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Using the NFB-11 will bypass the op-amps and DAC chip on the sound card.
Remember...they are on Chinese New Year now...I think til March 1st. That might delay shipping.
Ah well, I guess my OPAMP will get a chance to work then! Just sent them the paypal money today for the order, they've still be in contact over email the last couple days, oh well who knows, I just hope they don't forget about my order after their celebrations haha!
Ah well that explains why all the Ebay sellers located in China have delivery estimates starting March 3 at the earliest to as far out as April. I was like What
As I have been researching the NFB-11 for a while now and it seems from many reviews here it seems like a good product for the money. I recently came across this article and it has me puzzled. I don't have much experience listening to various dac/amps so take that for what it is worth. Read the following article and let me know your thoughts.
Thank you, Brian
Ouch...I've just ordered mine, so hoping a lot of that is no longer the case!
It was written back in April 2011 so perhaps it was the 1st revision, and as Audio-DG have revised the NFB-11 over the years and the latest being February 2015 I'd hope any issues or aspects mentioned in that review have been fixed!
I'm not a sound engineer so a lot of the lingo in the review went over my head, and I don't plan to mod mine as I don't have the skills.
However I have bought it purely on the fact people here (who are audio obsessed / less bias than companies or in-store clerks) have given it decent reviews as a majority.
I was originally looking at the Modi2/Magni2 or another Schiit combo and also the O2/ODAC combo, again which are popular among users here. However I have read that people say the NFB-11 beats them hands down, and also read a lot of love for the Sabre ES9018 so out of this logic I have gone through with the purchase and will be happy to post my results here. It will be comparing it to a setup of:
Xonar DS Soundcard (Stock & Modded OPAMP (49860)) > Cambridge Audio Azur540A (pre-amp/integrated amp) > HD600 / MS-Avant90 (speakers)
I will also try variations of the setup with the NFB-11 to see which I feel gives the best results. I.E - SPDIF vs USB. and with and without the Cambridge Audio Azur 540A connected.
I'm guessing they have a return policy if you do decide to purchase, although may be a little expensive with the shipping costs! Could always re-sell, but again majority seem to think it's pretty damn good value for its price! I'd also say that almost every product no matter how good will find someone with a poor review, could be defective or might not suit the consumers taste who knows, I've rarely seen 100% success rates on any product with a decent number of reviews.
Certainly, this is not the case (I mean what this article implies) ... NFB 11 is an excellent sounding dac/amp, especially for the price ... always take a look at the majority of the opinions, not just a sole one ....
The NFB-11 Feb. 2015 version will be flawless. The driver works very well now and that switch addition will perfect it. Very nice sounding DAC/amp, I would say it's very worth the money considering you can get a Asgard 2 & Modi 2 stack for the same price. The look is much better in person compared to the picture.
As mentioned already, I think it is important to take note of the article's publication date. Additionally, it might be worth taking the context into consideration. That article was written by someone highly talented in electrical engineering who has been working with extremely high-end equipment and in fact designs and builds premium DACs and Amps, so his standards and frame of reference are definitely way beyond the class of product a device like the NFB-11 hails from.
So far, my experience with the NFB-11 has been very positive, both from a price and performance perspective, and both the Senn HD 650 and HD 600 I've tried sound great. I'm hoping to add a Bottlehead Crack to the mix someday, at which point I'll relegate the NFB-11 to exclusive DAC duty, so I sincerely hope the more damning criticisms of that article are no longer valid.
To all who responded above:
Thank you for the information.
A few years ago I put together an inexpensive desktop setup consisting of a Nuforce Udac2, a pair of Swan 200mkII's and a Polk PSW111 8" sub. I have been very content with that for the last few years (for my pc desktop setup). I recently purchased Jriver and versus windows media player it is a very noticeable upgrade. (I tried Foobar2000 as well and liked Jriver better) I have been using a FIIO X3 for my daily music for the last two years and recently tried a Hifiman HM-901. Wow...what a difference! This got me to thinking of replacing the Udac2. Looking at a lot of the available options less than $400 I really seemed to think that the NFB-11 is the way to go. As many of us research things, I may over analyze things more than I need to. So when I stumbled over this article I thought I'd get some opinions here...so again...thank you for that. Apparently I'm concerned more than I need to be.
Thank you, Brian
Can someone post a picture of the cable to cut to disable the relay
You can cut either one of those wires to bypass the relay, you don't have to cut both. They were different colors in my unit than what you see in the picture. They are situated very close to the front panel and in my unit there was a sticky pad resting on top which made it more difficult to trace the wires. I think there were some zip ties in the mix as well.
Looking to get the NFB-11 but from doing some research it has a relay/clicking problem. Don't know if this has been fixed or not. Anyone know?
If you mean the pooping/clicking reported on DSD/PCM tracks between changing songs or at the start then according to Audio-GD's website under changes to NFB-11 (2015):