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$200 Desktop amp and DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post

Kingwa is very helpful and enthusiastic about his products.
Ordering from him may take some time since his English is not that good, but nothing a little bit of patience can't handle in my experience.
Have fun with you're unit, I know you're going to love it as much as I do. biggrin.gif

Hold on there tiger. I still need more research(probably not lol) and a thumbs up from Brooko who also has it and wrote a terrific review on it. And then to sell my E17 for $180 :)

post #17 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Hold on there tiger. I still need more research(probably not lol) and a thumbs up from Brooko who also has it and wrote a terrific review on it. And then to sell my E17 for $180 smily_headphones1.gif
Brooko has the same amp (literally, I sold him my amp), so it should be interesting. Let me know what he says. wink.gif
post #18 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


Brooko has the same amp (literally, I sold him my amp), so it should be interesting. Let me know what he says. wink.gif

How? You have another one? Why did you sell it?

 

 

 

Quote:
3500mW/25 ohm

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSk2sSvpWKGwHtzkq_9win8OWg2RJP-4ebGct87MAv4V3ers-Mt

 

 

Quote:
3500mW/25 ohm
 

 

 

9k=

post #19 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

How? You have another one? Why did you sell it?
I sold it to him to fuel my Stax rig. Now I use the NFB-12 as both an amp and DAC, instead of just as a DAC.
post #20 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


I sold it to him to fuel my Stax rig. Now I use the NFB-12 as both an amp and DAC, instead of just as a DAC.

So you sold it and then...bought another one!?

 

The NFB has lineout? What were you using as amp before. Are you now doing this as the difference was too small?

post #21 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

So you sold it and then...bought another one!?

The NFB has lineout? What were you using as amp before. Are you now doing this as the difference was too small?
No, I sold my Little Dot MKIV to him. I kept my NFB-12.
I was using the Little Dot before as an amp, and the NFB-12 as the DAC via it's lineout. Now I'm using the NFB-12 as both an amp and DAC.

I don't know if there are audible differences. I seemed to hear small differences, but they were small enough to be a product of bias.

And in case you're interested: yes I do have another one. I am in the possession of two NFB-12's, but that is for a completely different reason.
Edited by Tilpo - 5/20/12 at 2:57pm
post #22 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


No, I sold my Little Dot MKIV to him. I kept my NFB-12.
I was using the Little Dot before as an amp, and the NFB-12 as the DAC via it's lineout. Now I'm using the NFB-12 as both an amp and DAC.
I don't know if there are audible differences. I seemed to hear small differences, but they were small enough to be a product of bias.
And in case you're interested: yes I do have another one. I am in the possession of two NFB-12's, but that is for a completely different reason.

Just like how I asked...who was it again.. Kuroda? On why he had two same AKG's... I will ask you. Why do you have two? To see if burn in for that device was real like him?

 

Anyway I'm liking it.

 

Can you tell me how you ship audiophile equipment? 

post #23 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Just like how I asked...who was it again.. Kuroda? On why he had two same AKG's... I will ask you. Why do you have two? To see if burn in for that device was real like him?

Anyway I'm liking it.

Can you tell me how you ship audiophile equipment? 
I have one for the family-shared HTPC. It's not really mine, since it's mainly my dad who uses it, but I do have access to it. tongue.gif

How do I ship audiophile equipment you ask? Simple: I took a larger than necessary box and stuffed it with bubble plastic until I couldn't fit in more. I had a ton of the stuff laying around.
post #24 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilpo View Post


I have one for the family-shared HTPC. It's not really mine, since it's mainly my dad who uses it, but I do have access to it. tongue.gif
How do I ship audiophile equipment you ask? Simple: I took a larger than necessary box and stuffed it with bubble plastic until I couldn't fit in more. I had a ton of the stuff laying around.

.......pffffff 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRszGVkII3S34Z278LI3ObEQ931QB8WtTKHKvkh08fhP_F0AjnjdA

 

 

Anyway it looks nice and should only set me back $60 USD.

post #25 of 110

Hi Bowei / Hi Rik

 

Bowei - I'm going to post here instead of the PM.  Reply would be the same - this way others get to see it.

 

First up - I'm a self-confessed "neutral head" - with a slight preference toward a bumped or forward mid-range.  I like detail, but not if it's presented at odds with the rest of the spectrum.  I like nice bass punch - but am not a basshead.  My main genres would be classic rock, progressive rock, blues, jazz, female vocals, bluegrass, classical, electronic (esp triphop), opera, and even some folk - love a lot of indie stuff.  I listen to the very occassional bit of dubstep, hardly any rap or heavy beat based stuff.  I don't like heavily V shaped cans (DT990 M50 etc) - and you'll see by my sig that most of my cans (apart from the 325is) are quite balanced (DT880, HD600, SE535LE).  I'm 45, suffer from permanent mild tinnitus, and because of this need a little high end bump/sparkle to really enjoy my music more fully - ie I do not like overly dark sounding gear.  When I bought the HD600, I did so after hearing the HD650 - HD600 just had more balance and a little more top end.

