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New Audio-GD NFB-6 Balanced Amplifier - Page 3

post #31 of 75

Leonel, yes, that was very helpful, thank you!! It's good to know that the RCA inputs aren't compromised, as that is one of the things that could rule the NFB-6 out for me. Also, thanks for the clarification on the warmth vs smoothness changes Kingwa made-- I'll have to debate if that's what I want or not. (I have a particularly smooth DAC right now, and while it admittedly does sound great, it softens up a lot of my more aggressive music too much for my tastes). 

 

And you know, everyone seems to be quite impressed with the preamp capabilities, which actually makes me a bit sad that I'll almost certainly never use them. But hey, it's nice to have nonetheless! ;)

 

Again, thank you very much for your impressions and assistance, Leonel!! You may have just tipped the scales on this one ;)

post #32 of 75

You are welcome. Glad to be of help. :wink_face:

 

As for the description of the NFB-6's tonal character, I think I should reiterate that the effect of that "smoothness" is very subtle, and as a whole it does not rob music of their intrinsic resolution, dynamics and transient energy. It is fundamentally neutral, yet remaining utterly enjoyable. I think Qinghua's adjustments, following Frank-I's rather negative review, were very wisely judged, and a great credit to his already impressive portfolio.

 

If your source is perhaps too smooth and laid back, I would suggest that you should obtain something more neutral and transparent, such as Audio-GD's NFB-1ES or even the NFB-28, which you have considered, and use it in fixed DAC output mode.  I would strongly encourage you to purchase the NFB-6 if you intend to run several sources, with only one qualification: should you decide to order it, ask him to double the High-Gain mode, from its usual +9db to +18db, in order to properly drive even High-Impedance or Power-hungry Planar-magnetic headphones. That is of course unless you do not intend to run either type with it.  

 

In fact, I have the intention myself to Re-order the NFB-6, with a few custom modifications, including the doubling of the High-Gain mode, in order to suit my needs. Hmm, maybe I will also have to re-acquire the SRH-840?...:rolleyes:

 

All the best,

 

Leonel


Edited by rocksteady65 - 1/26/14 at 11:16am
post #33 of 75

Answering your questions in order.

 

º I have both NFB-6 and Master 8, they're in a complete diferent league.

º If you're going to use it with non balanced inputs I'd recomened you to find a diferent amp, it doesn't sound nice SE (and that's conected to NFB 1.32 via ACSS)

º I found it to be majorly neutral, it isn't very extended and lacks of soundstage. It has a pronounced mid bass. It looses quality over 50 volume.

º I haven't tried much ones Master-8 is better en every aspect, if I use the LCD-3 as a speaker  on the NFB-6 it sounds like crap but on the Master-8 it's flawless up to max volume on 70 step volume.

post #34 of 75

Thanks again for the feedback, guys! 


@rocksteady65: Yeah, I'm planning on getting a Lynx Hilo as a DAC, so I'm hoping that will address the "too smooth" criticism I have of my current DAC (Daccord). As for requesting the higher gain: the only orthos I'm currently using are the LCD-2.1, but someday I definitely will own an HE-6, as I was blown away by it the one time I got to try it out. I can imagine the HE-6 needing the additional gain, but do you think the LCD-2.1 would need it as well? I tend to listen at low volumes-- some might consider them very low volumes. I'm interested in your thoughts!

 

@mowglycdb: I don't doubt the Master-8 is better, and if I wasn't dropping nearly $2k on a DAC I might be able to afford one, but unfortunately that level is a bit out of my reach for the moment. But seeing that you still have the NFB-6 (at least according to your profile), may I ask if you still like it? I do plan on using it solely in balanced mode, as I'll be using the Hilo when I need a SE output. I'm also not particularly concerned about the sound at high volumes, as I again tend to listen at pretty low volumes. I am curious about your description of the sound, though. I am a big fan of neutrality, so no worries there, but could you please elaborate on your comment that "it isn't very extended and lacks of soundstage"? Do you mean the bass or treble frequencies aren't very extended, and to what degree? Sorry if this is a lot of questions, but your feedback differs from some of the other reports I've read and I'm interested to hear your experience as well. 

post #35 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theogenes View Post
 

Thanks again for the feedback, guys! 


@rocksteady65: Yeah, I'm planning on getting a Lynx Hilo as a DAC, so I'm hoping that will address the "too smooth" criticism I have of my current DAC (Daccord). As for requesting the higher gain: the only orthos I'm currently using are the LCD-2.1, but someday I definitely will own an HE-6, as I was blown away by it the one time I got to try it out. I can imagine the HE-6 needing the additional gain, but do you think the LCD-2.1 would need it as well? I tend to listen at low volumes-- some might consider them very low volumes. I'm interested in your thoughts!

