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Audio-GD NFB-11 - Page 41

post #601 of 987

Haven't tried the NFB-11, but I agree with pautinqch that the compass has a natural and relaxed sound to it. Newer entry level audio-gd gear sound more neutral and serious, pretty dynamic sounding.

post #602 of 987



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pautinqch View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by noxlord View Post

Hello good Boys and Guys,

 

I jut received my NFB-11 (yesterday actually) and I would like to share my experience so far.

 

My previous setup was Foobar - Onboard Realtek spdif coax - Audio-GD Compass - Denon D2000

My current setup is Foobar - Asus Essence STX - Audio-GD NFB-11 - Denon D2000

 

I know it isn't fair to review the NFB-11 with a completely different sound card, but I didn't want to fiddle around with my old setup.

 

My first impression is such an improvement over my last setup, it's ridiculously clearer, more precise and the sound just feel like the band is playing in my face. I don't have the audiophile jargon out of my head but the difference between the Compass and the NFB-11 is almost as obvious as the difference between computer onboard analog audio vs Compass as usb sound card.

 

I did not try the usb input yet.

High Gain sound better for me.

I am incredibly satisfied.

Also, I am quite disapointed by the crappyness of the Asus driver for my card. Clipping all the time with ASIO ... but that's for another thread.

 

I guess most North American orders should arrive soon :)

 

 

 

 


I`m the owner of the Audio-gd Compass.

Dou You think I`ll upgrade my sound, changing DAC to something like nfb-11/12 ?

Visually nfb-11/12 looks significantly cheeper against Compass, especially PSU and headphone amplifier parts.



I am still waiting for the NFB-11 so i'm realy glad with your positive review.

I would like to ask you to try the USB input because of the previous problems with it.

Thanks!

 

Tini

post #603 of 987

I have an NFB-11es on order and Edwin told me it would ship "around Jan 7" - when you look at the "Consignment" page on the Audio-Gd web site showing shipments http://www.audio-gd.com/ConsignmentGlobal.htm it doesn't show that anything has been shipped since December 20th.  I wonder if it's really true nothing's been shipped since 12/20 or if it's just because they don't have time to update the site...?

 

I sent an email to Audio-Gd asking for an update on the shipping date, but have received no reply- not even the auto-reply, so I wonder if they have some email issues again over there.

 

It's not that I am impatient to receive my order (well OK a LITTLE impatient!) but I just like to know what's going on.  I have no doubt that Audio-Gd is working hard to fill orders and mine will arrive in the fullness of time-  but I just want to know.

post #604 of 987

Resend email if you don't receive an autoresponse.

 

I have had audio-gd receive my email but me not receive an autoresponse, so there's possibly something sucking emails from both sides into the void.

post #605 of 987

I had posted my review elsewhere, but I'll move it here since this is the place for NFB-11 traffic.

 

I'll start by a first impressions review of the NFB-11 as a PC/USBdriven headphone amp.

 

Sources: Asus eee PC notebook with mp3, AACand WAV files. I've not been able to get ASIO4ALLto work with FOOBAR (this time, it did work before, hmmm), so the audio processing is still XP.  Cans: Beyerdynamic DT990-600 ohm, Monster Turbine IEMs.  Comparison Amps: uDac, FUBAR IV Plus, Compass, and a powerful HP out from my old british integrated.

 

Yes, the NFB-11 can drive the 600 Ohm Beyers. You do need to use the high gain switch though, as low gain doesn’t do it. I'll max out my ears at about 40-60%% of the volume dial with high gain.

 

Here’s the best thing I can say about the NFB-11, it is the first time I can honestly say that I can hear the difference on headphones between a 256 or 320 kbps MP3 file and a WAV file. It’s subtle, but definite. No audible difference between Apple Lossless and WAV files though. Don’t get me wrong, the mp3 files sound very good. However, switching to a lossless format is an audible improvement. I do have some hi-rez FLACs from HDTracks as well, and I must say those sound stunning. Great detail even at low volume, and nothing in the background at all.

 

IEM testing: The Turbines run on the low gain setting at around 30% of the volume dial. I won’t compare the sound to the DT990s, it’s not a fair fight. I know background hiss is a problem with amped IEMs, and I will say when you pause the music, there is a very faint hiss. Compared to my other amps, the background hiss is much less.

 

With the DT990s at full volume (no music), there is no background noise at all.

 

As far as a USB-DAC comparison, the NFB-11 has better detail than the FUBAR or COMPASS. I do think the FUBAR goes a hair lower in the bass region..it may have a bit more power I think. However, the NFB-11 sounds cleaner all around. I do get the warning about the NFB-11 being unforgiving though, there are a couple of times listening to songs where the singer would hit a note that would pierce my ears. That was pretty rare though.

