Dedicated Schiit Yggdrasil thread

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Hutch, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. There is an interesting review comparison of the Yggdrasil vs. the Metrum Pavane that was just posted at earphiiles. A comparison based on headphone listening.

    The Metrum Pavane is a neat DAC. I've only heard it once at a meet (the same Pavane that was in this review). The Pavane was connected to a tube amp. I had my Gumby there with my Cavalli Liquid Fire hybrid amp. Both in meet conditions. Neither DAC had a chance to warm up. Not at all ideal conditions to be comparing the two DACs. But I did like the Pavane setup. Especially on songs with good vocals. The Pavane setup was doing vocals better than my Gumby and Liquid Fire setup. Some of the aspects like soundstage, image size, and tonal density that the review notes the Pavane was better at are the sort of things that I like and listen for. I'm sure I could be happy with a Pavane. I can also be happy with a Gumby or Yggy.
  2. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    I've been agonizing over the Yggy/Gumby question for quite awhile now. This morning I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Gumby. I figure that leaves me an upgrade path for the future. I can always still move to a Yggy in the Den and move the Gumby to my office. I am certain that at some point I will move the Rogue/ARC pieces back into the rotation in the office and the little Nova 150 will come out. It's a great piece for convenience of the All in one box, but my mood is cyclical and I am sure I will go back to separates at some point.

    I am actually hopeful that the new DAC moves me farther from vinyl and I can wind that down a bit. Sacrilege here I know, but the space requirements of vinyl is really a bit of a problem for me.
    Ham Sandwich and Rolltide like this.
  3. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    Just prepare to be disappointed when you turn your Gumby on. But it will get better and better. It is a helluva DAC.
  4. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Yeah, I'm all wrapped up in the CWS right now so I figured it was a good time to get it and fire it up a few days before getting to it.
    Jack Flannery likes this.
  5. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    So I'm looking for input on what I believe I've come to a final decision on what I'm going to do in regards to upgrading my gear. Right now I currently have:

    - Soundblaster X7 DAC
    - Yamaha HS80M monitors
    - Beyerdynamic T1 headphones
    - PC for music/gaming
    - Technics SL 1200 turntable

    I'm looking to get a tangible upgrade in my audio quality and what I think I've decided on is getting a Schiit Ragnarok/Yggrdrasil combo, and a pair of Polk LSIM 703 speakers. I'm considering getting a 10" sub as well to help out with the low end, maybe just a Klipsch? I'm not a huge bass person but I just want to hear it when it's there.

    Do those decisions sound good? Haaaaaaaaa. But seriously that will be the big upgrade I'm hoping for, yes? Thanks.
  6. AmosM

    AmosM Member

    Denton, USA
    Close to buying a Yggy after trying to read every word online.

    I'm currently connecting my Mac Mini via USB to a Rega DAC-R, but my impression is even on Yggy, USB is the least preferred connection.

    Is there a consensus among Yggy owners which input sounds best? Especially Mac Mini/Yggy owners? SPDIF is probably the easiest second choice.
  7. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    10" sub on a bookshelf system seems like overkill. Might look at the little Sumiko S.0 or the REL TZero. I think they are almost the same. I went with the Gumby as I can move up to the Yggy is I change my mind in the first two weeks. I can't speak to the Polks as Polk has always baffled me a bit. I've heard some models that were awesome and others that were awful.
  8. k4rstar

    k4rstar Member


    This is just for the inputs, where it's coming from is important too!
    murphythecat likes this.
  9. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    So I've got a question about this.

    My initial thought was getting a Ygg and running USB from the PC to it.....but no good? Are you saying that if I had something in between, like say a Soundblaster Z or something and I ran SPDIF from the Soundblaster to the Ygg that would definitely be the better way to go?
  10. samurai

    samurai Forum Resident

    OK, I've got the Aesthetix Romulus Eclipse and have been curious about
    the Yggy but have avoided it because it lacks volume control and I don't use a pre-amp.
    Now I see Schiit has the Freya which is essentially volume control with a selectable tube section (4-6sn7).
    Curious, has anyone tried this combination; Yggy ->Freya ->Amp?
  11. k4rstar

    k4rstar Member

    Well, "no good" is all relative. There was a post from Jason Stoddard of Schiit recently regarding USB nervosa and such: Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up

    That's his take on it. There have been a few setups involving USB I've heard that were just so bad I could hear audible smearing and hash and others that have been totally listenable if not ideal. If you already own the Soundblaster card, it is worth trying the SPDIF output and seeing if it makes a positive difference over USB. I personally have a RME 9632 PCI card in my computer ($200 on eBay, I've seen them go for less) and use that to run SPDIF to my Gungnir.

