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post #1336 of 1669

Also, if I use the volume control on JRiver, is there going to be a noticeable decrease in sound quality? 

post #1337 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
 

Also, if I use the volume control on JRiver, is there going to be a noticeable decrease in sound quality? 


The Mjolnir sounds fine as a preamp.  I don't really have any reccs for a preamp only.  If I needed I preamp, I'd be tempted to sell the Gungnir and buy a Dangerous Source--which has nice preamp capabilities, sounds excellent as a DAC, and has a pretty decent headphone amp circuit. Try the JRiver volume control and see if that works for you--it might be all you need.

post #1338 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
 

Also, if I use the volume control on JRiver, is there going to be a noticeable decrease in sound quality? 

I havent noticed a difference using the JRiver volume control. There have been many, including the iDSD designers who shun the digital volume control no matter what. I upsample my redbook to 24/192 before hand with foobar, then JRiver bumps it up to 64bit and does the attenuation there. - Personally I think the opinions for and against are not based on much of a perceived difference. EVERY method of attenuation is going to have consequences. Even if you choose the best resistors in a stepped attenuator there will be consequences.

post #1339 of 1669

Thanks.  It's either that or a used pre (maybe Mjolnir).  

post #1340 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
 

Does anybody know if I need a preamp between my gungnir and powered focal monitors?  If so, what preamp would be good under 1k?  The mjolnir?  Or is there something better around a similar price range.  

I'm using a passive preamp, Luminous Audio Axiom II. It's fully balanced going into an Emotiva amp to Mini Maggie's. I ordered a second output on the Axiom to drive a sub (also fully balanced. Their balanced models start at $300.

post #1341 of 1669

Ok, I have my Gungnir going directly into my Focal CMS50 powered monitors.  I have the input set at +4 on the focals, which seems better as the gain going into the speakers seems too much.    The volume control on the speakers is not continuous, rather it moves in notches. Therefore I have it set up at the second notch and I am using the digital volume control in JRiver.  Anything higher and I have to set the digital attenuation very low in Jriver.

 

 I'm wondering would a Preamp like the Mjolnir help with this volume control issue?  Also, would it improve the sound in anyway?  I have heard people say that a preamp will improve the sound going into the amp vs directly.  I'm still waiting for it to break in fully, got around 40 hours on it so far.  I am using monoprice XLR cables and an AudioQuest Cinnamon USB cable.  Is it true that the USB is inferior to the Coax?  I have the USB2 version.  I'll also consider the passive preamp above, thank you.

 

Also, will upgrading my XLR cables and USB cable result in a decent improvement in sound?

 

Also, just for laughs, how much would a DAC with a significant increase in sound quality over the Gungnir go for?  Or should I upgrade my monitors ?  :)

 

Thanks

Future

post #1342 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
 

Ok, I have my Gungnir going directly into my Focal CMS50 powered monitors.  I have the input set at +4 on the focals, which seems better as the gain going into the speakers seems too much.    The volume control on the speakers is not continuous, rather it moves in notches. Therefore I have it set up at the second notch and I am using the digital volume control in JRiver.  Anything higher and I have to set the digital attenuation very low in Jriver.

 

 I'm wondering would a Preamp like the Mjolnir help with this volume control issue?  Also, would it improve the sound in anyway?  I have heard people say that a preamp will improve the sound going into the amp vs directly.  I'm still waiting for it to break in fully, got around 40 hours on it so far.  I am using monoprice XLR cables and an AudioQuest Cinnamon USB cable.  Is it true that the USB is inferior to the Coax?  I have the USB2 version.  I'll also consider the passive preamp above, thank you.

 

Also, will upgrading my XLR cables and USB cable result in a decent improvement in sound?

 

Also, just for laughs, how much would a DAC with a significant increase in sound quality over the Gungnir go for?  Or should I upgrade my monitors ?  :)

 

Thanks

Future

 

I'd say get a preamp just to not have to reach over and adjust each monitor individually every song. I run a similar setup but with audio-gd stuff. As for usb inferior to coax, it comes down to implementation. I wouldn't worry too much about that with the gungnir though, as it's some good schiit. See purrins 21 dac shootout thread. (My master 7 is ranked lower than the gungnir solely due to usb implementation, even though it's more than double the price.) 

 

As for the cable debate... I personally lean towards the "it can make a difference" side of the whale, but it's also really expensive in most cases just to hear any potential gains. If you go that route try to find occ copper or occ silver and stay away from anything plated (silver plated copper, etc) as a general rule. 

 

As for a dac with a significant increase in sound quality, you're at the tip top percentage of how good sound can possibly sound. Most things beyond this point come down to subtle differences in how sound is presented. Just go for nicer monitors and revel in some awesome sound.


Edited by blitzxgene - 2/9/14 at 2:19pm
post #1343 of 1669

What would be a good upgrade for my monitors?  I am usually going to be listening nearfield/desktop and I doubt I can have a sub (apartment).  I'm thinking focal cms65, event opal, dynaudio.  Or should I be looking at passives?  

post #1344 of 1669

I would agree with blitzxgene, speakers make far more of a difference once you reach this level of sound reproduction quality. I would love to see if people can in blind testing actually tell the difference between a $800 DAC like Gungnir, and a $2000 DAC. Personally, I would be quite shocked if anybody could reliably tell the difference. Speakers on the other hand are well known to make the most noticeable impact on the sound quality of a system. Of course, speakers are no different than any other component in that there will always be a point of diminishing returns. If you buy a $5000 pair of speakers or a $10 000 pair, does it seem reasonable that the more expensive speaker will sound twice as good?

 

Recently I purchased a pair of Neat Motive 1 speakers and augmented them with a small, but capable REL subwoofer. I feel this change has had a significant impact by increasing the sound quality of my system. If you are in doubt about your monitors that might be the target you can most reasonably expect to benefit from an upgrade. The Gungnir sounds fantastic, and is widely felt to be a stellar performing DAC with upgrade potential so that might not have much impact on your system if you opt to change the DAC.

post #1345 of 1669

Adding a tube pre to the Gungnir is a good match from my experience. The Gungnir needs some sex appeal IMO. Its a bit too honest.

post #1346 of 1669

Would adding an active pre like the mjolnir to my active speakers be a good idea for sound quality?

post #1347 of 1669

You could set the volume on your active speakers to one spot and then control on the mjolnir so it would be a great idea for convenience at least.

post #1348 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwelles View Post
 

I'm using a passive preamp, Luminous Audio Axiom II. It's fully balanced going into an Emotiva amp to Mini Maggie's. I ordered a second output on the Axiom to drive a sub (also fully balanced. Their balanced models start at $300.

 

Super jealous of this setup.

 

How do you like the mini maggies and have you heard the full size maggies for comparison? 

post #1349 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
 

Would adding an active pre like the mjolnir to my active speakers be a good idea for sound quality?

This is the classic question that we all ask ourselves, and wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. Its never ending... Its synergy. The purist's among us believe less is more. I'm one of those. I also like the sound of tubes! I'm not using them now though... See the iFi iDSD posts...

post #1350 of 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erukian View Post
 

 

Super jealous of this setup.

 

How do you like the mini maggies and have you heard the full size maggies for comparison? 

I've not had a chance to experience full-sized maggies. The minis are very interesting. I've always been a "point-source" kinda guy. These are my first bipolar speakers. Wonderful sense of depth. Room placement and treatment are critical. I've raised the DWM off the floor to get more direct sound from it. Since I'm running a Rythmik sub with them, I'm not worried about loss of bass from raising the DWM.

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