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Emotive Stealth DC-1 vs. Schiit Bifrost

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Hi there,


I'm interested in building out a desktop system with active speakers. In regards to contemplating the DAC...my budget is fairly tight and thus products from Emotiva and Schiit are attractive. I'm trying to understand the relative merits of the DC-1 vs. Bifrost. Does the lack of a fully differential design represent a strike against the Bifrost? My active speakers have a balanced in. Does Emotiva's use of opamps strike a death blow against it? Does anyone have any thoughts? I like both of these companies. They share a similar approach to audio and their general ethos is something I relate to.


Thanks for your time.




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I don't have direct experience with either DAC, but since no one else has replied, thought I would. Differential output, if done well, will be better than SE usually; and if the best opamps are used correctly, and surrounded by the best passive components, they are not necessarily worse than a well designed discrete system. At the top end, a discrete circuit is better. In your price range, I don't think that these qualifiers I've used will be in force- you are not going to see hand etched resistors or styrene caps scattered about, etc.


Both companies are web based and offer free home trials, for just this purpose. The only way to really know which is best for you is to try them out. When they arrive, as much as you will want to listen to them right away, don't. Hook them up, test with your speakers on for just a minute to make sure they're working, and then turn your speakers off. Play a good 24 hours of music through them before them before you do any listening. I'd imagine they'll still be changing character, but at least you won't be relying on first impressions (much harder to shake) that are based on un-broken in circuits.

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