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Yggdrisil, the real deal

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by nyhifihead, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    long island NY
    A friend of mine I may or may not have brought down into our rabbit hole "cut to the chase" as far as his digital chain.

    He picked up a schiit yggdrisil and the singxer SU-1 digital interface. Upgrading from a TDA1541 based dac

    I lent him gear before so it was understood when he bought cool shiny things he would let me test them in my system

    we tested 2 sets of loudspeakers (Infinity Kappa 6.1 and RBH 641se) and switched between the differential pcm1704s in the integra and the yggy, digital signals coming from AES out of the superb xu208 based SU-1

    This was not an official test by any means, but I did hear the dac in my OWN system & space and was able to compare in real time FWIW. I made a basic rubric to try and accurately reflect my thoughts without using vague descriptors. out of 10

    Integra Research RDC 7.1 (dual PCM1704) - my main dac I've found to be quite formidable against almost all other modern solutions. the yggy puts it in its place though.
    Resolution- 9
    Soundstage- 8
    Timbre- 10
    Musicality- 8
    Frequency balance- 10
    Subjective "Realism"- 8
    total- 53/60 = 88%

    Ultra Fi iRoc (TDA1541) - I know it's far from state of the art but the slightly colored warm sound makes me love rotating this thing throughout my systems
    Resolution- 5
    Soundstage- 7
    Timbre- 7
    Musicality- 9
    Frequency balance- 8
    Subjective "Realism"- 7
    total- 43/60 = 72%

    Schiit Yggdrisil (Analog Devices AD5791) - The performance of this thing has me desperate to hear other mega bucks dacs in my system..
    Resolution- 10
    Soundstage- 9
    Timbre- 10
    Musicality- 10
    Frequency balance- 10
    Subjective "Realism"- 9
    total- 58/60= 97%

    the yggdrisil's instrument separation and timbre is what blew me away. width and depth of soundstage was best I've experienced in my system. low end is so clear, overall resolution is just better straight up than the pcm1704.

    it was a pleasure to run it through the Kappa 6.1s, they delivered a resolution I didn't know they were capable of. Since I have 2 18"s to cover the low end I found the midbass exceptionally clear once the IMG woofers were relieved above 80hz. Percussion was insanely real.

    The RBH 641se sounded great as well, the silk dome is a tad smoother than the emit-r but not rolled off at all. the cabinets are so inert on these things they really give you a solid center image as they disappear. They have an extremely complex xover with the 1" silk dome 4" midrange and 2x 6.5 woofers. It makes this speaker 85 db sensitivity and 4 ohm nominal. Talk about a brutal load, good thing the 9505 is meant for that kind of load. The RBH are tight and articulate and separation of instruments was even better than the Infinitys


    The yggdrisil does live up to the hype and I think its price is actually reasonable for the sonic upgrade. which is insane to me. based on my subjective rubric the yggy is 9% better than my pcm1704 based dac.. a 9% upgrade is pretty big in the context of hifi. Anyone with upgraditis should consider one of these before spending much more on something that won't change the sound as drastic

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  2. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Interesting post. I recently upgraded to the Gungnir MB and I would echo your observations regarding the Yiggy. I know that Yiggy is a bit better than the Gumby, but Gumby is really close and is a fantastic sounding DAC.

    Interestingly I also own a pair of RBH 641se speakers (Maple Cabinets). Very good speaker!!! Stereophile gave it a somewhat confusing review, but they did mention that the speaker imaged and soundstage right up there with some of the best (which it does) with a somewhat "polite" top end. Stereophile got a bit hung up on phase of the woofer section, which I have found to be room dependent anyway. All you have to do is bi-wire and reverse polarity on the woofers - if that sounds better in a particular room. I agree with your comments that it is "smooth" but not rolled off. To me, most "hi-end" speakers are too aggressive on top (which is done to improve "detail") and not all that pleasant to listen to. The RBH 641SE is very pleasant to listen to. A friend of mine who is a recording engineer keeps threatening to buy them from me as they are in his words "the real deal".
     
