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Schiit Yggdrasil (Unison USB) vs T+A DAC 8 DSD - mini review


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I am slightly interested in the hum you heard. Did you try anything to mitigate it, or figure out if there was a ground loop of some sort (or similar) causing it? Perhaps it is my ear ringing drowning out any noise from my Yggy but I don't hear a thing from it. AS far as the rest of your review goes, I agree, I find the Yggy a really great, musical DAC and enjoy listening to it.

No electron left behind...

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I don’t think it’s a ground loop issue, the humming is not obvious upon first switch on, but becomes apparent if the unit is left on continuously.  Hum is never heard through the loudspeakers, but the noise floor of the Yggdrasil is not as low as the T+A DAC 8 DSD.  It’s my assumption that if you can hear transformer hum local to the DAC, then that will affect performance (e.g noise floor).

 

The voltage here at my house is actually more like 242v, it’s runs hot compared to the UK 230v standard.  Perhaps the transformers in the Yggdrasil work better at 230v.

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5 hours ago, Dr Tone said:

No hum with mine.  I’ve compared it it to the exceptionally quiet Mirus Pro Signature.

Just to be clear there is no hum through my speakers.  This is a quiet DAC, just that the noise floor isn’t as low as my T+A.

 

All of my equipment is attached through a filtered mains block.

 

I’m not sure an isolation transformer would resolve the issue, main reason that the hum from the physical unit itself isn’t present when first powered.

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17 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

For this review I ran the Yggdrasil (Yggy) using the bit perfect volume control in HQPlayer (no preamp used).

 

Next up...  ECDesigns Fractal DAC.  It's been delivered, I'm just waiting for my new pre-amp to arrive so I can run it.

 

 

Very curious about the ECD, so is it not possible to run the ECD DAC in the same way without preamp as well?

Thanks

 

Matt

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

 

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45 minutes ago, blue2 said:

A bit of Googling may help:

1 A cheaply designed transformer with unduly high magnetic field levels
2 DC on the mains, which has a vastly disproportionate effect in moving the magnetic circuit asymmetrically towards saturation
3 Unduly high mains voltage
4 Transformer designed for 60Hz being used on 50Hz
5 Transformer inadequately (or barely adequately) rated for the load
6 Transformer badly assembled with insufficient glue

 

https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/getting-rid-of-transformer-hum.3879/

May well be a combination of things: my locally high voltage, Schitt using chassis mount transformers vs traditional toroidal (although there is some talk that EI transformers can actually perform better in this application).  Unlikely to be DC on the mains as I have no issues elsewhere and the Yggy is also fitted with a mains IEC filter.

 

The lower transformer used in the Yggy looks like a https://mcitransformer.com/product/mci-4-014-02-series/

 

Either way, I would call it an inherent weakness of the Yggy, shame as I think everything else is great.  

 

I actually looked at the ASR website after I'd finished the bulk of my listening, but I think there is some truth in the measurements:  https://www.audio “science” review/forum/index.php?threads/measurements-and-review-of-schiit-yggdrasil-dac.2358/

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20 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

Next up...  ECDesigns Fractal DAC.  It's been delivered, I'm just waiting for my new pre-amp to arrive so I can run it.

Which ECD transport/interface will you be using it with?  From my experience the UPL gives notably better results than the U192, so much so that, IMV, the Fractal/UPL should be considered as a single entity.  In the main I’m not a HP listener, but the Fractal/UPL via HPs really demonstrates what they can do in terms of clarity, detail, lack of grain vs any other digital front end I’ve owned  or spent time with.

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1 hour ago, Norton said:

Which ECD transport/interface will you be using it with?  From my experience the UPL gives notably better results than the U192, so much so that, IMV, the Fractal/UPL should be considered as a single entity.  In the main I’m not a HP listener, but the Fractal/UPL via HPs really demonstrates what they can do in terms of clarity, detail, lack of grain vs any other digital front end I’ve owned  or spent time with.

U192 as I like the convenience of streaming

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16 hours ago, Jeff_N said:

Until recently when I swapped it out for a different reason, I always left my Yggy turned on and I never heard a hum. Maybe my system isn't as good as yours.

 

Interesting comparative review anyway.

I'm with you - there is no audible hum from my Yggy as well.

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@Gavin1977,Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Yggy. May I ask how old this particular Yggy is? Some will debate this but after about 10 days the sound improved quite a bit. I keep my Yggy on 24/7 but I do not think I was able to experience what it was truly capable of until at least 10-11 into owning it. Cheers

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7 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

Nope - uses SPDIF/Electrotos.  Volume control is not available through this.

I never used HQ Player, but I have used the 64 bit internal volume control in JRiver MC with the U192 and Fractal DAC and that works very nicely. Why would the HQP volume not work? Not bitperfect but I would guess still more transparent than adding a preamp. Looking forward to hear about your listening impressions.  

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1 hour ago, Exocer said:

@Gavin1977,Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Yggy. May I ask how old this particular Yggy is? Some will debate this but after about 10 days the sound improved quite a bit. I keep my Yggy on 24/7 but I do not think I was able to experience what it was truly capable of until at least 10-11 into owning it. Cheers

The Yggy I reviewed was purchased new and had a total of two weeks 24/7 burn in before critical listening.

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29 minutes ago, realDHT said:

I never used HQ Player, but I have used the 64 bit internal volume control in JRiver MC with the U192 and Fractal DAC and that works very nicely. Why would the HQP volume not work? Not bitperfect but I would guess still more transparent than adding a preamp. Looking forward to hear about your listening impressions.  

Ohh... that’s interesting.  I always thought that volume control couldn’t be undertaken through SDPIF.  Thanks for sharing.

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3 minutes ago, Gavin1977 said:

Ohh... that’s interesting.  I always thought that volume control couldn’t be undertaken through SDPIF.  Thanks for sharing.

 

If HQP VC works with ECD will we get the review before your preamp arrives?

 

Matt

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

 

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9 hours ago, matthias said:

 

Very curious about the ECD, so is it not possible to run the ECD DAC in the same way without preamp as well?

Thanks

 

Matt

The ECD Fractal has max output voltage of 1.27 V RMS, if your power amp has a lot of gain this could work, but most power amps do need more. In my setup I would definately need a pre amp with the Fractal DAC... Which is one reason which holds me back from buying it...

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