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Thoughts on how to feed Schiit Yggy?


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I'm taking delivery of a new Yggy, can't wait. The next area I want to upgrade is my source / transport. My music library is in FLAC and consists of redbook and hi res rips as well as HDTracks downloads. No DSD. My library is rather small (but growing), I'm the only music listener in the family and I really only listen to my dedicated 2 channel system. My source is a PC I built 4 years ago, not intended to be a dedicated music server but its somewhat quiet using only a CPU fan (no case fans, fanless power supply, etc) and SSD (separate OS and music drives) along with a Essence STX sending SPDIF out via coax.

 

I've done a lot of reading on Yggy. I've read Schiit and othershere on CA preferring the Yggy's AES input (Chris even). I've also read others preferring Schiit's new USB Gen 3 input. I want to wipe the slate clean on my source and start fresh with new hardware. I'm choosing between:

 

1) a dedicated server (CAPS, microjukebox style) via USB

2) moving my current computer out of the room to serve a Sonore (micro Rendu USB), Aeries (USB), or other streamer over my network

3) using a new computer such as an iMac, Mac mini, small PC, to feed a converter like a Berkely Alpha USB, Hydra-Z, Audiophilleo 1 / 2 sending out AES to the Yggy (thus going with Yggy's AES input that several seem to like)

 

I understand that this is my call, my preference. I've done a ton of reading and I find good arguments for all of these - so I'm better educated now but still so much on the fence. If not all out recommendations I'd sure appreciate some more food for thought as to the ideal route to start down when it comes to feeding the Yggy DAC.

 

Thanks!

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Hi Dave - this is for a full blown audiophile system in a dedicated room. I'm happy to tinker but I've only built the one PC, it went well and I was happy but I haven't gone back and swapped parts out of it (I'd rather get it all done right in the beginning). I guess you could say I'm a mild tinkerer?

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I am a huge fan of Mac computers and Pure Music software. Playlist playback is a step up from iTunes. Memory playback, Less is More, Hog mode, even integer mode are all big factors in overall playback quality.

Not not personally tried all the options, but of what I have used this is the simplest and best sounding. Do not use USB as a connection my interface is connected to the Thunderbolt buss via a FW adapter.

Reading about the latest USB developments it seems this can be the SOTA connection. The post from Metric Halo over on Head-Fi makes it sound like there has been some real progress made from where it was last year.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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I am a huge fan of Mac computers and Pure Music software. Playlist playback is a step up from iTunes. Memory playback, Less is More, Hog mode, even integer mode are all big factors in overall playback quality.

Not not personally tried all the options, but of what I have used this is the simplest and best sounding. Do not use USB as a connection my interface is connected to the Thunderbolt buss via a FW adapter.

Reading about the latest USB developments it seems this can be the SOTA connection. The post from Metric Halo over on Head-Fi makes it sound like there has been some real progress made from where it was last year.

 

I put the Mac as a choice on my list after reading Absolute Sound's review of the Berkley Alpha USB. Berkley sent an iMac with the Alpha USB test unit along with Pure Music. That sounded like a cool solution. I'll have to check Head Fi about the Thunderbolt connection you recommended, had not read about that option yet.

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I am thinking baby steps. Essentially you are looking for a new source, but are unsure of USB vs AES/EBU. Consider keeping your present computer for the moment, and trying out the Berkely AND an external SOtM tX USB hub with it. They both sort of do the same thing, but for different interfaces. Find which you prefer, and your path will be more clear to you. Likely you can get a trial on both if you are willing to pay a little restock or something if you mention beforehand what you are looking to do. Or buy used, and resell which tends to be my method.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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I am a huge fan of Mac computers and Pure Music software. Playlist playback is a step up from iTunes. Memory playback, Less is More, Hog mode, even integer mode are all big factors in overall playback quality.

Not not personally tried all the options, but of what I have used this is the simplest and best sounding. Do not use USB as a connection my interface is connected to the Thunderbolt buss via a FW adapter.

