Audio-GD NFB-11.32 & NFB-11 (2014) (Delivery & Impression Thread)!!!
Aug 21, 2017 at 2:56 PM Post #2,701 of 3,093
Brilliant. It could very well be that there's a jumper on my FIR_2 pins as well, and I didn't see it due to the optical chip. If that's true, then I'm actually listening to a fast roll-off linear phase filter setting! Slow/fast shouldn't make an audible difference since all that ringing/roll-off is happening in the ultrasonic spectrum.

Can't wait to try apodizing and linear/minimum hybrid. It's incredible that that NFB-11.28 has all these filter options, since the latter two are considered premium filters.
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Aug 21, 2017 at 5:49 PM Post #2,703 of 3,093

I got home and opened my NFB-11.28, removed the optical-in board (thanks Eduards), and I too had a jumper in place on the hidden FIR_2 pins! This means that stock is actually fast roll-off, minimum phase, and I had changed mine to fast roll-off, linear phase.

I went ahead and listened to a variety of settings and here are my findings:
  • Fast, Hybrid - My assumption that this is some sort of hybrid of minimum and linear phase filtering, but I couldn't be sure. Unfortunately I left my HP-2's at home and had to rely on my HD579's for this exercise, so I couldn't really hear audible differences between most of these settings. However, I COULD DEFINITELY feel listening fatigue building up very quickly. I'm not sure if it was due to sibilant treble or... some sort of weird pressure on my eardrums, but it got quite uncomfortable, so much so that I felt like my hearing was being damaged.
  • Fast, Apodizing - I had a lot of hopes on this one. It's supposed to be basically a minimum filter with some sort of anti-aliasing. But of all the filters I tried, this one gave me listening fatigue the fastest. My ears were aching badly after only a few minutes of listening.
  • Slow, minimum - This one should have the least amount of ringing around the impulse, and it was my second favorite. However, I did notice listening fatigue building up, albeit at a lower rate than the first two.
  • Slow, linear - My favorite. Absolutely no listening fatigue. Sounds just ever so slightly smoother than Slow, Minimum.

I'm not an expert in digital filters, having absorbed most of my knowledge in the pursuit of understanding the technical drivers behind what the sound is doing to my ears, but my conclusion is that I cannot stand phase shift and I either can't hear or do not mind ringing. A slow roll-off filter minimizes ringing anyway, and a linear filter produces no phase shift along the upper frequencies.

Archimago did an amazing blind experiment comparing minimum and linear phase filters. I'll let you to read the post yourself, but I'll conclude with a discussion of this image:


He paired both filters against a very fast/steep roll off filter in order to magnify the side effects of both filters. In particular, look at the bottom right graph and notice how incredibly delayed the higher frequencies are (x-axis is timescale). My takeaway from this: all the fast roll off minimum filter options (hybrid, apodizing) were causing phase shifts in the upper frequencies that hurt my ears!

The whole point of minimum phase filters is to remove pre-ringing. The tradeoff is gradually increasing phase shift across the audible spectrum. The argument is that pre-ringing sounds weird to the human brain and is more noticeable than phase shift. In the end, it all comes to your ears and how you hear. For me, it's clear that I'm much more sensitive to high frequency phase shift than ringing.
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Aug 21, 2017 at 9:38 PM Post #2,704 of 3,093
Yes, I use it this way. Just set the switch to Variable and connect the RCA outputs to JBL's 1/4" TRS.

@junki, thank you for sharing this discovery. One weird thing is that my default, stock setting was set on FIR_0 and FIR_2, which would be "Fast roll-off, Minimum". Until now I have been listening to that default filter setting in a "warm flavour" mode. I actually enjoyed it a lot on my headphones, but it made my monitor speakers slightly too bassy.
Now I have switched to "Slow roll-off, Linear" and disabled the warm flavour and I am quite happy with the results, although the sound from my headphones isn't as warm anymore. Can't tell right now which one I prefer, but the sound still seems to be pleasant while retaining more clarity.
should i set my lsr305 volume to max?
Aug 21, 2017 at 9:40 PM Post #2,705 of 3,093
After further listening, I decided to return to my original filter setting of fast roll-off, linear phase. I can't really tell the difference between this and the soft roll-off option, but I agree with the logic in this post, that all the extra ringing due to the fast roll-off will be in the ultra sonic spectrum anyway, so why not preserve more of the pass band.
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Aug 21, 2017 at 10:38 PM Post #2,706 of 3,093
Aug 21, 2017 at 11:08 PM Post #2,708 of 3,093
Hey guys, I'm sure a lot of you own the 11.28 now. Would you say there's enough reason to get the ES9028 chip over getting the 9018 and saving around 50 bucks?

