Author Topic: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28  (Read 1220 times)

Offline Tenflare

  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Gaming on orthodynamics since 2006.
REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« on: December 04, 2017, 11:59:13 PM »
How do you become an Audio God?

One way is to drop Gupta money on a WAF-worthy setups like these... https://za.pinterest.com/emaileddiechan/audiophile-listening-rooms/

The other is to buy yourself an Audio Gd... or "Audio God" to the enlightened.

For a Chinese company, Audio Gd have adopted an approach that's more NWAVGuy than Fiio. Their vast collection of attractively-priced DACs and amps aren't made in a Shenzhen factory with nets below the windows, free surgeon masks, and 3 minute tea times.

No, everything is handmade and tested by Chinese Audiophiles in a such a way as to have earned the company legend status. Sure, a tedious but amicable email correspondence is needed to get any of the devices, but you will find that the products are very much worth the compromise of their web-designers just not bothering to add a Shopify widget to their site. Because despite a design language so utalitarian and spartan that it makes SMSL look like B&W, they pretty much only make fantastic things. 

The NFB11, is no different. And when my R2R11 order fell through, and a generous fellow forumite came from on high, I couldn't say no -- both because I'd never live it down, and because I'd never hear the end of it from Arie (Capetownwatches).

And very much like Arie, I now own the the NFB11.28 and even more like him, I can now extoll its infinite virtues. Long story short: I REGRET NOTHING. This thing is well and truly deserving of its giant-killer mantle.

And I quite like the look of it to be honest.

It has this kind of first draft, inoffensive design language that for some reason, makes it a metric ton more serious than a Schiit Jotunheim. And inside this metal lunchbox you will find the most sensationally capable DAC, able to run any DSD's or 384khz FLAC files you can throw at it with generous aplomb.

Now this is the part where I go all Inner Fidelity on you and wax lyrical about some measurements. Here's a graph! Here's some specs! Here's a picture of a multimeter WOW!

I really don't care what equipment output looks like.

I care about what it sounds like.  Here it is: You turn on the Audio God, you let it warm up some, you plug in headphones... Suddenly, Chris Cornell is alive and playing "Like A Stone" in the tiny room your wife allowed you to share with a litter box.

This, is audio's answer to the virtual reality headset. It's an immersive product that breaks down the membrane between you, your source, and the magnetic spinny clicky thing that source is stored on. It's different to valves -- different to vinyl. Imagine you could take a flac file and somehow return that file to the way it sounded when it was first heard by its artist and production crew off of a Reel To Reel. That's what this sounds like.

Then, you realise that this thing comes with a headphone amp. And the headphone amp can comfortably run headphones with impedence ratings that don't even exist yet. Into 32ohms it'll plow over 3 watts, making it equally capable of running Audeze LCD 4's (if you have these, come over and listen) or blowing up a pair of Skullcandy Heshes (which I'd film but I really like their cables).

Furthermore, the NFB11 comes equipped with options galore.

Its RCA lineouts are able to become pre outs at the flick of a switch (making it one of the best DACs for active monitor-aficianados like myself) and it has high and low gain settings that actually make a difference.

Then you get the inputs. Amanero -- previously an optional extra on the old NFB11-- now comes standard, meaning even lower jitter than the XMOS standard still heralded in pricier DACs. The toslink-in helps when I connect the PS4. And if in need of added processing power for editing or design work, I can play music from my laptop via the coax out on my Nuprime uDSD.

Weaknesses?

Other than a, let's face it, absolutely terrible ordering process that scares off more patrons than it really should, there aren't many from my standpoint. I know some combo DAC/amps have line in functionality but with the ESS Sabre ES9028 Pro on board, I can't really see why anybody would want to. Another "kinda" weakness is the lack of a balanced 4-pin. But the jury is out on whether or not balanced is even a thing.   

All in all this isn't just a DAC, this is a digital to analogue converter in the truest sense. It's not bits and bytes decoded into audio; it's bits and bytes turned flesh and blood. This isn't Mid Fi. It's Hi Fi priced as Mid Fi. It's Hi Fi that sets fire to any idea of Hi Fi having a price barrier.

All in all I could not be happier. My Monolith M1060's have been both awakened by its arrival, and utterly supplanted by it as my purchase of the year.

If you want to upgrade yourself to Audio God, I highly recommend the uncompromised and omnipotent Audio Gd NFB11.28. Praise be. :notworthy:

:whistler: Maybe try getting it through the MagnaHiFi, though.  :whistler:
Never use a graph when a good metaphor will do...

Offline Dubya Jay Dee

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 12:06:13 AM »
So you like it then?

:clap:

Offline Tenflare

  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Gaming on orthodynamics since 2006.
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 12:13:28 AM »
So you like it then?

:clap:
:roll: Wherever did you get that idea?  ;)
Never use a graph when a good metaphor will do...

Offline Dubya Jay Dee

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 12:37:45 AM »
I lack your facility with descriptive prose but totally share your enthusiasm and admiration for this Dac - it is crazy good!

Offline Scubadude

  • Trade Count: (+36)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,339
  • Depressed? Cans on, volume up, ignore the world!
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 06:06:57 AM »
Nicely written  :thumbs:  Did you do any comparative listening?  E.g. uDSD? Imagine you used DAC and headphone amp sections together.  Did you try separately? Would like to know your thoughts.
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Tenflare

  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Gaming on orthodynamics since 2006.
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 07:39:09 AM »


Nicely written  :thumbs:  Did you do any comparative listening?  E.g. uDSD? Imagine you used DAC and headphone amp sections together.  Did you try separately? Would like to know your thoughts.

