Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Schiit Gungnir DAC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Schiit Gungnir DAC - Page 54

post #796 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiolic View Post

that suck, i wanted to buy one but now I think i'll go with musical paradise mp-d1... 

I really wish somebody could compare those two... 

I really like the idea of having all tube analog stage with the ak4399... since ak4399 i found that the bifrost was missing a little in the midrange against CS4398 dac... 

but i wonder how good the analog stage, power, clock and reclocker is in the gungnir against that mp-d1... 

wish somebody could compare both in a real true fight !! smily_headphones1.gif

I don't quite get tube DACs. It seems like the ideal DAC should be as detailed and transparent as possible, so you can tailor the output using an amp stage and leave your future options open. The Gungnir is very transparent and nicely detailed and feeds a clean source to my Mjolnir and Lyr. The VCXOs lock onto even my flakey ipad like the tractor beam on the Death Star. If I want some tubey warmth, I'll listen to the Lyr. If I want something even warmer, I'll tube roll the Lyr. I value the Mjolnir for it's energetic detailed presentation; I sure don't want to feed it a warm less-detailed signal and have those dynamics applied to anything less than the cleanest source I can find.

Skylab's Innerfidelity review of the MP-D1 damns it with faint praise, calling it lush and warm, but less detailed than the Bifrost. Not sure why everything you want in the signal chain needs to be shoehorned into the DAC stage.
Edited by Barry S - 1/8/13 at 6:37pm
post #797 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry S View Post


I don't quite get tube DACs. It seems like the ideal DAC should be as detailed and transparent as possible, so you can tailor the output using an amp stage and leave your future options open.

Completely agree with this, warmth and coloration should definitely happen with the amp and headphones not the dac.

post #798 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachchen1996 View Post

Completely agree with this, warmth and coloration should definitely happen with the amp and headphones not the dac.

Have you heard the EE MiniMax DAC? One of the only experiences

where I found the coloration rather enjoyable.

post #799 of 1610

Koss ESP-950 and planing to buy Eminent Technology LFT-16a with planar midrange :) from 250hz to 7.5khz.. 

 

i like fast, clear, creamy but well balanced, analog sound with great imaging and good 3d soundstage not to big.. :)

post #800 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiolic View Post

Koss ESP-950 and planing to buy Eminent Technology LFT-16a with planar midrange :) from 250hz to 7.5khz.. 

 

i like fast, clear, creamy but well balanced, analog sound with great imaging and good 3d soundstage not to big.. :)

 

Not sure about the speaker amplifier.. looking in the 500$ range i would say..

post #801 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiolic View Post

Koss ESP-950 and planing to buy Eminent Technology LFT-16a with planar midrange :) from 250hz to 7.5khz.. 

 

i like fast, clear, creamy but well balanced, analog sound with great imaging and good 3d soundstage not to big.. :)

 

the Gungnir will be the better DAC if you're looking for transparent and detailed (not thin sounding at all), with a good bottom end. But the D1 might be suited to your taste if your're looking for warmth.

 

I would just worry about being too warm and muddying things. 


Edited by paradoxper - 1/8/13 at 9:10pm
post #802 of 1610

Hey guys I have been reading through this thread for the last few hours. I have been looking at purchasing the Gungnir and Mjolnir. I almost have enough money saved up to buy what I would need.

 

There is a lot of good information here. It has left me with some questions though. I plan on feeding the DAC in two different ways. One is from my Macbook Pro with USB, the second way is from my desktop PC using SPDIF out (either optical or coaxial) from my HT Omega Claro+ sound card.

 

So I read in this thread somewhat early on that the USB input on the Gungnir does not sound as good as the other inputs. Read in bold below.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SourceGuy View Post

At about 85 hours right now. The optical out on my new MacBook is sounding better than the USB out. I've been switching back and forth with pure music set to upsample only to 96 w/ USB so it's an even comparison. Maybe it's my setup but the USB is too edgy.... I keep wanting to turn the volume down. The optical on the other hand is much more involving. It's pretty incredible.
Would a USB to spdif converter out-do the optical out on the MacBook when using pure music with the Gungnir?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by grokit View Post

Yes it's early, and most of us are aware that there are limitations to these kind of comparisons; I am not employing DBT techniques, yadda yadda. But I will say that I am firmly on the side of the USB input being less appealing than the Gungnir's other inputs, and accordingly less capable than the USB to Spdif converters that I am auditioning with it.

