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True Multibit™ Balanced DAC

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Gungnir brings Schiit’s own True Multibit architecture with medical-grade D/A converters and a unique time- and frequency-domain optimized digital filter to a price point about half that of Yggdrasil—as well as the comfort of completely upgradable, modular design.

Gungnir: Above and Beyond
With Gungnir, 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. VCO-based clock regeneration ensures excellent jitter performance with all sources. The analog section is completed with discrete JFET buffers and summers, the same as Yggdrasil.

USB, Elevated: Unison USB™
Gungnir now includes 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.

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

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 with 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

Wait a whole entire second there, buddy! Are you saying that Gungnir has the same insane digital filter and multibit architecture as the Yggdrasil?

But…but how can you do Gungnir 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 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 filter remains in Gungnir Uber.

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

How does Gungnir 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.

Is Gungnir a true balanced DAC?
Yes. It has true hardware balancing and summed single-ended outputs.

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 and up. 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 years now, and Windows 11 is the current platform.) Yes, it is time to upgrade.
  • Mac OS. From 10.10 on up, Macs are good to go. This now includes Mac OS 11.
  • 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?
Yes, all Gungnirs can be upgraded! See the Upgrades section of the site. You can upgrade an original Gungnir with the Multibit card and Unison USB.

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 ->

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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AudioSolace: Gungnir Multibit
Smit Patel

"Sounds seem to arise from a broad expanse with spatial cues being projected both wide and deep. Imaging is top-notch but the slightly warm tone that this DAC imparts along with its lack of forthright transients places it slightly behind the much more expensive Schiit Yggdrasil and PS Audio Perfectwave II models in overall separation and resolution. This is a real testament to the Gungnir Multibit as it essentially able to compete with heavyweights many times its own price bracket."

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Schiit Audio Gungnir Multibit