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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by purrin, Dec 5, 2013.
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  1. Rockcoon
    I read through this forum, and found some people very unpleased with that Audio GD dealer.

  2. Lord Raven
    Dear Rockcoon,
    Thanks for the caution, I tried to read 5-6 pages of this Russian forum and could not find a bad review about this dealer. I guess I will not make a deal with him. He pissed me off already, I don't understand his language and I would not recommend him. You can buy from the company directly and have 10 years of warranty and free repair, just have to pay shipment cost. This guy is weird, he opens up the package and tests it in Russia, even though Audio-GD does 100 hour burn in and testing at their facility, why would he open up the packages? It will not be a BNIB stuff, rather an Open Box stuff. I cannot trust this guy for a 30$ drop.
  3. LancerFIN
    @Lord Raven Magnahifi sells audio-gd gear and ships worldwide from Netherlands
    Lord Raven likes this.
  4. LancerFIN
    Like everything on this site it was just a personal opinion. I have only owned two different D-S DACs. NFB-15 and X12. Sure that's not many. But It's wolfson vs sabre. Honestly couldn't hear any difference. Even when tried really hard. There has been so much talk about how DACs sound the same lately. I am starting to buy into that. Except for Master 7. Everything should of course be taken with a grain of salt. Heck full salt shaker of it when talking about audio.
  5. Lord Raven
    I wanted to thank your KeithEmo, I read a great review on Wolfson vs ESS Sabree here at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/ess-sabre-9018-vs-wolfson-wm8741-8976/ Clears all the conceptions about the endless discussinon between DAC comparisons (Post #10).
    Unfortunately, I cannot audition any DAC in my area and totally have to rely on the reviews. I am checking out the DACs suggested (Emotiva's new Little Ego and Big Ego), they're very handy and convenient, what are the reviews on sound quality. I will mostly use my laptop and phone with the DAC via USB input.
    I was only considering the Oppo mainly cause I watch movies, I did mention that I will occasionally watch video on it. Its headphone amplifier will also be a waste since I have a tube amplifier. I think I shouldn't buy Oppo 105D, as it will not be cost effective. 103 is a good option but it does not have Ess Sabre DAC. 105 is a good option but it is discontinued and only available in used.
    I am seriously looking into Audio-GD DACs these days, NFB-15 and NFB-11, if you can say a word about these, I would be really grateful. Thanks once again!
  6. Lord Raven
    NFB10.33 is balanced DAC, which I don't need. I am considering NFB-15, maybe used if new is not available anymore.
    Thanks for your comments :) I am also trying to find a deal on Oppo 105, nothing is available. Only option is to buy direct from Oppo.
  7. Lord Raven
    Thank you AudioBear, I never thought of HA-1 since it is also a HP amplifier and I don't need it as I already have my tube amp sitting next to me :)
    What do you think about the HA-2? I thought to buy a used HA-2 to test it before I make expensive purchase but nothing is available in the market. Thanks again!
  8. wahsmoh
    I heard the HA-1 at Can Jam 2015 for 15 minutes and while that may seem like not a lot of time, it gave me enough time to make a decision that it was something I am not buying.
    Why? It had a tinge of glare to it, soundstage wasn't the biggest I've ever heard, but the bass and low end was much like the Bifrost Uber. I would buy the HA-1 for amp and skip the DAC section. Oh ya and like always, YMMV
    Lord Raven likes this.
  9. KeithEmo
    I'm kind of surprised that you didn't hear any difference there - although it depends a lot on your source, and what you're listening through (I find it difficult to tell the difference between DACs with AKG headphones) - but not with many others. The NFB-15 also lets you pick which filter you use in the Wolfie (there are a bunch of choices)... and, while many of them do sound very similar, at least a few of the choices are noticeably different (several have a -3 dB roll off at 20 kHz or so). I had one of their models where you could switch filters with a front-panel switch, and they did sound distinctly different (with the NFB-15 you have to switch jumpers - which introduces a significant delay - and so makes it harder to tell).
    AudioGD is also known to voice their individual products somewhat differently - even products using the same chip sometimes sound somewhat different with them - and they also seem to sometimes change the way a product sounds, but keep the same or similar "model number" sometimes. (I would go as far as to suggest that, at least sometimes, with some of their products, their "voicing" makes more of a difference than the DAC chip.)
    Also, someone commented that the NFB-15 is discontinued.... but I don't see any mention of that at the moment (although I could have missed it).
  10. KeithEmo
    We've literally just started shipping the Ego DACs this week, so you should expect to start seeing some user reviews shortly. I'm sure you'll start hearing about them here, or you could drop by Emotiva's forums (we welcome both customers and everyone else).
    I've owned several of AudioGD's lower end DACs, and they do tend to sound rather different from each other - to the point where it's pretty obvious that AudioGD is NOT "trying to make them sound as close as possible except for the differences between the DAC chips". (AudioGD used to sell "discrete op-amp modules - and maybe still do. Whereas I would be inclined to suggest that all op-amps should sound the same - neutral - and would design such a device to be as neutral as possible, AudioGD offered a variety of models, with rather lyrical names, and each claimed to sound distinctly different - and therefore not neutral.)
  11. LancerFIN

    It says so on the front page. They are discontinuing all the WM8071 products.
    My chain in the AB test was NFB-15 RCA-> H10 -> LCD-2F and X12 XLR-> H10 -> LCD-2F. It was optimal AB test as there was practically no pause in sound. No need to play with cables. I had so high expectations for the X12. Even with all my "expectation bias" I just couldn't hear any difference at all. I was quite mad about it too. At the time X12 was my second biggest audio purchase only dwarfed by the LCD-2. Not even a single component in my speaker system was as expensive. NFB-15 was newest version at stock settings. I didn't open it to play with the filters.
    Because of my experience with X12 I had very mixed feelings about the Master 7 but I decided it was something I had to experience. I thought chances were 50/50 I wouldn't hear any difference. Luckily Master 7 didn't let me down. From the first track I played I knew this was a sound I had never heard before. Now I am confident that Master 7 is bigger upgrade than going from NFB-15 to Gustard X12+H10. I am still using H10 with the Master 7.
    wahsmoh, bimmer100 and Lord Raven like this.
  12. lukeap69

    I can relate because with all the DACs I've heard, DAC-19 gave me that moment where I thought the difference was very apparent. The difference between other DACs I've heard is, to me, very subtle. Perhaps because ears are not as good as others. Yet. :)
  13. Rockcoon
    Buy direct from Kingwa is the best decission. He is a good fellow. We tried together find a way, how organize shipment of nfb 10.33 to my cursed land. We failed. But from this experience i can say, Kingwa and his team, are those, with whoom you can make a deal.

    About Russian dealer. Direct link on one of the raging posts


    Translate (with mine and google help :) )
  14. KeithEmo
    You're right - my bad - I went straight to the product page and didn't read the news [​IMG]
  15. Lord Raven
    Rockcoon Bro, you just saved my life :D Why Russia is a waste land, you have a dealer sitting over there haha
    Thanks for the direct link, otherwise I would have spent a night reading entire forum. I will continue my DAC hunt, since I am still not sure what to get. 
    eddypoon likes this.
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