Schiit Gungnir Multibit impressions

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

  1. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    A DAC has a few components.. power supply, digital input, internal clock, upsampling DSP, digital to analog circuitry, analog amplification stage etc. The latest Bifrost seems to be around Gungnir Multibit level on the digital to analog circuitry but the description doesn't indicate reclocking or expensive VCXO clock like a Gungnir Multibit.

    Edit: current Gumbys are cheaper and don't have VCXO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2022
  2. caute

    caute Facebook Friend

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    Trying to buy an A1 Gungnir and I think I found one, but I just wanted more experienced people to help me know for sure (and cure my nervosa) that this actually is an A1? It has a multibit sticker on the side and the serial number starts with a "0".

    Link to image since upload is not working: https://imgur.com/a/NHts3LW
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. TheloniuSnoop

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    The serial number on my A1 also starts with 0600, and the last four are higher than yours, so I think you're good to go. :punk:
     
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  4. thekorsen

    thekorsen Rando

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    Picked up a gungnir MB recently for a steal but its pre gen 5 USB I think (MB009xx), and am unsure what the best source for it would be. It'd probably cost $250+ to upgrade to unison counting shipping, but I'm curious if there is a cheaper alternative that'd sound similarly great. Maybe a PCI or HDMI converter to coax/optical/BNC spdif?
     
  5. Mr.Sneis

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    External usb/spdif usually a good bet. I can sell you a usb5 board for cheap if you want.
     
  6. caute

    caute Facebook Friend

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    Is the Gen 5 upgrade easy? I've seen the guide and the aligning of the LEDs scares me lol. If @thekorsen doesn't snap it up, I might be tempted even though I have a Pi2AES and use BNC haha
     
  7. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Friend

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    It's all in your comfort level; to me these things are trivial.
     
  8. caute

    caute Facebook Friend

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    Do I even want to know what a Gumbreya is and what it sounds like? Or it that a rabbit hole/time/money sink whose termination is best left to the Yggdrasil OG rather than buying a used Freya to modify the Gungnir with?
     
  9. Mr.Sneis

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    It allows you to bypass the gungnir's native output stage in favor of using the Freya as an output. It's a cool tweak. No you shouldn't do it.
     
  10. thekorsen

    thekorsen Rando

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    I might take you up on that, the board wouldn't need to be reprogrammed like a unison upgrade right?

    Started looking at usb to spdif options, and if its worth getting an AES one. Looks like a rabbit hole, open to any specific model recommendations people found success with paired with the Gungnir Multibit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2022
  11. Empyah

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    That means yes, YES you should do it.
     
  12. thekorsen

    thekorsen Rando

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    Popped the lid on my gungnir and the mb board has 2015 printed on it. Guessing this is an A1 if its that old, but couldn't find a way to tell online.

    Edit: imgur downsized the image to make text illegible, changed to postimage.

    https://postimg.cc/LYzvF9QZ
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2022
  13. Ksorota

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    [​IMG]

    note 2017 date stamp...plus changes in the component layout circled

    You generally would know from the serial number on the back of the unit as well. If it starts with an A or 0 its usually A1
     
  14. thekorsen

    thekorsen Rando

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    Some quick impressions between the OG USB and Coax fed from a iDAC2 I picked up used as a cheap but hopefully decent converter. Note I am running equalizer APO using a modified version of Metal571's preset for the HD800 in both tests.

    Setup:
    Equalizer->PC->(Ifi Idac2)->Gungnir A1->Mjolnir 2 w/ Siemens ECC88->HD800

    Idac2 USB to Coax to Gungnir vs USB (Gen 1?)
    • Less warm low-mid (less tubey?)
    • mid-highs elevated slightly (tracks have more "ting")
    • Illusion of soundstage compressed a bit (edges of stage seem more defined but stop sooner, almost abruptly)
    • Imaging a bit more precise
    Honestly I might prefer the USB1, since I built this setup to maximize macrodynamics, stage size, and some tubey diffuseness. Maybe its my preference being for a distorted sound, the Idac2 not being a great coax transport, or the coloration difference affecting perceived staging a bit. Might mess with tuning out the tonal differences in EQ and doing another comparison.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2022
  15. caute

    caute Facebook Friend

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    I'm not sure what gen my gungnir A1 is either, my guess is either gen1 or gen2 and I'm too lazy to open it up to find out, but if I ever have a choice, I will never go back to USB. Have heard noises about gen5 being better than Unison, or Unison being better than SPDIF (which I am now programmed to doubt, unless there's a moderate-to-serious amount of $$ being spent on USB cleansing before it touches the Gungnir), but BNC, imo, is still the best input on the Gungnir.

