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Audio-GD Reference 5.2 (New Balanced 4x PCM1704UK DAC) - Page 3

post #31 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciphercomplete View Post

I'm not a huge fan of Audio GDs 1704UK DACS.  They are very good DACS no doubt as they are detailed but they are very laid back.  They have a darker presentation and dynamics is not their strong suit.

 

If you own a system that is decidedly not laid back or neutral on its own than the Audio GD 1704 DACS will be a revelation.  If your system is already laid back and neutral (like Audio GD amps and preamp combos) adding a Reference 7,5 or older DAC 19 varieties to the mix will likely put you to sleep.  Trust me, I tried.

 

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Audio GD 1704 DACS are better performers in headphone systems than they are in speaker set ups.  Headphone set ups are always more forward sounding than speaker set ups no matter what cans you are using.

Completely agree. I had to swap opamps in my Auditor to be able to enjoy my Ref 5. Before it was just too dark and not musical enough albeit very detailed.

post #32 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post

 

I don't consider Audio-gd amps as laid back, neutral maybe but not laid back.

I had the Roc and now the Master-6 and although the treble is very smooth and none aggressive the combination of brilliant bass,PRaT and dynamics means that my system is far from laid back. Although I do use the more dynamic NFB-7 DAC.

 

P.S. If by laid back you are referring primarily to the high frequencies then I can understand, although not totally agree with, your description.

 

No, the amps are extremely neutral and so are the preamps.  I have heard the C-3 preamp, Master 1 preamp, Master 3 amp, and the SA 300 SE amp in my home and they were all the most neutral components I have heard.  I second your description of the amps, at least the speaker amp varieties.  I don't have enough experience with their headphone amps to even comment on their neutrality though but I absolutely don't doubt what you say given my experience with their other products. 

Regarding the DACs though, the Reference DAC Series is Neutral without a doubt, no frequency range dominates.  By laid back I meant dynamically speaking.  The Ref 5 and & are among the best dacs I have ever heard but system matching still applies.  The treble on the reference series is really smooth, not rolled off, but smooth.  It would be too much of a good thing in systems that already have this trait.  Perhaps saying that I wasn't a fan of them was too strong, I am a fan.  I just prefer more dynamic and less smoothed out treble sources in my current system.   


Edited by ciphercomplete - 6/19/12 at 12:18pm
post #33 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciphercomplete View Post

 

No, the amps are extremely neutral and so are the preamps.  I have heard the C-3 preamp, Master 1 preamp, Master 3 amp, and the SA 300 SE amp in my home and they were all the most neutral components I have heard.  I second your description of the amps, at least the speaker amp varieties.  I don't have enough experience with their headphone amps to even comment on their neutrality though but I absolutely don't doubt what you say given my experience with their other products. 

Regarding the DACs though, the Reference DAC Series is Neutral without a doubt, no frequency range dominates.  By laid back I meant dynamically speaking.  The Ref 5 and & are among the best dacs I have ever heard but system matching still applies.  The treble on the reference series is really smooth, not rolled off, but smooth.  It would be too much of a good thing in systems that already have this trait.  Perhaps saying that I wasn't a fan of them was too strong, I am a fan.  I just prefer more dynamic and less smoothed out treble sources in my current system.   

Get dynamic speakers then - Thiel or similar

post #34 of 283

Hi,

 

Sorry for the newbie question.

But with dacs like this that has multiple outputs, does it mean I can use all of them simultaneously?

Can I hook the red 5.2 to my active speakers via xlr and use the rca out to my headphone amp?

 

I'm really interested in the red 5.2 vs dacmagic vs mf's m1 dac.

Still trying to decide if it is worth getting something in this league or stick with either the v dac or tubemagic d2.

 

Any comments or suggestions or advice most appreciated!

 

Best,

j

post #35 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by petemac110 View Post

 

I was lucky to be able to compare my old DAC19DSP (2 x PCM1704UK) vs the NFB 2.1,the Rega DAC, and two jkeny DACs with a friend

 

We both agreed that the DAC19DSP rendered vocals and instruments in a way that made it the most natural-sounding and 'believeable' of all of the DACs. The Rega was pretty close but was warmer, and the NFB2.1 was noticeably warmer and a bit more dynamic and forward-sounding, but to us this didn't necessarily equate to a better DAC.

 

 

 

 

It's certainly a personal choice and system synergy thing. I've had three audio-gd DACs in my system (NFB 3, DAC19DSP and now the Ref 5, and I prefer the accuracy and flow of the DAC19 and Ref 5 vs the NFB 3. I've also had several other brands of DAC in my system, and whilst some have been more resolving and more detailed than the audio-gd gear, they sound artificial, fatiguing and non-musical to my ears. It's worth noting that my system is relatively 'dark' overall - restored Sansui amps, ProAc 1S clones etc. Again, personal preference is at play.

 

Very interesting petemac,

 

Actually I am enjoying a lot with my DAC19, but i am starting to be tempted by this unit as I have got recently a balanced amplifier, do you believe is worth the upgrade? confused.gif

 

this new 5.2 has got a better usb receiver than the DAC19 but I am usually using spdif connection through a M2Tech hiface2 (with DIR module), so USB wouldn't be used, at least at the beginning.