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  3. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    long island NY
    I have heard the gumby MB is good, it's the same analog output section as the yggy(which is excellent) so that's half the battle. How do you feed digital into the gumby?

    that is interesting you have the RBH! Every audition people are floored by their performance. They have little to no documentation outside of the stereophile review and their names gets almost no recognition outside of ultra-niche custom home theater where I see their in walls mentioned. Their speakers rock though! I wish I could audition their larger models locally

    I read about the woofer phasing issue in stereophile but was not able to replicate it, sometime soon I'll revisit that. I have mine positioned about 9 ft apart woofers facing in with almost no toe in, like you said, killer imaging
     
  4. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,767
    Location:
    Western Colorado
    As for the Gumby, mine is still burning in, but it sounds fantastic. Based on Schiit's literature (funny as they are they are stand-up no BS guys) the Yiggy gets you 2 more bits of absolute resolution. As far as I can tell, that's about the only difference between them??? I've heard the Yiggy and it is exceptional. I've not heard Yiggy and Gumby in the same system, so I don't know how much difference there is between them. I would assume that there is some additional improvement in spatial cues, acoustic space ambient detail, etc. The Gumby is so good on those fronts that I can't imagine even more - but I'm sure its great. I'm not sure that I would want more detail, but .... I'd love to hear a Yiggy in my system someday.

    As for the RBH's, yes they make some very good speakers. There are occasional reviews of their really high-end product and they are always stellar. RBH is big in the custom installer market, so they stay really busy without the "hi-fi" press support. I was an RBH dealer at one time (why I have the 641SE's), and they make some killer subs as well as truly solid in-wall speakers for "discrete" home theater and whole house applications. I'll probably sell the 641SE's as I've stepped into the DIY realm (a lot of work) on that front and don't really need the 641SE's any more. But, they are not well known and I probably won't get much for them - unfortunately. I certainly won't be able to get what they are worth. Plus, I managed to tip one of mine over one night and it has a crunched corner on the back side of the top - ugh. Regardless, every time I hook them up I marvel at the sound quality for what is a very small, and not real expensive speaker!
     
  5. Smallies

    Smallies Super Member

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    Think I saw one go for 1500 used.
     
  6. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    long island NY
    wow thats a great price, I'm sure it got snatched up quick
     

     

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  7. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

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    nyhi, thanks for taking the time to compare and share, it sounds like the yiggy really is an end game piece. Oh, and ignore the inevitable Schiit naysayers that will nitpick and talk about their experience with the Modi, etc. Every brand has it haters I guess.
     
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  8. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    long island NY
    no problem, I'm thankful I've heard a lot of superb digital components through my system and in others- the DAC has such an impact on sonics its likely the most overlooked outside of room treatments

    I'm one of those naysayers for schiit haha, I think under $500 on a DAC is a subjective choice, I've heard the modi 2 and non multibit bifroest- both great for the money but I have a feeling audio gd, smsl, ChiFi etc may give people a better experience

    once you start caring about a more 'refined' sound the yggy is instantly in the mix, I think it can be the best DAC out there

    I need to hear the mytek Brooklyn next
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  9. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    6,454
    The reasons for it's better sound most likely go beyond merely the DAC chip(s) involved.

    I've found that most of the differences you hear lie in the quality of the power supply and output stage. While the Integra uses op amps, the yggy uses a (most likely zero feedback) JFET output buffer with multiple levels of regulation and low noise transformers.
     
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  10. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    You are comparing apples and oranges. The Schiit is over 2 grand - it better sound good. Also you are comparing old tech to new tech and in DAC's that means even 6 months is different.
     
  11. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    long island NY
    That is undoubtedly right the chipsets themselves are rarely bottlenecks in DACs.

