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Gungnir

True Multibit™ or Delta-Sigma Balanced DAC

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$899

In stock, ships 1-3 days

Description

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FAQ

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True Multibit or delta-sigma? Yes. With Gungnir, you have the flexibility to choose between affordable delta-sigma performance, or Schiit’s own True Multibit architecture with medical-grade D/A converters and a unique time- and frequency-domain optimized 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 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.

USB, Elevated: Unison USB™
Gungnir now includes our all-new Unison USB, our own USB input based on a general-purpose PIC32 microprocessor, using precision local clocks and complete electromagnetic and electrostatic isolation. No more off-the-shelf USB for us—this unique, UAC2-compliant input provides the highest performance and lowest power draw of any USB input we’ve offered to date. 

Designed and Built in California
By “designed and built in California" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Gungnir—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or done in NorCal. Our transformers are also made in California. You get the picture. 

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.

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: Schiit Unison USB™, based on Microchip PIC32 microprocessor

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

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

APx555 Report for Gungnir Multibit
APx555 Report for Gungnir Delta-Sigma

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.

Let’s move on. What’s Unison USB?
Unison USB is our own proprietary USB input, not based on C-Media or XMOS or any other off-the-shelf USB receiver out there. Instead, we spent a couple of person-years developing our own code for a standard Microchip PIC32 microprocessor, which allowed us to create a higher-performing USB input than anything else on the market.

But, USB inputs, like, kinda suck.
Not Unison USB. Even Mike Moffat, the famous “friends don’t let friends use USB” guy, prefers Unison to SPDIF.

So why is Unison USB so special?
Unison USB is special because it was developed for a single purpose: to provide the highest performance input for PCM digital, period. It doesn’t have ten thousand un-used functions, nor is it trying to optimize for five different unicorn formats that will probably be gone tomorrow. It also uses very high-quality local clocks and offers complete electrostatic and electromagnetic isolation from the source. It also provides lower power draw and complete UAC2 compatibility. 

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

  • Linux. As in, most popular streamers, from the Sonore MicroRendu to the Salk Streamer. Note “most.” Also most Linux distros that support UAC2 natively will be plug and play. Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for Linux.
  • Windows 10. Yes, Windows 10 only. We don’t provide UAC2 drivers for earlier versions of Windows, sorry. Yes, it is time to step into the present (not the future, Windows 10 has been out for a couple of years now.) Yes, it is time to upgrade. Yes, it’s worth it. Windows 10 is actually a very nice platform.
  • Mac OSX. From 10.10 on up, Macs are good to go. Sometimes you’ll run into power management problems that will require you to turn off App Nap. Got an older version of MacOS? See the comments on Windows above. Time to upgrade. The software is free.
  • iOS. From iOS7 on up, iOS devices work with USB Camera Connection Kit, Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, a Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter, or directly with the new USB-C models. 
  • Android. Most Android devices that shipped with Android M or above will work using a USB OTG cable. Some may require separate player software, like USB Audio Player Pro. 

Hey, I have a Gungnir already! Can it be upgraded to Gungnir Multibit?
Yes, it can! See the Upgrades section of the site. You can also upgrade to Unison USB if you'd like.

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!

DAR-KO Award for Gungnir Multibit
John Darko, darko.audio

"...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."

 

Read Full Review ->

Schiit Gungnir DAC
Kevin O'Brien, Your Final System

“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.”

Read Full Review ->

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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Schiit Gungnir Multibit
Larry Cox, Positive Feedback

"I only had this DAC for a short time, with unrelated stressors affecting my experience, but I liked it very much. It is not a characterless DAC, but its character makes a genre's "imprint" clearer rather than showing off the sound of the Gungnir MB. ("Gumby"). I read that Schiit's Jason Stoddard prefers the Gumby to Schiit's twice the cost Yggdrasil. Reading that before hearing the Gumby (I've not heard the Yggdrasil) I thought the comment disingenuous. In my system, with the Pass noted above, the sound was rich, detailed and propulsive, but not propulsive in an unrelenting way. Older Naim products can sound unrelenting in the wrong system, for example. That's not what I mean here. I did not feel deprived of detail with the Gumby and it was certainly a good and perhaps exciting match with my ATC speakers. The Gumby and Prism Callia were meatier and tonally richer (saturated) than my LampizatOr Euforia and so a better match for my system. I really liked the sound and thought it no less than competitive with the other DACs, despite a lower price. Perhaps it performed better than the other DACs I mention here."

Review Coming

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Seltzertronics