To get a better view it should be fair to post the whole passage:
Reposting a few of my impressions from the beta test thread (not putting inside a quote though, I hate those blue expander boxes):
“[comparing] Eitr vs. Gen 5 USB previously, I noticed a difference, but not that significant. A little softer and rounder, but a bit less etched than the Gen 5. Now however, Eitr compared to the new USB sounds WAY softer and bloomy, bass bloaty and warm, definitely more compact staging, greyer blackground, less dynamic and detailed. The clarity with the new USB is something else.”
“With Yggdrasil, comparing the new [Unison] USB to Eitr/SPDIF, you lose some of that warm glowing hug. Fans of smooth warmpoo and bloomy tube sound may not find the new USB favourable, at least initially, since it seems to strip away all of that artificial fuzzy warmth. It seems to relay only the pure music from the recording without being wrapped in an SPDIF Snuggie [should have called it an “Eitr Snuggie”, not SPDIF specifically]. Still, if the recording is soft and warm, you do get that. If it’s hard/thin, you get that too. In other words, it seems more transparent and there’s less coloration being applied to all your recordings than with Eitr.
I know others including @purr1n have said that Yggdrasil A2 to be somewhat bass boosted/bloated and I find this only appears on Eitr/SPDIF now - USB seems more even tonally through the bass region, but it also comes with even more low end slam/dynamics.
Going back to Eitr shrinks the stage and congeals the instruments and vocals together and makes them softer and less distinct/separate, especially in complex passages. You do lose the immediacy and sense of realness that connects you more emotionally to the music, especially on great recordings. Solo vocals, piano and other acoustic instruments are just stunning on the new USB because they are so distinct, clear and dynamic (both micro and macro dynamics). But picking out individual instruments on the stage, even with complex passages, is way easier as well and really makes you feel like you’re watching the band perform live.
I was surprised that even on poor recordings, the new USB doesn’t seem to overemphasize the nastiness like the previous Gen 5 USB does. With certain recordings and certain speakers that tend towards brightness, I found had to switch from using Gen 5 over to Eitr because the USB would scrape at my ears and cause fatigue. But some of those not-so-great recordings are simply the best music. Arcade Fire’s first couple albums for instance are not the best recordings, but man they kick ass musically. They don’t cause me fatigue on the new USB like they did with Gen 5.”
“On a sound quality / impressions note - when I had taken out the card to send it back to Schiit for the firmware update, I had initially started back using the Gen 5 card. But I quickly found that it started to cause fatigue, so I put Eitr back in the chain. Eitr made it much more enjoyable to listen to, especially for long sessions, even though it has a bit softer and more rounded presentation. Gen 5 just had this underlying harshness and etch in the mids and highs that just became grating fairly quickly, esp at high volumes.
With Unison however, I have no fatigue whatsoever.I’ve listened to it solid now for almost 2 weeks with zero desire to go back or even try Eitr/SPDIF. Eitr is now unplugged and put away in a drawer. Unison is awesome. I’m pretty pumped to see what Mike can do with his CD transport.”
Looking forward to the Schiit CD transport as well 🙂