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Review and Measurements of Schiit Yggdrasil V2 DAC

έχω δίκιο

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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.
I'm not sure I understand. Are you suggesting that the outlet is dropping the voltage and then ramping it back up in response to instantaneous current demands?

It seems to do some kind of buffering internally.
So it's doing something like a switching power supply to create DC and then feeding that into a sine wave inverter to output AC, and doing some kind of servo voltage stabilization to maintain an absolute 115VAC output regardless of current demands (up to 15A)?

Sorry for so many questions, but I've tried to find a photo of the innards of a Niagara 1000, but I've not been successful, so I don't know what's in it.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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Hmmm. So, you are suggesting the Niagara somehow stores and "speeds up" the current flow to the audio device, and that the plugged in device audibly benefits from this. It might, and that ought to be measurable, but preferably at the audio output of the test device. But, you have to wonder why the audio device designer screwed up the internal power supply so that device performance is compromised with power directly from the wall outlet.

I remember well years ago when Tice and many other conditioners were new. Every subjective reviewer was on the bandwagon using power conditioners in his system, including amps. Then Peter Moncrieff did some measurements in IAR, and, surprise, all the conditioners were restricting current delivery, especially into large loads like amps. The output revealed obviously inferior audio measurements, but certainly an audible difference, which reviewers preferred by ear, of course. After all, conditioned power has got to sound better than unconditioned. Right? Eventually, the bandwagon evaporated, especially for amps, except the power conditioning myth won't die in some circles in spite of the lack of objective proof of any benefit in all but extreme conditions.

As for Niagara, we do not know what it really does. AQ, as is typical, isn't saying, other than to call it a "power conditioner" with wonderful benefits to one's audio system. It might just as easily restrict power with negative audible consequences, but subject to the expectation biased opinions of the listeners. Or, it might have no effect, with the expectation bias conditioning the minds of listeners rather than changing the audible output.

Cue up the old Entreq discussion in this Forum. It is a passive magic grounding box, not a power conditioner, but it sure can screw up the measurements in obviously audible ways. Many audiophiles love it anyway.
 
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I'm not sure I understand. Are you suggesting that the outlet is dropping the voltage and then ramping it back up in response to instantaneous current demands?


So it's doing something like a switching power supply to create DC and then feeding that into a sine wave inverter to output AC, and doing some kind of servo voltage stabilization to maintain an absolute 115VAC output regardless of current demands (up to 15A)?

Sorry for so many questions, but I've tried to find a photo of the innards of a Niagara 1000, but I've not been successful, so I don't know what's in it.
I can't explain exactly how it works, but it seems to be something similar to an amplifier's slew rate. While power consumption changes over time, how quickly it can change appears to be limited when going straight to an outlet vs what the Niagara 1000 can do.

Think of your faucet, maybe. While you can have a nice flow rate of warm water, when you start with cold water it takes time for you to get warm water out of the faucet after setting the temperature. But if you then turn the faucet off, and on again, you get warm water instantly. Now imagine you had a small heated water reservoir in your faucet that supplied the warm water and drained the incoming cold water until it's hot enough. Then you'd always have instant warm water.

That's roughly what the Niagara 1000 seems to do, it has an "electron reservoir" so that higher current (not voltage) is more quickly available than otherwise. This should help with transients and other sudden spikes in power demand.
Supposedly devices with lower power demands usually do that by themselves, but apparently many power amps can benefit from an external solution.

That's my very crude understanding of how it's supposed to work.
 

amirm

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I can't explain exactly how it works, but it seems to be something similar to an amplifier's slew rate. While power consumption changes over time, how quickly it can change appears to be limited when going straight to an outlet vs what the Niagara 1000 can do.
Do you want to send it to me for measurement?

That's roughly what the Niagara 1000 seems to do, it has an "electron reservoir" so that higher current (not voltage) is more quickly available than otherwise.
From my read of their site, it is just a noise and surge filter:

1531415652109.png


The "non-ground polluting" aspect likely means it is a series surge protection device (e.g. ZeroSurge) and as such, it can actually limit current/cause voltage drop than doing the reverse.

