Originally Posted by BenF
Did you consider NFB-11.32?
It has higher S/N ratio than 2.32, lower output impedance, 200$ cheaper and includes a very good pre-amp.
The Sabre 9018 chip sounds great with any headphones I throw at it.
I did, but the 2.32 has 32/384 transfer and a beefier power supply. Since my budget allows it, I figured why not get what appears to be the better DAC, as opposed to getting one where the price is split between the DAC and other features I dont need (amp, preamp).
Originally Posted by steve2151
If the OP is willing to spend $500, he might also want to look into the new NFB1-1P, which looks like the NFB-1.32 with more SMD components to cut the price down to $500.
The NFB-11.32 has a very high SNR due to the ESS9018 chip, but there is also something to be said for the bigger power supplies and implementation in the dedicated DACs. The PCM1704UK is weaker than the ESS9018 in SNR unless you stack 8 of them, but a lot of people do prefer the smooth sound of the older chips.
I have to admit, looking at the specs, I am really confused as to the differences between these 2 DACs, other than the balanced design. I dont really need a balanced DAC, as my amp (an Audio GD SA-31 and an en-route 2A3/45 SET) dont have a balanced design - the amp has a balanced out, but it is a regular single-ended signal terminated on a balanced plug.
I've just sent the payment for the SA 2.32, and have a narrow window to change my order: would appreciate any inputs.
Also, can someone also explain to me how both these DACs list 384K transfer, yet also list a max sampling support of 192KHz? What am I missing here?