• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Amp to go with a Bifrost 2, or a new stack entirely?

Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
6
Likes
0
#1
Not sure if this is an appropriate forum for this question but here goes!

I had a Bifrost 2 + Lyr 3 stack, but the Lyr 3 bit the dust and long story short, after a very negative customer service experience, I'd prefer not to buy more Schiit gear in the future.

However this leaves me with two options:

1. Find a new amp to go with this DAC

2. Or maybe the Bifrost 2 is not actually all that great and I should be getting a new stack entirely?

I use HD600's currently, with plans to get more headphones as time goes on. I generally listen to a long of trance/techno/etc and like good bass, and also play PC games.

Would appreciate any help, thank you
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
2,406
Likes
2,411
Location
SoCal
#2
Bitfrost 2 is not that great but should be sufficient for your purposes. Personally if I was opposed to Schiit I'd sell it and replaced it with the JDS Atom stack and be left with enough money to buy another cans, or maybe 2.
 
OP
M
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
6
Likes
0
Thread Starter #3
Bitfrost 2 is not that great but should be sufficient for your purposes. Personally if I was opposed to Schiit I'd sell it and replaced it with the JDS Atom stack and be left with enough money to buy another cans, or maybe 2.
e.g. El Dac II + El Amp II? How does that compare exactly / what makes the Bifrost 2 not that great?
 

xykreinov

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
308
Likes
374
#4
e.g. El Dac II + El Amp II? How does that compare exactly / what makes the Bifrost 2 not that great?
No, as in Atom DAC and Atom AMP. The "EL" series have basically the same electronics as the Atoms, but in fancier chassis.
You might as well sell the Bifrost. Whatever money you get will still put you in the arena of much more competent DACs than the Bifrost.
Here's amir's review: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-and-measurements-of-schiit-bifrost-dac.7206/
Very basically, the main thing you look for in a DAC is how high the SINAD number is. You will get much better performance in that respect and more with the Atom or EL DAC . Though, there are even better choices for the money, if you dig deeper.
 
OP
M
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
6
Likes
0
Thread Starter #5
No, as in Atom DAC and Atom AMP. The "EL" series have basically the same electronics as the Atoms, but in fancier chassis.
You might as well sell the Bifrost. Whatever money you get will still put you in the arena of much more competent DACs than the Bifrost.
Here's amir's review: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-and-measurements-of-schiit-bifrost-dac.7206/
Very basically, the main thing you look for in a DAC is how high the SINAD number is. You will get much better performance in that respect and more with the Atom or EL DAC . Though, there are even better choices for the money, if you dig deeper.
I believe that's the original Bifrost, not the newer Bifrost 2, correct?

Is there a "latest" SINAD graph or an indication of how well humans can percept differences between the varying levels?

What would be the even better choices? I'm find spending a bit for a decent stack as long as it's built well, performs well, actually confers benefit, and has good customer service. I found the Schiit QA + customer support to be very lacking so I'm looking elsewhere.
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
2,406
Likes
2,411
Location
SoCal
#6
Amir hasn't measured the Bifrost 2, but it's based on their multibit platform exclusively now, so we can't expect much. It should be good enough for EDM though. My reservation is price vs. performance, JDS Atom stack is much cleaner for a fraction of the cost of the Bifrost alone.
 

Crane

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
140
Likes
152
#7
i haven't tried the new biifrost2 but my experience with owning the original biifrost+lyr2 vs a khadas TB+JDS atom amp i dont think I'd ever go back to schiit ever.

The later definitely blew me away so i would recommend getting rid of the schiit stack completely but you can always get the JDS atom amp and try it first with the biifrost2.
 

xykreinov

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
308
Likes
374
#8
I believe that's the original Bifrost, not the newer Bifrost 2, correct?

Is there a "latest" SINAD graph or an indication of how well humans can percept differences between the varying levels?

