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Review and Measurements of Schiit Yggdrasil V2 DAC

flipflop

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Really? I'm looking for a good one with comparative amplifier measurements.
If you mean speaker amps, I can't help you. The sites I had in mind mainly deal with headphones, headphone amps, and DACs.
 

LuckyLuke575

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Another disputed measurement was the degradation of THD+N in Gen 2 analog board of Schiit Yggdrasil when measuring unbalanced RCA connections. Here is the original measurement in my previous review of Schiit Yggdrasil:



We see that sharp rise in distortion as frequencies get lower.

Here are the measurements I just made but with 90 kHz bandwidth so that the THD+N is correct to 20 kHz:

View attachment 13513

As we see in the pink measurement, the same problem is absolutely there in the unit I am testing which is the latest with Analog board 2. There is a regression in performance here which Schiit needs to investigate.

BTW, here are Jude's measurements of the same:

View attachment 13515

I tested two different Schiit Yggdrasils with A2 boards and I get a different results than his. Conclusion?
This review is incredibly insightful. It amazes me how some manufacturers bullshit earnest audio enthusiasts and the general listening public with brand names, big boxes, big sticker prices, and "bullshit baffles brains" fancy websites and marketing talk. It's really a lesson in avoiding making purchase decisions based on proxies for actual sound quality and technical performance.

I get why the review of the Yggdrasil is so contentious; it basically exposes the fact that a lot of people got conned out of a lot of money.

Thanks @amirm for the work you're doing; this is genuinely contributing to people having a better experience when listening to their favorite music or content. I also think that this kind of transparency is great for the audio industry as a whole, as it will force manufacturers to focus on technical performance and innovation.
 

rmo

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The owner of the Schiit Yggdrasil DAC had requested that I test the unit after a week of warm-up to see if the outcome changes. I have provided nearly daily snapshots in the thread but here are the summary of changes from day 1 to day 8 with the unit having stayed on the full time. Measurements are with USB input and balanced analog output.

View attachment 13736

All of these are negligible errors occurring from second to second on their own.

So contrary to what some believe, warm-up makes no difference on this DAC even though it is said to need it.

Please don't waste electricity leaving the unit on. Internet folklore is just that: folklore.

Of course, what is shown to be broken in measurements, is broken regardless of time on. To wit, here are the linearity errors that continue to this day precisely as day 1:
View attachment 13737

A good DAC will have essentially flat line at 0 dB showing no real measurable error. The Schiit Yggdrasil does not do that: it shows errors which increase as one goes beyond 16 bits of resolution. And passage of time makes zero, let me repeat, zero difference. All the graphs are on top of each other.

If temperature equalization was needed, this could have been implemented in the unit in the form of oven controlled oscillators, temperature controlled subsystems, etc. as is sometimes done in high-precision instruments. The fact that it is not there indicates either the designer didn't think it was needed, or that they took the cheap way out by not including it in such a pricey DAC.

So please don't accept internet chatter on matters that are readily measured. If manufacturer insists on warm-up, break-in, etc., tell them to show you measurements of how they ascertained that. If they say they can't measure it, then look for another DAC vendor.
Once again, more marketing BS from Schiit. It's really disappointing.
 
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I, like many other casual readers, ran across this thread in my research of the Yggdrasil and could not reconcile the disparity between almost all the other glowing reviews and the comments here, which are 180 degrees apart. I placed my bet on the other reviews... and... was pleased to find that they were right and the comments here are misleading, at best.

I found the Yggdrasil to be a phenomenal DAC - the sound is about as real and live as you can get without spending thousand$ more. Truly phenomenal!

So... if you're just an average listener, like me, and you are similarly confused by this thread vs all the other reviews out there - do not be intimidated by these comments - run right out, and get yourself a Yggdrasil and be similarly impressed, as I was / am! You will thank me for these brief comments clarifying the matter.

Sometimes the so-called "science" can be very misleading (e.g. as in the case of "man-made global warming / climate change," etc.). Not all is... as it would seem. Though... in instance of climate change... the actual, real science... does support the real truth, which is just not widely reported.

On the other hand... some of the best sounding speakers at any price... are the Linkwitz Orions / LX521's and the Legacy audio products - I have both the Orions and the Aeris, which few speakers, at any price, can match. Yet, they were designed by engineers who based their designs on the science of sound, unlike most of their competitors. So... science... can make a difference... just not in all instances.
 

solderdude

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uh huh ...

There are many folks who like and even prefer the Yggdrasil.
What it means is that the technical performance is good enough.
Doesn't change the fact that measurably it is a poorer performer than most other DACs tested here but in some cases technically better than some other much more expensive monstrosities that also get good reviews.

