Schiit Gungnir DAC
Jun 9, 2021 at 6:26 PM Post #6,196 of 6,257

RCBinTN

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Posts
4,976
Likes
8,899
Location
Nashville, TN
No ... Jason reports that the Gungnir is not on the chopping block.

My personal DAC journey started with an Uber-Bifrost (in the pre-MB days - Uber meant it had USB) then went to Gungnir then Gungnir MB. I also went with the Mjolnir 1 amp, so the stack worked. Have moved on from the Mjolnir but kept the Gungnir MB because it sounds so damn good and the Yggy is too big for my space. I originally went with the Gungnir because I like the idea of a fully hardware-balanced design. BiFrost2 does not have that, but its modular design is ground breaking, for sure. To me, Schiit is on the cutting edge of affordable DAC design. FWIW, friends ... rock on!
 
Last edited:
Jun 9, 2021 at 6:52 PM Post #6,197 of 6,257

Guidostrunk

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Posts
4,694
Likes
3,192
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
No ... Jason reports that the Gungnir is not on the chopping block.

My perosnal DAC journey started with an Uber-Bifrost (in the pre-MB days - Uber meant it had USB) then went to Gungnir then Gungnir MB. I also went with the Mjolnir 1 amp, so the stack worked. Have moved on from the Mjolnir but kept the Gungnir MB because it sounds so damn good and the Yggy is too big for my space. I originally went with the Gungnir because I like the idea of a fully hardware-balanced design. BiFrost2 does not have that, but its modular design is ground breaking, for sure. To me, Schiit is on the cutting edge of affordable DAC design. FWIW, friends ... rock on!
I read so many threads , and so many comparisons between the BF2 and Gumby. I literally thought I'd be involved in a really critical listening session because of what i gathered as a consensus.
The Gumby is on a completely different level than the BF2! I've read so many posts that put them a lot closer in performance lol. They are not that close.
Don't get me wrong. The BF2 is a great dac but it's no Gumby!
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM Post #6,198 of 6,257

hodgjy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Posts
4,213
Likes
1,000
Eh, my stance on DACs has changed over the years. While I can hear differences between them, and I definitely have a preferred sound signature, most of us tend to greatly, and I mean greatly, over-exaggerate the differences between them. I've heard many DACs, including owning several of the Schiits, and I'll honestly say the differences between them are small. It all comes down to how much you're willing to pay for that last couple of percentage points of improvement. Plus, I've also come to the conclusion that the differences in DACs are most pronounced in very revealing speaker systems; the differences are greatly minimized while using head-fi systems, even top-tier ones.
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 7:36 PM Post #6,200 of 6,257

RCBinTN

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Posts
4,976
Likes
8,899
Location
Nashville, TN
I read so many threads , and so many comparisons between the BF2 and Gumby. I literally thought I'd be involved in a really critical listening session because of what i gathered as a consensus.
The Gumby is on a completely different level than the BF2! I've read so many posts that put them a lot closer in performance lol. They are not that close.
Don't get me wrong. The BF2 is a great dac but it's no Gumby!
I agree with what @hodgjy wrote above, for starters.

My game-changer for SQ was moving from Gungnir DS to MB. It was like flipping "on" the great sound switch. I, too, have preferences and mine is toward neutral not warmer sound. That's what I like about the Schiit MB sound ... it seems to be neutral to me.

So, @Guidostrunk have you heard both the Gungnir MB and the BiFrost2? Just asking, mate. My one data point on that question is from @MattTCG who has heard "everything" on the planet that's worth listening to. Matt wrote that the BF2 beats the SQ of the Gungnir MB. That comment meant something to me. I don't know if you're still active on HF, Matt, so thanks in advance for permitting me to reference you!

Net ... it's a subjective thing and personal, especially with headphones. It is not easy to just say that XXYY is "the best." It comes down to preferences, other gear, music genres, and etc.

I will stay where I am, until my Gumby A2/Gen5 croaks. Then, depending on what's out there, I will likely order a Gumby with Unison. I understand that Unison beats Gen5 USB by a wide margin.

Happy Listening!
RCB
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 8:08 PM Post #6,201 of 6,257

Guidostrunk

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Posts
4,694
Likes
3,192
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
I agree with what @hodgjy wrote above, for starters.

My game-changer for SQ was moving from Gungnir DS to MB. It was like flipping "on" the great sound switch. I, too, have preferences and mine is toward neutral not warmer sound. That's what I like about the Schiit MB sound ... it seems to be neutral to me.

So, @Guidostrunk have you heard both the Gungnir MB and the BiFrost2? Just asking, mate. My one data point on that question is from @MattTCG who has heard "everything" on the planet that's worth listening to. Matt wrote that the BF2 beats the SQ of the Gungnir MB. That comment meant something to me. I don't know if you're still active on HF, Matt, so thanks in advance for permitting me to reference you!

