Audio GD NFB-11.28 vs R2R 11

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by crowally, Aug 17, 2017.
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  1. conquerator2
    Schiit designs in general tend to be on the detailed / analytical side. I imagine the R2R11 would be a nice complement; it's what I'd buy as it should be a bit smoother and more musical than nfb11. If you want to keep the sound characteristics as they are, ntb11 should be the better choice then as it doesn't impair the slight musicality / smoothness of R2R designs.
  2. Renato Fury
    Wait a second, if you have the Schiit Mjolnir 2 which I believe is better than the R2R 11 / NFB 11.28, then why do you want to buy it? Would not it be better to buy a Dac ? As for portability, the R2R 11 / NFB 11.28 is a bit big for this, do not you think that something like the Chord Mojo or the Grace M900 is a better option ?
    Because R2R 11 is a bit more musical than NFB 11.28, does it lose more detail in the sound ?
  3. Renato Fury
    Tell us more about this old school stereo from R2R 11.
  4. Autostart
    Thank you for the reply conquerator2. Can you please reiterate and explain in further detail this message as more then one person are very curious to hear about the ' old school stereo ' sound.

  5. Autostart
    Thank you for you opinion and recommendations Renato Fury.

    I was curious to see if the R2R 11 would be a good choice for a stand alone dac with my Mjolnir 2 because, yes.... I would like the option to take it on the road when I mobilize. Of course it's on the larger side, but it's an all in one dac amp possibly smaller then my Mjolnir 2 alone ( not sure. I will have to check the measurements ) and for this reason would be be bad to gave in my stable. I am more concerned on the sound quality of the R2R 11 vs the NFB 11.28 with the Schiit tube amp.

    I am open to recommendations for a stand alone dac as well. I just thought I would kill 2 birds with one stone with the R2R 11.
  6. conquerator2
    I am not sure how to quite put it but let's see; my experience with higher Delta-Sigma designs (my experience is with the Sabre 9018 chip) is that they do put more detail upfront, compared to an R2R design, the Mojo (which was fairly close to how R2R sounds) or other DS designs that try to go for a smoother sound (AKM, Wolfson, etc.). The upfront detail might sound appealing (and indeed it is if hearing everything tip top clear is your ultimate goal) however what it effectively does is reduce the dynamic range (the way I look at it, I am borrowing a quote from another head-fi user here) because when you're recording music you don't necessarily record everything at the same level (unless you heavily compress / normalize). ESS9018 took this away by essentially evening out the difference between loudest and softest detail (which does not work particularly way with contemporary vocal mastering techniques, btw). The other Delta-Sigma designs sit somewhere halfway and the R2R I feel gets it just right with a natural detail projection without any emphasis or reduction. It does not mask details and it very much leaves it to the particular track and how it's been mastered and the gear around it (headphones / speakers).
    My 2 cents, hope this helps :)
  7. Renato Fury
    This your thinking would make more sense if you did not have an amplifier and not a dac as is my case, I even want to have two in one, but you already have an amplifier that cost more than twice the R2R 11, I'm almost sure that his dac is not going to be so good to follow the performance of something like Mjolnir 2, I may be wrong but that's what I think, if I had an amplifier of that level I would buy Bifrost Multibit or Gungnir, or maybe a dac from Audio-GD, and for portable use I would buy the Chord Mojo, as for the size of the R2R 11 it is about the size of a print sheet, but still great for portable use, but as I said it is the my opinion, you know what's best for you ... Well that's it, have a good afternoon and stay with God.
  8. Jimster480
    This is just what kingwa told me, that the NOS sound is something that older audiophiles like because it sounds similar to old stereos.
    But when I asked him for details he told me to get the 11-28
  9. Jimster480
    They have different filter settings in order to "change" what you have described.
    A flat response is what you should be looking for because it will come out as the track was recorded, but how it sounds depends on your headphones and what is emphasized.
    I find that "flatter tuned" headphones are more accurate because if the track has alot of bass it will still come out.
    If you want a single unit which is semi portable I recommend the Topping DX7, its lesser-known but definitely a quality unit which offers alot in the a small-ish package.
    I've had mine since it came out and I listen to it basically every day!
  10. Renato Fury
    I'm willing to lose a little detail to get more musicality, because I do not work in that area, I just want to enjoy good music, I hope I'm making the right choice.
  11. Jimster480
    Its a smoother sound, I can see how some will prefer it. Its all based on your tastes.
    The good thing is that if you don't like the R2R-11, I'm pretty sure you can sell it on here quite easily.
  12. Monsterzero
    The R2R-11 has special synergy with my brighter headphones.My original ATH AD2000s,a notoriously finicky headphone sounds absolutely epic thru the R2R-11,as do my son's Grado SR80e.

    For warm headphones and power hungry beasts like my sextetts I have other options I prefer more for an amp,still use the DAC section.

    My Focal Aria 905s sound really nice and smooth and imaging and staging is nice
  13. JaMo
    - Not true.

    R2R in combination with a well designed DSP achieves a more real, a more true reproduction of the recorded material. That's what HiFi (High Fidelity) means. DS can deliver an overaccentuated detailed, rather artificial sound if not filtered correct.
    Nos mode can be too soft for some people if its paired with a too "slow" amp. The R2R-11 is not. It is very well balanced and sounds very realistic and alive in some sense. It doesn't lack details at all.

    Well, we are after different things here. I am a high end guy who like oversized amps that effortless produces the true, laidback sound I get both at real live acoustic concerts, as well as at home with my rig. Of course I limit the amps not to damage the speakers or headphones used. It is quite common doing like this. With certain headphones another beast reveals itself when feeding it under controlled conditions with a real "powerhouse".

    I have a lot experience of ESS ES9018 (and now also with the 9028pro and the 9038pro) and they can sound really good even to me but it has to do with how they are implemented with amping and filtering. Audio-gd's NFB-28's are really good examples. ..But most often I think the ESS dacs out there sounds a bit too "synthetic" to me and cannot therefore be included as HiEnd in my world.

    I have both the 11.28 and the R2R-11 and later one wins for me. If You care less for true musicreproduction and are in for a more clean, dry and ultrarevealing sound, the 11.28 is right for You. As usual it has to do with matching to get Your preferred result.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    iamjaymo, 4mayday and conquerator2 like this.
  14. Jimster480
    I both agree and disagree, it really depends on the implementation regardless of the method.
    2 DAC's with the same chips don't necessarily sound the same because of the analog stage, power filtering, transport methods, etc
    But NOS itself does introduce ultrasonics (especially since 99% of music today is recorded with Delta-Sigma ADC's) and has a higher noise floor vs oversampled music (unless you are playing true 24b content).
  15. Autostart
    This is all very interesting to me. It seems as though both the R2R 11 and NFB 11.28 are great dac amps and perform fantastic especially at the price point they come in at. The way I take it thus far in layman term that one performs with more high and exaggerate the tones for the trendy followers, and the other is a more ' straight and true ' so to speak. Now, the question is which one is right for you (and me, too since I need a dac)?
    conquerator2 likes this.
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