Author Topic: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]  (Read 738 times)

Offline Wolvebain

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Super stoked that my Audio-GD NOS11 arrived today :)

First impression: It's freaken big!  I knew from the product page's specs that it was going to be big, but seeing it in reality is really something else.

Here are some pic, with a CD for perspective, and my Little Dot MK IV+ as a comparison.




Haven't  had much time on it, but must say that the clarity, separation, and detail in amazing.
Tried it with it's built-in head.amp, and it was very impressive; great detail, more than ample power for my headphones [HD650, HD800S, LCD-4]... however, like a lot of solid state equipment, it had a bit of a cold tone.

Plugged it into my Little Dot MK IV+ and that coldness melted away, leaving the great detail, separation, and clarity.
Currently running of the USB, with a Schitt Wyrd & Jitterbug in-between.

Will plug in the Pink Faun I2S Bridge when I find my HDMI transport cable.


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Offline itscraig

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 07:11:51 PM »
this is no good  :nono:, i cannot see inside. what is in there?  :envy:

Online Nidri

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Offline itscraig

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 09:11:47 PM »
absolutely beautiful. looks like a serious piece of kit.
enjoy it.
look forward to hearing the opinions.

Offline Drifter

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 09:25:18 PM »
Very nice. Congrats with the purchase.

Offline kamikazi

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 09:45:52 PM »
Nice one! Let fly with more impressions! Heard some guys wrapped towels around their Audio-GD gear to get it up to temperature!

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 10:21:37 PM »
absolutely beautiful. looks like a serious piece of kit.
enjoy it.
look forward to hearing the opinions.

+1 on all the above!  Looking forward to sampling (not over sampling :) ) this beaut!
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 10:34:50 PM »
Sorry guys.. didn't get much time on it, just a few minutes between work.
And my dog is sleeping now, so can't really listen, else she gets a bit upset (she's an old, very sick doggie)

But I'll give you my impressions thus far, paired with my LD mk6+ (warmer than the built-in head.amp), and on the tracks I did managed to listen to.

 - Crisp, clear and clean, uber low (if at all) sound floor.  Which is great, but makes me want to look for alternative version of some songs with poor mastering... Some of my Van Morrison tracks have this low level background 'static' that is now unbidden.
 - Very detailed.  Layered tracks (one of my favorites in this category is Queen's "It's a Kind of Magic" from the same titled SACD), have much more focused, forward detail.... HD650 tries to, but the cost of the LCD-4's become justified here, as they reveal more. (stuck to the LCD-4, and didn't move to the HD800S).  I need another listen, as it maybe it's my previous DAC's signature as opposed to what it 'supposed to sound like', as sometimes it felt too forward.
 - Punchy and fast, but still has weight and depth.  Charlie Hunter's "Baboon Strength" album is a great example of this: dynamic and fast jazz fusion virtuoso skills are unhindered by his thicker, funkier bass-lines and grooves.
 - Amazing vocal reproduction.  The wonderful voice of Lake Street Dive's Rachael Price is full, ranged, and encompassing whilst the background vocals pop in and out contaminating and without being drowned out.  Similar with male vocals, such as Terence Trent D'Arby and his rendition  of A Change Is Gonna Come [ft. Booker T. & the MG's]. Low, softly sung vocals are there, clear and detailed, and I can hear the build up to high volume singing with all the detail in the phase in-between.

If I'm unable to give it more in-depth listening, before the weekend, I will try and ask Scubadude or thomas24 to audition it on Wednesday/Thursday, and also take to the upcoming Friday night 'Centurion Headphone mini-Meet' (if I'm unable to attend)...  The others there test it out and give their impressions as well.
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Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 09:46:18 PM »
Had a few minutes again on the NOS11+LD.mk6+ today, but with the HD 800 S & HD 650... 
Both pair amazingly with the NOS11 directly; the HD 800 S surprised me a bit here.

Though I still prefer my LCD-4's running on the NOS11 as a pure DAC and the LD.mk6+ as the balanced head.amp, the built-in SS head.amp of the NOS11 is not slouch.
This DAC sounds brilliant to me... best I've ever heard; blows my previous DAC clean outta the water.
Not sure how well it would pair with a HD800 Classic, but believe that feel that one could get a real uBer higher-end sound without breaking the bank, by getting only the HD 800 S & NOS 11.
It also works amazingly well with the HD650, and I believe it actually squeezes ever drop of ability from them.

I haven't tried a single ended setup, but may try it at a later stage.
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Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 09:03:38 AM »
And update:

I've used my HD650 with the NOS11 as a DAC & head.amp (balanced cable) for a few hours yesterday again, and am continuing to use it today as well.
Based on that, I must add to my statement of: "one could get a real uBer higher-end sound without breaking the bank, by getting only the HD 800 S & NOS 11".. which an HD650 and the NOS11, one can get absolutely amazing sound.

Now I can switch one/off and get a quick bot of listening in-between everything, without waiting for the tubes to warm up on my LD MK6+ (or constantly switching on/off, which I never do), and listen on my HD650's instead of unpacking my HD800S or LCD-4.

