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Audio-gd NFB-5, 9 switchable filters - Page 9

post #121 of 177

Questions for the experienced Audio-gd fans here.


Considering most of the Audio-gd DACs also use the same pair of Dual WM8741 chips as the NFB-5 would you expect to hear much difference between using it just as a DAC, versus the NFB-2 or 3.1 - or would you need to jump up to the balanced units for a meaningful difference?


Also, in what specific ways would you expect the all-in-one NFB-10WM, at twice the price, to be an improvement over the NFB-5? Or are you mostly paying for it supporting balanced headphones?





Edited by runswithaliens - 9/4/11 at 4:56pm
post #122 of 177

I own the Fun and posed a similar question to Kingwa. I believe these versions share a similar house sound, with differences varying in subtle degrees based on individual perceptions. At the entry level, it's best to weigh up the other features of the component to determine best fit, otherwise you're probably splitting hairs.


On another note, just when I thought I was done with Audio-GD gear, I'm reminded of their worth and the integrity of the man driving this company. It's fantastic to get an honest and personal response from an engineer who listens to his gear and is clearly passionate about his pursuit.

post #123 of 177

Would this be powerful to drive the he-4?

post #124 of 177

Looking for reviews...


post #125 of 177

Yeah looking for more impressions and reviews.


Does anyone just use the ACSS mode? and not bother with the HDAMS/ OP Amps?


Very close to pulling the trigger on this one or the NFB-12. 

Was going to get the Moon HDAM, then wondered.. what if i want the Sun? or the Earth..


the costs started skyrocketing.. 


I assume the NFB-12 ACSS and NFB-5 ACSS should sound similar. I definately like/want the flexibility, but my wallet definately doesn't (and the WAF) also like the small size of the NFB-12

post #126 of 177

Forget the opamp, you don't need it at all.  Just use ACSS.


If you want coloration, get a tube amp instead to connect to the line-out.  evil_smiley.gif

post #127 of 177

Just got mine today.  Sadly I can't play with it since Im stuck at school for another 7 hours.  


Edit:  I the NFB-5 sounds amazing.  I am using it mostly through optic and the sound is slightly warm with some neutral feel.  Everything is controlled and I can hear all the notes in the bass, and the highs are just right to my taste.  The high and low gain are big jumps in sound.  The filters are hard to tell but after going through them a few times I can hear a slight difference in them.  I am enjoying it on the 5th, and 8th "flavor".  When I use the USB it seems the music seems a bit warmer with a little more thump in the lower region.  I prefer the optic for relaxing listening on low gain but when I want to hear something a bit more aggressive with some more bass I use the usb on high gain and things are "fun"  I am currently using the He-300 with this and everything feels like Im at a concert in the front seat.  I also am not using the stock cable but a black dragon 5ft cable terminating into a furutech 1/4 plug.  I've only got about 10 hours on this but I'm really enjoying this dac/amp very much.  From what I understand Audio GD also burn in the items before sending them out.  Great job and nice work.  Everything about this amp feels tough and looks high quality.   

Edited by Hawaiiancerveza - 9/9/11 at 11:50am
post #128 of 177

Hi All,

Just got my NFB-5, very quick shipping. Ordered/paid on the 7th, received on the 12th in Australia.


Take my following impression with a massive grain of salt, as i'm only using a HD485 atm. Got my HD555's at a mates, and hoping to run a HD650 with the setup sometime in the future.


I'm comparing with a RealTek ALC889A mobo -> headphone out, a Samsung TV DAC (HDMI -> headphone out) -> PA2V2, or PC->optical-> Yamaha RXV-463 AVR


This is my very first impression with the first hr of listening..  (its also my very first bit of semi-serious audio gear..)  

It feels slightly airier(soundstage?), Bass is tighter and punchier, and the highs (symbals) have more impact.. i.e. i take notice of them more..

but overall change in sound.. i'd say only 10% better.

The ALC889A is actually not too bad to my ears.. just sloppier in the lower end.


