This is good Schiit...

Hang on... this is a long one...

So I had never tried anything from Schiit Audio before in my nearly 30 years messing around in mid-fi gear.  I have owned many, many amps, preamps, integrated amps, CD players, DACs, etc.  Most individual units were ranged between $500 to maybe $6,000 (retail), but the majority were purchased used.

So I was messing around on YouTube one day and saw some videos on the Schiit Freya+ tube preamp.  I have always been a fan of a tube preamp + big SS amplifier.... just always preferred this setup generally.  So after seeing what these were selling for used (and the fact that I much preferred the black finish - harder to find), I decided to just order a new one from Schiit and give it a try.  Even if it suck or was Schiity, I could sell it for a decent price and only lose maybe $200 or so.  At the same time, I ordered a couple matched quads of old NOS RCA & Sylvania tubes.

Having owned much more expensive SS & tube preamps in the past, I was fairly surprised with the sound straight out of the box.  As a few music sessions went by over the next month or so, it got better and better sounding.  I was using a Parasound A23+ amp with it at the time and a Bluesound Node 2i for a streamer/DAC up front. 

Then seeing several other videos on YouTube about the Schiit Aegir amplifiers... I decided to buy a pair of those and give them a try.  I was also shocked at what they sounded like, especially at that asking price... HUGE bank for the buck in my opinion. 

Then, after watching more videos on YouTube about the new Tyr mono blocks, I bought a pair of those to try.  I have been going back-n-forth between these amps on/off for the last few weeks - still trying to decide which ones I prefer... they both sound fantastic and are a ridiculous value I feel.

So this brings me to my question (finally, I know)... since I seem to have a serious fondness so far for this Schiit and I am only running a Bluesound Node 2i for both streamer & DAC duty... maybe I give one of their DACs a try also???  Would it make a significant difference???

My experiences with DACs (and I have tried many) left me satisfied with the sound from the BS Node 2i alone.  When trying different DACs in the past, with decent cables, etc., the sonic differences were very minor to my ears. 

One specific comparison was when I had the BS Node 2i hooked up with both a pair of Clear Day silver RCA cables out and a nice Furutech digital cable out.  I sent the digital stream into an MHDT Orchid tube DAC w/ the highly recommend NOS Western Electric tube, then the same Clear Day RCA cables continued onto the integrated amplifier (Plinius 8100).  The other Clear Day silver RCA went directly from the BS Node 2i into the integrated amplifier.  The power cord on the BS Node 2i was a Nordost Purple Flare and the power cords on the MHDT DAC and the Plinius integrated were both LessLoss DFPC Signature (so I am not hooking all this up with basic/cheap cables at all).  All of this was plugged into a BPT line conditioner.

So cue up some music stream from Tidal and go back-n-forth on the two different inputs on-the-fly....differences?  Yes, but not that much...  not NEARLY enough to justify the additional costs of the DAC, tube & cables I felt.

So does anyone have actual experience with using a Bluesound Node 2i alone and then upgrading to a better external DAC and just using the BS Node 2i for streaming duty?  I understand that there are many out there that downplay the BS Node capabilities as a DAC, but let's not make a comparison to a streamer/DAC that cost $8,000... let's really compare apples to apples.

I do not have a huge issue with buying Schiit's best DAC, but I feel like it would take that unit to have me hearing a worthwhile difference.

Thanks for your attention and any/all advice is much appreciated.


Why not apply the same buying methodology you used on the other Schiit gear? Buy the DAC. If no likey, sell it.

My advice: Buy the Yggdrasil with the best A/D converters. Look up those converters, they aren't cheap and there are four in the unit. Monotonic to 20 bits. That is a spec. that is really hard to meet. I have the Yggi. It has a three dimensionality the other converters I have used do not have.    

Doesn't Schitt have  15 day guarantee that would allow you to direct compare risk free? Best way to answer your question

Like you, I found almost no difference between the internal and external Orchid DAC. With a power board upgrade and budget PS (PD Creative) there is a substantial difference in each. The internal DAC jumps to a new level. Well worth 105 US $ . The Orchid leaves it in the dust.


