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Schiit Audio Releases its Unison USB Upgrade


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I have a confession to make...  I am writing up my thoughts, but quickly.

 

My travel system consists of, among other things, a Schitt Modi Multibit DAC and damn if it isn't a sweet sounding DAC for $249 + tax and shipping. So good in fact, it has me ready to order a Yggdrasil to use instead of the DA2 Module in my Mcintosh.

 

I am listening to the Multibit right now, plugged into the Mcintosh and sourcing music from the Pi4 NAA endpoint I just assembled.

No electron left behind...

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5 hours ago, matthias said:

 

Why not buy the upcoming transport?

 

Matt

I want a ripper I can take with me when I travel and not another box for my system.  I stream my music from my NAS.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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14 hours ago, JoeWhip said:

Expect the transport to be priced around a grand. It will not be in the mid hundreds, it will do more than just spin CDs. I think Jason and Mike have already indicated that. Nothing else I can say. All will be revealed eventually. All I can say is I want one and am holding off on getting the optical Rendu because of this product.

It would have to support blue ray and SACD to be of any interest. If it comes out without DSD over USB support there would be nothing new/worthwhile about it.

 

At $1K it should be possible to build a good transport, with digital only output but I am skeptical that they understand the CD transport difficulties at the depth that Linn did.

I  do not  think however thats the right design choice... kind of a "Spruce Goose" outdated approach.

 

PS Audio's approach makes  sense, where you read the disc into memory as a computer file to eliminate  transport issues and stay purely in the digital domain for computer file data

before attempting DAC audio  data output conversion. Then you can reduce all the problems of computer audio into a much simpler set of variables for precision tuning by jettisoning media player overhead and other unneeded processes and hardware associated with regular computer USB sources. The trick being how do you satisfy the copyright lawyers for SACD, etc.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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5 minutes ago, davide256 said:

It would have to support blue ray and SACD to be of any interest. If it comes out without DSD over USB support there would be nothing new/worthwhile about it.

 

At $1K it should be possible to build a good transport, with digital only output but I am skeptical that they understand the CD transport difficulties at the depth that Linn did.

I  do not  think however thats the right design choice... kind of a "Spruce Goose" outdated approach.

 

PS Audio's approach makes  sense, where you read the disc into memory as a computer file to eliminate  transport issues and stay purely in the digital domain for computer file data

before attempting DAC audio  data output conversion. Then you can reduce all the problems of computer audio into a much simpler set of variables for precision tuning by jettisoning media player overhead and other unneeded processes and hardware associated with regular computer USB sources. The trick being how do you satisfy the copyright lawyers for SACD, etc.

i am sure it won't support sacd as Mike is not an advocate of dsd

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1 hour ago, davide256 said:

It would have to support blue ray and SACD to be of any interest. If it comes out without DSD over USB support there would be nothing new/worthwhile about it.

 

At $1K it should be possible to build a good transport, with digital only output but I am skeptical that they understand the CD transport difficulties at the depth that Linn did.

I  do not  think however thats the right design choice... kind of a "Spruce Goose" outdated approach.

 

PS Audio's approach makes  sense, where you read the disc into memory as a computer file to eliminate  transport issues and stay purely in the digital domain for computer file data

before attempting DAC audio  data output conversion. Then you can reduce all the problems of computer audio into a much simpler set of variables for precision tuning by jettisoning media player overhead and other unneeded processes and hardware associated with regular computer USB sources. The trick being how do you satisfy the copyright lawyers for SACD, etc.

 

If the Schiit does CD playback right that would be enough for me.

Interesting will be a comparison with the new Denafrips Avatar CD transport which is roughly in the same price range.

But I would really appreciate if the Schiit is a game-changer for CD transports and does sound better than the competition.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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As a former Chord Blu2 owner, I think they would have a killer transport with a modest quality CD transport, robust casework, USB in, ethernet in, USB out, and running embedded HQP for upsampling (PCM to PCM sinc-M could be done very cheaply from a compute budget).  It would sound extraordinary, and be end game for 99% of the people out there.

