Gun-, uh, gung, um, I like guns, but how do you pronounce this?
Think goon-year. Like Goodyear, but with more SomethingAwful.
Another dumb name!
Not at all. Gungnir is Odin’s spear, which never misses its mark. We thought it was appropriate, given the performance of this DAC.
So, a balanced DAC? Ain’t this just two Bifrosts in a box?
Not even close. Not only does Gungnir have a completely different analog output stage, true hardware balancing, and summed single-ended outputs, it also has the most sophisticated reclocking system in the industry—our exclusive Adapticlock™ adaptive clock regeneration system.
Ah schiit, more marketing buzzwords. What’s Adapticlock™?
Nontechnically, it’s a way to decrapify the inputs, no matter how craptastic they are. If they are not very crappy, they get maximum decrapification, but even if they’re crappy, they get some decrapification.
Now you’re screwing with me!
Just a little. Technically, Adapticlock is the industry’s most advanced jitter-reducing reclocking system. It automatically switches between VCXO and VCO reclocking, depending on the quality of your source. High-quality sources run on the VCXOs, for best jitter performance. Lower-quality sources that deviate from the range of the VCXOs are routed automatically to the VCOs, and an LED on the front panel comes on. We call this the “buy better gear” light.
You’re kidding. Buy better gear?
Yep. Sources that are outside of the industry-standard specified range of clock frequencies probably ain’t so great. However, you’re still getting clock regeneration from the VCOs, but not the better regeneration performance of the VCXOs.
What are some typical high-quality and low-quality sources?
High-quality: good CD transports, good DVD/Blu-Ray players, good music servers. Low-quality: satellite receiver, many computers, bad/cheap CD/DVD players.
So are you now doing the sample rate conversion/upsampling dance?
Sorry, we don’t dance. We are geeky white guys. Nor have we changed our views on ASRC. As far as we’re concerned, it’s still crap.
Give me jitter numbers!
Technically, that’s not a question, and we’re still finalizing the spec.
Why the same DAC as Bifrost, the AKM4399?
When we started development, we figured we’d take a long hard look at Sabre. One of the advantages of an upgradable, modular DAC is that you can build a whole lot of different DAC cards and try them out. And in the end, we decided we liked the AKM best.
Are you saying Sabre is crap?
Not at all. There are a ton of good DACs using Sabre. Ours just isn’t one of them.
So this is two Bifrost DAC/Analog stages in a box?
No. The analog stage is considerably more advanced in Gungnir, with better open-loop bandwidth, true differential summing, and DC-coupled output, as well as 160% higher voltage rails.
And Gungnir is still upgradable, like Bifrost?
Yep! It’s completely modular. Both the DAC/Analog modules and the USB input module are swappable, when we announce meaningful upgrades. Again, like Bifrost, we aren’t going to be announcing 12 different changes every year.
How about Linux?
Although Linux distros that support USB Audio 2.0 standard should work, we do not support or troubleshoot Linux systems.
Is this the “statement” DAC you’ve been talking about?
No. That’s still coming. It’s going to have a whole lot more unique technology in it. In fact, it won’t be like anything else on the market. If you’re looking at spending at least 2X the price of a Gungnir, you may be interested in that one.
I still think Gungnir’s a stupid name!
Cool. There’s lots of other gear out there.