Audio-GD NFB-27.38 Discrete DAC / Headphone amp / Preamp (ES9038Pro)

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  • Brand : Audio-GD
    Model / SKU : NFB-27.38
    Conditions : New

    Product Description

    Audio-GD NFB-27.38 Discrete DAC / Headphone amp / Preamp (ES9038Pro)

    Hai Wei
    ** Facebook http://m.me/StarsPickerAudio
    ** WhatsApp https://goo.gl/GsPFak

    NFB-27.38  (ES9038Pro )

    Discrete  DAC + Headphone amplifier / Preamplifier
    Combine from the NFB-7 + Master 9

    DSD , DXD support from USB & I2S
    32bit / 768K Sabre ES9038 Pro 
    32bit / 384K /DSD  Amanero combo384
    OCC and TCXO applied ,no upgrade options
    9000mW at 40 ohm (Class A, per channels )
    16000mW at 25 ohm (Max
    , per channels)




    Click to read the Amanero combo 384

    Audio-gd products had design and test based on the AP SYS-2722 (The top-drawer professional equipment in world) 

    What's new in the NFB-27H: 
              Since the old NFB-27 was released more than 34 months ago, we have spent more than 12 months in testing and development for the NFB-27H version release just for the date of Audio-gd 11th Anniversary .
              The NFB-27H is the ultimate design of the ES9038 Pro chip with built in class A headphone amp / preamp .It is upgrade from NFB-27, combine from NFB-7 and Master 9.
              The newly designed ES9038 Pro can setting the built in filter parameter , it can auto detect the input signal DSD and remove the switch noise . In this design, the input signal had short signal journey feed to the ES9038 Pro , improve on the sound quality .
               There are no design compromises, built-in Amanero combo384, which is had been consider the best USB interface in world, no parts are upgradeable, built with all high-grade audio parts, OCC wires, TCXO ,ect.

    DAC / Headphone amp / preamp all in one
    Fully balanced pure class A design built by discrete analog stages without any OPA or coupling caps in the signal channels.
    Non- feedback ACSS analog output stage.
    Total applied 8 pcs exact matching 150W transistors ( In total 1200W ) as the output stages  for implement large class A output power .
    Uses three R-core transformers (In total 195W ) separate power supplies for the digital control components, right and left channels.
    More than 50,000uf audio grade NOVER capacitors are used to ensure ample and smooth power supply. 
    A total of 11 groups class A PSU's  are used to purify the power supply. To achieve a high S/N ratio, the control circuit is powered with separate regulators. 
    Uses high-grade parts and exactly matched transistors.
    Four-channel 100 steps digitally controlled relay-based volume control avoids channel imbalance and improves sound quality .
    5 digital inputs: 
      Optical / RCA coaxial / RCA +BNC coaxial / I2S / USB (The input 4 had both BNC and RCA sockets, but at the same time only can connect either )
    3 analog preamp inputs:  XLR / RCA / RCA
    Preamp / DAC output :   XLR / RCA (Variable in Preamp mode, fixed in DAC mode)
    Headphone amp output: 4pins XLR X1 / 3pins XLR X2 / 6.3MM X1
    Memorizes all settings and resumes the last setting when powered on (see user manual).

    Modification guide on headphone jack for 4-pin balanced headphone output.
       Click here to read:   modification guide


    Detail of the Current Conveyor (ACSS) Technology

     About NFB?

