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Unlike most DACs (including sophisticated ones), the Schiit Yggdrasil has a time-and frequency-domain optimized digital filter with a true closed-form solution, precise bit-perfect multibit ladder DACs, like the Analog Devices AD5791 and sophisticated discrete JFET buffers & summers. This means it retains all the original samples, performing a true interpolation. This digital filter gives you the best of both NOS (all original samples retained) and upsampling (easier filtering of out-of-band noise) designs.
The Yggdrasil features Schiit's all-new USB Gen 3 input module for exceptional USB input performance. It accepts up to 5 digital inputs and carefully manages them with the Adapticlock™ regeneration system. This is the most sophisticated clock management system in the world which assesses the quality of all inputs, measures their incoming centre frequency and jitter, while automatically routing the input to the best clock regeneration system.
|INPUTS||AES/EBU XLR, RCA SPDIF, BNC SPDIF, Optical SPDIF, USB|
|INPUT COMPATIBILITY||up to 24/192 for all inputs|
|INPUT RECEIVER, SPDIF||AKM AK4113|
|INPUT RECEIVER, USB||C-Media CM6631A|
|OUTPUT||One pair XLR balanced and two pairs RCA single-ended|
|OUTPUT IMPEDANCE||75 ohms|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE, ANALOG STAGE||20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.1dB, 0.5Hz-200KHz, -1dB|
|MAXIMUM OUTPUT||4.0V RMS (balanced), 2.0V RMS (single-ended)|
|THD||Less than 0.005%, 20Hz-20KHz, at full output|
|IMD||< 0.005%, CCIF, at full output|
|SNR||> 119dB, referenced to 2V RMS|
|UPGRADABILITY||Fully modular architecture. Separate digital input board, USB input board, DSP engine board, and DAC/analog output boards.|
|CLOCK MANAGEMENT||Bitperfect clock management at all native sample rates via Adapticlock analysis and VCXO/VCO regeneration, plus asynchronous USB Gen 5 module|
|DIGITAL FILTER||proprietary Schiit bitperfect closed-form digital filter implemented on Analog Devices SHARC DSP processor|
|D/A CONVERSION IC||Analog Devices AD5791BRUZ x 4 (2 per channel, hardware balanced configuration)|
|ANALOG STAGE||Fully discrete, DC coupled Class A FET buffers optimized for high current output and fully discrete, Class A FET summing stages for single-ended output|
|WEIGHT||11.3kg (25 lbs)|
|BOX CONTENTS||Schiit - Yggdrasil|
Yes. We don't believe in fancy casework, nor in blingy displays, nor in any kind of complication that just ups the price for the sake of upping the price. So yes, this is our top DAC. A DAC that can look any other DAC in the world in the face and not flinch. That is, if it was human. And if DACs had faces. Hell, you know what we mean.
Because the Arglebargle was most likely designed to the expectations of today, using commonly available parts in a super-fancy case, while we started with a clean sheet of paper.
If your 24 bit recordings actually have 24 bits of resolution, we’ll eat a hat. And those "32-bit" DACs? Well, they have this measurement known as “equivalent number of bits.” This means, in English, how many bits of resolution they really have. And that number, for most of them, is about 19.5.
We can’t get over the fact that delta-sigma DACs are actually 2- to 5-bit designs. Different strokes for different folks.
Yggdrasil plays DSD just fine, as long as it's converted to PCM by your software player. Same for MQA—Yggdrasil plays MQA just fine as long as your software or hardware does the "unfolding." (Unspindling and unmutilating are, we suppose, extra.)
Yeah, and reel-to-reel was the future in the 1970s, and it’s dead now, and DAT was the future in the 1980s, and it’s dead now, and HDCD was the future in the 1990s, and it’s dead now, and SACD was the future in the 2000s, and it’s dead now. But, let's say Sony suddenly opens their vaults and offers 30,000 DSD albums with guaranteed direct-from-DSD provenance at $5.99 each, or if Apple and Spotify and Amazon start streaming only MQA for free (yes, we know, stop laughing) then hey, Yggy is fully upgradable.
Most digital filters destroy the original samples in the process of upsampling. They’re just like sample rate converters or delta-sigma DACs. We’re all about the original samples, so we created a unique digital filter that performs a true interpolation, which means it retains all the original samples. This is a major difference between Schiit True Multibit DACs like Yggdrasil and every other DAC in the world.
