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Bitzie first impressions

Printed From: Graham Slee at Hifi System Components
Category: Digital Audio
Forum Name: Computer Audio
Forum Description: Is computer audio here to stay or is it just another flavour of the month?
URL: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1759
Printed Date: 19 Jul 2019 at 6:33pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Bitzie first impressions
Posted By: Fatmangolf
Subject: Bitzie first impressions
Date Posted: 23 Feb 2013 at 9:21am
I plugged the loan Bitzie DAC and USB cable into my work computer to burn it in and Windows loaded a driver straightaway. I had a quick listen to some lossess files I had with me. They, and therefore the Bitzie, sounded great through my Klipsch X10's. I showed a colleague who commented on the small size and neatness of the Bitzie.
 
Some hours later I connected the Bitzie to my home PC with the Bitzie USB cable. Straight forward auto-install of software to enable listening to start. The music came through with the clarity and full sound I am used to with other top hi-fi I have heard. It is a fine USB DAC with excellent sound quality reflecting the digital and analogue sections being very good. It is one of the most natural sounding DAC's I have heard, I can hear every instrument and sound clearly, with no harshness/"glare" and the music is listenable.
 
Bitzie includes a very good headphone output. It drove my X10's to high levels, my HD280's went pretty loud and so did my LCD-2's which are less sensitive but very good orthodynamic headphones.
 
Connection to my hi-fi amps and speakers was easy with the enclosed adaptor. The same clear and involving sound made the music I played sound great. Room filling sound with a wide and deep soundstage, in short as big as the recordings! It is hard to believe it is a USB DAC.
 
I haven't used the Bitzie's SPDIF output yet but it's a real bonus to have a USB to SPDIF thrown-in, especially with galvanic isolation.
 
As I wrote last night: it is excellent.
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.



Replies:
Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 23 Feb 2013 at 9:30am
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:

I plugged the loan Bitzie DAC and USB cable into my work computer to burn it in and Windows loaded a driver straightaway. I had a quick listen to some lossess files I had with me. They, and therefore the Bitzie, sounded great through my Klipsch X10's. I showed a colleague who commented on the small size and neatness of the Bitzie.
 
Some hours later I connected the Bitzie to my home PC with the Bitzie USB cable. Straight forward auto-install of software to enable listening to start. The music came through with the clarity and full sound I am used to with other top hi-fi I have heard. It is a fine USB DAC with excellent sound quality reflecting the digital and analogue sections being very good. It is one of the most natural sounding DAC's I have heard, I can hear every instrument and sound clearly, with no harshness/"glare" and the music is listenable.
 
Bitzie includes a very good headphone output. It drove my X10's to high levels, my HD280's went pretty loud and so did my LCD-2's which are less sensitive but very good orthodynamic headphones.
 
Connection to my hi-fi amps and speakers was easy with the enclosed adaptor. The same clear and involving sound made the music I played sound great. Room filling sound with a wide and deep soundstage, in short as big as the recordings! It is hard to believe it is a USB DAC.
 
I haven't used the Bitzie's SPDIF output yet but it's a real bonus to have a USB to SPDIF thrown-in, especially with galvanic isolation.
 
As I wrote last night: it is excellent.
 

Wow Bob, I've been sitting here for the last hour or so thinking about the Bitzie and looking through previous posts about how it would connect to my laptop/hifi. You have pretty much answered my questions. It all looks very exciting and I am looking forward to trying it out and comparing to my current arrangement.Thumbs Up

EDIT :Sorry Jon don't know where I got Bob from! Embarrassed


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 23 Feb 2013 at 10:55am
While the loan unit is on its way I would like to be reminded if the 1/4" out is controlled by the volume pot. I recall the volume pot controls the output of the 1/8" output but not sure on the 1/4". Basically I am asking if the 1/4" is your typical fixed output line out. Thanks.

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 23 Feb 2013 at 12:07pm
The volume control affects both analogue outputs.
I think the 3.5 mm and 1/4 inch sockets are in parallel. I could run headphones or line out from both of them, simultaneously using various adaptors. A quality 1/4 inch to left/right phono adaptor comes with the Bitzie. It's a very flexible and ingenious unit. And sounds great!


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 23 Feb 2013 at 1:20pm
This all sounds very exciting! I look forward to giving the Bitzie a workout with my kit...

-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 24 Feb 2013 at 8:31pm
Thank you Jon, The http://www.gspaudio.co.uk/bitzie-usb-dac-external-soundcard.htm - Bitzie USB DAC seems to be doing exactly what we 'said on the can' by the looks of things.

We've had the prototypes and pre-production units working flat-out here for months as we busily tried numerous tweaks.

There's a lot of information 'not written' between the lines of digital i.c. manufacturers data sheets, but it is 'there to be read' if you get my meaning?

It makes a lot of difference once that 'non-information' is understood, and I guess it can be quite misleading to those 'still wet behind the ears'.

So I guess all those years (from 1982) spent working on other manufacturers stuff with some great electronics engineers, didn't go amiss.

Perhaps it should be a lesson to all those who 'think they can' that these data sheets are written like that for a purpose? Wink


-------------
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 25 Feb 2013 at 12:31pm
The Bitzie has now landed in snowy France and is instantly available to anyone in Europe who wishes to borrow it on the GSP Loaner scheme. Please PM me with your details and it will be on it's way to you shortly Clap

-------------
Derek


Posted By: Suggs
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 10:16am
OK, the Bitzie has now been plugged into my PC with the Lautus USB cable and, after the Windows software auto-install and updates, I have had a lengthy listening session of tracks all ripped from CD's using Apple Lossles (no high res)...the results are to say the least impressive Smile I fully concur with Fatmangolf's assessment of the Bitzie...extremely detailed but non-fatiguing sound, very "analogue" in it's presentation and as natural as CD's (or rips) will allow Wink. The analogue part of the DAC bears a similar signature to Graham's other products i.e. musical (to use the much maligned term) and it is more than able to convey all of the emotion on the recording..a very high goose bump factor was experienced

I have been primarily listening with AKG K550's but the Bitzie also drove my Audeze LCD-3's with no problem, a very decent headphone output

I have also tried the Bitzie in my hi-fi system, where the results were equally impressive, however not as good as my resident DAC, but that costs over ten times the price of the Bitzie so there would be somethng wrong if it did.

It is also worth noting that the Lautus USB cable is a very good product in it's own right and it is important that this cable doesn't get overshadowed by the Bitzie raves that are bound to come when it reaches a few listeners. The Lautus performed very close to the USB cable that I use in my system which again cost several times the Lautus price...excellent value for money and complements the Bitzie well...anyone buying should really take advantage of the introductory offer for the pair of these items.

This is all within 24 hours of it arriving here and with no burn-in to speak of...truly remarkable and a sure winner from Graham .Well done GSP once again Clap...it's amazing that such a great sound can be had for such a low price...it's now given me the "can't wait" feeling to see what Graham does with the future "big" DAC, if it is much better than this then I already want one!