       The NFB-27 applies the newest ESS high-end Sabre32 DA chip ES9038 Pro which can support up to 32Bit/384KHz input . 
           To be achieve  the best performance of ES9038 Pro , must work in current output model,  in voltage output model, there is -12DB THD+N worst .
           The standard current model  design usually need 3 amps (OPA) , the first amp implement I/V conversion, conversion the ES9038 Pro output current signal to voltage signal .
           The second amp is the difference amp, conversion the balance signal to single-ended signal and implement the low pass analog filter , then through  volume control  feed to the third amp, the headphone amp or preamp . 
           Every amp in the standard design usually have two gain stages built in, so  the ES9038 Pro signal must through total 6 gain stages arrive the output stages .
           The NFB-27 applies Non-feedback ACSS design. The ES9038 Pro feed to the ACSS circuit without any OPAs .
           The ACSS circuit naturally working in current model and have design difference current input , it can process the I/V conversion, signal difference and headphone amp in current model in one ACSS amp . And this ACSS amp only have one current gain stage , the ES9038 Pro output signal only through one gain stage can arrive the output stages .
          The shortest signal journey can reproduce the best detail and dynamic, and almost without sound coloration , It can show the  real performance of the ES9038 Pro , users will know why the ES9038 Pro had become popular in short time after release .
           So the ACSS design is the best combo with ES9038 Pro achieve the best performance .
                                              Upside in the picture is the standard ES9038 Pro headphone amp design. The bottom is the NFB-27 design .
     Click image to enlarge.         

            The ACSS also is a non-feedback technology made with fully discrete amplifiers. Most people know the global feedback design can offer better specs in test measurements, and non-feedback can't do well in test measurements but can offer better sound for the human's ears. Here is a conflict of the classic circuits.
            But the ACSS opens a new field, it can offer a least coloration sound which is more neutral with very low distortion and high linearity. So it can retain the dynamics, detail and neutral sound but not sound bright or harsh.
            The output buffers are Non-feedback. For low impedance, we applied a diamond output stage which is quite less colored than most conventional circuits.
            The DAC is without couple caps to avoid coloration. There are two OPAs built in as the DC serve  to keep the DC offset .
            The 32bit / 384K (Amanero combo 384 )USB interface outputs a I2S signal to ES9038 Pro . 


    Power supply:
             NFB-27 applies the excellent ES9038 Pro with  excellent analog output amps, but these are not the only keys of the best sound. The power supply is most important. Even applying the best DA chip and the best amp, if matched to a normal power supply, the total sound may still be average or sound musical, but can't be neutral and detailed. That is why it is easy to find hi-end grade gears maybe without the best chips or amp stages, but with plenteous dedicated DC supply circuits. 
            The NFB-27 uses 11 groups of high-quality class A parallel connection PSU , which can offer very clear DC power for the DAC and amps, producing a very black background and neutral sound characteristic. The class A  PSU is very important for digital parts. Some designs may have very low jitter in theory, but if the power is supplied by a dirty or low-speed power supply, it will increase the jitter and pollute the data, and degrade the sound quality obviously.
            The class A parallel connection PSU has very high input impedance to avoid pulse through the PSU from affecting the DAC and low output impedance with very fast speed and high linearity, so it is a very clean power supply. In my experience, its sound is better than battery power supply, better human sound and neutral.
            The NFB-27 uses three high performance transformers. More than 50,000uf audio grade NOVER capacitors are used to ensure ample and smooth power feed. A total of 11 groups class A SPUs and 2 groups linear PSUs are used to purify the power supply. To achieve high S/N, the control circuit is powered with separate regulator. 


