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Schiit Gungir Multibit


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First things first

 

I suck at writing reviews. Most are max 2 lines. Anyway here goes nothing.

 

This week on Tuesday the Schiit Gungnir multibit arrived. It was quickly unpacked and put in my system. I changed the output on my Aries LE pressed some buttons until I found the correct input on the DAC and I had sound. Then I walked away. Didn't listen for a few days.

 

So yesterday I did listen to some music, A Natural Disaster, Anathema. As I suspected there wasn't a world of difference between my old Wadia 12 en the Schitt. Yes the Schiit sounds better. But not leagues ahead. The Schiitis a little more dynamic and better bass. The Wadia has a more of crystal clear sound.

 

I'm not sure which is more natural. The Schiit has a lower output voltage, which is a good thing. Overall the Schiit is more to my liking compared to the Wadia. Less listening fatigue. Next week I'll compare the Schitt to a Metrum DAC. But I think the will not be a huge difference.

 

To my ears there is a lot less difference between DAC as between any analogue source or amps. I've heard a Meitner or EMM labs CD transport vs a dCS Vivaldi full stack. With eyes closed it was hard if not impossible to tell the difference. I like the Meitner a little better if I remember correctly.

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Thank you for the review. I have been considering the Gumby for a while to replace my Luxman. The Luxman is getting a little long in the tooth so I wanted to upgrade to something with more inputs and support for high res. I look forward to your additional feedback.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Thanks for posting @mordante. Honestly, I appreciate user reviews perhaps even more than the professional ones. Real world experience counts a great deal and I hope you share more as time goes by. Initial impressions are great but time, in my experience, is telling. I love my BiMBy BTW and often wonder if I should spring for the GuMBy (or Yggy for that matter). Enjoy. Peace.

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Which Metrum, mordante? Inquiring Metrum users want to know...

 

The Musette.

 

In the Netherlands the Musette and the MbG are the same price, 1250euro. I might throw a Moon 280DSD in the mix as well. Also tried to get a 2Qute but alas so far I have not succeed. The 2Qute is 1350 I think.

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Oh, excellent I was interested in what all of those sounded like against each other. Thanks!

 

The Musette needs a lot of burn-in, btw. I've had it since the end of March and it's been sounding pretty consistent since about July, which I'd say was about 200 hours. It flopped around quite a bit before that.

Mac Mini (+Tidal +Roon) -> WiFi -> Lyngdorf TDAI1120 ->JM Reynaud Lucia (Tellurium Q Black v2)

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K's Choice! Nice selection. I really love Sarah Bettens voice

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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Just spoke with the owner of the shop. He will add a Moon 380D into the mix. It's the non-DSD version thus he can sell it for discount. I have heard the 280D. Was not overly impressed by it. Not 100% sure but so far I've never heard a DAC using a sabre chip which I liked.

 

My guess I'm not 100% honest about it since for some reason I have decided that sabre DACs are bad. Without have heard many of them. But the two or three I have heard were a bit overly bright or harsh sounding.

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I just spend the afternoon comparing 3 DACs at A10 Audio Amsterdam. But first let me list the equipment used.

 

Speakers Raidho D-2.1

Integrated amplifier Aavik U300

Streamer Aurender X100

Cables Ansuz

DAC1 Schiit Gungnit Mulibit

DAC2 Metrum Musette

DAC3 Moon 380D (the older non-DSD model)

 

Music

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

My Dying Bride

Kari Rueslåtten

 

First up was DAC1, listened to it for a couple of songs. Really good dynamics, lots of bass, not the most detailed even a bit veiled but very lively. So then cam DAC2. DAC2 sounded far more natural, if you mostly listen to smooth jazz (Barber, Krall ect) I can really understand why you would love DAC2. But I more of a rock alternative person. DAC2 is not expressive enough for me. Lacking in dynamics.

 

DAC1 and DAC2 have the same retail price

 

Next up was DAC3. This one was clearly better then both DAC1 and DAC2. It had the slam and expression of DAC1 but more open sound more revealing without sounding clinical. Because this is the older model I can get it at a good discount. However it still is far more expensive between 1/3 and 1/2 more. Not sure if I'm willing to go that far.

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Thanks for that. I think you have hit on the one quality of the Musette that sometimes gives me pause. I've been thinking about going up the chain, but then I've also been thinking about an Yggy. Tough choice. Haven't been a big fan of Simaudio in the past, but then I've never heard this well-reviewed piece, so what do I know? Sigh.

Mac Mini (+Tidal +Roon) -> WiFi -> Lyngdorf TDAI1120 ->JM Reynaud Lucia (Tellurium Q Black v2)

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I just spend the afternoon comparing 3 DACs at A10 Audio Amsterdam. But first let me list the equipment used.

 

Speakers Raidho D-2.1

Integrated amplifier Aavik U300

Streamer Aurender X100

Cables Ansuz

DAC1 Schiit Gungnit Mulibit

DAC2 Metrum Musette

DAC3 Moon 380D (the older non-DSD model)

 

Music

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

My Dying Bride

Kari Rueslåtten

 

First up was DAC1, listened to it for a couple of songs. Really good dynamics, lots of bass, not the most detailed even a bit veiled but very lively. So then cam DAC2. DAC2 sounded far more natural, if you mostly listen to smooth jazz (Barber, Krall ect) I can really understand why you would love DAC2. But I more of a rock alternative person. DAC2 is not expressive enough for me. Lacking in dynamics.

 

DAC1 and DAC2 have the same retail price

 

Next up was DAC3. This one was clearly better then both DAC1 and DAC2. It had the slam and expression of DAC1 but more open sound more revealing without sounding clinical. Because this is the older model I can get it at a good discount. However it still is far more expensive between 1/3 and 1/2 more. Not sure if I'm willing to go that far.

