Gungnir

Multibit or Delta-Sigma Balanced DAC

Model
Finish
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$849

Description

Specs

FAQ

Reviews

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STATUS:

Backordered . Orders placed now are expected to ship the week of the August 29th.

Multibit or delta-sigma? Yes. With Gungnir, you have the flexibility to choose between affordable delta-sigma performance, or Schiit’s own proprietary multibit architecture with closed-form digital filter. Both versions offer excellent performance for a moderate price—as well as the comfort of completely upgradable, modular design.

Gungnir: Formidable Performance
Choose Gungnir, and you get a truly hardware-balanced DAC with two AKM AK4399 32-bit D/A converters, followed by a fully discrete, JFET-input stage for current gain and filtering. The result is exceptional performance for the price—frequently lauded by the press as the best in its price class.

Gungnir Multibit: Above and Beyond
Choose Gungnir Multibit, and you get the same proprietary closed-form DSP-based digital filter as Yggdrasil, coupled to four precision Analog Devices AD5781BRUZ digital to analog converters for true hardware balancing and 19 effective bits of resolution. The analog section is completed with discrete JFET buffers and summers, the same as Yggdrasil.

Adapticlock™: Unique Clock Analysis and Regeneration
Both versions of Gungnir include our proprietary Adapticlock system, which provides for both exceptional jitter performance and rock-solid, glitch-free connectivity. Adapticlock analyzes the incoming signal quality and automatically routes it to the best clock regeneration system—either VCXO or VCO-based. And, it does all of this without altering the bit depth or sample rate of your original music.

Gen 5 USB: USB, Solved
Forget decrapifiers, regenerators, isolators, and all the USB dongles and boxes you’ve been told you need for USB sound. Our all-new Gen 5 USB input doesn’t require any of that stuff. It’s this simple: Gen 5 is USB, solved. Now standard on all our upgradable DACs, Gen 5 USB features full galvanic isolation via transformers, self-power for low noise and latching, and high-quality local clocking for both 44.1 and 48k multiples.

5-Year Warranty
Gungnir is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for five years. That’s 5 years. Yes. FIVE. Which is up to 5X that of our competition, if you weren’t so hot at math. Note the marketing weasel-wording “up to.”

15-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
Try Gungnir in your own house for 15 days. If you don’t like it, simply send it back for a refund, minus a 5% transaction fee. Try spending 15 days in an audio store. They’ll kick you out. Unless you buy them donuts. Maybe.

On B Stock
When we have products with minor cosmetic flaws, we will sell them here as "B-Stock". If you choose the B-Stock option to save some money, please note that it is not eligible for the 15-day return. However, the full warranty applies.

Gungnir

D/A Conversion IC: AKM AK4399 x 2 (4 total channels, hardware balanced configuration)
Analog Stages: All fully discrete, JFET-input topology, DC coupled, summed for single-ended output

Frequency Response, Analog Stage: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.1dB, 1Hz-100KHz, -1dB
Maximum Output: 4.0V RMS (balanced), 2.0V RMS (single-ended)

THD: Less than 0.002%, 20Hz-20KHz, at full output
IMD: <0.002%, CCIR
SNR: > 112dB, referenced to 2V RMS

Gungnir Multibit

D/A Conversion IC: Analog Devices AD5781BRUZ x 4 (2 per channel, hardware balanced configuration)
Digital Filter: proprietary Schiit bitperfect closed-form digital filter implemented on Analog Devices SHARC DSP processor
Analog Stages: Fully discrete JFET buffers for balanced output and discrete JFET summing stages for single-ended output, direct coupled throughout

Frequency Response, Analog Stage: 20Hz-20Khz, +/-0.1dB, 1Hz-200KHz, -1dB
Maximum Output: 4.0V RMS (balanced), 2.0V RMS (single-ended)

THD: Less than 0.005%, 20Hz-20KHz, at full output
IMD: <0.004%, CCIR
SNR: > 115dB, referenced to 2V RMS

All Gungnirs

Inputs: Coaxial RCA SPDIF, BNC SPDIF, Optical SPDIF, USB
Input Capability: up to 24/192 for all inputs
Input Receiver, SPDIF: AKM 4113
Input Receiver, USB: C-Media CM6631A

Output: One pair XLR balanced and two pairs RCA single-ended
Output Impedance: 75 ohms

Clock Management: Bitperfect clock management at all native sample rates via Adapticlock analysis and VCXO/VCO regeneration, plus asynchronous USB Gen 2 module

Power supply: two transformers (one for digital supplies, one for analog supplies) with 8 stages of regulation, including separate local supplies for critical digital and analog sections.

