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Bifrost

True Multibit™ Autonomy™ DAC with Unison USB™

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$799.00

Ships in 2-4 weeks

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Bifrost 2/64 is a complete re-thinking of what an accessible DAC can be. With full hardware-balanced topology, balanced and single-ended outputs, remote control, Schiit’s unique True Multibit™ architecture with a time-and frequency-domain optimized digital filter, NOS mode, and our own Unison USB™ input and easy-to-upgrade Autonomy™ platform, Bifrost sets all the standards.
 
Top-Of-Class Hardware Balanced Design
Just like our range-topping Yggdrasil, the Bifrost 2/64 features a fully hardware balanced architecture. This means four 16-bit DACs total, with one DAC for each phase. You can expect the same stellar performance from both the XLR and RCA outputs, so Bifrost 2/64 works seamlessly with your system.
 
Featuring Schiit's Unique True Multibit™ — and NOS
Like all Schiit True Multibit products, Bifrost 2/64 uses completely unique D/A converters and our proprietary time- and frequency-domain optimized digital filter. In the case of Bifrost 2/64, four DAC8812 D/A converters—the same basic chip used in Yggdrasil Less is More—do the conversion, while the digital filter is implemented on an Analog Devices SHARC DSP. You can also choose non-oversampling mode (NOS) to bypass the digital filter entirely.
 
Unison USB™ is USB, Elevated
Bifrost 2/64 features Unison USB, our own USB input based on a general-purpose PIC32 microprocessor, using precision local clocks and complete electromagnetic and electrostatic isolation. No more off-the-shelf USB—this unique, UAC2-compliant input provides the highest performance and lowest power draw of any USB input we’ve offered to date. 
 
Easy Upgrades with Autonomy™ Architecture
Slide-in hardware modules and a MicroSD card slot means this DAC never has to come back to Schiit for upgrades. Compare this to other DACs, even DACs costing many times more—only Bifrost 2/64 provides complete hardware and firmware upgradability. All original Bifrost 2s can be upgraded to 2/64 with a new card and firmware, available on our Upgrades page.
 
Designed and Built in California
By “designed and built in California" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Bifrost 2/64—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us. Our transformers are also made in California. We ain’t just putting in the last screws and calling it done.  
 
5-Year Warranty and Easy Return Policy
Bifrost 2/64 is covered by a 5-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor. And if you don’t like your Bifrost 2, you can send it back for a refund, minus 5% restocking fee, within 15 days of receiving it.
 
Balanced or SE Output:
 
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.02dB
THD+N: <0.0008%
IMD: <0.0006%, CCIF
S/N: > 124dB, referenced to full output
Crosstalk: -132dB, 20-20kHz
 
Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS single-ended, 4.0V RMS balanced
 
Inputs: Coaxial SPDIF, Optical SPDIF, USB 
 
Input Capability: up to 24/192 for all inputs
 
Input Receiver
 
SPDIF: AK4113
USB: Schiit Unison™ USB
 
Outputs: RCA (single-ended) and XLR (balanced)
Output Impedance: 75 ohms for both
 
Conversion Type: Schiit True Multibit™ 
D/A Conversion IC: Texas Instruments DAC8812 x 4  
Digital Filter: proprietary Schiit time- and frequency-domain optimized digital filter implemented on Analog Devices SHARC DSP processor, running 8X oversampling
Analog Stage: Differential, based on LME49724 and OPA1656
 
Power supply: 24VA transformer, 8 stages of regulation, including discrete regulation for the analog card and separate supplies for critical digital and analog sections
Upgradability: Autonomy™ architecture with externally replaceable DAC/Analog Card and USB Input Card, plus MicroSD card slot for firmware updates
 
Remote control: included, controls source selection, phase invert, and mute.
 
Power Consumption: 12W
Size: 9 x 6.75 x 2”
Weight: 5 lbs
 
So this Bifrost 2/64 is a new version of Bifrost 2?
Yep, exactly.
 
And it has 64 bits?
Actually, it has a total of 128 bits. 2 channels, 64 bits each. As in, it has four dual 16-bit DACs. This allows us to do an over-the-top hardware-balanced configuration, which we find to be preferable for DACs with higher end ambitions. 
 
But this isn’t really a 64-bit DAC, right?
If you mean, “this DAC doesn’t have 64-bit resolution,” of course it doesn’t. Same as “32-bit” DACs not having 32 bits of resolution. “32-bit” DACs are usually 2- to 5-bits anyway, with lots of noise shaping. The best DACs resolve at about a 20-21 bit level these days. Which in itself is overkill, because that’s 120+dB, and you don’t listen at 120dB, nor do you have a 0dB noise floor in your listening room, so all of this number-chasing is kinda silly.
 
Huh? 32 bits isn’t 32 bits? What’s going on here?
Sigh. Yeah. This has all gotten a bit crazy. So look at our “64” branding as out way of poking fun at the whole numbers game. If you want to see exactly how Bifrost 2/64 measures, we provide a complete AP report. Or you can have a listen and decide if you like it. That’s also totally cool.
 
So Bifrost 2/64 is different than the original Bifrost 2?
Yes. Let’s break it down:
  • D/A converters. The original Bifrost 2 used two Analog Devices AD5781 18-bit D/A converters, and the current Bifrost 2/64 uses four Texas Instruments DAC8812 16-bit D/A converters.
  • Hardware balanced. The original Bifrost 2 was internally single-ended, and created its balanced outputs with differential amplifiers. Bifrost 2/64 is internally hardware balanced, and has inherent balanced outputs.
  • NOS mode. Bifrost 2/64 gives you the option to turn off our digital filter and run everything straight thru in non-oversampled (NOS) mode.
Wait a sec, NOS mode?
Yes. Press and hold the front button for over 2 seconds, release it, and your Bifrost 2/64 is in NOS mode. This is indicated by a slow “breathing” pulse on the selected input. 
 
