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Review and Measurements of Schiit Yggdrasil V2 DAC

Thomas savage

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There is no question in my mind at this point that both AtomicBob and Jude have received a different unit than the three customer ones I have tested. No other explanation exists for the large difference in linearity. The difference in Dynamic Range could be explained by that, or the different implementation of this "scheme" as cooked up by AES. Or simply run to run variation between DACs.
Given all three of you are such great friends why not get together and measure each other’s units .., maybe open a jar of the mrs pickles and sing some songs around the camp fire .
 

amirm

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Let's also not forget other differences I have found which again, they don't show. To wit, both units I tested with analog board "V2" had this frequency response error:



Both Jude and atomicbob showed flat response. No way to screw up such a simple test.

So once again, we are facing the simple fact that Schiit took notice of our work here and has gone back and either fixed these problems for customers at large or has some prototype units with the problems resolved that they then sent to Jude and Bob Smith.

Pride and PR are getting in the way of arriving at the truth.
 

amirm

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Given all three of you are such great friends why not get together and measure each other’s units .., maybe open a jar of the mrs pickles and sing some songs around the camp fire .
You say that in jest but Bob Smith lives within driving distance from me. If he is so confident of me making measurement errors, he could have shown up with his analyzer and the unit he is testing and we could get to the bottom of this.
 

Thomas savage

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You say that in jest but Bob Smith lives within driving distance from me. If he is so confident of me making measurement errors, he could have shown up with his analyzer and the unit he is testing and we could get to the bottom of this.
Yes I know , that’s the joke lol

Sharing pickles would make him like you (more) but maybe you would start getting pissed off.. I think this is why I im yet to be invited back..., went beyond my pickles quota lol
 

SIY

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Given all three of you are such great friends why not get together and measure each other’s units .., maybe open a jar of the mrs pickles and sing some songs around the camp fire .
That's actually the way ethical scientists do things. As an example, the research group where I did my post-doc had a strong disagreement with a group from IBM. Many conflicting publications and a lot of raised voices at conferences. The solution: they sent someone to our lab and vice versa to do the experiments side-by-side to resolve the issue. And the participants found an unmentioned but important difference in the procedure which, when probed, cleared things up completely. A very nice joint paper resulted and we all became less ignorant.
 

amirm

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@amirm, I'm reading you roped yourself into measuring yet another Yggdrasil of more recent production down the road :)
Yeh, sad to say there is still half a dozen Schiit products yet to be reviewed between what I own and what is being loaned. Hopefully some do well so that I don't have to spend an eternity defending the results!
 

Thomas savage

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That's actually the way ethical scientists do things. As an example, the research group where I did my post-doc had a strong disagreement with a group from IBM. Many conflicting publications and a lot of raised voices at conferences. The solution: they sent someone to our lab and vice versa to do the experiments side-by-side to resolve the issue. And the participants found an unmentioned but important difference in the procedure which, when probed, cleared things up completely. A very nice joint paper resulted and we all became less ignorant.
Wonderful, when the most important and intresting thing is finding out ‘why’...

I can guarantee amir would be more than happy to do that, though he might accidentally let his dogs attack AtomicBob ..
 

svart-hvitt

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Yeh, sad to say there is still half a dozen Schiit products yet to be reviewed between what I own and what is being loaned. Hopefully some do well so that I don't have to spend an eternity defending the results!
Amen to that!

:)
 

Blumlein 88

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Here is an explanation with infographic showing what the AES17 is doing.
http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/creative-audigy2-zs/index-p2.html
Yes, that is how I do the measurements and atomicbob and how I understood them. I believe it originated when some DACs would cut off if fed all zeroes. Which would give false noise floor measures. So you feed it a low level signal to prevent turn off, but not one high enough in level to alter the noise floor. If you look at measures following that standard DR is usually a little higher than SNR. If the difference is large it represents a less than well implemented DAC.
 

Blumlein 88

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As briefly mentioned before I'm with you (and Watts) on this one. Fundamental Linearity and noise are separate issues. The noise should be excluded, hence Robs use of very high res Fft which is the same method I seperately concluded to be correct. If you just filter the filter characteristics will affect the ultimate reading, so it's somewhat an arbitrary result based on what arbitrary filter characteristics you choose. OK you might correctly say that an Fft is essentially a filter, but one bin can easily be small enough to exclude all but the fundamental. Long term averaging will remove most remaining noise.

Of course this is not what we hear, but we are not trying to establish what we hear with a linearity test. You should establish or measure the effect of noise in a different way.

Also agree with you regarding SFDR.

Something not discussed is INL and DNL. Integral and Differential non-linearity. What Amir is doing is INL. Seeing if the linearity is right as you smoothly decrease levels. What I've done is Differential meaning I turn on one level of bits at a time and see if the levels are correct step to step. Some devices can be good with DNL and have more error with INL. That is not as common as once was the case. INL is more like what you care about in the actual use of the DAC. I would still filter everything else out doing the test to keep noise a separate issue.
 

Blumlein 88

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Let's also not forget other differences I have found which again, they don't show. To wit, both units I tested with analog board "V2" had this frequency response error:



Both Jude and atomicbob showed flat response. No way to screw up such a simple test.

