Pros: Smooth articulated sound with great soundstage
Cons: None yet
Audio-gd NFB-8 DAC
The first impression you have when you see it is that this beast is as big or heavier than many amplifiers. Build quality is impressive. When you look inside you are amazed to see the circuits when you enjoy electronics
The first time I listened the dac, it was freshly connected to my system which was just turned on. At first,the sound was ultra mellow perhaps too much. There’s wolfson dacs inside which are reknowned to be on the smooth side.
I let the dac play for 3 days with my Macmini SPDIF coax converted before doing serious listening. Last night was THE evening to do serious listening.
This dac is what I qualify smooth sounding but with good sound definition. I previously had a Monarchy M24 tube I loved but this one is in another league. It doesn’t have some of the bad character of tube gear. The soundstage is deep and there’s a wide image in front of you. Some gear seems to give depth but it’s laid back sound which masks many details, This is not the case of the NFB-8 which is smooth and articulate. Timbre accuracy is also a strong point of the NFB-8. Tonight, I tasted something in another league about digital gear. It’s a pleasure to listen any kind of music for a long time.
Being curious, I decided to try the USB input with the supplied USB wire which has two ferrites on it. As all I tried in USB mode, I was sceptic about the results. I must tell you I had a big surprise with the dac in USB mode. Soundstage, bass, spatialisation and timbre accuracy let me reconsider my thoughts about USB. I think it beated the sound of the coax SPDIF with my Stereovox XDV2 BNC digital cable. I’m simply amazed.
By the dac topology, I was not too much afraid to buy it even if I didn’t heard it before buying it. Apparently, the dac should have even better sound in balanced mode which I didn’t tried.
Audio-GD company is really serious by contrast with many other companys from the same country which seems to favor more eyes than the ears. They seems to give excellent service and will give you fast communication if you have any request with them.
For 1200$ plus shipping, this is a big deal. Don’t judge it only it by it’s low price but with the quality you get and the good sound it does.
I’ll tell you a secret: Waiting a long time to discover such a product adds some fun when you get it.
This is a product that can compete with big leagues.