-------------
Derek


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 10:59am
I received the Bitzie yesterday and using the included Lautus USB cable connected it to an iMac. It was immediately recognized as "USB Audio CODEC" and it started playing right away without any issues. The unit has about 12 hours of burn in and so far I have used two headphones: Yuin OK1 (earbuds) and Samson SR850 (semi open can).

The Yuin OK1 is an earbud which is hard to drive at 150 ohm and sensitivity of 109 DB at 1 Khz. The Samson SR850 are relatively easy to drive at 32 ohm.

I am using the 1/4" adapter to drive a Solo ULDE which does fine but it is to early to fully evaluate since both are still burning in. For those in the USA (upper 48) let me know if interested in borrowing.

Below is a link to a few pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/109437154048011247077/BitzieAndSoloULDE?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMCrnM_gwJfSXw&feat=directlink 


-------------
Miguel


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 11:31am
Derek/Miguel,

It's good to have your first impressions! And nice to see pictures of the Bitzie in relation to the Solo, Miguel . . . it's a dinky little thing isn't it? Smile 


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Humboldt
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 4:37pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Thank you Jon, The http://www.gspaudio.co.uk/bitzie-usb-dac-external-soundcard.htm - Bitzie USB DAC seems to be doing exactly what we 'said on the can' by the looks of things.

We've had the prototypes and pre-production units working flat-out here for months as we busily tried numerous tweaks.

There's a lot of information 'not written' between the lines of digital i.c. manufacturers data sheets, but it is 'there to be read' if you get my meaning?

It makes a lot of difference once that 'non-information' is understood, and I guess it can be quite misleading to those 'still wet behind the ears'.

So I guess all those years (from 1982) spent working on other manufacturers stuff with some great electronics engineers, didn't go amiss.

Perhaps it should be a lesson to all those who 'think they can' that these data sheets are written like that for a purpose? Wink

Seems to be a lot not written but said between the lines here... Geek


Posted By: Jog3004
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 6:04pm
Miguel, have you tried it with an iPod, iPhone ipad etc yet?

-------------
James


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 6:17pm

I fear "made for iPod" may stop the digital output from working without the Apple licensed widget but would be delighted to hear otherwise.



-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 6:17pm
Originally posted by mrarroyo mrarroyo wrote:

Below is a link to a few pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/109437154048011247077/BitzieAndSoloULDE?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMCrnM_gwJfSXw&feat=directlink 

Cripes! That's really dinky LOL


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 8:41pm
Originally posted by mitch65 mitch65 wrote:

Originally posted by mrarroyo mrarroyo wrote:

Below is a link to a few pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/109437154048011247077/BitzieAndSoloULDE?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMCrnM_gwJfSXw&feat=directlink 

Cripes! That's really dinky LOL
 
It is shorter than my thumb.


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 8:54pm
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:

Originally posted by mitch65 mitch65 wrote:

Originally posted by mrarroyo mrarroyo wrote:

Below is a link to a few pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/109437154048011247077/BitzieAndSoloULDE?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMCrnM_gwJfSXw&feat=directlink 

Cripes! That's really dinky LOL
 
It is shorter than my thumb.

I can't believe I'm sitting here looking at my thumb! LOL


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 26 Feb 2013 at 11:06pm
Continuing the Ogdens I was listening to the Bitzie at the time I was looking at my thumb. The music definitely sounds better that way round. Confused
 
The Bitzie is small and sounds very good. Thumbs Up
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 27 Feb 2013 at 10:47am
Originally posted by Jog3004 Jog3004 wrote:

Miguel, have you tried it with an iPod, iPhone ipad etc yet?

No sorry, I barely had time to plug it in as you see in the pictures. Been swamped with work and life in general. However I will try to do so by tomorrow and post the results.

The Bitzie now has been plugged for 36  hours with about 12 hours of burn in. All coming along nicely and the best part IMO is how it draws in the listener. Very mellow and musical.


-------------
Miguel


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2013 at 11:07am
I made some time and tested successfully the Bitzie with a couple of iPads. First an iPad 1 running IOS 5.1.1 and second an iPad 3 running IOS 6.1.1 both via the camera adapter. I used Pandora, You Tube and iTunes and all played fine via the Bitzie.

Next I will look into an iPhone 5 although I believe it will be more complicated due to the new lightning plug.


-------------
Miguel


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2013 at 11:13am
Great news on the Apple devices Miguel!

Clap


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Jog3004
Date Posted: 28 Feb 2013 at 7:01pm
Originally posted by mrarroyo mrarroyo wrote:

I made some time and tested successfully the Bitzie with a couple of iPads. First an iPad 1 running IOS 5.1.1 and second an iPad 3 running IOS 6.1.1 both via the camera adapter. I used Pandora, You Tube and iTunes and all played fine via the Bitzie.

Next I will look into an iPhone 5 although I believe it will be more complicated due to the new lightning plug.


That's good news Miguel & thanks for letting us know. I must confess, I never thought about lightening connector agree could be tricky. I mainly use my iPod classic with voyager, but does anyone know will the signal sent from iPod, ipad etc already be a converted by the ipod et al when the signal reaches the Bitzie, & would I be able to use the camera connector for audio from the iPod.

-------------
James


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2013 at 11:56am
When using the camera connector on the iPad the signal out is digital not analogue.

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Jog3004
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2013 at 12:11pm
Cheers Miguel. I desperately want to buy the Bitzie but..... My music is all iPod or iPhone based for convenience, & I only bought 16gb ipad as I never intended to use it for anything else but emails, Internet, few apps & reading mags/books. I've just done a quick google search to see if a camera adapter works with iPhone & iPod & it appears it sadly doesn't. I'd be greatly appreciative if there is a way to utilise the benefits of the Bitzie with my iphone & iPod, if someone discovers how, let me know& I vice versa. This is one of the incredibly frustrating things about Apple! I fear currently the Bitzie won't add anything more to what I achieve from the superb voyager with the iPhone & iPod. Bloody Apple, I've bought the goods, I should choose how I use them I Hasten to add that I don't view this as a deficiency of the Bitzie, but the tight control Apple exerts on its products to wring out as much money as they possibly can, the old made for iPhone, iPod moniker.

-------------
James


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2013 at 2:45pm
Jon sent me the loan Bitzie this morning (Big smile) and I gave it quick whirl with my iPad at lunchtime, using the camera connector, Denon 7000 and AKG 450 headphones (simultaneously). Once I'd maxed the iPad's volume, there was plenty of high-volume, high quality sound coming from both sets of headphones. This was playing FLACs being streamed from my Squeezebox server into the iPeng app. [Visions of hot sunny days relaxing in the garden with true hi-fi sound are really enticing . . LOL]. More testing in various scenarios to follow, meanwhile some pictures . . 







-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2013 at 3:57pm
Originally posted by Jog3004 Jog3004 wrote:

I've just done a quick google search to see if a camera adapter works with iPhone & iPod & it appears it sadly doesn't.
I've just checked it out - and it doesn't work . . . Cry (That's trying an iPod Touch and an iPhone 4S).

(I guess the surprise is that audio comes out of it from the iPad.)

