Jump to content
IGNORED

Article: New Schiit Yggdrasil Blind Listening Comparison


Recommended Posts

Having recently compared several DACs from Chord, Denafrips, and others at home over several weeks vs. my Yggy A2 via S/PDIF coax, I applaud the subjective comments, used in a direct comparative fashion, such as...

 

  • just sounded congested to me, as if the details were lost
  • Instruments seemed to pop out unnaturally
  • vocal was good and the drums had good air / space around them
  • extra crispy high frequencies, and harsh hammer strikes
  • the steel drum was really clear at low volume and had great separation between mallet strikes
  • "Yes." The sound put me at ease, relaxed me, and was absolutely right.

 

In my journey of sound, comparative listening lends tremendous weight to these concepts that sadly, neither words nor measurements can fully convey. I wish it weren't so, but 'tis so. And my listening concluded that these DACs are all excellent, all offering "flavors" as Stoddard writes in his ongoing marketing masterclass on Head-fi.org. Comments such as Chris' above helped me determine which was the right flavor, for me, for my system. My friend prefers his DAC, his system. Anyone surprised?  

 

When I play the same Keith Johnson Nojima Liszt piano track I've been listening to since it came out, among many other tracks, all the characteristics embodied in the quotes above are manifestly evident. And I've learned that for me, if I have to really try to hear it, it's probably not there. But if it's effortless, and often these things are even when trying to hear the forest over the trees, then I go with my impressions. And especially if it repeats similarly on other days, other listening sessions, other moods.

 

A tumultuous cascade of arpeggios will blow your mind if you can hear all the notes fall as they're played–solo piano, massed strings, etc. A capable DAC in a capable system in the right room makes hearing complex passages effortless, every time. My definition of nirvana. 

 

"Yes. The sound put me at ease, relaxed me, and was absolutely right."

 

YMWV - Your mileage will vary

 

Sum>Frankenstein: Schiit Yggdrasil A2+Shunyata Venom/PS Audio P3 Regenerator+AVOptions Tibia, W4S Remedy/Uptone LPS-1.2, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, Naim 72/HiCap/250 DR, Tellurium Black II, Monitor Audio Silver 500, Epos, Uptone Audio ISO & EtherREGENs, Witch Hat/Audience/Silnote/ZenWave/Mapleshade/Shunyata/Transparent Audio cables/cords, and nice room w/treatment.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, JoeWhip said:

We all have different processors between our ears. Come on man!

Would u say 3 Michelin star French cuisine tastes better than  no Michelin star French cuisine? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Rexp said:

Would u say 3 Michelin star French cuisine tastes better than  no Michelin star French cuisine? 

 

Do you know the process of acquiring a Michelin star? I have read stories about it not always being above board...

 

That said, I can see a scenario where a non Michelin star restaurant or chef could make food just as good or better. I have a friend who travels to attend cooking classes in Italy and France regularly, as well as here in town and the US. She is an amazing cook. I would go to her house before I would go to almost any restaurant confident in the knowledge that what I will eat will be outstanding. She has no Michelin stars.

No electron left behind...

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

 

Do you know the process of acquiring a Michelin star? I have read stories about it not always being above board...

 

That said, I can see a scenario where a non Michelin star restaurant or chef could make food just as good or better. I have a friend who travels to attend cooking classes in Italy and France regularly, as well as here in town and the US. She is an amazing cook. I would go to her house before I would go to almost any restaurant confident in the knowledge that what I will eat will be outstanding. She has no Michelin stars.

I find I agree with the Michelin judges neally all the time. These judges are connoisseurs who have superior tasting skills to Joe Average. Its the same with audio, some have superior listening skills. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Rexp said:

I find I agree with the Michelin judges neally all the time. These judges are connoisseurs who have superior tasting skills to Joe Average. Its the same with audio, some have superior listening skills. 

 

I don't doubt your experience at all. If I can find that story again I will link it for you.

No electron left behind...

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Rexp said:

Would u say 3 Michelin star French cuisine tastes better than  no Michelin star French cuisine? 

Impossible to make a general statement like that, but of course it's possible in some instances.

Also, the stars aren't awarded solely on the basis of taste.

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 :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been fortunate enough to have dined at 3 star Michelin restaurants, although I prefer ones in Rome to France. Rather than comparing 3 star to no star, I would compare different entres at the same place. As an example, I would always pick beef over fish. A matter of taste or flavors if you will. Don’t forget that part of the experience at a Michelin restaurant is how the courses are presented. Btw, some of the best meals I have had around the world were at non starred restaurants although almost all of the Michelin experiences were superb.

Link to post
Share on other sites

These Michelin star critiques are kind of nit picky to the extent of missing the point, in a way similar to others that challenge our ability to rank art.  No doubt that stars are awarded for more that food's taste alone.  No doubt that each of us could find a chef a zero stars that we would prefer to a starred restaurant.

 

But if any one of us who enjoyed fine dining visited 10 starred places and 10 randomly chosen other restaurants at similar price points, and then ranked them all, it's a good bet that the top 5 or 10 would be disproportionately starred.

