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Audio-gd NFB-28 - Page 5

post #61 of 447
Thread Starter 
Burn in voodoo takes place from the get go, generally sounding veiled, unbalanced and to a point so lifeless with little highs and farting lows! biggrin.gif
Everything went well after the twelve hour mark, but could still improve. The neutral signature, soundstage, tone were spot on. More after the 300 mark.
post #62 of 447

is anyone using this with the augeze LCD-3s?

post #63 of 447

Only a couple of people have it so far-and impressions are lacking.

 

-Daniel

post #64 of 447

Wonder how this would compare to the Woo WA7?  I like the balanced HP out on this unit....What it means sonically has yet to be determined  : )

post #65 of 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by gevorg View Post

Got mine today with two TCXO upgrades cool.gif

Previously used Centrance DACport and was out of head-fi scene for quite a bit. Before Dacport, I had original Audio-gd Compass. Current headphones: single-ended D5000 with markl mod.

First impressions, in comparison to Dacport:

- better PRAT, blacker background
- better separation of instruments with fast paced music, less congestion
- soundstage seems bigger, but that could easily be a placebo
- sound signature is very neutral without any signs of harshness, just like Dacport
- finally, no more channel imbalance at low volumes
- low to mid volume listening has more dynamic range, less desire to crank it up to enjoy music
- no fatigue after listening for about 4 hours straight
- the NFB-28 case gets very warm! as expected since it functions as a huge heatsink without fans
- bad recordings sound worse than before, good recordings sound better smily_headphones1.gif

Overall, the improvements over Dacport are noticeable and nice, but not huge. It seems the biggest improvement in my case comes from a much better amplification section. If you compare by size/performance ratio, the Dacport wins instead. smile.gif Looking back at original Compass, Audio-gd designs have matured and polished. Great to see that Kingwa pays close attention to USB/computer transport technology. IMHO, this is the weakest link of modern DACs, and this is the area that needs more research and improvement. Great DAC chip is not good enough and can easily suffer when USB interface feeds it garbage.

The NFB-28 seems to have great synergy with the Denons. Not sure whether I should re-terminate them for balanced mode, or just upgrade to T1/LCD2 level. Previously I had HD650, K1000, D880, RS1, HE-500 with various setups, but always came back to Denons. Will see how the next two weeks go, as the electronics burn-in voodoo takes place... or not. smily_headphones1.gif

That says it all. I personally find the LCD-2 Rev.1 a lot more comfortable than the LCD-2 Rev.2, but you may be different. I highly recommend upgrading your headphone, as IMO you'll get a greater improvement than getting better amps for your current cans. That's just my opinion anyway, if it matters I found using DT880 and HD650 with $1000-$1500 amps made about 5% to 10% improvement over using a budget amplifier. When you upgrade your cans though, you get a 20% to 30% upgrade in performance. 

 

You already have a great amplifier, might as well upgrade your cans smily_headphones1.gif

post #66 of 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by hidaven View Post

is anyone using this with the augeze LCD-3s?

I am and will try to post more detailed impression on the pairing. Can tell you it is very good thus far but I just want to let my excitement sink in a bit and also get a listen with some of the other amp/dac to confirm I am not overly high on the nfb28.
post #67 of 447

Any other headphones you're using with it, kkcc?

 

-Daniel

post #68 of 447
Kkd, your killing me! What do you think?
post #69 of 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

Nice, but definitely try it out balanced with the denons imo.

Yep, I decided to get my Denon's balanced before I move on to next headphones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vampire5003 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by gevorg View Post

...
The NFB-28 seems to have great synergy with the Denons. Not sure whether I should re-terminate them for balanced mode, or just upgrade to T1/LCD2 level. Previously I had HD650, K1000, D880, RS1, HE-500 with various setups, but always came back to Denons. Will see how the next two weeks go, as the electronics burn-in voodoo takes place... or not. smily_headphones1.gif
That says it all. I personally find the LCD-2 Rev.1 a lot more comfortable than the LCD-2 Rev.2, but you may be different. I highly recommend upgrading your headphone, as IMO you'll get a greater improvement than getting better amps for your current cans. That's just my opinion anyway, if it matters I found using DT880 and HD650 with $1000-$1500 amps made about 5% to 10% improvement over using a budget amplifier. When you upgrade your cans though, you get a 20% to 30% upgrade in performance. 


You already have a great amplifier, might as well upgrade your cans smily_headphones1.gif

I completely agree that headphone upgrade gives the biggest improvement in sound quality, as long as you have decent amping and at least acceptable D-to-A. I really wanted to just get the LCD2s, but then I found out that Audeze is planning to release a closed version of them by the end of this year, so I'll wait until then. Plenty of music for me to rediscover with NFB-28 for now.
post #70 of 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by gevorg View Post


Yep, I decided to get my Denon's balanced before I move on to next headphones.
I completely agree that headphone upgrade gives the biggest improvement in sound quality, as long as you have decent amping and at least acceptable D-to-A. I really wanted to just get the LCD2s, but then I found out that Audeze is planning to release a closed version of them by the end of this year, so I'll wait until then. Plenty of music for me to rediscover with NFB-28 for now.

