Introduction As a Modi Multibit and Mj2 owner I remained incredibly curious about the Gungnir Multibit. How much better could it really be, and in what way? The short answer is that it is, by some margin. But you need a headphone good enough for it to reach real significance, and as one moves up the equipment ladder many of the improvements are increasingly in the nuances. I'll use multipliers at a few points to describe how much better I feel certain aspects are, these are just a gut feeling so take them with a pinch or two of salt. Chain iPhone 8 Plus -> Tidal -> Schiit Eitr -> Behringer DEQ2496 -> Schiit Gungnir Mutibit -> Schiit Mjolnir 2 w/ WE396a Vaccum Tubes, ATL DC Blocker, Furman RFI/EMI Filter -> Focal Utopia w/ foam disc over front of drivers Comparison was primarily done with Gungnir Multibit BAL output vs Modi Multibit SE output. Members in this thread and others have indicated that there are limitations with the Mj2’s SE in, and that the difference between the Gungnir Multibit’s outputs may well be debatable. I do not have the setup to accurately ascertain differences between the Gungnir Multibit's SE vs BAL output, or the Mj2’s SE vs BAL input. So this comparison won’t necessarily be fair outside of specific use with the Mjolnir 2 amplifier, so please take all impressions in this context. Terminology Micro-detail - Plankton, low level information Macro-detail - Overall detail, resolution Micro-dynamics - Small gradations of volume, like reverberations Dynamics/Compression - Total range of volume, or lack thereof Slam/Impact - How hard bass hits, how much air pressure you feel on your ear drum Clarity - Lack of veil, purity Speed - Separation, clearly defined individual sounds, how well you can hear each individual string in the strum of a guitar Texture - The detail within individual sounds Tactility - Solidity of presentation, tangible feel Ethereal - Ghostly nature of presentation, low density Air - High frequency ambience/presence, top most audile treble range Closed-in - Lack of air, high range treble cut-off Sweet - The rich defined treble Impressions My very first impression when hearing the Gungnir Multibit for the first time was “huh, this Modi Multibit is really good”, and that they’re very much from the same family. Though still true my feelings changed the more the new DAC warmed up and the more time I spent with it. I think it may soon become my favourite piece of gear. All following statements regarding the Gungnir Multibit and Modi Multibit are relative to each other, each via Eitr. Now, hold on to ‘yer butts 'cus I’m about to throw a bunch of vague nonsense words at you. It’s dynamism hits you first. Creating a grand sense of scale unrelated to imaging, it’s younger sibling’s presentation appearing somewhat meek in comparison. Across the board sound is much purer, most evident in vocals which take on a great deal more texture and nuance. Female vocals in particular are really quite beautiful. You hear more of things like the vocalists throat sound, or air passing their lips in certain moments. Although the vocals are the most immediately impressive aspect it’s the two extremes of the audio spectrum which surprised me more. The upper treble is incredibly rich and well defined. To use a word that is perhaps not entirely appropriate I kept thinking to myself that the treble had a wonderul sweetness to it. A strum of the finer strings on a guitar demonstrated this well. The peaks of the treble were just incredibly present and separated with nuance in their reverberations. Where they were very dulled and un-noteworthy with the Modi Multibit. Bass is fuller and bolder. Impact increases notably, resolution increases too. I often felt that there was a sense of air and resonance to the bass I’ve not heard anywhere else before. Micro-detail is another place it shines. Background sounds are much more present and discernible. You can hear these things with the Modi Multibit but you just aren’t particularly aware of them unless you are deliberately focusing. It’s increased speed also contributing to this with better separation all around. I didn't use the phrase micro-dynamics anywhere above, but it's ability in that regard is pretty much instilled in every paragraph. It's a big part of what makes it so impressive and engaging. They’re much finer, delicate, and textured. If you take all the positive words in the terminology section above and make them up to around 2x to 3.4x better, along with the Gungnir Multibit being pretty neutral to the Modi Multibit's slightly warm and fairly rolled-off at the top end tuning. Then that’s Gungnir Multibit, vs Modi Multibit, in a nutshell. Though this is of course with the Utopia. Gungnir Multibit SE Outputs -> Mjolnir 2 Dulled and smoothed over, or veiled, vs BAL. How much of this is due to which input or output or both I cannot say. I did not spend enough time comparing the SE of each DAC, but they seemed somewhat closer. Back to the Modi Multibit The Modi Multibit in comparison is murky, with dulled treble, poorly defined bass, and somewhat compressed overall. The Gungnir Multibit is just delivering much more information and doing it so much more accurately and clearly, simultaneously. Producing a more life like more and vibrant sound. Don't take that as criticism toward the Modi Multibit, overall it's good for the money. As far as the Utopia goes it was unsurprisingly holding it back fairly significantly. I’m getting quite a bit more enjoyment out of them since the upgrade. Sennheiser HD650 With the HD650 I think it’s OTT for the improvements gained. Most things stated above remain true but to a limited extent, especially in the bass area. I would like to have spent more time with it but roughly speaking from quick impressions the mids see maybe about 2x improvement, treble very roughly around 1.75x-1.90x. Bass improvements are minimal. Schiit Mjolnir 2 From previous experience I think in stock form it would really hold back the Gungnir Multibit. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if my setup was holding it back now. The stock tubes just wouldn't be up to the task, too slow for one thing. Whether the power conditioners are necessary will be dependent on each person’s mains quality, in my case absolutely. Supposedly the Mjolnir and Ragnarok are pretty susceptible to poor quality power. Conclusion Should you buy one? What I can say is that if I were talking to my past self then I most certainly would recommend doing so. Try and get yourself an extended listening session to get a good feel for it, as despite the flowery words written above it is not a night and day difference. At least not at first, it takes a little time to appreciate the changes, assuming you have a headphone performant enough to get the most out of it. Once you do though, you will not be going back. Edits 10/11/17 - Various nips, tucks, caveats, and clarifications. Reduced the scope of the write up to the Mj2 as I do not have the appropriate setup to assess the Gungnir Multibit SE out, or the Mj2’s SE in, for myself.