 

Rankings may not be perfect, but that does not mean they do not exist at all

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Chris, Yggy LIM or Terminator II? :-)

 

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).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Over decades have been lucky to dine a starred Michelin places.  FWIW, the difference I have observed in food quality/preparation between 2 and 3 stars is not very distinct.  The third star seems to be awarded based upon quality/ambiance of the venue, service level, quality of china and glassware, depth of wine cellar...all playing a role in the quality of the experience, but not what's on the plate.  

 

As of late, when traveling abroad, we have decided to focus on the 1 star places, particularly newly awarded ones, and those that focus on very regional cuisine.  If in Italy or Spain, it kind of makes no sense to be eating dishes with Asian influences or Frenched out Italian or Spanish food, when real Italian and Spanish foods well prepared are amazing.  Many of the 2 and 3 star places trend towards "international" food or overworked dishes that look like art on the plate but to me do not deliver.  An example, Alinea in Chicago; my son and a foodie friend at end of the tasting menu at this 3 star restaurant took a walk back to our hotel and when I asked my son for his take on the experience, he said it was "cool", the I asked him if he returned "which dish would he order again?" The answer was "none".  I felt the same way...all contrived, over thought out dishes, short on flavor.  My foodie buddy said he was thinking about getting a slice or a burger after that meal, because he felt unsatisfied.

 

Loved my Theta Gen Va for years.  Still do not understand why the guys who invented the DAC Pre do not produce a DAC with a variable attenuator when it makes so much sense in a digital audio world.  So I'll sit it out until they do.

 

Tone with Soul

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, 57gold said:

Loved my Theta Gen Va for years.  Still do not understand why the guys who invented the DAC Pre do not produce a DAC with a variable attenuator when it makes so much sense in a digital audio world.  So I'll sit it out until they do.

 

Yes, the lack of preamp capability is the reason the Yggdrasil was dropped from consideration when I was shopping last year. (Nevertheless, I'm very happy with my exaSound E32).

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 57gold said:

Loved my Theta Gen Va for years.  Still do not understand why the guys who invented the DAC Pre do not produce a DAC with a variable attenuator when it makes so much sense in a digital audio world.

Isn’t Theta Generation VIII exactly that ?

https://www.stereophile.com/digitalprocessors/204theta/index.html

I guess you know who that guy was, that invented the Theta DAC’s ?

 

If anyone has compared the Theta G8 S3 with any other modern DAC, I like to hear.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/9/2021 at 5:34 AM, 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.

 

Mani.

 

I agree. I have two Schiit Modi's (Modi 3 + multi-bit) and their Freya pre-amp. I also just got a Topping D10s and have an Allo Boss 2 on one of my Raspberry Pi's. Would love to know if I could hear a significant improvement in my main sound system with one of these new Yggy's, but I don't want to spend the time and possible expense of a restocking fee to find out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/9/2021 at 8:34 AM, 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.

 

Mani.

I have a Bifrost on a second system.  It's a good DAC for the money, but the Yggy crushes it.  They aren't really comparable products

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, skikirkwood said:

Would love to know if I could hear a significant improvement in my main sound system with one of these new Yggy's, but I don't want to spend the time and possible expense of a restocking fee to find out.

Agreed.  I readily upgraded to the Gen 2 for about the same price as this swap, but they pushed that as an unambiguous improvement.  Plus, I am the kind of guy they are warning not to try the board swap at home, haha

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, PeterG said:

I have a Bifrost on a second system.  It's a good DAC for the money, but the Yggy crushes it.  They aren't really comparable products

 

I am planning on driving down the California coast from San Francisco to L.A. next month. If I do, I will most certainly stop at the Schiitr and do some comparative listening!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Chris for your quick turnaround review, I always value your opinion. Yggdrasil (current model) is on my DAC purchase short list, so your comparison of it to the two new models could not have come at a better time. And kudos to the Schiiters for setting up a quality double blind test.  

Win 10 laptop and JRiver22 (set to WASAPI) controlled remotely by JRemote on iPad Mini or iPhone> Belkin Gold USB cable > Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB to SPDIF converter> DH Labs D-75 digital coaxial cable > Benchmark DAC1 HDR with volume control> Cardas Golden Presence balanced interconnects > BSG Technologies QOL Signal Completion Stage > Cardas Golden Presence balanced interconnects > Music Reference RM-200 Mk II tube amp > Cardas Golden Presence speaker cables > Sonus faber Cremona M speakers.  Running Springs Haley power conditioner.

Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, baldr said:

The boards were all made with my best efforts. None were gimped or boosted. It was an exercise in making a better Yggy. 

Really appreciate your comment as well as all of your contributions, Mike!

 

I placed an order for the LiM, and can't wait for it to arrive. Tho, I'm curious if you think there's more untapped potential to make the MiL chip truly sing through firmware updates given it's a newer chip design?

 

And it'd be super interesting to hear your thoughts on why you think it may be the case that the LiM ends up being your preferred choice?

 

Take care of yourself!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, baldr said:

I realize that I cannot please all – the variety of boards offer options.


Is a RJ45 or a SPF with NAA and/or RAAT support a future possibility, and if not, why ?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...