Such a shame  - but at least the Voyager's around to bump up the audio quality . . .Wink


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2013 at 5:41pm
As you will know, we don't do any 'made for Apple' products and therefore I'm not at all surprised that Apple products don't cater for use of third party products such as ours with their products...

...to get that, a manufacturer has to pay Apple 'big bucks'.

However, the company Apple love to sue - Samsung - makes user friendly smartphones (Galaxy S3 running Android Jellybean) which let you have what you want.

Perhaps it was the charisma of Steve Jobs? But he's gone now, so I personally just don't see the appeal of buying something that restricts you.

If I were in the market for a mobile device it would have to be Samsung.


-------------
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2013 at 7:12pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

As you will know, we don't do any 'made for Apple' products and therefore I'm not at all surprised that Apple products don't cater for use of third party products such as ours with their products...

...to get that, a manufacturer has to pay Apple 'big bucks'.

However, the company Apple love to sue - Samsung - makes user friendly smartphones (Galaxy S3 running Android Jellybean) which let you have what you want.

Perhaps it was the charisma of Steve Jobs? But he's gone now, so I personally just don't see the appeal of buying something that restricts you.

If I were in the market for a mobile device it would have to be Samsung.
Having been in the Apple camp from sometime before Steve Jobs returned to the company, I'll be sticking with them, but i have no interest in playing music from a mobile device other than in the car anyway. It was the charismatic Steve Jobs, not Tim Cook, who wanted to sue Samsung.

-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2013 at 7:36pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:


Originally posted by Jog3004 Jog3004 wrote:

I've just done a quick google search to see if a camera adapter works with iPhone & iPod & it appears it sadly doesn't.

I've just checked it out - and it doesn't work . . . Cry (That's trying an iPod Touch and an iPhone 4S).

(I guess the surprise is that audio comes out of it from the iPad.)

Such a shame  - but at least the Voyager's around to bump up the audio quality . . .Wink
One of these should sort it. http://www.futureshop.co.uk/audioquest-forest-usb-to-ipodipadiphone-cable-075m-p-5578.html#.UTECzGtYCSM

-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: jamescodway
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 8:46am
[/QUOTE] One of these should sort it. http://www.futureshop.co.uk/audioquest-forest-usb-to-ipodipadiphone-cable-075m-p-5578.html#.UTECzGtYCSM[/QUOTE]

Hello, I'm missing a memo here... what benefit will this cable provide?

Best

James


-------------
Solo UL - Voyager - HD 800 - M30


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 8:52am
If I'm reading it correctly, it claims to be a "made for iPod" digital audio cable, which seems to be what's needed to connect iPod to Bitzie. But, if I'm not reading correctly, it's just another USB cable that still requires the connected hardware to be "made for iPod". I guess it's probably the latter.

-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: Jog3004
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 9:26am
I agree ICL1P but on the off chance I've emailed the company to find out for definite. Fingers crossed

-------------
James


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 10:19am
I have read in a couple of sites that if your iPhone is "jailbroken" the digital out works. However I will not be doing so, at least for a while.

The Bitzie has been powered for about 105 hours of which 50 hours has been playing music. My initial impression of musicality and a mellow presentation remains and I am enjoying its overall presentation.

Those in the CONUS that which to test it PM me.


-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 11:48am
My experience with iPod Classics is that the circuit inside the "Made for iPod" gear switches the digital output on, not the cable.


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: jamescodway
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 12:54pm
The Audioquest website is not totally clear but all the devices I know to extract digital from iDevices all have a power dock and no cable... the PURE version then does optical and co-ax out... it may well be that there is something in the dock part of this cable that gets the digital audio out which would be amazing but for the Bitzie, unlikely to deliver any power for it?? Would be fine for the big DAC though.

http://www.audioquest.com/apple-series/forest - http://www.audioquest.com/apple-series/forest  

Best

James


-------------
Solo UL - Voyager - HD 800 - M30


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 4:23pm
Originally posted by jamescodway jamescodway wrote:

The Audioquest website is not totally clear but all the devices I know to extract digital from iDevices all have a power dock and no cable... the PURE version then does optical and co-ax out... it may well be that there is something in the dock part of this cable that gets the digital audio out which would be amazing but for the Bitzie, unlikely to deliver any power for it?? Would be fine for the big DAC though.

http://www.audioquest.com/apple-series/forest - http://www.audioquest.com/apple-series/forest  

Best

James
That webpage must be candidate for the prize for saying so little with so many words. Angry

I guess the only way to find out is to seek out someone who's tried it . . . 

Back on the Bitzie - had it running this morning direct from my Mac playing FLAC files from the server (using a minimalist player called Cog). Incidentally - no problems with OS X (10.6.8) recognising the device as USB audio. Had a session with HD650s running from the Bitzie, connected with the Lautus USB cable. The sound was deep and dynamic with excellent detail and no "glare".

Next up is getting the line out from the Bitzie direct into the Solo, along with S/PDIF out into my own DAC going direct into the Solo's other input. With the volume control on the line out from the Bitzie I can level match the Solo inputs and then flick the switch between DACS. Incidentally my DAC is a well-regarded Dutch NOS box noted for its smooth and analogue-sounding presentation, and retailing at over twice the price of the Bitzie. Should be interesting! 



-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 7:04pm
The Forest is well reviewed but is not the top Audioquest USB cable. However none of them say Made for iPod so don't raise your hopes! I think they will probably sound better when feeding the digital stream than a standard cable between an Idevice and a dock like the ND-S1, the CA or Wadia docks or an idevice docking port on an amp.
 
Back to DAC: I've done the Bitzie vs Dutch NOS comparison and would be interested in what you (and anyone else) think Bob.

-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 10:26pm
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:

However none of them say Made for iPod so don't raise your hopes!
On their website it says they are all made for iPod and iPhone.

-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 11:02pm
I stand corrected and hope they will connect an iPod (or iPhone) to a Bitzie.
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 02 Mar 2013 at 11:27pm
Well, I have to say the more I read their blurb the more confused I amConfused.
Is it me or does the line "a computer connected to a USB-enabled digital-to-analog converter can outperform the best compact disc players available today" seem a little bold? If it's true then 'bye, bye CD'


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 12:01am
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:



I stand corrected and hope they will connect an iPod (or iPhone) to a Bitzie.
 
if I were a betting man, I'd say the aoudioquest cables won't work.

-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 12:15am
I'd be very doubtful about the audio quest cable too. Their web page was full of gobbledygook while omitting to answer the question that loads of people must be asking.

As for CDs being history - they'll be around as a legacy carrier for a while but I bet vinyl outlives 'em!

-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 7:15am
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:



As for CDs being history - they'll be around as a legacy carrier for a while but I bet vinyl outlives 'em!

Thumbs Up



-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 7:17am
Originally posted by ICL1P ICL1P wrote:

Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:



I stand corrected and hope they will connect an iPod (or iPhone) to a Bitzie.
 
if I were a betting man, I'd say the aoudioquest cables won't work.

