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Thoughts on NFB-15.1? - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaVoC-28 View Post

 

Hum TE7022L support up to 24/96khz ^^ through usb , TE-8802 add up to 192khz and asynchronous mode , the only "downside" on windows is the need of custom drivers .

 

Yes.  Thanks.  Sorry I didn't clarify further.  The TE7022 does support 24Bit audio via USB, but not in an asyncrhonous mode.  On the particular Audio-GD "Fun" model of amp that I currently have, it was an early model.  At the time, even the TE7022 wasn't in place and utilized by Audio-GD, so in USB mode, I'm currently limited to 16Bit.  Last night, I originally inquired with King-Wa on a TE7022 adaptation, to see if it was available.  However, after checking out their Web site for a few more minutes, I saw the TE8802 upgrade option was there, as well as instructions on how to integrate it and get it installed on previous amp / DACs.  So, I sent a 2nd e-mail asking about the TE8802, which led to my order being placed.

 

Edit: I should also clarify.  The TE8802 is an item that looks really good on paper.  The specs, etc. are all good.  However, the reviews still state that using the SPDIF inputs result in slightly better performance.  But, the TE8802 is getting close in performance, but not quite there.  I just ordered it because the price was $48.00 + shipping.  Had it been higher, I may have skipped it.  I've also purchased a USB to SPDIF convertor from another member that I should have my hands on in a few days.  This will allow me to perform various listening tests to determine what seems to be the appropriate set up for me.


Edited by wje - 8/1/12 at 11:58am
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 

What is your experience with the OPA? 

 

I've heard that the SUN OPA was a bit dynamic with a "thick" sound to it. I assume it is a v-shaped signature with brighter treble? I am curious to know if this would mesh well with the he-400's dark signature. I think it's either a hit or miss.

 

After doing some reading, I'm starting to think the EARTH OPA might be a viable choice. It's neutral demeanor and analytical sound signature might give a darker headphone a better soundstage and instrument separation. I'm afraid it would sound too dry and too resolving for some genres (electronic and rock/metal). I guess the ACSS would be sufficient enough for a neutral sound? 

 

Wow, all these decisions tongue_smile.gif

post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

Yes.  Thanks.  Sorry I didn't clarify further.  The TE7022 does support 24Bit audio via USB, but not in an asyncrhonous mode.  On the particular Audio-GD "Fun" model of amp that I currently have, it was an early model.  At the time, even the TE7022 wasn't in place and utilized by Audio-GD, so in USB mode, I'm currently limited to 16Bit.  Last night, I originally inquired with King-Wa on a TE7022 adaptation, to see if it was available.  However, after checking out their Web site for a few more minutes, I saw the TE8802 upgrade option was there, as well as instructions on how to integrate it and get it installed on previous amp / DACs.  So, I sent a 2nd e-mail asking about the TE8802, which led to my order being placed.

 

Edit: I should also clarify.  The TE8802 is an item that looks really good on paper.  The specs, etc. are all good.  However, the reviews still state that using the SPDIF inputs result in slightly better performance.  But, the TE8802 is getting close in performance, but not quite there.  I just ordered it because the price was $48.00 + shipping.  Had it been higher, I may have skipped it.  I've also purchased a USB to SPDIF convertor from another member that I should have my hands on in a few days.  This will allow me to perform various listening tests to determine what seems to be the appropriate set up for me.

 

Ho ok i see , on your previous Fun something like a Ti PCM 26xx or 27xx serie ? 

 

On my gone spitfire MK2 , difference beetween usb / and s/pdif coax was obvious (PCM2704 for usb and TI DIR9001 for spdif coax) , but with Audio GD honnestly on my personal experience , for NFB-2 with TE7022 or NFB-17.2 with TE8802 , i have to say that beetwen coax input (DIR9001 for both) fed by my motherboard spdif coax ou or usb , it's nearly the same if not the same (for 16/44khz files) . 

 

And for 24/96 files and more , tryed some : http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html

 

resampled it at 16/44 on new files, compared files and difference was again not obvious at all : / , but every one as to try biggrin.gif (only compared it via USB) my mother spdif out don't support 24 bits ... 

 

Peraphs i should try some decent transports but ...rolleyes.gif 

 

And when i had a C2.1 or m-stage i used opa moon beerchug.gif


Edited by HaVoC-28 - 8/1/12 at 1:01pm
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyMcFly View Post

What is your experience with the OPA? 

 

I've heard that the SUN OPA was a bit dynamic with a "thick" sound to it. I assume it is a v-shaped signature with brighter treble? I am curious to know if this would mesh well with the he-400's dark signature. I think it's either a hit or miss.

 

After doing some reading, I'm starting to think the EARTH OPA might be a viable choice. It's neutral demeanor and analytical sound signature might give a darker headphone a better soundstage and instrument separation. I'm afraid it would sound too dry and too resolving for some genres (electronic and rock/metal). I guess the ACSS would be sufficient enough for a neutral sound? 