 

 

Theo, 

 

Perhaps I haven't made myself too clear. The doubling of the Gain is relevant only if you intended to use the SE (6.3mm) OUT. If you do not have such intention, there is absolutely no need in my view to alter anything, for the NFB-6 is indeed very powerful from its Balanced OUT (4-pin XLR). Outputing 4.5w at 50 Ohm, I cannot imagine the NFB-6 ever running out of steam, even with the HE-6. 

 

All the best.


Edited by rocksteady65 - 1/26/14 at 9:08am
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theogenes View Post
 

Thanks again for the feedback, guys! 


@rocksteady65: Yeah, I'm planning on getting a Lynx Hilo as a DAC, so I'm hoping that will address the "too smooth" criticism I have of my current DAC (Daccord). As for requesting the higher gain: the only orthos I'm currently using are the LCD-2.1, but someday I definitely will own an HE-6, as I was blown away by it the one time I got to try it out. I can imagine the HE-6 needing the additional gain, but do you think the LCD-2.1 would need it as well? I tend to listen at low volumes-- some might consider them very low volumes. I'm interested in your thoughts!

 

@mowglycdb: I don't doubt the Master-8 is better, and if I wasn't dropping nearly $2k on a DAC I might be able to afford one, but unfortunately that level is a bit out of my reach for the moment. But seeing that you still have the NFB-6 (at least according to your profile), may I ask if you still like it? I do plan on using it solely in balanced mode, as I'll be using the Hilo when I need a SE output. I'm also not particularly concerned about the sound at high volumes, as I again tend to listen at pretty low volumes. I am curious about your description of the sound, though. I am a big fan of neutrality, so no worries there, but could you please elaborate on your comment that "it isn't very extended and lacks of soundstage"? Do you mean the bass or treble frequencies aren't very extended, and to what degree? Sorry if this is a lot of questions, but your feedback differs from some of the other reports I've read and I'm interested to hear your experience as well. 

 

Why don't you get a NFB-27 if you want an very good DAC and very good headphone amp?

 

$2k on a DAC and $500 on the amp is probably not how I would spend $2500, as of today. I sure did in the past (I owned the SA-31 plus various >$1400 DACs) but the DAC market has improved in all segment; a $500~800 gives you a very good DAC where features decide the price. The Lynx Hilo is probably a very good DAC but you pay $1000 more over a DA8 for features you probably would never use and with a built-in headphone amp of lesser quality (supposedly).

post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

Why don't you get a NFB-27 if you want an very good DAC and very good headphone amp?

 

$2k on a DAC and $500 on the amp is probably not how I would spend $2500, as of today. I sure did in the past (I owned the SA-31 plus various >$1400 DACs) but the DAC market has improved in all segment; a $500~800 gives you a very good DAC where features decide the price. The Lynx Hilo is probably a very good DAC but you pay $1000 more over a DA8 for features you probably would never use and with a built-in headphone amp of lesser quality (supposedly).

I have to say that I agree with Clemmaster's assertion, my appreciation of the NFB-6 notwithstanding. Unless you plan to make use of the elaborate A/D and monitoring features provided by the Lynx Hilo, it would make more sense to invest in a Top quality DAC/Headphone Amp, such as the NFB-27.


Edited by rocksteady65 - 2/5/14 at 2:58pm
post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theogenes View Post
 

@mowglycdb: I don't doubt the Master-8 is better, and if I wasn't dropping nearly $2k on a DAC I might be able to afford one, but unfortunately that level is a bit out of my reach for the moment. But seeing that you still have the NFB-6 (at least according to your profile), may I ask if you still like it? I do plan on using it solely in balanced mode, as I'll be using the Hilo when I need a SE output. I'm also not particularly concerned about the sound at high volumes, as I again tend to listen at pretty low volumes. I am curious about your description of the sound, though. I am a big fan of neutrality, so no worries there, but could you please elaborate on your comment that "it isn't very extended and lacks of soundstage"? Do you mean the bass or treble frequencies aren't very extended, and to what degree? Sorry if this is a lot of questions, but your feedback differs from some of the other reports I've read and I'm interested to hear your experience as well. 

 

soundstage is how the instruments are placed in space, if it convinces you that it's being played live. Extended is if  you recieve a lot of información in all frequency range, if it isn't extended it will usually lack in the bottom and top end, If I'm not wrong.

post #39 of 75

Lots of good feedback here, so I'm gonna hop right in: 

 

Gain Doubling: ah, gotcha. Sorry for the misunderstanding! And my intentions are to use the SE output of the Hilo and the XLR output of the NFB-6, so I should be pretty much avoiding the SE on the NFB-6. Thank you for the suggestion though!

