If you try one get it from someplace like Audio Advisors so you can demo it for a reasonable period of time without risking much. I think I have a fairly laid back system due to my tube integrated and although the Gungnir gave me some 'wow' moments I found it hard to listen to overall (glare?)for more than a little while. I settled on the PS Audio NuWave which I think is way better for approx the same $$$ and nicer to look at to boot.
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OK....here goes my credibility :^ /
Ming Da MC88-C integrated (KT-88 tubed w/active pre-amp), SB Touch w/ Welborne P/S and EDO installed, PS Audio NuWave connected to Touch via custom USB w/ separated power conductor, NuWave to integrated via Blue Jeans LC-1 IC's, Martin Logan Source speakers w/ Kimber 8VS wire. Please don't dis the BJ LC-1's, they are excellent IC's and I've been in the hobby for nearly 40 yrs.
dragon1952 - never dis someone unless you are above dissing!
Insight is better than no site so understanding your environment is paramount to understanding what performance I MIGHT expect with differing components.
BJ's gets a lot of good press here and until I hear some I'll make no comments.
So how do you find the dynamics of the PS Nu Wave compared to the Schiit?
Since PS is heavy into power I would assume they would be very dynamic also
I just heard the Mytek and it was spatially very impressive and very dynamic, but not as musical as the Chord QuteHD, which I heard yesterday.
Maybe the dynamics in the Schiit is what fatigued you?
A lot of people seem to really like the Gungnir so maybe it just wasn't synergistic with my system and/or to my preferences. Like I said earlier, it had some 'wow' moments, and yeah maybe dynamics have something to do with it. The NuWave just sounds really 'right' to me all the time, and on everything whereas the Gungnir didn't.
Thanks for the feedback everyone
Spent the week looking at several DAC's - Wadia, Mytek, Chord, all in the $1300-$1700 region and the differences were significant and enlightening, since the only one that I found did not fatigue these ears was the Wadia.
Then I came home and listened to my Dacmagic - and again - no fatigue. BTW my upgraded power supply on the DACMAGIC allows it to perform way above it's snack bracket - I thought very close to the Wadia, but not quite as spacious
I decided to go with the Bifrost + USB + Uber options, since that would bring it closer to the performance of the Gungnir and cost $300 less.
I don't have a requirement for balanced outputs, as on the Gungnir and the differences in Gugnnir/Bifrost power supplies hopefully can be minimized by using a high quality power cable and connectors. This should also enhance it's performance considerably.
There's chatter about DSD options coming for the Schiit DAC's, so hopefully there will be an upgrade for the Bifrost.
My primary source is my turntable, which I have just completed an arm upgrade, so right now I want to keep these costs down.
I will post a review once It's suitably broken in
Well, after reading several posts on the bifrost I figured I would have to wait a while for it to burn in before I would be impressed - WRONG!
As stated above I had previously listened to Wadia, Mytek and Chord.
Well, the Bifrost seems to have most of the punch of the Mytech coupled with the smoothness of the Wadia and a very accurate delivery of music in general.
I originally thought of leaving the Dacmagic in the system so I could do a side by side comparison. No point - the Bifrost is clearly superior in every respect...
- much wider and deeper soundstage and more precise instrument placement.
- improved dynamics - almost as dynamic as the Mytek
- much finer details particularly sibilance control
- much improved frequency response
- very deep low end - organ music is superbly deep and rich
I think the Uber analogue upgrade was well worth the extra
For $520 + $60 shipping I would recommend the Bifrost + USB + Uber to anyone.
For Canadian readers there was an $70 GST and $10 handling fee bringing the total to $660
A couple of posts cited it as having an overly bright sound, but as yet I am finding it very musical - and I have silver interconnects on it.
I have a feeling that my well burned in Furutech power cable is responsible for the smooth performance so far.
Right now I`m listening to some very smooth saxophone and it sounds superb.
If you are in the market for a DAC give this one some consideration, but use good cables - you`ll thank yourself for doing so.
Back to the music
I purchased the Bifrost 2 days before they released the Ãber version, so naturally I sent mine back for the upgrade. So I have listened to before and after on my system...the upgrade is well with the 100 bucks I paid, smoother with improved detail, and much firmer bottom end. Very satisfied as you are. I use Signal Cable Magic Digital PC, Black Cat Veloce coax, Atlas Equator MK III IC and mono price optical. Cheers.
Carefully compared the Gungnir to TEAC UD-501 in house for about 10 days. Cut to the chase: Liked the TEAC better -- more musical sounding. Gungnir was a bit dry and I felt bass and dynamics to be overblown. My system needs no help in those areas. The TEAC is much more versatile, with DSD of course, but the filters and sampling choices offer the ability to tailor the sound when wanted/needed. I found the full info display on the TEAC to be a useful and reassuring addition -- missed when I installed the Gungnir.
Been round the block with this stuff with many DACS, players, transports since my 1st top of the line Sony CD in '85. Much progress in digital since then --- though still in love with my records.
Doak - just for a reference point - what power/interconnect did you use on the Gungnir?
I've found the Bifrost was so much nicer using good cables
It is a little rich in the bass, but I never found it an issue with classical and jazz - and only on some rock and pop
The teac definately looks better (haven't heard one) - better power supplies ( I like toroid transformers) and feature set and prices are almost identical when you add the usb to the Gungnir.
What did you use to stream files to them?
The Bifrost sounded much better when the digital stream was NOT upsampled.