 

So my first question is, in order to get audio from my Macbook Pro to the Gungnir whether I should get a USB to SPDIF converter and skip out on buying the USB card from Schitt. It seems like converting from USB to SPDIF and then having the DAC convert that digital signal to analog could introduce more potential for degradation of audio quality. Obviously I do not want to spend too much on the USB to SPDIF converter as the Gungnir is only 750 bucks.

 

My next question is what exactly the "buy better gear light" means as referenced in bold in the quote below. Is the Adapticlock something that is specifically part of the purchased USB add-on for the Gungnir? Does this mean that "source" as referenced below means USB sources only?

 

From the reading that I have been doing it seems to generally be a bad strategy to buy a USB to SPDIF converter if the DAC already has an integrated USB input option. However, I only read this in reference to a lot more expensive DACs. Thoughts on what the best strategy for feeding audio to the Gungnir from a computer that only has USB as an option for digital output? Schitt's USB module or a USB to SPDIF converter?

 

The converter I've been looking at is the MF V-Link192. Is there a better option for under 250 bucks?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

All I can share is my experience, as I have tried a couple of mid-fi converters as well as a cheap one with three different DACs, and I experienced three different results:

 

  • With the Bel Canto DAC2, a converter is required as it only has coax and toslink inputs. But the DAC2 has a rock-solid master clock, and as its asynchronous sample rate converter upsamples it takes care of jitter. According to one reviewer, it "employs the latest SPDIF receiver technology and a dual PLL reference clock recovery scheme using both analog and FIFO-based digital phase-lock circuitry for the lowest possible jitter performance. A local crystal oscillator drives the DAC directly." There was no benefit to using my Firestone Bravo 24/96 Tenor TE0722-based converter with separate Supplier PSU, as it didn't sound any better than an inexpensive eBay 16/48 Burr-Brown PCM2902E-based USB-powered converter.
  • With the Matrix Mini-i, the adaptive 16/48 USB input is definitely a weak link, and sounds totally inferior to the SPDIF and AES/EBU inputs. I heard a drastic improvement with the Bravo/Supplier. There was no benefit to using the inexpensive 16/48 converter however, that pretty much just duplicated the Mini-i's built-in USB receiver. I recently upgraded to the XMOS-based V-Link192 so I could take advantage of the 192k sample rate, as well as the "balanced digital" AES/EBU output. I heard further improvement, but it wasn't as drastic a difference as comparing the Bravo to the cheaper converter or the Mini-i's built-in USB input.
  • With the Schiit Gungnir, the difference wasn't that clear-cut. It has no AES/EBU input (my only real gripe with it), and its optional USB receiver is excellent: "Technically, Adapticlock is the industry’s most advanced jitter-reducing reclocking system. It automatically switches between VCXO and VCO reclocking, depending on the quality of your source. High-quality sources run on the VCXOs, for best jitter performance. Lower-quality sources that deviate from the range of the VCXOs are routed automatically to the VCOs, and an LED on the front panel comes on. We call this the “buy better gear” light... Sources that are outside of the industry-standard specified range of clock frequencies... still get... clock regeneration from the VCOs, but not the better regeneration performance of the VCXOs." I did hear slight improvement with the V192 but the Gungnir wasn't burned in yet. Now it's got about 150-200 hours on it, but through the RCA coaxial input. I am now proceeding to burn in its USB input and will compare again soon. It was so close that I can't rule out placebo.

 

So for me it depends on a couple of variables: how good is the DAC's built-in USB receiver (if it has one), and how good is the converter. My recommendation as always is to compare for yourself, in your own system, with your own ears. I would guess that the 903's USB input is exceptionally good, and that it would probably take an uber-expensive converter to improve on it. And while it may sound different with one of these converters, different isn't always better.

 

This is a great idea for a thread, I hope there is much more participation to come!