    I suppose my point is that if you're spending the ~$2300 on a DAC it's worth taking a look at your digital source as well, but within the realm of reason. Spending $$$ on USB de-****ifiers and converters is outside the realm of reason. Buying a cheap soundcard with transformer coupled SPDIF or AES output is not.

    EDIT: Oh, I should add Schiit has heavily suggested they are coming out with a DDC (digital-to-digital converter) in the near future that will be affordable. It will very likely sport USB-to-SPDIF among other things. I would be patient and wait for that.
    Dino likes this.
  12. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    usd on the yggy is not has good as the breeze du u8 into spdif of the yggy ime
  13. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. Yeah I think I would probably just hold off on doing anything on that front for now and 1) Hear it when I get it and 2) See if they offer this product you're referring to eventually.

    Besides I'm more intrigued by how much of an improvement these things will be over what I have right now than the intricacies of the difference between going USB vs SPDIF.
  14. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    From a lot of my looking around/research I've done I came to the decision/conclusion that for right now getting some better speakers would probably provide me with a more noticeable/tangible audio different than doings something huge like changing all 3 of amplifier/dac/speakers. So what I've decided to go with for now is the KEF LS50 "wireless" version and I will run optical from my X7 and rca's from turntable into those, and whenever I want to use my headphones with the turntable I'll just switch the RCA's to the X7. I'll also probably get a sub to go along with the LS50's.

    It may not be the "best" solution or whatever, but at the end of the day I just tend to think I will be satisfied with the difference that will give me for ~$2,200 as opposed to what I would hear from spending about $3,000 more than that on the other components I was considering. We'll see I guess.
    Robert C likes this.
  15. k4rstar

    k4rstar Member

    I read your initial post that detailed what your system is now versus what you were planning. If your end goal is fidelity (I am not sure what this word means to you at this stage of your audio journey) your initial plan was much better, though I can appreciate wanting to consolidate components and simplify. The thing is, with the active LS50s your system will always be limited by the components inside your speakers; including the digital crossover and class D amplification of the woofer. It also doesn't make sense to me personally run an analog front-end through such a system as the ADC in the unit will decimate the best part of analog reproduction: the retrieval of low-level information.

    That being said, for an all-in-one solution it's not going to get much better than the LS50 wireless (plus sub, I've heard reports of really crappy bass on the wireless models). I'd still personally go for a good pair of studio monitors (I assume you will be using these in a relatively nearfield setup) and a better DAC if you want to skip purchasing an amplifier. This will give you better sound, value and more flexibility in the long run.

    This is false.
  16. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    Yeah I hear you, and in the end I don't doubt that doing something like a Ragnarok/Yggdrasil combo along with some other speakers would provide me with overall better sound, I'm sure it does. I guess at this point right now I'm just not totally convinced I will feel like I'm getting ~$3000 more than what I would get in trying something like the LS50's. It doesn't mean I will never give the other route a try.....I imagine some point down the line in my life my curiosity will get the best of me. But for today this is the route I'm going to take and see what I think of it.
  17. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    Can I get your input on something? So say I did end up going with the Ragnarok/Yggdrasil combo. Which speakers would you choose to go with it; LS50's or Adam A7X's?
  18. k4rstar

    k4rstar Member

    Different speakers for different applications. If you are getting these to place on a desk or near a desk on stands to use in nearfield by all means do not buy the LS50s. If you are looking for a pair of speakers to fill a room and listen to from ~3m or more away, then do not get studio monitors. I have auditioned the Adams and I liked the tonality but I am not a fan of AMT tweeters personally. If you're dropping over a grand on monitors it's absolutely imperative you go to a pro store and demo them first if you can.

    Here is just a sampling of the monitors they had to demo at a shop in downtown Toronto. I didn't get to listen to every model on display but my pick were the 5" Neumann KH120A against similar models from Adam, Focal, Genelec, etc. If you have the room for them and already like the Yamaha sound look at the MSP7s as well. The key is to hear stuff for yourself so you know how it relates. Auditioning active monitors is easier as you eliminate one unfamiliar variable (the amp) and they are generally more forgiving of poor showroom conditions.


