DIY improvements to the Schiit Yggdrasil

What?  This thing has just come out and you are suggesting modding it?

You bet!  I am suggesting you mod it!  This is a DIY tutorial.

Check out the buzz here:

here also:

Seems like they like it.  However, they are all listening to it stock.  It sounds way, way, way better with some simple mods that cost very very little.  Numbers one and two below do not void any it does not open the box.  You are on your own with numbers 3 and above   However, if you are careful when modding you can put it back to stock and it will look like it has never been modded......for warrantee work or for updated boards.   You can put a stock fuse back in, remove the jumper on the switch, remove the damping material, resolder a couple of five cent surface mount resistors on the front panel board and remove the WA quantum chips.....the only thing that would take any time is to remove the residual glue from the damping material.

Now why would I care about this DAC and modding it when there may be no money in it for me?  I love products that produce great sound but don't cost a fortune.  The DAC dejour is now getting in the $90,000 and above range.....heck you can buy two Mercedes for that amount of money.  The Yggy has all the right ingredients to be THE DAC for a few least.  It has super low jitter, a super digital filter, super linear expensive DACs and a good discrete fet stage with good has all the basics for super sound......but could use a little tweaking (as can everything).  With enough mods I think this DAC could compete with the over $10,000 DACs and may so already with the mods shown.....this is what I get excited about.  Super sound without breaking the bank.  If these mods prove popular and are shown to take the DAC to new heights then Schiit will sell more DACs and a lot of people will be happy that they could get a SOTA DAC for so little.  Bye the way, I personally have never touched an Yggy.  All the mods below were suggested by me and my friend did them one at a time and told me what he heard (very tweaky guy) and then took the pics of the DAC which I posted here.  I know these mods work because I do them all the time on my modded Oppos, etc.  If it were my DAC I would do much much more to it.

Here we go:

1.  You need to short out all the unused inputs.  If you are using USB then short all the rest....if you are using one of the SPDIF inputs then short all the rest of the spdifs and the usb input.  You can make your own shorting plugs for practically nothing.  The person that did this mod was using bnc input and shorting all the other SPDIF inputs made a noticeable difference.  When he shorted the usb input he heard only a very slight improvement. 

2.  If you are using the coax (single ended rca's) outputs then you need to take the single ended signal from the xlr connectors for much better sound.  There is a summing circuit after the balanced circuits that is not super transparent.  This mod eliminates this circuit.  You can get or make adapters to use (you use just pins 1 and 2 and you leave 3 unterminated....important!).  Another way would be to put xlrs on your cables that use just pins 1 and 2.  Another even more transparent way is to harwired (more on this later).  This mod will make the DAC way more transparent and clear.....mucho better. 

Probable warrantee removing mods:
3.  Remove all the chassis.  There are two chassis and you need to remove them all for best sound.  Naked is good!!!!!!  Just take the aluminum cover off then remove the entire steel under cover.  The circuit boards will still be mounted on a piece of alluminum...this is all you need.  Way, way better sound when run naked.

4. Bypass the fuse or use an audiophile fuse.  Way, way better sound. 

5. Bypass the power switch by shorting out all three pins.  Better sound. 

6. Remove LED indicators by removing resistors R1 and R2 from the back of the front panel board.  If you really need to know which input is on or what sampling frequency it is decoding then you can add a two pole switch and two 10K resistors and turn it on and off at and more coming later.  This mod seriously removes grain.  More on how to do this and the switch thang later.

7. Damp all the heatsinks with EAR SD40AL damping material.  Mucho better sound. 

8.  Put WA Quantum chips on many of the electrolytic caps.  better sound. 

9.  Put WA Quantum chips directly on the DAC chips.  better pic of this yet.

Yes, there will be more.  But, you do the above and this thing might compete with anything.  Seriously better sound.

More info coming later about pics, and how to do.


Pic above shows R1 and R2 still on the board
Pic above shows front board with R1 and R2 removed (disconnecting LEDs)
Above and below pics show heatsinks damped with EAR SD40AL material....available from Percy Audio.  This is the ONLY material to use to damp the heatsinks
Pic above shows shorting switches installed
Pic  above shows WA Quantum capacitor chips on top of a lot of electrylyic caps (you can take a large cap chip and cut it up into small pieces as shown)
Above pic shows top/front aluminum cover (yes, it is upside down in pic)
Pic above shows steel chassis mounted
Pic above shows steel chassis upside down.
Pic above shows fuse bypassed with copper foil (if you feel this is unsafe then use audiophile fuse), power switch shorted with wire and solder and more damping on another heatsink