PD Creative

US dollars

Sbooster super for for the Node when using an external DAC.

I ordered the best unit that PD Creative had... only a few hundred cost w/ the best external PS.  I will give that a try.  Only thing is that the installation instructions on the website are in Polish.

Rather than spend over $2k on on outboard DAC + cables, I want to try and pressurize my room with a Rythmik G25HP sub - already running stereo Rythmik F12's.  😀

The 15-day return thing with Schiit... I do not feel that is nearly enough time to properly break-in and demo anything really.  But, like you said... even if it sucked (doubt that), I could sell and only lose a bit of coin.

I wish we lived closer together, I’d brink my Yiggy over. First off, NICE GEAR ! Second , buy a Yiggy. I got back into stereo about 10-12 years ago. I bought a Bifrost and eventually upgraded to a Yiggy. With a 15 day return policy you can run it for 10-12 days then listen. I bet you’ll keep it. Also since it’s R2R, leave it powered on all the time. BTW your bikini is a nice color  😆. Regards , Mike B. 

So I was leaning towards the cheapest one (is that the R2R), "warmest top end version?  Wish I could find a used one in black for a decent price.  I might as well just get the thing and try it. 

So I have a Gen 1 Yiggy. Anyone of the DAC’s that’s labeled Multibit will be R2R architecture from Schiit. I’m not up on the latest stuff, but it seems the chip industry has taken a big hit and it’s caused design changes. Like everything else it’s system dependent and subject to your taste. I would read some of the reviews comparing the “ old Vs new “ designs as they give a good description of the sonic signature. That being said the reviews on the new Gumby look promising too. If we weren’t 15 hours apart I’d just bring mine over. I have purchased 4 items from Schiit and they all offer outstanding performance Vs cost ratio. FWIT , I struggle with brightness in my system and do not use any cables that have silver and I find the Yiggy to be relatively smooth. I run a Thorens TT with a Grado Prestige cartridge and something like “ Alice In Chains “ MTV live sounds pretty similar in vinyl Vs Tidal. I hope this helps. Regards , Mike. 

While I have no hands on experience with a Bluesound I am very familiar with lots of other folks experiences. Also I have experiencewith Schiit DACs.  About a year and a half I researched DACs for a friend. In the process bought a Gungnir and we bought a Yggdrasil for him. I can recommend either. The Yggdrasil is better sounding… but it sound like you really value bargains, so maybe for you the Gungnir. Both should give you a good improvement in sound quality.


”I ordered the best unit that PD Creative had... only a few hundred cost w/ the best external PS.  I will give that a try.”
If you ordered this Power supply it’s 220 volt.  

If you get stuck, the other budget power supply is a Meanwell gsm40b05-p1j . About $25, widely available.
English installation instructions are Here.

Did EXACTLY what you are asking.  Started with a Node directly to an amp.  Then added a Freya.  Then added a Gumby.  Each addition was a significant upgrade in SQ including upgrading the cables.


There are three black B-stock Yggdrasils for sale on the Schiit web site.  Save $100 or so. 

I too and a frugal mid-fi person.  Had a Modi 3/Vali 2 stack for Senn HD650.  I wanted to like it but I did not.  Despite that experience I am still interested in the better Schiit DACs. 

I was using a Bluesound Node 2i for my main system.  Good streamer for the money, but I much prefer the DAC in my Cambridge CXA-81.  I look forward to further upgrading the DAC.

Best of luck.

I personally wouldn't bother trying a bunch of different DACs to improve the Bluesound.  I've owned both the Bluesound Node 2i and the current model.  It's excellent for it's price and punches way above it's price, but it's still not perfect.  

The internal DAC is decent, but not great.  Excellent for the price, but any stand alone DAC does do it better.  With that in mind, I normally use mine as transports and feed it into an external DAC via coax.  The only cable IMO that mattered much was the power cable.  Replace it with a high end power cable and it does improve the quality.  I use Chinese power cables from Amazon, if you know what to look for you can find some really good cables for ~40.  Any decently shielded RCA cable works for your coax.  