 

In summary, the NFB-12 (since the 11 is no longer an option) should serve as the reference budget USB Headphone Amp. I can see no reason to spend more, unless you are willing to spend MUCH more. To answer a recent question, should a Compass owner get the NFB-11/12? I probably wouldn't, Compass' sound is 95% as good, and you can tweak it to higher levels.

 

And now I can add Part 2, the DAC review. Comparing it against the FUBAR IV (Cirrus 4396?), Oppo DV-980 (Cirrus 4398?), but mostly my Sony BDP-570 (Costco version BK-57) as it is better than the prior two.

 

I spent about two hours testing. For the first hour, I did not prefer the NFB-11 to the Sony....too close to call. After an hour, I changed my mind. The Sony beat out the Oppo and FUBAR IV with a much better bass response. The NFB-11 matches that better bass response, but adds a tighter mid-range. Vocals are a bit more apparent with the NFB-11, the Sony's vocals fall a bit further back into the sound. This was most apparent on SACD playback. Soundstage was pretty similar with the NFB and the Sony.  As far as testing using PC as a source, pretty similar results to what I heard on the headphones.....mp3 files do not quite stack up to lossless, WAV files, or direct from CD....but the mp3 files still sound very good and will suffice for all but critical listening. 

 

I wish I had an old DVD player to test, as I suspect the NFB-11 would be quite an improvement....but in this case the Sony BD player really stacks up well. For me, the NFB-11 improves it only by a small margin as a DAC, so the NFB will stay at work as a PC-USB-head amp.

 

post #606 of 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post

I have an NFB-11es on order and Edwin told me it would ship "around Jan 7" - when you look at the "Consignment" page on the Audio-Gd web site showing shipments http://www.audio-gd.com/ConsignmentGlobal.htm it doesn't show that anything has been shipped since December 20th.  I wonder if it's really true nothing's been shipped since 12/20 or if it's just because they don't have time to update the site...?

 

I sent an email to Audio-Gd asking for an update on the shipping date, but have received no reply- not even the auto-reply, so I wonder if they have some email issues again over there.

 

It's not that I am impatient to receive my order (well OK a LITTLE impatient!) but I just like to know what's going on.  I have no doubt that Audio-Gd is working hard to fill orders and mine will arrive in the fullness of time-  but I just want to know.

 


Well the shipped my NFB-12 yesterday, and a another member have gotten there NFB-12 shipped too. So they are shipping! but they "Consignment" have always been out of date when i have been looking at it.

post #607 of 987

Did you get a shipping notice and tracking number when they shipped? 

post #608 of 987

I only got a notice the tracking number will take 3-4 days to "upgrade" as edwin said in the mail and will send it to me when its "upgraded". I am shipping with DHL.

post #609 of 987

Ok, thanks. My shipping option was also DHL. I just sent Edwin an email to inquire.

post #610 of 987

That pretty much confirms my thoughts that a DAC doesn't matter as much as people say. When a standard Sony consumer product that costs about 40% less can go toe to toe with a supposedly excellent DAC that Audio-GD spent a year working on...that is kind of sad really, but again, not really surprising. I'll be putting my NFB-12 up against a 13 years old Entec 203.2 when I get. Should be interesting. Thanks for the review.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky14 View Post

I had posted my review elsewhere, but I'll move it here since this is the place for NFB-11 traffic.

 

I'll start by a first impressions review of the NFB-11 as a PC/USBdriven headphone amp.

 

Sources: Asus eee PC notebook with mp3, AACand WAV files. I've not been able to get ASIO4ALLto work with FOOBAR (this time, it did work before, hmmm), so the audio processing is still XP.  Cans: Beyerdynamic DT990-600 ohm, Monster Turbine IEMs.  Comparison Amps: uDac, FUBAR IV Plus, Compass, and a powerful HP out from my old british integrated.

 

Yes, the NFB-11 can drive the 600 Ohm Beyers. You do need to use the high gain switch though, as low gain doesn’t do it. I'll max out my ears at about 40-60%% of the volume dial with high gain.

 

Here’s the best thing I can say about the NFB-11, it is the first time I can honestly say that I can hear the difference on headphones between a 256 or 320 kbps MP3 file and a WAV file. It’s subtle, but definite. No audible difference between Apple Lossless and WAV files though. Don’t get me wrong, the mp3 files sound very good. However, switching to a lossless format is an audible improvement. I do have some hi-rez FLACs from HDTracks as well, and I must say those sound stunning. Great detail even at low volume, and nothing in the background at all.

