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New ESS Sabre32 (ES9018) based DAC from Audio-gd....the NFB-1 - Page 34

post #496 of 607

I think realmassy covered the bases pretty well. Sonos does has an inherent limit to how many files it can index, as the software is located in the sonos hardware and is limited in memory. Squeezebox with a server has no such limitation, though the Squeezebox Touch with it's internal server does also have a file limit. In both cases you really wouldn't hit the limit unless you have a truly massive collection.

 

Looking at the stereophile charts it does look like the Touch has a better digital output, not sure if the jitter measurements really mean anything from an audio quality standpoint though tongue.gif

 

I have the older sonos system and really should upgrade my controller to the touchscreen version (or buy an ipod touch...)

post #497 of 607

Still no impressions?

post #498 of 607

OMG I'm totally getting that Speezebox Touch now thanks for pointing it out . What I like about it most is the digital coax output.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebby View Post

1) What's to stop you from buying a cheap cd and ripping it to a pc as well? smily_headphones1.gif Also, even if you're only using a cd player it's a good idea to have a backup of your cd's, you never know what might happen to a cd.

2)Personal preference, I play both cd's and mp3's basically the same personally speaking...

3) Dunno about the fighting, for me it's mostly been as easy as installing foobar, selecting WASAP/KS and hitting play

4) $250? How about a completely silent frontend with a touch screen for $50 more? http://www.logitech.com/en-us/speakers-audio/wireless-music-systems/devices/5745

 

Quote:


 
post #499 of 607

NFB-1 Experience.

 

I have taken my NFB-1 back home for 2 weeks now. The NFB-1's 5V XLR proved to be too hot for my Yamaha A-S2000 amp (max 2.8V input signal) and caused clipping. Coaxle out from my Yamaha DVD-S1800 DVD/SACD player was totally unlistenable, and I had to set -7.5db for the Foobar Replay Gain so I can play from my notebook. To solve the problem, I ordered a TC Electronic Level Pilot for connection between the NFB-1 and the Yamaha A-S2000 amp. I emailed Kingwa the circuit diagram of the Yamaha A-S2000 and asked if there is any adverse effect on frequency response. He checked and said there would probabaly be a -3db at 500kHz. So I went ahead to buy the TC Pilot.

 

For those who are interested in how a volume pod or passive preamp can affect the frequency response (i.e. how much it would act like a low pass filter and cut treble), there is a detailed explaination at http://www.dact.com/html/technical_info.html. There is even a Excel worksheet for calculation.

 

Setup:

 

1. Dell D520 notebook (with docking station) -> Foobar2000 1.1 (replay gain off, fading off, playback buffer 50MB, 200ms Playback buffer, 24bit output format) -> Windows 7 WASAPI using built-in TE-7022 driver -> Monster 1.5m USB cable -> Audio-gd DI (USB bus powered) -> Audio-gd BNC cable -> Audio-gd NFB-1 -> Audio-gd XLR cables -> TC Electronic Level Pilot -> Yamaha A-S2000 amp (via XLR inputs) -> NHT 1.5 speakers

 

2. Yamaha DVD-S1800 DVD/SACD player -> cheap 75ohm coaxle cable -> Audio-gd DI (USB bus powered) -> Audio-gd BNC cable -> Audio-gd NFB-1 -> Audio-gd XLR cables -> TC Electronic Level Pilot -> Yamaha A-S2000 amp (via XLR inputs) -> NHT 1.5 speakers

 

I set the TC Level Pilot to output about the same sound level from the DVD-S1800 -> Yamaha A-S2000 amp via the RCA inputs. It is at about 2 o'clock position.

 

My previous setups for comparison:  E-mu 0404USB for Computer Audio, Yamaha DVD-S1800 -> Yamaha A-S2000 (RCA inputs)

 

The NFB-1 is my first stand alone DAC purchase. It proved to be a much better DAC compare with the 0404USB. I have to say all my expectation are fullfilled: Much more revealing, Much more dynamic, Much better instrument seperations, and "musical". The difference between the 0404USB is quite dramatic, while the difference between the DVD-S1800 is more subtle.

 

Although I have never listened to any PCM1704 DAC, I did have an old Philip CD950 player which used the Bit-Stream DAC 7 chips. I find the NFB-1 implementation of the Sabre32 very musical to me. There is no harshness I can find. Although I find post 2000 recordings sound more dynamic and attractive than those old 90s recording throught the NFB-1. Sound stage increased in depth but wideness is limited by my NHT 1.5 speakers seperating only 1.5m apart

 

Some of the materials I tried:

 

Kelly Clarkson - Thankful (16bit 44kHz)

Diana Krall - The Look of Love (24bit 96kHz DVD audio)

Faith Hill - Firefires (16bit 44kHz)

Enya - The Celts (16bit 44kHz)

Absolutely Disney - 40 Magical Masterpieces (16bit 44kHz)

Tony Leung (Mandarin) - Absolute Collection (16bit 44kHz)

Cheung Ying (Pipa) -  Dancing in the Wind (16bit 44kHz)

Jim Brickman (Piano) - Grace (16bit 44kHz)

Jim Brickman (Piano) -  Destiny (16bit 44kHz)

Eurosport TV recording - MotoGP 2010 Austrialia GP Philip Island

Many other Mandarin vocals from 80s to 90s

 

I am happy with the NFB-1. I think it will serve as a center piece for future upgrading. I think my pair of NHT 1.5 speakers is the limiting factor of my home system now. I will DIY another pair of bookshelf speakers using Seas drivers once I move to a larger apartment.

