Schiit Gungnir Multibit impressions

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Bill-P, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Mike_WI

    Mike_WI Acquaintance

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    You are in the Gungnir thread...

    ...but based on your description of "...Exasound virtually unlistenable..." with some content and at least the potential that the Gungnir would improve over time, I'd go with the Gungnir.
     
  2. Josh358

    Josh358 Almost "Made"

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    Thanks, I'm leaning that way. About to do some more comparisons to make sure, since they both have their virtues.

    Not really sure what to do about the threads. Originally, I was going to do a comparison of the e38 Mk II and the e18 Mk II, which of course doesn't belong here, but then I decided to add the Gungnir Multibit to the mix so ended up posting some initial impressions of that here, and mentioned the Exasound by way of comparing it to the Gungnir Multibit and to explain why I can't wait a week to do the comparison.
     
  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Umm, the way you’re describing this doesn’t even seem like a hard decision. Gungnir Multibit all the way man. Just give it the time it needs to settle in and then evaluate it at it’s full potential. The Exasound isn’t it - Sabre glare is not something you grow to appreciate, and once you’ve heard a DAC without it, you won’t want to go back.
     
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  4. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    @Josh358 seems like you don't like the Exasound. Return it then figure out if you like the Gungnir Multibit.

    What you are describing sounds like me and the HD800. Wow this thing has some real technicalities. Just an impressive piece of gear. I hate listening to it but man is it great.
     
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  5. joeexp

    joeexp Don't ship this man FD-X1 ever

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    It boils down to what kind of person you are:
    a) Barolo; Full-bodied with a velvety persistence, smoothes out with age.
    or:
    b) White Wine Spritzer; Sharp and refreshing but ultimately heart-burn inducing.

    That simple.
     
  6. Josh358

    Josh358 Almost "Made"

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    LOL, love the way you put it. I've been living with it for several years now and yeah, no matter what I did to try to tame it I couldn't. I think the truth is the first time I listened to the Gungnir Multibit, the decision was made, but I wanted to make sure and also I wanted to do a real evaluation of the e38 Mk II to post here, since it's new. Whereas my observations of the Gungnir Multibit are basically the same as everyone else's in the thread.

    The next question, then, is whether I should go for the Gungnir Multibit or another ladder DAC. There are definitely things that the e38 does better, e.g., it's more transparent. In fact, I'd describe it as a great DAC, it just has that glare that I can't abide. So I may have to rely on the advice of the guys here, since I can't do the comparisons I'd love to. From what I've read and to some extent heard (not in my own system), the Yggdrasil A2 is a step up from the Gungnir A2, so I'd be inclined to return the Gungnir Multibit and then get the Yggdrasil when my bank account is replenished. But there's also the Holo Spring and so forth to consider.
     
  7. Josh358

    Josh358 Almost "Made"

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    LOL also a good way to put it. There's gear where you say "Wow, that's transparent" or what have you, and gear you love to listen to. The Gungnir seems to be in the latter category. I listen to something like the old Von Karajan Beethoven cycle, and it sounds like it did on LP. The Sabre DAC's don't.
     
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  8. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better gear impressions than you

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    I have many of the Beethoven/Karajan CDs. Gungnir Multibit excels in all genres but is hard to beat for (well mastered) classical. With that genre you want as much room acoustics and stage dimensionality as possible and the Schiit Multibit dacs are all about that. Like there is oxygen in the recording space. I've had some spine tingling classical listening sessions bordering on religious experience with the Gungnir Multibit/T3/HD800 combination.
     
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  9. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    7-10 days?! I call BS on that. 7- 10 days is just you being In the right mood (e.g tipsy enough) to enjoy the sound.
    There is absolutely no reason why a multibit DAC should take that long to settle.
     
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  10. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better gear impressions than you

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    It certainly doesn't take that long for people to enjoy the sound. But it does not stop changing until that time period is over (and it arguably makes very subtle improvements after that). This is pretty well documented by many individuals.
     
  11. crenca

    crenca Facebook Friend

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    My experience is exactly zero with Exasound (outside of indecipherable show conditions), and my experience with ESS chips/sound is limited to low cost (<$500) DAP's. That said, I don't find the Gungnir MB anything but detailed and transparent. Is the treble so hot on the Exasound that there is a significant tonal based detailed/transparency difference?? I guess I wondering if there is a language misunderstanding here on my part.
     
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  12. joeexp

    joeexp Don't ship this man FD-X1 ever

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    7-10 days is about right; "You're obviously not a golfer" ...
     
