Okay, so I’ve finally (on order over 2 months) received my Schiit Yggdrasil. The unit arrived in exactly perfect condition (i.e. well packaged).
Upon first (and second) listening through all sources/inputs, I would need a stethoscope to discern any difference among my current components and connectivity. I also cannot detect any difference using the phase inversion button.
I suppose the aforementioned is a testament to how good my current system (before/without Yggy) already sounds. :)
I can easily A-B test because the Yggy is hooked in via balanced and my other components are also hooked directly to amp via RCA or USB.
Also, obviously I have NOT let the unit "burn in" for days because I just got it, however, it has come to full operational temperature after being powered on continuously over 24 hours.
System configuration: (Yggdrasil > XLR > Musical Fidelity M6si integrated amplifier > Golden Ear Triton Reference speakers ) all cables blue jeans cables "best" offering
Emotiva ERC-3 CD player > AES/EBU > Yggdrasil Oppo UDP-205 blue ray player > coax > Yggdrasil Samsung SMT-C5320 cable box > optical > Yggdrasil Gateway NV79 Windows 10 64-bit computer > USB > Yggdrasil
I’ll be patient, but if there are any suggestions to "try" in order to hear *some* audible difference, that would be great. Appreciate any feedback you have.
Gdhal > I’ll be patient, but if there are any suggestions to "try" in order to hear *some* audible difference, that would be great. Appreciate any feedback you have.
Blindjim > I’d recommend a few things but primarily, just wait. Leave it on. Possibly passing signals, maybe not. Better if you did IMHO.
Check it out in a few weeks or once it hits 350 to 400 hours. Why? Each review I read on this unit says exactly that this one needs a lengthy run in period.
Sorry. But I’m just a messenger. Been there and done that myself, though not on the exact same gear.
After the burn in or up is done, I’d say begin looking at your wires for upgrades. Power cords can really make things far better.
Then, those ICs connecting to the INT from the DAC. Next, those ICs connecting to the DAC itself from your other digital inputs/sources.
There are a bunch of areas wherein a system can be improved. Tons in fact. Isolation footers for ex. Are very reasonable, some even DIY. Some almost free which really will affect the presentation noticeably.
In time, addressing the incoming power lines noise will substantially improve the presentation. A lot. No question. This can be done fairly inexpensively too.
Loads of ancillary things alone or together will definitely elevate the performance and by that I mean your rig’s ability to become more articulate and resolving so it will be easier to hear ANY changes you make to it. Where ever!
I did not believe any of that stuff. Until, I tried it in my home using my own ears. I began with power cords. Then a passive power conditioner. Then Ics and spkr cables.
One more thing…. As I’jm just curious here, this DAC as I understand it, only does PCM, is it passing audio from your CATV box without you making changes to it so only PCM is output? Or did you reconfigure the CATV box to output only PCM?
I have Verizon/Frontier and its impossible to hook that CATV to my PCM only DAC and get any sounds. Regardless.
I’m interested in this DAC, and your decision to pick the Tritons too as they are an outside option on my own list… that is, the Refs or their top model. Can’t recall exactly its name. Very good luck to you here. I think your new DAC will blossom soon.
Glad you finally got it! My experience with several pieces of Schiit gear is they take a long time to open up...dozens of hours at the least. I’d be listening for improved treble extension and a general opening of the presentation...more air and space. Greater "dimensionality" (is that a word?) to instruments and vocals. Can you put constant signal through it with amp off or in mute? I play on repeat Track 9 of the XLO Test & Burn In CD. Good luck. I hope you find it to bring improvement to your music listening.
If the source file is the same and the Yggy is converting jitter free then it should sound the same no matter what your digital source. This AB test may exclude your cable box (as you have no control what is coming over the cable) but it is easy to check the same file from your CD and Blu ray and PC by burning the same source file to disc.
In fact if you do find a difference after ensuring the source file is identical then I would be concerned about the jitter immunity of the Yggy or the integrity of the source.
@blindjim -Yes, I too read of the long time for the Yggy to blossom. I suppose I was just hopeful that I’d readily detect at least a slight difference immediately (right of the box) and then gradual but noticable improvement over time. As for my cable box, honestly I just connected it without changing any settings. I’ve been in the settings menu a number of times and the audio options are very limited. Of course, I realize that the Yggy only does PCM. In my case that is fine and actually preferred, because I didn’t want to spend anything extra on DSD or MQA which is of no interest to me (because my collection of music is all PCM).
