Schitt DAC vs. iFi DAC (Spoiler - OPPO wins)

Eh, nothing wrong as far as I am concerned, love my McIntosh. I was just joking based on the earlier post that hinted that McIntosh gear may not always measure well. I have to remember that jokes don’t always come through clearly on forums.

A relative objective comparison to the Devialet you might conclude they don’t perform as well. :grinning:

Of course we know better.


Why aren’t we all rushing out to buy one of these then? I’m looking for a new DAC and would rather spend £1000 than £2500.

A number of audiophiles have done exactly that: bought the RME ADI-2 DAC. And many are enjoying its feature set of having parametric EQ and nice headphone amplifier built-in.

My efforts in this area are new. I started heavily testing products starting this January. I am now reviewing 2-3 products a week. The word is spreading and more and more people are making judgement calls based on objective data as opposed to word-of-mouth of subjective evaluations.

I just finished reviewing a $250 DAC, the Hifime UDA38Pro. It has a high-end DAC chip so it is supposed to be great. Yet, it produced the worst performance I have seen of any DAC. See:

The data is powerful. We just need to fill more of the matrix of available audio products which numbers in thousands. Once there, good products will bubble to the top and rational customers will choose them.

Likewise, I was lending moral support to you in my post. :slight_smile:

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Good call Slim: Nothing like unsubstantiated claims like those by
Fernando types.
Your reply stands strong (and sensible) when you state:

" Ah, I misunderstood what you meant by “professional”. You meant websites and reviewers that take industry advertisements. In Head-Fi case, that would include Schiit.

" As for “AtomicBob”, I can find no biographical data on him, so I don’t know what makes him “professional” or “real”.

“Anyway, let the review I posted stand or fall on its own merits.”

I think perhaps AtomicBob dropped an Atomic ‘Bomb’ -and perished within the aftermath …


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I agree with many who say measurenents aren’t everything. But they are all we have and they give insight in to the quality or thoroughness of a design.

When I see obvious mistakes in designs like Schiit (uncovered by several reviewers), it tells me a bit about the quality of the design team and manufacturing priorities. It doesn’t mean the sound won’t still be very good but it sure raises a big red flag when so called industry expert design teams make some kindergarten type errors.

If a design and manufacturing team is making basic mistakes then what else could be wrong?

An improperly grounded chassis (faraday cage) and truncating bits without dithering are both such basic mistakes that it makes me cringe just a little

What “kindergarten type errors”? Be specific!

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I thnk he means this -

Here is some info regarding Amir’s hum issue:

John Atkinson at Stereophile wrongly said that Schiit truncated bits with Yggdrasil.

So I see no “kindergarten type errors” here. I would tend to trust guys that have designed and manufacturing products for 30+ years than guys that think they no what they are doing with high end test gear or have been writing reviews.

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I spent my formative years in a tier 2 calibration environment, tier 1 being the National Standards Lab. What I see here is enthusiastic amateurs vs. manufacturers who’s measurements are always accompanied by the usual disclaimers meaning they only really apply to the test example. The truth as always sits somewhere between the two. But one thing is clear, a good engineer would always seek corroboration. Self belief is useful but confirmation by a third party would put all debate to bed. A second test example would be the first step. If that also demonstrates the issues first noted then use another test environment for confirmation.

Perhaps you should let JA know by writing Stereophile a letter and correcting the record. As far as I know, there was no retraction after the review even though the manufacturer objected to being called out for an amateurish mistake. I bet Schiit corrected this oversight on future units after being called out. Anyway, their devices don’t measure very well in many respects or is this again all down to mistakes by Stereophile and other reviewers?

That said I don’t doubt Schiit devices can sound great. I am not actually saying they sound bad - just expressing concerns over build and design quality as indicated by test reviews. Listening tests all agree that Schiit sounds good.

Aw cmon folks. You should know better than to be critical of some manufacturers stuff. Just ask NWAVGuy.

Schiit corrected the record and JA did nothing. But you go right ahead and believe JA over the design engineers. Do some research on Mike Moffat, DAC designer at Schiit and see if you can find anyone that has been designing top notch stand alone DACs for longer. Hint: you won’t since Mike designed the first stand alone DAC.

This is all rubbish made up by people that don’t like Schiit for whatever reason.


Nope. He was correct. We verified that through testing. See this post and measurements therein:

As you see there, the distortion actually (sharply) increases with 24-bit samples rather than 20!

If you look at the linearity error in my measurements, you clearly see them having a pattern of increasing (quantization) error as the level goes down, indicating a clear signal processing problem.

We also know this is the case since Schiit has been able to supply units to atomicbob and Jude without this issue. Application of dither is simple in the DSP and that is what they did in the special firmware in the review units those people recieved.

Let’s remember this: after months of this two things remain true:

  1. Schiit has not yet published any measurement data of their own.
  2. Never contacted me to figure out why I am getting the results I am getting.
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I tested three samples of Schiit Yggdrasil. I actually drove 150 miles twice for the first two instances to make sure the issues I was seeing were consistent. I then paid almost $100 for shipping costs to test a third unit that was sent to me. All three exhibited the same issues.

No one has done as much as I have done to get to the bottom of this. Meanwhile Schiit has refused to even contact me, and when I reached out to them on head-fi, both Jason and Mike immediately banned me from their threads.

The conclusions are clear: there are design issues that my testing has revealed. Schiit is uncomfortable with accepting them in public, lest it tarnish the golden image they have created in their online persona. I get that. But it is not how I ever want to treat my customers if I were in their shoes.

Compare their reaction to that of Benchmark. I showed two tiny issues in DAC3 and their chief engineer joined the forum, commented on them. I explained that what they thought were errors, were not. So they immediately shipped me another unit which did NOT show the issues. I measured and posted the results and all is well now.

This is how a company needs to respond. Not create a daytime soap opera and circus as Schiit has helped created.

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I have no love or hate for anything I test. I test what owners of products want tested. I have no interest in dealing with all this garbage that takes time away from testing their units. I measure the product and post the results. Everyone can comment, ask for more or different measurements, comparisons, etc. If a review doesn’t do well, then that is that. See this latest review I did:

I did very poorly and I said so. The company was good in quickly refunding my money and accepting the performance not being as it should be (see end of the thread).

I am advocate of consumers. If a product doesn’t do well, I say so in the interest of the company fixing the issues, or people avoiding bad performing products. I don’t care about brand, people’s emotions, etc.

I have given decent marks to Schiit on two products (Sys and Magni 3). They could shoot my left leg and if their next product I test is good, I will say so.

So please, let’s cut out this drama. Be an advocate of us as consumers. Let us have more data that is objective and reliable. Don’t help create FUD around the data and cloud the important new data we can use in our purchasing decisions.


I would like to see more objectivity in reviews. I like that Amir is open to being called out for making mistakes (nobody is perfect). I recall in the case of Benchmark, Amir stood his ground and Benchmark ate humble pie. The device Amir tested was used but indeed performed out of tolerance in a minor way. The replacement unit responded much better and within tolerance just as the one in the Stereophile review. I share Amir’s reservations about Schiit - their marketing is all based on reputation and appeal to authority while in total contrast Benchmark says their products perform as specified in 60 pages of measurements and every unit must pass these tests in QC testing.