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post #436 of 931
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glam Bash View Post

Was the PS audio PWD used with balanced outputs only? Can anyone give a comparison of the sound versus the single-ended outputs? Some of us are not fully balanced around here.redface.gif

 

PWD2 was fed balanced into the Mojo and singled ended into the S7. I've never heard a reliably discernible difference between the balanced and SE outputs of the PWD2 with amps (BA, Mjolnir, etc.) that offered both inputs. Maybe a bit more detail or resolution, but that's about it. But still in the same league. In other words, a PWD2 single ended is still more resolving than most of the other DACs in the comparo.


Edited by purrin - 2/7/14 at 9:10pm
post #437 of 931

What would be a significant upgrade from the Gungnir with a similar sound presentation (i.e, musical)?  Would the NAD51 be worth upgrading to?  Or do I need to get into Ayre/Berkely/PWD territory?  

 

I'm also wondering why the Ayre QB-9 DSD is not on the list.


Edited by futurecity - 2/9/14 at 4:11pm
post #438 of 931

Purrin,

 

Good to see you're back. May I ask what do you think about how does the Bifrost Uber compares against Arcam rDac?

post #439 of 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
 

What would be a significant upgrade from the Gungnir with a similar sound presentation (i.e, musical)?  Would the NAD51 be worth upgrading to?  Or do I need to get into Ayre/Berkely/PWD territory?  

 

I'm also wondering why the Ayre QB-9 DSD is not on the list.

I have the Gungnir and very briefly heard the NAD. IMO, the NAD would be a side grade at best with a few extras thrown in (like HDMI). I had the same idea that you have ("upgrading to the NAD") but changed my mind. 

post #440 of 931

well, as long as your name is not purrin you know what I will recommend. with some mods it brings down the house. stock I feel it is better than the nad already. the pwd is very good to.at that price. md has some demos for sale. the bm dac2 is better than the nad imo. looking at the nad price and no dsd there is the McIntosh and bryston. both pretty good. that is if you are just against my choice.

post #441 of 931

Nevermind


Edited by elmoe - 2/10/14 at 10:29am
post #442 of 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
 

What would be a significant upgrade from the Gungnir with a similar sound presentation (i.e, musical)?  Would the NAD51 be worth upgrading to?  Or do I need to get into Ayre/Berkely/PWD territory?  

 

I'm also wondering why the Ayre QB-9 DSD is not on the list.

I have the Gungnir and very briefly heard the NAD. IMO, the NAD would be a side grade at best with a few extras thrown in (like HDMI). I had the same idea that you have ("upgrading to the NAD") but changed my mind. 

 

Must've been VERY brief for you to conclude the M51 as a side grade. For some, differences between dacs are minute and aren't immediately apparent. How brief was your very brief exposure? And what other components did you have in the chain?

 

For me the M51 was a significant improvement over the Gungnir. Depends on your preference I guess. purrin is a masochist and enjoys the loud and domineering character of the Gungnir. The M51 is much more musical in that it actually allows me to enjoy my tunes without obsessing about the flaws that detract from the experience. YMMV, IMO, WTFBBQ, ETC....

 

 

edit: this is all probably moot though. Apparently the NAD is like $1000000000000000 in markets outside Australia. You could probably just sponsor your fave musicians to live with you and play live music at your whim for that price.


Edited by olor1n - 2/10/14 at 7:25am
post #443 of 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post
 

 

Must've been VERY brief for you to conclude the M51 as a side grade. For some, differences between dacs are minute and aren't immediately apparent. How brief was your very brief exposure? And what other components did you have in the chain?

 

For me the M51 was a significant improvement over the Gungnir. Depends on your preference I guess. purrin is a masochist and enjoys the loud and domineering character of the Gungnir. The M51 is much more musical in that it actually allows me to enjoy my tunes without obsessing about the flaws that detract from the experience. YMMV, IMO, WTFBBQ, ETC....

 

 

edit: this is all probably moot though. Apparently the NAD is like $1000000000000000 in markets outside Australia. You could probably just sponsor your fave musicians to live with you and play live music at your whim for that price.