With that amount of confusion I wouldn't be surprised since I can't even work out what they do do! LOL


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 10:23am
I thank you all for your concern in getting the Bitzie to work with things I never intended it to work with.

I was surprised it worked with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPad, and considered that to be a bonus.

It is a USB DAC, and I for one, would be interested in how those who borrow it find its sound quality and sound staging when used with things it was designed for.

And most of all, the many visitors we get are probably interested in that too, and may not be interested in the products of Apple and Audioquest to the degree this topic has strayed.

Graham


-------------
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 11:13am
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

It is a USB DAC, and I for one, would be interested in how those who borrow it find its sound quality and sound staging when used with things it was designed for.
Back on topic, I'm listening to Laurence Juber's "Guitar Noir" album as a 96/24 FLAC on the Bitzie. The line out is going into the SoloUL and into HD650s. The sound is tactile and detailed, with a great sense of the acoustic's depth. It's a simple acoustic guitar, string bass and subtle percussion but the detail is phenomenal in the way it's presented. 

The Bitzie is also connected to my own DAC via S/PDIF and switching the Solo's inputs gives an immediate comparison - which is actually quite shocking. Shocked My own DAC was over twice the price of the Bitzie but the differences are very, minimal. The other DAC has a marginally deeper sound, and when trying with other albums (eg Green Day's "American Idiot") I felt (but only sometimes) that it was a bit more dynamic.

Using the line out from the Bitzie to drive the 650s directly a similar description could be given comparing Bitzie to Solo. But - and it has to be a big BUT - both Solo and the other DAC benefit from beefy linear power supplies, so to be expecting identical, or better performance over the Bitzie would be optimistic. I would say the differences are so small that having one or other in the system without doing instant switching I'd be very hard pushed to say which DAC was connected. Both give a very smooth, "non-digital" almost analogue sound. For a little USB-driven DAC to provide this fantastic performance has been a real eye-(ear-)opener for me. 

A couple of other things I need to do - try the Bitzie on the PC, and substitute a generic USB cable for the Lautus USB.

I have one further "big" test to do - which is to unhook the Proprius amps from my AV setup and have the Bitzie drive these directly. (Am really looking forward to this!)

More later Wink.


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 11:50am
I forgot to mention I am running OS 10.8.2 on my iMac and as previously stated it recognized the Bitzie right away. I should also mention that it is dead quiet using the Grado RS-1 straight out of the 1/4" plug. I even paused the music and raised the volume to max! Did I say dead quiet!

-------------
Miguel


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 2:57pm
Originally posted by ICL1P ICL1P wrote:

Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:



I stand corrected and hope they will connect an iPod (or iPhone) to a Bitzie.
 
if I were a betting man, I'd say the aoudioquest cables won't work.
 
FWIW I've previously looked the 30 pin connector on my iPod to see if the digital out, USB, Firewire, etc. can be made to work. I wasn't the first! No success and I think the "Made for iPod" in docks like the ND-S1 (I have one BTW) communicate with the iPod to enable the digital outputs and sends a usable bitstream to an external DAC. The dock on my AV amp is slightly different in that the amp reads the music files from the iPod's disk and the amp acts as the player. In both cases the iPod receives 5V rather than providing it.
 
So that's why did I didn't bother trying iPod and Bitzie in the week I had it on loan. If or when I buy a new portable device the Galaxy 3 looks like a very good choice. Bitzie compatability is a big bonus!
 
I tried the Bitzie with my PC running Windows 7 and my Samsung netbook. Worked immediately with both and sounded great with both.
 


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 4:06pm
Originally posted by Fatmangolf Fatmangolf wrote:


 
!
 
I tried the Bitzie with my PC running Windows 7 and my Samsung netbook. Worked immediately with both and sounded great with both.
 


That's good to know as I have Windows 7 laptop and a Tab Smile


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 5:12pm
Ok - next update.

PC connection (Windows 7) was painless, as expected.

A generic USB cable in place of the Lautus USB throttled the sound. In comparison it had softened dynamics and constricted depth, along with veiled detail. Going direct to the Bitzie with a generic cable would still provide a quality jump over computer sound cards, but the Lautus allowed it to perform at its best, and the Bitzie bundle with the Lautus should be heavily promoted!!


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2013 at 7:40pm
The Bitzie plus Lautus USB cable is great value. It turns a computer into a top notch hi-fi source!


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 2:34pm
My last proper session with the Bitzie:

I unplugged the Proprius amps from the AV processor, and with the iPad as source (streaming from the Squeezebox server - no computer near enough for a direct connection) plugged the amps direct into the Bitzie with CuSat50s. Speakers are PMC GB1i floorstanders connected with Spatia cables & links - so it was a minimalist GSP only system (aside from source and speakers, and I don't think these are on Graham's development road map (yet??)).

Music ranged from Bach organ, unaccompanied choral, jazz (Dexter Gordon - Tanya from One Flight Up), Dire Straights (Telegraph Road), and Holst's Planets (Zubin Mehta/LAPO, Decca LP rip).

[Edit - that's Dire Straits, of course Embarrassed]

My usual source is a Slim Devices (Squeezebox) Transporter with it's own "audiophile" DAC and output stage, and also the Transporter into the (Audiolab) AV processor's 192/24 DAC. (I tend to alternate between analogue and digital out from the Transporter - can't really tell the difference as the DACs are so well matched!).

I won't bore you with all my listening notes for every piece, but the scale and authority of the presentation from the Bitzie was mightily impressive. Delicate and transparent when required, dynamic and hard-hitting when required. The low toms in Telegraph Road had a body and resonance that was definitely in the same ball-park as the bigger DACs. Likewise bass from The Planets (Saturn especially), and the various Bach organ pieces. The organ music was notable too for it's low level detail - the mechanical noises of pipe organs, the noise of the blowers, the decay of notes in the big acoustic; these were all really well defined. Mid-range was lucid and treble was just right - no digital glare, but you got what the recording gave you. The choral music (by Eric Whiteacre - Stephen Layton/Polyphony on Hyperion) was just as sublime on the Bitzie as via the other DACs. 

And lastly - the first note of "Tanya" is a woody, fortissimo, double bass in "unison" with a drum hit. The first time I could separate out the characters  of both instruments was when I put the Dutch NOS DAC in my study system. That the Bitzie pulled off the same trick is, for me, testament to it's quality.

I have three good DACs in the house - two in equipment costing around 3-4 times more than the Bitzie, and a DAC over twice it's price. Never was the Bitzie outclassed. Once or twice I could discern a touch more body, or air, and sometimes marginally better dynamics - but I think Graham has designed a truly remarkable piece of kit here which operates in many scenarios. Use it with a mobile source out and about, and when home it will slot neatly in to a "full size" system, giving a suitably "full-sized" sound. As a USB to S/PDIF converter it works transparently. As a headphone amp from a USB source it gives the Solo UL a good run for its money.

I think the Lautus USB cable should be a regular part of the package, though, as it allows the Bitzie to perform to it's full potential. If you don't use a "good" USB cable it'll be like a V8 firing on 4 cylinders.