    Volume control:
               The volume control is also different from conventional technology. Conventional volume control technology is the volume control implement in the analog amp input stage through a volume pot to reduce the signal  . The volume pots quality effect the sound quality direct , the low quality volume pot cause lost the detail and channels imbalance cause the soundstage distortion  . Even the high performance volume pot still cause the detail lose. Whatever quality volume pots, must cause the S/N worst .
               But in the NFB-27 , we applied the I/V conversion volume control , the volume control just  a variable passive I/V conversion place at the ACSS amp output , where the output is the current signal, not the voltage signal. The volume control is I/V conversion, and the volume depends on the current (I) conversion to the voltage (V). (Like R-2R D/A chips output passive I/V conversion)  It can keep the signal frequency band flat and not lost any detail.
     It can't degrade on sound quality in every volume level . After the volume , there are four groups  diamond non-feedback buffer output stages offer the very low output impedance  .
                Mark Levinson also knows that current volume control has great benefits, so in their Top End preamp NO.32 volume control, they use many components to change the signal to current signal (I), then implement the volume control , and then change back to voltage signal (V) again. But NFB-27 is simply a more complete work in terms of the current signal, and technically, it is superior to conventional technology. The less conversion bring much neutral sound .
                The volume control quality is much important in the real balance gear . It must guarantee the four channels signal control exact to achieve the performance of the real balance gear .  If the cool and hot of the balance signal can't guarantee exact, the balance output will has large distortion cause the sound quality and performance even much worst than a single end gear waste the  balance gear  design and the cost. 
                In NFB-27 is applied a four channels digital control relays based volume control. .NFB-27 has total four channels through changing the DALE resistors to control the volume for avoid channels imbalanced ,achieve the best performance and sound quality of the gear.
               NFB-27 have 100 steps volume control, control range achieve 90DB (usually the steps volume ports, potentiometer volume port, relays base volume control all have around 70DB range  ), very smooth control range on first 50 steps , cooperate with 13DB high gain, so can very easy adjust the volume for  both high / low sensitivity headphone and speakers. While users change the volume, the different relays break or close, it may had slightly switch sound on output and disappear while stop change the volume.
    NFB-27 Supper Exponential volume characteristic      The Volume steps comparison to normal volume knob       
             NFB-27 has complete separation of left, right amplifier channels, power supply, and transformer. 
             NFB-27 uses heavyweight all-aluminum alloy chassis to prevent the eddy current of transformers from interfering on circuit board. 
             NFB-27 applies optical couple isolation for the MCU and the control implementations to prevent the MCU affecting the audio parts.

    Static storage mode control software:
              In most control softwares design, the MCU will continuously output data to the perform parts , the MCU had the very high speed, so the output data become high frequency impulses disturb the audio signal circuits make the sound worst .  This product had applied static storage mode control software  , the MCU output once control data and save in the perform parts while just power on and users operate  ,then stop output data until users next operation. This design make the sound quality improve on the clear and transparency .


    The unit applied analog input short design : 
              The unit  had design the analog idle input short circuit (  In 7 to In 9) for avoid the disturb between different sources.
             This design also applied in a lot high end 
    brand devices.
              The working theory :  Without the idle input short circuit ,if the input 7 and input 8 had connect two extra DACs,  while users select the either input 7 and input 8 , the another input signal will fire through the circuits and mix  into the using signal, even though this signal is  weak  but still can degrade on the sound quality.
              With the idle input short circuit function : if user select either the input 7 and input 8, the another input signal will short circuit then no any signal fire through circuits , can keep the sound quality had not degrade.

    Functions :
    HP/PRE : For select the unit output from headphone sockets or the XLR / RCA sockets.
    Selector : For select the unit input channels. 
     (The input 4 had both BNC and RCA sockets, but at the same time only can connect either )
    Volume: For change the volume of the unit.
    DAC/PRE button: For select the unit as DAC output With volume control or Fixed level , without volume control output from the XLR / RCA sockets on rear .

    The display auto dark :  Push into the jumper is auto dark .Please operate the jumper while the unit power off .

    Digital filter setting:

    IIR0  and IIR1:Available for DSD input .
                     IIR0                       IIR1
    47K         Push into                 Push into 
    50K         Pull off                    Pull off
    60K         Pull off                    Push into
    70K         Push into                 Pull off 

    FIR : Available for PCM input.Please operate  while the unit power off .
                                       FIR_0                  FIR_1                FIR_2
    Fast roll-off,  Linear:      Push into              Push into           Push into 
    Slow roll-off, Linear:      Push into              Push into            Pull off
    Fast roll-off, Minimum:   Push into              Pull off               Push into 
    Slow roll-off, Minimum:   Push into              Pull off              Pull off
    Fast roll-off, Apodizing:   Pull off                Push into            Push into 
    Fast roll-off, Hybrid:       Pull off                 Pull off               Push into 
    Brickwall filter:              Pull off                 Pull off               Pull off

    DSD / PCM support from I2S input :
    The DSD/PCM support not only from the USB input, but the I2S input.   The NFB-27 can detect the I2S input signal, if input DSD signal, it will auto to remove the DSD pop noise while select the DSD track .

