Originally Posted by conquerator2
Did you have a chance to try the NFB 3.1 with plannars?
I own its latest iteration, the NFB 3.32 and am planning to use it with the HIFIman (HE-6), along with a neutral speaker amp (the Mini-X) so was wondering if you had any experience.
It might not do it complete justice but it should be fine until I update my gear again :)
Thanks! Best wishes, Luke
Yes, my former rig used to be NFB-3.1 + M-Stage + HE-4. This was truely great back then. The sound was really intimate (which might be a downside for some music genres, e.g. classical), the background was black, which was the biggest improvement over the internal DAC of the Squeezebox Touch. The soundstage was three-dimensionnal and I could "feel" the layering in depth when I focused on it. It is less "easy" sounding as my new Metrum Quad (with which I don't need to focus at anything, it just comes at me, which is extremely relaxing yet engaging!) but it is nonetheless detailed, dynamic yet smooth!
The NFB-3.1 is the reason why I keep upgrading my rig: I discovered there was so much more to get, even with as little as $300.00.
Back then, I was feeding it through the coax output of my SBT. I realized lately I was missing quite a lot by doing so. The Coax output of the SBT is not that great and I got better sound through the integrated USB input (Tenor 7022L on the NFB-3.1). I always felt something was missing in the bass department, to the point I was actually thinking my DAC was faulty. I tried a XDA-1 with the same setup and it was clearly better in the bass, much better!
It's only when I received my Stello U3 (USB->Coax converter) that I discovered nothing was wrong with the unit, the bass was here and hitting hard! I suppose the lack of jitter reduction mechanism in the NFB-3.1 and the poor SBT's coax output was the cause of the lack of bass. By comparison, the XDA-1 has an asynchronous SRC in the input stage which reduces jitter.
Anyway, the NFB-3.32 with its good USB input should be a great improvement over the former NFB-3.1 and I would recommend it anytime for people on a budget!
Note: the intimate sound I described above is due to the HE-4 (with old velour pad), not the NFB-3.1.
Edited by Clemmaster - 12/11/12 at 1:18am