I don't think there are many who've directly compared the Gungnir to the M51. The NAD has garnered glowing praise though (at its full US RRP) and has the measurements to back it. The Gungnir is lauded here, but often by those coming from lesser components. In that context, I agree that the Gungnir is a fine DAC.
I respect paradoxper's findings, but I suspect it would be against the grain and beyond mere preference (i.e. other unidentified factors). prepoman appears to be in agreement with me (lol).
My finding's may be against the grain, but nonetheless, that's what they are.
I think as you said for different markets either is the better value, both are very close to eachother, IMO. And it just happens that
for the U.S. Market it needs to be $300-500 less in MSRP.
As far as coming from lesser components your comments do have credence, but I've also had the PWD
and so I have a high performance reference for DACS.
Preference has much to do with the gear we find we like, while the PWD is amazing in SQ, it severely lacked in other areas
that were a deal killer.
In terms of $750-2000k DACS they've all performed quite closely to one another.
It wasn't until reaching that other tier that you could really see a step up.