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Audio-GD NFB-11 - Page 25

post #361 of 987

i just changed my nfb-11 preorder to a NFB-12 preorder (with the 10% bonus)

 

now if Audio-gd would launch a stand alone headphone amp with the NFB-11/12 form i would be happy. (for some time ;))

post #362 of 987

Audio-gd top page said "The NFB-11 USB issue had fix in long time test . We are designing the new PCB for it". Looking forward to it.

Regarding my 600-hours-old NFB-11... I just noticed that the gain switch affected DAC output even if it was 'fixed' mode, and, Low gain and High gain have different sound signatures. While Low gain is neutral, High gain is more bright and sparkish (it reminds me of OPA-Sun V2 sound).


Edited by isao2k8 - 11/23/10 at 6:23am
post #363 of 987

Any suggestion which DAC would be better for Matrix M Stage as headamp and Beyers DT880Pro/Ultrasone Proline2500 - NFB11 or 12? I dont need builtin headamp but prices are much lower than dedicated DACs. Is it big difference in NFB11/12 comparing to NFB 2/DAC19 in sound quality/overall quality?

Im upgrading from Xonar Essence STX

post #364 of 987

I don´t know about the Ultrasones, but the Beyers are quite bright/treble-heavy. I´d rather pair it with the Wolfson chip than the Sabre32 (because Wolfson is warmer), but in that case an USB/SPDIF converter like the Digital Interface would be good since the Wolfsons aren´t that good with bad transports (PC). The power supply apparently is extremely important, so I believe the NFB-2 or DAC19 will outperform both the small NFB products clearly, but until the products are actually in people´s hands noone knows for sure. Since you already have a Matrix M-Stage, I´d look into the NFB-2/3...

post #365 of 987

I find it hard to believe that Wolfon's are not good with PC transports considering how many Wolfson chips are out there and the favorable reviews that those devices get.

post #366 of 987

Is it worth to pay extra 150 USD for some better components? Is it significant change in sound quality? NFB3 should be better than newest DACs from gd audio. I know how synergy with all components is important and Im afraid of that neutral Sabre chip in my system. on the other hand I dont know if it wouldnt be better for Ultrasones, as I see some potential in that cans, but STX isnt partner for it for sure. Matrix M Stage is on way so I dont know anything about sound improvement yet, but I believe it still would be better than built in headamp in these DACs.

post #367 of 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by zibra View Post

Is it worth to pay extra 150 USD for some better components? Is it significant change in sound quality? NFB3 should be better than newest DACs from gd audio. I know how synergy with all components is important and Im afraid of that neutral Sabre chip in my system. on the other hand I dont know if it wouldnt be better for Ultrasones, as I see some potential in that cans, but STX isnt partner for it for sure. Matrix M Stage is on way so I dont know anything about sound improvement yet, but I believe it still would be better than built in headamp in these DACs.



Interesting question! I'm still trying to decide whether to go NFB2/3 route or NFB12

post #368 of 987

This is a little confusing. How would the clarity from very high-end gear be more musical and forgiving at the same time? 

 

I currently have Sennheiser HD650s, which are powered by a Woo Audio WA6 tube amp and my source is the EMU 0404 USB (highbitrate mp3's-to-lossless audio files).

 

I'm wondering what would be a good upgrade from the EMU 0404 USB for my setup and was considering the NFB-12 dual wolfson. But I need to connect it to my PC. I have an old Chaintech AV710 lying around if that can be configured for COAX-out use. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

You're pretty much then stuck with choosing deliberately imperfect gear (cheap tube amps for example) or very high-end gear where the clarity allows the music to be musical.  There are various combinations in between.  As for USB and coax, you can get better results using the coax input, but if you're going to spend money, doing so on a better DAC/amp or separates would be more sensible.

post #369 of 987

i don't understand what's been said about the quality of the transport. if i hook a coax or optical cable into my motherboard and use bit-perfect streaming, nothing is being done to the signal between my motherboard and my headphone amp. so what does a HiFace change?

 

sorry if this is a basic question...

 

i'm asking because I plan on buying an NFP-11 or 12 and probably will run coax or optical and bit-perfect FLAC source. i understand that not all transports are the same and the pros/cons of coax vs. optical vs. USB and all that. but what' s digital interface for? should i get one??

post #370 of 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

I find it hard to believe that Wolfon's are not good with PC transports considering how many Wolfson chips are out there and the favorable reviews that those devices get.


USB doesn't connect directly to the DA chips, it goes through a USB receiver.  So it's nothing to do with Wolfson at all.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by lessblue View Post

This is a little confusing. How would the clarity from very high-end gear be more musical and forgiving at the same time? 


Look at it in reverse: The more distortion, the less pleasant it is to listen to especially notes in the treble area, as they sound more harsh.  I wouldn't say high-end gear is more "forgiving" necessarily.  Listening to Alicia Keys on my system, you can make out the size of the studio she was recorded in, and likely someone experienced in that profession could probably tell you all about the studio just from the sound.  However, there is a low-quality background sound dubbed over her nice voice.  The difference in quality between the two is very distinct and annoying to some degree.

post #371 of 987

 

Can you tell that to the people who seem to believe the "Wolfson" is transport dependent?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

I find it hard to believe that Wolfon's are not good with PC transports considering how many Wolfson chips are out there and the favorable reviews that those devices get.


USB doesn't connect directly to the DA chips, it goes through a USB receiver.  So it's nothing to do with Wolfson at all.