Your ears/brain could be less 'resolving' than your DAC is, be glad you found your sonic bliss.
 
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Jimster480

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I, like many other casual readers, ran across this thread in my research of the Yggdrasil and could not reconcile the disparity between almost all the other glowing reviews and the comments here, which are 180 degrees apart. I placed my bet on the other reviews... and... was pleased to find that they were right and the comments here are misleading, at best.

I found the Yggdrasil to be a phenomenal DAC - the sound is about as real and live as you can get without spending thousand$ more. Truly phenomenal!

So... if you're just an average listener, like me, and you are similarly confused by this thread vs all the other reviews out there - do not be intimidated by these comments - run right out, and get yourself a Yggdrasil and be similarly impressed, as I was / am! You will thank me for these brief comments clarifying the matter.

Sometimes the so-called "science" can be very misleading (e.g. as in the case of "man-made global warming / climate change," etc.). Not all is... as it would seem. Though... in instance of climate change... the actual, real science... does support the real truth, which is just not widely reported.

On the other hand... some of the best sounding speakers at any price... are the Linkwitz Orions / LX521's and the Legacy audio products - I have both the Orions and the Aeris, which few speakers, at any price, can match. Yet, they were designed by engineers who based their designs on the science of sound, unlike most of their competitors. So... science... can make a difference... just not in all instances.
I'm sorry but signing up to spew BS isn't going to get you far on this forum.

This DAC is a flaming pile of garbage for its price and its outdone by DAC's that cost 1/30th as much.
The reality is that yes; yggdrasil will resolve your music but it will do so worse than sub $100 DAC's on the market.

You can purchase and use it and believe that it is great; but rest assured that you only are experiencing sonic detriment (depending on the resolution of your music) vs other options on the market such as the Topping D50 for example.
Anyone who is an "average listener" doesn't need a $2000+ DAC.... infact as this forum has proven; nobody at all needs a $2000+ DAC.

This "science" is actually the principals that DAC's are built on and all analog / digital technology is built from. Therefore while the measurements taken don't always tell 100% of the picture in terms of experience in listening to music; the measurements represent more of a "best case" scenario (atleast in terms of DACs). Therefore I suggest you immediately return that scam product and get your hard earned green back. Then use it to purchase something like the Topping D50 or Topping DX7 Pro or an RME ADI or whatever other top rated DAC has been PROVEN TO PERFORM.

You sir have been swindled; its not too late to join the ranks of those in the know. After all you have found this forum and as such you are already lucky :)
 

BDWoody

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... So... science... can make a difference... just not in all instances.
Absolutely right. Fortunately, science has pretty much answered the question of transparency for those who seek that in a DAC.

What science can't tell, is what any individual will prefer.

For me, if I start with transparency, I can then tune to my taste using any number of methods that can mimic whatever distortion profile I prefer. If I'm starting from some DAC designer's idea of what he prefers...how do I correlate that with everyone having their own preferences? Why do I care about what he prefers, when I can start from the original and then hear what I prefer?

Anyway, welcome, and I'm glad you like your DAC!
 
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Well... I suppose... it may be a lot like the varying perspectives re: tube amps vs SS amps. Many (perhaps most) audiophiles would be impressed and pleased with the sound of various tube amps, which present a very life-like sound to those who prefer them, despite the fact that many of them may show fairly high levels of distortion (harmonics). That does not change the fact that the distortion may provide much of the life-like sound those listeners prefer.

And... I suppose... the "psycho- acoustic" impressions of the sound of the Yggdrasil (and many other components) is, perhaps, the most significant factor in how a particular component "sounds" to a listener - which can be a final determinant.

The most important point I wanted to make is... the reader who is confused by the disparity in the reviews, should not be intimidated / influenced by the "exceptional" comments in this thread. They should "let their ears" be the final judge... and... they will not be disappointed.

"Cest la vie."
 
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amirm

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Well... I suppose... it may be a lot like the varying perspectives re: tube amps vs SS amps. Many (perhaps most) audiophiles would be impressed and pleased with the sound of various tube amps, which present a very life-like sound to those who prefer them, despite the fact that many of them may show fairly high levels of distortion (harmonics).
I have done a ton of AB tests of such tube amps and have yet to find that tube sound that you and others discuss. They either sound like solid state amp or distorted (harsher highs, worse detail, etc.). Nothing is "life like" about them.

Now, it is very easy to imagine all of that based on your preconception, warm glow of the tubes, etc. Our brain can dream of anything. The trick is to not let it wonder and only evaluate the sound. When you do, science takes over and what you are left with is either inability to hear such distortions or hearing them for what they are: determinants to the recording.