But I don’t like NOS.
Cool, that’s why we have our megacomboburrito filter too. You won’t run into NOS accidentally, and Bifrost 2/64 defaults to our filter when turned off and on. Turn the DAC on, enjoy your music, and pretend it isn’t there. 
 
But I love NOS! This is fantastic!
Options are wonderful, we agree.
 
Sounds like an Yggdrasil LIM.
Yep, it uses the same basic D/A converters as Yggdrasil Less Is More. Of course, Yggdrasil still has much more in terms of power supply, clock regeneration, etc, etc. It even measures similarly. But measurements don’t tell the whole story. If you want great measurements, there’s Modi 3E—that’ll save you over half a thousand dollars on this guy. 
 
Can I upgrade a Bifrost 2 to a Bifrost 2/64?
Absolutely. Upgrades are available on our Upgrades page. You can install the new card and firmware yourself, thanks to Bifrost 2’s Autonomy architecture.
 
How do I tell the difference between a Bifrost 2 and a Bifrost 2/64?
In critical listening of pre-1954 mono orchestral recordings, there will be additional presence, corumbulation, and overall ephiphosity, especially around the images of the instruments, clearly audible on systems with more than $247,505 in total ancillary components (speakers, sources, cables, power regenerators, quantum defragmenters, reality realigners etc.)
 
You’re kidding, right?
Of course we are.
 
So how do we really tell the difference between a Bifrost 2 and Bifrost 2/64?
There's a serial number that reads "Bifrost 2/64" and a small sticker on the analog card, saying “B2/64.”
 
Wasn’t there a Bifrost before Bifrost 2?
Yes, there was, but it was an entirely different model, and we’re afraid it cannot be upgraded to Bifrost 2 or Bifrost 2/64. Literally every single part is different—chassis, transformer, cards, etc. 
 
The remote doesn't control volume? Why didn't you give us an option for remote volume?
We did. It's an additional $299. It's called "Saga S." There's even a tube remote volume option for $399, called "Saga+."
  
I see you named your True Multibit architecture. What, was there a sale on trademarks or something?
No, we named it True Multibit™ because there’s a lot of confusion over what is really multibit and what isn't. Some companies refer to multilevel delta-sigma D/A converters as “Multibit” DACs. While kinda-sorta-maybe technically correct, this is pretty misleading. 2 to 5 bits of actual resolution plus massive amounts of noise shaping is not true multibit. Hence, True Multibit. We use True Multibit to denote DACs that have 16-20 actual bits, rather than multilevel noise-shaping delta-sigma DACs, coupled with our unique combination of time- and frequency-domain optimized digital filter, based on math first proposed by Western Electric in 1917, and developed into usable algorithms by a team that included a professor emeritus of math and a Rand Corp mathematician. It’s unlike any other digital filter today, and we believe it provides the closest thing to a true interpolation, while retaining the original samples as closely as possible.
 
Well, I like delta-sigma DACs better.
Cool. You should go buy one. We make a couple of them. They’re also in your phone and Bluetooth speakers.
 
No, seriously, I don’t believe this True Multibit stuff. 16 bits? What about 24 bit music?
Well, leaving aside the fact that there probably ain’t nowhere near 24 usable bits in any recorded music, no matter the audiophile cred, if you’re looking for resolution below the 18-bit level, take a look at our measurements, showing Bifrost 2/64 resolving a -144dB signal. That’s 24 bits. Boom. 
 
But…that’s unpossible! How do you do that?
How does a 2- to 5-bit delta-sigma DAC do the same thing? It’s magic. Either that, or we know a thing or two about DSP and dithering. 
 
Let’s move on. What’s all this hoo-ha about Unison USB?
Unison USB is our own proprietary USB input, not based on 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.
 
So why is Unison USB so special?
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. 
 
So what platforms does your Unison USB input support?
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:
  • Linux. As in, most popular streamers, from the Sonore MicroRendu to the Salk Streamer. Note “most.” Also most Linux distros that support UAC2 natively will be plug and play. Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for Linux.
  • Windows. From Windows 10 up, you’re set. Sorry, don’t provide UAC2 drivers for earlier versions of Windows. 
  • Mac OS. From 10.10 on up, Macs are good to go. 
  • iOS. From iOS7 on up, you’re set with a USB Camera Connection Kit, Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, a Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter, or directly with the new USB-C models. 
  • Android. Most Android devices that shipped with Android M or above will work using a USB OTG cable. Some may require separate player software, like USB Audio Player Pro. 
  • Roon. Roon works great with our DACs.
And Autonomy Architecture? You’re getting a lot of TMs here.
Yeah. We know. But again, we really needed to name this. Because now, no matter the update, Bifrost 2 never has to leave your hands. New firmware? Just plug in an external MicroSD card. New analog card? Just slide it in. New USB card? Same. Again, we’re not planning on a ton of updates, but when there are updates, you won’t miss your DAC anymore.
  
How the heck can you do something that’s completely modular, and has all this new tech inside it, for such an insanely affordable price…and make it in the USA, with a 5-year warranty? 
Because, well, we are what we are. We provide fun, affordable audio products. And unlike some other companies, we don’t think “affordable,” means “the price tag is four figures, and it starts with a 5.” In short, we design products that are efficient to make and easy to support, and sell them to you directly, without multi-level mark-ups. We’re not interested in “race to the top” price wars, because that doesn’t bring new people into high end audio. Nor are we worried about some who might think our products are less capable just because they’re less expensive. Maybe it would be better to ask the other companies how they can charge so much for their products? 
 
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