2 card definitely has a lower noise floor.

3. The gen2 card was more resolving of musical information, BUT it's also brighter and I'm not sure if one is causing the other. I'm hoping the new gen2 card mellows out with break-in, otherwise I'm going to seek some copper interconnects instead of my copper/silver ones that I have now. Come to think of it, the whole presentation from the gen2 card sounds like pure silver interconnects or speaker wire. It's very punchy, with bass-drum kicks that seem quicker than what's natural. So in that regard, the V-Link is better because it's more natural sounding.

 

Usually tone trumps everything for me, but in this case I'm going to act like somebody's girlfriend who sees potential in their new mate and thinks they can change annoying behaviors for the better. :)

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I have the original Bifrost (no USB) & the Gungnir (no USB).

Been using the V-Link 192.

 

I have been contemplating getting the gen2 USB, so I V much appreciate your post.

Makes me want try it even more.

 

 

Edit: Just Ordered

Bill

 

Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob

 

....just an "ON" switch, Please!

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I only have about 5 hours on it, but no, I haven't noticed. I mentioned something about break-in because the Bifrost's transformation was was crazy. I tried it right out of the box and damn near sent it back. It sounded horrible. Kept music playing 24/7 and would check in periodically. At about 80-100 hours, the sound had settled down and was much more enjoyable to listen to over my Peachtree.

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I'd give the new card a good 100 hours before forming final impressions.

 

If drums are actually quicker, that *is* natural (find a live show or just go to a music store and hit a drum). Most equipment can't give you true transients, so you get accustomed to a slower, rolled-off sound and think that's reality. On the other hand, if it's frequency rather than speed (everything has a "zing" to it), that's not correct.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I mentioned something about break-in because the Bifrost's transformation was was crazy. I tried it right out of the box and damn near sent it back. It sounded horrible. Kept music playing 24/7 and would check in periodically. At about 80-100 hours, the sound had settled down and was much more enjoyable........

 

My experience with both the Bifrost & Gungnir were V similar to yours.

Bill

 

Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob

 

....just an "ON" switch, Please!

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Well, I just remembered why I was holding out on the gen2 USB upgrade.

 

My NAS PC is in the adjacent room from my system. I currently have a 1 foot WireWorld UltraViolet 7 running to the MF V-Link 192. Then a 10 foot BlueJean coax to my Schiit Gungnir.

 

Now I am faced with finding a decent USB cable to replace the long run required.

I would like to try the MapleShade Clearlink but alas, it is only available in a 3 foot length.

I could end up paying two to three times the Schiit USB price just to get a cable.

Bill

 

Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob

 

....just an "ON" switch, Please!

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The gen2 USB card arrived today.

Installation is easy:

 

 

There is an adhesive-backed plastic sticker covering the USB bulkhead on units shipped from the factory without the USB card.

 

DSCF8600_zpse07ef687.jpg

 

 

 

Just peel it off.

 

DSCF8602_zps16d3ba47.jpg

 

 

 

The new gen2 USB card.

 

DSCF8604_zpsc5c997c5.jpg

 

 

 

Match up the pins on the USB card to the sockets on the main board.

 

DSCF8609_zpsc6078894.jpg

 

 

 

Once it is in place & fully seated, using the supplied hardware, screw the gen2 USB card on to the stand-offs.

 

DSCF8610_zpsc3783bca.jpg

 

 

 

The gen2 USB card installed.

 

DSCF8611_zps9aa7ca02.jpg

 

 

 

After assembly of the chassis, the USB port is now accessible & ready to use.

 

DSCF8613_zps8528917c.jpg

 

 

 

The Gungnir back in place & ready for business.

 

DSCF8617_zps7fef8e98.jpg

Bill

 

Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob

 

....just an "ON" switch, Please!

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