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Cafad

Integrated Amps: An Addicts Guide Part, The Third.

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Bled-is-loe (a cup held for like forever by the Kiwis)

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Now gents, let's not get into that whole trans Tasman rivalry issue.  

 

The only trans Tasman rivalry I'm interested in is how well the new Burson Integrated (still not announced yet, damn it!) stacks up against the Plinius 9200.

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Why not call the NZ helpline --they will put you right :D

 

W

 

NZ1.jpg

Pretty funny for a Kiwi ; )

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I feel it's time to take a step back from the more mainstream gear I've been fiddling with recently and make a move back into the Chinese market.  I have picked up a Nobsound (yes, yes, I know, several silly comments came to my mind as well) NS-02G via ebay.

 

The current listing can be seen here (while it lasts)  http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/251547958309?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

As you can see the info is minimal and not helped at all in its translation to English.  It's sold on Amazon too where they list its output wattage as 10 (no wpc or ohms are mentioned, just 10).  

 

From viewing all the other Nobsound products available on Amazon I have deduced that Nobsound are another Chinese manufacturer that make a couple dozen tube amp designs as well as quite a few headphone amps, DACs, pres and some DIY kits and cases as well so while I had never heard of them prior to purchasing this amp they are not just a one product company, they have quite a range.

 

This little amp, it's half component sized, is fairly simple in its design.  It has only one input which is linked to a volume pot (so no active pre section) and then fed directly into what appears to be a very simple power amp board.  There are a few high quality parts on display, vishay, nichicon, nichicon muse (I'm assuming they are real here, if anyone has any information to the contrary please let me know) so that gives me hope that this may just be a decent design executed with good quality parts.

The casing is very solid, Burson level solid actually.  I thought the packaging was a bit flimsy when I picked up the box at the post office as the cardboard on the box was a bit thin and there was a hole knocked into the box on the bottom but once I opened it and removed the styro and bubble wrap I realized that there was really no chance of damage to the case no matter what.

 

There's no information available as to the class but from the temp of the heat sinks I'm guessing pure class A (once my infrared thermometer arrives I'll post actual temp numbers), it runs pretty hot.  Probably hot enough to keep your pie warm.

 

Of course the big question is, how does it sound?  Well I'm still running it in but preliminary listening has me very impressed.  It doesn't have the power on hand to keep a bass head happy but the top end is very pleasant and vocals are very nice indeed.  For a small desktop amp it seems pretty good.

 

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post-130663-0-65694800-1440115100_thumb.

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Yes, you could also describe fanatical supporters of the brand as being "one eyed" as well, @@Darren69.

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Oh that's very unfortunate. Nobsound.

They changed their name to nobsound. Use to be penisaudio.

Sorry Jeff.....

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They changed their name to nobsound. Use to be penisaudio.

Sorry Jeff.....

Yes, and just like that all the hard work done by their marketing department went out the window.

 

It's not a name that will do too well in Australia.  Anyone know if similar slang to ours is in use overseas?

Edited by Cafad

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Yes, and just like that all the hard work done by their marketing department went out the window.

 

It's not a name that will do too well in Australia.  Anyone know if similar slang to ours is in use overseas?

At work whilst doing a training course the trainer reccomended using their product (German) for cleaning dust from mirrors (think a very expensive windex) called "Kunstoff". 

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Maybe they're just taking a leaf from Shiit's marketing book.

 

By the why Cafad I sold the A5 so apologies we couldn't get it to your place.

Edited by legselevens

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At work whilst doing a training course the trainer reccomended using their product (German) for cleaning dust from mirrors (think a very expensive windex) called "Kunstoff". 

That is so funny because it is so wrong, or maybe so wrong because it is so funny.  Either way, that's damn funny.  

 

I wonder if it's a family name, they can be brutal.

 

When I was out in Mount Isa the MIM guys used a spray cleaner called "Muck Off" so I'm sure you can guess what letter was written on the post-it note that covered the "M".  I was never sprayed with it so I took that as a sign that I wasn't overly disliked.

 

 

Maybe they're just taking a leaf from Shiit's marketing book.

 

By the why Cafad I sold the A5 so apologies we couldn't get it to your place.

Ah well, I'm sure there'll be another time and place for an MF.  It is good to hear it sold, so many items sit in the classifieds for so very long.

Edited by Cafad

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Always wondered what this brand is like. Seen quite a few of their tube amps on fleabay. Looking forward to your review Jeff.

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I was going to get into serious reviewing today but then the rain and thunder arrived so reviewing has been canceled due to rain I'm afraid.

 

I will say that this little amp with the odd name is an absolute gem.  In the terms of value for money it is easily the best buy I have ever made.  

 

For the first week I had it I would have described it as having very clear, smooth vocals with deep but slightly unfocused bass and a rolled off top end.  That doesn't cover just how enjoyable it was to listen to however, the vocals were lush, rich and breathy and the presentation was fairly laid back.  Everything was smooth in a tube-ish way, bass impact was slow and smoothed over but the depth of the bass was so good it was soul enriching.  And then, I changed cd players and realized that what I had just been listening to was about 70% Plinius CD101 and only about 30% little Nobsound amp.

 

On the Halcro there was much more detail available, still a little rolling off noticeable in the top end but not enough to be concerned about.  Instruments came more into focus and vocals, while still nice and smooth lost most of their rich, lush sound.  Bass focus improved but not by a great deal, a slower bass presentation does seem to be a feature of this amp.

 

I am absolutely confident I could pick the difference between these two cd players in a blind test (what's more with the right music I am confident I could do it within seconds), that is a pretty strange situation when you are talking about a $320 amp.

 

I am absolutely loving this little thing.  It's not perfect but it is about 5 times as good as its price would suggest it should be.  It generates an atmosphere in the room in much the same way as the Sansui 5900 does but instead of reminding me of a large wooden hall the Nobsound feels like it has increased the humidity in the room, it gives the air a slightly heavier feel.  It does "eerie" music extremely well.

 

Does it go loud enough to impress your friends?  Probably not.

Does it have enough bass for a serious bass head?  Again, probably not.

What it does do is play loud enough for 90% of people to listen to happily and if you matched it up with 90+db speakers would probably keep many people happily in music for a very long time.  I like it so much I'm thinking of buying a second one so that I can pull it apart and play with the capacitor values (BRMSlash has been infuencing me somewhat in that regard, he seems to change caps in his headphone amps almost as often as I change integrateds) just to see if I can make it sound even better.

 

Edit:  Almost forgot, my infrared thermometer arrived so I now know that the heat sink temp is about 49 degrees C after an hour of playing moderate volume background music.  The front plate was 39.  That was with the top taken off, I'll put it back on and see if that makes a difference.

Edited by Cafad

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I've always been fascinated with this amp since seeing it on ebay. Do you think a person would be better off with a little class D amp or one of these?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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