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Thread: Schiit, interesting name...more interesting products!

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Whip View Post
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  2. #32
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    It is worth noting that Mike Moffat, one of the two company owners, is of Theta Digital fame.

    Here is an interesting technical bit from the Computer Audiophile review of the Yggdrasil DAC:

    Two more items I want to touch on are the filtering and hardware components inside the Yggdrasil. Again, these items individually don't mean a thing (if the designer ain't got that swing). Schiit Audio uses its own closed-form filter that's hallmark is using the original samples, not throwing the original samples away while upsampling like most DACs. Good, bad, or indifferent, this is Schiit's way of filtering. Schiit says it doesn't do guess work because it keeps the original samples. On the CA forum, Mike Moffat elaborated further by saying,

    "It is a digital filter/sample rate converter designed to convert all audio to 352.8 or 384KHz sample rates so that it may drive our DACs. You get it uniquely from us; it is our filter. It took five people many years to design and perfect at the dawn of digital playback, way back in the early eighties. It keeps all original samples; those samples contain frequency and phase information which can be optimized not only in the time domain but in the frequency domain. We do precisely this; the mechanic is we add 7 new optimized samples between the original ones. All digital filters multiply the original audio signal by a series of coefficients which are calculated by a digital filter generator. Over the years, before Theta Digital was born (my original company), we developed this filter design/generator. The common digital filter method is a Parks-McClellan algorithm, which has been used in all of the older oversampling chipsets, and persists to this day as the input filter in most Delta-Sigma DACs. Why? I assume it is because it is royalty-free, and the algorithm is widely available as are digital filter software design packages to aid in a cookbook approach to the design. Now Parks McClellan an open form math solution, which means that the coefficient calculation is a series of approximations which always get halfway there. This of course, means it never completely solves. The worse news is that all original sample are lost, replaced by 8 new approximated ones. Further, the Parks McClellan optimization is based on the frequency domain only flat frequency response, with the time (read spatial) domain ignored. Our filter is based upon closed form math the coefficients are not approximations, the equations solve; the matrices invert and the math is done. The filter also optimizes the time domain."

    In addition to Schiit's unique filter, the company uses unique hardware (at least in the audio world) in the Yggdrasil. Schiit uses four of the Analog Devices AD5791BRUZ DACs that are typically used in MRI imaging and military weapons. These DACs aren't trivial to implement in a digital to analog converter. I've heard many engineers in the industry suggest that the newest Sigma-Delta chips can be implemented much easier than a multibit design and that it doesn't take much to get a Sigma-Delta DAC up and running. It certainly takes quite a bit to get a Sigma-Delta to sound as good as possible, but nonetheless Schiit's selection of the AD5791 DAC has made its job significantly more difficult. In other words, not every engineer is capable of implementing the AD5791 in a great sounding audio component.
    The review also has a cool picture of the circuit board.

  3. #33
    Addicted to Best! 16hz lover's Avatar
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    Still the worst name for a company in history. I'll never buy their product because of it, no matter how you pronounce it.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 16hz lover View Post
    Still the worst name for a company in history. I'll never buy their product because of it, no matter how you pronounce it.
    Really? I just love their twisted sense of humor.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al M. View Post
    Really? I just love their twisted sense of humor.
    Love it too; in the same twisted sense of humor, one might say the name represents an embodiment of a concept in the design.
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  6. #36
    Addicted to Best! DaveyF's Avatar
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    Here's the interesting thing...I have it on good authority that the Schiit gear makes a lot of other gear sound like s....t!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al M. View Post
    It is worth noting that Mike Moffat, one of the two company owners, is of Theta Digital fame.

    Here is an interesting technical bit from the Computer Audiophile review of the Yggdrasil DAC:


    FROM MIKE MOFFAT (FORMERLY THETA DIGITAL):

    "...The common digital filter method is a Parks-McClellan algorithm, which has been used in all of the older oversampling chipsets, and persists to this day as the input filter in most Delta-Sigma DACs. Why? I assume it is because it is royalty-free, and the algorithm is widely available as are digital filter software design packages to aid in a cookbook approach to the design. Now Parks McClellan an open form math solution, which means that the coefficient calculation is a series of approximations which always get halfway there. This of course, means it never completely solves. The worse news is that all original sample are lost, replaced by 8 new approximated ones. Further, the Parks McClellan optimization is based on the frequency domain only – flat frequency response, with the time (read spatial) domain ignored. Our filter is based upon closed form math – the coefficients are not approximations, the equations solve; the matrices invert and the math is done. The filter also optimizes the time domain."
    the interesting thing is:

    1. his explanation of the open source math being uses in SD...vs his closed (ie solved not approximated on the original samples). Certainly sounds like his method is more definitive which should be an excellent start.

    2. obviously, there is a lot more to the final product than just the math (power, vibration, analog output, etc)

    Just curious if any of the techies here find merit in what Mike Moffat is saying about S-D chips and what happens mathematically inside them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LL21 View Post
    Just curious if any of the techies here find merit in what Mike Moffat is saying about S-D chips and what happens mathematically inside them?
    I'm broadly in agreement with what Mike M says about S-D chips and share his passion for the sound of multibit (or R2R as some call it). But I'm not against S-D in principle I think its a matter of implementation details to get it sounding right.

    What he's saying about Parks McClellan though is pretty misleading. Its true it 'never solves' but then no digital filter design software ever perfectly solves the filter design because the result is an array of integers not real numbers. So I remain dubious about the advantages claimed for what's sometimes called his 'mega-burrito' filter but the products overall rock.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by opus112 View Post
    I'm broadly in agreement with what Mike M says about S-D chips and share his passion for the sound of multibit (or R2R as some call it). But I'm not against S-D in principle I think its a matter of implementation details to get it sounding right.

    What he's saying about Parks McClellan though is pretty misleading. Its true it 'never solves' but then no digital filter design software ever perfectly solves the filter design because the result is an array of integers not real numbers. So I remain dubious about the advantages claimed for what's sometimes called his 'mega-burrito' filter but the products overall rock.
    Great stuff, Opus. Thank you. In other words, in a dumb-non techie interpretation...Trigonometry was always an approximation of the area under a parabolic curve by taking smaller and smaller slices of areas under the curve and adding it up. And along comes Sir Isaac Newton who, through discovering Calculus, realizes through a higher level math that you can actually calculate EXACTLY what the area is under the parabola, etc.

    In a non-techie way, why can't chips use their own form of 'calculus' to get a perfect match to the original signal?
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by LL21 View Post
    In a non-techie way, why can't chips use their own form of 'calculus' to get a perfect match to the original signal?
    Ha great question Lloyd, I'm not sure there's any point because the original signal got small bits trimmed off it when it was digitized. Dither smooths over that truncation but information is almost always lost unless the signal had a high noise floor to begin with. So all we have to work with in digital is the 16bits coming from the front-end ADC. Digital is always going to be an approximation, calculus assumes the use of real numbers but digital is limited to integers (even when floating point is used the mantissa's still an integer, 24bits for single, 48 for double never a real). We can of course extend the precision as far as we want (or can afford) but integers will never attain the precision achievable with reals, just forever approach closer and closer.

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