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Audio-GD NFB-3 (2014) ES9018 DAC

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by lukeap69, Apr 1, 2014.
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  1. lukeap69
    Has anybody got any experience with http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/dac/NFB32014/NFB32014EN.htm ?
    The specs seems to be impressive for the price.
  2. Jamppa
    These are brand new. I don't think anyone has these yet.
    Audio-gd makes great dacs. I have the NFB-1.32 and it's amazing for the prize.
    Order it and tell us how it sounds [​IMG] 
  3. lukeap69
    I am really tempted but I think I will wait for some first impressions first. The NFB-1.32 seems to be a very good DAC also. How do you find Audio-gd products in general? 
  4. elmoe
    I've yet to read anything about anyone being disappointed by their audio-gd gear, which says a lot. At best (or worst?) you'll read people saying it was too "warm" or too "bright" for their taste, but 90% of the audio-gd stuff I see in the classifieds is usually sold because the people are upgrading to a higher end audio-gd model. That's usually pretty rare on Head-Fi.
  5. Matrixnobu
    Yeah I have the NFB-12 amp/dac and I like it. It was a steal for $250 us. The build quality is top notch.
  6. lukeap69
    thanks guys. audio-gd will be high on my list.
  7. tim3320070
    This appears to be a single ended version of the NFB-1.32 with fewer inputs. I can't figure why the NFB-2 is the same price though- the ESS dac's have always been more $. I have the NFB-1P and feel no need for a change.
    Kingwa- what is the difference between NFB-2 and NFB-3 other than DAC?
  8. petemac110
    Woo hoo!! I've ordered one, along with the extra DIR9001 receiver board and the OCC wire upgrade. The offer with the free TCXOs for the USB and ES9018 was too good to refuse.

    I've owned a few audio-gds so far - the original NFB3, a DAC19DSP, the original Reference 5 with the heavier chassis and twin transformers, and a modded/upgraded DAC3SE with the later model digital board retro-fitted. I'm looking forward to sampling Kingwa's take on the Sabre chip!
  9. lukeap69
    Great! Eager to hear your impressions (when you have received it of course.:))
  10. Musica Amantem
    According to Kingwa, the new NFB 3 (2014) has slightly less SQ than the 1.32 if the latter is used unbalanced and without the TCXO upgrades. I guess the only difference has to do with the lesser number of class A PSU groups (5 vs 2 in the NFB 3). I'm very curious to learn about this new model's reviews, as I could not use the 1.32's balanced outputs anyway, nor would I need all those extra inputs. The thing is, how much SQ is in the tradeoff. The $190.00 difference (price plus promo) with the new model is tempting though!
  11. lukeap69
    For single ended, SA-31SE seems to be a good match.
  12. Musica Amantem
    I need a DAC. That model seems to be a preamp plus a hp amp, but no DAC, isn't it?
  13. lukeap69
    That is correct.
  14. petemac110

    I have a friend who has a NFB1.32, although I haven't gotten around to listening to it! Perhaps one day I can manage a direct comparison.

    A little while ago i was considering getting a NFB1P. At the time, Kingwa said that he thought the NFB1P with TCXO upgrade was a good choice against a 1.32 with standard XOs fitted, as the TCXOs lifted the performance to near the 1.32 whilst being cheaper.

    Kingwa has also told me that the NFB3(2014) is slightly better than the NFB1P when both are fitted with the standard XOs, and the free TCXO upgrade in the NFB3(2014) lifts the performance even more so that the difference between the two is more pronounced. This infers that the NFB3(2014) should be pretty darn close to the NFB1.32.

    We shall see! :wink:
  15. Musica Amantem
    Yes, but I believe his reference for the comparison is always the 1.32 used from the RCA outs and no TCXO upgrades. Which means the best sound is with the 1.32 with TCXO's and balanced, and that's where the cost difference is. How much is the sound difference? Hard to say, but I would need to change my amp to take advantage of those balanced outputs, which I'm not willing to. But if the new DAC is really close in SQ to the 1.32, it is indeed a bargain.
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