As to Schiit Yggdrasil, the owner of the last loaned unit (I tested no less than three of them) told me he had compared it to Topping DX7s and found it as you say to sound a lot better. I asked him which tracks he had used and I performed a controlled test of those two. There was absolutely no audible difference on any of those tracks. None.

Now, if you listen using the science in another world, i.e. without controlled and proper AB tests, you brain happily generates differences. This occurs by the way even if you don't want it to happen. It even happens if you go into such tests thinking one device should sound worse. Yet find it sound better. That is still wrong conclusion.

Your brain is highly adaptive in how it evaluates sound. Most of the time it is throwing away 99.99% of what you hear as it can't hold all that information. When you focus to compare gear though, it changes operational mode and digs into detail that was always there but was not paid attention to. Audiophiles incorrectly attribute the new detail, air, reality of the sound to equipment rather than their brain operating differently. And with it, walk away with wrong cause and effect.

Despite all of my skills and knowledge of audio and perception, I can easily be fooled the same way if I don't perform proper, controlled testing. Just as someone has phobia of heights but knows there is no real danger, your conscious mind cannot override improper evaluation of audio if you give it a chance.

Controlled tests are a pain to run and expensive to conduct. If they were of no value, we would not bother. But unfortunately they are.

You are here. Hang around a bit. There is a ton of learning here beyond an audio review. Hopefully over time you see the wisdom of what we say and do here. After all, unlike audiophiles, we have not made up audio science. We follow decades of research, wisdom and experience. Don't be tempted to be your own brain surgeon....
 

Jinjuku

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I, like many other casual readers, ran across this thread in my research of the Yggdrasil and could not reconcile the disparity between almost all the other glowing reviews and the comments here, which are 180 degrees apart. I placed my bet on the other reviews... and... was pleased to find that they were right and the comments here are misleading, at best.

I found the Yggdrasil to be a phenomenal DAC - the sound is about as real and live as you can get without spending thousand$ more. Truly phenomenal!

So... if you're just an average listener, like me, and you are similarly confused by this thread vs all the other reviews out there - do not be intimidated by these comments - run right out, and get yourself a Yggdrasil and be similarly impressed, as I was / am! You will thank me for these brief comments clarifying the matter.

Sometimes the so-called "science" can be very misleading (e.g. as in the case of "man-made global warming / climate change," etc.). Not all is... as it would seem. Though... in instance of climate change... the actual, real science... does support the real truth, which is just not widely reported.

On the other hand... some of the best sounding speakers at any price... are the Linkwitz Orions / LX521's and the Legacy audio products - I have both the Orions and the Aeris, which few speakers, at any price, can match. Yet, they were designed by engineers who based their designs on the science of sound, unlike most of their competitors. So... science... can make a difference... just not in all instances.
Some people prefer dirty martini's. It's ok. Just don't pass it off as a regular martini.
 
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amirm

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The most important point I wanted to make is... the reader who is confused by the disparity in the reviews, should not be intimidated / influenced by the "exceptional" comments in this thread. They should "let their ears" be the final judge... and... they will not be disappointed.
Subjective reviews you are referring to are unreliable. I can find another person to say the opposite of any of those reviews.

Objective reviews that we perform here are reliable, repeatable and provable. And this data says the Yggdrasil has lower resolution than DACs at 1/10th its price, and costs 20X more. This, you can take to the bank.

So there is no disparity here. You have random evidence from some sources with equipment loaned to them by manufacturer, or owners not performing proper listening tests, versus solid evidence here.

To wit, Schiit has modified its firmware to improve linearity based on measurements we performed. And designs all of its new gears now using proper instrumentation as we have done here. They did not even have a good audio analyzer before when Schiit Yggdrasil was designed. Their new products all come with Audio Precision measurements now. And those Schiit products have garnered praise from me including recommendations (e.g. Schiit Modi 3).

In that sense, you are taking a different position than even the manufacturer is!

Schiit has a money back guarantee. Why don't you buy a Modi 3 from them and perform a blind test against your Yggdrasil? For $99 you will get a lot more educated and possibly be able to sell your Yggdrasil and save over $2,000. You don't even have to tell us the outcome. :)
 

Jimster480

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Well... I suppose... it may be a lot like the varying perspectives re: tube amps vs SS amps. Many (perhaps most) audiophiles would be impressed and pleased with the sound of various tube amps, which present a very life-like sound to those who prefer them, despite the fact that many of them may show fairly high levels of distortion (harmonics). That does not change the fact that the distortion may provide much of the life-like sound those listeners prefer.

And... I suppose... the "psycho- acoustic" impressions of the sound of the Yggdrasil (and many other components) is, perhaps, the most significant factor in how a particular component "sounds" to a listener - which can be a final determinant.

