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Next upgrade for setup

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, looking to upgrade my audio gear. At the moment out of my pc i'm running an audiogd NFB-10SE through usb then my hd650s. Looking to make an upgrade and not sure where to do it.

What would the next logical upgrade be. I've got around 500 to burn. Maybe get another amp and use the nfb as a preamp or get a balanced cable to use with my 650s?

 

Any suggestions?

post #2 of 13

I discovered and many engineers will tell you that a balanced cable is pretty much a waste of money.  It might give you up to +6dB of more volume, but that is it.

 

Without having some measurements for your amp I have no way of telling of another amp would be have better bass, less noise, or even more gain.  Hopefully someone with the Audiogd NFB-10SE and another amp can chime in.

 

A leap that many of us have made is to change headphones or at a minimum get a pair that compliments the sound signature of the HD-650.  For me this was the Denon AH-D2000.  As you have probably noticed the HD-650 is a tad weak in the bass, veiled at low listening levels, and can lack some of the treble speed other headphones like the HE-500 show off.

 

If you are receiving the dynamics, bass control and impact, as well as volume levels from the NFB I say that another amp is probably not the best way to go.  A half-way decent amp is going to sound pretty similar to other half-way decent amps.

 

Does the DAC section sound noisy?  Does it give you the noise reduction you want when listening via PC?

 

I vote either investing in more high quality music or another set of headphones.

post #3 of 13

if u basically like the flavor of what u are currently hearing...

and want to maximise the dac/amp...

to enhance the soundstage/clarity,

then i would recommend u do this first..

http://www.cabledyne.com/usb-cable.html

 

by the way i have the lappy, the nfb10..the 650...:P

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

if u basically like the flavor of what u are currently hearing...

and want to maximise the dac/amp...

to enhance the soundstage/clarity,

then i would recommend u do this first..

http://www.cabledyne.com/usb-cable.html

 

by the way i have the lappy, the nfb10..the 650...

I haven't really read up much on anything hi-fi recently, but coming from a computer science backround (my major), I can say that a "better" usb cable won't do anything differently than a cheap usb cable. The data transmitted through the usb cable is digital and thus comprised of 1's and 0's. So it either works or it doesn't. There is no signal that can be degraded. Think about it. Can 1's get more or less one'y? This is the same reason why expensive hdmi cables are no better than $3 hdmi cables. If you want the hi-fi look, sleeve your cable and call it a day.

EDIT: I thought I'd clarify by one'y and why cables don't matter for digital. To a transistor, ones and zeros are represented by a voltage range. So for example a 0 would be represented by a signal that is 0v - .35v and a 1 would be represented by a signal that is .65v - 1v. These ranges are dependent on the physical characteristics of the transistors used, but you get the idea. As long as the voltages of your ones and zeros fall in those two ranges, you're good. Now unless you are getting massive interference, these fancy cables are nothing more than eye candy as a signal that is .65v is the registered the same as a signal that is 1v.


Edited by NAWilson9 - 7/2/13 at 11:34am
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAWilson9 View Post

I haven't really read up much on anything hi-fi recently, but coming from a computer science backround (my major), I can say that a "better" usb cable won't do anything differently than a cheap usb cable. The data transmitted through the usb cable is digital and thus comprised of 1's and 0's. So it either works or it doesn't. There is no signal that can be degraded. Think about it. Can 1's get more or less one'y? This is the same reason why expensive hdmi cables are no better than $3 hdmi cables. If you want the hi-fi look, sleeve your cable and call it a day.

EDIT: I thought I'd clarify by one'y and why cables don't matter for digital. To a transistor, ones and zeros are represented by a voltage range. So for example a 0 would be represented by a signal that is 0v - .35v and a 1 would be represented by a signal that is .65v - 1v. These ranges are dependent on the physical characteristics of the transistors used, but you get the idea. As long as the voltages of your ones and zeros fall in those two ranges, you're good. Now unless you are getting massive interference, these fancy cables are nothing more than eye candy as a signal that is .65v is the registered the same as a signal that is 1v.


