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New ESS Sabre32 (ES9018) based DAC from Audio-gd....the NFB-1 - Page 41

post #601 of 607

Additional components (like an amp) influence the sound, of course. But thats not the point.

I'd like to find aut the specific contribution of the -1ES to the sound (according to "garbage in, garbage out") before I order one and probably be disappointed.

And i don't want to focus on detail in general as we seem to know that's massive with the 9018.

I'd like to focus on soundstage and 3D-imaging. Does the level of detail improve that as well? Or isn't it depending so much on detail but something else that the 9018/-1ES eventually really delivers? Or are the 8741s (or rather: A-gd's implementation of them) better in that regard?

post #602 of 607

Once you meet the optimal power requirements for your particular headphone, that would be up to the synergy of all the components in the chain as well as your individual psychoacoustics/HRTFs. No matter how much research you do beforehand, ultimately your ears will provide the best answer for your unique needs.

Edited by grokit - 6/4/11 at 11:54am
post #603 of 607



Soundstage and 3d imaging is exactly where NFB-7 improves over NFB-10ES. I only compared the latter to DAC-19 DSP (PCM1704) and both had similar soundstage, but imaging was a notch better on NFB-10ES because of better dynamics. PCM1704 dacs lack in dynamics. Hope this helps.

post #604 of 607

OK, thats a helpful hint towards the thesis that the 9018's soundstage ist probably not surprisingly narrow or kind of "congested".

And the -1ES is most likely not worse than the -10ES since the former is a dedicated DAC while the latter is a compromise between DAC and preamp.

I'm currently doing my soundchecking with Beyer DT880/250, but I will eventually listen through floorstanding speakers and the KT88-tubeamp. Nevertheless and regardless of synergy effects I'd like to collect all possible opinions or - even better - experience conderning soundstage3D-imaging with A-gd's 9018 implementaion.

post #605 of 607

Has anyone had success with playing 192khz files?



edit: never mind, my computer was misconfigured - I actually have no problems playing any bit rate now.

Edited by tme110 - 1/20/12 at 6:38pm
post #606 of 607

wow this thread died.


Edited by tme110 - 1/20/12 at 6:37pm
post #607 of 607

My thoughts on its sequel, the NFB-1.32 w/USB32 and TXCO clocks from a sister thread : http://www.head-fi.org/t/625945/audio-gd-nfb-1-32/15



Well i have it hooked up, listening through my speakers, took me all bout 2 minutes to get it going to install the usb driver, and get sound. Instantly noticed the increased depth and I do mean lots of it, details, and airyness, and a slight warmth, easily outclasses the modded soundcard. I'm gonna get to listening with more material throughout the day and will be chiming in a bit later

Will be doing comparisons between this and my vinyl setup, i have a couple vinyl records that I have digitally that ill be able to flip back and forth to compare with. Will also be hooking it up to my Lisa3 headamp in a few. More fun thoughts later.
Edited by xtreme4099 - 9/17/12 at 2:59pm


Testing all the connections,

USB sonics are better than the toslink optical, that much was immediate when flicking between connections.

I haven't been able to coax working with the auzentech internal soundcard, foobar gives a device in use error, and none of the windows sounds appear to work either, where as the opposite is true when using toslink or usb. Setting the SPDIF to DIR mode didn't help. Coax works fine with the receiver so either the 1.32 is picky or I have driver problem and or it simply doesn't like the sound card which is more likely the case.

The coax is working fine however, i had to pull out an old dvd player with a coaxial out, and throw in a cd to test and it played fine. However since most of my music is digital i wont be able to play with it on sound card tsk tsk. I have a nice coax Oyaide DIR-510 pure silver cable that would of been nice to compare against the usb functionality. Oh well at least i know every portion of the DAC is working. I'm just musing :)

Looks like I can play 24/352k files just fine in KS mode via foobar, and I imagine i can also play 384k files once I grab some

2L has some sample 24/352k DXD files here : http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html - they're big as you can imagine, tracks range from a couple hundred megs to over a gig in size.


Originally Posted by xing3ds

Hi xtreme,
Looks promising..
Looking forward for more review.
Have you heard any audio-gd DAC with PCM1740UK chip? Such as Reference 5?



Not yet, I'd be curious to listen to either the 5.32 or the SA 1.32, it would be a fairer comparison to the 1.32 I have now.

In regards to a review I'll be in the process of matching it up with different gear so I get can overarching picture of the capabilities of the DAC, I have a couple friends in the area that have an assortment of sources that I'd be able to directly compare against. My immediate impressions are overwhelming positive, it's airy, detailed, and is absolutely wonderful with live recordings. Also your source music will have to be very well recorded otherwise you will be hear everything warts n all, this could be what some people attribute to some of the etchiness or hardness to some of the low bit recordings, which is not the case at all with well recorded material at any resolution above 44.1. The 352khz samples are phenomenal to listen to, even over their 192khz counterparts, I may just look at grabbing a couple of those in different genre's from an audiophile sites to wrap my head around at what is soon to become the future format of audiophilia considering hard drives are getting bigger and cheaper. The samples I've heard have either been piano or classical and 1 with vocals which sounded just about perfect to my ears. I look forward to matching it up and comparing it with other gear to give more level headed description of its capabilities, considering this is my one and only external dac at the moment, my immediate impressions may be newness bias, time will tell.

I'm also looking forward to ally's thoughts, since he appears to have an EE minimax plus in his inventory.
Edited by xtreme4099 - 9/19/12 at 9:31am

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