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post #11 of 18
The US dealer for Audio-gd products is pacific valve: http://www.pacificvalve.us/
They're based out of Chicago, and I've ordered stuff from them a number of times and never had any problems.
As a note, be aware that their Audio-gd products appear to be more expensive than ordering directly from China, but this is because the price list on Audio-gd's site doesn't include shipping to the US. In reality the prices are very similar.
I have and Audio-gd DAC that I've been very happy with for about a year now. (I also have an Audio-gd solid state amp) The build quality of my units is really good, and I've had 0 problems with them.
I would also recommend keeping an eye on the sources for sale section on head-fi as there are some really nice catches on their every once in awhile.
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post #12 of 18
the 2 best DACs on the market in that price range are

http://www.whathifi.com/review/cambridge-audio-dacmagic

http://www.whathifi.com/Review/Arcam-rDAC/

may actually be a little out of your budget, but they are much better than anything else recommended, trust
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post #13 of 18
Audio-gd makes good stuff, dont believe me go check them out on headfi. I have this dac and it's great for $200

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB12/NFB12EN.htm
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post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by valtopps;13918321 
i dont get it?

Aka cheap design, aka poorly built. If you're buying tube based amp, never go cheap. If you want to go affordable, ss amp does better with same $.

As for original question, if the budget is around 200 for an dac/amp, it's usually better to get a good soundcard like the xonar stx instead of external dac. But, if you have to use something mobile for your comp and laptop, everyone likes the musiland 02.
Edited by yellowtoblerone - 6/26/11 at 5:34am
    
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post #15 of 18
In fact, the NFB-12 does have two Wolfson WM8741 DAC chips.
nfb12.th.jpg

While I do really enjoy my NFB-12 as a headphone amp and DAC, I have to warn you about Audio-GD. My roommate bought an Audio-GD FUN with all of the available upgrades/op-amps. The total was around $500. It was excellent at first. It sounded great, the assembly was top-notch, and the price was pretty good. However, about 7-8 months later he started experiencing problems. The DAC random clipping throughout the track, regardless of the input or bit/sample rate of the song. It does it under Windows WASAPI, Linux MPD, and all other sources we have tried.

Audio-GD sent a new USB circuit board which we replaced, but that did not fix the issue. I believe they sent an optical replacement as well, but that did not fix it either. There is something fundamentally wrong within the DAC section that is causing the problem.

The biggest issue with this is that Audio-GD will not recognize that there is a problem and they are not helping my roommate with his problem. They have a "1 year guarantee" against defects but they are not standing up to that promise at this point. They have fully ignored all other requests to remedy the problem after we received the replacement USB and optical input sections.

With all that being said, I would say go for Audio-GD because they do make great products. But, you are ordering direct from China and you are certainly playing the odds for whether or not you will get a fully trouble-free device. If you end up with bad luck, there will be a $100 fee because you'll have to ship the piece back to China and you can also consider any hourly rate you want to charge for the time you'll have to waste trying to communicate your problems with them.
Edited by Greg121986 - 6/26/11 at 1:22pm
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg121986;14013311 
In fact, the NFB-12 does have two Wolfson WM8741 DAC chips.
nfb12.th.jpg

While I do really enjoy my NFB-12 as a headphone amp and DAC, I have to warn you about Audio-GD. My roommate bought an Audio-GD FUN with all of the available upgrades/op-amps. The total was around $500. It was excellent at first. It sounded great, the assembly was top-notch, and the price was pretty good. However, about 7-8 months later he started experiencing problems. The DAC random clipping throughout the track, regardless of the input or bit/sample rate of the song. It does it under Windows WASAPI, Linux MPD, and all other sources we have tried.

Audio-GD sent a new USB circuit board which we replaced, but that did not fix the issue. I believe they sent an optical replacement as well, but that did not fix it either. There is something fundamentally wrong within the DAC section that is causing the problem.

The biggest issue with this is that Audio-GD will not recognize that there is a problem and they are not helping my roommate with his problem. They have a "1 year guarantee" against defects but they are not standing up to that promise at this point. They have fully ignored all other requests to remedy the problem after we received the replacement USB and optical input sections.

With all that being said, I would say go for Audio-GD because they do make great products. But, you are ordering direct from China and you are certainly playing the odds for whether or not you will get a fully trouble-free device. If you end up with bad luck, there will be a $100 fee because you'll have to ship the piece back to China and you can also consider any hourly rate you want to charge for the time you'll have to waste trying to communicate your problems with them.

Ordering direct from China is what is holding me back from this DAC... wish they had them over here.
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post #17 of 18
http://www.pacificvalve.us/ I'm sure they can help you.
    
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post #18 of 18
I evaluated a top of the line audio-gd dac and wasn't impressed at all. IMO vintage is the way to go. For $150-$200 a Theta Ds Pro Basic or Monarchy Audio 22a or b will slaughter any of the modern garbage at the same price point or even more.
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