    Click to review : RJ45 and HDMI pin definitions

    Digital filter setting:
    IIR0 与IIR1:For DSD.
      IIR0 IIR1
    47K Push Into Push Into
    50K Pull Off Pull Off
    60K Pull Off Push Into
    70K Push Into Pull Off
    FIR0,FIR1,FIR2: For PCM.
       FIR_0  FIR_1 FIR_2
    Fast roll-off,  Linear: Push Into Push Into  Push Into
    Slow roll-off, Linear: Push Into Push Into Pull Off
    Fast roll-off, Minimum: Push Into Pull Off Push Into
    Slow roll-off, Minimum: Push Into Pull Off Pull Off
    Fast roll-off, Apodizing: Pull Off Push Into Push Into
    Fast roll-off, Hybrid: Pull Off Pull Off Push Into
    Brickwall filter: Pull Off Pull Off Pull Off

    Improvement may result in changes in specifications and
    design without notice.
    S/N Ratio

    <0.0003% (0DBV output level ,digital input )  


    +16DB  (XLR)

    Volume characteristic
    100 steps Super Exponential Volume Characteristic  

    Channels cross
    > 130DB

    Channels imbalance
    < 0.05DB
    Frequency Breadth
    20Hz - 20KHz  (< - 0.1DB)
    1Hz - 140KHz    ( - 3DB ) 
     Output Level
     Headphone output : 19V RMS  (balance , max)

    Preamp Variable output : 10V RMS (balance,  max)

    DAC Variable output : 5 V RMS (balance,  max)
    Headphone amp output power ability
    (Only for >15 ohm headphone.)
    Balanced mode

    16000MW /  25 ohm 

    8000MW /  50 ohm 

     4000MW  /  100 ohm

    1300MW / 300 ohm

    650 MW / 600 ohm


    Output impedance
    1 ohm /  Headphone output

    1 ohm / DAC output
    Input Sensitivity
    0.5 Vp-p(75 Ohms, Coaxial)
    19 dBm (Optical)
    Support Operate Systems (USB)
    Windows, OSX, Linux, ISO
    Support Sampling  
     USB model & I2S: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz , 192kHz, 352.8kHz,384kHz
     Coaxial model: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz ,192kHz 
    Optical model: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz
    Power Requirement
    1 Version  100-120V  AC 50/60 Hz

    2 Version  220-240V  AC 50/60 Hz
    Power Consumption
    Package Weight
    Approximately 15KG

    W430 X L430 X H93(MM, Fully aluminium ) 
    AC power cord            X1
    USB cable X1 

    Custom Options
    1, Custom order HDMI replace RJ45 I2S input.
    2, Custom order HDMI replace USB input.

    3, Custom order High Gain model for the HE6 and low sensitivity headphones:

    The NFB-27H default had 16DB gain, customers can custom order extra +3 to +9 DB gain with 4 workdays leadtime. If connect with other high sensitivity headphones like over 115DB sensitivity , may turn few steps volume but had quite loud .
          +3DB extra gain, total +19DB
          +6DB extra gain, total +22DB
          +9DB extra gain, total +25DB
    Custom order two pair RCA outputs replace ACSS output:

    Last Updated @ 7/15/2017 3:41:08 PM

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      Coverage of the Warranty

      1. The buyer is entitled to claim for warranty for damage to the product in transit, defect in workmanship of the product, delivery of a wrong item of product, or any other damage caused by reasons other than fault of the consumer, and all cost and expenses incurred for the shipment of the product will be borne by us.
      2. The warranty does not cover damage caused by human factors, accident, misuse of the product, unauthorized alternation to or change of parts or components of the product, act of God or problems of power supply.
      3. No warranty is offered for products which have gone beyond the period of warranty. We can arrange to send back the products for repair but any cost incur will be bear by customers.
      4. No warranty is offered if the warranty label on the product is altered or damaged.

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