Why not apply the same buying methodology you used on the other Schiit gear? Buy the DAC. If no likey, sell it.
Like you, I found almost no difference between the internal and external Orchid DAC. With a power board upgrade and budget PS (PD Creative) there is a substantial difference in each. The internal DAC jumps to a new level. Well worth 105 US $ . The Orchid leaves it in the dust.
Sbooster super for for the Node when using an external DAC.
I ordered the best unit that PD Creative had... only a few hundred cost w/ the best external PS. I will give that a try. Only thing is that the installation instructions on the website are in Polish.
Rather than spend over $2k on on outboard DAC + cables, I want to try and pressurize my room with a Rythmik G25HP sub - already running stereo Rythmik F12's. 😀
I wish we lived closer together, I’d brink my Yiggy over. First off, NICE GEAR ! Second , buy a Yiggy. I got back into stereo about 10-12 years ago. I bought a Bifrost and eventually upgraded to a Yiggy. With a 15 day return policy you can run it for 10-12 days then listen. I bet you’ll keep it. Also since it’s R2R, leave it powered on all the time. BTW your bikini is a nice color 😆. Regards , Mike B.
So I have a Gen 1 Yiggy. Anyone of the DAC’s that’s labeled Multibit will be R2R architecture from Schiit. I’m not up on the latest stuff, but it seems the chip industry has taken a big hit and it’s caused design changes. Like everything else it’s system dependent and subject to your taste. I would read some of the reviews comparing the “ old Vs new “ designs as they give a good description of the sonic signature. That being said the reviews on the new Gumby look promising too. If we weren’t 15 hours apart I’d just bring mine over. I have purchased 4 items from Schiit and they all offer outstanding performance Vs cost ratio. FWIT , I struggle with brightness in my system and do not use any cables that have silver and I find the Yiggy to be relatively smooth. I run a Thorens TT with a Grado Prestige cartridge and something like “ Alice In Chains “ MTV live sounds pretty similar in vinyl Vs Tidal. I hope this helps. Regards , Mike.
While I have no hands on experience with a Bluesound I am very familiar with lots of other folks experiences. Also I have experiencewith Schiit DACs. About a year and a half I researched DACs for a friend. In the process bought a Gungnir and we bought a Yggdrasil for him. I can recommend either. The Yggdrasil is better sounding… but it sound like you really value bargains, so maybe for you the Gungnir. Both should give you a good improvement in sound quality.
There are three black B-stock Yggdrasils for sale on the Schiit web site. Save $100 or so.
I too and a frugal mid-fi person. Had a Modi 3/Vali 2 stack for Senn HD650. I wanted to like it but I did not. Despite that experience I am still interested in the better Schiit DACs.
I was using a Bluesound Node 2i for my main system. Good streamer for the money, but I much prefer the DAC in my Cambridge CXA-81. I look forward to further upgrading the DAC.
Best of luck.
I personally wouldn't bother trying a bunch of different DACs to improve the Bluesound. I've owned both the Bluesound Node 2i and the current model. It's excellent for it's price and punches way above it's price, but it's still not perfect.
My experience was a little different than above. First, I did get a significant improvement when upgrading the coax cable. You don't need to go crazy but will have to spend a few hundred bucks. Secondly, I prefered the inboard Bluesound DAC to the inboard Cambridge DAC. I have recently inserted a Denafripts Ares into the mix and like it much better than either Bluesound or Cambridge inboard DACs. The Ares is also a few hundred bucks cheaper than the Gumby. Bottom line between cables and DAC you'll have to spend $1k to $2k above the cost of a Node but in my system they were very worthwhile upgrades. YMMV.
So… i went through the exact same process as @audiofreak32 . I added the schiit gungir multibit dac and noticed a minimal difference… BUT then I decided to switch from using the bluesound as my streamer and put in a metrum ambre. I connected it to the gungir via a black cat cables silverstar bnc. I noticed a huge difference.
