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DACs: Schiit vs TEAC (Read 1112 times)
Tommy Freefall
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DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
06/29/18 at 23:40:20
 
The Schiit DACs seem to be very respected on this forum. And the TEAC NT-503 is currently Steve’s reference.
The Schiit Gungnir and the Teac NT-503 are not that far apart in price.
I wonder if anyone has experience with both?
And can share their thoughts?...
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beowulf
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #1 - 06/30/18 at 07:39:59
 
I'm  standing by for thoughts as well.  I know that Schiit is pretty respected, but wow their DAC's tests on  Audio Science Review are pretty off putting.  I don't think he ever tested the Gungnir, but  if the TOTL Yggy tested so bad,  well ...

The TEAC NT-503 tested better, but there were still some issues.  

I know that testing isn't everything, but when you look at Steve's test measurements for his amps they all test pretty good … shouldn't the sources we use also test just as good if not better considering you want the most accurate reproduction possible?  Then on the other hand, maybe we like the distortion of the Schiit stuff, perhaps it's pleasant to our ears in some way? Undecided
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Jeff1
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #2 - 06/30/18 at 16:10:53
 
I don't have a direct comparison on the two units you mention but I will say I have been a long time fan of Teac/Esoteric/Tascam. Doing research on the T/E/T equipment you will find they provide a wealth of information on the products and how they are built. The Teac products benefit from trickle down tech from Esoteric and their music industry division as well so I don't think you can go wrong on the Teac unit.
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #3 - 06/30/18 at 20:39:46
 
Beowulf, you're right - wow. All the Schiits at ASR test poorly. And not just a little bit. Very shocked to see that. Surely the high levels of noise they generate is not contributing to that analog-like sound that people praise them for?
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BadWolf
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #4 - 07/16/18 at 21:26:39
 
I had a hard time deciding between the Teac NT-503 and the Schiit Multibit. I ultimately decided to get the cheapest Schiit Multibit, the Modi Multibit. I was absolutely stunned by it and haven’t considered anything other than Multibit since. After hearing it I was no longer interested in listening to my Uber Bifrost and eventually had it upgraded to Multibit. I also eventually purchased Gungir Multibit for my main system and couldn’t be happier with it.

That being said the Teac has sounded excellent at all the Decfests I’ve heard it at, and when I went to pick up the OTL Steve played a song using the Teac that I seriously thought was coming from one of his tape machines. It would be hard to think of a higher complement for any DAC.

I think it really comes down to personal preference and without hearing both of them it’s impossible to know which you’d prefer. I would recommend buying the Modi Multibit to try it out if you are seriously interested in it. You’ll know pretty quickly if Multibit is the direction you’d want to go or not. Also, and this goes for any Schiit DAC, they have to be broken in to sound good! I don’t even listen to new ones for two weeks, I just turn them on, play music through them either with the amp off or not even hooked up to an amp. They also need to be warm to sound their best, someone that just turns it on for a listening session will never hear its potential. They should really be left on all the time.

So the reason the Schiit Multibit really impresses me is most noticeable in cymbals. They sound far more real and accurate than I’ve ever heard from any other DAC. Although I think this quality is apparent throughout the music it has been most noticeable in cymbals. A song I really like to use to test how a DAC handles cymbals is Coming Home by Ulver on the album The Assassination of Julius Caesar. When I listened to this on a system with a Teac NT-503 it was really like part of the song was missing.

Also to get the most out of Teac or Schiits with balanced outputs a ZBIT or equivalent is a must.
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Tripwr1964
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #5 - 08/07/18 at 17:44:45
 
i've been running a bifrost for about 3yrs now (infact i have 2x bifrost and 1x modi).  Love that you can upgrade as you go or as improved boards become available.  once i got to the multibit/gen5 usb combo, i stopped looking at anything else.  i am not saying its the best <$2k dac out there, but it's pretty damn good, and i have been very happy with it.
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Palomino
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #6 - 08/09/18 at 20:01:47
 
I once show the innards of my Bifrost to an engineering type who told me it would measure quite noisy.  I don't recall exactly what he said, but he didn't like the power supply.

But I heard the multi-bit Bifrost in a higher end room at AXPONA last year and its sounded very good.  I was surprised that they had it in a higher end system rather than their more expensive DACs but maybe that was the point.

I have experimented with various settings on my TEAC and think I might miss DSD if I moved back to a Schitt DAC.  Right now, My signal out of the mac mini has no up sampling before it gets to the TEAC where it is up sampled to DSD.  Of all the setting, this still sounds the best to me.

I am looking forward to hearing a multi-bit schitt and my TEAC back to back to see if DSD matters in my setup.

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Scott in mich
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #7 - 08/10/18 at 00:53:13
 
This guy would agree with your engineer.  Link is actually to a modi 2 uber, but I think the Bifrost got similar results.
https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-measurement-and-co...

He thinks they are quite noisy and the site is generally not a fan of Schiit products. Don't know if this guy is legit. If he's right I don't know how they can sound as good as they do.  He seem's to like Topping a lot.  
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Palomino
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #8 - 08/10/18 at 20:04:55
 
This is the guy that made a big stink back when the uptone audio regen came out.  He's strictly a measurements guy and if you can't measure it, you can't hear it.  