Upgradability: Separate, modular USB Input Card and DAC/Analog Cards are snap-in replaceable.

Power Consumption: 20W

Size: 16 x 8.75” x 2.25”

Weight: 11 lbs

Wait a whole entire second there, buddy! Are you saying that this has the same insane digital filter and multibit architecture as the Yggdrasil?
In the case of Gungnir Multibit, yes.

But…but how can you do Gungnir Multibit at half the price of Yggdrasil?
It actually only costs $1.83 to make an Yggdrasil and $1.24 to make a Gungnir Multibit, so we’re laughing all the way to the bank!

You gotta be kidding!
Of course we are. You didn’t think we could be serious for long, did you?

So what’s the real answer? How is Gungnir Multibit half the price of Yggdrasil?
Easy. It’s a simpler DAC. The power supply has no choke-input, shunt-regulated stage like in Yggdrasil, the chassis and construction more streamlined, we’re using more surface-mount parts in the analog section, and (most importantly), we’re using 18-bit AD5781BRUZ D/A converters, rather than the mind-blowingly expensive AD5791s we use in Yggdrasil. However, the completely insane, closed-form, DSP-based, 18,000-tap filter remains in Gungnir Uber.

How does Gungnir Multibit sound compared to Yggdrasil?
You tell us. We think it sounds very, very fine. But we aren’t you.

How does Gungnir Multibit sound compared to (insert DAC name here)?
Come on, guys, you know we don’t speculate on comparisons to other gear. Have a listen and buy what you like.

Well, then, how does Gungnir sound compared to Gungnir Multibit?
Okay. We see where this is going. Let’s end it here. Both Gungnir and Gungnir Multibit offer formidable performance for the price. Gungnir has been lauded by the press and industry pundits as one of the finest-sounding DACs at its price, and is frequently compared to products that cost much more than it does. Gungnir Multibit brings class-leading Yggdrasil multibit performance to a more affordable price point.

Are both Gungnir Multibit and Gungnir true balanced DACs?
Yes. Both have true hardware balancing and summed single-ended outputs. They also have our exclusive Adapticlock™ clock regeneration system.

Ah schiit, more marketing buzzwords. What’s Adapticlock?
Nontechnically, it’s a way to decrapify the inputs, no matter how craptastic they are. If they are not very crappy, they get maximum decrapification, but even if they’re crappy, they get some decrapification.

Now you’re screwing with me!
Just a little. Technically, Adapticlock is the industry’s most advanced jitter-reducing reclocking system. It automatically switches between VCXO and VCO reclocking, depending on the quality of your source. High-quality sources run on the VCXOs, for best jitter performance. Lower-quality sources that deviate from the range of the VCXOs are routed automatically to the VCOs, and an LED on the front panel comes on. We call this the “buy better gear” light.

What are some typical high-quality and low-quality sources?
High-quality: good CD transports, good DVD/Blu-Ray players, good music servers, most computers. Low-quality: Airport Expresses, satellite receivers, old CD/DVD players.

So what platforms does your USB input support?
Actually, the question should be “What platforms support your USB input?” since our USB input is 100% UAC2 compliant (that is, USB Audio Class 2, the accepted standard for USB audio transmission.) So, here you go:

  • Windows 7, 8, and 10. Windows 10 is highly recommended. It is usually plug and play with our DACs. Sometimes you have to install drivers, which are available at schiit.com/drivers. Windows XP, Vista, and Windows Server editions are all untested and are not recommended.
  • Mac OSX. From 10.7 on up, Macs have been plug and play with our DACs. Sometimes you’ll run into power management problems that will require you to turn off App Nap.
  • iOS. From iOS7 on up, iOS devices have been able to interface with our DACs using a USB Camera Connection Kit, Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, or Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter. You may have to use a hub to avoid a “Draws too much power” error.
  • Android. Most Android devices that shipped with Android M or above will interface with our DACs using a USB OTG cable. Some may require separate player software, like USB Audio Player Pro. 
  • Linux. Most Linux distros that support UAC2 natively will be plug and play with our DACs. Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for Linux.