Agreed.

post #6 of 13
;D
Edited by Lorspeaker - 7/2/13 at 9:01pm
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've already got an HE400 for when i want something bassier. And yeah i think the cable wouldn't do too much. The audioGD is pretty old and not sure how good it is as i received it without much info on it. Any ideas on how much a new dac/amp would be an upgrade?

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

if u basically like the flavor of what u are currently hearing...

and want to maximise the dac/amp...

to enhance the soundstage/clarity,

then i would recommend u do this first..

http://www.cabledyne.com/usb-cable.html

 

by the way i have the lappy, the nfb10..the 650...:P

wow at $123 USD for 0.7m USB cord.... that will go along way to better headphones

post #9 of 13

I am computer science me too but you can't consider only the data transmission. Noise, jitter, reflection don't cause any errors but they have indirect effect on the sound.

 

When I raise down jitter, I have more definition. When I have less noise, I have a more black background and I have more transparency and details ...

 

Between stock usb cable and Wireworld Ultraviolet the difference is almost spectacular !

 

You maybe tried 2 similar usb cable ? or your gear is not sensible to usb cable (low quality or incredible good quality circuits) ?

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by NAWilson9 View Post

I haven't really read up much on anything hi-fi recently, but coming from a computer science backround (my major), I can say that a "better" usb cable won't do anything differently than a cheap usb cable. The data transmitted through the usb cable is digital and thus comprised of 1's and 0's. So it either works or it doesn't. There is no signal that can be degraded. Think about it. Can 1's get more or less one'y? This is the same reason why expensive hdmi cables are no better than $3 hdmi cables. If you want the hi-fi look, sleeve your cable and call it a day.

EDIT: I thought I'd clarify by one'y and why cables don't matter for digital. To a transistor, ones and zeros are represented by a voltage range. So for example a 0 would be represented by a signal that is 0v - .35v and a 1 would be represented by a signal that is .65v - 1v. These ranges are dependent on the physical characteristics of the transistors used, but you get the idea. As long as the voltages of your ones and zeros fall in those two ranges, you're good. Now unless you are getting massive interference, these fancy cables are nothing more than eye candy as a signal that is .65v is the registered the same as a signal that is 1v.

post #10 of 13
Great biggrin.gif
Edited by Lorspeaker - 7/3/13 at 2:54am
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClintonL View Post

I've already got an HE400 for when i want something bassier. And yeah i think the cable wouldn't do too much. The audioGD is pretty old and not sure how good it is as i received it without much info on it. Any ideas on how much a new dac/amp would be an upgrade?

If you have a normally functioning NFB10SE it is very expensive to upgrade, especially since in my opinion its amp part is very good.

If you keep it you can

1) reterminate your cable to 4 pin xlr (needs soldering - getting a balanced cable is much more expensive). The NFB10 was meant to be used balanced and the difference from single end shows in superior clarity and resolution, more volume is incidental and not important for the cans you have

2) change its usb chip to the newest Audio gd asynchronus one (needs soldering) or use a good usb-spdif converter

 

If you are not for any of the above, sell it and try perhaps an Audio gd Compass 2


Edited by i019791 - 7/3/13 at 12:05am
post #12 of 13

I'd consider also the Bottlehead Crack, as with the HD650 it's hard to beat. Definitely it will sound different than the nfb-10. This would be a great entry to the tube world, especially if you're not afraid of using the soldering iron - i'ts a self-assembly kit, but fairly easy to put together.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

I'd consider also the Bottlehead Crack, as with the HD650 it's hard to beat. Definitely it will sound different than the nfb-10. This would be a great entry to the tube world, especially if you're not afraid of using the soldering iron - i'ts a self-assembly kit, but fairly easy to put together.

The Bottlehead Crack may be vey good with the HD650, but it does not make much sense for me to use the NFB10 as standalone single end dac

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