Schiit USB Gen 2 Upgrade for Bifrost & Gungnir

This is their new USB port processor board for the Bifrost and Gungnir

From their web site...
Featuring the C-Media CM6631A receiver and additional isolation and filtering, the Gen 2 USB input outperforms external USB-SPDIF converters that cost several times as much

Has anyone tried it?
Did it live up to the hype?

Feedback would be greatly appreciated

Many Thanks
Since it does not appear that anyone has experienced this upgrade yet, I decided to take the plunge and purchase one for my Bifrost that has the older USB board.

To be honest - I have not experienced anything bad with the existing USB board, but then I use upgraded power cables and Interconnects and the USB cable I'm using has two cables joined at the DAC's USB plug. One cable is for data and the other for power. The power cables goes into a separate USB mains power adapter.

For details on the cable and power supply see this post

The new USB board should be here sometime next week, so I'll post some feedback once I've installed it.

I've just installed the board and it's playing as I type :-)

Installation of the board was easy
- undo all the visible screws and slide out the chassis
- undo the two screws holding the USB board and lift vertically
- insert the new board and replace screws

- the port switching button is one problem - it is not secure - to avoid this falling out apply a piece of tape on the outside of the case to hold the button in place.
- the led's are on long springy leads so their position has to be precise to locate them into the small holes in the case - it took a few tries but it is possible.

Other than that it was a breeze :-)

How does it sound - the top end definitely has more details, like cymbals, triangles, etc... and image has improved a little with improved separation, but I haven't noticed anything else so far - early days :-)

Was it worth the upgrade?

YES! If all you want to play is 176.4 hi-res tracks via USB

From an sonic improvement perspective...

If my Bifrost was being used to augment a "computer systems sound" (many are), then I might not have considered this upgrade - other than for the need to play 176.4 high res tunes.

By comparison - my Bifrost is part of...
- a modestly priced hi-fi system - around $12k
- it has an extremely good power cable attached to it
- it has extremely good Interconnects attached to it
- the USB cable is a dual cable design, one for Power and one for Signal, joined at the Bifrost USB plug.
- The power for the USB board comes from a separate USB power adapter.
- so it's tricked out to the max :-)

The high end improvement was immediately noticeable - so yes, in a system like this - it's definitely worth it!

If you have the Gungnir...
- I would have to believe it would be worth it sonically
- assuming you are using XLR IC's
- But again, make sure your cables are up to the task as well.

NOTE: If you are adding the USB in your Bifrost/Gungnir - then the installation has one additional step
- you have to add a couple of spacers that the USB board fastens to
- it's pretty simple though

Hope this satisfies everyone's curiosity :-)

BTW - my initial requirement was to play 96 and 192 high res - but it's nice to finally have 176.4 as well:-)

Yesterday's comments were made after listening to the new USB upgrade after about 1 hour after powering the DAC up post installation - I really should have known better :-)

Overnight, this upgrade has gone from being "a moderate success", to the best $129cdn I have EVER spent on audio equipment.

Kudos to Schiit for really delivering on the promise of upgradability.

Yesterday, I may have cast doubts that it might not be wise to purchase this upgrade if the DAC were part of a computers sound system - well, what I heard this morning would contradict those comments!

This upgrade is beneficial regardless of what type of system the DAC is part of.

There's a significant improvement in the imaging - there is much better separation and hence a more precise image with more space.

There is a significant extension to the upper frequency details and improved clarity.

The mid-range is fuller and warmer and the "analogue feel" I always thought this little DAC displayed, has just gotten a whole lot better.

There is a slightly fuller bass with better detail and control

My apologies if the last post deterred anyone from considering this upgrade.

This morning's listening session was a real eye opener.

I hope there's an upgrade to the "UBER Upgrade" in the works if this one is anything to go by:-)

If you don't have a Bifrost - go buy one - they come with this latest upgrade and will sound fantastic - i.e. with the right cables :-)

Again, my apologies...
Well, since this DAC was conceived by "experts in the field" I figured it should sound better.

To that end I thought I'd try the v-link192 USB/spdif converter.

The results were so much better than schiit's Gen 2 upgrade - and it was cheaper

The schiit dac 's are capable of extremely high resolution - it's a pity that they are not also masters of the USB interface.

If you are looking at the get 2 upgrade - get the v-link I stead