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Schiit Audio using AD5791 (modern R2R/multibit)

Posted 30th August 2015 at 10:45 AM by hollowman
Updated 30th August 2015 at 03:22 PM by hollowman

Schiit's $2300 Yggdrasil D/A processor ...
...here's what Schiit claims on their product page:

21 Bits, No Guessing: Mission-Critical D/A Technology
When doctors are trying to diagnose whether you have gas or cancer from MRI results, or when the military is trying to ensure a missile hits an ammo dump and not a nunnery next door, they don’t use “24 bit” or “32 bit” delta-sigma D/A converters. Instead, they rely on precision, multibit ladder DACs, like the Analog Devices AD5791. This allows them the bit-perfect precision they need for critical applications, rather than the guesswork of a delta-sigma. We chose this same critical technology for Yggdrasil. Following these unique D/A converters are sophisticated discrete JFET buffers and summers.
To their credit, Schiit also uses the same AD DAC in their $600 "gungnir-multibit" D/A processor:

Just in terms of DigiKey pricing, the DAC chip is not cheap ($15 and higher for each single-channel IC).
That said, used or new-old-stock TDA1541A (s2), and PCM63 and UltraAnalog chips go for a pretty penny on eBay and Classified section of certain Forums
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  1. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    The gugnir-multibit isn't using the 20bit DAC, rather its 18bit baby brother -AD5781.
    Posted 30th August 2015 at 12:28 PM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
  2. Old Comment
    hollowman's Avatar
    Yeah, you're right ...and $$ are quite a bit different, too:

    AD5791ARUZ ($46.19-$200.00 each!!)
    AD5791ARUZ ($16.00-$72 each)

    These have been around since 2011 (methinks) and Schiit seems to be the first audio company to use them.

    Hopefully, AD will follow economies-of-scale logic and incorporate the same technology into lower-price audio-"friendly" DACs. That may take a while ... but if they're reading this post, they can jump on the bandwagon now.
    Posted 30th August 2015 at 12:50 PM by hollowman hollowman is offline
  3. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    Forlorn hope - without some major 'eureka' moment they'll stick with S-D for audio just like all the other vendors.
    Posted 30th August 2015 at 01:27 PM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline
  4. Old Comment
    hollowman's Avatar

    Who know how good ...?

    As I noted, those chips are not spec'd or "designed" (or at least marketed) for audio, anyway.
    Wonder what Schiit may have done -- tweaks, etc -- to get them ripe for audio?

    BTW ... it ain't just high-precision (modern) multibit dacs that's leading to decent sound outta Schiit products ... look here ...
    Click the image to open in full size.
    ... nice layout--and if you read the product page, they's gots plenty-o-other things going on. So who knows how good those new AD multi dacs REALLY are???
    Posted 30th August 2015 at 03:34 PM by hollowman hollowman is offline
  5. Old Comment
    abraxalito's Avatar
    I'm sure it sounds decent, but they do AFAIK consider the multibit variant an upgrade. No downgrades being offered for the Yggy to S-D are there?
    Posted 30th August 2015 at 11:03 PM by abraxalito abraxalito is offline

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