Reading about the latest USB developments it seems this can be the SOTA connection. The post from Metric Halo over on Head-Fi makes it sound like there has been some real progress made from where it was last year.

 

Can you please share the link to the metric halo thread on head-fi? I know they plan to support USB on their new 3D board, but it's not clear to me if this will improve the sonic performance of their LIO-8 and ULN-8.

 

Thanks.

Mac Mini / Pure Music > Firewire & USB > Metric Halo LIO-8 > Hypex NCORE 400 > Geddes Abbey Speakers > Rythmik Servo & Geddes Band Pass Subs // DH Labs Cables, HRS MXR Isolation Rack, PurePower 2000, Elgar 6006B

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I am thinking baby steps. Essentially you are looking for a new source, but are unsure of USB vs AES/EBU. Consider keeping your present computer for the moment, and trying out the Berkely AND an external SOtM tX USB hub with it. They both sort of do the same thing, but for different interfaces. Find which you prefer, and your path will be more clear to you. Likely you can get a trial on both if you are willing to pay a little restock or something if you mention beforehand what you are looking to do. Or buy used, and resell which tends to be my method.

 

Thanks Forrest, when consideri g the SOTM route to feed the Yggy's USB Gen3 I always assumed the PCIe card so their external hub is a new angle for me to think about.

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Can you please share the link to the metric halo thread on head-fi? I know they plan to support USB on their new 3D board, but it's not clear to me if this will improve the sonic performance of their LIO-8 and ULN-8.

 

Thanks.

 

This is way OT. but here it is.

 

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/9961694-post96.html

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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It has nothing to do with the Yiggy. And much is over my head. But it sure sounds impressive.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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Same-same, but more versatile and possibly easier to power separately.

Thanks Forrest, when consideri g the SOTM route to feed the Yggy's USB Gen3 I always assumed the PCIe card so their external hub is a new angle for me to think about.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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There are quite a few Mac owners that have switched from Mac to using/preferring Aries streamers as music source, which does require you to either have a quality NAS or use the Mac as file server. The picture is less clear if you are willing to pay for after market Mac mini upgrades like the ones Mojo Audio does. If you are willing to shell out more, machines like the Aurender and Lumin suggest themselves as purpose built, all in one music servers.

 

The stock PC as a media server platform is a nightmare to work with because it has too many "comes with" hardware drags on the CPU engine from its multipurpose origins... like trying to make a sports car out of an station wagon.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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I don't know what your budget is, but there are a few ways to approach this -

 

If you stick with the PC you have and USB try the following (listed from least expensive to most expensive)

- try software like Fidelizer to reduce the processes and optimize for audio playback (free trial is available on the website) $40 for the Plus version and $70 for the Pro version.

 

- try an Uptone Audio REGEN (they have a 30 day return policy) $175 retail

 

- get an Intona USB Isolator Intona ? Products (around $250 for standard version, $350 for industrial version), it galvanically isolates the USB signal and people are having good results with it (check the thread here on CA)

 

- try a MUTEC MC3+ USB reclocker - $1100 retail. Like the Intona, it has galvanic isolation on the USB and then it reclocks the signal and outputs via AES/EBU or BNC. I don't know anyplace where you can try b4 you buy, but there is a thread on CA and many of us like it a lot. MUTEC - Professional A/V and High-End Equipment - MC-3+ USB

 

- Try the BADA USB converter. Again, I don't know where you can try b4 you buy, but a lot of these have been coming up used recently on Audiogon and elsewhere. figure to spend around $1300 used.

 

Altenatively you can try replacing the USB board or getting a new PC or Mac if these don't do it for you.

 

As for me, I'm using the following with my Yggy -

- dedicated audio PC running WIN10 The Silenzio from Audio by E - AudioAficionado.org mine is the original version w/ outboard power supply and I now power it with an Uptone Audio JS-2. FWIW, the guy that builds these said he didn't recommend the "audiophile USB" cards because he doesn't hear a difference.

- Music is stored on a Synology 412+ NAS & is connected to my PC via wired LAN

- Fidelizer Pro

- Uptone Audio REGEN w/ Curious Cables, REGEN powered by JS-2

- MUTEC MC3+USB using AES/EBU out with Triode Labs AES/EBU digital cable.