All in all this is another product Graham and his team should be very proud of. At the price it is an absolute steal!




-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 3:36pm
I use Telegraph Road as a system tester myself, I find it ticks most of the boxes for me..........and i just happen to like it Smile

-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 5:13pm
Yes, Telegraph Road's got it all (well sort of) - quiet noodling and thunderous climaxes . . . 

Plus it's a bit nostalgic for me as I saw DS at the Hammersmith Odeon (as it was) on their "Live in '85 (and a bit in '86)" tour . . . (feeling my age now Confused ).

Really like MK's guitar playing. Sultans of Swing prompted my to buy my first pop album since Sgt Pepper in '67 - had many years in the classical wilderness Shocked. Now I listen to anything; well, not country & western, obviously . . . LOL


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 7:44pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

Yes, Telegraph Road's got it all (well sort of) - quiet noodling and thunderous climaxes . . . 

Plus it's a bit nostalgic for me as I saw DS at the Hammersmith Odeon (as it was) on their "Live in '85 (and a bit in '86)" tour . . . (feeling my age now Confused ).

Really like MK's guitar playing. Sultans of Swing prompted my to buy my first pop album since Sgt Pepper in '67 - had many years in the classical wilderness Shocked. Now I listen to anything; well, not country & western, obviously . . . LOL

Hammersmith Odeon? saw Mike Oldfield there in '82 and OMD in '83 so you're not the only one feeling their age LOL


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 7:49pm
Originally posted by mitch65 mitch65 wrote:

Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

Yes, Telegraph Road's got it all (well sort of) - quiet noodling and thunderous climaxes . . . 

Plus it's a bit nostalgic for me as I saw DS at the Hammersmith Odeon (as it was) on their "Live in '85 (and a bit in '86)" tour . . . (feeling my age now Confused ).

Really like MK's guitar playing. Sultans of Swing prompted my to buy my first pop album since Sgt Pepper in '67 - had many years in the classical wilderness Shocked. Now I listen to anything; well, not country & western, obviously . . . LOL

Hammersmith Odeon? saw Mike Oldfield there in '82 and OMD in '83 so you're not the only one feeling their age LOL


Stop it! I saw Black Sabbath at Sheffield City Hall in 1972 so that should mean I'm a corpse by comparison... Wink


-------------
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 7:54pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Originally posted by mitch65 mitch65 wrote:

Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

Yes, Telegraph Road's got it all (well sort of) - quiet noodling and thunderous climaxes . . . 

Plus it's a bit nostalgic for me as I saw DS at the Hammersmith Odeon (as it was) on their "Live in '85 (and a bit in '86)" tour . . . (feeling my age now Confused ).

Really like MK's guitar playing. Sultans of Swing prompted my to buy my first pop album since Sgt Pepper in '67 - had many years in the classical wilderness Shocked. Now I listen to anything; well, not country & western, obviously . . . LOL

Hammersmith Odeon? saw Mike Oldfield there in '82 and OMD in '83 so you're not the only one feeling their age LOL


Stop it! I saw Black Sabbath at Sheffield City Hall in 1972 so that should mean I'm a corpse by comparison... Wink
King Crimson at Chatham Central Hall in 1971!!!

-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 8:08pm
We should rename this thread "pensioners corner".

-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 8:22pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

We should rename this thread "pensioners corner".

Thumbs Up........I think Confused


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 8:31pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

We should rename this thread "pensioners corner".
I was only 14 in 1971.

We've gone even more off topic than we did with the iPod, iPhone stuff.  Sorry Graham.


-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 8:42pm
The OP forgives you.


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: BackinBlack
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 8:43pm
Originally posted by ICL1P ICL1P wrote:

Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Originally posted by mitch65 mitch65 wrote:

Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

Yes, Telegraph Road's got it all (well sort of) - quiet noodling and thunderous climaxes . . . 

Plus it's a bit nostalgic for me as I saw DS at the Hammersmith Odeon (as it was) on their "Live in '85 (and a bit in '86)" tour . . . (feeling my age now Confused ).

Really like MK's guitar playing. Sultans of Swing prompted my to buy my first pop album since Sgt Pepper in '67 - had many years in the classical wilderness Shocked. Now I listen to anything; well, not country & western, obviously . . . LOL

Hammersmith Odeon? saw Mike Oldfield there in '82 and OMD in '83 so you're not the only one feeling their age LOL


Stop it! I saw Black Sabbath at Sheffield City Hall in 1972 so that should mean I'm a corpse by comparison... Wink
King Crimson at Chatham Central Hall in 1971!!!

Can anyone join in?
Cream Farewell Concert, Albert Hall. The who at the Roundhouse. Those were the days!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 9:30pm
Originally posted by BackinBlack BackinBlack wrote:


Cream Farewell Concert, Albert Hall.
i remember watching it with my older brothers on BBC 2's Omnibus. I'm sad to say I didn't appreciate it at the time.

-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: hotmog
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 9:53pm
Well...

I saw Black Sabbath at The Star, Broad Green (near Croydon) in 1970. It cost 8 shillings to get in (that's 40p in new money). Saw David Bowie there too, same year (Easter Monday) - but what was really strange was that there can't have been more than 30 people there Confused. Jimi Hendrix apparently played there, in 1967 (I think).

It was always The Star on Friday nights, and The Greyhound (Croydon) on Sundays - every New Year's Eve was Status Quo.

The Roundhouse at Chalk Farm was also a favourite destination on Sunday afternoons/evenings for the Implosion, with Jeff Dexter DJ'ing. That was 50p to get in. I saw Curved Air there, among many other bands.

Then there was Led Zep at The Albert Hall in 1969 (I went a friend who'd bought 50p tickets and when we got there we found we each had a box each to ourselves!.

Happy days! Smile 




-------------
<font color=BROWN> http://www.victorian-breweriana.me.uk" rel="nofollow - Hotmog's Victorian Breweriana [/COLOR]


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 04 Mar 2013 at 11:13pm
Originally posted by hotmog hotmog wrote:

Well...

I saw Black Sabbath at The Star, Broad Green (near Croydon) in 1970. It cost 8 shillings to get in (that's 40p in new money). Saw David Bowie there too, same year (Easter Monday) - but what was really strange was that there can't have been more than 30 people there Confused. Jimi Hendrix apparently played there, in 1967 (I think).

It was always The Star on Friday nights, and The Greyhound (Croydon) on Sundays - every New Year's Eve was Status Quo.

The Roundhouse at Chalk Farm was also a favourite destination on Sunday afternoons/evenings for the Implosion, with Jeff Dexter DJ'ing. That was 50p to get in. I saw Curved Air there, among many other bands.

Then there was Led Zep at The Albert Hall in 1969 (I went a friend who'd bought 50p tickets and when we got there we found we each had a box each to ourselves!.

Happy days! Smile 




Hotmog, I think you just won this game.