For it's price (.1,776.03EUR), and still having a 3 yr warranty in South Africa*, with fully balanced PCM1704 R2R R-2R DAC & head.amp I doubt there's anything off-the-shelf in the market that can compete.
Then there's the additional features and upgrades...  +9DB extra gain providing a total +25DB is .35EUR, and is compatible with the Pink Faun I2S Bridge PCI-E card, to name 2 big ones.

*=
Quote from: Jos from www.magnahifi.com
First year we will pay for complete transport. 2nd year you pay only for return cost. 3rd year you pay for transport cost. We hardly have issues with Audio-GD equipment. When shipping outside Europe we fully test the equipment before we reship it to the end customer in our lab.

Think the next steps would be to get my TT sorted and source a decedent phono-stage (Azur 651P maybe?) and plug it into the NOS11.. and get the best of digtial and whinyl :)
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Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 12:38:02 AM »
I had the Pink Faun I2S Bridge PCI-E card half-height PCI bracket version shipped to me, instead of a full-height one.. so I had put off using it until I get the full-height bracket shipped to me.

However, after checking out the "NuPrime uDSD as USB to coax converter" thread, I finally decided to try it out...
(I removed the half-height bracket and plugged it in as is, into my PC, but made sure the power cable acts as support.)

And OMG!!! It's AWESOME!!!
Details, clarity, separation just grew to another level!  And I was listening on my HD650's !!! Even MP3's sound great :)

The Audio-GD NOS11 & Pink Faun I2S Bridge PCI-E card have to be the best audio purchase I've made in a long time... better than my LCD-4, HD800S, SE846 purchases.
I'm a convert!!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 12:43:09 AM by Wolvebain »
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Offline gavinbirss

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 05:55:29 PM »
@Wolvebain

Quote
Pink Faun I2S Bridge...

Glad to hear you are impressed by the Pink Faun. I am still seriously considering it with a PC Engines APU3C4...

I would however have no balanced i2s DAC to plug to...

What soft/hardware are you using on the music server?
edit:
see you using Jriver..., OS?, hardware?
https://www.avforums.co.za/index.php/topic,60476.msg759173.html#msg759173

 :groovy:
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 05:58:01 PM by gavinbirss »

Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2017, 09:34:37 PM »
Using JRiver, but mainly FooBar2000... The Pink Faun will play (in exclusive mode) on basically any windows music player that supports WASAPI output.


OS: Windows 10 64 Pro.. My Fedora 25 boot is still recovering from a Weyland & GTX1080 issue that I haven't had time to really sort out, and I've put it off as I have a new 1TB SSD to install
HW:
 - CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2690 (10 Core/20 Thread) + Corsair H110i GTX cooler
 - MoBo: ASUS P9X79-E WS
 - RAM: 64GB
 - Storage: 512GB OCZ-Vertex5 SSD + 256 Evo850 SSD + 4TB 7200RPM Seagate + 2TB 5200 WB Green
 - GFX: Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme + Corsair H90 & NZXT-Kraken-G10 cooling

The Corsair H110i GTX water cooler has a USB input for management and monitoring, plus a I have some high performance fans for the radiators, and 2x mechanical HDD's...
Even with all that, the Pink Faun is noise free :)

I had initially thought that I may need some Elfidelity PC Filtering cards (2x PCI-E, 2x SATA, Fan power filter, etc.), but I'm golden as is.
Time to pack away from super expensive 5m Pangea Audio Gold/Silver USB cable, Jitterbug, and Wyrd , as they have been replaced & bettered by the Pink Faun + el'cheapo 5M HiFiCorp HDMI cable :P



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Offline pwatts

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 07:38:35 AM »
Using JRiver, but mainly FooBar2000... The Pink Faun will play (in exclusive mode) on basically any windows music player that supports WASAPI output.


OS: Windows 10 64 Pro.. My Fedora 25 boot is still recovering from a Weyland & GTX1080 issue that I haven't had time to really sort out, and I've put it off as I have a new 1TB SSD to install
HW:
 - CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2690 (10 Core/20 Thread) + Corsair H110i GTX cooler
 - MoBo: ASUS P9X79-E WS
 - RAM: 64GB
 - Storage: 512GB OCZ-Vertex5 SSD + 256 Evo850 SSD + 4TB 7200RPM Seagate + 2TB 5200 WB Green
 - GFX: Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme + Corsair H90 & NZXT-Kraken-G10 cooling

The Corsair H110i GTX water cooler has a USB input for management and monitoring, plus a I have some high performance fans for the radiators, and 2x mechanical HDD's...
Even with all that, the Pink Faun is noise free :)

I had initially thought that I may need some Elfidelity PC Filtering cards (2x PCI-E, 2x SATA, Fan power filter, etc.), but I'm golden as is.
Time to pack away from super expensive 5m Pangea Audio Gold/Silver USB cable, Jitterbug, and Wyrd , as they have been replaced & bettered by the Pink Faun + el'cheapo 5M HiFiCorp HDMI cable
Without wanting to start a cable flame, but this is an application where different hdmi cables may actually improve matters since it works differently. Easy enough to borrow a few and compare before buying. Same applies to i2s over cat5 applications.

Offline Cuco

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Re: Audio-GD NOS11 [ Discrete DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier]
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2017, 12:54:55 PM »
Congratulations, she's a beauty.
GAS and OCD