Schiit Audio - Bifrost DAC - Official Thread

I believe the serial number will start with a B, not an A or a C.

My Gungnir MB is the newer one, the serial starts with a B. Yggy Analog 2 models all start with a B. The pic on @Torq’s post above starts with a B. Look for a B.

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Since Schiit haven’t made any statements about the availability of an “A2” Bifrost MB or Gungnir MB it’s a bit difficult to make any definitive statements - officially they don’t even exist.

I can tell you that the Modi MB, Bifrost MB and Gungnir MB I had on loan in November last year both sounded and measured differently from their “original” versions (units bought very close to their original release) . Those were built in October 2018. And that’s about as much as I can say “for sure”.

It’s possible there have been further changes in the 7 months since then. Or those might be the “latest” versions (I describe them in my upcoming 4-way comparison as “current”). But this says nothing about what any specific changes might be … the differences just could just be down to minor running-changes/revisions and not a true/full “A2” style update.

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Should also be able to pull off the casing and look at the PCB. I’ve seen a couple “silent revisions” get caught that way on other devices; think it’s safe to assume you could determine generations from Schiit in the same fashion.

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I just caught this part of your review again:

Modi MB just isn’t cutting it with Mj2. It’s not bad, it’s just not great either. It sounds to me like the Bifrost MB might be an excellent pairing for the Mjolnir 2 - meaning it might bring a little balance to the Force. For those who haven’t heard the Mj2, it really has some of the most intense slam and impact I’ve heard out of an amp. While it’s fun, it’s also a bit much for long stretches of blues or electronic music which is what I listen to at work, where I’m mindlessly listening while working on stuff.

I have the newer Gumby, so if Bimby = Gumby Jr., that is excellent news.

So, the plan would be to get a Bifrost MB for work, Yggy for home, sell the Black Widow 2, Gungnir MB and Modi MB to help offset the costs.

Knowing that no plan survives contact with the enemy… err, I mean the finance department… I better make sure I have reinforcements and an escape route before I execute “Operation: Financial Disobedience”.

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This will tell you that you have a specific revision, but absent actually analyzing any differences (or spotting a new/updated DAC IC or something, as with what happened with the Uber -> 4490 transition), it won’t give you any insight in to what has changed.

Until a revision number can be married up with a specifically called out, officially identified, “upgrade” (rather than a running change - which could be nothing more than parts substitutions when something becomes unavailable), it’s probably best not to make assumptions about what any given version number means.

At the same time, there’s a definite change in sound with the “original” and “current” Bifrost MB … we just don’t know whether that’s a new DAC stage, a new analog output stage implementation, new firmware/DSP code or some combination …

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The “current” Bifrost MB lifts the “veil” that was apparent with the Modi MB and the “original” Bifrost MB and delivers an easily audible improvement in clarity. There’s a bit more low-end weight too, and the overall presentation is moister than the older model and it’s quite a bit smoother in the treble too (the good way).

It’s a clear step up from even the “current” Modi MB.

And it sounds much closer to the “original” Gungnir MB than the “original” Bifrost MB ever did. The older Gungnir MB still wins out on micro-dynamic resolution and overall dynamics, and has other benefits if run in a fully-balanced chain, but it’s closer than I’d ever have guessed would be possible at that level.

I have my ZMF Vérité review to post here in the next couple of days and then the big multi-bit DAC review/comparison should be up within a week of that …

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Don’t disagree with you at all. Figured it’d at least be the first step in identification. I usually find that reading the Rev # on a PCB is marginally easier than the point 2 font they use to identify components.

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Hello Torq, thank you for your DAC reviews.

I am curious about this, did you test any files that have either a sample rate of 176.4khz or 192khz?

I ask because those sample rates would switch the Bifrost to NOS (non-oversampling) mode. So if you are still hearing that combo-burrito filter applied at these higher sample rates then yes it’s probably at 8x.

I would be curious to know how the newer Bifrost Mulitbit you received in October compares to the single-ended output of the Gungnir Multibit. In theory the BM might have a better analog stage, even with op-amps, compared to the GM because the latter uses a summing stage for single-ended ouptut. Balanced would probably perform better than the BM, however.

Also just how dramatic the difference in performance the new Bifrost 2 is to the BM would be another thing worth reviewing.

Thanks Torq.

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I tested files at all relevant sample rates and as best I could tell (listening and measuring) with the Bifrost MB (O18) it was doing 8x oversampling.

The Bifrost MB (O18) was a quite close, overall, to the Gungnir MB (OG) with it really only being micro-dynamics and and low-end weight that the Gungnir MB (OG) was ahead - at least if you stuck to comparing the single-ended outputs (Gungnir MB (OG) had a resolution advantage via its balanced outputs).

Bifrost MB (O18) was closer to Gungnir MB (O18) than Bifrost MB (OG) was to Gungnir MB (OG) on technicalities, but Gungnir MB (O18) had a leaner, drier, more forthright presentation which gives it a rather different signature compared to both the OG iteration and the Bifrost MB (O18).

I plan on reviewing the Bifrost 2 at some point, though it won’t be before October. Doubtful that it will include a direct comparison to earlier versions of Bifrost MB (either OG or O18), however, as I don’t have them available.


*(O18) = Unit built in October 2018. (OG) = Original Release.

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Welcome @Hinterlander.

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@Torq I remember you compared the Airist to the Bifrost.
Was that the (018) Bifrost or the OG?