-------------
Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 05 Mar 2013 at 7:29am
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

My last proper session with the Bitzie:
 
I unplugged the Proprius amps from the AV processor, and with the iPad as source (streaming from the Squeezebox server - no computer near enough for a direct connection) plugged the amps direct into the Bitzie with CuSat50s. Speakers are PMC GB1i floorstanders connected with Spatia cables & links - so it was a minimalist GSP only system (aside from source and speakers, and I don't think these are on Graham's development road map (yet??)).
 
Music ranged from Bach organ, unaccompanied choral, jazz (Dexter Gordon - Tanya from One Flight Up), Dire Straights (Telegraph Road), and Holst's Planets (Zubin Mehta/LAPO, Decca LP rip).

[Edit - that's Dire Straits, of course Embarrassed]
 
My usual source is a Slim Devices (Squeezebox) Transporter with it's own "audiophile" DAC and output stage, and also the Transporter into the (Audiolab) AV processor's 192/24 DAC. (I tend to alternate between analogue and digital out from the Transporter - can't really tell the difference as the DACs are so well matched!).
I won't bore you with all my listening notes for every piece, but the scale and authority of the presentation from the Bitzie was mightily impressive. Delicate and transparent when required, dynamic and hard-hitting when required. The low toms in Telegraph Road had a body and resonance that was definitely in the same ball-park as the bigger DACs. Likewise bass from The Planets (Saturn especially), and the various Bach organ pieces. The organ music was notable too for it's low level detail - the mechanical noises of pipe organs, the noise of the blowers, the decay of notes in the big acoustic; these were all really well defined. Mid-range was lucid and treble was just right - no digital glare, but you got what the recording gave you. The choral music (by Eric Whiteacre - Stephen Layton/Polyphony on Hyperion) was just as sublime on the Bitzie as via the other DACs. 
And lastly - the first note of "Tanya" is a woody, fortissimo, double bass in "unison" with a drum hit. The first time I could separate out the characters  of both instruments was when I put the Dutch NOS DAC in my study system. That the Bitzie pulled off the same trick is, for me, testament to it's quality.
I have three good DACs in the house - two in equipment costing around 3-4 times more than the Bitzie, and a DAC over twice it's price. Never was the Bitzie outclassed. Once or twice I could discern a touch more body, or air, and sometimes marginally better dynamics - but I think Graham has designed a truly remarkable piece of kit here which operates in many scenarios. Use it with a mobile source out and about, and when home it will slot neatly in to a "full size" system, giving a suitably "full-sized" sound. As a USB to S/PDIF converter it works transparently. As a headphone amp from a USB source it gives the Solo UL a good run for its money.
I think the Lautus USB cable should be a regular part of the package, though, as it allows the Bitzie to perform to it's full potential. If you don't use a "good" USB cable it'll be like a V8 firing on 4 cylinders.
All in all this is another product Graham and his team should be very proud of. At the price it is an absolute steal!
 
Who else has tried the Bitzie and how did you find it?


-------------
Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 05 Mar 2013 at 9:08am
In all my musings above I didn't mention the most important thing about the Bitzie: how enjoyable it is! Most sessions started as a serious evaluation, listening for sonic clues to the Bitzie's DNA, and how it compared with my other equipment. But without fail these sessions just evaporated into pure music listening for the sake of the music, and my "demo track" selection was soon left behind!

I never felt an urge to go back to my own gear as the Bitzie was so "musical" - an equipment concept hard to define, but noticeable when it is, or isn't, present. Also the lack of native reproduction of higher sampling rates (I played a number of 96/24 tracks) never spoilt the party. No doubt those who buy their hi-fi by looking at the numbers in the spec rather than by listening may miss out on the Bitzie's charms. That is their loss!

So, Graham, the "little DAC" has been done. I'm so eager to see (hear!) what you do with your "big DAC"! Dare I ask when this may be available?? Wink 


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 05 Mar 2013 at 10:19am
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

In all my musings above I didn't mention the most important thing about the Bitzie: how enjoyable it is! Most sessions started as a serious evaluation, listening for sonic clues to the Bitzie's DNA, and how it compared with my other equipment. But without fail these sessions just evaporated into pure music listening for the sake of the music, and my "demo track" selection was soon left behind!

I never felt an urge to go back to my own gear as the Bitzie was so "musical" - an equipment concept hard to define, but noticeable when it is, or isn't, present. Also the lack of native reproduction of higher sampling rates (I played a number of 96/24 tracks) never spoilt the party. No doubt those who buy their hi-fi by looking at the numbers in the spec rather than by listening may miss out on the Bitzie's charms. That is their loss!

So, Graham, the "little DAC" has been done. I'm so eager to see (hear!) what you do with your "big DAC"! Dare I ask when this may be available?? Wink 


Four opinions so far and I'm very happy that all four have received the entertainment value I intended the Bitzie USB DAC to give.

Here I'm quoting Bob's last words before he sends the Bitzie USB DAC onwards, especially:

"Also the lack of native reproduction of higher sampling rates (I played a number of 96/24 tracks) never spoilt the party. No doubt those who buy their hi-fi by looking at the numbers in the spec rather than by listening may miss out on the Bitzie's charms. That is their loss!"

What I tried to put together here is a product that:

1] ticks the 'eye candy' box by being cute, solidly built and well engineered

2] ticks the 'portability' box by being easily transportable in a pocket or bag, and at least it works with portable devices which don't demand of the manufacturer the payment of a license fee.

3] ticks the 'plug and play' box by making it dead-easy for those of us not blessed with IT skills (me included)

4] ticks the 'usefulness' box by it doing headphones, line out via a quality adapter, coaxial and optical S/PDIF out, and having a proper volume control rather than those frustrating up-down buttons. The volume control doubling as an output level 'trim' for its more serious use as a USB preamp.

5] ticks the 'computer-friendly' box - unlike others that demand all 500mA (that's 2.5W) of the USB power bus along with a charge spike, and because of that are known to cause 'the blue screen of death' - the Bitzie USB DAC meets with the 'USB low-power bus powered functions requirement' drawing 100mA (that's 0.5W) with the equivalent of 10 micro-farads of capacitive charge.

6] ticks the 'will it play all my music?' box for those who use Foobar or similar software players.

7] ticks the 'sounds awesome' box for those able to tell the difference or those who appreciate analogue sound quality with its separation/air, sound staging and engaging qualities.

But it really needs the Lautus USB-audio cable to remove the computer environment noise that would otherwise prevent the Bitzie USB DAC from working its miracles. I'm pleased you've found that the Lautus USB-audio cable fulfills that requirement which lends credence to our claims.

Thank you.

(plug over Wink)


-------------
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 05 Mar 2013 at 10:32am
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Here I'm quoting Bob's last words before he sends the Bitzie USB DAC onwards ...

Well - my last words were actually:
Quote I'm so eager to see (hear!) what you do with your "big DAC"! Dare I ask when this may be available??
LOL


-------------
Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 05 Mar 2013 at 10:48am
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

So, Graham, the "little DAC" has been done. I'm so eager to see (hear!) what you do with your "big DAC"! Dare I ask when this may be available?? Wink 


Before I can get down to the serious work involved I have to move house and workshop. Hopefully the move will be happening next week and the week after.

