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post #16 of 148

I am confused.... I don't recall hearing about the ES9019 Sabre chip.....just the ES9018 one...

 

This is not helping me choosing one DAC... :-()

 

Denys

 

post #17 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozron View Post

Unfortunately it appears that the NFB-7 has now been discontinued.  Good luck if you already have an order with them as it looks like they won't be accepting any new orders.

 

 
From the front page of their website:

 

 

Quote:
Inform:

     Now we had made a hardy decide but not this is not our intention ,we have to discontinued all the products which ES9019 based.
     We had encounter the clock lost of the ES9018 PCM mode , although we had spend a lot of times for fix this problem.
     Now we have 3 chips applied in our DAC, they are:PCM1704, WM8741 and ES9018. All of them are the hi-end grade D/A and both are excellent. But we can't support order every chips each quantity 2000 pcs because this is a huge cost to us. So consider the sound quality (taste of mine) and the market feedback , we choice give up the ES9018 now .

     About the customer who had ordered the NFB-1 ,NFB-7 ,NFB-10ES and NFB-11 ,do not worry about this , we will build the enough products for all customers who have place the order.

     Kingwa

 



Thanks for pointing this out. I will have to consider whether I will cancel the order. They seem to say it has a clock problem. This would seem to reduce the value.

post #18 of 148

The clock lost only happen at the USB mode, (the NFB11 and NFB10ES only). The NFB7 and NFB1 without any problems.

And even NFB11 and NFB10ES, we have addition a PLL and fix the ES9018 bug.

post #19 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBB1 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by ozron View Post

Unfortunately it appears that the NFB-7 has now been discontinued.  Good luck if you already have an order with them as it looks like they won't be accepting any new orders.

 

 
From the front page of their website:

 

 

Quote:
Inform:

     Now we had made a hardy decide but not this is not our intention ,we have to discontinued all the products which ES9019 based.
     We had encounter the clock lost of the ES9018 PCM mode , although we had spend a lot of times for fix this problem.
     Now we have 3 chips applied in our DAC, they are:PCM1704, WM8741 and ES9018. All of them are the hi-end grade D/A and both are excellent. But we can't support order every chips each quantity 2000 pcs because this is a huge cost to us. So consider the sound quality (taste of mine) and the market feedback , we choice give up the ES9018 now .

     About the customer who had ordered the NFB-1 ,NFB-7 ,NFB-10ES and NFB-11 ,do not worry about this , we will build the enough products for all customers who have place the order.

     Kingwa

 



Thanks for pointing this out. I will have to consider whether I will cancel the order. They seem to say it has a clock problem. This would seem to reduce the value.



Based on what Kingwa has said, I'd suggest there's no issue with the final revision of the ES9018 models, and would be surprised if the value would be impacted.  Sounds like it's purely a business decision on which chip models are getting the most orders and best feedback.  I'd rather Audio-GD remain profitable and stay in business by making less models (and reducing chip inventories) than over-extending themselves, which they seem to have done lately.  They have definitely earned their 10 day break in my books!!!

 

Now whether to send an order in for a C-2 today.....  Decisions, decisions...

post #20 of 148

I would like to thank audio-gd for making up announcement at the front page so that users are alerted about the latest news and to make their intelligent choice accordingly. kudos to audio-gd.

post #21 of 148
If the 2000 pcs minimum order is true, then it is indeed a good business decision to discontinue the ESS 9018. Assuming Audio-gd can sell 10 9018 DAC in a week, it will take them 4 years to clear the stock. Before that there will be ESS 9118, 9218 out already.

It seems that my NFB-1 suddenly turns into a limited production DAC...
post #22 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by borrego View Post

If the 2000 pcs minimum order is true, then it is indeed a good business decision to discontinue the ESS 9018. Assuming Audio-gd can sell 10 9018 DAC in a week, it will take them 4 years to clear the stock. Before that there will be ESS 9118, 9218 out already.

It seems that my NFB-1 suddenly turns into a limited production DAC...


The PCM1704 DACs are what make them a unique company.  That is where the bulk of their DAC business lies.  There are lots of other companies making ES9018 and Wolfson DACs, so they will face a lot more competition there.  I think they should stay primarily focused on the 1704 and keep making improvements to those DACs.

post #23 of 148

It's sad, as the ES9018 had the most promise as a PCM1704 replacement.

post #24 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post

The PCM1704 DACs are what make them a unique company.  That is where the bulk of their DAC business lies.  There are lots of other companies making ES9018 and Wolfson DACs, so they will face a lot more competition there.  I think they should stay primarily focused on the 1704 and keep making improvements to those DACs.



In his own Audio-gd Chinese forum, Kingwa posted a message for a review of the company in 2010. The highlights are more than double sales in 2010 compares to 2009, much improved QC adn successful overseas markets. For 2011 and beyond, they want to improve customer services (sending a staff to pursue MBA, focus on production process, etc) and shift more production to more effiicient SMD processes, etc.