 

NFB-27 vs Hilo & NFB-6: all reasonable points here, and ones that I've admittedly considered myself. Ultimately, there were a few items that tipped my long-term DAC aspirations towards the Hilo: the universal acclaim bestowed upon its abilities as a DAC by both the audiophile and pro audio communities; the ability to make excellent rips of my vinyl collection (which I actually started specifically as a way to get less-compressed versions of the music I like); the possibility of using it for some basic recording (I have a few friends who play and record for fun, and I'd considered doing that as well); the unbelievable versatility of the unit; the balanced outputs (I prefer to run my speaker system balanced); the highly capable SE out (which was really more of a bonus); the ability to do DSD (not a huge deal for me, but undeniably a nicety); and the apparent dedication of Lynx to constantly providing updates and upgrades for the unit, implying long-term viability. The disadvantages of the Hilo were the price and lack of a balanced HP out.

 

I should be coming into a small amount of money soon, and the Hilo will be within my fiscal reach, finally. Additionally, in my case, I (obviously) love headphones-- but I still do the majority of my listening on my two-channel speaker setup, and a DAC can benefit both, while an amp can only benefit one. I have looked at the NFB-27, and I frankly find it a fully lust-worthy bit of kit, but with the Hilo within range (and given the provisos above), I think the Hilo is a better fit for my particular needs. I will say, however, that I have read through the Master 5/6/8/9 thread (and many others) about the Master series preamps that include XLR HP outs, and I have been highly interested in a M8 or M9-- but my current funds won't make it there, so I'm looking elsewhere for a capable unit that will suffice until they will. 

 

I do want to be clear, though: this was an excellent suggestion, and is greatly appreciated!! I know often good advice gets thrown to the wind in a frenzy of gear lust, but I'm specifically trying not to do that here, as I try to really value good advice. (Whether or not this episode can be considered "gear lust" is, however, a different issue. I hope. :p ). 

 

Soundstage & Extension: thanks for the reply! I didn't make my question very clear, so my apologies for that. I was actually interested in a bit deeper look at your experiences with the NFB-6. For example: when you mention that the soundstage is lacking, in what specific capacity do you mean? Is the sound very 'in your head,' or is the soundstage narrow, poorly defined, or something else entirely? Also, when describing the extension, do you find it lacking at the top of the spectrum, the bottom, or both? And I know that your impressions of the Master 8 are significantly better, but are there any other balanced amps you've had the opportunity to compare? Hope the questions don't bother you, just want to make sure I understand what you're saying! :)

 

 

Out of curiosity, has anyone compared the NFB-6 to the Schiit Mjolnir or the Firestone Audio Bobby? The Bobby is very similarly priced, and a used Mjolnir is within a $100 or so of a new NFB-6 after shipping, so I think they would be interesting comparisons. 

 

Again, guys, thank you so much for your thoughts!! It is very much appreciated!!! :)

post #40 of 75

Wanted to get a balanced HP amp for use with HD 800 & HE 500 primarily . Is anyone using the NFB 6 with either of these 2 HP's ?  Do they mate well ?

post #41 of 75

It might be a good match for HE-500  , but I'm not sure about the HD800.

post #42 of 75
Should be too bright for either one of them.
The SA-31 would be my preferred option, provided your DAC has (equally good) unbalanced outputs.
post #43 of 75

Ended up getting a Lynx Hilo and Master 8 in case anyone was curious. As the NFB-6 is one of the most reasonably-priced balanced amps available on the market today, I think it would be a real service to others in the community who might be curious if more owners could post their thoughts-- it sounds like the 6 has the potential to be a real giant killer (in balanced mode at least), and I'm guessing the only thing holding a number of people back is the dearth of reviews and impressions on it. So if you've got one, chat it up-- good or bad!! :)

 

JM2C, natch. 

post #44 of 75

Hi Theo. You mean the Master 9, surely?...

post #45 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksteady65 View Post
 

Hi Theo. You mean the Master 9, surely?...

 

Reasonable question, but nope, I actually mean the M-8. After doing (an utterly psychotic amount of) research, I found a few references (one in particular from DubstepGirl that got repeated a few times) that described the M-8 as audibly indistinguishable from the GS-X mk2, and I believe two indications that it was ever-so-slightly bright of neutral, which lines up with my preferences. Also, the M-8 was described by Kingwa (and confirmed by some users) as having a bit more full, rich sound-- which is fine, but as I tend to prefer as close to neutral as I can get (and a touch of extra treble presence if I have to deviate from neutral) and I'll be using them primarily with the LCD-2.1 (which are already pretty full and rich sounding), I thought the M-8 might be a better fit. 

 

Also, if truth be told, I thought I'd save a few hundred bucks by going back a generation. Didn't really work out that way, but hey-- I've got a Master 8 now, and at this way-too-early stage, I'm digging it ;). 

 

If you don't mind my asking, what would make you think I got the Master 9 instead of the 8? 


Edited by Theogenes - 2/12/14 at 9:56pm
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