Getting the Best out of Yggdrasil - AES / USB endpoints

Hi everybody,

right now i am using two different ways to connect my Mac Mini to my Schiit Yggdrasil:

[Mac Mini] -> (Ethernet) -> [Raspberry PI3 + IQaudIO Digi+] -> (S/PDIF ( Cox)) -> [Yggdrasil]

[Mac Mini] -> (USB) -> [iFi iUSB3.0] -> (USB) -> [Yggdrasil]

I am not quiet sure which really sounds better. Both ways sound really great. In my opinion the USB connection via the iFi iUSB3.0 sounds a tiny bit more refined. But this might be wishfull thinking.

We probaly should not worry so much about the connection of the Yggy and just enjoy the music.

Regards Stephan

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Hey Jnan,

What did you end up with? I hope you got the Gumby…that would be a great choice…yes you still need a preamp!

Let us know how you did! Sorry you got no reply from your previous post!

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I did not end up with anything yet :slight_smile: !. Thanks for confirming we need Preamp. I like the Freya, the Tube preamp ( for long i have been longing for preamp which is tubed). This seems like a good choice. I have many queries but later. Busy, heading to a meeting. More later.

Hope i m not hijacking this thread. Please tell me, i can create new topic (dont want to create noise which may not even work out for me :slight_smile: ).


Your posts are related to speaking about the Yggdrasil DAC from Schiit…I love that DAC! It has made a huge change in my musical enjoyment…Never realized a DAC could make such a difference! Love my Yggy. In fact adding Roon to my playback system has got me to listen to music many more hours than I have in many years!

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created new thread to avoid some good topics being discussed here.

Hey guys, massively overdue an update given all the fantastic input here! I’m ashamed to say I’ve been so busy at work I still haven’t pulled the trigger on this yet but will be doing so in the next month now things are easing off for the winter here.

I have done a fair bit of reading since the original post - which for anyone still interested in this topic I’ll summarize below:

  • Direct AES connection without any USB in the chain seems by consensus to be the preferred option still for the yggdrasil.

  • Schiit’s Gen 5 USB and Eitr are very highly reviewed, but still fractionally edged out by direct AES according to what I’ve seen written. (As a big Schiit fan I had originally been holding off waiting to see what Mike and Jason had come up with in the Eitr.)

  • AES supporting options below $1,000 include a used Bryston BDP-1, @Michael_Kelly’s Pi based 502DAC (with the AES adaptor) or soon to be released (potentially this month), digital only 502AES with a direct AES socket on the board itself.

  • Options below $3,000 include a used Bryston BDP-2 (The current bdp-3 is approx $3500), the Aurialic Aries, and now the brand new Bricasti M5!

  • If you’re restricted to wireless Bryston have released a wifi dongle now, I believe wifi adaptors are supported on the pi based 502 - I’m sure someone who knows more about the Pi platform can confirm. The Aries and the Bricasti both have wifi built in.

  • Mike Moffat did create the tiniest hint he may consider building a streamer in the future but if it ever happens, I don’t expect it to be anything near-term. Also, for schiit fans, the first (entry-level) iteration of the manhattan project is coming soon now, with more to follow)

Had I been a bit richer, I might head towards the Bricasti, for being the all-in-one solution in a smaller form-factor. But I’m shying away from spending a fortune at this stage in favour of a decision between the 502AES and a used Bryston BDP-1 and the newer, but still used BDP-2.

I’d ideally rather a smaller form-factor but my only real holdup on ordering the BDP-1 weeks ago, besides work, was discussion surrounding the unit being a much older player now with long load times, however having not used one, I’m guessing that isn’t really an issue in Roon Ready mode? What was more interesting was that some users have claimed that the additional processing power requirement of Roon has the unit at its limits and leads to slightly increased electrical noise when compared to the BDP-2. Personally, I’m a little skeptical of how much of a factor this really is but would definitely like to hear anyone’s thoughts who’s heard both? More of a push towards the bdp-2 though is that it does seem Bryston have reached their limit with firmware updates on the BDP-1 and are having to restrict features now to enable the software to run on the device. As before I’ll be exclusively using this in roon ready mode so I’m really not sure if that really affects anything or it doesn’t? I do also wonder how long it will be before Roon themselves start pushing firmware via roonready that needs restriction. And finally, now that the 502AES is about to shortly enter the mix as a single purpose tool without all the unneeded extras I’m really keen to see what it’s capable of at such a low price point over AES/EBU.

What’s everyone else been buying and trying? :slight_smile:

Have a great weekend all!

I have the original version BDP-1. Bought it new. Initial loading time at bootup is a little slow (about 80 seconds) but other than that, it does a great job as a Roon transport. Mine is updated with the latest S2.36 firmware. Memory on the newer model BDP-2 was upgraded. Not really an issue with respect to my use of the device.

I have two outputs on the BDP-1 in use. The BNC feeds my Schiit Gumby. The USB output feeds my Meridian Prime Headphone amp/DAC for MQA files. I no longer use the AES/EBU output after changing out DACs about a year ago.

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The 502AES will likely not be entering the market after all. The 502DAC offers the same digital output as the 502AES was, with the exception that 502AES had I2S over HDMI. If you only need AES then 502DAC does all you need. The 6.35mm to XLR adapter has no impact on the data. We have seen this with our testing where we get <-140dB noise floor which is the full 24-bits. No missing bits!

The 502DAC has sold well enouigh, but there does not seem to be enough of a market to justify another board. We maybe re-visit this, but for now, unless we get a lot more interest we will not be bringing the 502AES to market.