    What's more, if you do go for actives the Ragnarok doesn't really make sense anymore. It is overkill as a headphone amp only and you could do better for less. None of the Schiit amps are transparent enough as pre-amps to use with well-performing monitors. I would go all out on the DAC (Gungnir Multibit or Yggdrasil, they are closer in performance than the price gulf would indicate) and then invest in some sort of passive attenuation like a monitor controller for volume control (JBL M-Patch 2). Finally pick a cheaper headphone amp that is a good value and will work with the headphones you own or plan to own. Do this after you get the speakers as they may start to dominate your listening time and you may not feel it necessary anymore.
  19. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, my initial thought for a speaker was the Polk LSiM 703 and while I've heard them before and think they sound pretty dang good (especially when they can be had for their 50% off sales that seem to pop up at Polk and other online retailers from time to time) it seems like people always seem to say about Polk "Yeah they're ok, but you can get a lot better for the same price."

    It seems like the LS50 is always mentioned as one of those possibilities but I have also seen multiple people say that they should not be used on a desktop. I agree about the Ragnarok losing it's "value" if I'm going to use monitors so if I were to end up going passives with it, I'd just like to get something that measures up in that price range. I've seen some suggestions online and while I'd love to audition some of these things, it just seems like a challenge to actually find them anywhere.
  20. Robert C

    Robert C Forum Resident

    London, UK
    The LS50 wireless can be used on a desktop or on stands. It has DSP to deal with either. I'm sorry but there's a lot of unnecessary scaremongering in post #391 :(
    Agitater likes this.
  21. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    many have commented how the kef ls50 dont sound good in near field and sound better with at elast 5-6 feet.
    this is my experience as well hence some reservations to using them as desktop
  22. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    At the end of the day all I'm really trying to do is just gather information and make a decision that I personally feel comfortable with because really.....what else can I do lol. And while yes I've read people who have said you shouldn't use them in a desktop/kind of near the wall scenario, I also read a pretty lengthy post on another forum where a guy used them in exactly that scenario and he said they were outstanding. When the internet is what it is, I think I could ask a question about pretty much anything imaginable and someone would say "Yeah it's great!" and someone would say "Nope it sucks." That's opinions for you.

    Anyway I did end up finding someone who was selling a Yggdrasil online used for about $500 off, so I pulled the trigger and just ordered both that and the Ragnarok. Only live once, right? (and yes, people would agree and disagree on that too lol.)

    So really what my initial plan is as of now is that the Yggy is going to be delivered on Friday and I'm going to be using it with my current HS80M's and see what I think because I should sure as hell notice a difference with a $2300 DAC as opposed to the $400 X7 that I'm currently using with those speakers, yes? Because if I don't then I can't imagine the Yggdrasil is worth that money regardless of the speakers I'm hooking up to it. So depending on how that goes I'll then consider what, if any speakers I decide to change to. If I do change, I am leaning towards the LS50's and a sub. But as of now I just really want to hear this thing tomorrow.
  23. Nice! Now you need to find some suitable passive speakers for nearfield at a desk. I don't know what to suggest. I'm much more familiar with headphones than speakers.

    You'll need to be careful when using the Ragnarok amp with both speakers and headphones. The Ragnarok is a very powerful headphone amp and is capable of sending the full power to the headphones. So you need to be careful or you can end up blowing the drivers on the headphones.

    The UI on the Ragnarok is kinda Schiity. There is a button that cycles through three modes: (1) speakers + headphones, (2) just speakers, (3) just headphones. If you cycle through those modes while you have headphones connected and the volume is up you can end up blowing the drivers of the headphones or blasting your ears if the headphones are on your head.

    When you have a headphone amp like that you need to learn to be careful, or eventually you'll end up having a bad day and blow a driver.
    With an amp like that you need to get in the habit of always
    - turning down the volume to 0 before plugging in headphones
    - turning down the volume to 0 before unplugging the headphones
    - never leaving headphones plugged in when you turn off the amp or turn on the amp (the power on thump or power off thump that some amps have can blow headphones)
    - with the Ragnarok you'll also need to make sure to unplug the headphones before switching over to speaker listening

    I play with some powerful headphone amps. I follow those rules even when using lower powered headphone amps. You need to get in the habit of always following those rules, otherwise you'll forget just once and cause a bad day. Get in the habit of following those rules always.

    The manual for the Ragnarok also mentions these cautions.
  24. matt0505

    matt0505 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, yeah when it comes to a lot of that stuff I'm pretty cautious with plugging/unplugging, volume, etc. I think I'll be fine with those things and I'll definitely keep them in mind.

    I have Beyerdynamic T1's, looking forward to hearing them with the Ragnarok. It'll be here tomorrow!

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