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Audio-GD NFB-11.32 & NFB-11 (2014) (Delivery & Impression Thread)!!!

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by heatfan12, Aug 25, 2012.
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  1. Surlias
    So I've heard good things about the sound quality of NFB-11. However, I've also heard a lot of reports about problems with the USB drivers in Windows. Does anyone know what particular USB chipset the NFB-11 uses? Other Amp+DAC units I'm considering list the specific chipset they use, for instance the Schiit Modi 2 and the Lovely Cube, both of which use the C-Media CM6631A which seems to have better driver support than whatever the NFB-11 uses.
    I'm really conflicted over which to choose between the NFB-11 and the Lovely Cube. Then there's the NFB-15 as well, which further complicates the decision. I guess I like that the AGD models provide SPDIF connections, whereas the Lovely Cube only supports USB and analog input. However, if the AGD devices have shoddy USB support, that is also quite undesirable.
    Does anyone have experience with both the Lovely Cube and the NFB-11 (and/or NFB-15 as well)? I'm looking for an Amp+DAC to drive a pair of Sennheiser HD 650 or 600 headphones. Of course, even the headphones choice is a decision that is confounding me a bit, since the HD 600s are also very attractive (and cheaper). I may have to give them both a trial. However I'd like best possible amp for the job so both of the headphones I'm interested are properly represented. I expect either pair would be a substantial upgrade from HD 555s I'm currently using, unamplified and driven by an onboard Realtek ALC898 chipset.
    Someday I'll probably try my hand at building a Bottlehead Crack (which will pretty much render the HD 600 vs 650 choice I make now moot, since I hear either pair sound exceptional with the Crack), at which point I'll also get a new DAC and move whichever Amp+DAC I choose now over to my Harman/Kardon AVR 1700 which has absolutely horrendous headphone output. 
  2. willowbrook
    I have a HD650 and NFB-11 w/ all the upgrades coming soon. I will let you know soon. I've heard that it isn't an excellent match, but it's not horrible either.
  3. Surlias
    Cool! I'm getting antsy though, and I've more or less settled on the NFB-11 + HD 650 myself. It's at the point where I should probably just decide with a coin toss, I have such an annoying tendency to fret about decisions like these. I hope to see your impressions posted soon!
    The one thing that's really holding me up at the moment, is that Audio-GD hasn't replied to an email I sent them. First I sent it to audio-gd@126.com, and then after a day went by with no answer, I sent the same question to audio-gd@vip.163.com. Now another day has gone by without a response. Am I using the right email address? The reps from other companies, for instance Schiit and Lovely Cube have promptly responded within 24 hours or less. I've heard Audio-GD is usually very good about responding quickly, so I'm wondering if maybe there is a technical issue preventing my messages from reaching them, or vice-versa.
  4. whatup69
    Did you get a message delivery report? Usually when you email them you get a message delivery confirmation almost straight away, and they reply within 24hrs usually less. Ive been really impressed with their customer service though so not sure whats going on with you. I will say that audio gd being a chinese company, a lot of chinese businesses and chinese in general are very busy and also have time off around new year. Its always atound new years time, then about a month to a month and a half later for chinese new year. Just part of the culture that you have to understand (sourc: im chinese lol)
  5. Surlias
    Hmm no I never got a message delivery confirmation for either one. Thanks for the heads up. I guess I'll try with a different account. I used a Yahoo account, I guess I'll try Gmail next.
  6. thug behram
    check your spam
  7. Surlias
    Yeah I've been checking the spam folder, but thanks for the suggestion anyways. Anyhow, I just sent a message via gmail a few minutes ago and promptly received a delivery confirmation, so maybe Audio-GD's account is filtering messages from (my) Yahoo accounts. Oh well, gmail to the rescue.
  8. schuetz
    Does anyone have experience plugging this DAC on an ARM linux based computer ?
  9. willowbrook
    So, I have received the HD650 before the NFB-11 :frowning2:...but I must say the HD650 are pretty good even without an amp (plugged into my laptop with max volume). I guess it's a little on the warm side, but I wouldn't say that they are warm warm compared to my gr07 which I would classify as warm or the HD598. I can't wait to hear them with NFB-11, will post updates soon sometime in the following week. 
  10. whatup69
    Nice! Looking forward to it
  11. willowbrook
    So, the NFB-11 arrived about 2~3 days after shipment (very fast) with DHL. Came in good condition, had no problem installing the driver.
    When I plugged it the HD650, I heard a lot of sibilance, but it went away after like a minute of listening. The build quality is very good, it looks much better in person than in the photos.
    Amping the HD650 makes a whole lot of difference, it opens up the soundstage, tightens the bass and it sounds detailed. The 3 blob soundstage is gone opposed to underpowered HD650 having 3blob soundstage.
    Volume pot at around 12~1 olock at high gain is perfect for me. One major problem is that there is a delay when you switch/start play for about 1~2 seconds. If anyone has a fix, I would appreciate it if you could share them.
    I would definitely say that the combination of HD650+NFB-11 is definitely warm, not too warm though. It didn't wow me, but it is not a bad combination at all.
    My sound signature leans towards neutrality, but HD650+NFB-11 is not bad at all. It might pair up with HD600 better as someone else suggested. As my music library is filled with bad recordings, it might actually be better for me.
    Now I plugged in the DT1350, a very neutral closed cans, and felt that the NFB-11 is actually warm too, so I would recommend if your sound signature leans toward neutral, high treble you should get HD600 or other neutral cans. 
  12. willowbrook
    After some hours of listening, I have decided to get the HD600 and sell these. It is not a bad combination at all, but I just can't get over the rolled off treble sound sig of HD650+NFB-11.
    The amp itself is very detailed and all, but it is slightly on the warm side. 
  13. Surlias
    I ended up ordering the same combo as you, still waiting on the NFB-11 though. Thanks for you impressions, hopefully I can listen for myself soon. If you think the NFB-11 sounds warm as it is with the HD 650, then I'm definitely glad I didn't go for the NFB-15 which is warmer still. However, I've seen a number of people who say they prefer the HD 600's paired with an NFB-15 vs an 11. I hope you find the 600/11 combo to your liking.

    Please post your impressions of the 600/11 combo! I'll post my own 650/11 impressions soon.
  14. willowbrook
    On the problem with mute relay, I contacted them and they replied with
    "Dear Sir,
    This is because the NFB11 had the hardware control only and for support DSD must want had the mute design,
    If you don't need play DSD music native, you can only cut one wire to remove the mute design. If you want the information please inform us.
    In our other larger DAC had the software mute design so had not this issue.
    I really do not want to open the chassis and cut a wire to prevent this issue. Is there any other fix or method to avoid this?
  15. willowbrook
    Another contact and Kingwa has said that a new firmware is coming out soon to fix the problem.
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