Thanks for the info
I just installed the Gungnir. After reading the various forums I narrower my search to the Eastern Electric Minimax Plus, the Teac UD-501, the PS Audio NuWave and of course the Gungnir. They all seem to have strengths and weaknesses, and are well reviewed and spoken about in the forums. What finally sold me on the Schiit DAC was its future modular upgradability as they come up with new and improved boards to swap for a reasonable cost. Thus, if their model succeeds and they stay in business for a long time, it has the potential to surpass in performance any and all the DACs I mentioned.
I can only comment on the sound out of the box. I've been in the hobby for 38 yrs. and never had a separate DAC, primarily because vinyl has been my mainstay. The focus, detail, dynamics and bass are substantial sonic improvement over the built-in DAC on my venerable Rega Planet 2000 CD player. I also hooked up an LG 570 Blue-Ray/CD player and an older Sony DVP CX850D 200 DVDs/CDs Carrousel with similar sonic results because of the DAC upsampling of the incoming signal. I connected the Rega to the DAC using the optical and the last two sharing the coaxial RCA with a Y connector. Since Gungnir provides two sets of analog unbalanced outputs, I have one connected to a Korneff 45 SEi (1.5 wpc)integrated tube amp, and the other to a B&K AVR 202 solid state receiver, so I can play all three sources through both amps. This will allow me to do rock and heavy organ music and video on the solid state, and jazz and classical on the tubes.
As I understand it there is a break-in period of about 100+ hours, so I expect the sound to get even better (or my ears to get more used to it :)
I can honestly say that the sound of digital is getting very comparable to my vinyl rig (Rega P5 w/Benz Micro Glider, EAR 834P phono-pre).
The build of the Gungnir feels rock solid (no plastic on the outside, all aluminum), and a no brainer to operate (just one selector push button). Also during my research I communicated with them a number of times asking questions, and I got a reply from one of the owners (Jason) within a few hours every time. Their customer service, even if you may not like the answer, is impeccable.
I apologize for the wordiness but I hope this is helpful to another audionut out there still on the fence on what to get for an external DAC.
Eagertrader - after having the Bifrost in my system for a few months now, I can tell you it only gets better :-)
Since installing it I have upgraded the interconnect to a pair of Stager SilverSolids - with Eichmann Silver Bullet RCA connectors and upgraded many of the related power items like cables, connectors and outlets.
Every step of the way the Bifrost revealed more dynamics, delicate textures and space in the music.
I would encourage you to consider such upgrades if you have not already done so - I'm sure the payback will be worth it.
The blue jean cables I had ,the Analysis plus Solo Crystal Copper
And in- connects Silver over Copper totally destroyed therm ,not even 90 % that is being kind in every dept ! to really hear what is on your recordings borrow from the cable Co. For a few days, afterdoing so there is no turning back.
T.A.S magazine has them as a regular price- performance winner.
The gungnir dac I have in my other system and compared a lot of $1600
And under dacs. I had the ps nuwave there was no way it it better then the Gungnir.the glare most definitely was due to breakin .it is far more advanced .the nuwave at 150 hours was pretty much runin just look at the two parts wise ,no contest in build quality.,breakin .the Gungnir needs a minimum 200 hours just to start to settle in,inreality I gave it a full 2 weeks 350 hours and still
Minute improvements at the 400 hr mark in resolution .digital operates at such a low level power wise that
These devises can take past 400 hours to fully settle in ,depends on size
Of caps ,dacs ,receivers transformers,also a comment vs the Bifrost which is excellent For the money ,even with the usb2 and uber package,it does not have the same clock regeneration as the Gungnir,or as advanced a analog output section To the same degree.the gungnir is a better unit as it should be that extra $300 goes into mainly the parts layout look at the two big transformers
And a dual differential output stage as well as Dual AKM dacs the bitfrost has only one, For better Separation and processing.now you know where the money is going. It weighs a solid 10 lbs. and a bit more resolved,and refined.
It us noticable better dual dacs better separation ,two huge cradle transformers.class A analog section is much more involved when you put everything extra in the circuit.it weighs 10 lbs for a reason ,also the patented re locking circuit itself more resolution.
I heard them both ,the Latest Gungnir with USB2 $850
Is noticably better top to bottom .i owned the Luxman 06
And several others this dac is very balanced sounding retail this is a $4k dac all day long without the markup or hype.dsd audio big marketing,I find in many instances a good master 172, or 192 kHz recording superb
And every bit as good Try the Gungnir ,it has a 15 day money back!!
I've owned both and examined the build quality on both. Like or dislike is subjective, and if you wish to claim way better build quality or parts that's up to you. I wouldn't call the transformers "huge" and dual DAC's is meaningless as far as build and parts quality. The NuWave does have a huge toroidal transformer that takes up half the enclosure, like the Gungnir it also has class A fully discrete analog section, weighs 4 lbs more (since you brought weight up), I doubt the Adapticlock is any better than the Perfectwave clocks. I'm not knocking the Gungir's build quality but to say it's 'way better' is pretty ludicrous.
As far as noticably better.i was referring to the Schiit bitfrost
With all options the Gungnir is noticably better still.
I owned the Nuwave and had it for 3 months and compared to my friends Gungnir. I would not have changed if myself and several others had any doubts. With several preamps, and SS snd Vacuum tube equipment.
If you like your Nuwave that is good you can do as you please it is your money.
Figured I resurrect this thread with an update, since so many have viewed it over it's life.
I've just installed the newly released USB Gen 2 from Schiit
For details see this thread...
Schiit USB Gen 2 Upgrade for Bifrost & Gungnir
A worthwhile upgrade