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post #2086 of 2247

I've tested the Dual WM8741 to a WM8740 and a Burr Brown DAC in the A & R Cambridge rPAC. The NFB 12.1's obviously won by a long shot.

post #2087 of 2247

Were you using the built in amplifier, or an external one?

 

And what difference did you observe from one DAC to the other?

post #2088 of 2247
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimLaroux View Post

Were you using the built in amplifier, or an external one?

 

And what difference did you observe from one DAC to the other?

I typed this up in another thread a while ago:

I tested first amplifier only of each device and then DAC.

 

Different setups:

rPAC DAC line out--> Custom O2 high performance amp

rPAC headphone out

 

NFB 12.1 headphone out

NFB 12.1 DAC fixed line out-->Custom O2 high performance amp.

 

One of the units line out fixed was 2.1VRMS and the other was 2.2VRMS (forgot which) so I did account for differences

 

 

 

 

 

Arcam first impressions:

 

Not enough power first of all

Harsh, the surroundings are more emphasized and the vocals pushed back and made “mellower” the bass and surroundings cometimes collash and produce a muddy mess

 

The highs are emphasized incorrectly, produced too high and harsh, lining out improves DRASTICALLY.

 

Headphone amp is weakest link, DAC isn’t as tight either sadly, bass is still a bit loos and “spreads”

 


But basically it is $250 for a mini all in one headphone amp and DAC, intergration with it's simple controls is good, plug the rca component cables in and it auto switches to DAC fixed line out, there is also a mute feature where you press both volume up and down. However despite that, it's headphone amp section is a bit laughable. 3.5mm output wasn't really that bad and I didn't deduct points but the sound and lack of power did. It literally only has power to drive basic entry level cans to a loud volume or mid range cans to a decent one. The super highs are pulled back more (not as apparent) and more harsh while the mid-high's are more aparent but not as detailed compared to NFB 12.1 and what not. The bass is also loose and confined on the rPAC,like REALLY confined to it's own little area. 

 

So I gave up on the headphone section, enough to drive lowwer mid level $140 cans. And so I had both the NFB 12.1 and rPAC line out into the O2 so thus I am only testing and comparing the DAC sections. The Burr Brown DAC in the rPAC has 106dB SNR......A weighted. The NFB 12.1 has 128dB SNR A weighted....with it's dual flagship Wolfson's. But of course how it sounds is more important, and there it was, some of the woe's I heard while using just the rPAC itself was still there, not as confined bass, but still a bit ...just locked up in it's own space with little room to get out there, it had less of a s logic surround sound effect but still had some parts left of it where it would create that effect. Nothing bad really, vocals were fine but not as sweet. A bit clearer but has less depth, which defeats many purposes, the highs got fixed up big time, not harsh, and clear and you can make out individual effects SLIGHTLY better than the NFB12.1 like for example, where that high screeching sound was "aiming for" was more clear but that still couldn't help it with it's also slightly confined, warmer but less oomph mid level highs that while they kicked with impact with the bang of the cymbals, just didn't have the pump of the NFB's Wolfson.

 

I will have this unit "for a few months" as the director told me, it features Asynchronous USB and a few other nifty features, it is mni so some may say it's not fair to compare with NFB..but that is not true, it is smaller but it is only moderately more conveneint, it is a desktop unit, has no batteries, and thus....as a consumer, why would i differentiate between the small one to the big one? God crap it! If I need room! Room will be made.

 

I got the rPAC's feature down.....it's to be used with speakers with limited room to put a DAC....and to be easily travel ready with support for Asynchronous USB. That's about it... I couldn't be arsed to ever plug my speakers into my NFB (my speakers have RCA input) ...well I did once, but my gain was set wrong and I sent a line singal ...that was a bit too powerful and thus distortion came like a mofo so I just never did it then (should've used low gain, I was too lazy to do it though) well here I am

 

Computer-->Asynchronous USB with Foobar-->rPAC with Burr Brown DAC line out fixed-->speakers

 

.....and that's where my euphoria comes in.

 

The rPAC as a headphone amplifier and out for $250 is a bit *stares blankly*, but when used in conjunction with other features and small and travel and portable ready (no internal battery, but no added power supply either) can be very good.(it has the output power of an E5 or E7) Many are also fans of the company Arcam, which stands for A & R Cambridge.

 

The rPAC put head to head with the Wolfson in the Audio gd both plugged into the O2 also loses by the DAC itself as it isolates a few parts of the sound to their own sections which is easily audible on headphones, but with speakers, it sounds great.

