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Audio-GD NFB-3 (2014) ES9018 DAC - Page 8

post #106 of 172

What does the TCXO upgrade do exactly?

 

I might be considering the NFB28 as it also has the headphone amp with it. Does the 28 come with the free TCXO upgrade?

post #107 of 172
Both the USB32 and ES9018 circuits have a XO (clock). The TCXOs are lower jitter, lower phase noise clocks than the standard XOs. The result - slightly improved sound quality.

The NFB28 does not come with the free TCXO upgrade. This is exclusive to the NFB3. Refer to the audio-gd website for this info.
post #108 of 172
Thread Starter 

That's correct Pete. 20USD per TCXO upgrade.

post #109 of 172

I'll probably go with the NFB28 and TCXO upgrade soon. It will come in handy as a preamp for my speaker setup as well as my headphone amp.

post #110 of 172

Just a final word on my experience with the NFB 3 (2014):

 

All my concerns about instruments' timbres have disappeared. Piano and sax (my two main concerns) sound natural and just right. The decay of cimballs and the sound of drums, as well as the nicely delineated bass lines are the best combination I've heard so far along with the much improved width and height of the soundstage, that projects itself very convincingly.

 

Of course, I haven't had a vast experience with DACs, but nevertheless, I'm really picky about sound details and the NFB 3 delivers. I also was able to use Via ASIO Direct to play 24/192 files and these really sound amazingly clear!

 

 So, I don't have any reserves for now and consider this DAC an amazing improvement that blew all my expectations at a very reasonable price.


Edited by Musica Amantem - 5/26/14 at 11:43am
post #111 of 172

I just received my NFB-3 and had a couple questions regarding the USB input.  I installed it just fine using the drivers and it picked up and worked immediately (Windows 7 64bit)

 

However, I notice a couple things that I'd like to confirm is normal operation or if I have a defective unit:

 

#1)  In Windows, if you go to the playback properties for the audio-gd interface, it only shows up to 192 kHz.  I thought this did up to 384?  Or is that just the DSD/DXD?  Windows shows all the inputs from 44.1 up to 192, but nothing higher.  Is that correct?

 

#2)  The USB input is much louder than both the optical and spdif inputs.  Is that normal too?  I tested it with my PS3 into the optical and my Audigy 2 ZS card into the SPDIF, and the USB input is like 2x as loud.

 

#3)  When playing music in Foobar (using either ASIO, Wasapi or KS), the internal relay clicks anytime any change happens - even if I'm skipping through a song.  I understand if the relay clicked when I stop/start or change bitrates, but is it normal for it to click even going to different parts in a song or skipping to another song?  There is a second or two delay is it clicks twice.  Again, it is it a physical click coming from the unit itself and not through the headphones.  And I understand that some units like this, Bifrost, etc. have muting relays but I didn't think it would click just skipping through a song.  Is that normal?

 

Thanks all.  I hope someone can confirm my above points and I don't have a bad unit.  Even if I do, Audio-GD and Kingwa are a great company so it will get sorted out.

post #112 of 172

1. - Same here, except it does not show 24/88.2 or 24/176.4 either. Anyway I can play 24/88.2 without issues, even in spite of Windows not showing it. I have not tried 24/176.4 yet.

 

2. - I use the front, right hand, button to switch from 1.25 V to 2.5 V output and these choices accommodate all my needs (native recording volume levels vary a lot).

 

3. - I have not moved within the song while playing, but every time I change bitrate/sampling sizes in my selections, the relay clicks. I find it quite normal and non-disturbing, as it is adjusting for the different bitrate/sampling.

 

In my case, I still don't get it to play KS (the unit would stop in the middle of the song), but with ASIO it is wonderful.

post #113 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musica Amantem View Post
 

1. - Same here, except it does not show 24/88.2 or 24/176.4 either. Anyway I can play 24/88.2 without issues, even in spite of Windows not showing it. I have not tried 24/176.4 yet.

 

2. - I use the front, right hand, button to switch from 1.25 V to 2.5 V output and these choices accommodate all my needs (native recording volume levels vary a lot).

 

3. - I have not moved within the song while playing, but every time I change bitrate/sampling sizes in my selections, the relay clicks. I find it quite normal and non-disturbing, as it is adjusting for the different bitrate/sampling.

 

In my case, I still don't get it to play KS (the unit would stop in the middle of the song), but with ASIO it is wonderful.

 

#1 - cool :)

 

#2 - That button definitely does make it quieter, but I was wondering if others are experiencing a difference in volume between USB and Coax/Optical

 

#3 - It may be a foobar thing here.  If I open a video, it doesn't do it.  But through Foobar, any change at all (play/pause, skipping to different points in a song, skipping songs, etc.) cause the relay to click

post #114 of 172

So, how do you like the sound so far?

post #115 of 172

I have successfully pulled the trigger on the NFB-1. Soon it will all depend on the mighty gods of package delivery, called dhl, until I can enjoy this very fine piece of gear. May the customs agency interruption shall not take to long. A friends parcel got there stuck once for many weeks.

 

When it has finally arrived, I will give you an update about how happy I'am with this choice. And also may will open a new thread for this unit.