I heard it for all of three days. So take it for what that's worth. I use the Gungnir/Mjolinir stack and if anything, I would expect the Mojo to be the domineering one. Second, I am not good to pick detect minute differences between DACs unless there is an obvious step up/down. In that sense, I can live with either the Gungnir or the M51 and find no need to chase the other one. I was offered the NAD for 2 grand so it is still reachable :wink:

post #444 of 931

What do you recommend?  

post #445 of 931
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurecity View Post
 

What would be a significant upgrade from the Gungnir with a similar sound presentation (i.e, musical)?  Would the NAD51 be worth upgrading to?  Or do I need to get into Ayre/Berkely/PWD territory?  

 

I'm also wondering why the Ayre QB-9 DSD is not on the list.

 

 

M51 would not necessarily be an upgrade from the Gungnir, but it could do certain things that you happen to like better depending upon your tastes (which I do not know) or not. M51's presentation is really different from Gungnir. Gungnir is warmer and sounds like a rock concert. M51 has more finesse and resolution but with some slight artificiality in the last octave.

 

It also depends upon what you mean by musical.

 

I have not heard the Ayre QB-9. That is why it is not on the list.


Edited by purrin - 2/10/14 at 4:20pm
post #446 of 931

Thanks. I think I'll keep the Gungnir for now then, I like a warmer sound.

 

 Would the Mjolnir used as a preamp for active monitors (Focal) improve or degrade the sound out of the Gungnir? How would it change the sound?  I could also look at a tube pre, but I'm not sure my budget would allow for that.  A used Mjolnir is about all I can manage right now.  I also may get into headphones seriously in the near future which would be a plus but I am not sure yet.

 

 I'm asking because I have only the digital volume control in JRiver right now as the speaker's have no centralized volume control (which is a pain).  


Edited by futurecity - 2/10/14 at 4:56pm
post #447 of 931
Gungnir warmer than the M51? And the NAD with artificial highs? Your impressions are the exact opposite of mine. Other than the shouty and compressed dynamics, the colder, hard edge and more artificial nature of the Gungnir is what prompted me to abandon it in favour of the M51. Lol, are you certain your notes weren't mixed up? Either that or the NAD's firmware revisions really do have a significant effect on its sq.
post #448 of 931

Perhaps, he wears his ears back-to-front. (Attempt at humour). :L3000:

post #449 of 931

I'm not getting this cold, hard edged nature from my Gungnir.

post #450 of 931
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

Gungnir warmer than the M51? And the NAD with artificial highs? Your impressions are the exact opposite of mine. Other than the shouty and compressed dynamics, the colder, hard edge and more artificial nature of the Gungnir is what prompted me to abandon it in favour of the M51. Lol, are you certain your notes weren't mixed up? Either that or the NAD's firmware revisions really do have a significant effect on its sq.

 

Artificial sounding highs (note that I didn't say nasty or edgy highs) was a reference to the timbre of the last octave. I actually feel the M51 has a silkier (but not necessarily correct or realistic) treble sound than the Gungnir. Despite the silkiness, I still sense a fine fine grain. The Gungnir's rendering is simply more continuous, more liquid to me. I do agree the Gungnir's attack has more edge and is less blunted; and I know a few have felt the Gungnir was too forward sounding with too much upper-mid emphasis. But I've never had this issue with any of the associated gear. Yes, the Gungnir is going to give you the bite of snares or trumpets. It's not going to sound laid back. Some have said the Gungnir and HD800 is a bad mix. Maybe. But it's been a long time since I've owned the HD800. There's a reason why I don't own the HD800 anymore, and when I did, it was always with mods to tone down the 6kHz peak and on up. (Emphasis in 5-6k region tends to add edge or hardness to recordings.)

 

In terms of warmth, this was in reference to tonal aspects of the bass and lower mids. The Gungnir is one of the warmer DACs I've heard. (Maybe warm and aggressive at the same time, but I wouldn't describe the Gungnir as a cold sounding DAC.) The M51 was pretty darn neutral to me. I found the Gen 2 USB to render microdynamics better than the Gen 1 USB or even coax SPDIF from all sources I've tried. The M51 had superior microdynamics and microdetail rendering. The Gungnir tends to drop off the quietest sounds or compress them upward slightly. The M51 tends to compress things overall more, especially the loudest sounds. To get the same feel as my references, I kind of felt that I needed to turn the volume button up and down really really fast on the M51 constantly with the music. With the Gungnir, especially with Gen 2 USB not so much. Gungnir definitely has more slam and attack throughout the band - probably the most of any DAC in the list.


Edited by purrin - 2/11/14 at 11:53am
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