Benchmark DAC3 vs Yggdrasil Analog 2

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Doug Walton, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. CoolJazz

    CoolJazz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Tennessee
    I was not really into the idea of putting money into a nicer DAC as it seemed that over the years yesterday's darling DAC would also be exceeded by a large degree by the next gen.

    Then a friend heard and bought a Yggy. Woah! All of a sudden Redbook got way better. Didn't take me long at all to know, even in somebody else's system, that there was something there worth investing in.

    Picked up the original Yggy right away and didn't hesitate a minute to upgrade it to the B version. Everytime I get time to set down and enjoy some music, I feel lucky to have run into the Yggy.

    I feel it's a good step beyond the nice quality that comes from the very nice Oppo 205. Nothing some guy with a nice professional audio analyzer that doesn't really know how to use it says can change what is obviously excellent audio. And once you hear his cheapy alternate endorsed Chifi unit, you know for sure how off base and out of touch he is!

    CJ
     
    33na3rd, SirMarc, Kyhl and 1 other person like this.
  2. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    It's not personal at all. On my part.

    You can't support this claim that about "very, very best available anywhere today". It is a false claim and it's the sort of thing I'll challenge. Why on earth should great gear, DACs or otherwise, at budget pricing be expected to knock off the far less compromised, pricey gear? The best DAC engineers, such as Andreas Koch, should not have their reputations disparaged.

    I don't endorse PS Audio, explicitly, but their DirectStream DAC has an MSRP of over $5,000. We're talking roughly 100% more (double). Are all of those forum members who own this very popular DAC getting poor value? Is the engineering less thoughtful? Less attentive to music?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  3. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Well, ears play a big part. However, one may not want to invest their hard earned money in something that colors the sound beyond acceptable base line measurements.
     
    valvehead and Robert C like this.
  4. SquishySounds

    SquishySounds Yo mama so fat Thanos had to snap twice.

    Location:
    New York
    [​IMG]
     
    jologskyblues, Helom and Mrtn77 like this.
  5. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Ears are all that matter. I don't care about baseline measurements. I care about whether it sounds *good*! The only way to know is to (gasp!) listen to it. Crazy, I know. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  6. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    After reading Amir's review of Schiit products, I hesitated on purchasing a Gungnir MB (previously had a BiFrost DS). But then I read several reviews applauding the Gungnir MB, many from people with ears I trust. So although Amir's reviews do not paint a pretty picture of Schiit DAC's performance from a measurement perspective, my ears think they sound pretty darn good. I would suggest you let your ears decide. Maybe you'll like the way Schiit DACs sound, or not. We're all different and we all hear things differently.
     
  7. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Why? Do you look at specs and test results while listening and rub those sheets all over your body?

    The EAR 834P measures terribly and yet has tons of fans who love its sound. It's definitely not for those who choose components based squarely on math.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  8. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Both are excellent but I prefer the extra clarity of the Benchmark DAC3. Benchmark used to have a bit of that clean but detailed sound. The DAC3 is much warmer than before in a good way while still retaining the fantastic resolution of the DAC2.
     
  9. oldschool

    oldschool I love tape hiss

    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    That Amir guy has an agenda against Schiit. His measurement techiques have been called dubious on some forums. He is hell bent on proving Shiit are dishonest, which is something I personally do not like. I'm not an engineer so can't take an educated side in this argument but this guy's intention to present himself as being right and Shiit wrong is scary at times.. All this just FYI..
     
    billnunan, 33na3rd and Kyhl like this.
  10. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    I know, but It helps to know how inaccurate the item is. Long term you may find that you should have paid more attention to those sorts of things...when the buyers remorse creeps in.
     
  11. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    Lee, would you worry about the DAC in the OP's current system? It's ok to upgrade the digital front end if the amplification, speakers, and perhaps even power conditioning are good to go.

    Is your DirectStream any better than the Benchmark?
     
  12. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    I'd wager that it's easier to design a DAC which measures well than it is to design one that delivers a sound which the human brain best relates to. I realize how easy it is to look at some charts and graphs, etc., but real life is more complex.

    The reason why chip manufacturers like to add an aggressive lowpass filter at the input to their DACs is simple: the analog output measures better.

    ^Here's an example. The guys at Schitt dismiss DSD, but never mind that.
     
  13. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    I think there should be no excuse for poor measured performance when testing gear. Of course what measures best may not be the best for every user, but there is no excuse to fall below acceptable levels. Especially when gear starts going north of $1,000
     
  14. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    Better not measure any tube gear!
     
    SandAndGlass and Strat-Mangler like this.
  15. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    What kind? Quality modern tube gear usually measures pretty well.
     