@ghosthouse - I shall focus my listening (to "hear" the Yggy) on the items you mention. Yes, I can run a constant source through it. The manual just indicates to leave it on and doesn’t specify to run music through it, but your advice here seems reasonable. I take it the input wouldn’t/shouldn’t matter (i.e. coax, optical, etc. should produce the same "burn in").
@shadorne - The A/B comparison test I’m speaking of would be the same source material and through the same player. For example, I have my Emotiva ERC-3 connected to the Yggy via AES/EBU, and the ERC-3 is also connected directly to my amp via RCA. So if I play a CD on it, I’ve toggled the amp input from balanced (where Yggy is the source) to CD (where ERC-3 is the source) during playback of the CD to try and discern a difference. The balanced connection is louder of course at the same volume level, so I’m disregarding that aspect and trying (just by ear and casually) to perhaps hear something "different". It could be that my hearing just isn’t "precise" enough, but I suspect whatever difference the Yggy brings to the table is subtle at best (not that it would be a bad thing if nothing more than subtle).
Not entirely clear why you'd expect a performance gain over your superb UDP-205...? Can we assume you have directly compared the OPPO to the YGGY, keeping all other factors constant, and found little difference? If so, that's quite the endorsement for the OPPO😊
Agreed the UDP-205 is superb. And yes, I have directly compared the OPPO to the YGGY, keeping all other factors constant, and (so far) found little difference. Frankly, I wasn't expecting tremendous difference. If there were tremendous difference, something would be amiss.
At this early stage, if I were to blind test the two (Oppo/Yggy) in an attempt to pick one apart from the other, I *think* (haven't actually tried "blind" as I am aware of my choosing the input source) I would be able to tell the Yggy as it does appear to sound ever so slightly less "digital" than the Oppo. Very subtle though. But I do consider a slightly less digital sound a welcome and worthwhile change/upgrade. I thought of a modwright tube modification to the Oppo instead of buying the Yggy, but for various reasons opted not to go that route.
I'm still trying to "figure this out", especially while I'm in the return policy window. Perhaps I'm trying a bit too hard.
What I'm also finding a bit peculiar here is the Yggy has a phase inversion button. The manual states to use whatever one of the two possible settings (on/off) sounds best. Even that I'm finding difficult to discern any difference. In that case, besides "normal" music passages, I am using a Denon Audio Technical CD that has an in and out of phase track. I'll be doing some more "critical" listening/evaluation later today.
Again, I appreciate everyone's comments, advice, etc. Thank you.
Citing the TAS article, possibly too the Computer Audiophile review, I suppose it could not hurt to increase the audition window by asking for a couple more weeks to ensure a proper decision can be made and see what happens.
RE A - B To be purely pedantic, an A/B cmp is not really being accomplished. Unless, the perspective is interconnects do not matter or do nothing to influence the audio signal.
Comparison ‘A’ uses RCA or XLR and two different file types including mechanical rotation with optical conversion to analog. So this is not a identical comparison.
Comp B uses USB PLUS XLR (or whatever interface is connecting it to the Y DAC) again, not an honest comparison. Anything coming out of the Y DAC is going to have to include one more interface at least, AES, TOS, SPDIF, or USB any of which on its own merits will or can, alter the sound. .
Its not a huge leap to improve upon BJ wires. I’ve been there and done that myself. Audio Art, Micro Pearl, are two very affordable ICs which well surpass the BJ wires. Especially the Micro Pearls @ $60 pr.
I’d say too, each interface or connection needs to get some hours on it or them at least, just to be certain these connectors have seen electricity or signals.
Many pieces of kit I’ve owned even when well run in did not perform at their best right after being turned on. Normally it took 30 – 60 minutes for the sound to get to its subjective best. Mostly around 40 – 45mins. Preamps, amps, DAC, CDPs, wires, power conds, speaker drivers, X over electronics, etc.
If the Y DAC does pass audio from the Samsung CATV box, I’d just leave it on to feed the Y DAC, or choose an internet radio . ch and use that to feed the Y DAC for the next 10 - 12 days changing channels or genres now and then.
I’ve not seen ‘break in’ discs or files demonstrate their worthiness previously. They do however show their need for unduly wearing the disc spinner’s electronics, optics, and mechanics. I would need a disposable CDP to use any ‘break in’ disc. Certainly not my ‘go to’ player.
a close friend of mine bought a less expensive model from the same company. He said it took a pretty long while for it to rise from sort of plain sounding to becoming a lot more impressive.
I’m nearly certain this initiation process will come out quite well. If it comes out according to your own taste, is another matter entirely. Just perusing the threads here on A’gon ‘ many folks sure seem to like this piece.
