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Schiit bifrost 2, Mytek liberty 2, RME ADI-2 DAC FS


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Dear friends,
As I recently brought 2 headphones (AKG K812, Focal clear), i start to look for a USB DAC below 1000USD. please help me to decide :)

---------USE CASE------
- Music: 65% pop(folk, rock), 35% classical(Symphony, chamber)
- MQA/Streaming: use Amazon music HD which has no MQA, so it is not a must but nice to have (in case it will be supported by Amazon or switch to tidal).
- the DAC will be used as headphone amp.
- the DAC can be used as preamp to connect a speaker system: Maranz CD17->DAC->old pioneer integrated amp. i plan to replace the pioneer amp with some poweramp (marantz mm7025 or Rotel RB 1552 MKII or better options under the same cost?) 
Q1: is DAC as preamp for speaker system a proper setup?  thanks in advance for tolerating my newbie questions. 

 

 

---------Considerations------

#RME ADI-2 DAC FS
- I feel good to have a delta sigma DAC for linear details, monitoring listening experience.  ADI-2 DAC provide filters, EQ, many DSP functionalities appears quite useful, also for the speaker system. 
- Q2:  ADI-2 DAC plus a small R2R DAC for vocals(Denafrips ARES II) will get 2 types of sound in kind of extreme. is this a good plan?  (no plan for tube amplifiers)
 
#Schiit bifrost 2 Multibit 

I have no chance to hear bifrost 2 or Denafrips ARES II so far. but I really want to figure out about the Multibit sound as it may save the money for ARES II, dont know if anyone really enjoy to switching between 2 desktop DACs often?...   
- in europe, Schiit is hard to get.
- can consider Gungnir Multibit, in case the difference is not subtle. e.g.: hear Gungnir is 15% "better"...
- Q3: for vocal, how good does Multibit version of bifrost/Gungnir sounds compared to ARES II ?

- Q4:for details/separation, are they still good enough?

When yes for both Q3 Q4: I will be happy to get just a Multibit instead of 2 DACs combo on my desk(ADI-2 + ARES II).

if someone could confirm that can only be provided by Qutest or Hugo i am glad to find a chance hear it, as this is the key question in my mind. 

 

#Mytek liberty 2
- liberty 2 is just released for preorder now,  it is quite easier to get in europe. 
- from specs it appears to be a ES9038 upgraded version of the old liberty, i assume the sound is almost identical but a newer chip is a plus.
- some reviews conclude liberty is very close to the sound of mytek brooklyn, if you have brooklyn please share the experience as phono stage on it enables vinyl on headphone easily. I hesitate because i need to drop the budget for poweramp and ARES II to get just brooklyn. 

- On a youtube comparison between brooklyn and ADI-2 DAC FS, for vocals I can hear the brooklyn do sound a bit more real and natural than ADI-2 DAC FS. 

-------------
Q5:  i know it is very subjective, still can someone sort the vocal sound characteristic regarding linear->analog e.g. like this? 😬

ADI-2 DAC FS (99%linear+1% analog)->mytek brooklyn(95%linear+5% analog)->Schiit bifrost 2(85%linear+15% analog)->Denafrips ARES II(75%linear+25% analog)?

 

 

thank you! be healthy and have fun! :)

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You come across as an analytical person given your formulation and mindset. If you are looking for the same in a DAC then go for the ADI-2 or Mytek. In all other cases, go for a Chord Hugo or Qutest.

 

Btw, Schiit is easily available in Europe: https://www.schiit-europe.com/

Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone Audio JS-2 | Uptone Audio EtherREGEN | Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS-1.2 | Sonore OpticalModule | Emo Systems EN-70HD | Jensen CI-1RR Cables Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad with Oyaide connectors for AC, Ghent for DC and ethernet Roon server Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/ext. SDD via firewire, Catalina | Roon | Tidal | Qobuz 

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