Gungnir Multibit vs. NAD M51?

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Olor1n, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    I know some pirates have lived with the NAD M51, so I'm curious if the Gungnir Multibit is a worthwhile upgrade.

    I've downscaled from a Ragnarok driving the HD650/HD800 to just a Valhalla 2 and the HD650. Really enjoying this modest rig, particularly with Amperex Bugle Boys rolled in the V2. I suspect the V2 may just be resolving enough to present the difference between the M51 and Gungnir Multibit.

    I am also quite content with the M51. I don't find myself wanting for more in terms of SQ, and I certainly appreciate the features (great preamp, volume control with remote, and hdmi input/pass-through) that are still absent from newer dacs. The accolades thrown towards Schiit's R2R implementations have me itching to hear what the fuss is about though. Can't justify the Yggdrasil for now, and I suspect the Bifrost Multibit would merely be a side-grade, so the Gungnir Multibit looks the logical option.

    Anyone care to wax lyrical on the difference between the M51 and Gungnir Multibit?
     
  2. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    You can give it a go and tell us ;)
    My own exp goes only as far as Yggdrasil, moded Soekris Dam, two of which I compared to BMC Puredac, which again, somewhere was put against M51 as Puredac's rough equal.
    Very vague, I know. Even so I am fairly sure there are differences in sound b/w the two.
    I myself much prefer the good R-2R sound over any S-D I have yet heard.
     
  3. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    I've owned both NAD M51 and Yggdrasil. Haven't heard the Gungnir Multibit but supposedly it's 90% there with Yggdrasil's performance.

    That being said, while the M51 is a very solid performer for its price, it cannot hold a candle to Yggdrasil. Not by a long shot. If Gungnir Multibit is 90% of Yggdrasil, then Gungnir Multibit should be clearly superior to M51. In my country M51 is actually cheaper and could be had for just slightly north of $1K, similar to the price of Gungnir Multibit. That would make Gungnir Multibit a tremendous value.
     
  4. Thomas Crown

    Thomas Crown Rando

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    Hi, I currently own both, and to be sincere I never had the chance to really a/b them and it's not an easy thing to do anyway.
    Sonically I'm tempted to say that the Gungnir Multibit added more separation and details, deeper bass and reduced the trebles harshness, but again take these opinions with a grain of salt, as not the result of a proper comparison. (switching the inputs se/bal in my amp and adjusting the volume, but nothing scientific)
    On the usability/built side, I largely prefer the m51, it offers the hdmi input, the display gives you all the info you need, the volume control is a valuable add on, doesn't have a cheap feeling wobbly button as the Gungnir Multibit (mine was also scratched out of the box). So, I would consider the Gungnir Multibit over the nad only if you don't care about the hdmi/overall design, and you manage to sell properly the nad.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  5. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    In Australia, the Gungnir Multibit is close to $1K more than the M51, so the NAD is the unit that presents tremendous value given its feature-set. I utilise the M51's HDMI in/out, and also its remote, so I'd have to sacrifice these things and cover the extra $1K for that supposed R2R goodness.

    I think most owners would agree that the M51 is quite a smooth dac. The Gungnir Multibit must be silky to make the NAD seem "harsh".

    I kinda understand the "more of everything" description though. Like when I upgraded to the Ragnarok from the original Mjolnir and was suddenly struck with micro-details swimming around and smoothness in the upper registers that did not smother what was being resolved.

    I'd be interested in a level-matched comparison between the M51 and Gungnir Multibit though, if you can manage that.
     
  6. Thomas Crown

    Thomas Crown Rando

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    More than silky I would say natural to my ears. Maybe this may help: if you see this chart http://www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,2500.0.html , I totally agree with the positioning of the 2 dacs, but imho the gap between the 2 on the y axis it's not as wide as the image could suggest.
    About the comparison, I was considering buying a thing like this http://amzn.com/B002MVYLX2 to switch easily between the sources, but not too soon I'm afraid.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  7. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    In an unusual twist, I find myself using a borrowed m51 and thinking of upgrading to Gungnir Multibit. Any more thoughts on this comparison are appreciated.
     
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  8. cooperpwc

    cooperpwc Friend

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    The Gungnir Multibit selector button? Mine does not feel cheap and wobbly. It feels like a... button.
     
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  9. Thomas Crown

    Thomas Crown Rando

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    ok
     
  10. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    In fairness, I have seen several Schiit amps, including Gungnir Multibit, have buttons that did feel cheap and wobbly. This was always because they were user upgraded to uber or MB. It's difficult to get the buttons to work just right after doing a self upgrade especially with Gungnir Multibit.
     
  11. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    Are you using the M51's usb input? If so, do you have a usb defuckifier? The UpTone USB REGEN (amber) works wonders with the M51. So much so that I was able to restrain from pouncing on a used Gungnir priced to sell.
     
  12. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I have a wyrd in the chain.
     
  13. Thomas Crown

    Thomas Crown Rando

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    Mine was a brand new mb, not user upgraded: I really like schiit minimalistic style in their products, they look really cool, but design wise they have some flaws (again, if compared with a product in the same price range as the m51): the case has sharp edges, it gets really warm ( m51 it's barely warm, it's more cabinet friendly ), it doesn't have a universal power supply, lack of stand by button (hey, outside the u.s. electricity is expensive!), no remote, no preamp functions, no hdmi. So, is it the sound quality only, enough to justify the 500 (nzd) price difference between the 2? For what I can ear , no (again no golden ear here, no expert, just average joe opinion).
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  14. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I really like some things about the m51. The display is both beautiful and functional...giving the source type, bit rate locked in and volume level. It like having the information. The ability to use the m51 as a preamp with it's excellent volume control and remote is also compelling.
     
  15. sfoclt

    sfoclt Friend

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    I wish they would incorporate streaming from the M50.
     
  16. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I wish they would add dsd support.
     
  17. Thomas Crown

    Thomas Crown Rando

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    atm I'm connecting an audioengine b1 to the m51/Gungnir Multibit, using its optical output, so I can use my tablet/phone as source with spotify/tidal
     
  18. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    The Gungnir is $1000AUD dearer than the M51 in Australia. I love the M51 volume control and the remote is incredibly convenient as I have powered speakers in the chain. I also use the HDMI pass through to connect my MacBook to my tv. So I'd have to sacrifice these features and pony up the $1000 to hear Schiit's MB goodness.

    Can't justify that at the moment, especially with what I'm now hearing from the REGEN/M51 pairing.

    And whilst I love Schiit gear, I too have received brand new units that were missing buttons, LEDs out of sockets, wrong voltage and other functional and cosmetic oddities. I've owned the original Vali, Bifrost, Lyr, Gungnir, Mjolnir, Ragnarok and now the Valhalla 2. All brand new, except the Ragnarok. The Valhalla 2 I have now is the only Schiit component I've owned without a blemish. The only odd thing about it is that the LED takes an hour to dissipate after turning the amp off.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
    Baten and sphinxvc like this.
  19. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    ^^ I noticed the same about the led on the Val 2...stacked electricity? I've heard your praise of the regen. Does it compete directly against the Wyrd. Seems like it's better from most people making comments. Hmm...
     
  20. Olor1n

    Olor1n Friend

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    Haven't heard the Wyrd, but Marv's description of the REGEN in his comparison is spot on. Probably just a matter of preference as to which defuckifier is "better".
     

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