As for using external DACs, I've had varying results.  The DACs in my Rotel preamps were not much better then the internal one.  I could hardly tell a difference between them or the internal one on the Bluesound.  I had a standalone Emotiva XDA2 which really opened up the sound stage of the Bluesound.  I also ran it through the DAC in my McIntosh C47, and yes it dramatically improved the SQ.  Likewise the DAC in my Michi X3 gives a more open and dynamic sound (currently using the node as a transport for my Michi) but no different from the C47.  Additionally, I have a Simaudio Moon 280d DAC that I've ran it through and likewise it didn't sound any better then the Michi or McIntosh DACs.  

Now, the interesting thing is, those 3 higher end DACs all sound drastically different.  I've also owned a Cambridge Audio CXN and the Moon has a built in streamer, now when I use either streamer through all 3 days I get vary different results.  Going from the node ($550), to the CXN ($1200), and the Moon ($3400) you can easily tell their weaknesses on high resolving DACs.  On lower end gear, it's not apparent but the node is very compressed sounding and that's quite evident when you start using high end DACs.  A good $200-500 DAC can increase the performance of the node, but the CXN stand alone does sound a lot better.  I would consider getting a CXN any day over a node + DAC, because the SQ is that much better (but I didn't just because the CXN doesn't support native roon).  

TL;DR the node is great at it's price.  Adding in a DAC will increase it's SQ but a higher end streamer will give you better SQ for the same price. 

My experience was a little different than above.  First, I did get a significant improvement when upgrading the coax cable.  You don't need to go  crazy  but will have to spend a few hundred bucks.  Secondly, I prefered the inboard Bluesound DAC to the inboard Cambridge DAC.  I have recently inserted a Denafripts Ares into the mix and like it much better than either Bluesound or Cambridge inboard DACs. The Ares is also a few hundred bucks cheaper than the Gumby.  Bottom line between cables and DAC you'll have to spend $1k to $2k above the cost of a Node but in my system they were very worthwhile upgrades.  YMMV.

So… i went through the exact same process as @audiofreak32 . I added the schiit gungir multibit dac and noticed a minimal difference… BUT then I decided to switch from using the bluesound as my streamer and put in a metrum ambre. I connected it to the gungir via a black cat cables silverstar bnc. I noticed a huge difference. 
You would have to have a server on your network to make this happen but for me the streamer was the big improvement 

I’ve had an original Freya for years and it’s simply a great thing. NOS GE tubes. I use a (for streaming) Bluesound Node 2i into a Schiit Bifrost II DAC as the Node DAC lacked mojo (a specific official audio handy term), and it all lands in a Pass XA-25 into Klipsch Heresy IIIs. I think I’ve talked about this here maybe 432 times...ahem...The Pass is a relatively recent purchase and it utterly lives up to the hype as my system now sounds too damn good, rendering me’s just too good...*sniff*

I run my Bluesound with a Denafrips Ares II and am VERY satisfied. Much improved over the Bluesound DAC.

I went from a Bluesound to Zen Stream + Bifrost 2 - that was a nice uptick in quality. 

Not to open a can of worms, but upgrading the fuse in your DAC can take things to another level, as well. 

I also did the PD creative update for my Node 2i, upgraded to a Nordost Purple Flare cable, but found the ifi Zen Stream and a separate DAC to add more.

I also have a Node 2i with a Denafrips Ares II.  I almost went with the Schiit Bifrost or Gungnir, but chose the Ares based on the vast number of reviews that described a sound signature that I thought I would like better.

While the Node's DAC is pretty good, I'd recommend trying an external DAC.  I have both connected and occasionally switch back and forth.  While I prefer the Ares, I'll admit that the differences are subtle. Some (but not all) MQA albums through the Node can narrow the gap.

Al a point of reference, I have a Bluesound Node 2i that i use with an external Schiit Modi Multibit and noticed an improvement in sound quality.  My system is Don Sachs preamp with a upgraded Bob Latino ST 120 tube amp to Spatial M3 Triode Masters/or Vandersteen 3A speakers.  The internal dac sounded good, detailed, but brittle on a fair amount of music.  The Multibit was warmer and had a more fleshed out coherent sound.  I have not had any other external dacs to compare it with but this very modest upgrade did make a difference in sound quality over stock Bluesound 2i. I have been itching to try a better dac myself to see what difference that upgrade will make.

