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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Audio-GD NFB 3.1 DAC

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 21:20:51 -0300

I received my eagerly awaited Audio-GD NFB 3.1 DAC today.

It's large, but not as heavy as I had expected (it says 5kg on the Audio-gd
web site, but I doubt it is that even when packed; more like 2 or 3).  Seems
well built and looks fine.  The only criticism I can think of is that the
display is very bright, and set quite deep, so difficult to read from above.
It came well-packed, with power, USB and optical cables.

Soonf after I first plugged it in I noticed some sibilance - a white, splashy
layer at high frequencies.  That disappeared as the unit warmed up (since the
design has no feedback it's not terribly surprising for the sound to change as
the temperature changes - I just hope it's stable once it gets there).

This evening I've been comparing it with my Music Fidelity V-DAC (v1).  I
don't have the equipment to do blind tests, or quickly switch between the two,
and things are complicated by the slighly higher output of the NFB 3.1, so I
am juggling cables and manual volume shifts.  With all those provisos I can
hear no differences in sound - neither between the different filters on the
NFB 3.1, nor between that and the V-DAC.  For what it's worth, I listened
(repeatedly) to "Green Shirt" (Costello) and "Maiden Voyage" (Hancock).

This is my first foray into the more "exotic" ("boutique"?) side of audio
(rest of equipment: Logitech Duet; Arcam Solo; Sennheiser 555s) and, while
it's fun to have something pretty and obscure, I'm glad I needed (in a
relative sense!) this, and wasn't buying it for an upgrade (the V-DAC is going
to be partnered with its headphone amp brother - not yet here - for listening
at my desk...; the Arcam can then get back to running speakers in various
rooms).

Andrew

NFB 3.1 - Broken and Fixed

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2012 19:20:21 -0300

A few weeks ago my Audio-gd NFB 3.1 failed.  I was moving it to another room
and, when I plugged it back in, the front display didn't light up and the
buttons didn't work (although it continued to convert the optical input to
audio!).

I was disappointed and worried, because I thought that I would need to post it
back to Hong Kong (not only had I thrown away the box, I had been charged
extra by DHL, which I wanted to avoid, and the round trip was going to take
over a month).

But the kind folks at Audio-gd worked with me to diagnose the issue at home,
and then shipped me a replacement control board.  I received it today (at not
cost), replaced it, and everything is back to normal.

So that's some great service.

(I also am now the proud owner of a Musical Fidelity headphone amp and USB
buffer (as well as the V-DAC) so expect some listening / comparison results
soon...)

Andrew

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