 

The Audio DI, while good, seems to be not as stable as my old Emu0404 USB on USB connection. The Audio-gd DI USB connection is much more easily affected by other Windows 7 processes.


Edited by borrego - 10/31/10 at 7:30pm
post #500 of 607

An alternate solution for you instead of the Level Pilot would be to DIY a balanced B1.  That should avoid the issue of using a passive attenuator.

post #501 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epoch View Post

An alternate solution for you instead of the Level Pilot would be to DIY a balanced B1.  That should avoid the issue of using a passive attenuator.



May I know what a "balanced B1" is? I once considered DIY adding resistors to the XLR cables but decided to buy the Level Pilot as it only costs $79 shipped to me and I don't have to buy another set of XLR plugs/cables. I don't want to spend too much money as I may as well selling my A-S2000 amp and upgrade to Audio-gd C500 with ACSS.

 

Kingwa mentioned the Level Pilot could make the sound "softer". But I think it still sound better than using Foobar2000's replay gain.

 

To be honest I was a bit kicking myself not to wait until the NFB-10 with variable output. I think the listening envronment and speakers I have right now cannot make the most out of the NFB-1's better PSU.

 

Oh. I should also mention I am using an APC Smart UPS 1000 XL to provide power to my A-S2000 amp and NFB-1. I use it for the UPS's voltage up-trimming feature as the voltage supply of my apartment can fall to 210V level and cause the Yamaha amp shutting off.

 

So I can say my environment isn't near "optimal"


Edited by borrego - 10/31/10 at 11:08pm
post #502 of 607

The B1 is a buffer preamp from Nelson Pass that is available for people to build themselves.  The basic design is for unbalanced signals, but there is information available on diyaudio to make a balanced version.  Details of the B1 are at passDIY.

I don't know if it is worth it if you want to go to an all Audio-GD setup and go with ACSS though.

post #503 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epoch View Post

The B1 is a buffer preamp from Nelson Pass that is available for people to build themselves.  The basic design is for unbalanced signals, but there is information available on diyaudio to make a balanced version.  Details of the B1 are at passDIY.

I don't know if it is worth it if you want to go to an all Audio-GD setup and go with ACSS though.



Thank you for the information. At the moment I don't really have time for any serious DIY work.

 

Along the way I was looking for solution taming the NFB-1 XLR output, I read quite a lot about passive preamp and now fully realized the philosophy behind Audio-gd's ACSS. It is to link the DAC - Pre amp - Power amp in 1 single unit without any trouble of input/out impedence mismatch. If I am going down the route of passive preamp, I think I will go the studio active crossover route and replace the A-S2000 with 2 power amps to run bi-amp. Since I am very interested building my next pair of speakers and it would also simplify crossover design.

 

Actually the only reason for me not upgrading to the C500 is its size. It has no space in my tiny living room.

post #504 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by borrego View Post





Thank you for the information. At the moment I don't really have time for any serious DIY work.

 

Along the way I was looking for solution taming the NFB-1 XLR output, I read quite a lot about passive preamp and now fully realized the philosophy behind Audio-gd's ACSS. It is to link the DAC - Pre amp - Power amp in 1 single unit without any trouble of input/out impedence mismatch. If I am going down the route of passive preamp, I think I will go the studio active crossover route and replace the A-S2000 with 2 power amps to run bi-amp. Since I am very interested building my next pair of speakers and it would also simplify crossover design.

 

Actually the only reason for me not upgrading to the C500 is its size. It has no space in my tiny living room.


Wouldn't using the RCA output (instead of ACSS) solve your problem?

post #505 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlach View Post




Wouldn't using the RCA output (instead of ACSS) solve your problem?


Do you mean using RCA instead of XLR? I want keep using the XLR input of the Yamaha amp as it's balance circuit is totally independent and sound better than its RCA input (even with the TC Level Pilot)

post #506 of 607

500 posts and the only impression is to the EMU 0404.

Will have to wait a lot more I guess

post #507 of 607

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yossi126 View Post

500 posts and the only impression is to the EMU 0404.

Will have to wait a lot more I guess



 Lol QFT.

post #508 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by yossi126 View Post

500 posts and the only impression is to the EMU 0404.

Will have to wait a lot more I guess



You made me laugh.

post #509 of 607

If you take a look at Audio-gd's consignment page then it's obvious that the PCM1704UK-based gears are more popular. Perhaps that's the reasons why impressions are so few in between? 

post #510 of 607

My NFB-1 has gone through another week of usage (approx 30hrs). I think the sound has pretty much settled now. Comparing to 2 weeks ago, it sounds more elastic, with more air to go with the excelent dynamic. It also does not need much time to warm up as before, it pretty much give good sound 5 mins after turn on.

 

I like the DAC very much and is very tempted to try other Audio-gd gears.

 

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