I’ve had an original Freya for years and it’s simply a great thing. NOS GE tubes. I use a (for streaming) Bluesound Node 2i into a Schiit Bifrost II DAC as the Node DAC lacked mojo (a specific official audio handy term), and it all lands in a Pass XA-25 into Klipsch Heresy IIIs. I think I’ve talked about this here maybe 432 times...ahem...The Pass is a relatively recent purchase and it utterly lives up to the hype as my system now sounds too damn good, rendering me unworthy...really...it’s just too good...*sniff*...man...
I went from a Bluesound to Zen Stream + Bifrost 2 - that was a nice uptick in quality.
Not to open a can of worms, but upgrading the fuse in your DAC can take things to another level, as well.
I also did the PD creative update for my Node 2i, upgraded to a Nordost Purple Flare cable, but found the ifi Zen Stream and a separate DAC to add more.
I also have a Node 2i with a Denafrips Ares II. I almost went with the Schiit Bifrost or Gungnir, but chose the Ares based on the vast number of reviews that described a sound signature that I thought I would like better.
While the Node's DAC is pretty good, I'd recommend trying an external DAC. I have both connected and occasionally switch back and forth. While I prefer the Ares, I'll admit that the differences are subtle. Some (but not all) MQA albums through the Node can narrow the gap.
Al a point of reference, I have a Bluesound Node 2i that i use with an external Schiit Modi Multibit and noticed an improvement in sound quality. My system is Don Sachs preamp with a upgraded Bob Latino ST 120 tube amp to Spatial M3 Triode Masters/or Vandersteen 3A speakers. The internal dac sounded good, detailed, but brittle on a fair amount of music. The Multibit was warmer and had a more fleshed out coherent sound. I have not had any other external dacs to compare it with but this very modest upgrade did make a difference in sound quality over stock Bluesound 2i. I have been itching to try a better dac myself to see what difference that upgrade will make.
Also using Freya+ with various NOS tubes, Parasound A21+, and a better DAC (now in for warranty repair) with Bifrost II in interim. (Fully agree on bi-amping Aegirs, what a bargain). Before springing for Yggy, try Bifrost II. Both Schiit and users say sound is similar to Yggy whereas Gungnir is of a different stripe (their website is pretty clear about the differences, so I won't elaborate). For me, Bifrost/Yggy sound is not optimal & I will continue experimenting with DACs. For streamer, Aurender will leave you wanting for nothing. Whichever model (sans DAC) is in your price range.
In order to have better results with Gungnir or Yggdrasil DAC's, it will be necessary to upgrade the Bluesound Node 2i also. A better streamer will make this upgrade more evident. My suggestions with a good cost x benefit ratio will be Mercury Streamer - Pi2 Design witl a good Linear power supply or a Metrum Ambre as proposed earlier on this thread.
I did the same thing and am diggin' it! Picked up a Freya + and some sweet NOS tubes from Kevin Deal at Upscale, and also bought two TYR Monoblocks. Bought very affordable balanced cables from one of the two companies that Schiit recommends on their site. Snake Oil Sound - a start-up in California. My system sounds awesome! I bumped my Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated amp for now because this new Schiit system sounds so much better to my ears with my Magnepan 1.7i's and dual subs. JBL Fathom f112 v2 and a MartinLogan Descent i. My main Sources are a SonoruS Audio Modified ReVox PR99 MKI reel to reel deck and a new Technics SL-1210GAE turntable. I am very pleased with my investment. Dana
So interesting turn of events...
I thought for sure that I was going to keep the Tyr amps and sell may pair of Aegir amps. They definitely had more power output (of course), but there seemed to be something missing. The Aegir have a "sweetness" to them is the best way I can describe it. The low end in noticeably deeper - like driving into the floor deep and weighty. Maybe not quite as fast/articulate, but to my ears noticeably more real. The Tyr bass was more lean, but I suppose more "correct". The top end on the Tyr had a sharpness to them at times, especially when I was pushing the music hard. The Aegir never really did that... more rolled off top end maybe... more tube like?
So I contacted Schiit and said that I wanted to return the Tyr amps and said that I would be happy to exchange + cash for a new, black Yggy (less is more version). We will see what happens on Monday I guess.