 

The REGEN made an audible difference and was made better with the JS-2 power supply. The MUTEC took it to another level...with the sound becoming even more analog-like and I believe the it made background blacker. Fidelizer Pro was less of an impact, but it all adds up.

 

Now, if you want to try a new server, you might want to try out what I'm getting - SOtM sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition. It comes with Windows Server 2012 and Audiophile Optimizer (AO). http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f28-highend-audiopc-sponsored/official-soul-music-sms-1000sq-windows-edition-audiophileoptimizer-and-roon-thread-27414/ I ordered it with the digital outputs & will compare USB vs AES/EBU into the Mutec and will go with what sounds best.

 

I'm trying this new server because every server review I have read says that music stored internally on the server sounds better than streamed from a NAS. The new server will have SSDs for the OS and storage. Also, Windows Server is supposed to sound better than Windows (Win10 does sound better than Win8) and people really like the sound with AO. Now AO has a Win10 version in beta, but according to AudioPhil, the server version will still be better because of the OS.

 

I suppose my audio PC will be up for sale in the near future. PM me if you'd like to discuss. Thanks.

ChrisG

Bend, OR

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Thanks for the info Chris. How important do you think the quality of the server is it your using both a Regen and Mutec? I'm assuming the Mutec competes with the Berkeley Alpha USB, Audiophilleo, and Hydra-z in the scenario you described?

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Thanks for the info Chris. How important do you think the quality of the server is it your using both a Regen and Mutec? I'm assuming the Mutec competes with the Berkeley Alpha USB, Audiophilleo, and Hydra-z in the scenario you described?

 

Well, given the cost of the new server, I hope it makes a big impact! I'll let you know after I get it.

 

And, yes, in addition to the Mutec, those are the other USB converters that I am aware of with the Hydra-z prolly being the best apples-to-apples function-wise since it can be used as a wordclock.

ChrisG

Bend, OR

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I'm sure I will be criticized and chastised for this post. Why don't you simply plug your USB cable into the Yggy and hear how it sounds? Sometimes less is more and frankly if you spend more than $2,000 on a component it should sound fantastic if you plug and play and be engineered to take care of USB noise issues etc. If Schiit's DAC sounds better using a $100 UBS cleaner vs. stock then they didn't engineer a good product, as it would seem that SOTA technology would be engineered into the DAC. What am I missing here for those of you who will certainly disagree and label me a heretic?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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I did that originally and it did sound great. And for most folks, that may be all they need, and that is absolutely the first step everyone should take before trying different tweaks. Still, there are plenty of cases of listeners improving the sound of almost any DAC by improving the quality of the data signal when using USB through products like the REGEN, Intona, etc. And even though Yggy sounds great without these "add-ons", the sound has improved even more which is why I'm using them. As always, IMO, YMMV, etc.

ChrisG

Bend, OR

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I've found the player program to have far more of an influence than the hardware/OS.

 

Essentially given up on making the PC quiet, unless you build one from scratch, like Aurender, or Auralic and take the easy way, although with some DACs it's not that rosy.

 

ChrisG mentioned the SQ is better form the internal of the PC rather than stream from a NAS. I would tend to agree, C. Connaker pushed this concept years ago now (gosh) and when the SQ playback from a NAS compared to a local disk, the majority of the symposium audience preferred the local copy rather than the NAS. Of course as the library grows, the headaches increase, another topic.

 

The advantage of software players that sit on an OS, is they move and improve regularly, generally for the better. With a streamer the update rate is slower, since the manufacturers are not software houses out of principal.

 

So my advice is to use the PC as is, update it with new hardware/OS, and isolate it from the AC Supply and the DAC, install a software player of your choice to play from your existing music library which doesn't need to change BTW, it's fine. You can later tweak the software with Fidelizer, or standalone version of AO etc.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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I appreciate all the good info in this thread, it does seem to lean towards a local playing solution vs. a network device. I'm a bit predisposed to that anyways as I hadn't gotten into playing music across my network since I only listen in one room.