 

My last question is in regards to audio from my PC. I have an HT Omega Claro+ sound card. It has SPDIF optical and coaxial outputs @ 24bit/192kHz. Will this work well for feeding audio from my desktop to the Gungnir? Does the soundcard affect how the digital outputs sound? 

 

What is the most optimal way to feed digital files to the Gungnir? The only one I am aware of is through USB or a desktop soundcard with SPDIF out options. I have read about people doing this in other ways but I dont really understand them.

 

I'm really loving the positive responses that the Gungnir and Mjolnir are getting, especially for their price. I'm hoping that I can manage to integrate them into my system because they sound facking awesome.

post #803 of 1610

The dac-s from APL HIFI is supossely one of the best dac on the planet if not the best.. and the analog stage is similar to mp-d1 but it use 12 per channel AK4399 dac chip instead of one for mp-d1...

 

http://www.aplhifi.com/index.php?op=DAC_S

 

of course there is also passive stepped attenuator and crazy clocking but still

 

I think some like tube output stage better than jfet.. but i wonder.. i guess only direct comparaison could do it

 

(sorry it actually use  Lundahl Amorphous Core audio transformers for output stage


Edited by Audiolic - 1/8/13 at 9:47pm
post #804 of 1610

What do you think of Parasound A23 amp to power the eminent tech lft-16a?

post #805 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaChicken View Post

Hey guys I have been reading through this thread for the last few hours. I have been looking at purchasing the Gungnir and Mjolnir. I almost have enough money saved up to buy what I would need.

 

There is a lot of good information here. It has left me with some questions though. I plan on feeding the DAC in two different ways. One is from my Macbook Pro with USB, the second way is from my desktop PC using SPDIF out (either optical or coaxial) from my HT Omega Claro+ sound card.

 

So I read in this thread somewhat early on that the USB input on the Gungnir does not sound as good as the other inputs. Read in bold below.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SourceGuy View Post

At about 85 hours right now. The optical out on my new MacBook is sounding better than the USB out. I've been switching back and forth with pure music set to upsample only to 96 w/ USB so it's an even comparison. Maybe it's my setup but the USB is too edgy.... I keep wanting to turn the volume down. The optical on the other hand is much more involving. It's pretty incredible.
Would a USB to spdif converter out-do the optical out on the MacBook when using pure music with the Gungnir?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by grokit View Post

Yes it's early, and most of us are aware that there are limitations to these kind of comparisons; I am not employing DBT techniques, yadda yadda. But I will say that I am firmly on the side of the USB input being less appealing than the Gungnir's other inputs, and accordingly less capable than the USB to Spdif converters that I am auditioning with it.

 

So my first question is, in order to get audio from my Macbook Pro to the Gungnir whether I should get a USB to SPDIF converter and skip out on buying the USB card from Schitt. It seems like converting from USB to SPDIF and then having the DAC convert that digital signal to analog could introduce more potential for degradation of audio quality. Obviously I do not want to spend too much on the USB to SPDIF converter as the Gungnir is only 750 bucks.

 

My next question is what exactly the "buy better gear light" means as referenced in bold in the quote below. Is the Adapticlock something that is specifically part of the purchased USB add-on for the Gungnir? Does this mean that "source" as referenced below means USB sources only?

 

From the reading that I have been doing it seems to generally be a bad strategy to buy a USB to SPDIF converter if the DAC already has an integrated USB input option. However, I only read this in reference to a lot more expensive DACs. Thoughts on what the best strategy for feeding audio to the Gungnir from a computer that only has USB as an option for digital output? Schitt's USB module or a USB to SPDIF converter?