Still, I like to read his reviews.  There is definitely something to noise and jitter.

I have the TEAC which he didn't praise, but he also didn't pan it like he did the Schitt gear.  Ouch
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kevtn8
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #9 - 08/12/18 at 07:55:48
 
That Amir guy at ASR is so full of himself. Its so obvious that he has an agenda against Schiit. He's been banned by both Mike and Jason ( 2 main guys at Schiit) at Headfi. And his measurments have been contradicted by a few people on various forums , some of them random not linked to Schiit so I don't pay too much attention to him. Delta Sigma will tend to measure better than multibit anyways but at the end of the day, we spend our money on the overall sound and not the measurements. I will always take the better sounding dac that measured worse over the great measuring one that sound bad or mediocre.


My current reference dac is the Analog 2 Yggdrasil ( latest version) and its the best dac I've heard so far. My previous dac was the PS Directstream. For desktop, I'm using their Modi Multibit and I was amazed at how refined and musical their cheapest multibit dac sounded. I'm not surprised Schiit is using their cheaper dacs in some of the showrooms because of this. With a good transport and using the coaxial input of Modi, I still preferred the Modi to the DS believe it or not. There is just something so right with multibit combined with their special filter.
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Scott in mich
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #10 - 08/12/18 at 16:23:06
 
I had seen quite a few positive comments/reviews about various Schiit products so I was surprised by Amir.  I'll ignore this guy in the future.

I'd like to get started with network music, so I was thinking about a Modi multi with a Hifiberry as the network transport. Sounds like the Modi would suit me fine and update my dac to current level technology.  I setup an old model b raspberry pi with volumio and a cheap lowfi usb to spdif converter as a proof of concept. It worked fairly well except that the older pi wasn't powerful enough and would skip at the beginning of each track. I also discovered that my dac won't play anything greater than 16 bit tracks.
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Lon
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #11 - 08/12/18 at 16:38:41
 
The DAC section of a Peacthree Audo Decco amplifier I sold to my best friend seven years ago started having issues so as my friend has champagne taste at a Lone Star beer budget (cheap) I recommended a Modi Multibit for him to serve his cd and blu-ray player needs into the preamp and amp sections of the Decco. I had seen great reviews here and elsewhere and knew that he simply would not pay more. . . .

He got it, he loved it right off the bat and loves it even more two weeks later. He's a jazz and avant-garde musician and knows sound. It seems the Modi Multibit is a good one for the price.
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Donnie
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #12 - 08/12/18 at 17:53:36
 
I looked hard at both Schiit and TEAC  DACs when I was buying a DAC a couple of weeks ago. For some reason I went off of the reservation and bought a Grace Design M900.
So far I'm happy with my decision.
I wanted something that could do DSD and that had higher than 2 volt output. The Grace will do DSD and puts out up to 6 volts.
At first I didn't like it, the sound wasn't as refined as my old Wyred 4 Sound DAC 1. But either I've grown accustomed to the sound or it has burned in, because now I'm liking how it sounds.
There was a learning phase where my JRiver 24 Media Player needed to be tweeked a bit to play nice with the Grace, but now they seem to be living in harmony.
Plus it was only $500 and thanks to the magic of Amazon I ordered it on a Saturday and had it Monday morning.
I have no idea if I bought the best DAC for my money.
But it is like a lot of things, unless I had two or three DACs side by side to compare it to, it is the best sounding DAC in my room. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
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Scott in mich
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #13 - 08/13/18 at 04:57:21
 
Thanks Lon and Donnie,

That M900 looks nice especially given the headphone amp that comes with it.  Tough choice between the two.  I appreciate your comments.  I'll end up with one or the other.
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hdrider
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #14 - 08/19/18 at 17:50:54
 
Scott- I am really interested in your findings and final decision. I need a new DAC for our Oppo and have been looking at the Bitfrost and now the Grace. I don't want to spent 2k on a DAC, I still prefer vinyl thru our Decware but do have a ton of CD's and music DVD's that could us some sonic help. Please post your findings/thoughts and thank you. Happy listening, Chris.
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Scott in mich
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #15 - 08/20/18 at 22:08:28
 
Chris,  Will do.  I ordered the hifiberry over the weekend.  Still leaning toward the Modi multibit and see that it's backordered till 9/4.  I was set on the NT-503 for a while, but then they phased out for the newer NT-505, which looks to be about 1.5k.  I'm liking the idea of separate transport and dac now anyway since it's easier to upgrade/replace each component.  
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ArtMan
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #16 - 08/21/18 at 04:02:45
 
I've been an analog guy for many years and have seen digital music playback progress from being painful to listen to being fairly reasonable sounding. I recently bought a Schiit Modi 2 Multibit DAC and I am impressed with the sound as it has far exceeded my expectations. Given a good digital source, I have been enjoying it as much as my vinyl.
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AC
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Re: DACs: Schiit vs TEAC
Reply #17 - 09/03/18 at 22:48:15
 
I've had a Schiit Gugnir Multibit for over a year now and really like it as well. The detail presentation and dynamic range through the XLR outputs is stellar, and there is no digital glare- just full analogue sound. I am not compelled to look for DAC upgrades.
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