Your input here could show the actual transformation of the unit from stone cold to well opened, if you keep posting updates.
Again, luck to you.
as for phase inversion.... I'm thinking that too will come along showing better as time passes.
When I replaced my Jeff Rowland Aeris DAC with the Dave, there was an obvious difference from the first note. Yesterday, I replaced my Wireworld power cords with Shunyata Sigma, again from the first note there is an obvious difference.
The DAC you have is Schiit's most expensive DAC, you can find out now or find out later, there is no getting around the fact that USB cords matter and none are better than the WW Starlight Platinum 7. Is it insanely expensive? Maybe, Is it worth the investment? Absolutely. Buy one new or used, and if you don't find yourself gobsmacked, you can sell it quickly for no less than 80% of what you paid for it. You will not end up selling it. I understand that in your current configuration you have four sources and only one uses USB, and it's a laptop. If you want to get the most out of your DAC, use a music storage device that buffers high amounts of the music data and has none of the "noise" that a laptop has, e.g., an Aurender or the like. This would be your source for ultimate audio playback of digital files.
@gdhal You are receiving good advice and suggestions from the previous posters.
The 15 day return window is really too short to evaluate the Yggy properly. It really applies if you just don't care for the sound performance when you first set it up. I believe there is a restocking fee, which given the strong resale market makes it wiser to take your time and resell later if it doesn't work out for you.
I'll repeat what's already been said before:
- Give it time. Live with it for awhile and then go back to your previous setup.
- Your comparison isn't 1 to 1.
- Better cables will make a difference.
- Isolating the Yggy properly will deliver significant upside results.
Bill, you make a valid point with respect to the OP. And I agree. If at the end of the day gdhal doesn't hear significant differences, it is an easy choice to make...either way works.
The other aspect of this is value. We all value the differences by our own measuring sticks.
If you are referring to the isolation / resonance control I've applied, I'd say to my ears the result is significant. These things vary by person, so I offered it as an option should the OP keep the Yggy.
Again, I truly remain very appreciative to everyone’s input. At this early stage of owning and listening to the Yggy I am inclined to keep it. I’m honestly not even considering returning it. On the bright side, I’m very happy with sound of my equipment (collectively).
At the moment (well, just prior to this post) I’m specifically listening to an acoustic set of music (Grateful Dead source gd80-09-29.sbd.hinko.21926.sbeok.shnf) and it does sound rather incredible. But, I remain of the opinion that my system already sounded incredible without the Yggy.
@ghosthouse mentioned to listen (from a comparison perspective) for "greater dimensionality" . I’m honestly inclined to think there is some advantage here that the Yggy brings to the table, versus my Oppo. I can somehow sense better quality sound has been introduced, as there does appear to be a bit more omnipresence to the sound stage. Hard to pinpoint, but ghosthouse’s description of dimensionality I think is accurate. I also think/hear *some* degree of "digititis" has been removed.
The other suggestions of isolation and better cables is also well received (by me anyway), and I have little/no doubt that too would yield some improvement. However, I would expect marginal improvement with that type of upgrade, in comparison to the upgrade of installing the Yggy, a completely new component. I’ll keep the isolation/cables in mind for my next upgrade, but at the moment I’ll let the dust settle (for a few weeks at least) with the Yggy acquisition before committing any more dollars to this seemingly never ending hobby.
As an owner of just about all the Schiit line of DAC's. I have to say they have marketed their products well. Modi, Bifrost, Gungnir, Yggy all perform well, but each model up brings greater definition and clarity. I, too, noticed that a significant time for 'burn in' resulted in a more natural sound. For me, I just left the unit on and played music when I wanted to. Then, unexpectedly, the unit sounded 'better'. So, I say give the Yggy a good long time powered on. And, let me know if you get that 'AHA' moment. Bob
Amen to what gdnrbob says, though when you aren’t listening, I’d still advocate running signal to the Ygg even with your amp muted. ALSO, let US know if you get that AHA moment! Good luck and hoping even better things are ahead.
.....though when you aren’t listening, I’d still advocate running signal to the Ygg even with your amp muted.....
I’ve taken that under serious advisement. In fact, I’ve posed the question to Schiit tech support. The manual does indicate to leave it on continuously, but falls short of stating it needs/wants signal continuously during break-in or any other period.
Running a signal to it continuously should be overkill IMO, irrespective of electric cost and any other equipment degradation. Modern day electronics just shouldn’t require "continually powered on" be the case.