Net ... it's a subjective thing and personal, especially with headphones. It is not easy to just say that XXYY is "the best." It comes down to preferences, other gear, music genres, and etc.

I will stay where I am, until my Gumby A2/Gen5 croaks. Then, depending on what's out there, I will likely order a Gumby with Unison. I understand that Unison beats Gen5 USB by a wide margin.

Happy Listening!
RCB
Funny you mention @MattTCG because I bought my BF2 from him. 😂😂😂
I know this whole thing is subjective bro. We all hear things differently. To my ears, and with my rig. The Gumby is superior.
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 8:10 PM Post #6,202 of 6,257

Guidostrunk

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Posts
4,694
Likes
3,192
Location
Pittsburgh, Pa
Funny you mention @MattTCG because I bought my BF2 from him. 😂😂😂
I know this whole thing is subjective bro. We all hear things differently. To my ears, and with my rig. The Gumby is superior.
And yes I've had the BF2 for the last 4 months. Only sold it due to space compatibility issues.
 
Last edited:
Jun 9, 2021 at 9:56 PM Post #6,203 of 6,257

duranxv

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 10, 2020
Posts
270
Likes
204
Location
USA
I read so many threads , and so many comparisons between the BF2 and Gumby. I literally thought I'd be involved in a really critical listening session because of what i gathered as a consensus.
The Gumby is on a completely different level than the BF2! I've read so many posts that put them a lot closer in performance lol. They are not that close.
Don't get me wrong. The BF2 is a great dac but it's no Gumby!

I guess the question is how much of a difference is it going from Gumby to Yggdrasil?
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 10:12 PM Post #6,205 of 6,257

hodgjy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Posts
4,213
Likes
1,000
I guess the question is how much of a difference is it going from Gumby to Yggdrasil?
Their analog stages are voiced differently in that the current Yggy is warmer and the current Gumby is a tad drier and cooler. As far as sheer detail retrieval, your speakers or headphones probably will fail to resolve any differences, should any actually exist.
 
Jun 9, 2021 at 10:13 PM Post #6,206 of 6,257

macdonjh

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Posts
1,635
Likes
4,213
Eh, my stance on DACs has changed over the years. While I can hear differences between them, and I definitely have a preferred sound signature, most of us tend to greatly, and I mean greatly, over-exaggerate the differences between them. I've heard many DACs, including owning several of the Schiits, and I'll honestly say the differences between them are small. It all comes down to how much you're willing to pay for that last couple of percentage points of improvement. Plus, I've also come to the conclusion that the differences in DACs are most pronounced in very revealing speaker systems; the differences are greatly minimized while using head-fi systems, even top-tier ones.
I understand what you're saying. I agree, to a point. Most of the Head-fi members I've traded posts with agree we all use "big" and strong words to describe the differences in sound between the components we use. But it gets kind of boring and redundant saying "marginally", "slightly", "a little bit", etc. More importantly, I think we use those big, strong words not to describe the "magnitude" of the differences, but rather how important those differences are in our reaction to, or enjoyment of, what we're listening to. A bit more:

I've changed the way I think about the small differences in sound we all know exist. First, I realize these differences are only important to hobbyists. I think most people out there don't care about sound quality, only that there is sound. My wife is like that. If she can hear her music on the speaker in her phone, she's happy. There are a few folks out there who want good quality sound, but don't care about the differences between otherwise competent gear. Good sound is good sound. Then there are us... My new way of looking at these differences is not about whether these differences represent a 1% or 10% improvement or whether the improvement is worth $1 or $10. I now look at these differences as whether or not they are important to our enjoyment of the music we listen to. So if you like your sound bright and analytical, a DAC (or head phone or speaker, etc.) which is a bit brighter than what you have might be an improvement for you, so might be worth paying for. The difference I see is the "magnitude" of the change doesn't much matter, that it's there is what matters and that it brings someone closer to the sound he's after.

To me, this also somewhat explains where the market for some of these uber-expensive components originates. As we listen more, we get better at hearing the differences between components as well as better at defining and quantifying what we like and what we want. Gear with resolution great enough to be differentiated by trained listeners comes at a cost and at a certain level some of us are willing to pay for the differences or changes we're after.

OK, now for why that's relevant to this thread. I have both a Bifrost I multi-bit and a Gungnir delta-sigma. I am currently using my time in the multi-bit queue to try to decide if I want to spend my money to get a Gungnir MB, or sell my Gungnir DS and just keep my Bifrost MB. I the early days of my time with the Gungnir I have the impression the mids and highs are smoother and more refined than what I hear from my Bifrost. Enough so I am currently listening to my Gungnir exclusively. However, overall bass impact is stronger in my memory of my Bifrost's sound than what I hear in the Gungnir (though definition and detail from the Gungnir is better than my memory of the Bifrost). Eventually I'll have to listen to my Bifrost again :) to see if the difference is real. What I've said here and elsewhere is, "if I can Bifrost bass impact without losing the detail and refinement of the Gungnir, then sign me up for the Gungnir MB". While all these differences and changes could only be described as incremental on any "objective" scale, they'd be important to me, and I'd consider them worth the price of the new MB board. Others would have a different analysis.