 

OK - that should give you an idea of what I like - we share some genre interests, but it does appear you are more into pop, and beat based music than I am (probably expected given our age difference).

 

I've formerly owned few dacs / amps - main combo before the NFB-12 was an E7/E9.  I thought the Fiios were good at the time - but wanted to try something else - glad I did.  The NFB-12 made me realise how thin sounding the E7 was.  Yes it might measure well, but it's lacking body / texture / fullness - which the NFB-12 has a lot of.  The NFB-12 is also quite warm (yet not overly dark) which does tend to suit my style.

 

**Next part is all IMO - others may hear differently**

The nicest part is the filters.  With the default 2x, it's overly warm, syrupy, dark and the detail is rolled off.  When I first bought it, my immediate thought was that I had purchased a lemon.  Once I changed the filters, I then realised how much you can tailor the sound.  In my review I listed the two filters I really liked - the 8x has a real increase in detail, while the 4x is a nice mix between clarity and warmth.  I wish I had the 12.1 - the ability to switch between filters on the fly would be great.  Is it worth it for another $15 - yes absolutely IMO.

 

As far as strengths of the NFB-12 go - good dac (plenty of body), very powerful amp (600 ohm no problem), good form factor, great price, configurable through filters, (so far) appears to be a very good company to deal with.  It also has great inputs (USB, optical, coax - I use coax), plus otion to output using DAC only to powered speakers or to another amp.

 

My intention was always to use the NFB-12 as a stepping stone - but lately I've started wondering if I really need to change it at all.  It's doing everything I want - and I'm actually completely satisfied with my audio set-up at the moment.  In fact I can honestly say that I'm far more interested in getting more music now rather than gear.  Yes I'd like to hear other amps / dacs (curiousity) - but for now, the NFB-12 (with my set-up) ticks all my boxes.

 

Re - tubes.  I purchased the Little Dot MK IV from Rik (Tilpo), mainly because I've always been curious regarding tube amps, and - because I particularly like a slightly bumped mid-range - because I've wanted to experience that 'euphonic/euphoric' tube sound.  **BTW - plug for Rik here - travelled 1/2 way round the world and arrived in immaculate condition - great person to trade with**.  I have to say that initially the difference in sound was very small - not the change i weas expecting.  Possibly because the NFB-12 is full bodied, warmish and well textured already.  Anyway - I bought some tubes to try rolling.  The ones I wanted were the Mullard M8100s - which are supposed to have  areally euphoric warm mid-range.  I have these running now and the difference is more apparent.  I really like the sound - and once again, totally satisfied.  The difference is still not the famous "night and day" that is so often quoted on these forums.  But it's enough for me to still use it almost every night.

 

For my preferences I've reached my mid-fi end-game rig.  Yes I'll probably get the itch to climb the ladder again in a few years - but it'll be once the kids have left the nest, and we have more funds available.  Until then - I can thoroughly and unreservedly recommend the NFB-12.1 for a value desktop solution.

 

BTW - I also read Mike's review.  My take on it was that he didn't like the default settings and it coloured his view right from the start.  I've heard it and thoroughly explored the settings with my cans.  If it's not a good amp according to him - I couldn't give a toss.  I love it - that's all that matters wink.gif

post #26 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Hi Bowei / Hi Rik

 

Bowei - I'm going to post here instead of the PM.  Reply would be the same - this way others get to see it.

 

First up - I'm a self-confessed "neutral head" - with a slight preference toward a bumped or forward mid-range.  I like detail, but not if it's presented at odds with the rest of the spectrum.  I like nice bass punch - but am not a basshead.  My main genres would be classic rock, progressive rock, blues, jazz, female vocals, bluegrass, classical, electronic (esp triphop), opera, and even some folk - love a lot of indie stuff.  I listen to the very occassional bit of dubstep, hardly any rap or heavy beat based stuff.  I don't like heavily V shaped cans (DT990 M50 etc) - and you'll see by my sig that most of my cans (apart from the 325is) are quite balanced (DT880, HD600, SE535LE).  I'm 45, suffer from permanent mild tinnitus, and because of this need a little high end bump/sparkle to really enjoy my music more fully - ie I do not like overly dark sounding gear.  When I bought the HD600, I did so after hearing the HD650 - HD600 just had more balance and a little more top end.

 

OK - that should give you an idea of what I like - we share some genre interests, but it does appear you are more into pop, and beat based music than I am (probably expected given our age difference).

 

I've formerly owned few dacs / amps - main combo before the NFB-12 was an E7/E9.  I thought the Fiios were good at the time - but wanted to try something else - glad I did.  The NFB-12 made me realise how thin sounding the E7 was.  Yes it might measure well, but it's lacking body / texture / fullness - which the NFB-12 has a lot of.  The NFB-12 is also quite warm (yet not overly dark) which does tend to suit my style.