In fact, my thinking in this regard is (or should be) "leave the Yggdrasil on continuously for the most euphoric sound you’ve ever heard in your life". Then, when powered off and subsequently called upon to play music, power said device on and exclaim "Wow, check out how great this sounds from a cold start. I’m almost in a state of euphoria. Wish I had left it on the past 24 hours."
Nevertheless, I respect and appreciate that advice and will post herein whatever Schiit support replies (assuming they do so).
I only listen to and collect live music in flac 16/44 or better format. That said, I have plenty of hi-rez "sample stuff" that I’m able to playback via the Oppo, and the Yggy recognizes it as high res given the change in its front panel LEDs.
EDIT: What I also mean to indicate is that I only listen to and/or collect music in a LOSSLESS format. Nothing lossy - regardless of file format, band, rarity of recording, etc. - is acceptable to my ears.
1 - Regarding the burn in of said unit, per Schiit Audio "Running music through it is not necessary for burn in; only that it is on and left on."
2 - I have connected SE output (RCA) cables from the Yggy to my amp. The RCA cables are identical to the RCA cables I'm using for other component connectivity to the amp. I did this merely to facilitate a more accurate A/B comparison. XLR also remains connected.
3 - The sound I'm getting from USB (in to Yggy) is phenomenal. Definitely noticeably better than connecting USB directly to my amp, which also has a USB DAC.
4 - Their 15 day return policy window is unwavering. However, the clock starts from when I signed for it from Fedex. I'm fine with that policy as I was aware of this before purchasing it. I am currently NOT of the mindset to return it. I only mention this because I recall some posts herein indicating that burn-in can take much longer than 15 days, so my trial/evaluation wouldn't necessarily include a completed/proper burn-in period.
If you have to go through this much coddling and craziness to just hear a small small difference is it really worth it? There is not that much A B difference between good digital.......The Yggy has a great rep and is certainly a super Dac. I maintain that differences in quality dacs is not that easy to hear.
BTW, in response to your question, "maybe". I too have heard (from the dealer I purchased my amp and speakers from) that there is not much difference to be heard between *good* DACs. I'm certain this is one reason I'm having a hard time discerning any. Thank you for your feedback as it serves as some confirmation to what I'd already believed is the case.
On an unrelated to Yggy but within the realm of music note, you wouldn't happen to be Bill "G", who disseminates such terrific Grateful Dead soundboards such as gd81-10-12.128591, would you. :)
Yes, of course. In this context the comparison I'm doing is playing some flac 16/44 or higher via the Oppo's USB port. The Oppo is connected to my amp via RCA, and connected to the Yggy via coax. The Yggy is also connected to the amp via the same RCA type cable.
At the moment, I cannot hear any *profound* difference. Whatever difference there may be is subtle at best. Overall, with the Yggy things do seem a fraction less digital and a bit more "open" (space between instruments). However, this could very well be placebo too. Further, and as you know given the past years worth of posts I've made specific to the Oppo (UDP205), I have always stated it is a stellar performer. So, I would expect that the Oppo *should* be tough to best. Many have suggested and I come to understand it can be extremely difficult to differentiate among good digital/DACs. This is something that frankly I thought it best for me to find out first hand.
I am also open to the unfortunate possibility that my own personal hearing capability may be insufficient to detect any difference. However, I do take some solace in believing that some advantage, even if only theoretical, has been introduced. And I am open minded to theoretical advantage. For instance, I use 6 feet of speaker wire instead of 30 because the 6 feet offers less resistance. Would I hear a difference if I used 30 instead? Of course not. Still better to use 6 though, as I think you would agree.
I remain hopeful some more burn in and time will cause a blossoming of sorts as many others have suggested will be the case.
@gdhal Since it looks like you are planning on keeping the Yggy past the 15 day window, here’s something to consider.
Throw away the critical evaluation hat. I really mean it.
Enjoy your music for a month or so. Then listen to each setup for a few days each. Be introspective about which one you seem to keep wanting to come back to.
(When listening via the Oppo, keep the Yggy on. You don’t need to run signal through it).
You are lucky because both components are well regarded and have active followings. Either will be easy to resell. Consider the differential you lose to be a very worthwhile investment towards your learning and movement along the journey.
What a timely thread. I just posted a question about the benefits of an external DAC with my Oppo 103 because I have heard zero change in the SQ with a DAC in the signal path or not. I demo'd the Gungnir and ran it in for 15 days and heard zero SQ improvement with it in the path. As a matter of fact, I called Oppo and asked a technician why I wasn't hearing any improvement in my system using an external DAC. His languid response what that the DAC in the Oppo CD player was quite good. That is exactly what my ears tell me.