Hey, I have a Gungnir already! Can it be upgraded to Gungnir Multibit?
Yes, it can! See the Upgrades section of the site.

And both Gungnir Multibit and Gungnir are still upgradable?
Yep! They’re completely modular. Both the DAC/Analog modules and the USB input module are swappable, when we announce meaningful upgrades.

I heard that this multibit stuff is a bunch of hoo-ha designed to separate me from my money.
Cool. Then get Gungnir and save $400. Or keep using the delta-sigma DAC in your phone and save tons more!

Your Final System
Kevin O'Brien

“We’re not really sure how to put this any more clearly than saying the Schiit Gungnir is the new King of Affordable DACs! There’s nothing that can give you all the features and sound quality of the Gungnir for the price.”

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Changstar DAC Comparison
Various
"Very nice. It obvious Schiit put in a lot of effort to get the tonal balance right on this DAC. Vocals are particularly pleasant. Kate Bush's voice on Peter Gabriel's Don't Give Up gives me goose bumps."
 
"The least digital sounding. The mid and high treble rendering is slightly sweet."

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Audio Review (AudioReview.ca)
David Mitchell

 "This is my favourite thus far, and less for the price of admission of the likes of Bryston BDA-1 and NAD M51. Like half....

The Gungnir I would describe as "natural", "smooth", "organic" and "warm". And musical, of course. The main input used was optical, but I did try the USB as well, and it was actually hard to tell the difference. To me that indicates a very well implemented USB architecture. 

You seriously can't go wrong with this DAC. It sounds better than DACs costing 2 to 2.5 times as much."

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The Ear: Gungnir Multibit and Mjolnir 2
Richard Barclay

"Gungnir Multibit’s sonic signature is intriguingly different to any other DAC I have listened to, and it was initially quite a challenge to hear recordings, with which I thought I had intimate familiarity, presented in this way. Music emanates from a distant, inky black expanse, ebbs and flows with natural fluidity, and possesses an incredible smoothness and depth that is reminiscent of a high-end analogue system."

"Listening to Gungnir Multibit it is like being alone in the auditorium; there is nothing to distract your attention from the musical mastery unfolding before you, and you can sit a few rows back, relax and fully appreciate the intended scale, dimensionality and dynamism whilst still being completely immersed in the experience."

"While the single-ended circuits are excellent, trading up to balanced elevates the performance to exceptional - and I dare say peerless - in this price range."

 
"Together, the two units complement each other exceptionally well and offer a seductively revealing, immersive and textured listening experience in which music is allowed to breathe freely. Their combined price-to-performance ratio verges on the ridiculous."

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The Audiophile Man
Paul Rigby

"The Schiit is expansive, providing a rich and easy going aspect to the music. The sonics sound expensive, put it that way. In fact, as I proceeded to vary the musical genres, the Gungnir responded with a, ‘Hey, no problem!’. That is, any music you throw at it seems well within this DAC's capabilities. As such this is a DAC that you quickly learnt to trust. Percussion is weighty, hefty and massive in size. You really get your money’s worth with big bass drums while bass guitar drives the song along with gusto."

 
"A highly accomplished DAC from Schiit that not only provides a host of connectivity options but gives you a lush, balanced and well-developed sonic presentation. The Gungnir manages to combine control with freedom to prevent any issues with smearing while still allowing dynamics to flow and the inherent musicality of a song to remain intact. Bass is powerful, heavy and meaty yet upper mids are delicate, fine and delicate while treble has that important fragility about it. That it does this at such a reasonable price is quite remarkable."

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DAR-KO Award for Gungnir Multibit
John Darko

"...the multibit Gungnir could be Schiit’s sharpest value proposition to date. In the context of its sub-US$2K positioning, this DAC’s sound quality is like nothing else I’ve heard to date."

"The Gungnir’s talents with spaciousness echo a visit to a Planetarium. With imaging thrown wide and deep and with (seemingly) endless detail, music is drawn as a fresh new universe, ready for the listener to explore. The Schiit decoder is one of those products that’ll have you rediscovering your digital audio library anew for months, years even."

"I’d double DAR-KO award this piece of Schiit if I could – it’s that good."

 

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