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Audio-gd NFB-17/NFB-17.2

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Has anyone heard the NFB-17/17.2 from Audio-gd? I'm looking for a replacement for my Cambridge Audio DacMagic. Having a hard time choosing between the NFB-17.2, a used Rega or a used Stello DA100 sig. What would you guys choose? I am going to use it with a Lake People G100 and Hifiman HE-300.



post #2 of 11

I'm surprised there is more talk about it - it's got to be the cheapest balanced DAC on the market.

post #3 of 11
I was really considering buying one, as it looks awesome for the price... but i think i might spring for the Wyred 4 Sound DAC1 instead.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

A local dealer has offered to get me a NFB-17.2, so I have one coming my way smily_headphones1.gif

I'll post some pics and impressions when it arrives.

post #5 of 11

Hi Anda.


Any news on your NFB-17.2? I am very interested in this DAC and  it would be nice to read your imoressions.




post #6 of 11

Oops! I meant "impressions ", of course! redface.gif

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Still on its way. My dealer expects it to be here by the end of next week. I'll remember to post impressions wink.gif

post #8 of 11

I Have NFB-17.2 for more than one month now (nearly 6 weeks exactly) . I don't have many DAC before (sound cards yes) , but for DAC's this my third one , and second from A-GD . 


First : A spitfire MK² (Firestone Audio) wich was a very good upgrade from an Asus Xonar Essence ST . 


Second : A-GD , NFB-2 again a good upgrade from my previous MK² , the jumps was not soo huge this time , but clearly noticeable and enjoyable specialed when i paired it later with C2.1 amp from Audio GD , setup that i used for about 7 months before getting T1 wich played well on C2.1 but i felt that there was some room to spare on the amp side . 


Ordered a SPL Auditor , since this one is balanced internally i thinked about a balanced DAC , and after asked information beetween NFB-17.2 and last NFB-1  for sale to king wa he advised me to go with NFB-17.2 wich was a bit more neutral than NFB-1 according to him , and that price was not the point ,(i would have liked a REF 5 but it was out of stock at this time and 5.2 not yet avaliale) .



Well this is for the background , now the real thing :


In unbalanced mod with RCA (my C2.1 was gone at this time ) , NFB-2 and NFB-17.2 with the same filter , and with the same DIR9001 S/PDIF receiver , are very close sounding if not the same at my hears , at that time Auditor was not yet at home , and only have a Luxman LV-91 amp speacker and a pair of JBL control 5 to test it .(The HP out of luxman is not very good soo ... (alpine period)) .


But i think that even with a more expensive setup , differences beetween the two DAC are very small and best bang for buck are NFB-3.1/3.2 or NFB-17/17.2  , but NFB-2 /2.2 are still competitive . 


So now , how about it sound ? (the the thougest part for me as you noticed , not first class english biggrin.gif) .



When Audio GD said , on the neutral side with a touch of smoothness i can't agree more . For me it's a very accurate DAC sounding , nothing seams exagerated or standing for. The tonal balance for me seams great .


Highs , they extand well , with a good amout of energy , detailled , crystal clear , it gives a gound sense of clarity / transparency . On harsh / bad recording , depending on the filter used , can be a a little smoothed out . 


Mids : well balanced it's what come in mind , with yet a touch of warmness , wich give a nice touch to vocals or electric guitare . There is DAC with a more upfront mids , but i am happy with what i hear from NFB-17.2 .


Bass : Not loose at all , thigh , well layered , with a decent amout off impact / pratt , again like for mids , there is DAC with more bass in quantity , but NFB-17.2 is on the neutral side soo like i said before , nothing exagerated .



Soundstage is really fine , a lot of air , a clean background , a good instrument separation and positioning , it's quite wide , and deep , first time i heard the NFB-2 (but the same occur to NFB-17.2) it give me an impression of a " 3D sounding" if you understand what i mean . 


It seams a detailled DAC sounding ,on NFB-2 or NFB-17.2 i rediscovered some track with some little things that i never heard before like turning pages on a classical concert etc . 


For the TE8802 it works flawlessy , just had a little issue with some dropout , after asking kingwa he adviced me to reinstall drivers , and it worked never more any dropout , sometimes computer are not very predictable ... 192khz files played with sucess so it work has it should , ASIO drivers in the drivers works too . Soo it's a goot upgrade from the older TE7022) .



To summarise this is a very well balanced DAC , it's not here to wow you , but to bring your music how it's intended to be , but peraphs with a touch of smooth and warmness , a good bridge beetween musiquality and neutrality , connectivity is awesome , but i don't need so much , but it's better to have more than enough . Higher end dacs can improve things , but for the NFB-17.2 price you can't be sorry . 



I hope it can help a bit , but again , my english is limited .

Edited by HaVoC-28 - 6/13/12 at 8:47am
post #9 of 11

Ha-Voc, Thanks a lot for chiming in with your detailed impressions. They were very useful.

Your description of the neutral, balanced character of the NFB-17.2 very much correspond to my own expectations of the unit. And don't worry about your English. It is certainly good enough to be understandable and most probably better than my French! wink.gif

post #10 of 11

I am thinking about this unit  and in general the previous DAC's tend to be brittle or harsh in the lower and mid treble. Any improvement in this area?

post #11 of 11

To revive this....I have the NFB 17.32 running balanced with a Phoenix.

With both LCD2 Rev2 and HD800 it sounds very good but I can't hear any difference between the 3 filter settings.Anybody any ideas?

On a sidenote.....my WA6 with Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC tops the Audio GD system as it is darker and meatier(which is a plus with the HD800).

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