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Article: New Schiit Yggdrasil Blind Listening Comparison


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Great report on what must have been a great experience. Job satisfaction comes through loud and clear!

 

PhDs in blind testing ... There likely aren't any. And any guru on the streets is probably more biased than anyone. This procedure looks perfectly fit-for-purpose.

 

I was intrigued as much as anything by the match or mismatch between your evaluation and the aggregate of takes on this close family of DACs. I understand well that you strongly preferred the least expensive "Less is More" in blind conditions. And you and your notes explained plenty why. You didn't expand too much on "disappointment .. This wasn't the case for others" regards More is Less.  Your concordance with one other listener was specific to Less is More.

 

Will there be a formal/Schiit report on this event - perhaps including # listeners and their conclusions? A comparative summary?

 

The divergence of measurements and SQ is also interesting. It would be great to hear from the horse's mouth how engineers produce DACs notwithstanding measurements.

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You are going to lose Schiit a lot of money. People will be ordering only the cheaper version:D.

It shows not that measurements are useless, but that just judging something based on distortion measurements and SNR have value, but limited value.

 

All three versions have very low distortion. All three have high to extremely high SNR. It basically means that after a certain point, we can't really hear  differences directly correlated to those measurements, or at least not in the way we'd expect.

 

I find it really interesting that you picked the OG Yggy out from the three. Gives me a lot of confidence in your listening results.

Also interesting that the other reviewers referenced on the Schiit page had slightly different impressions. I'd say that goes down to preference and taste. Sounds like you were hearing the same thing but had different preferences.

 

Questions:

Does Schiit have any explanation of how/why many people prefer the "cheap" version? 

Are you going to trade your Yggy OG for a Yggy Less is More? 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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So Schitt have moved away from their modular upgradable design "philosophy"?

 

I see no option for a Less is More upgrade board :-(

Digital: Roon on QNAP NAS>Sonore OpticalModule>Sonore OpticalRendu>Schiit Yggdrasil A2>The Truth preamp>PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium X 2 (each in mono)>Audio Physic Avanti III's

Analogue: Dynavector DV20X2>Alphason HR100s MSC>SME 10>ifi iPhono2

Custom home brew isolation shelves and cables (mostly TNT-Audio recipes).

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Just now, gebeege1 said:

So Schitt have moved away from their modular upgradable design "philosophy"?

On the product pages it says everything is modular.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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2 minutes ago, firedog said:

On the product pages it says everything is modular.

But if they're not offering a new "module" (e.g., a Less is More board) then what they say is a bit rhetorical... IMHO

Digital: Roon on QNAP NAS>Sonore OpticalModule>Sonore OpticalRendu>Schiit Yggdrasil A2>The Truth preamp>PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium X 2 (each in mono)>Audio Physic Avanti III's

Analogue: Dynavector DV20X2>Alphason HR100s MSC>SME 10>ifi iPhono2

Custom home brew isolation shelves and cables (mostly TNT-Audio recipes).

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How many participated ?

 

All reach same conclusion ?

 

Maybe I’m messing it up, but:

Does this mean that a 16 bit DAC won’t benefit from a possible better 24 bit version of a song ?

Did you guys only use red book quality or also hi res versions ?

Was any MQA played ? (I think not).

Any streaming service, or only local files ?

 

Did you get the requested DAC with you back ?

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13 minutes ago, R1200CL said:

How many participated ?

 

All reach same conclusion ?

 

At least 2 others 
 

Brian Hunter
https://audio-head.com/review-schiit-yggdrasil-og-vs-less-is-more-vs-more-is-less/

 

Gary Barker
https://headphone.guru/a-day-at-the-schiitr-schiit-launches-three-flavors-of-yggy/


Links taken from https://www.schiit.com/products/yggdrasil and then FAQ. 
 

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41 minutes ago, R1200CL said:

Maybe I’m messing it up, but:

Does this mean that a 16 bit DAC won’t benefit from a possible better 24 bit version of a song ?


Answer found at Schiit website:

But the Arglebargle has like twelve 32-bit DACs in it! Yours only has 17 to 21 bits! Hell, that’s not a full 24 bits even! What about my 24-bit recordings?
If your 24 bit recordings actually have 24 bits of resolution, we’ll eat a hat. 