Then ask Mike Moffat, the father of audiophile digital playback, about his 5-year quest to perfect this digital filter, involving 1917 Western Electric papers on pulse-code modulation, a professor emeritus of mathematics who devised a way to get around the divide-by-zero problem, a RAND corp mathematician to implement it, and a master programmer to get it to run on our SHARC processor engine. In his words:
"The below are the claims of the digital filter/interpolator/sample rate converter in Yggy:
1. The filter is absolutely proprietary.
2. The development tools and coefficient calculator to derive the above filters are also proprietary.
3. The math involved in developing the filter and calculating has a closed form solution. It is not an approximation, as all other filters I have studied (most, if not all of them). Therefore, all of the original samples are output. This could be referred to fairly as bit perfect; what comes in goes out.
4. Oversimplified, however essentially correct: The filter is also time domain optimized which means the phase info in the original samples are averaged in the time domain with the filter generated interpolated samples to for corrected minimum phase shift as a function of frequency from DC to the percentage of nyquist - in our case .968. Time domain is well defined at DC - the playback device behaves as a window fan at DC - it either blows (in phase) or sucks (out). It is our time domain optimization that gives the uncanny sonic hologram. (It also allows the filter to disappear. Has to be heard to understand.) Since lower frequency wavelengths are measured in tens of feet, placement in image gets increasingly wrong as a function of decreasing frequency in non time domain optimized recordings - these keep the listener's ability to hear the venue - not to mention the sum of all of the phase errors in the microphones, mixing boards, eq, etc on the record side. An absolute phase switch is of little to no value in a non time domain optimized, stochastic time domain replay system. It makes a huge difference with an Yggy.
5. This is combined with a frequency domain optimization which does not otherwise affect the phase optimization. The 0.968 of Nyquist also gives us a small advantage that none of the off-the shelf FIR filters (0.907) provide: frequency response out to 21.344KHz, 42.688KHz, 85.3776KHz, and 170.5772KHz bandwidth for native 1,2,4, and 8x 44.1KHz SR multiple recordings - the 48KHz table is 23.232, 46.464, 92.868, and 185.856KHz respectively for 1,2,4, and 8x. This was the portion of the filter that had the divide by zero problem which John Lediaev worked out, to combine with #4 above AND retain the original samples.
This is what other DACs typically offer: frequency domain optimization FIR filters with Parks-McClellan optimization. Any avoidance of the Parks-McClellan pablum requires a lot of original DSP work. Am I a prophet who received the tablets from God or some other high-end audio drivel. Hell, no. I was the producer and director of this project and worked with Dave Kerstetter (hardware-software), John Lediaev (Math), Tom Lippiat (DSP Code), Warren Goldman (Coefficient Generator and development tools) for a total of 15 or so man years. These folks either taught math at The University of Iowa, Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University, worked at think tanks like the Rand Corporation – you get the idea. We did this for no money - What we all had in common was that we loved audio. All other audio pros were interested in Parks-McClellan and pointed and laughed at us. That's the way it happened. It was worth it, every hour, day, and year."
Unison USB is our own proprietary USB input, not based on C-Media or XMOS or any other off-the-shelf USB receiver out there. Instead, we spent a couple of person-years developing our own code for a standard Microchip PIC32 microprocessor, which allowed us to create a higher-performing USB input than anything else on the market.
Not Unison USB. Even Mike Moffat, the famous “friends don’t let friends use USB” guy, prefers Unison to SPDIF.
Unison USB is special because it was developed for a single purpose: to provide the highest performance input for PCM digital, period. It doesn’t have ten thousand un-used functions, nor is it trying to optimize for five different unicorn formats that will probably be gone tomorrow. It also uses very high-quality local clocks and offers complete electrostatic and electromagnetic isolation from the source. It also provides lower power draw and complete UAC2 compatibility.
Actually, the question should be “What platforms support your Unison USB input?” since our Unison USB input is 100% UAC2 compliant (that is, USB Audio Class 2, the accepted standard for USB audio transmission.) So, here you go:
The DACs we're using—AD5791—were billed as "the industry's first true 20-bit DAC" by Analog Devices when they were introduced in 2010. Note the words "first" and "true." This is not 20-bit as defined for audio applications, this is not 24-bit delta-sigma, this is not (nudge, snicker) "32 bit" complete fantasy stuff. These DACs have never been used in an audio product until Yggdrasil. Normally, they are used for medical device imaging and weapons targeting—applications in which accuracy is absolutely paramount. Now, we're using 4 of the highest-spec AD5791BRUZ in this product—2 each per channel, for true differential hardware balanced design. Beyond that, a fully discrete, DC-coupled, Class A FET buffer stage and fully discrete FET summers (for the single-ended output) complete the picture.