 

Does anybody know if they use some sort of express shipping (to europe)? The support either missed my question or didn't want to anwser it.

post #116 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asound View Post
 

When it has finally arrived, I will give you an update about how happy I'am with this choice. And also may will open a new thread for this unit.

 

Does anybody know if they use some sort of express shipping (to europe)? The support either missed my question or didn't want to anwser it.

You already have existing topic for NFB-1

http://www.head-fi.org/t/625945/audio-gd-nfb-1-32

It has already some valueable feedback, the difference with NFB-1 (2014) is the case only, there is no point to make new topic.

Concerning shipping, you have 2 ways DHL, EMS. You have chosen DHL which is fast enough. Any more express than this, would cost you dearly.

 

post #117 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by SidiousX View Post
 

You already have existing topic for NFB-1

http://www.head-fi.org/t/625945/audio-gd-nfb-1-32

It has already some valueable feedback, the difference with NFB-1 (2014) is the case only, there is no point to make new topic.

 

Oh, I was not aware of that. But I was wondering why Audio GD linked to that thread on the product site. Now I know why.

Thanks for the info.


Edited by Asound - 5/28/14 at 2:37pm
post #118 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaemonSire View Post
 

I just received my NFB-3 and had a couple questions regarding the USB input.  I installed it just fine using the drivers and it picked up and worked immediately (Windows 7 64bit)

 

However, I notice a couple things that I'd like to confirm is normal operation or if I have a defective unit:

 

#1)  In Windows, if you go to the playback properties for the audio-gd interface, it only shows up to 192 kHz.  I thought this did up to 384?  Or is that just the DSD/DXD?  Windows shows all the inputs from 44.1 up to 192, but nothing higher.  Is that correct?

 

#2)  The USB input is much louder than both the optical and spdif inputs.  Is that normal too?  I tested it with my PS3 into the optical and my Audigy 2 ZS card into the SPDIF, and the USB input is like 2x as loud.

 

#3)  When playing music in Foobar (using either ASIO, Wasapi or KS), the internal relay clicks anytime any change happens - even if I'm skipping through a song.  I understand if the relay clicked when I stop/start or change bitrates, but is it normal for it to click even going to different parts in a song or skipping to another song?  There is a second or two delay is it clicks twice.  Again, it is it a physical click coming from the unit itself and not through the headphones.  And I understand that some units like this, Bifrost, etc. have muting relays but I didn't think it would click just skipping through a song.  Is that normal?

 

Thanks all.  I hope someone can confirm my above points and I don't have a bad unit.  Even if I do, Audio-GD and Kingwa are a great company so it will get sorted out.

 

Update to my previous questions, talked with Kingwa:

#1) Windows will only show up to 192, but it will play 384 (I haven't tried this yet as I don't have any files)

 

#2) Need to do more testing with different optical/coax...It may be related to what I was testing with...will update later

 

#3) Kingwa says this is intentional for the PCM/DSD muting relay

 

 

----

Now I have a new issue/question related to video.  Kingwa is unsure of it as he hasn't tested video much and wants me to get some input from you guys.

 

Can anyone with the NFB-3 using the USB32 in Windows (preferably 7 to keep it consistent), try something out for me?  I'm having an issue playing videos and pausing/unpausing them and having the audio mute.

 

In Windows:

- If I pause the video and unpause within a few seconds, it works as normal and the sound works (no muting relay click)

- If I pause the video and wait longer (say a minute), when I unpause the video the muting relay clicks and actually mutes the sound.

- I then have to actually stop the video and restart it so the relay clicks off and on again.

 

This seems to only happen with Windows so I think it may be a driver issue.  I'm using the latest firmware and drivers from their website.  I'm using MPC-HC or VLC to play the videos in Windows.

 

If I test this in Linux, it works as expected.

 

In Linux:

- If I pause the video, a few seconds later the relay clicks

- If I unpause, the relay clicks again and sound works as normal.

 

So it looks like Windows/unit is getting confused and actually muting the sound on resume.

 

Thanks

post #119 of 172

I was suggested by Kingwa to try the new USB32 firmware, as its has been reported as sounding better. My unit is quite new and I thought it had the latest firmware stock, but it seems a new release came out at the end of last month. Has anyone tried this new firmware for the USB32? Would I need to uninstall the original drivers and install them back again? Any advice would be appreciated.

post #120 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musica Amantem View Post
 

I was suggested by Kingwa to try the new USB32 firmware, as its has been reported as sounding better. My unit is quite new and I thought it had the latest firmware stock, but it seems a new release came out at the end of last month. Has anyone tried this new firmware for the USB32? Would I need to uninstall the original drivers and install them back again? Any advice would be appreciated.

 

I am running the new firmware and drivers.  I didn't test the unit much prior so not really sure on sonic improvements.  According to their website, any unit that shipped prior to May 26 is using the older firmware.

 

- You need to uninstall the old drivers first.

- Reboot PC

- Flash the new firmware

- Reboot PC and restart NFB-3

- Install new 2014v3 drivers

 

Below are the files you'll need.  The firmware update has a word doc that goes into the above in more detail.  I did it without any issue.

 

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/USB32driver2014v3.rar

http://www.audio-gd.com/USB32firmware2014.rar

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