Welcome to my review of the Audio-GD NFB 11.28 TXCO Amanero USB DAC & Headphone AMP.
This is no ordinary headphone amp. This is handmade meticulously in China. Audio-GD is considered one of the best manufacturers are high end audio. The Audio-GD NFB 11.28 is their cheapest offering coming in at under £400.
Single Ended Headphone & pre- amplifier equipted with hyper-modern Sabre ES9028Pro dac chip. All parts and components are selected based on excellent sonic and measurements performance. Components are e.g. from WIMA capacitors (Germany) and NOVER parts (UK) . The used components but also the technical design (e.g. discrete analogue section) of this system were being selected after many years of experience and practices and are considered to perform and provide very good sonic results. Up to date with the latest technology, and ensuring peak performance.
This version includes the low jitter TCXO clocks & Amanero USB options. Amanero is currently the best compatible USB interface and sound in world according to Audio-GD.
– Discrete DAC single ended headphone- and preamplifier
– DSD , DXD support from USB
– Sabre ES9028 – 32bit / 384K
– Low jitter precision 100MHz TCXO upgrade
– USB Amanero
– Volume controlled ALPS 27
– Upgraded the digital power supplies to double stages PSUs with ultra high speed ultra low noise parts, for remove the power interrupt and made the back stage darker, better transparency .
– The DSD and PCM switch upgrade to MCU control, remove the switch noise.
– Digital filter settings can selectable the different sound flavors for better suite different sound headphones and user’s personal taste.
– USB input.
– Toslink optical SPDIF
– RCA coaxial SPDIF
– RCA single ended (Output is configurable: fixed or variable)
– Headphone 6,3mm jack
– Weight: 2.5 kg
– Width: 180 mm x Length: 220 mm x Height: 55 mm
– DAC Type Sabre ES9028Pro
– Signal to Noise Ratio – SNR (dB) 118dB
– Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) 0.002% (0dBV output level )
– Output Level (V) 2.5V (RCA)
– Output impedance (Ω) 2 ohm / Headphone output 2 ohm / DAC output
– Coaxial Input Sensitivity 0.5 Vp-p
– Optical Input Sensitivity 19 dBm
– Sample Rate USB: 44.1 – 384kHz | Coax: 44.1 – 192kHz | Optical: 44.1 – 96kHz
– Frequency Response (kHz) 20Hz – 20KHz （-0.2dB) | 3Hz – 350KHz (Analogue)
– USB Audio Class 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 & 3.0
– USB Operating Systems Windows, iOS, Linux
– Preamp Variable Output (V) 5.0V Max
– Preamp Fixed Output (V) 2.5V Max
– Headphone Output Level (V) 10V RMS
– Headphone Output Power (Watt) 3500mW/25 ohm 1800mW/50 ohm 900mW/100 ohm 300mW/300 ohm 150mW/600 ohm
– Power Consumption (Watt) 12
– Accessories -USB Cable, IEC Power Cord
The Audio-GD 11.28 is something you won’t find on Amazon Prime for next day delivery. This particular model is popular and often has a wait time of over 30 days. There is a reason for that. You get an extreme amount of bang for your buck.
Lifting the top off the device reveals a work of art. It also gives you access to the digital filters which allows you to tweak the sound marginally. See more info on the options at Magna HiFi. Adjusting the digital filters can warm the sound up a fraction.
You will also notice from the specifications the amp section delivers oodles of power. I have tested the device using Sennheiser HD598, Beyer Dynamic DT770 Pro 250 ohm, Beyer Dynamic DT990 Pro 250 ohm, Sony MDR-100AAP, Optoma NuForce NE8’s and Sennhesier In Ear Momentums. I connected a MacBook Pro, LG V20 and iPhone 7 Plus to the Audio-GD as well. Irrespective of headphone used, the Audio-GD pushed the headphone to its maximum abilities and they all sounded superb through it.
Describing the sound – its fairly dark and neutral but with reserves of energy that scales as the music demands. The sound does warm up slightly after the device has been left on for a good hour. The amp does get slightly warm, but this is normal.So don’t cover up the vents.
Vocals and instruments have excellent clarity. Soundstage is excellent too. Going back to the digital filters. I did try the warmer option but at the moment cannot decide whether I prefer the default setting or the warmer one. I imagine in the end I will opt for the warmer setting.
A cracking piece of kit that delivers exactly what it set out to be. Recommended.
Available from Magna HiFi