What would be the even better choices? I'm find spending a bit for a decent stack as long as it's built well, performs well, actually confers benefit, and has good customer service. I found the Schiit QA + customer support to be very lacking so I'm looking elsewhere.
As gvl pointed out, the second gen is marginally better at best, let alone competitive.
If it were me, I would get a MiniDSP HD and a JDS Labs EL AMP II. I honesty don't think any other combo under $1k is as appealing on the whole for desktop use, mainly because I value the MiniDSP's hardware level parametric EQ so highly. The EL Amp just feels awesome. Elegant, yet tanky. The performance of the MiniDSP isn't state of the art, but good enough. The EL AMP II is very close to it.
If you don't care about looks and feel too much, get an Atom Amp instead. Same performance as the EL Amp in a different chasis.
But, I recommend you do your own research. The electronics ranking chart is pinned on the front page of this forum. Since you can sort by price and SINAD, it's very helpful for narrowing down DACs.
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
2,406
Likes
2,411
Location
SoCal
#9
Should be noted that Atom casing is function over form. Also 2 external transformers can be annoying.
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
2,406
Likes
2,411
Location
SoCal
#10
Perhaps consider a DAC/amp combo, there's really no need to clutter the desk with more boxes than necessary.
 
OP
M
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
6
Likes
0
Thread Starter #11
What's not-so-good about the (newer) Bifrost 2? How does it compare to the El Dac 2?
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
2,406
Likes
2,411
Location
SoCal
#12
The B2 uses their multibit technology that was found to not perform well technically despite all the claims.
 
OP
M
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
6
Likes
0
Thread Starter #13
Is there any data to show in what way it doesn't perform well / how is DAC performance evaluated in general?
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
2,406
Likes
2,411
Location
SoCal
#14
Is there any data to show in what way it doesn't perform well / how is DAC performance evaluated in general?
There's a set of tests Amir runs on the DACs he gets his hands on, so you need to consider the overall picture. The SINAD value at 1kHz is a good predictor of the performance, and values below 100dB are not so good in this day and age. But 90-100dB is not too bad realistically, and below 90dB is something you want to stay away from when it concerns DACs.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
50
Likes
28
#15
Not sure if this is an appropriate forum for this question but here goes!

I had a Bifrost 2 + Lyr 3 stack, but the Lyr 3 bit the dust and long story short, after a very negative customer service experience, I'd prefer not to buy more Schiit gear in the future.

However this leaves me with two options:

1. Find a new amp to go with this DAC

2. Or maybe the Bifrost 2 is not actually all that great and I should be getting a new stack entirely?

I use HD600's currently, with plans to get more headphones as time goes on. I generally listen to a long of trance/techno/etc and like good bass, and also play PC games.

Would appreciate any help, thank you
Out if curiosity - the Lyr 3 is a relatively new product with a 5 year warranty. I would expect Schiit to fix it under warranty. Why didn't that happen? Also, were you happy with the sound before failure of the amp? If you were happy it would seem ill advised to ditch a $700 DAC that works fine. As far as an amp to recommend - since you had a tube in the Lyr 3 - have you looked at the Quicksilver headphone amp? Specs from Quicksilver site below.
Output type- transformer coupled single ended class A triode
Input impedance- 100 kohms
Output impedance- 2.2 ohms
Gain- 24 db
Power Consumption- 38 watts
Tube Complement- 2-12AX7 input
2-6BQ5 output
Maximum output- 7 volts rms into 30 ohms or higher load
Polarity- Non inverting
Distortion- less than .01% at 1khz into 30 ohms or higher load
Recommended headphone impedance Will drive any headphone from 20 to 600 ohms impedance

Dimensions 12″ deep x 7″ wide x 5.5″ high
Weight 16 pounds

Reliability should be "bullet-proof". If it were to have a problem - other than replacing a tube, rarely in this application - it could be easily repaired..... Just a suggestion of something different to consider if the Lyr cannot be resurrected.
 