 

thanks!

post #36 of 283

I know this comes up often but I'm wondering if this would be a worthwhile upgrade if I stay SE.  I realize it can be used SE and used well but there's a bunch of extra cost that really wouldn't be fully taken advantage of.
 

post #37 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciphercomplete View Post

On a similar note I just got this email from Kingwa,

 

"We will release 5 units NFB7.1 at near days, because 1st July is audio-gd 8 years, and the gears have 5%.

Kingwa"

 

   blink.gif  Sabre DACs? I believe you're mistaken on that one. The Reference 7.1 is based on the PCM1704k, isn't it?

post #38 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksteady65 View Post

   blink.gif  Sabre DACs? I believe you're mistaken on that one. The Reference 7.1 is based on the PCM1704k, isn't it?

 

He said the NFB-7.1 not the Ref 7.1, the NFB-7.1 is indeed a Sabre dac unit

 

Edit: its weird that even if you go to the discontinued products section that its still not there, but you can just put it in the url and the page is still there

http://audio-gd.com/Pro/dac/NFB7/NFB7EN.htm

 

Edit2: wait, it is there, i was just looking under the wrong section...anywho, yeah thats the link for it right there ^


Edited by SoupRKnowva - 6/27/12 at 6:45pm
post #39 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by tme110 View Post

I know this comes up often but I'm wondering if this would be a worthwhile upgrade if I stay SE.  I realize it can be used SE and used well but there's a bunch of extra cost that really wouldn't be fully taken advantage of.

 

I'm using my Ref 5 with the single-ended RCA outs and I personally feel that the sound quality is better than the DAC19. It's not a huge difference but a diffence nonetheless.

The audio-gd website mentions that even if you use the single-ended outputs, all four DAC chips are used, so you still benefit from having four PCM1704UKs vs the two in the DAC19.
post #40 of 283

Very pleased to see the NFB7 make a comeback even if only temporary. An excellent DAC indeed.

Definitely deserves a place alogside Audio-gd's other TOTL DAC's.

post #41 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

 

He said the NFB-7.1 not the Ref 7.1, the NFB-7.1 is indeed a Sabre dac unit

 

Edit: its weird that even if you go to the discontinued products section that its still not there, but you can just put it in the url and the page is still there

http://audio-gd.com/Pro/dac/NFB7/NFB7EN.htm

 

Edit2: wait, it is there, i was just looking under the wrong section...anywho, yeah thats the link for it right there ^

Oops, that's right, he did say NFB-7.1. I Suppose I was under the influence...of sleepiness of course! redface.gif That's an interesting development from Kingwua. I wonder if he will keep on offering Sabre Chip based DACs in the future?...

post #42 of 283

Finally I sent question to Kingwa and he kindly replied that 5.2 cooperates better in balanced and is a bit improvement over DAC19, so any new.

 

If I haven't got DAC19 I would pull the trigger directly  to 5.2 without any doubt, but actually I am enjoying a lot with my DAC19, and for balanced output I am using a benchmark, so I guess I will keep waiting for some opinions on 5.2 (if i can  wink.gif)

post #43 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by D2Cowones View Post

Finally I sent question to Kingwa and he kindly replied that 5.2 cooperates better in balanced and is a bit improvement over DAC19, so any new.

If I haven't got DAC19 I would pull the trigger directly  to 5.2 without any doubt, but actually I am enjoying a lot with my DAC19, and for balanced output I am using a benchmark, so I guess I will keep waiting for some opinions on 5.2 (if i can  wink.gif )

Note Kingwa's post in this thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/466765/audio-gd-reference-7-the-new-flagship-dac/2595#post_8497687

Kingwa always understates the differences and improvements in his gear. I guess this is advantageous as everybody's perception of improvements and value for money is different. There's nothing worse than a manufacturer waxing lyrical about how there's a night-and-day difference, when the difference is indeed small according to most. It's all relative!

I'm certainly happy with the upgrade from the DAC19 to the Ref 5. To my ears it is a more focussed version of the DAC19.

A friend has the Ref 5.2 and another has the 10.2. I'd love to compare all three if/when time permits!
post #44 of 283

Thanks petemac, you are right, and with any new, I meant that his answer was one I was waiting for. It's really valuable that Kingwa don't overestimate his own products and even sometimes recommend to go for a smaller version.

 

On the other hand you are not helping me to avoid pulling the trigger !!! biggrin.gif

 

Another topic I guess is important is that your ref5 was with double power supply for analog and digital which is not the case of 5.2, and I believe this Is a key point too, not only doubling to 4 1704uk's...

post #45 of 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by D2Cowones View Post

Thanks petemac, you are right, and with any new, I meant that his answer was one I was waiting for. It's really valuable that Kingwa don't overestimate his own products and even sometimes recommend to go for a smaller version.

 

On the other hand you are not helping me to avoid pulling the trigger !!! biggrin.gif

 

Another topic I guess is important is that your ref5 was with double power supply for analog and digital which is not the case of 5.2, and I believe this Is a key point too, not only doubling to 4 1704uk's...


ref 5.2 have 2 power supply but 1 transformer wink.gif

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