The noise reduction also occurs at high frequencies and is of no use to audio devices.

Still I have an open mind :), and can measure both the AC coming out of it and what it does to the output of audio devices.
 

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I can't explain exactly how it works, but it seems to be something similar to an amplifier's slew rate. While power consumption changes over time, how quickly it can change appears to be limited when going straight to an outlet vs what the Niagara 1000 can do.

Think of your faucet, maybe. While you can have a nice flow rate of warm water, when you start with cold water it takes time for you to get warm water out of the faucet after setting the temperature. But if you then turn the faucet off, and on again, you get warm water instantly. Now imagine you had a small heated water reservoir in your faucet that supplied the warm water and drained the incoming cold water until it's hot enough. Then you'd always have instant warm water.

That's roughly what the Niagara 1000 seems to do, it has an "electron reservoir" so that higher current (not voltage) is more quickly available than otherwise. This should help with transients and other sudden spikes in power demand.
Supposedly devices with lower power demands usually do that by themselves, but apparently many power amps can benefit from an external solution.

That's my very crude understanding of how it's supposed to work.
Thanks for your reply. As an EE, I don't really understand your explanation or analogy, nor have I ever seen evidence of "slow" AC outlets. Since we are both just speculating, I think that Amirm's offer to test the device is a very good one.
 

svart-hvitt

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Do you want to send it to me for measurement?


From my read of their site, it is just a noise and surge filter:

View attachment 13816

The "non-ground polluting" aspect likely means it is a series surge protection device (e.g. ZeroSurge) and as such, it can actually limit current/cause voltage drop than doing the reverse.

The noise reduction also occurs at high frequencies and is of no use to audio devices.

Still I have an open mind :), and can measure both the AC coming out of it and what it does to the output of audio devices.
Good idea to have it measured!

And @Kal Rubinson could send you his Niagara 5000, which is said to give a lower noise floor.

I have an open mind on the issue of power and would read measurement tests with interest.
 
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Hmmm. So, you are suggesting the Niagara somehow stores and "speeds up" the current flow to the audio device, and that the plugged in device audibly benefits from this. It might, and that ought to be measurable, but preferably at the audio output of the test device.
Right. I would have liked to take a stab at measuring it, but had less time in the end than anticipated.

For the Niagara 7000, Audioquest says "Our unique passive/active Transient Power Correction Circuit features an instantaneous current reservoir of over 90 amps peak, specifically designed for today’s current-starved power amplifiers. Most AC power products featuring “high-current outlets” merely minimize current compression; the Niagara 7000 corrects it."
That one has four high current 20A outlets, so I suppose 90 amps = 4x 20 amps + 10amp buffer.
For the Niagara 1000 they are less specific, so who knows.

The power consumption results were interesting, though.

Power consumption
Tested without any devices plugged in, but the device itself turned on (where applicable).​
Tripp-Lite 6SP: 0.0 W / 0.0 VA / 0.00 A​
Tripp-Lite TLP608: 0.3-0.4 W / 0.5-0.7 VA / 0.00 A​
Tripp-Lite ISOBAR: 0.8-0.9 W / 6.2 VA / 0.05 A​
VOLTCRAFT transformer: 1.6-1.7 W / 3.5-4.1 VA / 0.02A-0.03 A​
Furman PST-8: 2.1-2.3 W / 10.2-10.4 VA / 0.08 A​
Audioquest Niagara 1000: 2.4-2.5 W / 34.3-34.4 VA / 0.27 A
iFi AC iPurifier: 1.0-1.1 W / 3.4-3.5 VA / 0.02 A​

But, you have to wonder why the audio device designer screwed up the internal power supply so that device performance is compromised with power directly from the wall outlet.
That's definitely something I've been wondering. Of course, the Niagara 1000 costs $1,000, while the Schiit Vidar is $700. I don't know how much more expensive it would be if they beefed it up, though it would certainly increase its value, too.
I wouldn't be surprised if some much more expensive power amps had something comparable inside. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. :D
That's all still assuming that it was indeed the high current outlet that made the difference here. Might have to try and find a way to convince the wife that we do indeed need a giant chrome burrito / Cylon infant in our living room, then I could test more.