 

As a Chinese I am very happy to see the success of Audio-gd. Audio-gd is the first Chinese brand of AV hardware I have ever bought. I think PCM1704 is not their only success technical merit. They still have ACSS, Diamond buffer, fully-balanced amps, high value all-in-one headphone DAC/amp combo...

 

PCM1704 has to go. Kingwa cannot risk his business on a DAC chip with uncertain supply.

post #25 of 148

So what's Audio-gd top dac now ?

post #26 of 148

According to Pacific Valve, the NFB-7 was Audio-gd's best sounding DAC to date. This is saying alot, THEIR BEST SOUNDING DAC TO DATE. Better than the Referance 7. Three out of five of their reviewers on their panel actually bought the thing.  I do not think they deserve praise for canceling it. I do not feel so great about ordering something that has so quickly been discontinued.  I originally ordered an NFB-11 which was delayed and now discontinued. I then decided to upgrade to the NFB-7 and now it is discontinued. They have a long way to go before they can be considered a reliable company. I wish them well as a business, but they do not deserve praise for disapointing their customers, no matter how good their designs might be. It seems that Kingwa is like a talented but tempermental chef.  I am not a huge equipment swapper, but one of the factors I consider when I buy a more expensive audio product is resale value. It seems their older discontinued products do not sell on Audiogon. Yes, if they are under-capitalized and can't afford to purchase the chips they must consolodate. I will think long and hard before I buy another product from them.


Edited by DBB1 - 12/30/10 at 4:26am
post #27 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Omega View Post

So what's Audio-gd top dac now ?

They should be back to their glory days of PCM1704UK since it is on infinite order. ESS has probably derailed them for the later part of this year through the next 3 months perhaps. Most people who are familiar with how they used to communicate, orders and delivery will feel they are seriously lagging lately.   

 

post #28 of 148

Well, it´s nowhere near that simple. Pacific Valve is not exactly an objective source as they are resellers, so of course they praise the newest product. From what I´ve read and heard, and according to Kingwa himself, they are on the same level. Just a different flavor of sound. In products of this caliber, there is no easy "best choice", it´s all about the flavor of sound and what you are looking for. Both are fantastic, but have slightly different presentations. Not to mention the recent DSP-1 upgrade V5 made a huge improvement on the PCM1704UK chip line. I think Pacific Valve was comparing NFB-7 to the V3 DSP-1 REF7. Some will prefer the NFB-7, others the REF7. Others REF8 or maybe NFB-8. It´s all about what kind of sound signature you´re looking for.

 

I don´t really see anything disappointing in their behavior. They fulfilled all Sabre32 orders they got, and even gave discount because of the NFB-11 delay, not to mention that was sold at almost cost price anyway (huge, huge value for money). As a small company they cannot continue a product that requires 2000 piece orders, if they don´t sell very well. The PCM1704UK products were 100% unique on the market and sell very well, the Sabre32 was an interesting experiment, but ultimately was not worth it for Audio-gd. Nothing wrong with being a dynamic company. I think it´s great that they are so flexible and ready to try out different things. The Sabre32 products originally were made because some customers asked for them. I don´t really see anything disappointing in their recent behaviour. Did you read up on Audio-gd in general? They are known for being very dynamic, introducing and updating products very quickly (which is a great thing in my opinion, there are plenty enough of traditional hifi companies that sell outdated gear with standard prices for years and years).

 

To me they have been very reliable, for example right now Kingwa has agreed to test a Phoenix with the Apple earbuds to see if the single ended behaviour is normal. All my emails are answered within a day usually, often in less than 5 hours. Not to mention the huge amount of questions I´ve asked every time before ordering something.

 

Personally I´m happy for the success Audio-gd has had this year, they´ve certainly earned it through hard work. It´s not easy beeing an entrepreneur in this economic climate. The hifi world is changing, this new competition from asian companies is a great thing for us consumers.

post #29 of 148

Oh and the PCM1704UK is not discontinued and there´s no sign of that happening on the Texas Instruments site, it´s just that it´s an expensive chip. Audio-gd have already ordered a new batch, there´s news about that on their site. Both the Audio-gd DSP-1 and PCM1704UK units have a bright future ahead of them in my opinion. And judging from what people have written about the Sabre32, I think I would be more happy with the Wolfson DAC. To me the Wolfson seems like a very good chip too, good for those looking for a little warmth and smoothness. I´ll probably buy a dual Wolfson DAC as my second one sometime next year.

post #30 of 148

Who is willing to bet that there will be no more Dac's with 4 1704's inside?

 

Business wise its better to make twice as many 2 chip 1704 Dacs than half as many 4 chip Dacs.

 

2,000 chips

 

25% profit margin.

 

1000 2 chip Dacs @ $1000/Dac = $1,000,000 x 25% = $250,000 Profit

 

500 4 chip Dacs @ $1,750/Dac = $875,000 x 25% = $218,000 Profit

 

You can adjust the numbers to increase profits per/Dac but still it makes better business sense to spread out those chips and make a easier profit near the 1K sweet spot.  Esp since 1704 chips require such a long lead time to order, meaning he will have to dig into his own pocket to purchase the next batch while he is trying to make a profit on his last batch....not good and too risky.

 

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