 

Wow, all these decisions tongue_smile.gif

 

Marty,

 

The good thing, though, is that these modules are interchangeable.  One doesn't have to blindly pick one and then purchase the option and have to live with it because the chip would be soldered to the main board.  It takes about 5 minutes to remove the case screws and swap the module out.

 

But, it looks like Audio-GD places a small label on the back corner of the case and back panel to know if the case was opened in the event someone is trying to make a claim for warranty service, when actually they messed something up with the amp themselves versus an actual component failure.

 

I currently have the "Moon" module.  I love the sound of it with the HE-400s.  Slightly warm, non fatiguing.  I should receive my "Earth" next week so I can do some more testing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaVoC-28 View Post

 

Ho ok i see , on your previous Fun something like a Ti PCM 26xx or 27xx serie ? 

 

On my gone spitfire MK2 , difference beetween usb / and s/pdif coax was obvious (PCM2704 for usb and TI DIR9001 for spdif coax) , but with Audio GD honnestly on my personal experience , for NFB-2 with TE7022 or NFB-17.2 with TE8802 , i have to say that beetwen coax input (DIR9001 for both) fed by my motherboard spdif coax ou or usb , it's nearly the same if not the same (for 16/44khz files) . 

 

And for 24/96 files and more , tryed some : http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html

 

resampled it at 16/44 on new files, compared files and difference was again not obvious at all : / , but every one as to try biggrin.gif (only compared it via USB) my mother spdif out don't support 24 bits ... 

 

Peraphs i should try some decent transports but ...rolleyes.gif 

 

And when i had a C2.1 or m-stage i used opa moon beerchug.gif

 

Yes.  Old style of USB interface / processing.  I'm actually not surprised that your latest tests have proven what they have.  The newest TE8802 has gotten to the point that USB would have been frowned upon a few years back because of the mediocre performance vs. SPDIF.  However, as clients demands change, it seems the audiophile industry is adapting too.  This is a good thing.  Plus, with the USB-3 implementations, it will be interesting to see if they can leverage it a bit further.  I did read a post where the person stated that USB was originally designed for printers, mice, keyboards, etc. to easily integrate on a computer.  However, the amp manufacturers have also tapped into these capabilities to also have a lot of "smarts" pass through the USB for great sound.

 

I did run across a post on amps that discussed USB cables.  Apparently, there is a difference and some names were mentioned.  I will need to see if I can retrieve the link to that post, so it can be shared.  I don't want all of you going out to Best Buy and dropping $75.00 on a Monster USB cable, before I find that information.  biggrin.gif

post #20 of 34
Quote:

For some final great news tonight, I finished up my work day and headed home.  I took some time to troubleshoot the Audio-GD Fun that I had purchased, but was experiencing issues.  After taking off the top case cover, I could see where the Moon Op-Amp module had become dislodged during shipping.  I had to use my needle nose pliers to straighten a few pins.  Then, I inserted the module, powered it up ... and, nothing but beauty streaming from the amp / DAC.  So, for now, I have my Audio-GD Fun working and won't be ordering the NFB-5.2 anytime soon.  I just need to enjoy the music a bit.

 

Enjoy!

 

I really wanted to see a comparison between the Fun and the NFB-5. I thought it was a real shame that the Fun was discontinued because there's no longer a $300 all-in-one dac/amp box in the Audio GD lineup that also has a line in option.

 

Completely agree with elwappo on the NFB-10 being a great bang for the buck unit. I'll probably get one more upgrade, probably to the Ref 7.1/Master 8 combo, and call it a wrap on my component chain. That $3500 combo gets some rave reviews, but most note that it's about a 15-20% improvement over a the NFB-10. 

 

What actually sold me on Audio GD in general was this review over at Headfonia. Note how the Bryson BDA-1 and the Reference 7.1 are the same price and then compare the quality of the internals. 

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve2151 View Post

 

I really wanted to see a comparison between the Fun and the NFB-5. I thought it was a real shame that the Fun was discontinued because there's no longer a $300 all-in-one dac/amp box in the Audio GD lineup that also has a line in option.

 

Completely agree with elwappo on the NFB-10 being a great bang for the buck unit. I'll probably get one more upgrade, probably to the Ref 7.1/Master 8 combo, and call it a wrap on my component chain. That $3500 combo gets some rave reviews, but most note that it's about a 15-20% improvement over a the NFB-10. 

 

What actually sold me on Audio GD in general was this review over at Headfonia. Note how the Bryson BDA-1 and the Reference 7.1 are the same price and then compare the quality of the internals. 

 

Yes, such a comparison / review would be interesting.  Given that the "Fun" has a few years on it, and has a bit of age, it certainly isn't an amp / DAC that is ready for the bone-yard just yet.  Given that one can still purchase the various "flavors" of op-amps (Sun, Moon, Earth) as well as the TE8802 USB upgrade board, is what makes me happy.  If one can find a used "Fun", I think it is worthy of investing a few bucks into some of the modules and then trying them out to see what one best prefers.  When it comes to the TE8802, I'm not so sure that one should hop quickly into that board replacment, unless USB input is their only choice.  However, the TE8802 has proven that the USB potential - and through evolution, has resulted in an input that is *almost* as good as using the digital inputs (optical / Coax).  Still, the slight nod is given the digital input side and notes that a cleaner signal can be the variable here.