Given the relatively low cost of the Eitr or the Gen 5 upgrade, in your shoes I’d just get that, listen carefully, and only then decide if I still need one of the pricier AES solutions. I use a (bought used for ~1000 USD) Aries to feed my Yggy, but I also own an Eitr for a non-Schiit DAC, and a Gen 5-upgraded Bimby. The Eitr or Gen 5 remove any need for expensive streaming solutions, something like the 5002DAC (or the Allo USBridge, which I own) followed by Eitr or Gen 5 nails it in my experience. If I had some more time/patience, I’d actually check Eitr into Yggy vs Aries AES, but I’m well set with my current configurations and I believe from my experience and much that I’ve read that Eitr or Gen 5 get me so close to removing upstream gunk that any additional money is better spent downstream.


Given the choice do you see the USB Gen 5 upgrade on a Yggy, Gumby, or Bimby a better solution than the seeking a Gen 5 solution using an Eitr?

USB would be fed by a Sonore microRendu which I use primarily as a HQPlayer Roon endpoint. My Gen 2 equipped Gumby works fine but the Gen 5 upgrade might show some benefits. Your thoughts? Thanks. Robert

It mainly depends on whether you want to go through the hassle of upgrading your DAC, either by sending it to Schiit or by doing a self-install, which requires some experience with electronics and search skills to find step-by-step instructions that some people have put on the web. I got my Bifrost upgraded at Schiit because I didn’t have the time to mess with self-install and I wasn’t desperate to have it back right away given the other DACs I own. I also own an Eitr that I’ve been experimenting with successfully with a non-Schiit DAC.

What the Eitr/Gen 5 do is to much reduce the need for high-end USB sources. In my experience, Eitr or Gen 5 make a relatively cheap source sound good. I’ve used them with a cheap RPi and with a better but still pretty cheap Allo USBridge and what I heard so far is not significantly worse than previous sources I’ve used extensively, including microRendu-based ones.


Just wanted to thank everyone for all their ideas and thoughts throughout this thread. I took the plunge and have now been listening to my new (used) Bryston BDP-1 for a couple of weeks and couldn’t be happier. The sound via AES to the Yggy on Roon-Ready mode is end-game for me, simply beautiful! With the $80 dongle from Bryston, it’s now fully wireless too!

An often overlooked feature with Roon endpoints - it’s amazing how frequently I actually use the next track hard-button and now playing track display on the BDP-1 itself, specifically when friends are over and people are wandering around with a drink in hand.

Thank you all for an upcoming lifetime of musical enjoyment!!!

And just when you thought it was safe to play…

The output stage many felt was the only weak spot of the Yggy. If it’s as big of an improvement as they advertise, it will be hard to beat.

Update just shy of a year later:

The Sonore ultraRendu has effectively replaced the microRendu in the Sonore line. It is even better at the things the microRendu is good at than I’d thought likely to be possible, so I recommend the ultraRendu (again with the caveat that it should be fed by a good power supply to do its best) as a great-sounding Roon network thingie to feed an Yggdrasil or whatever.

Good power supplies I’ve heard it with would include the Uptone LPS-1 still, or the surprisingly pleasant and maybe less edgy Sbooster BOTW P&P ECO 9V - 10V (at the cost of somewhat higher Rendu temperatures because it’s 9V instead of 7V)… and I’ve just learned there’s a newer generation of Uptone which I haven’t yet heard, the LPS-1.2. That’s interesting.

Or if you want to get off the external power supply merry-go-round and buy an integrated Rendu with its own well-matched and excellent built-in power supply… the Signature Rendu SE sounds great (and is a lovely physical object). It has a pleasingly integrated top-to-bottom sound; the only disadvantage is the price, which is why I only own one of them.

Since I wrote last year’s post above above I got the chance to hear a Mutec MC-3+ USB, and… it was fine, but it wasn’t my particular cup of tea. Granted, I only heard it with its own power supply, not in some surgeried form using a different and parhaps superior supply.

My current favorite ways of getting the bits from a Signature Rendu SE into the Yggdrasil are:

  • Via the new(ish) Gen 5 USB input for the Yggy, or
  • Via AES/EBU (or coax) from the the Matrix X-SPDIF 2 (it too being powered by a good external DC power supply; I’ve been using an LPS-1).

I’m kind of torn between the two. The Gen-5 may be more accurate and detailed, or it may just be a bit more aggressive. The X-SPDIF 2 may be more accurate and sweet, or it may be polishing some rough edges a teeny bit.

But I believe both of these paths outclass the faithful Singxer boxes which were the top picks last year.

Oh, and the common wisdom that a Schiit Eitr or Gen-5 USB input completely obscures all differences in the quality of USB sources driving them? That doesn’t comport with what I hear at all.

I really like my MAC Mini>USB>Audiobyte Hydra Z DDC>AES>Yggy…I get a inky black silence between the notes,now I gotta figure out when I may send it back to Schiit for the latest Analog 2 update…I don’t need the GEN 5 because of the excellent Hydra Z. But since I gotta send it back…while they are in there might as well do it…


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Yeah, shipping your Yggy back is such a gigantic pain in the buttocks that you may as well get the USB updated while they have it. Please tell us what you think of it (and of course the new analog section) once you get this done!

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I’d get it put in just to keep it up to date for resale value.

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Good call if you trade DACs regularly. Mine’s languishing in its box in what used to be my listening room, waiting to get loaded into a container. When it gets here I’ll send it on to the US with my brother in law for the analog and usb5 upgrade. No intention of selling it though.

I was going back and forth between AES and Gen-5 USB today and these were my exact observations, so I decided to google comparisons and found this thread.

Since switching to AES on Friday, I’ve been finding AES is just softer after using the Yggdrasil with USB for so long. And. Wow I never thought I would say this but… AES is almost too full sounding.

My Yggy is an Analog 2 and my system has been voiced with warmer sounding components. Maybe AES is just too much in my case.

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