Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Dedicated Source Components › DACs › Schiit Gungnir › Reviews › BokononVolta's Review

Nice upgrade from the Bifrost

A Review On: Schiit Gungnir

Schiit Gungnir

Rated # 2 in DACs
See all 13 reviews
Recent Pricing:
Posted · 35001 Views · 3 Comments

Pros: open soundstage, airy presentation, sweet sounding

Cons: expensive :)

I have the Bifrost before this and plugged this into my Valhalla before my Mjolnir arrived.  Even though it uses the same D/A chip as the Bifrost, I found it to be a significant upgrade that I could even hear with the Valhalla and my Beyerdynamic DT990 (600 ohm).  If I could only choose between the Gungnir or Mjolnir for upgrading my headphone system, and my headphones didn't require the extra power, I would probably go with the Gungnir, it was a more noticeable upgrade.  The Mjolnir was noticeable but unless your gear really requires that power, it probably will be less noticeable for you.  Even with the single-ended connections I was using with the Valhalla, it was noticeable.  I am using it at work.  I connect my macbook to a M2Tech Hiface to the Gungnir coax port.  If you get the USB version you shouldn't require the Hiface.  I am using a Pure i20 for my old iPod to stream lossless to the optical port.  This lets me use either the computer or the iPod with my Gungnir, and they both sound great.  I have since upgraded from the Valhalla to the Mjolnir.  My headphones have been upgraded to the Hifiman HE-4.  I have recalbled all of my headphones to balanced and am not looking back.


Not sure if I feel hard-pressed to upgrade at this point either.  The statement DAC supposedly includes a lot more power, but I think I could even upgrade to the HE-6 and still use what I have just fine.  Bottom line, the Gungnir has really made me feel like I have taken it as far as I needed to take it.  My headphone system sounds better than my home system now.  So obviously the money needs to go towards upgrading the home system now lol...


What happens if you put your Gungnir into your home stereo settup?
Two years on... I have purchased the USB gen 2 card and ditched the Hiface (didn't make much difference to me, just a simpler setup).  I have also upgraded from HE-4 to Hifiman HE-6 headphones.  My Mjol/Gung stack was been powered on for the past 2 years 24/7 and no issues at all, listening to music 8 hours a day for those 5 days at work.  Still sounds excellent.  I rip vinyl from at home and bring them in to work and play at 24/96.  
I have eyed their new statement equipment, and I could afford them, but just don't seem too crazy about having a bigger footprint on the desk, and I don't think the sound improvement would be worthwhile for me.  
My home DAC just went out (an Audio-GD Reference 1) and I was debating getting the new Audio-GD Reference DAC, but instead returned to Schiit.  Just love the sound and look and lack-of-drama with this Gungnir.  I can see myself buying upgrade cards for my Gungnirs when they are available, but otherwise, I'm set for a long long time.
I'll report back after I have broken-in Gungnir #2 in my home system (McIntosh MC-602 & Magnepan 20.1)
Truth be told, I tired of the Gungnir in my stereo setup.  It sounded nice, but kind of faceless.  I got my Audio-GD Reference 1 DAC working again and its just more organic and has the breath of life to it... No knocks on the Gungnir, I still love it with my work headphone system, but this didn't last long in my home system.
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Dedicated Source Components › DACs › Schiit Gungnir › Reviews › BokononVolta's Review