 

IEM testing: The Turbines run on the low gain setting at around 30% of the volume dial. I won’t compare the sound to the DT990s, it’s not a fair fight. I know background hiss is a problem with amped IEMs, and I will say when you pause the music, there is a very faint hiss. Compared to my other amps, the background hiss is much less.

 

With the DT990s at full volume (no music), there is no background noise at all.

 

As far as a USB-DAC comparison, the NFB-11 has better detail than the FUBAR or COMPASS. I do think the FUBAR goes a hair lower in the bass region..it may have a bit more power I think. However, the NFB-11 sounds cleaner all around. I do get the warning about the NFB-11 being unforgiving though, there are a couple of times listening to songs where the singer would hit a note that would pierce my ears. That was pretty rare though.

 

In summary, the NFB-12 (since the 11 is no longer an option) should serve as the reference budget USB Headphone Amp. I can see no reason to spend more, unless you are willing to spend MUCH more. To answer a recent question, should a Compass owner get the NFB-11/12? I probably wouldn't, Compass' sound is 95% as good, and you can tweak it to higher levels.

 

And now I can add Part 2, the DAC review. Comparing it against the FUBAR IV (Cirrus 4396?), Oppo DV-980 (Cirrus 4398?), but mostly my Sony BDP-570 (Costco version BK-57) as it is better than the prior two.

 

I spent about two hours testing. For the first hour, I did not prefer the NFB-11 to the Sony....too close to call. After an hour, I changed my mind. The Sony beat out the Oppo and FUBAR IV with a much better bass response. The NFB-11 matches that better bass response, but adds a tighter mid-range. Vocals are a bit more apparent with the NFB-11, the Sony's vocals fall a bit further back into the sound. This was most apparent on SACD playback. Soundstage was pretty similar with the NFB and the Sony.  As far as testing using PC as a source, pretty similar results to what I heard on the headphones.....mp3 files do not quite stack up to lossless, WAV files, or direct from CD....but the mp3 files still sound very good and will suffice for all but critical listening. 

 

I wish I had an old DVD player to test, as I suspect the NFB-11 would be quite an improvement....but in this case the Sony BD player really stacks up well. For me, the NFB-11 improves it only by a small margin as a DAC, so the NFB will stay at work as a PC-USB-head amp.

 

post #611 of 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

That pretty much confirms my thoughts that a DAC doesn't matter as much as people say. When a standard Sony consumer product that costs about 40% less can go toe to toe with a supposedly excellent DAC that Audio-GD spent a year working on...that is kind of sad really, but again, not really surprising. I'll be putting my NFB-12 up against a 13 years old Entec 203.2 when I get. Should be interesting. Thanks for the review.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky14 View Post

I had posted my review elsewhere, but I'll move it here since this is the place for NFB-11 traffic.

 

I'll start by a first impressions review of the NFB-11 as a PC/USBdriven headphone amp.

 

Sources: Asus eee PC notebook with mp3, AACand WAV files. I've not been able to get ASIO4ALLto work with FOOBAR (this time, it did work before, hmmm), so the audio processing is still XP.  Cans: Beyerdynamic DT990-600 ohm, Monster Turbine IEMs.  Comparison Amps: uDac, FUBAR IV Plus, Compass, and a powerful HP out from my old british integrated.

 

Yes, the NFB-11 can drive the 600 Ohm Beyers. You do need to use the high gain switch though, as low gain doesn’t do it. I'll max out my ears at about 40-60%% of the volume dial with high gain.

 

Here’s the best thing I can say about the NFB-11, it is the first time I can honestly say that I can hear the difference on headphones between a 256 or 320 kbps MP3 file and a WAV file. It’s subtle, but definite. No audible difference between Apple Lossless and WAV files though. Don’t get me wrong, the mp3 files sound very good. However, switching to a lossless format is an audible improvement. I do have some hi-rez FLACs from HDTracks as well, and I must say those sound stunning. Great detail even at low volume, and nothing in the background at all.

 

IEM testing: The Turbines run on the low gain setting at around 30% of the volume dial. I won’t compare the sound to the DT990s, it’s not a fair fight. I know background hiss is a problem with amped IEMs, and I will say when you pause the music, there is a very faint hiss. Compared to my other amps, the background hiss is much less.

 

With the DT990s at full volume (no music), there is no background noise at all.

 

As far as a USB-DAC comparison, the NFB-11 has better detail than the FUBAR or COMPASS. I do think the FUBAR goes a hair lower in the bass region..it may have a bit more power I think. However, the NFB-11 sounds cleaner all around. I do get the warning about the NFB-11 being unforgiving though, there are a couple of times listening to songs where the singer would hit a note that would pierce my ears. That was pretty rare though.