 

**Next part is all IMO - others may hear differently**

The nicest part is the filters.  With the default 2x, it's overly warm, syrupy, dark and the detail is rolled off.  When I first bought it, my immediate thought was that I had purchased a lemon.  Once I changed the filters, I then realised how much you can tailor the sound.  In my review I listed the two filters I really liked - the 8x has a real increase in detail, while the 4x is a nice mix between clarity and warmth.  I wish I had the 12.1 - the ability to switch between filters on the fly would be great.  Is it worth it for another $15 - yes absolutely IMO.

 

As far as strengths of the NFB-12 go - good dac (plenty of body), very powerful amp (600 ohm no problem), good form factor, great price, configurable through filters, (so far) appears to be a very good company to deal with.  It also has great inputs (USB, optical, coax - I use coax), plus otion to output using DAC only to powered speakers or to another amp.

 

My intention was always to use the NFB-12 as a stepping stone - but lately I've started wondering if I really need to change it at all.  It's doing everything I want - and I'm actually completely satisfied with my audio set-up at the moment.  In fact I can honestly say that I'm far more interested in getting more music now rather than gear.  Yes I'd like to hear other amps / dacs (curiousity) - but for now, the NFB-12 (with my set-up) ticks all my boxes.

 

Re - tubes.  I purchased the Little Dot MK IV from Rik (Tilpo), mainly because I've always been curious regarding tube amps, and - because I particularly like a slightly bumped mid-range - because I've wanted to experience that 'euphonic/euphoric' tube sound.  **BTW - plug for Rik here - travelled 1/2 way round the world and arrived in immaculate condition - great person to trade with**.  I have to say that initially the difference in sound was very small - not the change i weas expecting.  Possibly because the NFB-12 is full bodied, warmish and well textured already.  Anyway - I bought some tubes to try rolling.  The ones I wanted were the Mullard M8100s - which are supposed to have  areally euphoric warm mid-range.  I have these running now and the difference is more apparent.  I really like the sound - and once again, totally satisfied.  The difference is still not the famous "night and day" that is so often quoted on these forums.  But it's enough for me to still use it almost every night.

 

For my preferences I've reached my mid-fi end-game rig.  Yes I'll probably get the itch to climb the ladder again in a few years - but it'll be once the kids have left the nest, and we have more funds available.  Until then - I can thoroughly and unreservedly recommend the NFB-12.1 for a value desktop solution.

 

BTW - I also read Mike's review.  My take on it was that he didn't like the default settings and it coloured his view right from the start.  I've heard it and thoroughly explored the settings with my cans.  If it's not a good amp according to him - I couldn't give a toss.  I love it - that's all that matters wink.gif

Thank you SO SO much for this. Now I know why you wanted this to be public :)

 

I guess I will be getting the NFB 12.1 :)

 

I will be supplementing this with the sale of the E17. Call me a devil but with many users selling at $180+, it's hard to give this chance up. My priorities in life has changed. That may sound weird as I am young, but at the moment, something like a portable amp and DAC is not needed by me. I have it sitting on my desktop and it really just sits there. I will take this chance FiiO has given me with this inflation to upgrade my equipment. Even if I don't get my asking price, it wouldn't matter much as I am intending to upgrade anyway.

 

This will cost $250 which isn't that bad really. Kinda makes me queasy as the Valhalla is also this cost, but I heard their value is just ok and not that great. Plus I need a amp and DAC.]

 

 

Edit: Have you ever tried the Matrix M-stage?


Edited by bowei006 - 5/20/12 at 5:19pm
post #27 of 110
Agree with everything Brooko said. If ~$200 is your price range for a DAC and amp, hard to do better than the NFB-12.1. I have the version with switchable internal filters, but the external switches weren't available yet. Wish I had 'em. So spend the extra $15, you won't regret it.

I do find the amp portion pretty warm and with some high end roll off, but it's plenty powerful and is actually beneficial for cans with brighter top ends. Good thing is you'll have the option the the future to just use it as a DAC if you ever want to spend more to get a better amp. Again, for $200 range, pretty much a no-brainer to me.
post #28 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post

Agree with everything Brooko said. If ~$200 is your price range for a DAC and amp, hard to do better than the NFB-12.1. I have the version with switchable internal filters, but the external switches weren't available yet. Wish I had 'em. So spend the extra $15, you won't regret it.
I do find the amp portion pretty warm and with some high end roll off, but it's plenty powerful and is actually beneficial for cans with brighter top ends. Good thing is you'll have the option the the future to just use it as a DAC if you ever want to spend more to get a better amp. Again, for $200 range, pretty much a no-brainer to me.

Have you ever heard the Matrix M-Stage? How does that stack?

post #29 of 110
*insert typical Nwavguy fan rant here*

I suggest o2 and an odac. I also suggest staying away from audio GD, snake oil city. Also, I have personally compared matrix m stage to an O2, didn't hear any difference, but they o2 measures better and does it with less parts, so I opted to keep it.

Just my friendly advice.
post #30 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Have you ever heard the Matrix M-Stage? How does that stack?

Haven't heard it, but it's only an amp, isn't it?
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