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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4 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

As a former Chord Blu2 owner, I think they would have a killer transport with a modest quality CD transport, robust casework, USB in, ethernet in, USB out, and running embedded HQP for upsampling (PCM to PCM sinc-M could be done very cheaply from a compute budget).  It would sound extraordinary, and be end game for 99% of the people out there.

 

They have their own filter they don't need HQP. My understanding is that inside the Yggy the signal gets upsampled so they can run their filter non destructively.

No electron left behind...

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27 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

They have their own filter they don't need HQP. My understanding is that inside the Yggy the signal gets upsampled so they can run their filter non destructively.

Yes, the megaburrito filter Which I believe runs at DXD levels, i.e. 352.8 and 384. I buy the Yggy for that and send bit perfect data in, at least, as bit perfect as I can get using Audirvana with all upsampling etc turned off.

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8 minutes ago, JoeWhip said:

Yes, the megaburrito filter Which I believe runs at DXD levels, i.e. 352.8 and 384. I buy tge Yggy for that and send bit perfect data in, at least, as bit perfect as I can get using Audirvana with all upsampling etc turned off.

 

My experiences with a Modi Multibit have me strongly considering a Yggy for my second system.

No electron left behind...

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1 hour ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

A laptop with a USB drive?

Sure...but better...whatever that entails.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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19 hours ago, JoeWhip said:

Expect the transport to be priced around a grand. It will not be in the mid hundreds, it will do more than just spin CDs. I think Jason and Mike have already indicated that. Nothing else I can say. All will be revealed eventually. All I can say is I want one and am holding off on getting the optical Rendu because of this product.

OK now I'm intrigued.  My initial reaction to the announcement was ... too bad it's a CD player and not a streamer!

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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On 5/18/2020 at 11:26 PM, baldr said:

So I can’t believe I have been building digital audio stuff for Schiit up on 10 years. The worst of it for me at the beginning was building the USB inputs which I always thought sounded like ass; kinda worse than an old cassette tape or 8 track – insufferable. Like listening to Herbert von Karajan. So there has been a quote attributed to me that the Gen V was USB solved. This was a couple of years ago and I just cannot recall the context. At the risk of sounding like I attempt to change my historical opinion, this is what I thought at the time: the Gen V USB was the first USB where I could play USB and stay in the same room with it. It by no means made want to skip into the audio room to listen to it. Since I was quoted as that was USB solved, than it was like a baloney sandwich “solves” lunch – at least I would’ve probably not thrown it up. The Gen (various) USBs were all based on a C-Media USB decoder chip, there are many other chips which decode digital audio, the most popular of which is various XMOS (sic – maybe a hyphen) ones used by our competitors. As far as I know, all of our competition uses somebody’s OEM chip.

 

The Unison solution is Schiit proprietary decoding fitted in a Microchip 32 bit pic part. This allows us complete freedom in all design params, both hardware and software, optimized for best sound and factors which will please the measurebators as well. So we worked for over three man(one woman) years to get the part to Beta level. Then we sent out beta Unisons to users. This would verify how the Unison fared with various USB sources. Somehow our group of beta users missed the Aurender. Fortunately, we were able to work that out by sending them a unit and life goes on happily. So why do we want to go to the trouble of three man years to develop our own USB technology?

 

1. It is OUR technology, impossible in a chipmaker’s device.

2. We are now USB licensees with our own unique USB ID and unmatched USB support.

3. Sonic bragging rights.

 

So is this USB solved? In the sense that it is however, USB which I prefer to S/Pdif, which gets even better with a Unison host (USB encoder, so to speak). Is it likely to improve? Probably. Is it perfect? No, but I like it. A lot, and I have been doing this a long time.

More on the Unison host is that it is now in alpha, still with the very occasional glitch but magnificent when paired with a Unison receiver. The best USB connectivity I have ever heard, and superior to any AES or S/Pdif in my experience. It is getting close to Beta but I still need to get it going with a common variety of OP’s (other people’s) USB chips before I send them out in the wild to see what else lurks there.