The most important point I wanted to make is... the reader who is confused by the disparity in the reviews, should not be intimidated / influenced by the "exceptional" comments in this thread. They should "let their ears" be the final judge... and... they will not be disappointed.

"Cest la vie."
I've listened to both side by side. Clarity blows me away every time.
Tubes don't match up for clarity, when you listen to music with complex and minute details such as classical the coloring makes it sound unnatural or simply sounds are lost in the distortion.... there is no way around that.

I understand that some people like distortion; usually those people listen to rock music and they are typically people who go to live rock concerts.
if you enjoy that music (especially live) then you mostly like listening to background music and distortion; as every rock band I have gone to see typically plays with the speakers up too high and the environment is the total opposite of listening to music.

If you are a person like me who enjoys many genres of music; but especially enjoys Classical & Jazz music.... this music when enjoyed live is typically in a quiet / low background noise setting where technical accuracy is everything (especially in the case of classical). Jazz is more forgiving as there is alot of improv especially in live music, but technical prowess goes a long way here. As previously mentioned; jazz is usually played in cellars and small bars or musical theaters.
So therefore my basis for "realism" is in live performances where the musical clarity is 100% (in terms of classical) as you are listening to the music itself and not any speakers or recordings. This is people who have different tastes in music also have different expectations / tolerances for different levels of distortion.
 

VintageFlanker

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So... science... can make a difference... just not in all instances.
Bla bla bla. :facepalm:

What does make a difference, then? Do you think Schiit used some magic to design their DACs?

Eh bah non, justement. Zero argument tangible apporté = zéro crédibilité sur ASR....

The most important point I wanted to make is... the reader who is confused by the disparity in the reviews, should not be intimidated / influenced by the "exceptional" comments in this thread. They should "let their ears" be the final judge... and... they will not be disappointed.
Funniest part. You are the reader who is confused by all the positive reviews you red before. You advise people to not be influenced by the comments here... Why on Earth people should believe you instead?

That's the issue of subjectivism. Anybody can say something about anything. Then, we've got @amirm review, which is nothing but unquestionable datas. Who to believe? Really hard to tell. :facepalm:
 
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Sal1950

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Many (perhaps most) audiophiles would be impressed and pleased with the sound of various tube amps, which present a very life-like sound to those who prefer them, despite the fact that many of them may show fairly high levels of distortion (harmonics). That does not change the fact that the distortion may provide much of the life-like sound those listeners prefer.
Let me ask you a question, one you can just ponder for a while with no pressure to answer.
If a recording captures the sound of one or more live instruments being played, how can adding a distortion during it's playback make it sound more lifelike?
It may distort the sound in a way the listener likes, but that is still making it sound like something different (not lifelike) than the live performance did.
 

Jimster480

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Let me ask you a question, one you can just ponder for a while with no pressure to answer.
If a recording captures the sound of one or more live instruments being played, how can adding a distortion during it's playback make it sound more lifelike?
It may distort the sound in a way the listener likes, but that is still making it sound like something different (not lifelike) than the live performance did.
RIP Argument :)
 

LuckyLuke575

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I, like many other casual readers, ran across this thread in my research of the Yggdrasil and could not reconcile the disparity between almost all the other glowing reviews and the comments here, which are 180 degrees apart. I placed my bet on the other reviews... and... was pleased to find that they were right and the comments here are misleading, at best.

I found the Yggdrasil to be a phenomenal DAC - the sound is about as real and live as you can get without spending thousand$ more. Truly phenomenal!

So... if you're just an average listener, like me, and you are similarly confused by this thread vs all the other reviews out there - do not be intimidated by these comments - run right out, and get yourself a Yggdrasil and be similarly impressed, as I was / am! You will thank me for these brief comments clarifying the matter.

Sometimes the so-called "science" can be very misleading (e.g. as in the case of "man-made global warming / climate change," etc.). Not all is... as it would seem. Though... in instance of climate change... the actual, real science... does support the real truth, which is just not widely reported.

On the other hand... some of the best sounding speakers at any price... are the Linkwitz Orions / LX521's and the Legacy audio products - I have both the Orions and the Aeris, which few speakers, at any price, can match. Yet, they were designed by engineers who based their designs on the science of sound, unlike most of their competitors. So... science... can make a difference... just not in all instances.
Don't confuse yourself; it's a high priced piece of shit.
 
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Another factor that makes a big difference is... what the system is that it's being used in. I have found the big holographic soundstage it produces is enhanced, or revealed, by dipole speakers, such as Linkwitz Orion open baffle speakers. The soundstage is huge, with all the performers and instruments separately placed in that soundstage and the resolution, tone / tenor and texture, presence and air are phenomenal. Just as all other reviews have indicated.

Those are not attributes that you can measure - a system either has all of that, or it doesn't.
 

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