I remember well years ago when Tice and many other conditioners were new. Every subjective reviewer was on the bandwagon using power conditioners in his system, including amps. Then Peter Moncrieff did some measurements in IAR, and, surprise, all the conditioners were restricting current delivery, especially into large loads like amps.
By now that appears to have become part of the marketing for current (no pun intended) products.

As for Niagara, we do not know what it really does. AQ, as is typical, isn't saying, other than to call it a "power conditioner" with wonderful benefits to one's audio system.
It was definitely disappointing that they didn't even specify the wire gauge for their $750 Thunder power cord that was part of the loan. One source claims it's 11 AWG. Alas, I couldn't hear a difference with it in my systems over a $6 Tripp-Lite 14 AWG power cord. Maybe I would have needed two of them - one to the Niagara 1000, one to the power amp. I do accept gear donations. :p
 

gvl

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Given this is all what get for your hard earned 8 large, I suspect the plebeian 1000 is mostly just a well made power strip.

AudioQuest Niagara 7000 inside:

niagara7000.jpg
 
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Do you want to send it to me for measurement?
It was just a loan, I don't own one. It's waiting at some USPS building far away from me for the next reviewer in line to pick it up.

The "non-ground polluting" aspect likely means it is a series surge protection device (e.g. ZeroSurge) and as such, it can actually limit current/cause voltage drop than doing the reverse.
That may be where the high current outlet comes in. I did a test where I plugged in my dimmable torchiere with LED light bulb in one outlet and my vacuum into another outlet, then causing the vacuum to get stuck. With the dimmer set to 90%, the torchiere is very prone to flickering when the vacuum gets stuck - I first noticed that with the Tripp Lite ISOBAR. It doesn't happen in a simple power strip or a basic surge protector, but it does also happen with the Furman PST-8. With the Niagara 1000, it did not happen as long as either the torchiere or the vacuum were plugged into the high current outlet, and the other device into one of its five regular outlets, but it did happen when both were plugged into its regular outlets. So there is some degree of isolation between the five regular outlets and the high current outlets. The manual actually says the five regular outlets are further isolated into two groups of two and three outlets respectively, but I only stumbled upon that after I sent it on its way, so I couldn't tinker with that at all.

The noise reduction also occurs at high frequencies and is of no use to audio devices.
That's assuming high frequency noise doesn't in any way lower the device's general performance, which would then affect the entire frequency band.
 

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...I suspect the plebeian 1000 is mostly just a well made power strip.
I would love to gut one of them and leave nothing but the outlets wired directly to to switch and AC input. I could hot-melt glue some fishing weights in it to make it the right weight. Then I could loan it out to subjectivists to see how many of them waxed poetic about the improvements they heard after installing it.
 
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I would love to gut one of them and leave nothing but the outlets wired directly to to switch and AC input. I could hot-melt glue some fishing weights in it to make it the right weight. Then I could loan it out to subjectivists to see how many of them waxed poetic about the improvements they heard after installing it.
I'd love to participate in that test. :) The sound improvement was not subtle, so I'm fairly confident I could identify which one is just a heavy power strip.

That's assuming it wasn't the Niagara's premium outlets that somehow made all the difference. You know, given that some people swear that even the separately available carbon fiber cover plate of an audiophile wall outlet makes an audible difference.
 

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That's assuming high frequency noise doesn't in any way lower the device's general performance, which would then affect the entire frequency band.
Except for very, very rare cases where the device demodules the high frequency signal, this just doesn't happen. And at any rate, all power supplies inside your audio equipment have filtering.
 

