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Shitt DAC Lovers/Haters?Can both be right?

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#1
Those who follow the numbers in Amirm's reviews are not fans of the Schitt line.

Those who own a Schitt DAC swear they sound great.

Is the truth in the tests? Or the ears?

Just trying to stir up a conversation, not a war.
 
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amirm

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#2
If everyone properly performed listening tests, there would be little disagreement among them.

By the way, Schiit makes some excellent products now like Modi 3. So no hate on my part about their entire product line.

I however dislike the image they create around their product which is disconnected from actual performance of some of them.
 

solderdude

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#3
Is the truth in the tests? Or the ears?
Both....
one needs to understand what the test results actually mean and know about audibility thresholds to make some sense of what has been measured and what the audible consequences will be if there are any.
 
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#4
I have a desire for a Gungnir MB, but I fear it is just equipment envy, based on what I read here. Yet many users swear by it. Hard to know, easy to make a $1300 mistake.

And that's why I love this and other forums.
 
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#5
I'm probably one of the few people that prefer "retro" in music reproduction hence me owning a Schiit Stack (I admit it's a status symbol in my country to own one of these lol). And no my ears cannot tell a difference between multibit and delta sigma reproduction despite the multibit measuring incredibly bad by today's standards. Anyways, my subjective ears prefer to have more distortion to music with the tube buffer preamp

IMG_0025.jpg
 

Cosmik

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#6
For every 'maverick' I think there's a legion of 'bodgers with delusions'. I think I know just enough to be able to distinguish between the two - possibly it takes one to know one.
 
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#7
I have a desire for a Gungnir MB, but I fear it is just equipment envy, based on what I read here. Yet many users swear by it. Hard to know, easy to make a $1300 mistake.

And that's why I love this and other forums.
Mines for sale. :)
 
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#9
Those who follow the numbers in Amirm's reviews are not fans of the Schitt line.

Those who own a Schitt DAC swear they sound great.

Is the truth in the tests? Or the ears?

Just trying to stir up a conversation, not a war.
Those who own a product defend it? Don't we already know this bias?
This is a science forum, so we know about the endowment effect so really, I don't see how this is going to spark meaningful conversation. Unless it teaches someone about the endowment effect that may have forgotten.

So really, it comes down to theorizing why someone holds onto the endowment effect, another conversation that I don't think is beneficial.

When the whole premise of a thread can be boiled down to the endowment effect, is it really that thought provoking?
 
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#10
I don't swear my dac sounds 'great' I think it does it's job as a digital to analog converter. I don't think it changes anything in the frequency response of my music. Thus, I do not hear extra bass or anything that such other owners claim to hear. I don't think the midrange sounds any different on another dac, like a topping d50. I do not think the soundstage is somehow wider. Nor do I think the mids sparkle, the treble sizzles, the bass slams better on my dac compared to another dac. What you've got here is an owner who fell for the Schiit marketing. I'm a young individual who Schiit clearly targets. I'm literally right in their demographic.

However I don't have anything bad to say about how it sounds. It sounds great. But so does any other dac with at least 16 bits of resolution. I only listen to redbook audio quality, 16/44. So not like I need something to have higher resolution or potential to resolve (state of the art 21bit performance)

I can sympathize with the person who is looking to buy a new dac and might be led astray from the marketing. But I also think that you should do your own research. Amir has made the process much easier. At the time I bought my dac, I did not know this site even existed. Anywho. I've said this in other threads but the amount of emotional fueld responses I see from the most active members on this forum confuses me. Dacs are such a minuscule part of the chain. So yes it's nuts to spend 5 figures on a dac. It's really just up to the user to make his own decision what he values. Does he value state of the art performance? Does he value luxury item aesthetics? Then sell you car and mortgage your house and buy a current spec Berkely dac. Or a MSB.

Back on planet Earth, I think a topping d50 will suffice for all of us :) thats the honest truth.
 
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#11
Those who own a product defend it? Don't we already know this bias?
This is a science forum, so we know about the endowment effect so really, I don't see how this is going to spark meaningful conversation. Unless it teaches someone about the endowment effect that may have forgotten.

So really, it comes down to theorizing why someone holds onto the endowment effect, another conversation that I don't think is beneficial.

When the whole premise of a thread can be boiled down to the endowment effect, is it really that thought provoking?

I have been schooled. I suppose I should be grateful for the instruction. Sorry if I offended your sensibilities.

Maybe, going forward, you might agree to look at my initial drafts to insure they meet your standards for "meaningful conversation", "beneficial", and "thought provoking" prior to my postings.

I could do that, but first I would have to purchase a ladder to reach up to you on your high horse.
 

CDMC

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#12
My two cents. I should state I am one of those middle people. I believe in both objectiveness and subjectiveness. I have been a regular on other audio forums going back to the usenet days, but don't have the intense distaste for Amir that some seem to have (and in fact have given a donation to this site to help support his continued testing). I am one of those people that believe that answers are not always what we think we are and am happy to support pretty much any research that helps develop further information.

All that said, responding to the original question. IMHO the answer is that both can be true. You can have a device measure objectively poorly, but sound great. Tube triode amps are an excellent example, they measure like crap, but have a wonderful lush sound. There is no doubt they are distorting the signal, but it is a pleasurable distortion for many.

