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Audio GD Master-11(Combination from Master 7 and Master 9)

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by doyouknowsbmean, Jul 6, 2015.
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  1. bimmer100

    I have been waiting for a dac/amp combo or AIO for quite sometime. The ref 10.32 wasn't exactly what I wanted. The amp was ok, the annoying thing was the volume control was not a knob, yet buttons!! No way. The master 11 is kingwas newest creation and I would highly recommend you give it a chance and be confident you made the right choice. Based on the premise your headphones are all balanced and you don't care to use SE. I would assume you want the master 11 to actually reap the benefits of its balanced output with 4 pcm1704uks. It's approx 17x17 so it takes up a lot of space. If you have SE terminated headphones... The C2/Dac19 might be nice, it's taller yet less size of footprint. Likely you will have enough power for most headphones too.

    Although the amp in the master 11 is so awesome, it's future proof for any headphones you might want to use. Minus electrostatic of course. But after listening to some he-1000's ,with a norne cable, and feeling a loss of sense that I was wearing headphones... I was so impressed with the euphonic sound and full immersive sound. It's hard not to get lost in the moment. I tried a lot of headphones at the meet this weekend. Also the audio zenith pmx2! That was very impressive! The soundstage wasn't as big as the he-1000's yet I did enjoy them very much. I am somewhat ruined after hearing the he-1000 and m11's synergy together.
  2. mojolo
    RE: 7 Sec Timeout
    Is that the timeout for the screen? What's the default and why'd you choose 7 seconds?
    Appreciate the details bimmer.

  3. bimmer100
    I chose the display to go dark after 7sec - default is ALWAYS ON. i don't like bright lights... so it was a must have. (although, the light is not too bright, just prefer dark)
    and HDMI I2S to replace RJ45 I2S
    the amanero combo 384 should arrive on monday. I have the via usb32 now. the amanero will further improve SQ! so i'm looking forward to that. 
    mojolo likes this.
  4. Lorspeaker
    Can the m11 function as a standalone amp?
  5. LancerFIN
    yes. There is two sets of rca inputs and one xlr.
  6. bimmer100
    although... it would be nice if it had ACSS inputs... just saying. although that would only be good for audio-gd amps. The XLR is good enough to try other DACS if you so choose. The YGGdrasil might be interesting to try with this amp. :D
  7. mojolo
    It's hard throwing down $2k without actually hearing a product and everyone on this thread has been incredibly helpful.
    I actually like the Sabre sound in a good DAC - it's fast, detailed, resolving, airy. But about 20% of the time, I feel as though I need to turn the volume down or remove my headphones as the "glare" feels slightly piercing in certain passages.
    Would the M11 offer some of the Sabre sound from a good dac (eg X-Sabre, NFB-7, DA8) without the glare? I've read that the PCM1704 can sound softer, slower, warmer with less well-defined bass if not implemented well enough.
  8. LancerFIN
    Funny how I hear more treble with Master 7 than with my Sabre DAC Gustard X12.

