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Audio-GD NFB-11.38 Performance Edition Measurements (DAC, Preamp & Headamp)

Lupin

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I cannot understand how this company still survives. Their devices don't look good at all, they don't look like someone had to sweat to make the housing, the logo font looks like something that comes default with Microsoft Word or Photoshop.. There's just nothing about their devices that pull me in in the slightest even if performance was as good as other top performers.
This is all completely subjective of course. One will like the design, the other won't, no use in discussion ones taste.

Unless something has changed, the worst part is that you have to paypal the money to an email address and then pray that they will ship you the box! There is no ecommerce option to buy a product from them properly.
Buy from a reseller.
Not just Audio-GD, I wouldn't buy Topping or SMSL directly from China either.

What do you think it means when a device, that doesn't really come cheap, measures badly?
For me it means let some other sucker buy it. :cool:


I don't understand, don't you think there are cheaper devices that do the same, yet measure better? Because that's pretty much the conclusion here, is it not?
My point was and still is not if you should buy it or not, that is something everyone has to decide for themselves. Objectively it doesn't make much sense to buy it considering the offerings from the likes of Topping and SMSL.

My point is that people look at the measurements and quickly draw the conclusion that the device sounds terrible and that the difference is "night and day" compared to a Topping device. This is simply not true. It has been stated in the reviews here that though the device doesn't measure half as good as the top DACs in the list even a trained listener is hard pressed to hear an actual difference.

The vast majority of people who trash the device as being awful and terrible will not be able to hear the difference in a controlled double blind volume matched blind test.

Again this is not about if the device is worth x amount of money or one should or should not buy the device. This is about people apparently misunderstanding the measurements and conclude it must sound like a tin can. Also because it is of course "cool" to bash Audio-GD and jump on the bandwagon in pursue of some extra likes.
 

beagleman

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This is all completely subjective of course. One will like the design, the other won't, no use in discussion ones taste.


Buy from a reseller.
Not just Audio-GD, I wouldn't buy Topping or SMSL directly from China either.


My point was and still is not if you should buy it or not, that is something everyone has to decide for themselves. Objectively it doesn't make much sense to buy it considering the offerings from the likes of Topping and SMSL.

My point is that people look at the measurements and quickly draw the conclusion that the device sounds terrible and that the difference is "night and day" compared to a Topping device. This is simply not true. It has been stated in the reviews here that though the device doesn't measure half as good as the top DACs in the list even a trained listener is hard pressed to hear an actual difference.

The vast majority of people who trash the device as being awful and terrible will not be able to hear the difference in a controlled double blind volume matched blind test.

Again this is not about if the device is worth x amount of money or one should or should not buy the device. This is about people apparently misunderstanding the measurements and conclude it must sound like a tin can. Also because it is of course "cool" to bash Audio-GD and jump on the bandwagon in pursue of some extra likes.

I think that is my qualm.
Some/few see measurements as a steep cliff.

On the top, everything is fantastic and perfect, jump off and , Unbearable, junk, useless, etc.

I have heard a few mediocre measuring units. I have also heard a few really well measuring devices.
The differences I found, to be quite hard to tell apart.
Maybe they are there, they must be, I will agree, and good numbers SEEM to be better, but the reality.......

If I randomly walked into a room and did not know which was playing....((NOT COUNTING SPEAKERS)) I doubt I would be able to tell.
Sure some/few will claim to hear a night and day difference, but doubt it would hold up to scrutiny.

Some of the hardcore objectivists are using Night and day Subjectivity comments with their measurements audibility.
 
OP
VintageFlanker

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Unless something has changed, the worst part is that you have to paypal the money to an email address and then pray that they will ship you the box! There is no ecommerce option to buy a product from them properly.
As far as I'm concerned, I do not know anyone that have bought their products by direct-sale. Vast majority of Audio-GD products in EU are sold by either @Audiophonics or Magna. But maybe some people in NA do that...

They really have to hire a webmaster and, most important, someone who actually speaks English. I always thought mine (English) was terrible but, reading their website, I tell myself that it is not so bad after all.:p
 

Frank Sol

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Going way back over the years I've owned several of Audio GD stuff. HP/Pre , DACs , Upsampler and Amps

Today I own just one DAC of theirs, an old NFB 17.3 , I still like the sound of the dual WM8741 chip (dont shoot me) :)
 

Interference

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It seems this has not been mentioned: when measuring the output level one should be aware of the output impedance of the DUT vs input impedance of the measurement device.

The Cosmos ADC has a fairly low input impedance while DACs usually have a Z out in the order of 100-600 ohm. Mentioning the load impedance and possibly measuring the output impedance of the DUT always adds useful information IMO.
 

pseudoid

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How does it sound.
You mean like clinical, analytical, warm, air - like more or less...?
Flanker rating: Meh
Thank you @VintageFlanker ,
I think you should change your "rating" to: Grassy
202204_Grassy.jpg

And I promise NOT to give you grief about your appropriate word; unlike the usage of the controversial word "warm" ;)
 

TheBatsEar

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Thank you @VintageFlanker ,
I think you should change your "rating" to: Grassy
View attachment 202104
And I promise NOT to give you grief about your appropriate word; unlike the usage of the controversial word "warm" ;)
I think i read it first about a graph Amir made. Could be that Flankeroni picked it up there:

First appearance:
 
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VintageFlanker

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And I promise NOT to give you grief about your appropriate word; unlike the usage of the controversial word "warm" ;)
:p
Could be that Flankeroni picked it up there:
Kind of. It is also true that I did not read that term outside ASR. It makes sense to me anyway.

In case you think about a more appropriate word, be my guest.;)
 

TheBatsEar

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:p

Kind of. It is also true that I did not read that term outside ASR. It makes sense to me anyway.

In case you think about a more appropriate word, be my guest.;)
Hair? Like, "The measurements prove it, it's a hairy speaker."

Not sure it's more appropriate. Grass is cool, it's clear what is meant.
 

pseudoid

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Not sure it's more appropriate. Grass is cool, it's clear what is meant.
Some one will come and tell us that "...but it is 'warm' grass!":eek:
 

TheBatsEar

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"I too can see the organic sound scape in the harmonic grass."
1641543257263.gif
 

BR52

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Hi @VinatgeFlanker please run the OPT input and do the measurement with and without USB (no signal) pluged in. I can see here a huge difference with an other Dac brand
with a similar behavior as well. Ground loop?
Thank for your help
BR52

 
OP
VintageFlanker

VintageFlanker

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Hi @VinatgeFlanker please run the OPT input and do the measurement with and without USB (no signal) pluged in.
Every run you see is done with only one input plugged at the time. Doesn't change with or without.
I can see here a huge difference with an other Dac brand
with a similar behavior as well. Ground loop?
That should not happen with properly integrated USB or S/PDIF board, anyway.
 

BR52

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Thank you for your replay. You are absolutely right, What I mean is OPT means galvanic isolated source if then an additional input will be connected for example USB without signal the thing start OPT messing up in the same way as pure USB
It seems the non isolated implementations cause the problem.
 

Phos

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I get why it was brought up, my NFB-5 performs worse enough with USB plugged in (even if the source remains optical) that I was able to see the difference using just RMAA and my soundcard.

Amusingly this also fits with my theory that the less a piece of Audio-gd equipment costs, the closer it comes to measuring decently.
 
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