 

The converter I've been looking at is the MF V-Link192. Is there a better option for under 250 bucks?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

All I can share is my experience, as I have tried a couple of mid-fi converters as well as a cheap one with three different DACs, and I experienced three different results:

 

  • With the Bel Canto DAC2, a converter is required as it only has coax and toslink inputs. But the DAC2 has a rock-solid master clock, and as its asynchronous sample rate converter upsamples it takes care of jitter. According to one reviewer, it "employs the latest SPDIF receiver technology and a dual PLL reference clock recovery scheme using both analog and FIFO-based digital phase-lock circuitry for the lowest possible jitter performance. A local crystal oscillator drives the DAC directly." There was no benefit to using my Firestone Bravo 24/96 Tenor TE0722-based converter with separate Supplier PSU, as it didn't sound any better than an inexpensive eBay 16/48 Burr-Brown PCM2902E-based USB-powered converter.
  • With the Matrix Mini-i, the adaptive 16/48 USB input is definitely a weak link, and sounds totally inferior to the SPDIF and AES/EBU inputs. I heard a drastic improvement with the Bravo/Supplier. There was no benefit to using the inexpensive 16/48 converter however, that pretty much just duplicated the Mini-i's built-in USB receiver. I recently upgraded to the XMOS-based V-Link192 so I could take advantage of the 192k sample rate, as well as the "balanced digital" AES/EBU output. I heard further improvement, but it wasn't as drastic a difference as comparing the Bravo to the cheaper converter or the Mini-i's built-in USB input.
  • With the Schiit Gungnir, the difference wasn't that clear-cut. It has no AES/EBU input (my only real gripe with it), and its optional USB receiver is excellent: "Technically, Adapticlock is the industry’s most advanced jitter-reducing reclocking system. It automatically switches between VCXO and VCO reclocking, depending on the quality of your source. High-quality sources run on the VCXOs, for best jitter performance. Lower-quality sources that deviate from the range of the VCXOs are routed automatically to the VCOs, and an LED on the front panel comes on. We call this the “buy better gear” light... Sources that are outside of the industry-standard specified range of clock frequencies... still get... clock regeneration from the VCOs, but not the better regeneration performance of the VCXOs." I did hear slight improvement with the V192 but the Gungnir wasn't burned in yet. Now it's got about 150-200 hours on it, but through the RCA coaxial input. I am now proceeding to burn in its USB input and will compare again soon. It was so close that I can't rule out placebo.

 

So for me it depends on a couple of variables: how good is the DAC's built-in USB receiver (if it has one), and how good is the converter. My recommendation as always is to compare for yourself, in your own system, with your own ears. I would guess that the 903's USB input is exceptionally good, and that it would probably take an uber-expensive converter to improve on it. And while it may sound different with one of these converters, different isn't always better.

 

This is a great idea for a thread, I hope there is much more participation to come!

 

My last question is in regards to audio from my PC. I have an HT Omega Claro+ sound card. It has SPDIF optical and coaxial outputs @ 24bit/192kHz. Will this work well for feeding audio from my desktop to the Gungnir? Does the soundcard affect how the digital outputs sound? 

 

What is the most optimal way to feed digital files to the Gungnir? The only one I am aware of is through USB or a desktop soundcard with SPDIF out options. I have read about people doing this in other ways but I dont really understand them.

 

I'm really loving the positive responses that the Gungnir and Mjolnir are getting, especially for their price. I'm hoping that I can manage to integrate them into my system because they sound facking awesome.

 

 

After I re-compared, the difference was still there; the USB input is good but not as good as the Gungnir's other three spdif inputs. The difference is pretty subtle however.

 

The V192 matches up well with the Gungnir but makes me wish for an AES/EBU input as I mentioned. A decent spdif RCA coax cable that offers tight, solid connections to both devices is a must.

 

Also, your Macbook Pro has a combo audio output jack; it is both analog 3.5mm headphone and Mini-Toslink (spdif optical). If it was me I would use the coax from the PC, and the optical from the Mac. The Gungnir's USB input is still worth it for comparison's sake, and for "guest" source devices but you don't really need it.

 

In most cases, the "buy better gear light" will not light up, but it's nice to have just in case.

 

IME, IMO, etc etc.


Edited by grokit - 1/8/13 at 10:03pm
post #806 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

 

 

After I re-compared, the difference was still there; the USB input is good but not as good as the Gungnir's other three spdif inputs. The difference is pretty subtle however.

 

The V192 matches up well with the Gungnir but makes me wish for an AES/EBU input as I mentioned. A decent spdif RCA coax cable that offers tight, solid connections to both devices is a must.