Some songs on the HD485 are overbearing, massive amounts of bass on headphone out.. with the NFB-5 this is very nearly solved!. its a lot less fatiguing..


Changes in "flavor" i couldn't really hear much difference to be honest. 1-2% changes in sound.. dont know which i liked better, but kept it at position 1.


Stock OPA (2143) vs ACSS sounds much clearer than the OPA. The OPA sounded slightly thin, bass and highs weren't as full. I kept it on ACSS mode.

ACSS vs Moon OPA.. This is tougher. The Moon feels a touch smoother (could be placebo).. it's also just as clear as ACSS.. but everything seems to flow abit better.. not quantifiable, but I keep it in OPA mode.


Tried USB briefly, but seemed to like the Optical sounded better, and i started getting some errors on some music not being able to pass through ok.


Other notes:

  • Buttons have a nice click to it (its very easy to press but tactile) maybe too easy to press, i assume you can accidentally hit the high/low gain button easily. so be carefull when your playing with "flavors".
  • The Display is not super bright, (i was worried about this) and not distracting, though when you first turn it on, it flashes NFB5 twice.
  • Clicking through the flavors/channels/ACSS/opa is very quick and results in an instant change in the sound.. but best of all no LOUD crackles/pops/ ear busting changes so you can leave your headphones on while testing it.  
  • Volume knob is very smooth.
  • To install opa you need to remove 10 screws some of which were abit too tight. ensure you find a good screwdriver with the exact head to undo them. otherwise you will start stripping screws.
  • There was goop on the ground screw for the OPA, but that came off nicely when i unscrewed it.
  • Kinda hard to get the plug out, even depressing the red latch all the way down. Felt like i was breaking the connector. Dont really see a need for a lock on the headphone jack. (but it does feel well built.
  • Very happy with build quality.
  • My only perdantic note is: the cover took some effort to remove. (didn't want to scratch it) but once take it off mine was slightly skewed. Bent thick sheet metal that's powder coated. Its not 100% perfectly formed, but once its back on with screws it looks perfect. However , coz its a bit of a squeeze to put back, it'll also assist in stopping any vibrations/rattling.. so unsure if its designed this way (kinda like those old desktop computer cases. always have to twist and stretch slightly to get it back on)
  • I'm pretty sure the HD485's are holding me back atm.. can't wait for a HD650 or something more substantial!


Final notes:

Sound difference is not night and day. if I were to put a number to it.. it'd be 10% difference to my old setup.

ACSS is pretty decent to my ears., i'd probably go with the NFB-12, to save money.. but then again, u'd always be wondering

about the fancy op amps or a tube amp in the future.. Something i wont do as desktop space is a premium.


HD485's are bass heavy, and this helped clear it up.. its less fatiguing.. highs aren't its strong point..  

i'll post more impressions when i get the HD555's back and if anything changes from burn-in.












post #129 of 177
Having in mind the burn-in process of my FUN I think you must expect a significant improvement after 100-150 hours.
post #130 of 177

yeah I started hearing differences in different flavors. in the low regions(1-4 ish) the sound is muddy and becomes fuller as you go higher.


I guess I have about 100 hours on it so far. I love the dac part. It just sounds fantastic with my bijou. im happy with my purchase. smily_headphones1.gif

post #131 of 177
Originally Posted by reiserFS View Post

Do the cap mod on the HDAM if you want to take them to a whole new level, only requires basic soldering skills.



X 2....a 1 uf metal film cap or PIO (nothing expensive)  is a really good upgrade for the HDAMs. It's wired in parallel to the + - V pins of the HDAM. I use Russian K42 PIOs for this job, they are cheap and sound terrific.




post #132 of 177

I dont recommend this amp with sennheiser HD600, too warm for my taste and I like warm sound. Other than that, works great.

post #133 of 177

FinBenton: Is that through the OPAMP or direct through ACSS?

post #134 of 177
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

FinBenton: Is that through the OPAMP or direct through ACSS?

Personally, I dont find there a huge difference between those two.

post #135 of 177

I got the DIR9001 chip put in.  Its quiet neutral.  With the usb it sounds warmer.  

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