My only DAC worth comparing it to was the uDSD and to be fair, the Nuprime does not disgrace itself in any way and I still love mine to bits.

I was able to compare the headamp to the SMSL SapII using the same DAC. The SMSL surprised me again but I can see how much of a blunt instrument that headamp is.

Most of my listening was done through the RCA's and not the dedicated headamp actually. I wanted to hear its talents as cleanly and uncoloured as possible. Chiefly, I used the JBL LSR305's (controlled via the incredible DBX GoRack) as I am studio trained and can hear nuance far more more critically over monitors than headphones.

Unfortunately, whilst its possible to use the DAC by itself where it came through with flying colours, you can't use any analogue inputs to isolate the amp.

Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk

Never use a graph when a good metaphor will do...

Offline Larry

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,654
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 08:14:08 AM »

 Audio Gd NFB11.28.


Cant go wrong with a catchy easy to remember name like that!    :BWAHAHAH:

Offline capetownwatches

  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 483
  • Iacta Alea Est
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 08:56:15 AM »
Outstanding review of an outstanding piece of gear.

I well remember the first time I plugged the DT990s into mine, anticipation through the roof.
Could it really sound as great as most reviewers said it did? After all, this is very much a budget priced unit.

Your impressions accurately mirror mine I think - this is just a phenomenal amp/dac in every respect.

It has no real weaknesses (perhaps lack of inputs), and presents all forms of music in an accurate, resolving and involving manner.
It takes the music and projects it back to you in a way that makes one want to keep on listening for as long as possible.
I've racked up a few long sessions with it, and never felt in any way fatigued - tinnitis maybe, fatigue not.

As a standalone DAC it punches WAY above it's price, and right now mine is feeding the WA3 with a clean, detailed and full-bodied output.
Mine uses ES9018 and there is no hint of "Sabre glare" - in fact, the NFB11 somehow manages to make it both slightly warm and exceptionally detailed.

I am delighted that you are enjoying the Audio-gd experience finally, and that my nagging was vindicated...  ;)

PS: we were both fortunate to be able to get the NFB11 from fellow Forumers, so I'll take this opportunity to thank Francois once again for offering his to me, and Adam for selling it to him in the first place.  :dop:
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 09:01:26 AM by capetownwatches »

NFB11.32 - Little Dot MKll - Benchmark DAC1 USB
LCD2F - HD600 - DT990Pro 250 - K612Pro - K171MKll - Y50

Offline Dubya Jay Dee

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 12:55:03 PM »

@Tenflare - totally forgot to mention to you - your NFB11.28 has had the optional TCXO installed for: (according to Audio-Gd) - "improve on the sound transparency." :thumbs:

I'm intrigued about the Audio-Gd power amps and integrated amp - If the dac is this good at this price.. how fare the other products? :thinking:
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 01:25:00 PM by JBredene »

Offline capetownwatches

  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 483
  • Iacta Alea Est
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 02:22:32 PM »

I'm intrigued about the Audio-Gd power amps and integrated amp - If the dac is this good at this price.. how fare the other products? :thinking:

Just don't look for information or opinions regarding Audio-gd gear on SBAF.

I don't know what alternate universe those boys inhabit, or what they are smoking... :goofy:


NFB11.32 - Little Dot MKll - Benchmark DAC1 USB
LCD2F - HD600 - DT990Pro 250 - K612Pro - K171MKll - Y50

Offline Tenflare

  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Gaming on orthodynamics since 2006.
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 02:49:46 PM »
SBAF? That place where they talk about "micro dynamics" and "blunted transients?" No thank you. If I enjoyed hanging around self-righteous, jargon-spewing, more money than sense blowhards, I'd have stayed in creative advertising.

Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk

Never use a graph when a good metaphor will do...

Offline adie

  • Trade Count: (+10)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,676
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 04:52:17 PM »
Suddenly, Chris Cornell is alive and playing "Like A Stone" in the tiny room your wife allowed you to share with a litter box.

Ag, shamepies! :whip:
On both counts.... :sh1tstirrer:

I was more than halfway down the Audio GD rabbit hole before I was gifted a Cary Audio DAC and your description of the e-mail "relationship" is so spot-on. ;D

Offline Nidri

  • Trade Count: (+40)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,222
  • Don't panic.
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 06:47:45 PM »
SBAF? That place where they talk about "micro dynamics" and "blunted transients?" No thank you. If I enjoyed hanging around self-righteous, jargon-spewing, more money than sense blowhards, I'd have stayed in creative advertising.

Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk

Hey, I work in advertising.
I'll have you know that if I had any feelings left,
then I'm pretty sure your words would have hurt them.

Offline Tenflare

  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Gaming on orthodynamics since 2006.
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2017, 07:05:25 PM »
Hey, I work in advertising.
I'll have you know that if I had any feelings left,
then I'm pretty sure your words would have hurt them.
I meant no offense. Most of my advertising jokes are self parody.

Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk

Never use a graph when a good metaphor will do...

Offline Nidri

  • Trade Count: (+40)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,222
  • Don't panic.
Re: REVIEW: Audio God NFB11.28
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 07:15:47 PM »
I meant no offense. Most of my advertising jokes are self parody.

Nor did I take any.
I think my comment was really just a thinly veiled cry for help.
It seems they invent some painful new buzzword for us every day.
Anyway, apologies for derailing the thread.
Let's take this offline. (Haha.)