Originally Posted by j2kei
hey poetik, since you have both the nfb-11 and nfb-12, do you think you can do a quick comparision on the sound between the two? i got a nfb-12 and have nfb-11 no usb on order because im curious on how the sabre differs. i want to see if it is relaly worth it for me to get the nfb-11. thanks
For a quick summary they sound exactly how Audio-GD describes it with the nfb-12 being less harsh and the nfb-11 being more detailed.
A few things I noticed is that the NFB-11 seemed to be at a higher volume when the pot was at the same setting as the NFB-12. I'm not sure if that will be the same for everyone but that's how it was with mine. If you do a quick A/B of both of them you'll notice the obvious difference in the way the highs are presented. The NFB-11 seems borderline sibilant while the NFB-12 is really smooth. As you know the NFB-12 has a really warm signature and while it doesn't quite reproduce the high frequencies like the NFB-11, it is still detailed in the way it presents music.
In the end it really depends on how you want your music presented. The NFB-12 felt more like a tube amp, and while it was more musical, I really liked the clarity and impact of the NFB-11 better. Also the NFB-11 has a tighter bass response and doesn't feel as sloppy as the NFB-12. Sound stage width is about the same but it feels like the NFB-12 pushes instruments out a little further so it seems like the sound stage is bigger. I did notice that on my LA7000's if I put them both on high-gain mode then the sound stage got a little larger. I'm sure it has something to do with the power as my HDP had a noticeably 3D feeling opposed to the NFB-11 and 12 (low-gain didn't really seem to have that 3D encompassing feeling).
I might have liked the NFB-12 more if it didn't have that top end roll off. Actually I think it would've been a huge hit if it didn't have the roll off as it is noticeable while listening to other gear. It's still a great piece of gear but it's just a little too tube like for my tastes. Honestly though I didn't really realize the roll off too much until I put on another source. After awhile you just get intertwined with the music and forget about all the technical bs.