 

I see, that is a perfectly reasonable reason to wait :D . That is exciting! I may pick them up to complement my Semi-Open LCD-2 Rev 1....

post #71 of 447
Note for Audio-gd users who use USB-32 PC driver download.

The "Plugs" folder that comes with Audio-gd's "AudiogdUSB32v2.0forwin.rar" contains outdated "foo_out_asio.dll" and "foo_out_wasapi.dll". For WASAPI, make sure to get the latest DLL from foobar's components page, because the newer version allows you to choose "WASAPI Event Style" over older/default "WASAPI Push Style". The Event Style is preferable for asynchronous DACs like NFB-28 and other USB-32 Audio-gd DACs. Why? From JRiver wiki:

Quote:
WASAPI Event Style lets a sound device pull data from Media Center. This method is not supported by all hardware, but is recommended when supported. This has several advantages:
  • It lets the audio subsystem pull data (when events are set) instead of pushing data to the system. This allows lower latency buffer sizes, and removes an unreliable Microsoft layer documented below.
  • It creates, uses, and destroys all WASAPI interfaces from a single thread.
  • The hardware (or WASAPI interface) never sees any pause or flush calls. Instead, on pause or flush, silence is delivered in the pull loop. This removes the need for hacks for cards that circle their buffers on pause, flush, etc. (ATI HDMI, etc.).
  • It allows for a more direct data path to the driver / hardware.

For foobar, I also suggest to check the "High worker process priority" in Preferences - Advanced - Playback - WASAPI. For my system, where I multitask with various applications while listening to music, this helped to reduce/prevent clicking sounds during playback. YMMV.
Edited by gevorg - 9/9/13 at 4:30pm
post #72 of 447

About to pull the trigger on the NFB-28 or NFB-10.33

 

I had been looking (and saving) for the REF 10, but situations change of course and it looked like I just couldn't pull the trigger on such a expensive piece of kit, while I also needed a new water heater and other household necessities. I couldn't tell the wife to go take cold showers, because I just bought a $2k dac/head phone amp.

 

I was not sure about the ES9018 DAC and for some strange reason I was leaning towards the NFB-10.33 and the WM DAC. That impression comes not from my ears (for I haven't compared the two), rather from just reading reviews and the term "warmness" that seems to be more closely aligned with the Wolfson for some reason and the word "warmness" also seems akin to that "tube" sound. 

 

However, after reading this thread and a few reviews of the ES9018 and the fact the NFB-28 has some jumpers that CAN (if one would like) add some "warmness" to the sound, it just seemed like the right choice.

 

 

I suspect I will be very happy with the upgrade (NFB-28 or NFB-10.33) from my current set-up, which is a Emotiva XDA-1 DAC (AD1955) that had problems with volume control and other issues, plus NO headphone amp :-(

 

So my questions are:

 

Has anyone tried the "warmness" jumpers and can they tell me what the sound difference is?

Is the only big difference between the NFB-28 and NFB-10.33 the DAC?

 

Thanks...

post #73 of 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prohobo View Post

About to pull the trigger on the NFB-28 or NFB-10.33

I had been looking (and saving) for the REF 10, but situations change of course and it looked like I just couldn't pull the trigger on such a expensive piece of kit, while I also needed a new water heater and other household necessities. I couldn't tell the wife to go take cold showers, because I just bought a $2k dac/head phone amp.

I was not sure about the ES9018 DAC and for some strange reason I was leaning towards the NFB-10.33 and the WM DAC. That impression comes not from my ears (for I haven't compared the two), rather from just reading reviews and the term "warmness" that seems to be more closely aligned with the Wolfson for some reason and the word "warmness" also seems akin to that "tube" sound. 

However, after reading this thread and a few reviews of the ES9018 and the fact the NFB-28 has some jumpers that CAN (if one would like) add some "warmness" to the sound, it just seemed like the right choice.


I suspect I will be very happy with the upgrade (NFB-28 or NFB-10.33) from my current set-up, which is a Emotiva XDA-1 DAC (AD1955) that had problems with volume control and other issues, plus NO headphone amp :-(

So my questions are:

Has anyone tried the "warmness" jumpers and can they tell me what the sound difference is?
Is the only big difference between the NFB-28 and NFB-10.33 the DAC?

Thanks...

Kingwa told me via email that you can do the same jumper trick on the 10ES2 to make the sound warmer. I'll paste the email later biggrin.gif
post #74 of 447

Have you checked with Audio gd whether the warmness jumpers work only for line in ?

Apart from the dac chip difference, NFB-28 has bigger transformer and line in

post #75 of 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by i019791 View Post
 

Have you checked with Audio gd whether the warmness jumpers work only for line in ?

Apart from the dac chip difference, NFB-28 has bigger transformer and line in

 

It didn't say if it was for line-in or out.  From the Audio-GD website....

 

"Setting the NFB-28 have warmer sound:
The 4 pcs jumper are pushed into the socket labeled in the red pane  for setting the NFB-28 have warmer sound. (Please pull out the power cord before the cover of the chassis is taken off .)"

 

 

That to me reads as if it is for line-out (or head-phone out) - note: "have warmer sound".

I am not sure why you would want to warm the sound for the line-in, if it is just going through the DAC and then out?

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