Here is what I posted at headfi.com back in August of last year:
Scroll down to post: 50008.
I am sitting here listening to my original Bifrost with Gen 5 USB upgrade but with a “small” twist!
Yesterday I got a surprise package from Schitt that had in it a “beta” Unison ™ board in it for the Bifrost “1”.
I was one of the “whiners” that complained that I wish we didnt have to wait for Jan 2020 for the Unison update for the original Bifrost.
Jason told me to contact them and see if they had any “beta” boards that I could try…I was a lucky guy and got the “last” one!
Big THANKS to Jason and Schitt…I never have run into folks that care about their customers, their products and listen to them, good or bad like Schitt Audio.
I have about 5 hours of solid listening with it using the new Unison USB interface to a HP 27" AIO using Jriver MC 24 and Foobar 2000.
Both are setup for WASAPI. All my music is ripped to its various native bit depth.
I have had my Bifrost since July 2017. Its the only dac I use anymore, the others just sit around gathering dust…
Its a pretty easy install, remove screws, remove pcb from the internal case, unscrew the 2 hold down screws, be careful not to loose the “silver button”…
Remove the Gen 5 board and push in the Unison board. Then all things basically in reverse. Good snug fit in the sockets.
First power on, watch the “traveling” light show, then wham it stops on the USB light.
I dont use any exotic boutique USB cable, just the $20 one from Schitt, which IMO is very nicely made, and Blue Jeans interface cables.
I listened with several amps I have ( 9 in house at the moment), some DIY, some retail. The first amp was my Bottlehead Mainlne and then my Schitt Vahalla 2.
Headphones used were my Beyer T1. 2nd gen and Senn HD600’s.
First impressions are a lasting one to me.
The first thing was what is going on with this setup…its was a immediate something is indeed very different. An audio “slap in the face”.
Several of those adjectives come to mind…“Clear, Open, Clean, Transparent, Articulate, Quiet, and Holographic”.
I have a number of “demo” cds collected from various sources that are very, very well recorded and mastered and used by several vendors to show off their
equipments attributes. I rolled thru them and was constantly hearing my “jaw” drop on the floor…how could a simple USB interface upgrade affect the sound I was
One word to me “Mike Moffat” “Magic”…
I think he said “Use the USB!”…
Their is an uncanny quietness that allows for extreme articulation of “stuff” on the recording…thing that were abit clouded are now crisp and you can hear all the stuff, the noise in live demo
recording rooms, small noises that are there in the recordings, things that never really stood out before. Uncanny resolution via a new interface…and we are coming from Gen 5.
I thought Gen 5 was it, what more could one do, I guess Mike knows better, because to me this new Unison is a major reason to get the upgrade when it comes out or a new Bifrost 2.
One benefit from this new “clarity” is its like listening to your stuff all over again, it does indeed bring the pleasure of listening back …and I like that.
The bad thing is your still medicore recodings will still sound mediocre.
I switched to the Vahalla 2 to make sure what I was hearing was not tied to that TOTL vacuum tube amp…so in the circuit went the Vahalla 2.
In the past the Vahalla 2 and my Senn HD600’s is about as a perfect match one could have, especially at this price point. I could be very happy with this setup.
The experience was basically the same. EXCELLENT. “Musical”…the way I think music ought to sound…kind of like almost being there experience.
Up first was Emmy Lou Harris: Mark Knopfler, All the Roadrunning, Love and Happiness…wondeful wide open performance, holographic.
Followed by LeAnn Rimes, Sittin on Top of the World…you may not care for this type of music, but the recording here is superlative…great for
demo and hearing the width and depth of the soundstage…clear, holographic again.
Eva Cassidy’s Live at Blues Alley…“What a Wonderful World” Absolutley amazing…Holographic…melt in your mouth good!
The entire spectrum bass to treble is all there good or bad depending on your source.
Ok for now…I could rant and rave on this one, buy one word here…is just buy it! I really think you will not be unhappy with the new interface…
Been using it everday since its initial install and I have gone back and forth with the GEN 5 USB board and prefer the sound I perceive with the Unison interface…just works better to my ears in my environment. makes me wonder if upgrading to a Bifrsot 2 is really worth spending the $599 ($100 discount for existing B1 owners until March of 2020 +/_)…