You won't hear a difference. Amps matter more for sound.
Aug 21, 2017 at 11:13 PM Post #2,710 of 3,093
was thinking if there is another method since the volume control for the monitors are behind the monitors.

Variable out from your amp to your monitors. Use the amp's volume knob to control the volume. Set your monitor volume such that at 50% on your amp means your monitors are really loud.
Aug 22, 2017 at 4:25 AM Post #2,711 of 3,093
should i set my lsr305 volume to max?
5-7 on speakers is optimal imho for the quiter static hiss, unless you think they don't play loud enough after you max NFB's volume.

Hey guys, I'm sure a lot of you own the 11.28 now. Would you say there's enough reason to get the ES9028 chip over getting the 9018 and saving around 50 bucks?
If you ask if it's worth getting NFB 11.28 over 11.32 then yes, due to extra filters and better USB interface. DSD option is nice too.
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Aug 22, 2017 at 3:52 PM Post #2,712 of 3,093
You won't hear a difference. Amps matter more for sound.
5-7 on speakers is optimal imho for the quiter static hiss, unless you think they don't play loud enough after you max NFB's volume.

If you ask if it's worth getting NFB 11.28 over 11.32 then yes, due to extra filters and better USB interface. DSD option is nice too.

Okay, thank you. I guess ergonomics and features are important as well.
Aug 25, 2017 at 8:56 PM Post #2,713 of 3,093
My NFB-11.28 arrived two days ago. Right out of the box the sound was very good and the amp is powerful and distortionless as I expected, based in my previous experience with NFB-12 and NFB-15.1. I am using it with the DT-990Pro Beyers. I expected a warmer sound but it seems to be rather neutral. May be my expectations were due the experience with the other units based on the Wolfson chip that had a warm character. The unit is still burning in, so I cannot tell how good it sounds, yet. So far it is excellent for the price. Compared to the Yulong Sabre DA8, as a DAC connected to my main system with speakers, I consider the Yulong superior with a smoother sound, more realistic and a bit warmer. The Yulong took a very long time to reach its best sound. I believe the NFB-11.28 will improve with time, too. I did not play with filter and sound jumpers, yet. I'll let the unit run in before start playing with them.
I consider the NFB's amp much superior then the DA8's one. It is incredible how loud it can drive the Beyers without distortion. Be careful to not damage you ears. This amp can play loud, very loud and you will like it due the excellent drive and low distortion.
Both DA8 and NFB use Amanero USB input, but it seems to work better with the NFB. It played DSD512 better than the DA8, however both produce some noise at this rate. I consider both good up to DSD256, only. The optical input works up to 192 kHz with no problems, despite the specifications limit the sampling rate to 96 kHz. May be at 192 kHz the performance is not guaranteed, but it can work, depending of the source. I did not test the coaxial input, yet.
When I inspected the case, I was surprised that the ventilation holes are in the bottom cover but not on the top one. The unit gets just warm, not hot at all. I remember my previous NFB's got hotter than this one.
This is all for my first impression of this little wonder.

Update: After some more listening sessions comparing with DA8, I now think that Yulong DA8 is not warmer than the NFB-11.28. After some more hours of burn in, the sound quality improved a little. The NFB has more punch than the DA8 but the Yulong's midrange is still more informative. Despite this, I am starting to like the NFB better more than the DA8. It is not as refined but it is a little more enjoyable. Both are very good DAC's, though. May be they have different flavours.

I was able to connect he NBF-11.28 to my Moto X 2 via OTG adaptor. Tidal and Spotify sounded very good. The DA8 input did not work with any smartphone I tested. It changes to DSD mode and no sound comes out of it.
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Aug 27, 2017 at 12:25 AM Post #2,714 of 3,093
Hello everyone,
I'm completely new this and need help with something. I've just ordered a NFB-11.28, went through the process of sending the email of my details, confirmations and such. Kingwa then sent a message saying:
"Once you finished the payment, we will shipping within 3 workdays, thanks."
I proceeded to send my payment through PayPal. But I still have yet to receive a confirmation of my order. Is the payment confirmation meant to take a while or do I have a reason to worry?
By the way, I tried messaging back for answers but nobody is replying, not even the automated response. Thanks in advance everybody.
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