Anyone have any thoughts about how this unit compares to both the older Compass as well as the NFB-5. I am looking for a good USB DAC combo to pair with a mini-itx computer build solely for music playback. So I dont need something super portable with batteries but I like the price of the 16
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- Headphone ImpedanceEdited on 8/18/12
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- Headphone Impedance
NEW Audio-gd NFB-16 class A ACSS portable DAC/Amp - Page 7
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Due to the fact it has fixed and variable pre outs I take it? Anything else different between the units?
Another level improvement I am guessing- another level better power supply, etc. I have never owned the NFB5, only the NFB12, NFB16 and the NFB10SE (among other higher end AGD gear)
Edited by tim3320070 - 8/13/12 at 4:23pm
So obviously this is your thought NFB-16 < NFB-12 < NFB-5
Is the NFB-16 considered dark? Or is that the house-sound of Audio-gd? I tried it with the Hifiman HE-400 and Beyer DT250, both sounded great out of it, but when I tried the HD650, it sounded slow and a bit too dark.
No its the HD650 that are slow and dark. All the Audio-gd gear I have have been pretty neutral.
However maybe the NFB-16 is not good at driving high impedance phones.
But I've tried the LCD2 on it too and it wasn't as slow nor dark, but I do think it was lacking power driving the high demand headphones.
The LCD's are not slow and are not as dark as the HD650's. The LCD's are also lowish impedance.
None of your other phones are more than 80 ohms if I am correct so it still might be an impedance issue and the NFB-16 does not do so well with high impedance (the HD650's are 300 ohm impedance) phones.
If the HD650's are not being driven properly then their flaws (slow, dark) will be emphasized.
What is the power output at 300 ohms of the NFB-16. It does not say on the Audio-gd website although it does say its designed to be 'neutral and dynamic'
My DT250 are at 250ohms and I'm listening to them right now with my Macbook Pro and they sound great. The HD650 sounded a bit dark with the Triad L3 too, better when I switched to the Just Audio AHA-120 or the Stepdance.
OK, I did a quick search for the DT250 and the first couple I found were 80 ohms so I asumed they all were.
The hD650's are slow and dark sounding phones the only way to get away from that is to buy an amp that is totally the opposite and hope they cancel each other out. But then that amp won't be any good for any other phones.
I have looked at your profile and you have better phones than the HD650's. Are they your preferred phone for portable use?
Edited by nigeljames - 8/17/12 at 5:54am
Non-negative feedback circuits have a reputation for sounding "dark", but then, arguably, large amounts of negative feedback in a circuit can give it a reputation for sounding "bright". The latter, to me, sound glare-y and irritating, but some people seem to like it.
Basically with Audio-gd gear, the more you pay, the better the power supply and better the amp's performance gets. The NFB-16 I have here (non-battery-powered) doesn't have a strong amp when using it with USB power only, as the soundstage seems to fall apart with complex music, but given I listen to a lot of jazz and often use it with a pair of active speakers and the power supply from the Digital Interface, it sounds lovely to me and that issue doesn't come up.
For HD650s you need a C2 amp or NFB-10 or better or get one or another unit to use as a DAC and an OTL tube amp and a bunch of tubes to play with to tune the sound to your liking.
- NEW Audio-gd NFB-16 class A ACSS portable DAC/Amp
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