  • Schiit makes some pretty good stuff but recently had to return an item, not that the quality was bad, in fact build quality was solid, but the synergy with my system just wasn’t there and wouldn’t have of known that without a home trial in my rig.
  • Only issue I have with Schiit is how penalized you are should you need to return a product. By the time you’re slammed for shipping both ways & restocking fees, makes me think Next time I may look at alternatives with good customer reviews from sellers who’s return policy is more “Home Testing Friendly”

Also using Freya+ with various NOS tubes, Parasound A21+, and a better DAC (now in for warranty repair) with Bifrost II in interim. (Fully agree on bi-amping Aegirs, what a bargain). Before springing for Yggy, try Bifrost II. Both Schiit and users say sound is similar to Yggy whereas Gungnir is of a different stripe (their website is pretty clear about the differences, so I won't elaborate). For me, Bifrost/Yggy sound is not optimal & I will continue experimenting with DACs. For streamer, Aurender will leave you wanting for nothing. Whichever model (sans DAC) is in your price range.

In order to have better results with Gungnir or Yggdrasil DAC's, it will be necessary to upgrade the Bluesound Node 2i also. A better streamer will make this upgrade more evident.  My suggestions with a good cost x benefit ratio will be Mercury Streamer - Pi2 Design witl a good Linear power supply or a Metrum Ambre as proposed earlier on this thread.

I did the same thing and am diggin' it!  Picked up a Freya + and some sweet NOS tubes from Kevin Deal at Upscale, and also bought two TYR Monoblocks. Bought very affordable balanced cables from one of the two companies that Schiit recommends on their site. Snake Oil Sound - a start-up in California.  My system sounds awesome!  I bumped my Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated amp for now because this new Schiit system sounds so much better to my ears with my Magnepan 1.7i's and dual subs. JBL Fathom f112 v2 and a MartinLogan Descent i.  My main Sources are a SonoruS Audio Modified ReVox PR99 MKI reel to reel deck and a new Technics SL-1210GAE turntable.  I am very pleased with my investment.  Dana

The Analog 2 cards bring a much more coherent sound stage to the Yggdrasil as I found out when I upgraded my Yggdrasil GS. The ‘Less is More’ chip option got the best reviews. The upgrade was well worth the money. Have no experience with BS Node 2i, but I like the notion of having separates.

So interesting turn of events...

I thought for sure that I was going to keep the Tyr amps and sell may pair of Aegir amps.  They definitely had more power output (of course), but there seemed to be something missing.  The Aegir have a "sweetness" to them is the best way I can describe it.  The low end in noticeably deeper - like driving into the floor deep and weighty.  Maybe not quite as fast/articulate, but to my ears noticeably more real.  The Tyr bass was more lean, but I suppose more "correct".  The top end on the Tyr had a sharpness to them at times, especially when I was pushing the music hard.  The Aegir never really did that... more rolled off top end maybe... more tube like?

So I contacted Schiit and said that I wanted to return the Tyr amps and said that I would be happy to exchange + cash for a new, black Yggy (less is more version).  We will see what happens on Monday I guess.

So here is another NEW question:  coming out of the Bluesound Node 2i... I happen to have an Audioquest MaKenzie cable that is digital RCA to what looks like an XLR.... maybe this is an AES/EBU?  Should I connect them together this way?  A little birdie told me that this is one of the best ways to connect a streamer into a DAC.

I have a Freya+ into Para A23s monoblock driving SF Soneto 8s so I’m interested in more details you heard using the Aegirs. What were the differences in sound? 


I have a BS Node 2i collecting dust bc I upgraded massively but do think It’sa great sounding piece.

BTW I would say bypass the Schiit DACs bc they only do 16 bit so fall apart on pure DSD material. Once you upgrade your streamer you’ll want that option.

