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Audio-GD NFB-11 - Page 61

post #901 of 987


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete View Post




Interesting take on the Zero....the reason why I went with the (K42 series) PIOs was to mitigate the hyper real representation that the WIMA MKP bypass caps gave to the unit...the PIOS if carefully installed with the leads as short as possible pick up no noise whatsoever and impart a lovely tube like vocing to the overall mod (addressing your main complaint for the most part)....the PIOS are critical to the end result (at least 50% of the voicing is at stake here). Combine that with the HDAM OPA and it's PIO mod and you have a very accurate and cheap source that can be modified quite easily by a beginner ( no small consideration when to take into account the complexity of adding a tube output stage and it's related PSU components).However  I do like the idea of the tube back end and I would like to try that someday. I have a number of 6N6P-I's on hand gathering dust that could be pressed into service if I should decide to duplicate the mod.

 

Your NFB 11 mod is pretty cool.....Lampy is a unique individual and a great resource as long as you like tubes (for everything) and are well versed in DIY precautions when dealing with high voltages. The 6N6P is a good tube but it's hardly SOTA....for these purposes however and the target price points of these DIY projects I can think of no better candidate (tube) for those on a budget.

 

Good work T...beerchug.gif

 

Peete.

 


 Thank you, Peete, for being inspiration at first place. I guess I didn't have green PIOs handy and could not simply wait few weeks for them to arrive from Eastern Europe - too exhausting, I'm sure you know what I mean wink.gif. All the best to you!

P.S. Don't try 6N6P-I, those are not for audio at all. You need plain 6N6P or, better, get yourself 6N16B and try in SRPP or simply common cathode mode. Last one's improve like your PIO caps basshead.gif.

 

post #902 of 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarsik View Post


 


 Thank you, Peete, for being inspiration at first place. I guess I didn't have green PIOs handy and could not simply wait few weeks for them to arrive from Eastern Europe - too exhausting, I'm sure you know what I mean wink.gif. All the best to you!

P.S. Don't try 6N6P-I, those are not for audio at all. You need plain 6N6P or, better, get yourself 6N16B and try in SRPP or simply common cathode mode. Last one's improve like your PIO caps basshead.gif.

 


Glad you found the info useful normal_smile%20.gif

 

Hey if you want to give a set of K40-Y9's a try on your friends Zero I can send you a set ( I have plenty of them left)...they are well worth the added hassle to install and work exceedingly well with tube stages. I use a variety of them (K75-10/ T-1/T-3/K40/K42 series) in any number of projects completed to date...SS/ Hybrid/all tube have been covered.... they never fail to disappoint. They are a little bit of trouble to source at times just go with suppliers from Ukraine rather than the Russian Federation for timely shipment (if you should decide to try a sampling of them in future mods).

 

As for the 6N6P-I's....I just checked my supply and I made a slight mistake...I have a single pair of P-I's but the rest are all Novosibursk made 6N6P's  (lucky for me).

 

Peete.


Edited by Pricklely Peete - 4/29/11 at 3:05pm
post #903 of 987

tarsik, you should had created a topic of you own, instead of wiping out the smile on the face of happy owners of this device. It has totally destroid my expectations of getting a bargain that sounds much, much bigger it costs. Thank, you, sir mad.gif . Reading your review made me terribly disappointed, as I am sure, I would never had the chance selling this non-usb DAC/AMP and save my money for Anedio D1 instead...

Looks like I'm another owner of an "30$ CD player" sounding, budget crap, that costs 10 times more, right, tarsik ? 


Edited by AlexRoma - 4/30/11 at 10:18am
post #904 of 987

I don't agree that mine sounds like a $30 CD player at all, but that's ok. The mods are certainly interesting. 

post #905 of 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexRoma View Post

.. It has totally destroid my expectations of getting a bargain that sounds much, much bigger it costs. Thank, you, sir mad.gif . Reading your review made me terribly disappointed, as I am sure, I would never had the chance selling this non-usb DAC/AMP and save my money for Anedio D1 instead...

Looks like I'm another owner of an "30$ CD player" sounding, budget crap, that costs 10 times more, right, tarsik ? 


 Nobody in their right mind should be able to change your mind on equipment that you already own. Do you get shivers and goosebumps when you listen to the music? Do you like your gear? Than it is worth every penny you spent, be happy!

 ES9018 is a very sophisticated and capable DAC chip and as I mentioned before - it costs $50 alone. This chip is really suffocated inside NFB-11 and not used to even half of its potential. Ultimately, listening in cans is not the same as listening to speakers and each listener's millage will vary. NFB-11 is probably good for what it costs, but that "good" is not enough for me. And seller's description of this DAC sound is misleading.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

post #906 of 987

Well.. Im still pretty impressed..its a $200 dac + headphone amp. Come on its really a bargain! Mr. Kingwa really did a great job! Unfortunately problems always exist and he is facing his.

Hey Tarksit, If you state you mod only cost $200 I still think its a bargain. Could you post more details about the mod?

 

Thanks!

post #907 of 987

At 200 dollars any design will face major trade offs.......very few entry level devices use any combination of  hardware you care to name to their max potential...what matters is the end result...if that end result is pleasing to your own ears then that's all that matters in the end.

 

I think expectation bias often outstrips practical sober analysis....we all want that cheap giant killer, it's human nature. I have zero experience with the 9018 based entry level units being discussed here but I can tell you that by looking at what A-gd has managed to squeeze into this small affordable package is certainly well above the average (or the norm).  I would not be discouraged by Tarsik's impressions....he has a higher expectation for this particular piece of gear and went about addressing what his perceptions told him about the end result needing some DIY based readjustment....posting how to duplicate that upgrade is to his credit IMO....anyway you slice it a 9018 based unit with amp and pre option for 200USD is a bargain but reasonable expectation for it's overall performance should be tied to the price charged...there will be trade offs to accept or reject...it's up to each person individually if that trade off is worth the $$$ or not.

