Bifrost 2 vs. RME ADI-2 DAC fs

For the purpose of only serving as a DAC into a single ended amp to a 2.2 speaker system does anyone have any experience of the RME DAC2 fs vs the new Schitt Bifrost 2 in terms of sound profile please? My rig is Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum 2 into KEF LS50/Dual REL T9i. Both DACs seem excellent value. I cannot audition either in stores or in the home due to my location in Singapore so would greatly appreciate benefiting from your trusted experiences.

You may have already read it, but @ProfFalkin has some comparisons to the Bifrost 2 in his RME ADI-2 DAC fs review.

And I’ll have some additional comparisons in my pending Bifrost 2 review.

@DarthPool also has both units and may chime in too.

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I really am curious how you guys think the two compare as well.

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I’ll have a read @Torq, thank you. I know there’s no substitute for personal listening but I’m pretty confident the opinions of people such as yourself, @ProfFalkin & @DarthPool are a wonderful resource for those of us who can’t arrange auditions. Thanks for taking the time to respond and for sharing, it’s much appreciated mate. I’m hoping there’s some feedback about speaker rigs as I don’t use headphones and aspects such as stagewidth, imaging etc are so different for speakers vs headphones; fingers crossed!

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I doubt you’ll find my thoughts on them are very far apart from yours, based on what you’ve said so far.

There won’t be in mine.

My speaker rig is an all Linn Exakt setup, and the nature of that makes it not a great way to evaluate external DACs.

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Honestly I’m aligned with both @Torq and @ProfFalkin on how they like the two more or less (we all hear things slightly differently as humans after all) but I think both of them did a much better job of describing the two DACs and I don’t think I could add much more to what they have said… it would be more akin to beating a dead horse…

For me I find the Bifrost2 more “enjoyable” while the RME is my reference DAC with all the whizbangs lol.

Now, don’t take that as the RME as not being enjoyable, it still gets a lions share of my listening time. I actually really enjoy both, but the Bifrost2 just adds a bit more “enjoyment” for me, anyhow. Plus, you just plug it in turn it on and away you go! No to many options paralysis :laughing: that I can sometimes get when playing with the RME. Or, going down a rabbit hole trying to get the best sound with all the options, which while very fun and rewarding is not always my goal when trying to relax and listen to music.

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When enjoying your music is a chore… :laughing:

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Some have reported the soundstage of the RME to be flat, lacking depth. Would you be able to comment on the soundstage of BF2 vs RME? Specifically with regard to width, imaging separation/precision and depth. Enjoyment is what it’s all about, that’s why I made the comment about using the comparison from the point of view of only using the unit as a DAC i.e. not using all the bells and whistles of the RME. It sort of equates (I think) to what you’re terming enjoyment. I would not want to tinker all day long. I’m a set and forget type of person; not much of a gear junkie. So glad to hear you’re enjoying your options…life’s a bitch huh? :wink:

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I just did a quick back to back and it is instantly apparent that the detail and imaging is very close to each other. But, I think stage depth is better on the Bifrost2, also the Bifrost2 adds a tad more warmth or maybe livelier presentation of the music. Where as the RME has a more “clean” sound to it.

Used these two tracks for just a quick a/b

I noticed the instrument separation was better and depth was excellent on the Bifrost2 with this track
https://open.qobuz.com/track/79538230

same as above but with the RME it felt like the shaker and drums were more accurate
https://open.qobuz.com/track/61248399

hope that helps

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Thanks for that! Generally, it seems that the RME unit is preferred if your use case extends beyond just music, right? Say you want to create video content or have studio monitors hooked up, the RME unit may have the better feature set?

That’s excellent, just the sort of feedback I had hoped for…not the " a veil lifted for me on the hi C from the 3rd violin in Wombat’s 3rd movement in D". Cheers mate :raised_hands:

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I might be missing something, but I’m not sure how the RME ADI-2 DAC fs helps with creating video content, unless you need to record from the S/PDIF input via USB.

Other than not needing a headphone amplifier or pre-amp, like you would with the Bifrost 2, the rest of its feature set is dedicated to how the sound is handled for output. So, it has DSP functions (EQ, loudness, crossfeed, different filters), flexible outputs, and some clocking controls.

Now the ADI-2 Pro is another matter …

And if you’re driving active studio monitors, you’d need a pre-amp or attenuator with the Bifrost 2 if they don’t have built in volume controls.

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Yup I confused the feature set (particularly the ADC in the Pro).

This part would still be a win for the RME when it comes to content creation (when it comes to mixing using active monitors).

Monitoring! The RME ADI-2 DAC fs is quite accurate and translates well which, with good monitors and some room treatment, adds confidence to decisions about audio editing, 2 channel spotting sessions, and roughing in mixes before sending to the big boys. In addition, I find that it also much more pleasurable to listen to than many of the pro interfaces in the remotely-related-price-league - connection to the material is also important. The RME/Genelec monitors combination translates well outside the suite and is a pleasure to listen to, as well.

I am very interested in the Bifrost 2 at the moment, too, for another system and am interested in the differences between the two. These RME/Bifrost 2 threads have been a good read. Thanks, Gents.

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I can monitor with any AOI device, though.

Pair any basic headphone amp with pre-outs and any pure DAC and you can do the same.

It’s not some unique capability of the RME unit.

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Sorry if I was not as clear as I could have been. I mean that the audio playback quality - audio monitoring in a film/video post environment - of the RME is accurate and translates very well outside my environment. This is a help in video/filmmaking.

@Torq - not for this thread, but maybe for your Bifrost 2 review. Do you think you could dedicate a small section towards why one should pick the Bifrost 2 vs the RME? Sort of like, “If you need this or this feature, then go with RME.”

It may help those who:

  1. Are looking to go beyond just music listening and may want to dabble in reviewing / content creation / etc.
  2. Don’t know all the RME unit’s features or may not know how Feature X found in the manual really affects real world usability.
  3. Would prefer to buy one unit now and have it cover future use cases that come up.

Basically, with how feature rich the RME is, it’s tough for newbies to even foresee the kind of things you can do with it. Maybe if you can talk about why, as a power user, it’s so useful to YOU, that would help.

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There will be some high level discussion of that in the review in the comparison to the RME unit, but most of it is focused on their sonic differences in the role of a pure-DAC.

The more detailed coverage of the RME unit actually makes more sense in this thread - so I can follow up on that here (or in the RME thread) as I get to it.

And to be fair, the RME really warrants a full, detailed, review of its own. I’m just too burned out on doing reviews to even contemplate that any time soon.

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Thanks @Torq. And yeah, please take your time. Between all the posting on the forums and the review writing you do, that’s a lot of keyboard time.

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Yeah, he’s definitely a posting and testing machine.