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Is the Audio-gd NFB-6 the least liked Audio-gd product?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Or is it just poorly marketed?

 

I use one of these to drive my HE-500 and thoroughly love everything about the little rascal.  For those who already own a high quality DAC/source as I do, this powerful integrated HP amp seems to me to be ideal, at least for a fairly easy to drive planar magnetic such as my cans.  Nevertheless, there seems very little interest in this Audio-gd product compared to so many others in their line-up and I just wonder why.  Has Frank I's rather negative review soured potential buyers of the NFB-6?


Edited by Andolink - 11/30/12 at 2:28am

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post #2 of 29

Just for info you posted this topic twice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andolink View Post

Or is it just poorly marketed? ... Has Frank I's rather negative review soured potential buyers of the NFB-6?

 

This might just be the case. As I recall he was mainly criticising the singleended output. I don't know why you would buy a balanced amp for singleended use, though. Once I get the HE-500 I might buy NFB-6 to pair with my NFB-17.2. Not sure what I think about not having a volume knob. What do you think about the volume control?

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

The volume control works beautifully via remote.  The avoidance of a potentiometer is supposed to be a significant upgrade in SQ.

post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andolink View Post

Or is it just poorly marketed?

 

I use one of these to drive my HE-500 and thoroughly love everything about the little rascal.  For those who already own a high quality DAC/source as I do, this powerful integrated HP amp seems to me to be ideal, at least for a fairly easy to drive planar magnetic such as my cans.  Nevertheless, there seems very little interest in this Audio-gd product compared to so many others in their line-up and I just wonder why.  Has Frank I's rather negative review soured potential buyers of the NFB-6?

 

I would be the last person to speak for Frank so I suggest you look into his taste and what he owns and decide for yourself whether a ss amp that is tuned to be dynamic and transparent "monitor" would be something he would view favorably. Also, bear in mind that he, for some reason, mostly evaluated the single ended output. If I wanted single ended I would look at the SA-31. That would make a lot more sense.

 

I know I am delighted with mine. Even if it did not have what I feel is a great balanced output for headphones and just looked at it as a pre amp for a speaker system it provides an incredible performance for the price, both in terms of SQ but very much also in terms of convenience and functionality, ACSS input and output, etc. It even has a remote, for crying out loud. Just beware of using this with a source that has even a hint of harshness. The NFB-6 will tell it like it is.

 

With respect to the line up, the NFB-6 sits between lower priced stuff and the high priced reference gear so it is faced with competition both from above and below in the Audio GD line up as well as from the SA-31.


Edited by Hooster - 12/7/12 at 11:22pm
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the heads up about Frank's possibly different tastes and priorities Hooster.  He certainly didn't make a positive impression on me when he started insulting and shouting down posters on another NFB-6 thread about a month ago.  I guess he's a strange dude.


Edited by Andolink - 12/8/12 at 6:23am
post #6 of 29

I am new to this site as well as headphone listening in a serious way.  But this thread was one of the things that convinced me to go and purchase the Audio-gd NFB-6.  I currently use unbalanced AKG701 headphones but will soon use a balanced HE-500.  So when I saw a balanced amp at this price it seemed like an unbeatable deal.  I am a little over 100 hours into the NFB-6 burn-in process (using the AKG701) and I admit I am very impressed with the sound even with another 200 hours to go (as Kingwa recommends).  Yes, I found the sound to be a bit 'dark' which I assoicate with solid state amps, but right from the beginning it was very musical in a muscular kind of way.  And the bass....wow!  I have always found my AKG701 to be a bit polite, especially in the bass.   But right now they rock!  I also found a bit of frizziness in the highs initially, but I never did get any of the digital nasty sound.  I do not have a lot of experience with other amps, but a friend of mine loaned me his LIttle Dot MkiV SE tube amp over Christmas which I really liked.  And I enjoy the NFB-6 as much as I did that amp through the unbalanced outputs.  I am expecting the sound to improve even more when burn-in completes and I switch over to the balanced HE-500.  I am connecting it via ACSS to an Audio-gd Reference 5.32 (another really great unit).  At some piont I will also try connecting via XLR and RCA, although I am pretty happy with the ACSS.  Anyway, my thanks to you folks for the positive reviews, since they played a large part in convincing me to buy the NFB-6.  I cannot wait for the burn-in to complete and for my balance HE-500 to arrive!

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 

Glad to hear you're enjoying the NFB-6 Haitch.

 

I think you'll really be pleased when you switch over to balanced XLR listening with this amp.  I found there to be a big difference compared to single-ended.

post #8 of 29

That K701 could be reterminated to XLR 4-pin balanced by you in less than 20 minutes- get on it!

post #9 of 29

Well, I am over 250 hours of burn-in on the NFB-6 now so I suspect the sound will not be changing a whole lot more.  I still find the sound a real delight: solid foundation, musical throughout the range, oodles of head room: it never feels like it is being pushed.  I have also just received my HiFiMan HE-500 and started that burn-in as well.  I am listening to these balanced (I looked into what was involved in upgrading my AKG701 as tim3320070 suggested, but it looked like something more than a klutz like me would want to undertake!).  I have to say, listening balanced on the NFB-6 is definitely superior and I think the combination of this with the HE-500 appears to me to be fantastic duo, even though burn-in has just started.  Comparing to unbalanced, I find the balanced sound to be more lively and palpable....there is more 'there' there (to steal a quote from a HiFi review of some years ago).  And a few days ago, I took my NFB-6 over to a friend to try it out with his HiFiMan HE-6 headphones.  We only had time for a brief listen, but amazingly the NFB-6 seemed to be able to drive the HE-6!  We have agreed to get together to do more detailed listening/comparisons at a later date.  I confess to having just a smidge of second thoughts on acquiring the HE-500 now that it appears that the NFB-6 is capable of driving the HE-6!  Anyway, so far my experience with the NFB-6 is extremely positive and at a price of around $450 this has to be one of the best buys out there.