 

Peete.

post #908 of 987

 I don't have much practice in web posting and writing about how to duplicate my NFB-11 upgrade would be a nightmare for me due to sheer amount of changes. I can probably post some schematic of everything around the DAC board (power, buffer, connections and composition) but writing about how to cut NFB-11 board (I can imagine your feelings when you hold those metal scissors against the edge of PCB board eek.gif) and power traces and restoring connections to the traces in more than 30 points would require few pages of text and pictures. Besides this later fact, I did not reuse headphone amp portion of the board like I did in ZERO. How about moving everything to new bigger box? Obvious first thing you want to do is replacing capacitors - I cannot recommend doing this as NFB-11's PCB board is pretty hard to work with. All through hole components have bent leads on the other side which makes parts removal very tough. Also, holes for those components are a very tight fit, so after you managed to unbend leads, you destroying PCB traces by ripping them off. So, unless you are ready to face possibility of completely destroying whole DAC, this is still only for crazy person like me. I bought this DAC and wanted to do something with it. Instead of crazy upgrade I would suggest getting Buffalo II DAC board and building around it in new enclosure.

 

 Coming up with $300 DAC-headamp that has high end sound is problematic without outsourcing manufacturing to China or other country. As you can imagine, Kingwa can get PCB boards, enclosures, certain parts and manpower for pennies. Our reality is different and my recent experience building power amp for sale in one of the PA High-End stores was a good lesson learned. All this logistic is very convoluted and requires much more time than I have working at my regular job and balancing hobby activities and family. But I have a bug inside me now and will be working to build a budget DAC, although my initial estimate will be closer $400-500. Probably ES9018 wrapped in blanket of decent power sources, with class A MOSFET headphone amp and no USB. Possibly ATMEL controller with LCD display which should not affect price too much. I think conversation is getting off-topic for this thread and I apologize for this. If there is still interest in mods for NFB-11, I can try to post some additional pics and explanations, but it might take some time.

 

post #909 of 987

Quote:

Im still pretty impressed..its a $200 dac + headphone amp.

...

anyway you slice it a 9018 based unit with amp and pre option for 200USD is a bargain

 

Guys, are we all talking about the same device ?  

Why are you all calling it 200$ device ? 

I had paid 280$ retail for it (audio-gd.com),  and another 60$ for shipping for a NON-USB NFB-11.  It casted me 350$.  Were there some kind of promo actions about NFB-11,  I did not know about ? Like.. Fidelity buyer cupon, or Free Shipping, etc?

 


Edited by AlexRoma - 5/2/11 at 6:22am
post #910 of 987

$280 + $60 shipping to the US has been the cost since the usb input was dropped. tarsik's comments are pretty brutal; makes me wonder what he thinks of the Oppo 95? 

post #911 of 987

The promo price is still listed on the website for the NFB-11...A-gd should change it if that is wrong.

 

I agree Tarsik's comments were/are a little harsh but that is his opinion....as far as calling it equal to a 30 dollar DVDp...that's going a little bit too far IMO...

 

Peete.


Edited by Pricklely Peete - 5/4/11 at 8:02pm
post #912 of 987

It's very easy to write a negative story about something like the NFB-11. What amazes me is that Tarsik is about the only one that is so very negative about it.

I have a lot of listening experience with high end audio, it was my work for over 15 years. If I read Tarsik's article I'ts all about technique and almost nothing about listening to music and experiencing music. I think he is more busy with his hands than with his ears..........

I don't pretend to know everything about equipment but I know for sure that the NFB-11 is a pretty good sounding DAC for the money and it swings.

If you have one, be happy and enjoy it.

 

Tini

 

 

 

 

 

post #913 of 987

Yeah , I felt bruised, used and abused before I even had a chance to break in my NFB11 after reading Trasik's rant.  But I'm enjoying listening to it with my HD600's anyway.  The NFB11 is a "promo" product after-all , it's freaking cheap and supposed to have critical user feedback.  I welcome it , and I sure as hell hope Kingwa welcomes it , it is after all supposed to be improved on by him via "our" user feedback.  I would like anybody to point me to something better for the same amount of money , now that is where the tire hits the road.  I would like a sound-stage that puts me back quite a few rows further, but that might only be possible with a more powerful power supply.  Otherwise , it is very musical. I'm enjoying it more I listen to it.

post #914 of 987

While Tarsik's mod of the NFB-11 is quite an accomplishment but I think he missed an important point. With his skill level he should have discovered before buying that the the digital section of the NFB-11 does not have the hive of WIMA bypass/decoupling caps surrounding the ESS-9018 chip like the higher end audio-gd NFB-10/1/7 digital sections have. The capacitors Tarsik added are still far away from the ES9018 pins. What I want to say is the performance of his mod-NFB-11 may at best be on the same level of the NFB-10/1 and still does not have balanced output. To me, any non-balanced implementation of the ES9018 is still "suffocating" the chip considering it is a 8 channel DAC chip.

 

I don't see the price/performance advantage from his mod excecpt the sound signature change with the tube output buffer, which is down to personal preference. For me, if I want to get the "tube" sound, I would just use the 100% free foobar VST adaptor and plugin. That is even higher price/performance.

 

The NFB-11 is a good DAC for its price. For DIY ES9018 DAC the better kit choice would be the Ackro DAC implementation.


Edited by borrego - 5/4/11 at 7:04pm
post #915 of 987

Query:

 

Has anyone actually verified that the NFB-11 will connect with a 192khz sample rate signal through its s/pdif coax input? If so, what have devices worked and what chipset was used?

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