 

 

 

I am right there with you. After some research, it looks like this device is just a USB soundcard with Coax output for those who are forced to use USB output, mostly laptop users. It can help clean up the signal and it upsample if that's what you are into. I can't imagine desktop users needing this if they use coax or optical from their PC and bit-perfect. I have read some claims of people liking the sound of USB instead of coax, so this might be good for them as well. Really looks like one of those last 2-3% performance solutions for a specific group of people.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by movi View Post

i don't understand what's been said about the quality of the transport. if i hook a coax or optical cable into my motherboard and use bit-perfect streaming, nothing is being done to the signal between my motherboard and my headphone amp. so what does a HiFace change?

 

sorry if this is a basic question...

 

i'm asking because I plan on buying an NFP-11 or 12 and probably will run coax or optical and bit-perfect FLAC source. i understand that not all transports are the same and the pros/cons of coax vs. optical vs. USB and all that. but what' s digital interface for? should i get one??


Edited by Slaughter - 11/24/10 at 11:51pm
post #372 of 987

Yes, it doesn´t connect directly to the chip via USB, it connects to an USB to SPDIF transformer chip such as the Tenor which is used in the Digital Interface and most Audio-gd products. Then that imperfect signal is passed along to the SPDIF receiver, which is either a third party one (on Wolfson) or directly on the one in the ESS chip. It´s nothing against the Wolfson (great chip), it´s just that the Sabre32 is an exception to the rule and includes a custom patented SPDIF receiver directly on the chip, and the chip performs some sort of proprietary patented "time domain jitter elimination" on the signal to remove jitter. The Wolfson is not as high tech in this regard, it has to use a separate receiver chip (and that chips properties then affect the sound). The Sabre32 products have been said not be as reliant on transports on numerous reviews, such as on Ravenda´s blogs REF5 vs Wyred4Sound DAC-1 review. Thus I believe there´s a pretty strong case that something like a HiFace or Digital Interface will help a lot more on a Wolfson solution than a Sabre32. That said, that doesn´t mean the third party chip reliant Wolfson is bad with USB either, it just isn´t as high tech in removing the jitter.

 

Check: http://www.esstech.com/PDF/Sabre32%20DAC%20PF%20100622.pdf

 

*disclaimer: to my best understanding


Edited by vrln - 11/25/10 at 5:20am
post #373 of 987

I hope Kingwa doesn't mind me posting this, it was a part of the NFB-12 product page but for some reason it was removed. I edited it up a bit, still some grammar mistakes and I may not be portraying him 100% accurately, but you get the general idea :).

 

 

Quote:
My opinion about jitter:
    
I read some points about jitter, some people think if the DAC can avoid jitter, then any sources feeding to this DAC can get the same sound output regardless of whether the source is expensive or inexpensive. But in my experience, this is not real. The costly DAC also can't achieve .
   
     In my experience, I have only tried one Chinese DIY DAC which can ignore sources and output the same sound. I tried to feed to it between a Marantz CD16K and a VCD player, this DAC output definitely had the same sound but I think it sounded worse than the VCD player's analog output.

     The ES9018 claims it can avoid jitter, but I have experimented with it. I fed our NFB-7 from our CD-7FV or a DVD player, the sound is definitely different. While from the DVD player, the sound definitely degrades compared with the CD-7FV. The sound tone became flat, the sound stage much smaller than with the CD-7FV.

     The jitter is not the only reason which can degrade sound quality, there are some other reasons which can degrade the sound quality. Like the clock phase noise, the SPDIF output waves form, even the dissension power cables and the coaxial cables. I just think, that jitter is the easiest of issues to unravel.

     But on the other hand, if the DAC sound is not revealing, or for subjective reasons, users maybe can't hear the difference from different sources.
post #374 of 987

Thanks for posting that... Very interesting - the man knows what he is talking about! Sabre32 being able to bypass transport quality did sound too good to be true even though it sounded at least partly believable in theory.

 

EDIT: Actually Kingwa told me in an email once the exact same thing, that jitter isn´t the only thing affecting the sound, but most manufacturers like to talk only about it because it´s the cheapest to modify. Makes sense, I can definately hear a huge difference between the Digital Interface/Little Dot CDP_1 and the CD7.


Edited by vrln - 11/25/10 at 5:33am
post #375 of 987

Very interesting - more insight is always appriciated. Its so impressive he uses a lot of time listening to the stuff. Very trustworthy.

 

No wonder he removed it. It touches the fundamentals of seperating souce from dac, and thereby the majority of his business :),

 

There is no way around it. If you need best sound, you need to have the clock at the dac, and syncronice back to the source. As this is not possible for the the typical computer dac solution, what we need now is a audio-gd mediaplayer with integrated dac/amp. Alternativesly a network dac. As today seems to be one of the few days without news from audio-gd - yeaa - we should hope for some new product there !

 

I dont understand some of the talk about jitter. Ofcource there is a lot of marketing how a dac can remove jitter by upsampling and things like that. But you always transform the jitter to another freq spectrum. But if the ess can move low freq jitter to high freq (?), it should be possible for a good implemented capacitor loading of the clock to remove the jitter that hurts most for the ear, the low freq random in structure jitter. But that puts lots of stress on the surrounding of the dac. I dont understand the talk about clock phase, why is it not jitter? - it transform into jitter right away. The coaxial connection is very sensitive fx. by different capacitance - try fx. to reverse your cable to hear if there is a slight difference. But it also transform into clock jitter. The same talk applies to the reciewer part. All boils down to, that it is bad to separate source from dac. Kingwa knows this.

 

I would like to know his experiment about the liniarity vs. speed for the decoupling of his ess part :)

 

Why is the best always removed again :)


Edited by krumme - 11/27/10 at 5:09am
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