 

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1 hour ago, gebeege1 said:

But if they're not offering a new "module" (e.g., a Less is More board) then what they say is a bit rhetorical... IMHO

Is Yggdrasil upgradable?
Yggdrasil is built for the future. The main board is nothing more than a motherboard and power supply. From there, separate, plug-in modules are used for the input board, the USB board, the processor/DSP board, and the separate analog boards. This means that any part of Yggdrasil can be updated as standards change. 


Maybe we see a future RJ45/SFP interface ?

 

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I am not overly familiar with the music you used and I read very quickly but I wonder about the recording/mastering resolution vs DAC.  IOW, would true hi-res be better on the OG vs LIM?

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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Hats off to Schiit for doing this. But if they'd have included one of their cheaper non-multibit DACs, that really would have been something.

 

Mani.

Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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3 hours ago, R1200CL said:

Maybe we see a future RJ45/SFP interface ?

 

I do not think so.

AFAIK, they said they will never do anything with streaming.

 

Matt

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

 

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MMG's?  Would have been nice to evaluate the bass and treble performance of the dacs but oh well. Why go through all that trouble and then use MMGs?

 

Great write-up as always, appreciate the effort you put into it.

 

I appreciate that Shiit is bringing quality products at reasonable prices but personally the whole frat-boy "Shiit" and "Shiiter" thing is such a huge turn-off for me I would never buy into this. That's just me, I don't know why I have a such an issue. I find it repulsive, yet understand that they are trying to counter the repulsive exclusivity and snobbery of the old-guard high end. It just seems so phony, like poopy jokes in movies I laughed at when I was 6.

 

I can see the appeal, it's just not for me or I am waaayyyy missing the point.

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, manisandher said:

Hats off to Schiit for doing this. But if they'd have included one of their cheaper non-multibit DACs, that really would have been something.

 

or offer a ES9038PRO board for Yggdrasil.

 

Matt

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

 

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1 hour ago, matthias said:

 

I do not think so.

AFAIK, they said they will never do anything with streaming.


Well, either you use USB or AOiP as transfer method shouldn’t mean that you need to add anything else that RAAT, NAA, or a possible Ravenna support. The latter probably quite expensive. 

 

Why do PC >USB>DAC when one also can do PC>Ethernet >DAC with probably much better results and possibilities, and this PC can be replaced with anything and several items.
AOiP with fiber is the future. Any transfer protocol ought to be over fiber, as discussed below. 

Ethernet interface is the only interface you need in a modern DAC. Think about it.

We have very good DDC converts, maybe better than the DAC manufacturers can make themselves it seems sometimes. 
Why not then converters for your CD transport or where ever you need something else. 
 

It would be interesting to understand DAC manufacturers point of view here. Why so reluctant to implement SFP and/or RJ45 interface. 
I’m actually questioning more why one allow i2s, but I guess it’s easier to make available. 

 


 

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"The audio chain consisted of a Mac Mini running Roon, with individual USB cables connected to the three Yggdrasils..."

 

Presumably by having one zone for each DAC in Roon, level-matching the zones, and then grouping them so they're all synced? What a great idea! (Assuming of course that the USB outputs from the computer all sound identical.)

 

I might have to give this a go, not just to test different DACs, but to test different streamers too.

 

Mani.

Phasure Mach III audio PC -> HQPlayer/XXHighEnd @24/705.6 -> Phasure NOS1 DAC -> First Watt F5-cloned mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers

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Great write up on a fascinating development!  I share your appreciation for reducing the flagship price, and I hope these leads them to lots more unit sales.

 

Alas, from a personal perspective, how can I possibly "trade up" to a less expensive product?  That wouldn't be very audiophile of me 😉

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7 minutes ago, PeterG said:

Alas, from a personal perspective, how can I possibly "trade up" to a less expensive product?  That wouldn't be very audiophile of me 😉

Did you read the other reviews ?

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10 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Schiit doesn't want the maintenance involved with a network interface. 

Interesting. I didn’t realize that was an issue. I was under the impression USB is the worst. But maybe not for a DAC.

 

If you happen to know what hassle ethernet implementation means, I like to hear. 

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