  16. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    I was joking, sort of. Well, not really. For example, here is a comparison of two newer McIntosh amps, the MC275 is tube and the MC152 is solid state:

    * MC275 Tube Amp - Total Harmonic Distortion - 0.5%
    * MC152 SS Amp - Total Harmonic Distortion - 0.005%

    * MC275 Tube Amp - S/N below rated output - 105dB
    * MC152 SS Amp - S/N below rated output - 118dB Balanced / 115dB Unbalanced

    * MC275 Tube Amp - Dynamic Headroom - 1.2 dB
    * MC152 SS Amp - Dynamic Headroom - 2.0 dB

    * MC275 Tube Amp - Damping Factor - >22
    * MC152 SS Amp - Damping Factor - >40

    With the MC275 listing for $5,500 and the MC152 listing for $4,500, you'd think the MC275 would measure better than the MC152. It doesn't. But I bet the MC275 sounds darn good!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    billnunan likes this.
  17. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    They both measure well. It would be personal preference.
     
  18. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    I guess if I upgrade my DAC, I'll have to endure my System of Shame until I upgrade the amp and speakers. Bummer.
     
  19. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Accuracy is overrated.
     
    33na3rd likes this.
  20. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    What are you using for a headphone amp? If it's the one built into the A-S801, I'd look into a high end headphone amp -- maybe a nice tube unit. That should definitely yield a worthwhile improvement. I wouldn't bother replacing the speakers and 801 given the majority of listening is through headphones. You might also consider the Schiit Ragnarok. It could potentially work double duty for both speakers and headphones. It would be a big upgrade for your phones and if it's enough to power your speakers, you could sell the 801.

    Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  21. Doug Walton

    Doug Walton Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    I believe the DAC3 HGC has a pretty highly-rated headphone amp?
     
    Helom likes this.
  22. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    The effect of dimishing returns - small changes that amount to either slight differences or slight improvements - kicks in with a vengeance in the competitive marketplace. According to your apparent view of higher pricing being a strong indicator of higher quality, a Chord Dave DAC at $15,000 should be significantly better (but surely not three times better) than a $5,000 PS Audio DirectStream DAC. The fact is that your fave, Andreas Koch, is just the person you implied he is - brilliant. What that amounts to, in practical applications in home audio systems, is that the Dave is only slightly better on some material than the DirectStream and the Qutest and DAC3 and the Yggdrassil among others. Now you might suggest that I’m disparaging Rob Watts (designer of the Dave) because I’m not sufficiently separating his (retail $15,000) DAC from Koch’s (retail $5,999) DAC, but that’s would be completely wrong. What I’m stating is that to achieve a small improvement over the stellar DAC3, Yggdrasil, Chord Qutest, DirectStream and others already mentioned, engineers have to burn through a serious pile of cash. Hence, the significantly higher retail price for only a small gain that is not necessarily audible on most material in most systems in most listening rooms.

    I’m not disparaging Andreas Koch - I’ve never met the man, much less worked with him, nor have I ever expressed anything (in this forum and others) but genuine praise for his products. Stop suggesting that I’m insulting him or disparaging his work simply because I’m expressing some rational thoughts on the subject at hand. Taking such an approach only serves to kill discussion for fear that any comment will be interpreted as an insult to some third party by inference.

    I think you may be associating quality too strictly with retail pricing even though the two things are poorly related. More important, I have before (in other threads) and here again happily add the PS Audio DirectStream DAC to my personal list of DACs that basically meet or exceed the capabilities of most audiophiles’ component systems, speakers and listening rooms. And the DirectStream DAC can be purchased from most authorized high-end retailers for right around $5,000. You should forgive me for not mentioning the PS Audio DirectStream DAC before this post - there are just far too many great DACs out there for far, far less money that the so-called uber-DACs like the Dave, dCS Debussy, Esoteric D-02X and so on.
     
  23. unclefred

    unclefred Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    What he said.
     
  24. mds

    mds Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    No shame. I believe people are just pointing out that what appears to them is that the weak link in your system might just be the receiver and not the DAC. For this reason an upgrade there would be a more noticeable improvement to your ears and that if you upgrade the DAC instead it may be held back by the Yahama not allowing it to excel to its potential and therefore wasted until the receiver is upgraded.

    The question to ask is if you upgrade the receiver will the existing DAC sound better and therefore be the most noticeable system upgrade?
     
    jh901 and Doug Walton like this.
  25. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The DirectStream is a reference level DAC, several levels above the truly excellent DAC3.

    Agreed on getting the whole system right but OP was asking a simpler question here. Sources are important though.
     
    Doug Walton likes this.

Share This Page