    bimmer, my final order is M11 with amanero, hdmi and 7 sec display off.
  9. bimmer100
    I think you will be very happy with the M11. I spent all evening listening to my fiance's NFB28 (2015 edition) with her. She was using the Oppo PM3's with -12 attentuation cable in the SE jack, and I was using my HE-560's in the balanced dac. They volumes were withing 1-2db apart with that setup. We listened for hours and hours of lots of classical music and other pop stuff. I appreciate the sabre sound entirely. The NFB28 is the same dac as the NFB1. VERY tamed already for the glare sound. I noticed turning it down lower than I ever have before. The volume we listened was around 40-43 In F or H mode.  On my computer I was always around 50-55. SOOOO strange how USB ports can vary, maybe other variables at play?  No idea. I'm losing my trail of thought. Sorry for the Tangent. BUT... the Sabre sound is great, but after hearing the DAC19... I was introduced to a new flavor.  And after hearing the M11, it was several steps up in sound quality! The speed, smoothness, its just euphonic and analog like. I wouldn't say the bass is less defined specifically in natural instruments. If you listen to more digital music, I think the sabre has some advantages I suppose. But if you listen to more acoustic and natural instruments/vocals then the M11 is something really special. It puts you right there with an immersion with no fatigue in the sound signature.
    I came home tonight after a long day of listening to the NFB28 with my fiance.... plugged my HIFIMAN's into my M11 and just had a big smile on my face. As I do know while i'm listening to it and typing.I don't miss the Sabre dac one bit... I'm not saying it's bad at all, but this M11 really is incredible. The amp/dac has a synergy that is worth the plunge of dropping nearly 2grand. I highly recommend the plunge. I can't imagine prefering the Sabre after hearing the M11.  Just my two cents. Take it with a grain of salt I suppose. I'm assuming you will be using balanced mode. That's the most important thing I should reiterate. I have my grille modded HE-560's w/ Zoetic cable. I love the sound and it's my end game. I did listen to the HE1000's with my M11 last night...that was surely tempting though. Not sure 3grand is worth it. maybe 1500 for them. 
  10. bimmer100
    more treble?  as long as it's not sibilance. Makes me wonder the setup and what might cause that.
    the sabre tends to have a subtle amount of sibilance. Not really the Audio-gd sabre dacs. But many others such as geekwave, oppo ha1, etc. I havent had enough time on a gustard X12, but have heard its not terrible and might be similar to audio-gd's.
    you ordered the M11 exactly as I did.
    yet i'm listening to it now with the VIA USB32! Kingwa states the amanero is the best in the world but only slightly better than via USB32.
    I should have the amanero on monday. Will report back again. :D
    I couldn't wait for the amanero and was the second person to have a M11 shipped out.  I wanted the M11 for a show that was this saturday. So decided to pay extra for the amanero when they were in stock. 
    I've put around 500+hours on the M11 already. It sounds very sweet after a minimum of 24-48hours.
  11. mojolo
    I'm convinced. Email just send to a-gd folks.
  12. lukeap69
    Nice. Please do report back. Would like to know your thoughts with a different 'flavour' DAC.
  13. LancerFIN
    My first order was NFB-1AMP. Then M11 was released. I upgraded to M11. I ended up buying used Master 7 and downgraded my order to NFB-1AMP, Amanero for M7 and ACSS cables. I came to the conclusion M7+M9 would output too much heat and well they are quite big too as they can't be stacked. I would have to sell the NFB-1AMP too as I didn't have guts to cancel my order. I was able to get more money and was able to afford the Master 11 even though I had just bought the Master 7. So my final and fourth order is the Master 11.
    Not going to hear sibilance with LCD-2f.. In Master 7 vocals are pushed back a bit and highs and low are more forward? I am still learning to use the right words to describe sound. With X12 vocals definitely were the center of music. Now with Master 7 it's more balanced. All those cymbals in songs I haven't noticed before. Plenty of other instruments too but can't name them. Amount of detail I now hear is amazing. Also the last bit of muddiness in bass is gone. First it felt like there was less bass but it's just quality over quantity.
    I'll do another round of comparing the gear once the M11 arrives. It'll probably take some time though. Listening to music is so much more fun than comparing gear.
  14. Velomane
    #LancerFIN, thanks for the reply.
    What's the advantage of Amanero? My very brief search failed to yield any useful info.
  15. BigEar
     Originally Posted by bimmer100 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Last week my Master 11 arrived (USB32 version). I had a NFB 28 loaner for a month. Even with very few playing hours on the M11, I agree with Bimmer100, it's a big step up. Although I was already impressed by the NFB28, the M11 betters it on most points. Music is more real, instruments have better separation, voices have more natural timbres. I do not 'hear' the amplifier stage, it seems not to add anything to the sound in a positive way being neutral, spacious (in a natural way) and dynamic. The amp drives my HE-6 beautiful. This is still an early impression as the M11 has 20-30 playing hours yet. 
    BTW, I'm NOT using the USB port but play via SPDIF, using a Raspberry Pi with Volumio and HifiBerry Digi.   
    bimmer100 likes this.
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