    At first, I tried USB out when I first got the DAC and the Gungnir itself impressed me so much I didn't care what input I was using, everything just sounded so good compared to previous D-S DACs I had used.

    Then I received the Pi2AES I ordered the next day and began using BNC, and my goodness, the change was dramatic—but I didn't notice how much of a difference it made until my PiHAT started acting up and I couldn't use it for a day and had to fall back to the 2015-era USB implementation. I noticed in BNC vs USB:
    • gen1/2 USB was less incisive
    • uppermost octaves rolled off
    • significantly reduced clarity & detail
    • 2D, compressed soundstage
    • microdynamics collapsed
    • flabby, bloated bass
    • lack of "presence"
    Everything felt flattened and looser (and not in a boozy, musical way, but ill-defined in a lack-of-resolve way), almost dead. I honestly thought that USB nervosa was just that, over-obsessiveness, and the benefits of SPDIF or actually good USB solutions overplayed, but the popularity of better sources speak for themselves I guess.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2022
  16. Kernel Kurtz

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    I have a Gungnir and a Freya and this interests me. A Google search brings up nothing in the way of actual technical documentation on how to do this (and it is surely way above my technical ability in any case). Does anyone offer this conversion as a service? Or are there instructions so I can ask someone local to do so?

    I just have to ask...
     
  17. Mr.Sneis

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  18. TheloniuSnoop

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    I did this on my Gungnir Multibit. Better not reveal how though. Might inspire someone to make Gungnir Multibit go boom.
    (TBH it's too easy.) :punk:

    I'm not using the Freya though, but a DIY pre using two of these ZKIT4 (decware.com) with two Goldpoint 47 step mono attenuators, and a pair of Cinemag trannies to convert balanced to SE. It is set up so that I can switch between going thru the tubes, or straight in.

    The only weird thing I get is a sort of screaming noise on any unconnected inputs when music is playing. [Of course, playing actual music is more fun though, and no problems there. :drunk:]
     
  19. caute

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    So my Gungnir stopped working about 10 minutes ago, it's cool to the touch and there are no input lights on at all. Incidentally my Pi2AES stopped working as well around the same time (not the first time this has happened though, and I'm pretty sure I know how to fix it). Tried turning it off for a few minutes and turning back on, unplugging from the back, nothing is working. I'm really worried. Does anyone have any troubleshooting tips or is this a dead-certain RMA case? It's an A1 and I want to keep it that way, I'm worried if there's a problem with the analog section (could this cause the DAC to not power up at all?) they'll charge me for the pleasure of turning my beloved DAC into an A2 with only VCO reclocking :(, that's my worst nightmare. Or having to shell out half of what the DAC's worth to get it fixed. Sending an email to Schiit customer service right now, but if anyone has any suggestions please let me know!

    Edit: Changed outlets and now the input lights show up, but the rightmost light was blinking when it turned on, not sure I've ever seen it do that but I've only powered it on twice, over a month ago when I first got it, so idk if it's the BBG light or not. It still will not be recognized by my laptop as a USB DAC, however, so something's still up with it...

    Edit 2: Okay, plugged it into another outlet on my power strip and now it's working over USB. I think it's the surge protector, it has a single master and several slave outlets, since the Gungnir stayed on 24/7, I chose to use it for the master, but there must be some problem with that specific outlet, even though I plugged my amp into it and it worked. So confused.

    New question: Does anyone have any recommendations on dependable, cheap power conditioners which also offer fused-or-not surge protection? Any and all subtle SQ increases would be very much appreciated, if I'm going to shell out for a power conditioner, might as well get one that makes my s(c)hi(i)t sound a lil, tiny bit better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2022
  20. caute

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    What's a good sidegrade to the A1 Gungnir? Lower-tier Abbas? SFD?
     

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