 

The Schiit DACs need substantial break-in time and also need to be on for at least 24 if not 48 hrs straight to sound their best. I am guessing that was your Schiit that you brought to the dealer, so it probably needed additional break-in time besides the "on" time. Were the other 2 DACs brand new and cold started as well? If not, you didn't have anywhere near a good A_B test.

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The Schiit DACs need substantial break-in time and also need to be on for at least 24 if not 48 hrs straight to sound their best. I am guessing that was your Schiit that you brought to the dealer, so it probably needed additional break-in time besides the "on" time. Were the other 2 DACs brand new and cold started as well? If not, you didn't have anywhere near a good A_B test.

 

All DACS were broken in. Maybe the sound will change a little more when it's been left on for 24h or more. But I doubt it will significantly change the sound signature. While the A_B test might not have been optimal I do think it has given me enough info on the type of sound I can expect from each DAC.

 

The build in DAC of the Aavik U300 bested them all.

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The build in DAC of the Aavik U300 bested them all.

 

i was wondering why you hadn't included that in your comparison. how would you characterize the sound?

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
headphone rig:  chord qutest > bryston bha-1 > audeze lcd-3
main rig:  chord dave > parasound jc5 > kef reference 1
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i was wondering why you hadn't included that in your comparison. how would you characterize the sound?

 

We only listened to the Aavik DAC for two songs for two reasons. First the Aavik is way out of my budget, it costs 25k euro aprox so not really a fair comparison and two comparing three DACs is enough. Each time you have to rewire everything and the audio memory only lasts so long.

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... The build in DAC of the Aavik U300 bested them all.

The USB input of the build in DAC of the Aavik has galvanic isolation to prevent electrical noise from the USB source from entering the DAC circuitry. If you didn't use e.g. an Intona USB isolator as galvanic isolation for the Shiit and Metrum DACs in your comparison, then USB noise and/or ground issues may have degraded sound quality relative to the Aavik DAC..
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...If you didn't use e.g. an Intona USB isolator as galvanic isolation...

 

This is where a Teradak U9 linear power supply with USB isolated power input is an essential part of every audiophile's tool box for ~$65 delivered to USA.

RIG:  MB Pro - Benchmark DAC3 L - LA4  AHB2 | Paradigm Sig S6 Cables:  Van Damme, Canare 4S11, Lifatec optical, Wireworld and IsoTek power

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The USB input of the build in DAC of the Aavik has galvanic isolation to prevent electrical noise from the USB source from entering the DAC circuitry. If you didn't use e.g. an Intona USB isolator as galvanic isolation for the Shiit and Metrum DACs in your comparison, then USB noise and/or ground issues may have degraded sound quality relative to the Aavik DAC..

 

No galvanic isolator was used, I not own a Intona. I'm considering buying one in the future to replace my Schiit Wyrd. As I understood the Wyrd does nothing for galvanic isolation. It does provide a clean 5v which the Intona doesn't do as far as I understand.

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No galvanic isolator was used, I not own a Intona. I'm considering buying one in the future to replace my Schiit Wyrd. As I understood the Wyrd does nothing for galvanic isolation. It does provide a clean 5v which the Intona doesn't do as far as I understand.

Well, actually Intona states that their high speed USB isolator provides clean 5V USB power (300mA). I don't know exactly how this is accomplished without an external PS, but the Intona improved detail and dynamics of USB audio in my system with different USB DACs without galvanic isolation. I didn't try a DAC that has galvanic isolation. Btw, you can use the Intona in series with the Wyrd. I use it in series with Uptone Audio's Regen which is functionally similar to the Shiit Wyrd.

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For now I'll stick with only the Wyrd. Maybe in the future I'll try the Intona as well. But for now I will first safe some money and buy some proper USB cables. Most likely Ansuz X level. I really like Ansuz cables but most are just way to expensive for me. But the X level is more or less affordable.

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USB is the worst input on Gungnir. Even Wyrd should give some support to the subpar Cmedia USB interface on the Gungnir. The Intona galvanic isolation could make a greater difference than a premium USB cable.

 

So which input would you say is the best on the GM? I have been thinking about the Audiobyte Hydra Z and powering it with the Wyrd. But that Hydra Z is not cheap. The Puc2 only has AES output. So what other options are there?

 

From what I understood is that the spdif output of the Aries LE is not that good.

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BNC or Coax SPDIF is the best. Use Schiit CMedia USB only with a regen-type device.

 

At $825, Hydra paired with Gungnir will make the total cost at around $2100, which is nearly at the Yggy's price. Tough value proposition, given that Yggy gives you 21 bits of true resolution, over Gungnir's 19 bits.

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BNC or Coax SPDIF is the best. Use Schiit CMedia USB only with a regen-type device.

 

At $825, Hydra paired with Gungnir will make the total cost at around $2100, which is nearly at the Yggy's price. Tough value proposition, given that Yggy gives you 21 bits of true resolution, over Gungnir's 19 bits.

 

I just bought the Gungnir, it costed me 1250euro. The Yggy costs about 2600euro. The Hydra is 725euro.

 

100% of my digital music is 16/44.1 ripped CDs. The source is a Synology DS214 NAS and a Auralic Aries LE streamer. Right now I use the Wyrd between the streamer and DAC. I sometimes see if there is a 2nd hand Hydra Z. But so far I haven't found any.

 

It seems the Bel Canto uLink is out of production it seems and not sure about the quality of the W4sound convertor.

 

For now I think I'll just listen to some music and keep my eyes open for a nice deal. Not in a hurry. I tend to keep my gear for years. I used my Wadia 12 DAC for over 10 years. Most of my gear I keep for that long.

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mordante, may you have many years of enjoyment from your new purchase.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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