 

In summary, the NFB-12 (since the 11 is no longer an option) should serve as the reference budget USB Headphone Amp. I can see no reason to spend more, unless you are willing to spend MUCH more. To answer a recent question, should a Compass owner get the NFB-11/12? I probably wouldn't, Compass' sound is 95% as good, and you can tweak it to higher levels.

 

And now I can add Part 2, the DAC review. Comparing it against the FUBAR IV (Cirrus 4396?), Oppo DV-980 (Cirrus 4398?), but mostly my Sony BDP-570 (Costco version BK-57) as it is better than the prior two.

 

I spent about two hours testing. For the first hour, I did not prefer the NFB-11 to the Sony....too close to call. After an hour, I changed my mind. The Sony beat out the Oppo and FUBAR IV with a much better bass response. The NFB-11 matches that better bass response, but adds a tighter mid-range. Vocals are a bit more apparent with the NFB-11, the Sony's vocals fall a bit further back into the sound. This was most apparent on SACD playback. Soundstage was pretty similar with the NFB and the Sony.  As far as testing using PC as a source, pretty similar results to what I heard on the headphones.....mp3 files do not quite stack up to lossless, WAV files, or direct from CD....but the mp3 files still sound very good and will suffice for all but critical listening. 

 

I wish I had an old DVD player to test, as I suspect the NFB-11 would be quite an improvement....but in this case the Sony BD player really stacks up well. For me, the NFB-11 improves it only by a small margin as a DAC, so the NFB will stay at work as a PC-USB-head amp.

 


 



If you don't think a DAC is not important... then don't bother and buy any stuff on sale at BestBuy....or Walmart......

 

Dac is as important as the amp, the speakers or the headphones.... you've got to be consistant...

 

Stop spending your money if it doesn't matter to you...

 

Denys

post #612 of 987

Did he not say the Sony and NFB-11 were very close, so you are right, I could buy similar quality at Best Buy. Don't get mad because I doubt the ability of a DAC to greatly change sound. I own a competent DAC and a DIY amp, so I have no plans to buy at Best Buy and I purchased the NFB-12 to compare to my current $150 source/amp setup. If it sounds better, then great, if it doesn't then no big deal, I just throw it up on the FS forum. I know it's only one persons opinion, but Sparky kind of killed any hopes I had that this was a an excellent little box or maybe it is and Sony just nailed it with their mid-range Blu-ray player.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denys View Post



If you don't think a DAC is not important... then don't bother and buy any stuff on sale at BestBuy....or Walmart......

 

Dac is as important as the amp, the speakers or the headphones.... you've got to be consistant...

 

Stop spending your money if it doesn't matter to you...

 

Denys

post #613 of 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

Did he not say the Sony and NFB-11 were very close, so you are right, I could buy similar quality at Best Buy. Don't get mad because I doubt the ability of a DAC to greatly change sound. I own a competent DAC and a DIY amp, so I have no plans to buy at Best Buy and I purchased the NFB-12 to compare to my current $150 source/amp setup. If it sounds better, then great, if it doesn't then no big deal, I just throw it up on the FS forum. I know it's only one persons opinion, but Sparky kind of killed any hopes I had that this was a an excellent little box or maybe it is and Sony just nailed it with their mid-range Blu-ray player.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denys View Post



If you don't think a DAC is not important... then don't bother and buy any stuff on sale at BestBuy....or Walmart......

 

Dac is as important as the amp, the speakers or the headphones.... you've got to be consistant...

 

Stop spending your money if it doesn't matter to you...

 

Denys


 



My idea was just to mention that we do not have the same views (or hearings confused_face.gif) about music.... What is important to me might be absolutely useless for someone else....

 

As an example, my car is a 2000 Mazda....and I'll keep it as long as I can.... But since 2000, I bought 3 amps, 5 headphone amps, 3 DACs and 3 headphones....

 

I will keep my DacMagic with my Asgard and my Antique Sound Lab, my MOTU 828 III (including all mods, PSU opamps, etc...) with my 807 hand made amp...., but now, I seek for the perfect DAC to match with my HD800 & WA6SE amp....

 

Hence why I believe DAC is so important.....It should be the last one I'll buy for a long time as other priorities will come....

 

Denys

post #614 of 987

I agree that DAC is as important as other pieces in the chain. I recently went from the speaker out of my x-fi sound card to the DAC line out of my ibasso d10 for my active speakers and the improvements in resolution are startling. I am expecting another significant improvement using the DAC out of the NFBs to feed my speakers.

post #615 of 987

I just ordered a REF5 less than an hour ago and already got a reply from Edwin !!!!

 

When I'll get it, I'll sell my DacMagic.....and if I like the product, I might sell my modified MOTU....

 

I'll let the community know...

 

Denys

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