Fingers crossed. Oh, and sorry for the long, rambling post.
 
Jun 10, 2021 at 7:47 AM Post #6,207 of 6,257

artur9

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Posts
1,509
Likes
1,386
....
I've changed the way I think about the small differences in sound we all know exist. ... I now look at these differences as whether or not they are important to our enjoyment of the music we listen to. ...

... As we listen more, we get better at hearing the differences between components as well as better at defining and quantifying what we like and what we want. ...
Great post, not rambling at all.

The main difference amongst DACs that I've experienced is that some are just not pleasant to listen to over a long period of time (say, hours). They irritate. They add a kind of buzz to the sound that most non-audiophile seem to tolerate.

Then there are the details revealed by the DAC. For that, all the other components need to be able to keep up and, in most non-audiophile environments, they just can't. And I mean real musical details, not the fake details created by DACS built on top of ESS Sabre. Like being able to tell the difference between Mutter's violin and Bell's violin.
 
Jun 10, 2021 at 10:05 AM Post #6,208 of 6,257

RCBinTN

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Posts
4,976
Likes
8,899
Location
Nashville, TN
Their analog stages are voiced differently in that the current Yggy is warmer and the current Gumby is a tad drier and cooler. As far as sheer detail retrieval, your speakers or headphones probably will fail to resolve any differences, should any actually exist.
I hadn't heard that description. I remember a few years ago (maybe pre-A2) the voices were reversed and Gumby was warmer than Yggy. I think that description came from Jason Stoddard. So, interesting.

Funny you mention @MattTCG because I bought my BF2 from him. 😂😂😂
I know this whole thing is subjective bro. We all hear things differently. To my ears, and with my rig. The Gumby is superior.
Well darn it ... since Matt sold his BF2 then maybe he's out of the hobby altogether now. He used to come up from Atlanta to join the Nashville HP meets, back in the mid 2010s.
 
Jun 10, 2021 at 10:13 AM Post #6,209 of 6,257

hodgjy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Posts
4,213
Likes
1,000
I hadn't heard that description. I remember a few years ago (maybe pre-A2) the voices were reversed and Gumby was warmer than Yggy. I think that description came from Jason Stoddard. So, interesting.
Yggy A1 was a bit cool and Gumby A1 was a bit warm when they were directly compared to each other. That reversed with the A2 versions of both. Now the used market for Gumby A1 is strong but not so much for the Yggy A1.
 
Jun 10, 2021 at 11:50 AM Post #6,210 of 6,257

LCMusicLover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Posts
2,683
Likes
2,015
Location
Oregon Coast
I guess the question is how much of a difference is it going from Gumby to Yggdrasil?
To my ears, going from an A2 Gumby to an A2 Yggy was a slight, marginal difference. I ended up selling the Yggy because I didn't really hear anything I preferred enough from the Yggy to justify the price difference. Many 'knowledgeable' folks have mentioned that I might hear a bigger difference from a 2-channel system, but I'm 'headphones only'.

As an aside, after selling the Yggy, I ended up purchasing a used A1 Gumby. Both are in my system now, and I keep meaning to decide which one to sell, but can't find a significant differentiator.

I understand what you're saying. I agree, to a point. Most of the Head-fi members I've traded posts with agree we all use "big" and strong words to describe the differences in sound between the components we use. But it gets kind of boring and redundant saying "marginally", "slightly", "a little bit", etc. More importantly, I think we use those big, strong words not to describe the "magnitude" of the differences, but rather how important those differences are in our reaction to, or enjoyment of, what we're listening to. A bit more:

... I now look at these differences as whether or not they are important to our enjoyment of the music we listen to. So if you like your sound bright and analytical, a DAC (or head phone or speaker, etc.) which is a bit brighter than what you have might be an improvement for you, so might be worth paying for. The difference I see is the "magnitude" of the change doesn't much matter, that it's there is what matters and that it brings someone closer to the sound he's after.

... As we listen more, we get better at hearing the differences between components as well as better at defining and quantifying what we like and what we want. Gear with resolution great enough to be differentiated by trained listeners comes at a cost and at a certain level some of us are willing to pay for the differences or changes we're after.
Really well put. I'm one of those boring folks who constantly minimizes the differences I describe -- I use words like 'slightly' 'somewhat' and 'a bit' all the time. Because that's what I hear, small differences.

But at the same time, some of those small differences make a huge difference to my enjoyment. Hence the mScaler/TT2 stack :)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top