You are right - exclusively applies to digital input only
- 398 Posts. Joined 5/2012
- Location: Athens - Greece
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You are right - exclusively applies to digital input only
It's been on promo as long as I've been salivating over one Tristan,, and that I think it's always been that price ever since it came out. There's a Xmas 5% off discount for most of Audio-GD's gear, but alas not for the junior 11.32 or 15.32's. Still .. if you live in the UK, then our ultra strong GBP versus the puny, girl like US Dollar ought to be Xmas enough for you.
Maybe ask MLE over at his thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-9-2-2013-sony-ma900-added/19050. He had the Compass 2 with the sabre chip and previously a NFB 5.
I have this issue. Haven't found a fixed for it yet but honestly doesn't affect me too much. It's mostly noticeable if you're constantly switching between tracks in the middle of songs.
If you're using optical then I believe that problem can be aimed squarely at your source: a **** soundcard, crap mobile phone or just a sub standard optical cable (even one too long) could may well be the problem. Also sample rates in windows if using USB. People seem to get round it somehow.. it's not a deal breaker.
My NFB-11.32 arrived today. I ordered it with both TXCO clock upgrades. I've kept tabs on A-GDfor quite some time.. but sort of avoided them b/c of their tendency to release a new amp/DAC/combo (seemingly) every month. I'm slimming my upstream gear down so I needed a DAC/amp combo unit (while I await the Geek Pulse X/LPS which arrived in June). This seemed like a a great opportunity to try the (relatively) affordable NFB-11.32.. for the LCD-2 as well as my custom IEMs. Correspondence with A-GD/Kingwa was prompt and enthusiastic... and shipping was ridiculously fast (unit shipped from China on Saturday.. and arrived today/Monday.. wow!).
Unboxing the 11.32, I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality. It's not "Violectric" grade .. but the smooth, brushed aluminum case.. reliable toggle mechanisms on the switches, and solid connectors reassured me that there was some attention to detail (given the price point) given to the external quality of this unit. I'm running Windows 8.1/x64 and after following the directions, the driver install went flawlessly. I've also experienced no pops/clicks/dropouts of any sort.. even when switching between players & file types (i.e. a Soundcloud stream from a browser session.. to FooBar playing Hi-Res audio.. to videos in VLC). I'm relieved to have such stable performance (so far) since I remember reading about many A-GD owners (of past A-GD DACs) having frustrating issues with drivers and audio performance.
I'll comment more on the sound after I give the unit significantly more use.. but ootb, it sounded a bit thin, bright, and compressed w/ the LCD-2. Leaving the unit on for a few hours while playing music through it, the 11.32 became noticeably more dynamic, weighty, and clear. I haven't used the unit as a standalone DAC yet, so I can't comment the quality of the DAC implementation, but as a DAC/amp combo, it's quite impressive so far. Transparent, dynamic, "naturally" resolving, tonally accurate.. possessing a very black background & a well extended frequency presence.. are the qualities that immediately come to mind. The volume pot is smooth and seems to be of high quality as it relates to the impact it may have on the sound. The treble rendering was one area that was immediately distinguishable.. it's got excellent depth, extension, and resolving ability.. yet lacks harshness or a 'clinical' quality with even less than "well" recorded material.. it doesn't seem to possess any glare, either. I'm not sure if this is the work of the DAC section.. the amp section.. or a combination of both (probably the latter).. but this type of performance is impressive and welcome, nonetheless. The mids are, again, smooth & detailed and mostly accurate.. they do seem to possess an ethereal sense of warmth and liquidity that gives them a slightly 'glossy' quality. The bass is wonderfully extended.. accurate in reproduction.. and can be very punchy if the music calls for it. Sub bass extension is terrific and effortless. Soundstage feels accurately proportioned to what a recording serves up.. it doesn't exaggerate depth, width, imaging, etc. So far, the NFB-11.32 is notable (and impressive to me) because it gets little to nothing outwardly wrong more than it gets a bunch of things "amazingly, jaw-droppingly" right. At the price point, you could certainly do a lot worse.
My experience with most desktop amps/DACs I've owned or used for an extensive period of time.. especially ones that employ a discrete design.. is that they tend to fully 'open up' after a hefty number of hours of use (the Violectric V800/V200 stack needed a good 200 hours before the sound "stabilized"/didn't change).. so I'll revisit the SQ after I get more use with it.
Also HD800. I saw a previous post about pairing with it but is it too bright with HD800?
I have listened to NFB-10ES3 on Warsaw Audio Show in November on Shure SE215. 10ES3 is on SABRE and it was sounded very flat but naturality keeps me listening for long time.
So, I'm interesting in to purchase 11.32 for my Grado SR60i (in the future for Mad Dogs) or getting Schiit Vali + some DAC.
I'm going to listen mostly from Computer source.
I just nearly brought DYI OTL tube amp for headphones. But Grados are only 32ohms so OTL will not drive them well. DYI vacuum amps (those with warranty ofkozz:) have one very nice option that you can swich between tubes.
Bypassing DYI apms:
Which one will you reccomend for my preferences: NFB 11.32 or Vali + DAC???