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by haitch View Post

Well, I am over 250 hours of burn-in on the NFB-6 now so I suspect the sound will not be changing a whole lot more.  I still find the sound a real delight: solid foundation, musical throughout the range, oodles of head room: it never feels like it is being pushed.  I have also just received my HiFiMan HE-500 and started that burn-in as well.  I am listening to these balanced (I looked into what was involved in upgrading my AKG701 as tim3320070 suggested, but it looked like something more than a klutz like me would want to undertake!).  I have to say, listening balanced on the NFB-6 is definitely superior and I think the combination of this with the HE-500 appears to me to be fantastic duo, even though burn-in has just started.  Comparing to unbalanced, I find the balanced sound to be more lively and palpable....there is more 'there' there (to steal a quote from a HiFi review of some years ago).  And a few days ago, I took my NFB-6 over to a friend to try it out with his HiFiMan HE-6 headphones.  We only had time for a brief listen, but amazingly the NFB-6 seemed to be able to drive the HE-6!  We have agreed to get together to do more detailed listening/comparisons at a later date.  I confess to having just a smidge of second thoughts on acquiring the HE-500 now that it appears that the NFB-6 is capable of driving the HE-6!  Anyway, so far my experience with the NFB-6 is extremely positive and at a price of around $450 this has to be one of the best buys out there.

Very glad to hear someone other than me sing the praises of this integrated H/P amp.  Your impressions on how it works with the HE-500 are right in line with my own enthusiasm for this combo.  I've always suspected that there was plenty of power reserves over and above what the 500 requires to pair very nicely with the HE-6 so I'll eagerly look forward to your detailed comments about that coming up.

 

What source components are you using for your music Haitch?  A high quality DAC is obviously a critical factor in this discussion.

post #11 of 29

For my source components I am using a PC with iTunes with lossless files, connected via a standard (i.e. cheap) USB cable to an Audio-gd Reference 5.32 DAC, which is connected to the NFB-6 via an Audio-gd ACSS cable.  Do you have any recommendations for upgrades in this path?  I was thinking of using JRiver for if/when I get into HD Audio, so do you think it is better than iTunes for sound quality?  I would not think that the library software would make a difference, but I suspect this is a naive viewpoint.  And does the quality of the USB cable make a difference?  I have always been sceptical whether digital cables make much of a difference and would welcome advice from people with more experience.  I have some pretty good Nordost XLR cables and plan on comparing them to the ACSS cable for connecting the DAC to amp, but I read a review that says ACSS is superior to XLR which is what I would hope.

 

As for the Audio-gd Reference 5.32 DAC, it was the first thing I purchased (on the advice of a friend) and I must say I am impressed with it.  I have compared it via the optical inputs to my old-but-good-in-its-day Mark Levinson 360S DAC and the Audio-gd DAC is distinctly better: more body and 'rightness' in my opinion.  Also it is an excellent match with the NFB-6.

 

As for the HE-500 headphones, my burn-in is complete and I am very impressed with the way they mate with the NFB-6.  I read a review someplace that talked about the notes having a 'rounded' musicality and I totally agree.  The combination is seductively musical, with pounding bass when called for up to shimmering highs.  Having said that, from the brief listen I had with the NFB-6 driving HE-6 headphones, that combination had an attack and transperancy that I remember as being entrancing.  Luckily, I will not be able to do more listening of this combination for another month or two, which means I can remain happy with my currenct purchases for a littler longer!

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

I have zero experience with iTunes lossless as a source so I can't advise you on that.  But running the NFB-5.32 and NFB-6 via ACSS is superior to both single ended and XLR from everything I've read too.  So you're in good shape there.

 

I'm curious as to what if anything you notice about the difference in sound using the H/P out of the NFB-5.32 compared to using the NFB-6?  Was adding the NFB-6 a significant upgrade?

post #13 of 29

http://audirvana.com/ 

try adding audivana onto the itune software...its like a gear upgrade. 

 

i am already very impressed with the nbf10.32 (at a fraction of the cost of the above combo)

cant believe what sonic pleasure u must be hearing from them :P

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andolink View Post

I'm curious as to what if anything you notice about the difference in sound using the H/P out of the NFB-5.32 compared to using the NFB-6?  Was adding the NFB-6 a significant upgrade?

 

You are mixing up Reference 5.32 and NFB-5.32 (stupid model numbers). The Ref 5.32 is DAC only wink.gif

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anda View Post

 

You are mixing up Reference 5.32 and NFB-5.32 (stupid model numbers). The Ref 5.32 is DAC only wink.gif

Oh, I suspected I might  have gotten that wrong.  Thanks for the correction.

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