 

Is it solved? I dunno. In 35 years of digital audio engineering, I experienced maybe 4 or 5 true audio major events. Two of them were Unison. The only time I ever thought I solved something was when I finished my first DSP D/A converter in 1985. I got it to market in just ahead of the Wadia which made it first on the market. Here I set dozens of D/A converters later and the meaning of “solved” is yet more numinous. Sure enjoyed all of those years, though.

 

Mike

 

Nobody will ever accuse him of underselling his products, that's one thing for sure

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> Fiber--> opticalRendu / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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3 hours ago, matthias said:

 

If the Schiit does CD playback right that would be enough for me.

Interesting will be a comparison with the new Denafrips Avatar CD transport which is roughly in the same price range.

But I would really appreciate if the Schiit is a game-changer for CD transports and does sound better than the competition.

 

Matt

 

If he could add an sd card slot to it, i would be a buyer, but not just for a cd player...jmo.

 

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4 hours ago, JoeWhip said:

It will not play the DSD layer of sacds. CD only. No blu ray either. 

Here you say CD only, but in another post you say it will do more than spin cd's, which gained back my interest....so which is it, will it only play one medium or will it play another medium as well?  Or did you mean it will do more like just another feature of a cd player (like usb vs analog out)?

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12 minutes ago, beerandmusic said:

Here you say CD only, but in another post you say it will do more than spin cd's, which gained back my interest....so which is it, will it only play one medium or will it play another medium as well?  Or did you mean it will do more like just another feature of a cd player (like usb vs analog out)?

 

Maybe an USB-Reclocker?

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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21 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

Maybe an USB-Reclocker?

 

Matt

 

Actually, what he said is that it will only play the CD layer of physical disks... What he didn't say is that physical CD is the only thing the entire unit will play. He said he's holding off on a Rendu... That intrigues me.

No electron left behind...

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10 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

... He said he's holding off on a Rendu... That intrigues me.


Me too. And to get more specific, what he said was he was holding off on an opticalRendu, which might suggest a fiber optic network player. Although that probably doesn't mean it is going to duplicate all or even any other features of a Rendu device, such as Roon endpoint, etc. But a world of possibilities, and an intriguing clue, are just the sort of grist one wishes for one's online postulation mill; no? =^)

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4 minutes ago, jiminlogansquare said:

But a world of possibilities, and an intriguing clue, are just the sort of grist one wishes for one's online postulation mill; no? =^)

 

Absolutely... I am sure they are going to come out with a streamer. I just bought, assembled, and am now using a Pi4... SO... it's time to get something on the market.

No electron left behind...

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37 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

Maybe an USB-Reclocker?

 

Matt

 

We already know it has usb unison which includes a "reclocker" and is already in all of their current dacs, no?...

 

I guess if you don't have a schiit dac, or another dac that has a reclocker, and feel the need for one, then it may be desired by a few, but i would rather see an sd card reader or usb input slot for a thumb drive included....then i would be a buyer.

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It only plays CDs guys. However, it has a Unison USB out. MM has noted that having Unison out and in sounds great. That is why I am very interested. Oh, and I won’t be using it to play CDs. So.... I think you can figure out the rest. And no, there is no fiber. Just reread Mike’s posts about it.

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5 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

Absolutely... I am sure they are going to come out with a streamer. I just bought, assembled, and am now using a Pi4... SO... it's time to get something on the market.

 

And the whole package for 1k only?

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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13 minutes ago, jiminlogansquare said:


Me too. And to get more specific, what he said was he was holding off on an opticalRendu, which might suggest a fiber optic network player. Although that probably doesn't mean it is going to duplicate all or even any other features of a Rendu device, such as Roon endpoint, etc. But a world of possibilities, and an intriguing clue, are just the sort of grist one wishes for one's mill; no?

 

I am sure it won't have optical, network, or dsd support...i have never seen anything with those technologies in his forte....but maybe a usb slot for thumbdrive?  That is the best thing i could think of given his past products, and would be worthwhile imho...but likely just a reclocker, which we already know it has unison, so no surprise there.

 

 

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