If indeed the Schitt DAC benefits from being run-in longer than 15 days, why doesn't Schiit permit a 30 or 45 day run in period? I sent my Gungnir back after 15 days for refund. My Channel Island Audio DAC does not make any sonic difference in my system. Just my take.
@brhatten - Welcome to the forum. I appreciate the link regarding others impressions of break in, etc. I can assure you, I read every piece of Yggy info on the Internet once and in some cases twice before ultimately deciding it was the best purchase (in my particular case and for my needs/wants). Honestly, it was this forum in particular, coupled with professional reviews that I valued most. Nevertheless, I'll glance over portions of the head fi site once again. Best of luck with your Yggdrasil. And don't be bashful. Please post your impressions (in this thread or elsewhere).
@david_ten - good advice on your part. Thank you. To your point about leaving it on while listening to the Oppo, in fact, I am leaving it on 24/7 regardless of any other component I'm listening to and even while not listening. I have some reservations about that because of increased cost (electric) and decreased longevity of the units capacitors (as shadorne was kind enough to educate me in that regard). The electric I knew before hand, upon reading the Schiit manual. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, those are not truly negative concerns, and good "problems" to have. From an investment perspective and with an eye toward resell, typically I do not engage in such matters. My expectation is that future monetary value would be a fraction of the cost of new. Therefore, if I'm wrong, all the better.
@whitestix - perhaps your question would be better suited for Schiit instead of Oppo. But I agree, as I have stated repeatedly on this forum and elsewhere, the Oppo sounds great. I have no experience with the 103 though, but from what I understand from the AVS forum, if you like your 103 for sound, you'll love the 205.
@gdhal thanks for your warm welcome. I think you'll find that thread very interesting. Like you, I did a ton of research while creating my new digital streaming front end. That thread has been active since 2015. The founders of Schiit regularly post on it responding to questions. That's a rarity nowadays. I'd rather not admit how many of the posts on thread I read during my research. LOL.
Thx - I'm hoping that the Oppo is not distinguishable from the Yggy...
save me some $$
So should I take your statement to mean you are reliant on my opinion alone?
You yourself did state only a few months ago in the Oppo thread "Bottom line - the OPPO 205 universal disc player/DAC is not quite as good as a $6k purpose built DAC, right?" as well as other posts indicative of the fact that you recognize and agree that a purpose built DAC would be superior to Oppo.
You may never hear a difference. Consider yourself lucky in some ways. The Oppos are decent machines and as good as many people require. My suggestion is to stop thinking about it, leave the dac in the system for a month and then take it out. Sometimes, the benefit of a new component can be better judged when removed from the system after listening. But I think you also see that reviews or buzz about a component it doesn't mean you will like it better than what you have.
The "buzz" in this case specifically has to do with the fact that the Yggy is mulitbit R2R ladder technology, whereas the other DACs I have are all delta-sigma. Further, the buzz is such that it leads one to believe mulitbit is "audibly better". And that would be in addition to the purportedly "better" analog stage and implementation of said DAC in the Yggy, relative to the Oppo.
Your plight is similar to anyone who buys a component based on a purported technical superiority. It doesn't always work, as you see. I'm not the one saying there is no difference between the Oppo and Schitt - you are. The only way to judge a component is to listen, which is exactly what you're doing now. Hopefully, you can return the Schitt if it doesn't live up to expectations. Best of luck.
I'm not the one saying there is no difference between the Oppo and Schitt - you are.
What I'm reporting is that I do not *hear* a difference.
By virtue of this thread, I have sought the input of others to provide opinions and facts as to what I could or should do to hear an audible difference (and with the assumption my ears and other audio gear are capable).
I couldn't hear any difference in dacs up to $2500, through perfectly respectable speakers, electronics and cables. I tried, it just didn't happen. So I'm not the least bit surprised that you're not hearing it either between the Oppo and Schiit. Might things "change" over the next month or so, sure, but you'll never know if it's the placebo effect and your mind trying to justify the expenditure. So you have two choices - if the money means nothing and you really love just collecting gear, keep both. I own 4 sets of speakers, so you wouldn't be alone there. Or, if you can find something better to do with the $2K - home improvements, weekend getaway, funding a philanthropic endeavor, whatever - return the Schiit and find yourself holding $2K you'd already mentally said goodbye to and do something else with the money. But it's a safe bet that if you haven't already had your "wow" moment, it's not going to happen.