I feel that the BS Node 2i (especially that version - not the newer one) sounds very good already as a streamer+DAC.  Sure, you can definitely get better sound... but for how much?  Maybe $2k AT LEAST in my opinion to get a worthwhile upgrade.  The issue I have is the app that controls things and the BlueOS is superb, while many others are not.  I am using another 2i on my other system with a pair of Devialet Phantom 1 (108) active speakers, so I am not using the on-board Bluesound DAC, just streaming duty only.

When people slam the sound of the BS alone... my question would be:  what are you comparing it to for $550 that beats it?  The answer is nothing.  I have tried various outboard DACs with this BS Node 2i and even dropping near $2k in DAC _ cables got a BARELY better sound for my ears.  I guess if you are comparing it to a streamer/DAC that is $12,000 USD, then, sure the Bluesound sucks in comparison maybe.

Don't care about how many "bits" or DSD.... I care about the sound - looking for natural and non-fatiguing.

I am going to try the Yggy DAC and see what happens... the good news is the resale value... compare that to these high-end DACs that people are buying for $8k-15k and then trying to unload for half that (or less)... no thanks.

You’re right that for under $1k BS 2i is hard to beat. I run a perfectwave directstream which gently used is $3k and light years better.

I have a Bluesound Node2 (not Node2i) and Bluesound Vault. I have found that when I play TIDAL MQA albums, about 80% of them sound better then when my external DAC (a Schiit Bifrost Uber and/or Bifrost 2 is running).

I think Bluesound and internal DAC is underrated unless you step up to over $700 in external DAC choices and with Tidal MQA running on Bluesound I would have to say you have to go over $1K in external DAC choices.

YMMV and many don’t like MQA at all, but I have heard Qubuz HF, Tidal and CD quality (not DSD) and the Bluesound playing TIDAL MQA sounds very good.

BTW. I have the Schiit Bifrost Uber, Schiit Bifrost 2 and Schit Freya Plus with NOS tubes and I really like them all.

Considering the improvement I hear going to a Gumby from the inboard Node DAC, if you don't hear a significant difference going to the Yiggy I'd say you're in the wrong hobby :-)  All kidding aside though if you don't hear a difference I think you need to start looking at other things going on in your system.


@audiofreak32 if "a great deal" is your lodestar in chasing better sound you will always be citing the infamous excuse of "the law of diminishing returns" that disappointed midfi enthusiasts make when their "great deals" don't result in significant sonic improvements. To get significant sonic gains one needs to graduate to hifi and get ready to spend $$$ to level up. Buy a Lumin U2 transport to start for $2.5K and a decent DAC like the Yiggy and you will forget your Node soon enough. Next, sell your Aegirs and buy a Pass Labs XA25 for $5K - that sonic upgrade will make your Aegirs seem broken in comparison. 

I think that's a bit of a stretch... But if you think spending that much more money gets you that much better sound, that's great. I have other things in my life I need to worry about as well.

I think there are a lot of people out there that Think that their gear sounds so much better just because they spend a lot more money on it.   I have seen that way too many times.

I have the Gungnir Multibit. While it suits me just fine with my Node 2, computer and CD transport, you might also be happy with the Bifrost, which is also multibit but with a remote. I kind of wish I had the remote.

But Schiit really holds its value, so buy it, try it, keep it or sell it and you're not out that much.

Have fun!


I would agree with your view on the Schiit Aegir x2 Amps running in mono. A recent purchase, but now nicely broken in, I have enjoyed the easy relaxed sound and feel of these Class A amps, compared with my previous big power SS amp. A silky smooth 80 watt per amp, very easy to listen to for long periods of time. Easily running my slightly power hungry 86 db Wilson Benesch Square 2's with ease, highly recommended. I am now rethinking my need to upgrade my Dac (for now!), my current dac is a Teac UD-501 which I have enjoyed for a number of years.

From my research of reviews on stand alone dacs over the last few months and a budget of $2,000 , I have a short list of either the Denafrip Pontus or the Gustard X-26 Pro. I do have a minor library of DSD Files so I am Leaning away R2R dacs, but they may have the sound qualities I think I may like. I hope to find a way sample these first.