    I have read the yggy has some impressive PS regulation, Integra research was a statement unit its power supply is excellent. Apogee built the clock on the internal DAC so it has a great digital feed. In pure audio mode it turns off all non music circuits, its leagues ahead of most pre/pros. I can imagine the output stage of the yggy to be a major contributor to it's sonic superiority, JFETs are awesome.

    Price may very well dictate performance, but it is surely not the end all measure which is why I did this subjective test. I was lucky enough to listen to the dac in my own home on a system I was very accustomed to

    My integra research pre/pro was $5000 msrp in 2005 and the ultra fi iRoc was $1000 msrp in 2010 FWIW.

    I am not a believer of the newest dac being the best, this may be obvious as I am a r2r fan. Mike moffat himself said the pcm63 was the best dac chip ever made, and the pcm63 has to be over 15 yrs old. Many new respectable dacs are still being made with TDA15xx and PCM1704 chips.

    I do believe that the digital clock and USB interface chipsets newer is better, the difference between my xmos U8 based gustard u12 and the u208 (new version) based singxer SU-1/f-1 was clear. Both singxers where both straight upgrades.

    I think a lot of older USB dacs had serious issues with noise, jitter caused by low performance usually low cost USB controllers & clocks. This may be a large reason some newer dacs will straight up sound better on USB, your SMSL has an excellent XMOS chipset and the new SMSL come with the u208! I have no doubt that would sound excellent.

    Every dac I've ever used sounded better through SPDIF or AES coming out of a USB interface than the native USB- this even goes for the yggy
     
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  12. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    You are comparing a 5K Receiver - amp - pre - DAC - switcher, etc to JUST A DAC, which just does ONE thing. That is ludicrous. Sorry - as I said apples and oranges.

    if you are having issues with USB, GET A BETTER PS OR GET A DIFFERENT PC - plain and simple.
     
  13. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    long island NY
    You are probably thinking of Integra receivers, Integra research was a completely different line that only made high end separates. The RDC 7.1 is only a pre/pro, no amp section, In pure direct it turns off all video/switching circuitry.

    You're right its not a true "apples to apples" comparison, but the pcm1704 dac section is worthy of a comparison to the yggy.

    I have no issues with USB, I was speaking on weakness in previous USB dac design. I have my own solution of icron usb over cat5 (similar to ps audio lanrover) into a gustard u12 xmos digital interface outputting AES/SPDIF
     
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  14. WobblySam

    WobblySam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    583
    Location:
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    In 2012, I started my search for a new 24bit DAC. I was still quite happy with my Counterpoint DA-10 for Redbook audio. I had around a dozen or so DACs through here trying to find something I liked and that included everything Schiit had at that time. I was trying to get out for $1K or less at that time. It seemed liked a reasonable approach. Except I really didn't find anything I really liked and wanted to live with for the next several years. I finally settled on an Oppo HA-1 headphone amp/DAC. It wasn't perfect, but I could live with it. When the Yggdrisil was released, I probably circled it for 3 months. I finally caved, bit the bullet and forked over the cash. I really didn't want to spend that much, but I'm glad I took the chance. From my perspective, it's the only DAC I've listened to that sounds like a true upgrade to my old DA-10. I've still got my DA-10 hooked to one of my transports, but the Yggdrisil is connected to the computer and the Jade transport now and sees the most use. The Oppo still handles the 40 or so DSD files I have, but I'm liking it more as a HA now. There are certainly more expensive DACS and they probably sound great, but having something you enjoy whether it cost $400 or $4000, is what I value.
    Thanks for the post and your evaluation.

    Merry Christmas
     
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  15. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
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    I don't blame you for keeping the counterpoint in rotation- the ultra analog dacs from that era were excellent. I heard a sonic frontiers sfd-2 and was impressed to say the least

    quoted for truth, and I think source upgrades offer something special to musical enjoyment
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  16. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
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    FWIW this yggy had the analog 2 upgrade already installed, I knew my friend waited a while for his so it was plausible he ordered between the upgrade period

    confirmed via the serial number
     
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