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I'd love to participate in that test. :) The sound improvement was not subtle, so I'm fairly confident I could identify which one is just a heavy power strip.
So why doesn't Audioquest arrange a series of double-blind tests to demonstrate that the improvement is clearly audible? Instead, they rely on the story of The Emperor's New Clothes as a marketing plan.

That's assuming it wasn't the Niagara's premium outlets that somehow made all the difference. You know, given that some people swear that even the separately available carbon fiber cover plate of an audiophile wall outlet makes an audible difference.
There are some people who swore that a $485 wooden volume control knob made an audible improvement, too. If bring out two glasses of wine, secretly poured from the same bottle), and tell people that one is from a $125 bottle of wind and the other is from a $4.99 bottle, I bet that most tasters will proclaim that one is clearly better than the other.
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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So why doesn't Audioquest arrange a series of double-blind tests to demonstrate that the improvement is clearly audible? Instead, they rely on the story of The Emperor's New Clothes as a marketing plan.


There are some people who swore that a $485 wooden volume control knob made an audible improvement, too. If bring out two glasses of wine, secretly poured from the same bottle), and tell people that one is from a $125 bottle of wind and the other is from a $4.99 bottle, I bet that most tasters will proclaim that one is clearly better than the other.
I hate AQ, their avoidance of measurement and their marketing, too. But, Amir is right. Unless and until measurements are taken, we should try to stay open minded and not jump to conclusions. I believe that the device is a surge protector and power line filter, as advertised, but whether it improves audio in any meaningful way is another matter.

FWIW, I have a PS Audio P5 "Power Regenerator". It is clear that it does all the things inside it says it does - filters, surge protects, and regenerates nearly perfect 60 Hz AC within its current limits. The only trouble is it makes no difference to the audio that I can hear, contrary to their marketing and user anecdotes. It does make a nice remotely zone controlled power strip, though.
 
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So why doesn't Audioquest arrange a series of double-blind tests to demonstrate that the improvement is clearly audible? Instead, they rely on the story of The Emperor's New Clothes as a marketing plan.
They have enough fans, reviewers, and salesmen in stores to reach enough people with simple claims, I assume. Double blind tests aren't guaranteed to work out the way they want to, and would probably still fail to convince the most skeptical people. After all, do you know that the participants weren't all paid? Do you know that they didn't pull some other tricks? It's far more interesting and believable if someone like you randomly bought two of them, gutted one of them, and then did such a test, but the moment Audioquest sponsored something like that directly, credibility would be out of the window. Short of them giving you cash to buy the gear yourself.

If bring out two glasses of wine, secretly poured from the same bottle), and tell people that one is from a $125 bottle of wind and the other is from a $4.99 bottle, I bet that most tasters will proclaim that one is clearly better than the other.
I have performed an experiment like that in university. We took the same cheap orange juice from a regular grocery store, poured it in two glasses, then told people one was made from oranges grown naturally in sunny Spain, while the other one used oranges grown in some hothouse in the Netherlands during Winter. Only one out of 20 people claimed it tasted the same, the rest responded to the marketing as expected.
 

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It was interesting to watch these videos, though, I have to admit (except for the first one).
I just watched the first one and it is all non-scientific gobbledygook.
 

gvl

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FWIW, I have a PS Audio P5 "Power Regenerator". It is clear that it does all the things inside it says it does - filters, surge protects, and regenerates nearly perfect 60 Hz AC within its current limits. The only trouble is it makes no difference to the audio that I can hear, contrary to their marketing and user anecdotes. It does make a nice remotely zone controlled power strip, though.
It surely does something to audio, as all power electronics buzz some it contributes to the noise floor in your room.
 
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Fitzcaraldo215

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It surely does something to audio, as all power electronics buzz some it contributes to the noise floor in your room.
Who is to say that audiophile preferences for that sin are not within their entitlements? But, honestly, I hear nothing whatsoever of the kind.
 
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