  13. Josh358

    Josh358 Almost "Made"

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    I think it's both -- genuine detail and overhyped highs, perhaps the intentionally underdamped impulse response of the ESS chips. Position of the instruments, "plankton." Things like the sound of a finger rubbing against a string. All of that comes through beautifully.

    I don't want to give the impression that the e38 isn't a good DAC. It's stellar in almost every respect -- clean, detailed, solid images. I think that people who listen on speakers with less resolving tweeters will probably love it. Or people who listen to mostly rock. But with large-scale classical on ribbon tweeters, the HF glare and artifacts are just too much. Switching to the Gungnir is like putting a burned finger in cold water.

    Not that the Gungnir Multibit didn't have good detail, mine is very clean compared to the lower end DACs I tried (the best being the analog output from my Lynx E22), and it's gotten progressively cleaner over the last four days. But I don't think the Gungnir Multibit is the most resolving DAC. I haven't compared it directly with Yggdrasil, but those who have say that Yggdrasil is more detailed without losing warmth or liquidity.
     
  14. Josh358

    Josh358 Almost "Made"

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    Yes! I was listening to high res classical on Qobuz last night through the Gungnir Multibit (figured this would be a good time to sign up for the trial) and it was nothing less than magical. Exactly what I've been after with these multibit delta-sigma chips over the last few years and could never achieve. Whereas the e38 is great on rock. The Gungnir Multibit also beat the e38 on jazz -- the presentation was just more organic and "real," as in closing your eyes and feeling like you're in the room.

    Now, the question is whether I should return the Gungnir Multibit and go for the Yggdrasil -- I have the impression that Yggdrasil A2 is everything Gungnir Multibit A2 is and more? Since I can't compare them directly, I'm going to have to rely on the advice of others, or else keep the Gungnir Multibit and take a loss and sell it used.
     
  15. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better gear impressions than you

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    I have only heard Yggdrasil A1. Some people stick with the Gungnir Multibit since it is not far off in SQ, just tonally a bit different. There are comparison reviews in this very thread if I'm not mistaken.
     
  16. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    this upcoming weekend @Elnrik and are myself are swapping DACs (Yggdrasil A2 for Gungnir A2) for a multi-week trade.
    with similar amps (DSHA-3F) and ZMF headphones (Auteurs, Eikon, etc) a decent baseline has been drawn and we'll report back.
     
  17. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Yggdrasil A2 is definitely more resolving than Gungnir Multibit A2 if the rest of your system can show it. It has much more plankton and details, a larger more 3D soundstage, a blacker background and better dynamics overall. Technicality wise, it betters Gungnir Multibit.

    Tonally however there are differences some will prefer and others won’t. Yggdrasil is brighter up top - more lit up and extended in the treble. It’s also leaner through the mids and upper bass with less density and body through the mids. Yggdrasil does have deeper bass however and more bottom end slam and just stronger dynamics overall. It’s also a bit wetter sounding than Gungnir Multibit A2 which I found a be a bit dry. Yggdrasil can be a bit harder on those not-so-good recordings because of the higher resolution and brighter signature, where Gungnir Multibit is a bit fuller sounding and more forgiving and easier to listen to. Both are slightly warm sounding, but I found Yggdrasil a bit less so (although others have said the opposite, I use USB exclusively and I when I’ve tried the SPDIF input, I do find it to be a touch warmer).

    So depending what you match it up with, Yggdrasil may or may not be a good fit tonally - if your speakers are leaner and thinner through the mids, or edging on being too bright, Yggdrasil may not be a good match. But if your sound is fairly well balanced or you’ve heard brighter DACs than Gungnir Multibit and were ok with them, you’re probably ok. Yggdrasil A2 highs, although extended and a bit tipped, are not etched however (at least not once it’s properly warmed up) - it’s extended and smooth and very articulate, but also very revealing (just not in a brutal or glaring way).

    Yggdrasil’s 3D soundstage and imaging however is just stunning.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  18. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    I suspect @rlow is correct in most everything above, so we'll cancel the DAC swap and @Elnrik can instead pretend he hears a difference and call it good. ;)
    JK
     
  19. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    There's no perience like experience. Is that a saying? I'll pretend it is.
     
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  20. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    ^ Definitely - you can’t read shit and know what it sounds like. Or at least, you can’t know for sure whether YOU will like it. As detailed or “accurate” as some of our comparisons are, nothing can come close to telling you how much you’ll enjoy it or not.*

    Also, there is some variation of impressions of Yggdrasil’s tonal balance, which don’t necessarily line up with mine. Same with Gungnir Multibit actually. Will definitely be interested to hear yours.

    *again, other than Sabre - that shit’s just nasty haha.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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