So here is another NEW question: coming out of the Bluesound Node 2i... I happen to have an Audioquest MaKenzie cable that is digital RCA to what looks like an XLR.... maybe this is an AES/EBU? Should I connect them together this way? A little birdie told me that this is one of the best ways to connect a streamer into a DAC.
I feel that the BS Node 2i (especially that version - not the newer one) sounds very good already as a streamer+DAC. Sure, you can definitely get better sound... but for how much? Maybe $2k AT LEAST in my opinion to get a worthwhile upgrade. The issue I have is the app that controls things and the BlueOS is superb, while many others are not. I am using another 2i on my other system with a pair of Devialet Phantom 1 (108) active speakers, so I am not using the on-board Bluesound DAC, just streaming duty only.
When people slam the sound of the BS alone... my question would be: what are you comparing it to for $550 that beats it? The answer is nothing. I have tried various outboard DACs with this BS Node 2i and even dropping near $2k in DAC _ cables got a BARELY better sound for my ears. I guess if you are comparing it to a streamer/DAC that is $12,000 USD, then, sure the Bluesound sucks in comparison maybe.
Don't care about how many "bits" or DSD.... I care about the sound - looking for natural and non-fatiguing.
I have a Bluesound Node2 (not Node2i) and Bluesound Vault. I have found that when I play TIDAL MQA albums, about 80% of them sound better then when my external DAC (a Schiit Bifrost Uber and/or Bifrost 2 is running).
I think Bluesound and internal DAC is underrated unless you step up to over $700 in external DAC choices and with Tidal MQA running on Bluesound I would have to say you have to go over $1K in external DAC choices.
YMMV and many don’t like MQA at all, but I have heard Qubuz HF, Tidal and CD quality (not DSD) and the Bluesound playing TIDAL MQA sounds very good.
BTW. I have the Schiit Bifrost Uber, Schiit Bifrost 2 and Schit Freya Plus with NOS tubes and I really like them all.
Considering the improvement I hear going to a Gumby from the inboard Node DAC, if you don't hear a significant difference going to the Yiggy I'd say you're in the wrong hobby :-) All kidding aside though if you don't hear a difference I think you need to start looking at other things going on in your system.
@audiofreak32 if "a great deal" is your lodestar in chasing better sound you will always be citing the infamous excuse of "the law of diminishing returns" that disappointed midfi enthusiasts make when their "great deals" don't result in significant sonic improvements. To get significant sonic gains one needs to graduate to hifi and get ready to spend $$$ to level up. Buy a Lumin U2 transport to start for $2.5K and a decent DAC like the Yiggy and you will forget your Node soon enough. Next, sell your Aegirs and buy a Pass Labs XA25 for $5K - that sonic upgrade will make your Aegirs seem broken in comparison.
I think that's a bit of a stretch... But if you think spending that much more money gets you that much better sound, that's great. I have other things in my life I need to worry about as well.
I think there are a lot of people out there that Think that their gear sounds so much better just because they spend a lot more money on it. I have seen that way too many times.
I have the Gungnir Multibit. While it suits me just fine with my Node 2, computer and CD transport, you might also be happy with the Bifrost, which is also multibit but with a remote. I kind of wish I had the remote.
But Schiit really holds its value, so buy it, try it, keep it or sell it and you're not out that much.
I would agree with your view on the Schiit Aegir x2 Amps running in mono. A recent purchase, but now nicely broken in, I have enjoyed the easy relaxed sound and feel of these Class A amps, compared with my previous big power SS amp. A silky smooth 80 watt per amp, very easy to listen to for long periods of time. Easily running my slightly power hungry 86 db Wilson Benesch Square 2's with ease, highly recommended. I am now rethinking my need to upgrade my Dac (for now!), my current dac is a Teac UD-501 which I have enjoyed for a number of years.
From my research of reviews on stand alone dacs over the last few months and a budget of $2,000 , I have a short list of either the Denafrip Pontus or the Gustard X-26 Pro. I do have a minor library of DSD Files so I am Leaning away R2R dacs, but they may have the sound qualities I think I may like. I hope to find a way sample these first.