In my main system I have a Schiit Gungnir MB Dac. It replaced a Bifrost Multibit, which in turn replaced a 15 year old Bel Canto DAC 1. There was a significant sound quality difference between the Bifrost and the Bel Canto. What I can't tell you is why. Was it because Schiit is that much better, or had components degraded in the Bel Canto over the past 15 years causing it to not sound as good as new. Objective measurements would be able to tell us instantly if the Bel Canto was working as designed. Oh, the reason I went from the Bifrost to Gungnir was the ability to run true balanced from the dac through my preamp to amp, all of which are true balanced designs, as I do believe the improvements in sound to noise ratios and balanced design emf rejection are well founded and worth using.

Objective measurements have a very important role in audio. They can describe a large amount of what we hear, but not everything. The more measurements we do, the more we learn, and the more we are able to correlate what we hear to the measurements. Just one example, seventh order distortion in amplifiers seems to have a disproportionate effect on what we hear as grain and hardness (per John Curl). There is no way that would have been discovered without careful measurement and correlation to what was being heard. Likewise, many audio engineers will tell you that they can change a component in a design, replacing it with one that is electrically identical, but yet the sound changes. This doesn't mean that the components are in fact identical, it just means we have identified or figured out what electrically is different between the two items and therefore don't know what to measure to identify and predict differences.

There is only one absolute truth in audio, if the user happy with what they have. Whether is it the teenager with a 128kbs phone stream and $2 headphones, or the person with bladders under their components, tiptoes for their cables, and holy water in the corner to dampen bad vibrations, if they are happy with hearing, that is what is important.
 

solderdude

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#13
There is only one absolute truth in audio
When a user is happy with what he has it doesn't mean it performs best... merely that he prefers it.
His/her preference may not be that of someone else.
If that person goes online and spreads the word it is 'best' because he (and some others) prefer it doesn't mean it is best.
Just 'best' to them.
Where is the only one truth in that ?
There is nothing wrong with liking/preferring something though.

it just means we have identified or figured out what electrically is different between the two items and therefore don't know what to measure to identify and predict differences.
I think it means the they figured out what to put in their sales pitch.
Willing to bet they never perform valid blind tests... but can say they did.
 
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Robin L

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#15
"Schiit DAC Lovers/Haters? Can both be right?"

Fixed that.

I've got a Magni 3, suspect I could do better, but when I bought it, it was better. You want an awful headphone output? Try the headphone outs on a Panasonic SV-3700. What knocked the Schiit down a tad for me was plugging in my Fiio M3K and noticing a [slight but audible] drop in low-level resolution, along with the boost in dynamics and bass power.

From reading this forum it appears that the JDS Atom [?] is better, but this is a case of the best being the enemy of the good.
 
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garbulky

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#16
Let's keep things in perspective y'all!
First of all none of the Schiit DACs sound bad....at worst they perform audibly no better or worse than the best tested DACs out there in blind tests. Take a look at Amir's listening tests. If he did notice something different (which I don't think he did) it was trivial at best.

So let's rephrase: that in objective listening tests, the Schiit sounds as good as the top DACs ever tested. So what is more important - the sound in music listening or measurements?

It gets raked through the coals mainly for measurements which is fine as long as people understand it doesn't really affect things. People wanting "full high res" is meaningless if they can't hear whatever "full high res" means.

Now several Schiit units have had grounding issues. I have not read of anybody getting hurt so I'm not sure how much real world difference this makes. But it is still a legitimate concern as these appear to be basic design considerations.
Other things I find concerning are that at least on this website the headphone amp measurements taken do not reflect stated power output. I'm not cool with that at all. It has to meet spec or at least come close to it and if it doesn't there needs to be some sort of accounting. I contacted Schiit about one of them and they told me that they did their measurements on a Stanford and the power output figures are real.
So I'm not sure what to make of that. Amir has the advantage that he published the measurements. But he is only one data point.

Now some Bose models on the other hand can sound audibly bad so I think that's an unfair comparison.
 
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#17
Thanks to you guys for meaningful, beneficial, and thought provoking replies! I am currently running an SU-8 I bought because of Amrin's measurements derived from his tests. Still have interest in the Gungnir, though!
 
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amirm

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#18
Now several Schiit units have had grounding issues. I have not read of anybody getting hurt so I'm not sure how much real world difference this makes.
They make buzzing sound when some people touch the volume control. So real effect is absolutely there from performance point of view.
 

CDMC

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#19
When a user is happy with what he has it doesn't mean it performs best... merely that he prefers it.
His/her preference may not be that of someone else.
If that person goes online and spreads the word it is 'best' because he (and some others) prefer it doesn't mean it is best.
Just 'best' to them.
Where is the only one truth in that ?
There is nothing wrong with liking/preferring something though.
I make an assumption, and I may be wrong, but that assumption is that people interested in audio are interested in finding what sounds good to them. If that happiness is in a 128k stream with garbage headphones, they have hit audio truth, happiness in what they are listening to. That is completely different than people who (it seems all to often) broadcast whatever they have is the "best". There is no best, only what a person likes best.
 

CDMC

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#20
Thanks to you guys for meaningful, beneficial, and thought provoking replies! I am currently running an SU-8 I bought because of Amrin's measurements derived from his tests. Still have interest in the Gungnir, though!
You might want to hold off on the Gungnir until the dust settles on the new Bifrost 2, which is nearly 1/2 the price and now has balanced outputs and the new Unisom USB. It may end up that the Gungnir is no better (and I say this owning one) and replaced with a new model. As of now, prices of used Gungnirs are dropping as people are seeing the Bifrost 2 as pretty much equivalent.

I love my Schiit, and think they are a fair value for what they provide. I am probably most happy with the Original Saga preamp bought on closeout for $199 when the Saga S and + were released.
 
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