 

I do plan on starting out using the USB from my current computer straight to the Yggy's USB Gen 3 input. I'll also try the SPDIF coax from my Essence card. Neither of those will require me to buy anything to try and I expect them to sound great. Optimization of these connections is why I started the thread.

 

If I decide to optimize the Yggy's USB Gen3 I may just buy a fancy USB PCIe card and/or a Regen. That would be cost effective. I could even consider building a new server like a CAPS. This was the most obvious solution to me. The catch was the comments from Yggy's creators that their personal preference on input was AES instead of USB.

 

If I decide to optimize my rig to feed the Yggy via AES I'm really leaning towards a converter like the Mutec, Berkely, Hydra-Z, Audiophilleo, etc. I could still also upgrade my server to send a cleaner USB signal but I feel that becomes a lower priority if using a high quality converter. The thing that bothers me is that if I spend $1,800 on a something like the Berkley converter then I could just get a nicer DAC and use it without any add on gadgets. Would a $4,000 DAC used without add-ons be better than a Yggy used with a converter?

 

At this point I'm leaning a little more towards using a high quality converter, from what I've read they are really effective and I like the idea of keeping the USB completely out of the DAC. I still want to replace my server as my current computer uses a mid size case and if nothing else I want a smaller form factor. If anybody has any more thoughts on USB vs AES in terms of the Yggy I'm all ears!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’m planning on buying my Yggy within the next two months. Since my Auralic Aries already has an AES/EBU output that’s what I’m going to use to connect directly to the Yggy. Have already bought myself an AES/EBU cable, Wireworld 0.5 meter Starlight.

2 Ch stereo

Auralic Aries>Wireworld AES>Kitsune Holo Spring DAC L3>Van Den Hul-The Second balance cable>Sonic Euphoria (fully balance autoformer)>Van Den Hul-The Second balance cable>D-Sonic M3-1200S-A (Anaview AMS1000-2600)>Synergistic Tesla Accelerator cable>Ohm 3000 speakers plus Omni Harmonizer super tweeter

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I'm taking delivery of a new Yggy, can't wait. The next area I want to upgrade is my source / transport. My music library is in FLAC and consists of redbook and hi res rips as well as HDTracks downloads. No DSD. My library is rather small (but growing), I'm the only music listener in the family and I really only listen to my dedicated 2 channel system. My source is a PC I built 4 years ago, not intended to be a dedicated music server but its somewhat quiet using only a CPU fan (no case fans, fanless power supply, etc) and SSD (separate OS and music drives) along with a Essence STX sending SPDIF out via coax.

 

I've done a lot of reading on Yggy. I've read Schiit and othershere on CA preferring the Yggy's AES input (Chris even). I've also read others preferring Schiit's new USB Gen 3 input. I want to wipe the slate clean on my source and start fresh with new hardware. I'm choosing between:

 

1) a dedicated server (CAPS, microjukebox style) via USB

2) moving my current computer out of the room to serve a Sonore (micro Rendu USB), Aeries (USB), or other streamer over my network

3) using a new computer such as an iMac, Mac mini, small PC, to feed a converter like a Berkely Alpha USB, Hydra-Z, Audiophilleo 1 / 2 sending out AES to the Yggy (thus going with Yggy's AES input that several seem to like)

 

I understand that this is my call, my preference. I've done a ton of reading and I find good arguments for all of these - so I'm better educated now but still so much on the fence. If not all out recommendations I'd sure appreciate some more food for thought as to the ideal route to start down when it comes to feeding the Yggy DAC.

 

Thanks!

Sorry but if you are using a Yggy - best connection to use is XLR. I would highly recommend staying away from USB as the conduit.

Use aurender or PS audio transport especially if you have lot of redbook music and it plays high res files with outstanding results.

I use PS transport with PS power cord, Nordost feets and synergistic atmosphere XLR cable to the DAC with BMI oceanic power cord. If i compare it to my computer...its basically taking the DAC from $2000 to $10000

Music after life

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