SMSL M8A (massdrop) or Schiit Bifrost (used)

Discussion in 'DACs' started by Antiwork, Feb 13, 2018.

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Which would you go with?

Poll closed Feb 15, 2018.
  1. SMSL M8A

    50.0%
  2. Schiit Bifrost (original rev, used)

    50.0%
  3. Neither

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Antiwork

    Antiwork AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I had about 90% talked myself into getting in on the MassDrop SMSL M8A, but then noticed this morning that its possible to pick up a used Schiit Bifrost (first revision I'd imagine) for right around $200. I'm a good bit more familiar with analog equipment so I'm feeling a little bit out of my depth here, which would you go with and why?
     

     

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  2. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Well Schiit will not do DSD (SACD) files and the SMSL will. Either would work.

    I guess I was not much help ;)
     
  3. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,864
    The SMSL is a great little unit and to my ears has better SQ than the original Bifrost which I found a bit grainy at times. Plus it has more flexibility with file formats as botrytis pointed out. If you haven't already you might want to post on the Massdrop forum and on Head-fi. Lots of experience to be shared on both those venues.
     
  4. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I am still very :dunno: with the SMSL I just got on the last drop, but it is probably just me not liking the sound as I can see where some would like it. Only Schitt thats been in my ears is my Fulla which is pretty nice for what I use it for. Haven’t heard a Biofrost.
     
  5. louisjames

    louisjames The "real" Louis James Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,864
    DAC's like most any unit will work for some and not for others. I know my pal loves the NOS DAC sound while I prefer Sabre-based. And it will always come down to synergy, how the entire system works together (amp, preamp, player, streamer, speakers, cables, etc) and what your preference in sound signature is. Then too is ones hearing or lack of after a certain age. As most will say - - you can read all the reviews, get all the opinions but not really know until you hook it up in your system AND give it enough time to settle in and become part of the whole. Just my 2c's, YMMV.
     
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  6. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    What Louis said! I actually prefer using my Fulla or Aune from same source to same system, I played with the filters and USB vs Optical most of the day Saturday since it was raining it’s ass off. Not digging it, sounds to processed to me. But I will run it for another week or so and see how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
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  7. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just rolled some tubes in my pre line stage, seems better IMO, or am I just getting use to it? :idea:
     
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  8. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    I'd go with either the massdrop SMSL or the Topping D30 vs the Schiit.
     
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  9. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

    Messages:
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    Lots of interesting measurements of DAC's here : https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?articles/

    At least in the case of the D30, Good measurements translate in to a well performing unit.
    I have one and like it a lot. Does DSD but not MQA.

    I use mine for mostly streaming Tidal 24/96 (limit due to no MQA unfolding in hardware) and Spotify and internet radio.

    DAC's have come a really long way as far as price and performance goes, But it still pays off to do some reading.

    Eric
     
  10. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The guy writing the review, seems very knowledgeable and comes across as honest. I think he mentions his company bought out ( and he was instrumental in buying one of the companies that makes one of the DACs in the reviews).
    That doesn't make any of his findings untrue , maybe just makes you pause and wonder.
    I'd be interested to see a schiit response . While I've seen people prefer other products , I don't think I've seen anyone find them faulty. It seems Amir has issue with all of their products. That seems odd (coming from a competitor) .
    Reading schiit a copy (which doesn't necessarily make it true) I think the Yiggy has three supplies and should be quiet from a PS point of view.
    Also they (schiit) post specs., which clearly Amir is saying it doesn't meet.
    I own none of these. Though perhaps someday I might . Unless you own the test gear (and know how to use it) I tend to doubt you can prove (disprove) the claims.
    I guess what it boils down to you have to keep an an open skeptical mind (if that makes any sense. I would like to see a follow up on that though:idea::lurk:
     
  11. Poultrygeist

    Poultrygeist Addicted Member

    Some folks prefer the Modi MB to the original BiIfrost. All I know is that I bought a Schiit Modi MB and then a Topping D30 and if I could do it over again I would only buy the D30. It's that good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  12. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    I have never been impressed with the sound of the Schiit DACs - but that is me. The SMSL does sound better and can do higher res formats than NY of the Schiit DAC's. So, if you want to try DSD or higher res PCM (like 352.8 KHz files) natively, SMSL is the only way to go.
     
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  13. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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    Amir worked for Microsoft and they have bought tons of tech. He left in 2007. His current company does not do retail. Pause and wonder?

    https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/a-bit-about-your-host.1906/

    Eric
     
  14. Antiwork

    Antiwork AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for all of the replies guys. Lots to think about. It's sort of annoying that there is no real way to audition this stuff without purchasing.

    Also funny that the D30 was brought up, that's one of the units I've been looking into, in addition to the ones I made the thread about. At this point, I'm leaning more toward this option. I actually need 2 DACs (one for each system). Unless I change my mind, yes again, I'll order one from Amazon this week. Worst case, if I don't feel like it's working out in either system I can return it. From the reviews I'm reading, I doubt that will be the case though...
     

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