 

I also happened to read the review you've linked to between the Audio-GD and the Bryston.  I really think Kingwa is a very meticulous amp / DAC designer, who is able to produce such astonishing goods for the prices charged.  The comparison did point out, though, that some of the solder joints of the Bryston were just a tad cleaner, where the Audio-GD was still good, they were not quite as neatly done as the Bryston.  Also, the Audio-GD Fun has a toroidal transformer, which the NFB-5 (I believe) does not.  I suspect that parts and manufacturing costs would be a bit higher to keep the "Fun" available today for a price that many could afford.

 

Finally, while digging around for more information on the "Fun" last evening, I came across another message board.  I forget the site (HifiVision ??) or, something like that.  The post I read was kind of funny.  The guy who applied the post tried to point out that here on Head-Fi, there were a lot of Audio-GD "Shills" who were in love with the products.  I guess he could have also said "Fan Boys" and meant the same thing.  I'm not sure if that same poster is also a member here or not, but did have to chuckle a bit.  I wonder what his bad "rub" was with the Audio-GD gear?  Did he feel that it didn't deserve to have such a popular following?  Or, did he think that getting an excellent product for such a low cost was a bad thing?  Or, was it someone from within the "Industry" who was feeling some heat from the brisk sales of the Audio-GD gear?

post #22 of 34

Looking at the parts, both the Fun and the NFB-5 use toroidal transformers, but the NFB-5 uses a lot of SMD parts to cut costs. You can achieve a fairly large cost savings this way; for example the NFB-10SE is $300 less than the NFB-10WM and has the same performance. However, you do get a second Wolfson chip in the NFB-5 plus access to the digital filter settings.

 

Given that the Bryson uses the SMD manufacturing process and much fewer components, that tells me that it's case takes up a much bigger part of it's manufacturing cost. The Bryson also uses two of the same psu that are in the NFB-12/NFB-15, while the Reference 7.1 has 3 of the NFB-10's r-core transformers.

post #23 of 34

Thanks for clarifying the NFB-5 also uses a toroidal transformer.  I didn't pull the site up and look at the pics before posting what I did.  Yes, the case, for the Bryston could make up a bit of the cost of manufacturing.  Also, then there's the 20-year warranty.  However, I couldn't imagine holding onto a DAC for that long, given how quick everything is moving in the "digital age".  But, if it were a headphone amp or integrated amp, I could see the value in owning one for 20+ years, and the warranty is a nice offering.  So, the question is, offering such an inclusive warranty has to be a bit costly.

 

On the other hand, I look at Bryston like Conrad Johnson or Esoteric.  Not a lot of people own the gear, but for those who do, seem to be highly-dedicated followers who treasure the pieces and enjoy them for a long time.

 

Edit: I haven't dug for any reviews on the Emotiva DAC.  I'll need to see if some on-line site with golden-ear reviewers has happened to had a chance to review and evaluate the offering.


Edited by wje - 8/2/12 at 2:05pm
post #24 of 34

My NFB-15.1 shipped a few days ago and should be here in a couple days.  I'll post some impressions upon arrival.

 

Cheers!!!

post #25 of 34
Comparisons with the 5.2 is highly anticipated by the market.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrAdrian View Post

Comparisons with the 5.2 is highly anticipated by the market.

 

 

Indeed.  That would be great.


Edited by HeatFan12 - 8/5/12 at 10:14pm
post #27 of 34

Well, she has landed.  Unfortunately, I am pressed for time, so just going to plug her into my Marantz CD5001 via coax and let her roll for hours until I return with some Beyers.

 

Quick crappy phone pics, for size comparison to the NFB-16.

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

400

 

 

400

 

 

400

 

 

post #28 of 34
I would go with whatever has tighter bass so the model 15. Both should be very musical, after all we are talking about Wolfson chips.

Kingwa rocks btw

Gratz HeatFan!
post #29 of 34

Well Heatfan, any feedback on this georgous unit ? :)

post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomaticSense View Post

Well Heatfan, any feedback on this georgous unit ? :)

 

 

Hi SS,

 

Sounding darn good indeed and I'm loving it.  Did not want to post impressions here since the OP went with another product and would seem moot, since it's his thread.  Recently rocking some D5000s, Ultrasones, Grados.  Great little box indeed and very versatile.  Thinking of starting an NFB-15.1 impressions thread, but don't know how many folks have pulled the trigger.

 

Here's a pic I posted in another thread (15.1 hi-lited) of my little A-GD corner..

 

Cheers!!!

 


Edited by HeatFan12 - 8/19/12 at 3:55pm
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