 

Also, your Macbook Pro has a combo audio output jack; it is both analog 3.5mm headphone and Mini-Toslink (spdif optical). If it was me I would use the coax from the PC, and the optical from the Mac. The Gungnir's USB input is still worth it for comparison's sake, and for "guest" source devices but you don't really need it.

 

In most cases, the "buy better gear light" will not light up, but it's nice to have just in case.

 

IME, IMO, etc etc.

 

Thanks for your reply man. I'm not sure if my Macbook Pro has that capability. Its generation 4,1. 

 

NVM I looked it up just now and it says the headphone jack doubles as an optical out! Well ****...I never knew that. How do I implement the optical out? Does it just work automatically when I plug in a mini toslink cable or are there settings I need to set for it to work? Suggestions on a high quality mini toslink cable?

 

Does the quality of the macbook pro's soundcard matter with the mini toslink or with digital audio in general? And do the digital outputs of soundcards color the sound?

 

Does the buy better gear light pertain to just USB or all inputs?

post #807 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiolic View Post

What do you think of Parasound A23 amp to power the eminent tech lft-16a?

Parasound makes solid products, however I've had no experience with the A23. I'd surmise it would be fine (even more power than needed).

post #808 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaChicken View Post

 

Thanks for your reply man. I'm not sure if my Macbook Pro has that capability. Its generation 4,1. 

 

NVM I looked it up just now and it says the headphone jack doubles as an optical out! Well ****...I never knew that. How do I implement the optical out? Does it just work automatically when I plug in a mini toslink cable or are there settings I need to set for it to work? Suggestions on a high quality mini toslink cable?

 

Does the quality of the macbook pro's soundcard matter with the mini toslink or with digital audio in general? And do the digital outputs of soundcards color the sound?

 

Does the buy better gear light pertain to just USB or all inputs?

Toslink requires no setup. However the Audio MIDI is there to specify settings if needed.

 

Many use the Silflex glass toslink. There are many options.

 

If you're using an external DAC to bypass it all it doesn't matter.

post #809 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaChicken View Post

 

Thanks for your reply man. I'm not sure if my Macbook Pro has that capability. Its generation 4,1. 

 

NVM I looked it up just now and it says the headphone jack doubles as an optical out! Well ****...I never knew that. How do I implement the optical out? Does it just work automatically when I plug in a mini toslink cable or are there settings I need to set for it to work? Suggestions on a high quality mini toslink cable?

 

Does the quality of the macbook pro's soundcard matter with the mini toslink or with digital audio in general? And do the digital outputs of soundcards color the sound?

 

Does the buy better gear light pertain to just USB or all inputs?

Toslink requires no setup. However the Audio MIDI is there to specify settings if needed.

 

Many use the Silflex glass toslink. There are many options.

 

If you're using an external DAC to bypass it all it doesn't matter.

 

On your Mac, you will be able to easily select the correct output in Sound Preferences, and Audio Midi Setup is there in case you need to tweak further.

 

I would not worry about coloration, the main quality issue when doing USB to spdif conversion is jitter (timing errors).


Edited by grokit - 1/8/13 at 10:50pm
post #810 of 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaChicken View Post

 

Thanks for your reply man. I'm not sure if my Macbook Pro has that capability. Its generation 4,1. 

 

NVM I looked it up just now and it says the headphone jack doubles as an optical out! Well ****...I never knew that. How do I implement the optical out? Does it just work automatically when I plug in a mini toslink cable or are there settings I need to set for it to work? Suggestions on a high quality mini toslink cable?

 

Does the quality of the macbook pro's soundcard matter with the mini toslink or with digital audio in general? And do the digital outputs of soundcards color the sound?

 

Does the buy better gear light pertain to just USB or all inputs?

Hi,

I use a MB Pro S/PDIF optical to a Schiit Bifrost.

I bought this little right angle swivel adapter that allows use of a vanilla Toslink cable.

I gets the cable out of the way and is nice for a MB Pro.

Does it degrade the signal..... I can't tell. It sounds good to me.

Common sense tells my straight is better than right angle... but the cable doesn't get whacked on a laptop.

 

On my stationary Mac Mini in the closet for the room system I use a straight cable.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002J24OO/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Schiit Gungnir DAC