Would all members who need to know our postal address please note the new address which will be in the footer of every page on the website the moment we have the keys.


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 05 Mar 2013 at 11:06am
Bob's "enjoyable" comment is very much in parallel with what I call "musical and engaging". The Bitzie is feeding the Solo ULDE via the 1/4" to RCA plug and the warm sound being reproduced allows me to listen for hours without feeling like I must take a break. Taking a break has been a sign of fatigue caused by other sources due to their harsh presentation. Lovely thing the Bitzie is.

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Miguel


Posted By: morris_minor
Date Posted: 07 Mar 2013 at 11:12pm
Bitzie down-under:

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2013/03/graham-slee-bitzie-dac-headphone-amplifier/ - http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2013/03/graham-slee-bitzie-dac-headphone-amplifier/

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Bob

Majestic DAC/pre-amp
Accession MC/Enigma, Accession MM, Reflex M, Elevator EXP, Era Gold V
Solo ULDE, Novo, Lautus USB and digital, Libran balanced, CuSat50
2 x Proprius + Spatia/Spatia Links


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2013 at 1:04am
Thanks Bob.

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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2013 at 7:33am
I wonder if anybody outside this place actually listens with their ears?

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Posted By: iamalexis
Date Posted: 10 Mar 2013 at 8:50pm
i'm excited to have the bitzie on loan this week! i'll be using it with my various apple mac computers, headphones and hifi at home. i'll report back how i get on...


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 18 Mar 2013 at 4:03pm
More photos . . .








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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Cyreg
Date Posted: 18 Mar 2013 at 7:45pm
Looks very very skilled, congrats

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TecnoDec/RB250/MP110>GramAmp2C/PSU1; Cyrus CD8SE; Cyrus FM7 > Exposure XXXV > Harbeth C7ES-3 '35th Anniversary' cables: DNM V3 Ic's; Expo DMFtwo LScable;    
SoloSRGII/BaPS> HD600


Posted By: Fatmangolf
Date Posted: 18 Mar 2013 at 8:37pm
Very fine work, it looks as good as it sounds.


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Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 19 Mar 2013 at 11:10pm
I have a question.

I constantly read about the ubiquitous principle "burning it in" with solid-state audio equipment that doesn't have any mechanical aspect. What is this specifically? Is it just a device being connected to a power supply to saturate all its electronic components (e.g. capacitors) with charge? Perhaps residual charge increases the sensitivity and responsiveness of an electronic system. I understand that mechanics like springs and speaker diaphragms can improve with use but with electrons etc, it is more difficult to visualise. Graham himself feels that the audio performance of his headphone amplifiers actually improves the longer they are kept in a powered-up state and even mentioned that a warm thermodynamic temperature gave an audible improvement in performance as well. Intriguing concept and I do trust the underlying scientific explanation. I certainly believe in mechanical/electromechanical "burn-in" with headphones as I remember that my previous Audio Technica ATH-M50 (wow, I sure have come a long way since then.....) improved noticeably with initial use.


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 19 Mar 2013 at 11:58pm
I've just found Graham's "Burn-in revisited" section so that will help to make some things clearer.


Posted By: mrarroyo
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2013 at 9:44am
Indeed it will.

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Miguel


Posted By: Humboldt
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2013 at 2:39pm
I thought I should order a bitzie, but I have been waiting for the "early adopters" to be done with their orders. What is the delivery time now?


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2013 at 4:42pm
Originally posted by Humboldt Humboldt wrote:

I thought I should order a bitzie, but I have been waiting for the "early adopters" to be done with their orders. What is the delivery time now?


Well, they even have me building them so I'm hoping we're catching up by now.Wink


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 10:50am
Is the Bitzie to receive any minor amendments or changes in the coming batches or have no problems/issues arisen with them? Smile


Posted By: less
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 11:49am
I think you will find that Graham tests every product exhaustively before release, and every item is individually tested before despatch.

Graham will, after very careful investigation, make improvements to an existing product but this is an evolutionary process and not a case of " we didn't get right first time".

If you are thinking of buying a Bitzie then just go ahead and order one. I am sure you will not be disappointed!

Regards

Les

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I don't do mediocrity!

Les Sutherland


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 12:29pm
I know that the standards of quality control and quality assurance are very high with all of Graham's products. Yes, each product is thoroughly tested before it is dispatched.

I simply mean if Graham has encountered any issues with the Bitzie yet. For example, with the very first Ultra Linear headphone amp he released, I read of a small issue with driving low impedance headphones like some Grados. I mean, there is a chance that he may not have found any issue with the Bitzie until a user has reported back with one.

Definitely will buy a Bitzie; it won't be much longer now. Smile


Posted By: Task1
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 7:31pm
The Bitzie and A Solo Ultra linear arrived a few days and I have been trying them out. First tried the Bitzie on its own, playing ALAC rips from a Macbook through to a HD800 and am glad to report that my eyes- and ears- have been opened! Compared to my previous usb dac the sound is chalk and cheese (albeit the previous dac was less than half the price of the Bitzie). I am not a descriptive person so am unable to tell you whether the soundstage had opened up or it was a tighter more cohesive sound, I just know it blew me away.

Then I connected the Solo UL to the Bitzie and listened again- the improvement was minor, to my ears, although there was plenty more oomph available-  the Bitzie goes loud enough for my listening pleasure. This leads me to my first question- when using the two together at what volume should the Bitzie be set for optimum quality?

In order to 'Run In' the Solo UL I have connected input 2 to the TV and when listening to that with the HD800 am also impressed with the detail on offer.

Many more questions will follow as I am now thinking of the ways that GS products could improve my Vinyl/CD/ DVD/Bluray etc set up in a different room.

All in all I am extremely delighted with my recent purchase and would recommend the Bitzie wholeheartedly.

Sandy


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Does it really matter?


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 8:26pm
Oh wow, a Bitzie, ULDE and a HD800 together! That must be a life changing experience! Big smile The ULDE only improves on the Bitzie output slightly, just as I would have expected. More voltage swing offers more energetic dynamics. I'm curious just how close this setup will bring digital up to analogue performance.


Posted By: Task1
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 11:20pm
Iit certainly has me listening to music in a new- or rediscovered way. I am at this moment listening to vinyl for the first time in a few years (Son of Dracula- it was first to hand) and not using any GS products at all- I found out/ remembered that I had changed the interconnect for my turntable to a common brand for positioning purposes, moved things around and put in the supplied cable and wow! Just wish my records were indestructible and wear free.

Sandy

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Does it really matter?


Posted By: Humboldt
Date Posted: 23 Mar 2013 at 11:50pm
Originally posted by Task1 Task1 wrote:

Just wish my records were indestructible and wear free.

Sandy


If wear is a concern, why just not buy CD:s then?


Posted By: Task1
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 2:50am
Now here's me thinking this was a nice place! Most of my collection is CD's , but, as has been suggested elsewhere on this forum vinyl makes a more engaging listen, especially when it's new!

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Does it really matter?


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 5:55am
Originally posted by Humboldt Humboldt wrote:

Originally posted by Task1 Task1 wrote:

Just wish my records were indestructible and wear free.

