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NFB 15.1

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Under $300, is there another desktop headphone amp with more power and overall versatility than the NFB 15.1?

 

I don't own the NFB15.1, but I'm looking at buying one. Ideally, I'd like a DAC/Amp combo under $300 that will have plenty of power to drive any dynamic headphone I throw at it, and any reasonably drivable orthodynamic headphone as well (LCD-2 / HE-500 / etc). I'd also like a fairly neutral amp, which is why I thought I'd look into NFB 15.1 as opposed to NFB 12.1.

Right now I own the NuForce Icon HD. I use it with Grados, and admittedly it's pretty overkill for them as I can barely hear a difference between Grados through the Icon HD than straight out of an iPod. But I know Grados' design is such that they are easy to drive. From what I've read, however, the Icon HD doesn't have enough power for the heavy dogs.

I'm wanting to get into some of the top end headphones. Those "heavy dogs". Something along the lines of HE-500, LCD-2, HD-600/650, etc. All of which, I've heard, need power to sing. On paper, the NFB 15.1 has power!

 

Is there anything else below $300 that can match the power and neutrality of the NFB 15.1? Can anyone who owns it comment on it?

post #2 of 4

Rather than NFB-15.1 I'd go with the NFB-11.32: it is a bit above $300 but the Sabre ES9018 DAC seems to have better reputation than the WM8741, plus you get the 32-bit input should you ever need it.

 

In terms of power both are similar and capable of driving all the headphones you have mentioned. Unless you're planning to go deaf very soon, you don't need more power than that. To get even more oomph you'd most likely have to go balanced.

 

Either way you'll get your money's worth with this gear. Looking at the alternatives in this price range I'd say you have already been there.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

Rather than NFB-15.1 I'd go with the NFB-11.32: it is a bit above $300 but the Sabre ES9018 DAC seems to have better reputation than the WM8741, plus you get the 32-bit input should you ever need it.

 

In terms of power both are similar and capable of driving all the headphones you have mentioned. Unless you're planning to go deaf very soon, you don't need more power than that. To get even more oomph you'd most likely have to go balanced.

 

Either way you'll get your money's worth with this gear. Looking at the alternatives in this price range I'd say you have already been there.

Hey thanks, good info. Sounds like I'll look into Audio GD for my next DAC/Amp!

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Would the NFB 15.1 sufficiently drive the HE-500?

 

Thanks!

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