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New ESS Sabre32 (ES9018) based DAC from Audio-gd....the NFB-1 - Page 7

post #91 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by sokolov91 View Post

The NFB-2 and 3 look a little lackluster compared to the NFB-1...


The NFB-2 and 3 use wm8741 dac chips and are single-ended, very different than NFB-1. I wonder how the $300 NFB-3 compares to the dac19... I wouldn't be surprised if it is in the same league in setups that aren't very revealing.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmac03 View Post




It seems that many of us (including myself) are being confronted with this dilemma. I feel that part of the increased cost of the ref5 can be somewhat explained by the presence of the dsp-1, acss ouput, and usb input. I personally didn't need the usb input or the acss output. As for the absence of the dsp-1 chip, I guess the ess sabre32 chips are jitter-resistent enough to not need it.

 

After saying all this, I feel like I could almost flip a coin to decide which product I purchase.


I personally would just go with the NFB-1 because it is discounted :). Btw NFB-1 also has acss output.


Edited by haloxt - 8/24/10 at 2:19pm
post #92 of 607

Originally Posted by dmac03 View Post

It seems that many of us (including myself) are being confronted with this dilemma.


Both use excellent DAC chips and both are, I believe, excellently implemented. It really boils down to "R2R sound" vs. "ΣΔ sound" personal preference.

 

So, what kind of DAC person are you?

post #93 of 607

If i had the money I think i would go r2r. Especially if they're slowing production and I have still yet to hear one!

 

Off topic, but I noticed kingwa's implementation of the wm8741 in the Fun doesn't come off as digital sounding as i thought. Considering it's very transparent, it sounds very natural with no sign of digititus.

post #94 of 607

The WM8741 is used in the PS Audio Perfectwave DAC, which is $2k, so I'd hope it and the ES9018, which are more recent designs, sound a lot better than one usually expects from a sigma delta DAC.

post #95 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

The WM8741 is used in the PS Audio Perfectwave DAC, which is $2k, so I'd hope it and the ES9018, which are more recent designs, sound a lot better than one usually expects from a sigma delta DAC.


PerfectWave DAC is actually $3000.  And that's before the network "bridge" cost.

http://www.amazon.com/PS-Audio-PerfectWave-Networking-Black/dp/B0030822IC

post #96 of 607

Ironically curra, I always remembered you stating how sigma delta's are harsh and digital sounding! I wonder what makes these ess and 8741 dacs different?

 

So the Fun, sparrow, nfb-2 & 3 are all great bang for the buck! Im very happy with the wm8741 so far!

 

Noob question for you guys... with the new dacs being 32bit capable will this allow for transparent digital attenuation? Could we then eliminate the need for a preamp?  as in go dac --->poweramp ---> headphone/speakers and still remain bitperfect? or am i asking for too much?


Edited by muad - 8/24/10 at 7:27pm
post #97 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by FauDrei View Post


Both use excellent DAC chips and both are, I believe, excellently implemented. It really boils down to "R2R sound" vs. "ΣΔ sound" personal preference.

 

So, what kind of DAC person are you?



I'am an R-2R person.

post #98 of 607

muad: I think some of the harshness in the DACs I owned were due to compromises in the designs more so, now that I know a bit more than I did before.  Some positive comments from quite critical people about various new DACs on the scene which use the newer sigma delta chips, such as the Buffalo, Neko and Perfectwave have got me curious though.

post #99 of 607

To be honest I thought the exact same thing up until recently. I previously found the detailed sigma delta's harsh and the ones that were voiced musically lacked detail. Im very curious to know how this new dac stacks up to the r2r. This will be interesting to see, R2R vs Sigma Delta with both being implemented by the same designer with mostly similar quality components. Its about as a fair as a fight can get!

post #100 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by muad View Post
Noob question for you guys... with the new dacs being 32bit capable will this allow for transparent digital attenuation? Could we then eliminate the need for a preamp?  as in go dac --->poweramp ---> headphone/speakers and still remain bitperfect? or am i asking for too much?


It will to a degree, depending on the bitrate of your audio file.  If you are listening to standard redbook, you should be able to get about 48dB of attenuation without loss of quality.

 

But let's say for a second that all DAC chips and circuits could achieve the theoretical maximum dynamic range.  In that case if you were using a 24 bit DAC chip and listening to 16-bit audio, you could attenuate by 48dB.  With a 32 bit chip listening to 16-bit audio you could attenuate by 96dB.  But real world figures (due to chip limitations and circuit design) will be about half of that.


Edited by IPodPJ - 8/24/10 at 9:28pm
post #101 of 607

my idea would only work if the power amps wattage was low then, 48db wouldn't do much for a 200w amp...

post #102 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by muad View Post

Ironically curra, I always remembered you stating how sigma delta's are harsh and digital sounding! I wonder what makes these ess and 8741 dacs different?

 

So the Fun, sparrow, nfb-2 & 3 are all great bang for the buck! Im very happy with the wm8741 so far!

 

Noob question for you guys... with the new dacs being 32bit capable will this allow for transparent digital attenuation? Could we then eliminate the need for a preamp?  as in go dac --->poweramp ---> headphone/speakers and still remain bitperfect? or am i asking for too much?

 

The ess9018 CAN implement digital attenuation, but it doesn't mean that all designs with it do. For example, the w4s dac1 doesn't, but the dac2 does. The nfb-1 does not.

The best way to use digital attenuation would be to have a dsp (sound card, receiver, or what) of at least 32bit. Linking it to this 32bit dac you'd have very little loss, less than by linking the same dsp to a 24bit dac (like the ref7).
 

post #103 of 607

Hm... Still trying to decide if I get this or a Reference 5 DSP. Currently leaning towards the Ref5 though, if only because the PCM1704UK might not be available in a few years. Maybe this is my only chance to hear what the hype is about. In a way some part of me says it´s a safer choice, as Kingwa already has tons of experiecne with that chip. On the other hand, the Sabre32 chips have gotten very good reviews and this might be the best implementation on the market. This is probably the best Delta-Sigma chip there is, but that´s where the R&D money is right now so I´ll always be able to get one of them. But yeah, it´s still a very hard choice. I wish I had just gotten one of them as a gift so I wouldn´t have to decide :P

 

I´m waiting for someone here to persuade me to make a good decision :)

 

PS: Just in case someone else is also ordering an NFB or Ref5 from Audio-GD, you can chose a higher quality IEC socket and replace the stock line wires with OCC copper (it´s DHC Nucleotide as far as I know). You can email him for the price, it´s not very much I can spoil that! It´s also possible to switch the BNC socket to the heavy duty Canare one used in the Reference 7 (not expensive either).

post #104 of 607

Search "1704" in this page: http://www.lampizator.eu/lampizator/REFERENCES/Buffalo%20DAC/BuffaloDAC.html

Don't remember where i found other comparisons. But people say that the ess is better, or equal, and few just a little worse. So i guess it is overall equal to the pcm1704. But the ess is slightly brighter, while the 1704 is a little more musical.

post #105 of 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cya|\| View Post

Search "1704" in this page: http://www.lampizator.eu/lampizator/REFERENCES/Buffalo%20DAC/BuffaloDAC.html

Don't remember where i found other comparisons. But people say that the ess is better, or equal, and few just a little worse. So i guess it is overall equal to the pcm1704. But the ess is slightly brighter, while the 1704 is a little more musical.



we like that,musical and detailed the 1704

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