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Yulong D100 vs Audio-GD NFB-11

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Okay well, I just came into some cash and I'm finally ready to pull the trigger on a new DAC/Amp.  I've been researching for a bit and I really like the Yulong D100 and the Audio-GD NFB-11 for good options with my AKG Q701.  Keep in mind that I'm not factoring price/value into this comparison.

 

Can anyone speak to how these two compare, sound-wise?  My research says that the D100 is on the warmer side of neutral and the NFB-11 is very neutral, leaning towards bright with the Sabre DAC.

 

Can anyone speak to how they pair with the Q701?  I know the D100 is supposed to be really good with it.  I haven't heard much about the NFB-11 pairing tho.  Some people have said the 15 is better on paper, with the warmer Wolfson DAC.  I'm hoping the 11 isn't a BAD pairing since a neutral DAC will be better if I want to change headphones down the line.

 

Lastly, can anyone speak to which is "better" on paper?  The obvious differences are that the NFB-11 has a 32-bit USB port and DSD support, as well as a bunch of filters.  The D100 has only two filters, but it has balanced XLR outputs.  I think the amps are relatively comparable, but I can't find any hard info on that.

 

Am I overthinking this?  Should I just get one and bask in its awesomeness without worrying about the opportunity cost?  Or are these in different leagues and I should definitely be getting one over the other?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 6

If you are currently using the M-Stage with the Q701 it could be that neither amp section would be an improvement. Which is a good thing, because then you could spend your money on a dedicated DAC, perhaps one from the Audio GD with balanced outputs (for future use).

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopia View Post
 

If you are currently using the M-Stage with the Q701 it could be that neither amp section would be an improvement. Which is a good thing, because then you could spend your money on a dedicated DAC, perhaps one from the Audio GD with balanced outputs (for future use).

Yeah, the main reason I posted this in the Source forum instead of the Amp forum is that I figured the Amp sections wouldn't see much of an improvement, if any.  Mostly, I was hoping that the amp would be about equivalent, while giving me a DAC that will hold me over until I spend way too much on headphones and amp.  :blink:

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Anyone else have any input on this?  I think the one thing that's hardest for me to understand is how combo units like these compare on paper.  You need a masters degree in electrical engineering to understand all the VRMS and Ohms they put on the stats pages.  :(

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Okay well for posterity, I'll post this here:  I bought both an Audio-GD 15.32 and a Yulong D100 to test and see for myself.

 

The two most obvious differences in sound are:

 

1 - The 15.32 overall (amp+DAC) sounds warmer/darker than the D100.  The D100 is definitely brighter relative to the 15.32, but I couldn't say how bright it is relative to neutral.

 

2 - The amp section in the D100 is a lot more powerful than the A-GD.  9:00 on the D100 = 10:30 on 15.32.

 

Other interesting notes:

 

3 - When I compared the amp section of the Audio-GD to the M-Stage amp (using both with the A-GD DAC), I couldn't hear an audible difference.  The A-GD was maybe a hair brighter.  Power-wise, the dials were almost exactly the same.

 

4 - I haven't had a chance to compare the amp section of the Yulong to the M-Stage.

 

5 - The DAC in the Audio-GD is noticeably cleaner and crisper than the DAC in my Sound Blaster Omni.  It's a noticeable upgrade.  I didn't bother testing the Yulong DAC against the Omni, tho I might as well I guess.

 

6 - The A-GD seems to have more bass extension.  The Yulong seems to have more treble extension.

 

7 - The A-GD has more useful front switches.  The Yulong has more output options (balanced XLR!).

 

Overall, these are both great units and they both sound really good.  I think the 15.32 pairs better with the Q701 as it's a little darker.  The Yulong with a more neutral headphone is probably a better overall unit.  But since I love my Q701 and don't plan on changing it out anytime soon, I'm probably going to keep the Audio-GD.

post #6 of 6
I think you made the right choise as i know the q701 on aud7o gd 11 and the 15 version. The ess is far more detailed but you get faster fatigue. Btw if you at some time upgrade to the compass ess version i think the akg will benefit from it. That my experience from this hp and audio gd gear combination.
Edited by krumme - 6/5/14 at 10:55am
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