New DAC issues

I have been on a steady system upgrade path over the last year and one of the last pieces to be updated is my DAC, a Schiit Gungnir Multibit. I have no complaints with it, but I am always in search of more and better. The majority of my upgrades have been a big success.

I recently purchased a new DAC that shall remain unnamed, I don't want to throw it and the builder under the bus, but it is about a 5x multiple in cost over the Gungnir. I have had the new DAC for four days now, and I have been playing it continuously. When I installed it, I simply unplugged the other DAC and substituted this one, so minimal change. Initial impressions were that it sounded pretty lean and the soundstage was not great, but I figured it would sound better after warming up. There has been some improvement, but it is not significant.

Playing music with the Gungnir in place, bass was plentiful without being overbearing, and very clean. With the new DAC, bass is almost an afterthought. The Gungnir presented a beautiful soundstage and my speakers disappeared. The new DAC presents a good center image, though smaller than the Gungnir, and the speakers are pretty apparent on most tracks. In general, the magic is gone from the music, there is detail in the mids and highs, but not a lot of life.

I expected a different sound of course, but I cannot imagine that this is the way a DAC at this level is supposed to sound. I think that the Gungnir is considered a warmer DAC, but the contrast in this case is extreme. I am wondering if there is either an issue with the unit or somehow a mismatch with my gear. It provides a 3V output vs the Gungnir's 4V, which may make it a little less lively, but 3V is not out of the ordinary.

The rest of my systems is Pass XP-12 -> Coda #8 -> KEF Reference 1. I am in between streamers right now and using my DigiOne/Pi with LPS over RCA SP/DIF. One could question the streamer, but it sounds great with the Gungnir. I had an Aurender N10, but I did not get along with the Conductor software and now have an Innuos Zenith on the way. Connections are all balanced with Wireworld Eclipse 8's, Acoustic Zen speaker cables and an Acoustic Zen digital cable. Power is dedicated and runs through a Furman Elite 20.

I listen mostly to jazz and lower levels and I have always had a full sound, however with the new DAC the system is no longer engaging. Thoughts? Can a DAC just be incredibly lean?




Yes, the MIB board, the Schiit rep I spoke to said that, so I canceled the order for the board. I am sure it's not night and day, but some early reviews said they preferred the OG slightly, and that's why I pressed them on the issue. I figured it was the loss of detail driving them to prefer the OG, but I don't believe that they stated that, they just said that they slightly preferred the OG. Mind you, these are old memories, but I think that the reviews didn't mention details. Mind you, not too many "professionals" were doing reviews as it was all new to market back then.

I had an interesting conversation with a musician that worked for Schitt at the SchittR in Newhall, CA. I wanted to drive up and listen to the MIB since I was considering it as a DAC for my slightly warm Livingroom system. He had not heard the MIB, and they did not have it at the SchittR, but he had heard the OG and the LIM. He hated the LIM (which I like a lot). I understood why he did not like the LIM, however, as an audio consumer my needs are sometimes different from a musician.

He loved the Yggi+ OG and was lamenting that Schitt had to discontinue the unit because an important part was no longer going to be available for them. He urged me to buy the last OG on the Discontinued page of their website. He was not able to buy the last OG himself due to the cost. Now a month+ later, I can understand the praise he had for the OG. Best DAC I have owned.


@zlone Innuos has both USB and Ethernet outputs but not S/PDIF.

I have found the Ethernet output to be superior from my Innuos Statement Nextgen.  Using a relatively inexpensive Sonore UltraRendu to convert Ethernet to USB to feed my Lampizator GG3 with USB was better than direct USB from the Statement.

Further, using an Antipodes S20 reclocker to convert the UltraRendu's USB to S/PFID to the GG3 is better still.

I recently replaced the UltraRendu with a SignatureRendu SE and Sonore OpticalModule to feed the Antipodes S20 and then feed S/PDIF to the GG3.  The gains in coherence and fluidity are almost matched by the reduction in "Noise".   Its just spooky good.

My takeaways are in my system USB is not the best output from my streamer and not the best input for my DAC.

Before the GG3 I had a Denafrips Terminator Plus and found using the Denafrips  Iris DDC actually improved the USB from the Statement.  At the time I thought it was because the Denafrips TP preferred the I2S input but now I think the Statements USB output is not as good as it is reputed to be.

I also had a Yggdrasil and thought the Denafrips TP was in every way, and and among other things the TP had way more and cleaner bass, it made the Yggy seem lean.  I have 2 REL S510 subs so my system goes low and is sensitive to muddy bass.  The Denafrips did OK on the bass but is no where close to the Lampizator in quality or quantity.

In my experience bass quality and quantity can vary a lot between DACs.

@rikkipuu Very interesting! I took a quick look at the UltraRendu, it seems there are multiple modes that are supported to interface with the streamer, how did you configure your Innuos to work with the Rendu? Roon? Can you use the native Sense app? 


I recently replaced the UltraRendu with a SignatureRendu SE and Sonore OpticalModule to feed the Antipodes S20 and then feed S/PDIF to the GG3.  The gains in coherence and fluidity are almost matched by the reduction in "Noise".   Its just spooky good.

That is pretty much my experience using a SignatureRendu SE optical into a Singxer SU6 DDC and then S/PDIF or AES/EBU into my DAC (currently trying 3 different DACs).  Adding the SignatureRendu SE optical was a clear step up and the DDC seemed to improve things again, although not to the same degree.