Because they require very, very special care and feeding. AD5791s aren't "bolt in and go" DACs, with pleasant little paint-by-numbers application notes for use with audio. They don't even accept normal digital audio formats. Managing their use with multiple input bit depths and sample rates is, well, challenging. And special care has to be taken with their output. Plus, people are more focused on silly claims like "32-bit" DACs and "Giga-Rate" DSD. "21 real bits," doesn't sound real sexy in that context.
How much 32 bit music do you have? (Not that it will ever exist—we can't get the noise floor that low. Period. Unless Dr. Who pays us a visit and drops some alien tech on us...)
Yes. We know that. And so are you. You're considering a $2,300, 25-lb product that does the same basic thing as a $0.32 chip in your iPhone.
Yggdrasil is built for the future. The main board is nothing more than a motherboard and power supply. From there, separate, plug-in modules are used for the input board, the USB board, the processor/DSP board, and the separate analog boards. This means that any part of Yggdrasil can be updated as standards change.
Unison USB is indicated with a separate sticker near the USB input.
Your serial number will start with a "B."
Don't sweat it, this Schiit Yggdrasil comes with a 5 year warranty from Schiit that covers manufacturing defects. All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.
Read more about Schiit's warranty in India.
"In the end the Yggdrasil's sound pulled me in more. It wins by doing less, it is a slightly softer sound, but one that keeps me coming back."Read More
"It’s built amazingly well, there’s inputs and outputs for whatever you’d likely need, it sexy to look at, and my goodness does it make your audio sound true to real life."Read More
Our Headphone Guru’s Top Recommendations for You
The story of Schiit Audio begins with two veteran audiophiles Jason Stoddard, formerly of Sumo, and Mike Moffat, formerly of Theta coming together to shake things up a bit. Both of them have extensive experience in developing lots of audio and A/V products including the Andromeda III, Cobalt 307, DS Pre and Angstrom 200. From power amplifiers, I/V conversion stages, D/A converters, relay-switched stepped attenuator volume controls in preamps to developing the first DTS home theatre surround processor on the market, Schiit Audio has developed a lot of audio products over the years.
Headphones are the need of the hour everyone who likes music uses a headphone. Therefore Schiit Audio moved to develop personal audio equipment while continuing to design a speaker-based system which includes the industry-leading preamps, amps and DACs. So right now Schiit Audio has a plethora of audio products ranging from personal audio to speaker-based systems. Schiit designs affordable audio products that bring happiness in your lives.
Unlike ordinary DACs that use delta-sigma, NOS (new old stock) D/A chips, multibit chips, high-cost R2R ladders, Schiit uses unique DSP-based closed-form digital filter which improves the sonic performance of the multibit DAC. Therefore the Schiit's multibit technology brings all of it together using the current-production, medical/military grade D/A converters.
Schiit has opted for an innovative approach for the analog side as well. Even the most affordable Schiit headphone amplifier is a miniature, fully discrete, DC coupled, current-feedback power amplifier. Schiit is credited for introducing Continuity output stage to solve the issue of transconductance droop which was common in Class AB amplifier design. Schiit has also developed balanced topologies like Nexus in Ragnarok 2 and a perfect combination of tube and solid-state with Coherence in Lyr 3.
All the Schiit products are designed for solidity and durability. Even the smallest of the products are made of aluminium and steel while the larger products are made of high-end C core transformers, power supply filtering and low-noise control. All the products have to go through severe testing procedures including the latest APx555 audio analyzer and Avermetrics analyzers. Every product from Asgard and up goes through burn-in to address the issues faced during the initial period of usage. Schiit takes care of all the service and support requirements so that you can concentrate on great sound.
Schiit believes that local control of all the aspects of production improves the delivering of the product. Therefore all the Schiit products are designed and made in the USA and most of the cost of the components are going to the US-based companies. Assembled in the USA means that Schiit's chassis guys are from San Fernando Valley, Schiit transformers are made in California, Schiit boards come from the east coast of the USA and all the designing, assembling and testing of Schiit products happen in Valencia, California.
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Like you, Headphone Gurus at Headphone Zone are passionate about music. It's their job to make sure that you find a headphone that fits your music listening habits and preferences perfectly. They do this all day.
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