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Hello,  I have never posted on any forum so I could mess this up.  I must apologize for not using headphones.  I started in audio back in the 60's when we were all analog and I never got into phones.  I am computer based now (J River MC19) and started following Head-Fi back when I was looking for my first dac.  Largely based on enthusiasm on Head-Fi I  purchased an NFB 3 in July 2011 and then a Ref-5 in Feb 2012.  I was very happy with the Ref-5 and changed many of my components while keeping the dac constant in my system.  Then earlier this year I purchased a NFB-7.32 dsd capable dac and I have been trying to decide how I like it ever since. 

 

I did get the Via driver installed and some DSD64 sample files to play successfully.  I am not convinced that I want to invest much in the DSD files available for download.  Comparing good old wav files with Ref-5 vs NFB-7.32 I'm not sure that I've gained much.  In fact on piano music which is one of my primary listening criteria I think I may prefer the Ref-5 as more natural sounding.

 

My latest tweak has been to add an Asus Xonar DSX sound card to my music server to gain optical spdif out to the dacs.  I didn't expect to like the sound based on negative impressions of TOSlink connections but in fact I find the sound through the Ref-5 enjoyable.

 

The more I compare the more confused I get.  But I'm wondering now if I should have looked for a PCM1704 upgrade rather than opting for a dsd dac.  I figured I would introduce myself and see what reactions I might get from the experts here. I am in awe of the expertise I find in reviews here.

 

Thanks, Mark Lewis