 

I would say it is ahead of the HRT Music streamer? The difference with the NFB through headphone out is hilariously aparent but the DAC itself used has imaging that the NFB doesn't have, and without the headphone amp, isn't as or even artificial, kinda like a slight Ultrasone S-Logic effect, and with these higher priced units, I can only guess it may be better? Well... I will never know, but for the price, the DAC itself is fine. Although that then raises questions of why not buy a standalone DAC...like the one Kiteki loves, the AK4396 from ebay? The answer is size and problems. The AK measured differently each four times it was on the ebay page and many will like the ARcam's small package and features and what not, just a very intergrated product.

post #2089 of 2247

So Far I loving the NFB12. I have the one with the Digital Filter jumpers. I got it from another user on these forums.

post #2090 of 2247

Can anyone recommend NFB-12.1 vs. ASUS Essence STX (current) ?

post #2091 of 2247

Hey Guys,

 

Just checking in. I have been listening to my HD-545's this week with the NFB-12 and I'm liking this pairing. If any of you can find a pair of these I think you will enjoy it immensely.

post #2092 of 2247

I've had my NFB-12 since they first came out. I currently use it to convert a digital signal from a CDP to analog for use in driving a pair of compression horns in a 3 way tri-amp system.

post #2093 of 2247
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1audioz View Post

Can anyone recommend NFB-12.1 vs. ASUS Essence STX (current) ?

I didn't have STX , but I've had Asus Xonar D1.

 

NFB12.1 > D1 by a lot, and I am almost sure, that it's > STX

 

There are more advantages, like you can switch between HP and DAC just with one button, and you can also have regulator of volume just next to your hand, without touching the software (which is important in bitperfect setup)

post #2094 of 2247

Just got my NFB 12.1 today. I opened it up and switched it to Fixed and Variable. I've been listening to it for the past half hour or so with my HD600. 

 

Are there recommended settings I should be trying (changing anything internally), or are the filter and oversample switches the only options I can change?


Edited by anoxy - 9/24/12 at 9:01pm
post #2095 of 2247

Oh. My. God. 

 

I was set on selling my DT990, but after plugging them into this amp, I am keeping them for sure. 

post #2096 of 2247

nevermind.


Edited by anoxy - 9/26/12 at 7:53pm
post #2097 of 2247
Quote:
Originally Posted by anoxy View Post

Oh. My. God. 

 

I was set on selling my DT990, but after plugging them into this amp, I am keeping them for sure. 

I've liked HD600 + NFB12.1 most, from all headphones, I have borrowed. But, it's just my musical preference.

We cannot have for sure same hearing, as DT990 with NFB12.1 was out of the game very quickly... one of the worst and most disturbing sound, I've heard. Probably only thing I've liked at them, was fact, that they are open.

So, in no way, I can advice you anything, as it seems, we have completly different musical hearing. My ears are too sensitive, and those highs on DT990 was killing my ears. And basses had weight, but was too loose, not tight, simply, it was like badly EQed DT880, with just quantity in basses, but loss of quality. In many songs, it was unlistenable for me.

 

With NFB12.1, I would keep for sure HD600, I see it like perfect combo.

 

Now to filter with HD600.. I dont have NFB12, but NFB12.1, which has buttons for filter. But I've found out, that for my taste was best filter OS:2, Filter:2. OS2: Filter 1 or 3 was also good, but I had feeling, Filter:2 was slightly better for these headphones.


Edited by Warrax - 9/28/12 at 3:43pm
post #2098 of 2247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrax View Post

I've liked HD600 + NFB12.1 most, from all headphones, I have borrowed. But, it's just my musical preference.

We cannot have for sure same hearing, as DT990 with NFB12.1 was out of the game very quickly... one of the worst and most disturbing sound, I've heard. Probably only thing I've liked at them, was fact, that they are open.

So, in no way, I can advice you anything, as it seems, we have completly different musical hearing. My ears are too sensitive, and those highs on DT990 was killing my ears. And basses had weight, but was too loose, not tight, simply, it was like badly EQed DT880, with just quantity in basses, but loss of quality. In many songs, it was unlistenable for me.

 

With NFB12.1, I would keep for sure HD600, I see it like perfect combo.

 

Now to filter with HD600.. I dont have NFB12, but NFB12.1, which has buttons for filter. But I've found out, that for my taste was best filter OS:2, Filter:2. OS2: Filter 1 or 3 was also good, but I had feeling, Filter:2 was slightly better for these headphones.

Oh I don't disagree at all. My HD600 with the NFB 12.1 is LEAGUES ahead of the DT990. I think the reason I made that comment originally is because the sound was so much different than the Sennheisers and it blew me away. But now that I've had a chance to listen to it for a while, I vastly prefer my HD600. 

 

I'll probably end up selling the DT990 anyway because I have enough headphones to keep me happy. 

 

Thanks for the tips on the filter settings, I will try those out. 

post #2099 of 2247
Quote:
Originally Posted by anoxy View Post

Oh I don't disagree at all. My HD600 with the NFB 12.1 is LEAGUES ahead of the DT990. I think the reason I made that comment originally is because the sound was so much different than the Sennheisers and it blew me away. But now that I've had a chance to listen to it for a while, I vastly prefer my HD600. 

 

I'll probably end up selling the DT990 anyway because I have enough headphones to keep me happy. 

 

Thanks for the tips on the filter settings, I will try those out. 

You are welcomed. Just you need to find out, which jumper combination in NFB12 fits those button configurations in NFB12.1.

post #2100 of 2247

I have the NFB 12.1 with the switches

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