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Schiit Gungnir vs. Asus Essence One Improvement?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello all first post on Head-fi! I am currently using the Asus E1 DAC/Headphone amp with my Beyer T1's. I will shortly be receiving my Woo Audio WA2 leaving my chain as FLAC files>E1>WA2>T1's. Looking at this combination I think the weak link in the chain will most likely be they E1. Would I receive any benefit from getting a DAC such as the Schiit Gungnir. I've been looking at this DAC because it can be balanced (potential upgrade path far in future) and I can actually find one easily inside the US. I have seen others recommend the EE Minimax but I have had difficulty finding one other than the Plus version which was like 1200 dollars compared to the 750 of the Gungnir. 


So in summary is there a DAC you all could recommend that would be an improvement, at least noticeably, over the Asus E1.

-would the Schiit Gungnir qualify as this DAC?


Also I am not planning on using speakers later

My Budget is probably 1000 dollars although I would rather spend aroun 700-800 or less. 

My pc is my source, but I have a sound card so USB input isn't a necessity


Thanks for any input!

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post #2 of 23

Did you end up getting the Gungnir ? 

I was interested to the conclusion of your interrogations ...

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
I ended up upgrading the essence with muses op amps and they made it a completely different dac. They brought out more detail across the board and helped to bring the bass more forward. Combined with the wa2 it's been a really good combination.
post #4 of 23

I also got Asus basic model which came out in 2011. I also wish to change op amps.


Could you advise which particular opamps you changed which made it a completely different dac. 

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I put muses 01 opamps in the I/V stages and dual LME 49710HA's at the RCA outputs. The 49710 added instrument separation and a little darkness to the darker yet highly detailed muses.

The muses made the largest difference increasing bass slam and detail, and improving fidelity across the spectrum. They are expensive but worth it Imo.
post #6 of 23

Thanks mwindham08 for your quick response. I will look out for muses 01.


It appears that you didn't change the headphone op amps. Right? Are stock HP op amps good enough?

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
I had the 49710s at the headphone outs and then moved them to the RCA outs when I got a separate amp.

The 49710s had the same character at both positions.

No problem glad I could help.
post #8 of 23

So following your experience, one may say that the real differences were observed in swapping op amps at I/V stages and RCA outputs. 


Did you try op amps (other than muses 01) which are available in the market much cheaply?


Also do let me know whether I can replace op amps in my basic Essence One (2011 model) without soldering?



post #9 of 23

May I ask you from where you bought muses op amp. Any link? On ebay, I found many sellers but with a huge price range so feeling hesitant to buy from there. 

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
I pulled that from my cell phone so hopefully it works. It took like a week or two to arrive coming from China but the packaging was good and it was worth the wait.

When i bought them back in January he was the only guy on ebay selling them. Now there is like 20 vendors...

post #11 of 23

Thanks. This link is working. 


He is now selling it at $60 each. Did you buy 6 of these?


As I am keen to follow your experience, could you inform which op amps are currently used in your Essence One:


Op amps for All Outputs (6 in total):  

XLR (2):

RCA (1):

Headphone (2): 

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah it was 60 dollars each. I actually sold my essence one for the Audio-GD nfb-7.1.

The guy I sold the E1 to has the muses for sale on ebay for 45 dollars. I'll include the link if your interested.

My opamps were 6 muses in the I/V section, and 4 lme47910HA's at the RCA and headphone outs. The 47910HA are actually a dual mono design so it's actually 8 of them but you can buy them together. They require 2 adapters stack together at the headphone out to clear some capacitors.

I included links for everything although there might be some better adapters if you hunt around ebay, I just found those really quick as an example.



post #13 of 23

Thank you for your detailed response and all the useful links. You have made my task simpler. 


I am buying a used E1 basic model which will reach me this friday/sat. I will then contact the seller of muses and other opamps at ebay.  

Once again, a big thank you!

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

Also this thread has alot of good info on the E1 including op amp impressions ect.


Just have to search around now cause it is really long now. Have fun you will really like the E1 I think, its a great value/performer.



post #15 of 23


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