So once again, we are facing the simple fact that Schiit took notice of our work here and has gone back and either fixed these problems for customers at large or has some prototype units with the problems resolved that they then sent to Jude and Bob Smith.

Pride and PR are getting in the way of arriving at the truth.
So let me interpret this for you Amir. You can't even do a simple FR measurement without messing it up. :):):)

No other explanation is acceptable.

I do wish at least two of you with at least two Yggy's could meet and measure both units to see if the results were comparable or you spotted some procedural difference. OTOH, enough of this Schiit.
 
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Amirm, I appreciate all of the effort expended in explaining the measurement process and how to interpret the measurements, but I want to make sure that this important signal isn't lost in all of the noise: Schiit Audio makes really horrible DACs, especially when considering the price points.
 
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The owner of this devices uses it and he says it makes an audible improvement. You are saying he is wrong?
To be clear, I heard an audible improvement to the sound stage of my speaker system when using one AC iPurifier plugged into my power strip between my subwoofer (Rythmik Audio F12G, which may or may not have a SMPS) and my power amp (Schiit Vidar, linear power supply). I think I was using a Schiit SYS (passive, i.e. unpowered) as the preamp when I first tried that, with an iFi nano iDSD as the DAC, i.e. powered by USB from my laptop, which was plugged into a separate power strip. That improvement was noticeable and welcome, but it also took some back and forths to detect it.
That is normal when you don't know what to look for - if someone removed something small from your apartment, you might never notice. If they told you they removed something, it might still take you a day to figure out what. If they told you what they removed, you could usually confirm it within seconds.
New to power conditioners, I didn't really know what to look for, other than (less) noise, despite not having noticed any directly audible noise before. An improvement in sound stage I did not expect. By which I mean that instruments and voices had a more clearly defined origin in space, rather than basically just having three rough positions like left, right and center.
Adding two more seemed to have improved on that a teeny little bit more, but I very well may have imagined that.

Similarly, trying the iPurifiers with my headphone setup at work (Yggdrasil, then Jotunheim, now Gustard H20, Ether C Flow), I felt like maaaybe the sound had a little bit more... something to it, but it was extremely subtle at best. It certainly didn't make anything worse, while supposedly providing some surge protection, too (probably the claim I'm most skeptical about, since it's a plug-in device). I kept using them, for peace of mind. Another thing about power issues is that they fluctuate, depending on what other people are doing that might mess with your power, so even if it didn't make a difference in that moment, maybe it has prevented me from reduced enjoyment of my music at other points - who knows.

Recently I had an Audioquest Niagara 1000 on loan to review. After a lot of back and forth, I concluded that I can't hear a difference between it, the iPurifiers, or plugging DAC + headamp directly into the wall.

However, in my speaker system, very different story! I really liked how the music sounded with the Niagara 1000, which before I was only able to say about the subwoofer's contributions. Even better sound stage, but beyond that, a musical, engaging sound that is hard to deconstruct into particular elements.
So did it clean up my power even better? Maybe, but my suspicion is that it's the high current outlet that allowed the power amp closer to what it's capable of.
Will it do the same in your system? No clue at all. Too many factors involved, and too little insight on my end into the technical details.

Just to clarify the extent to which I currently belive in this stuff. I am not surprised the iPurifier didn't make a measurable difference, but it was still a worthwhile thing to test.
 
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Fascinating. That is the best proof we have that our work here has resulted in them going back and fixing these problems. And that their selected measurement folks given the bits before the general public without due notice.
So you're admitting to being NwAvGuy? :p
Since he's the one who did the bitchin bout the glitchin, in response to which Schiit eventually fixed it.
 
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Given all three of you are such great friends why not get together and measure each other’s units .., maybe open a jar of the mrs pickles and sing some songs around the camp fire .
After Jason Stoddard from Schiit requested that I send them my Yggy on their dime once I get it back (and receive a loaner for my trouble, which is nice), to which I agreed, I also asked Jude whether he wants in as well, but I haven't heard back from him.
 
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So how does that work, Schiit "repair" the Yggdrasil and then Jude remeasures it and claims Amir's results are bogus again?
 
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So how does that work, Schiit "repair" the Yggdrasil and then Jude remeasures it and claims Amir's results are bogus again?
Well, my suggestion would be to have Jude measure it first, then let it go back to Schiit.

BTW, I love the parody that is your account name & avatar. :)
 
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...my power amp (Schiit Vidar, linear power supply)
{snip}
Recently I had an Audioquest Niagara 1000
{snip}
...my suspicion is that it's the high current outlet that allowed the power amp closer to what it's capable of.
According to Schiit, the Vidar draws a maximum of 700W, which is only 6A at 115V. It seems like any normal 15A wall socket could supply that easily. Even with 100% efficiency, the Niagara 1000 would have to pull that same 6A maximum current from the wall socket to power the Vidar.
 
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According to Schiit, the Vidar draws a maximum of 700W, which is only 6A at 115V. It seems like any normal 15A wall socket could supply that easily. Even with 100% efficiency, the Niagara 1000 would have to pull that same 6A maximum current from the wall socket to power the Vidar.
It's not about exceeding 15A (it's all 15A outlets and power cords for the Niagara 1000), it's about how quickly that current is available. It seems to do some kind of buffering internally. Sadly, I didn't have enough time to try the power amp in one of the five regular outlets to see whether the effect vanishes then.
 
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