Sandy


If wear is a concern, why just not buy CD's then?
This is why I prefer to buy CDs. Smile


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 7:36am
Originally posted by Nuance_Ember Nuance_Ember wrote:

Originally posted by Humboldt Humboldt wrote:

Originally posted by Task1 Task1 wrote:

Just wish my records were indestructible and wear free.

Sandy


If wear is a concern, why just not buy CD's then?
This is why I prefer to buy CDs. Smile

Bloody heretics! WinkWink


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Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: Humboldt
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 9:14am
Originally posted by Task1 Task1 wrote:

Now here's me thinking this was a nice place! Most of my collection is CD's , but, as has been suggested elsewhere on this forum vinyl makes a more engaging listen, especially when it's new!

What is the most engaging or the best sounding format is of course very subjective. However. Yesterday I bought David Bowies new record "The Next Day" as a budle with both The Vinyl and the CD. I am listening to the CD rigth now, and it strucks me how much better the sound is compared to the Vinyl.


Posted By: ICL1P
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 9:17am
Originally posted by Humboldt Humboldt wrote:

Originally posted by Task1 Task1 wrote:

Now here's me thinking this was a nice place! Most of my collection is CD's , but, as has been suggested elsewhere on this forum vinyl makes a more engaging listen, especially when it's new!

What is the most engaging or the best sounding format is of course very subjective. However. Yesterday I bought David Bowies new record "The Next Day" as a budle with both The Vinyl and the CD. I am listening to the CD rigth now, and it strucks me how much better the sound is compared to the Vinyl.
Interesting. The vinyl isn't released here until 1st April apparently. I have bundle on preorder. I'll let you know what I think when I have received it and listened.

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Ifor
=====
Reflex M, CuSat50, Majestic DAC, a Proprius pair.


Posted By: mitch65
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 9:32am
Originally posted by ICL1P ICL1P wrote:

Originally posted by Humboldt Humboldt wrote:

Originally posted by Task1 Task1 wrote:

Now here's me thinking this was a nice place! Most of my collection is CD's , but, as has been suggested elsewhere on this forum vinyl makes a more engaging listen, especially when it's new!

What is the most engaging or the best sounding format is of course very subjective. However. Yesterday I bought David Bowies new record "The Next Day" as a budle with both The Vinyl and the CD. I am listening to the CD rigth now, and it strucks me how much better the sound is compared to the Vinyl.
Interesting. The vinyl isn't released here until 1st April apparently. I have bundle on preorder. I'll let you know what I think when I have received it and listened.

Same here, my wife has ordered it for me for my birthday but I'll have to wait a couple of weeks yetCry


-------------
Greg

Auralic Aries Mini
Naim muso qb
Solo
HIFIMAN HE-400i


Posted By: Humboldt
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 8:14pm
Originally posted by ICL1P ICL1P wrote:

Originally posted by Humboldt Humboldt wrote:

Originally posted by Task1 Task1 wrote:

Now here's me thinking this was a nice place! Most of my collection is CD's , but, as has been suggested elsewhere on this forum vinyl makes a more engaging listen, especially when it's new!

What is the most engaging or the best sounding format is of course very subjective. However. Yesterday I bought David Bowies new record "The Next Day" as a budle with both The Vinyl and the CD. I am listening to the CD rigth now, and it strucks me how much better the sound is compared to the Vinyl.
Interesting. The vinyl isn't released here until 1st April apparently. I have bundle on preorder. I'll let you know what I think when I have received it and listened.

I bought my vinyl in a record shop. At the internet however, the same vinyl can't be bought until April 1. I wonder if this is something the record company do to secure some of the sales for the record stores.


Posted By: Humboldt
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 8:18pm
Originally posted by Humboldt Humboldt wrote:

Originally posted by Task1 Task1 wrote:

Now here's me thinking this was a nice place! Most of my collection is CD's , but, as has been suggested elsewhere on this forum vinyl makes a more engaging listen, especially when it's new!

What is the most engaging or the best sounding format is of course very subjective. However. Yesterday I bought David Bowies new record "The Next Day" as a budle with both The Vinyl and the CD. I am listening to the CD rigth now, and it strucks me how much better the sound is compared to the Vinyl.

To be exact, I am not listening to the CD, but to a FLAC copy of the CD stored on a server. I rip my CD.s these days, and I have switched all the digital music to be played by a computer.


Posted By: Ash
Date Posted: 24 Mar 2013 at 10:52pm
Originally posted by Humboldt Humboldt wrote:

What is the most engaging or the best sounding format is of course very subjective. However. Yesterday I bought David Bowies new record "The Next Day" as a budle with both The Vinyl and the CD. I am listening to the CD rigth now, and it strucks me how much better the sound is compared to the Vinyl.


So in this circumstance, you feel a CD to offer superior performance to a vinyl record. With many other recordings, you will prefer the vinyl to the CD, I'm sure.

This occassional lack of consistency is a reflection that the most important attribute of an audio track is the quality of the mixing and mastering it has for the medium that it is implemented on, not just the type of medium alone. I sometimes wonder whether the reason some audio enthusiasts hate CD is simply because they have never listened to one with exceptional mastering. I think that CD is a very good medium, despite the limitations that it does have.

The thing with vinyl is that it always has the POTENTIAL to surpass CD, because the closest thing possible to natural sound is analogue reproduction. So vinyl is able to be higher fidelity than the CD but it might not be, depending on how well the playback medium is made and how well the work is mastered.


Posted By: Humboldt
Date Posted: 25 Mar 2013 at 11:28am
Originally posted by Nuance_Ember Nuance_Ember wrote:


The thing with vinyl is that it always has the POTENTIAL to surpass CD, because the closest thing possible to natural sound is analogue reproduction. So vinyl is able to be higher fidelity than the CD but it might not be, depending on how well the playback medium is made and how well the work is mastered.

I contend this simply is not true. At least not from a technical point of view. Digital has the potential to capture and reproduce the most correct tone compared to an original. Then, how a person subjectively cognizing music is something else. And jitter in digital is a kind of distortion which maybe could be said to be more troublesome and bad sounding for the human ear than the (much higher level of) distortion in vinyl.

As a matter of fact. Normally - when I compare CD:s with Vinyl - I find I prefer the sound from CD. But I agree, many CD:s are the victims of poor mastering.


Posted By: Graham Slee
Date Posted: 25 Mar 2013 at 12:14pm
There has to be compromises when mastering for vinyl as http://www.recordtech.com/prodsounds.htm - Kevin Gray's article tells us.

Likewise there are compromises with digital whether CD or download.

The devil is in the detail no matter what mankind makes. The big numbers game simply introduces more 'devils' and more sticking plasters/BandAid 'solutions'.

With sufficient skill we can make the best of what we have. That is what real high fidelity is about.

40 years ago it was all about ceramic cartridges and compact cassette. There has been a lot of progress but without much profit for our ears.

That suggests that few are willing to stay the course and make the big changes we should be capable of.

Throw away society . . .


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Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...



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