xykreinov

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
308
Likes
374
#16
If you were happy it would seem ill advised to ditch a $700 DAC that works fine.
Why? I think he should list it soon to get the most money out of it he can- these consumer DACs don't hold their value all too well. Even if he gets substantially less than $700, there are plenty of sub $150 DACs that are much much more competent than this Schiit. Pretty much a free upgrade, at worst, if you ask me.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
50
Likes
28
#17
Why? I think he should list it soon to get the most money out of it he can- these consumer DACs don't hold their value all too well. Even if he gets substantially less than $700, there are plenty of sub $150 DACs that are much much more competent than this Schiit. Pretty much a free upgrade, at worst, if you ask me.
I have used 3 different Schiit DACs - original Bifrost upgraded twice with the 4490 board in it at present, the Modi 3, and the Modius. Both the Modi 3 and Modius sound better than the Bifrost to my ears. This was tested using the same music server to each DAC during several listing sessions. Better detail and imaging main differences - Modius best. I suspect this had more to due with the differences in the analog output stages than the DAC chips. Have not heard the Bifrost 2, so no listening opinions to offer.
A bit of general advice regarding changing equipment - upgrades for example. Don't sell your old gear before directly comparing it to the new - greener grass - gear. Unless the difference is large, it is very difficult to judge by memory.
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
2,406
Likes
2,411
Location
SoCal
#18
these consumer DACs don't hold their value all too well
I'd say Schiit multibit DACs keep their values pretty well, despite their crappyness. Chances are the legend that M. Moffat invented about their superiority will outlive him.
 

majingotan

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
924
Likes
944
Location
Laguna, Philippines
#19
I have used 3 different Schiit DACs - original Bifrost upgraded twice with the 4490 board in it at present, the Modi 3, and the Modius. Both the Modi 3 and Modius sound better than the Bifrost to my ears. This was tested using the same music server to each DAC during several listing sessions. Better detail and imaging main differences - Modius best. I suspect this had more to due with the differences in the analog output stages than the DAC chips. Have not heard the Bifrost 2, so no listening opinions to offer.
A bit of general advice regarding changing equipment - upgrades for example. Don't sell your old gear before directly comparing it to the new - greener grass - gear. Unless the difference is large, it is very difficult to judge by memory.
IMO, sighted listening test and no precise volume matching between the 3 DACs tends to create confirmation bias and the illusion that those three DACs sound different and that the more newer the DAC is, the better it sounds through confirmation bias. I recommend reading this thread as an evidence as to why that is the case: We hear what we expect to hear | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

Personally, I have the Bifrost 2 and along with 4 different DACs. I have volume matched A/Bed the $9 Apple dongle against my Bifrost 2 (reduced gain to match volume) and found no sonic difference when I flip the switches with my Schiit Saga preamp on passive mode (120 dB SINAD):

 
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
50
Likes
28
#20
IMO, sighted listening test and no precise volume matching between the 3 DACs tends to create confirmation bias and the illusion that those three DACs sound different and that the more newer the DAC is, the better it sounds through confirmation bias. I recommend reading this thread as an evidence as to why that is the case: We hear what we expect to hear | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

Personally, I have the Bifrost 2 and along with 4 different DACs. I have volume matched A/Bed the $9 Apple dongle against my Bifrost 2 (reduced gain to match volume) and found no sonic difference when I flip the switches with my Schiit Saga preamp on passive mode (120 dB SINAD):

Volume matching is essential as the louder source gets the majority votes almost every time. When I can get my wife to sit down and give me her take is when things get more accurate. I don't provide any information as to what was changed from listen to listen. I have say after I bought the Modius and liked it then read the review here documenting good measurements - I felt more validated. By the way I have read the thread about hearing what we want to hear. We cannot get away from the subjective part of the equation - each of us likes what we like. That is of course completely okay. I believe measurements can be very valuable and listening evaluations are equally valuable. It's all good.

By the way, was the Bifrost 2 any more satisfying than your other DACs?
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom