NuPrime DAC-10H ™, DAC-10 ™

The Ultimate Desktop DAC and Headphone Amp

The NuPrime DAC-10H combines leading-edge technology that offers PCM 384K & DSD256 decoding with a high-power balanced headphone amplifier. To excel beyond high performance DACs cluttering the marketplace, NuPrime recognizes that merely supporting standard sampling rates and hi-res music formats using state-of-the-art chips or proprietary digital signal processing is not sufficient. To satisfy the most discerning audiophiles, the NuPrime DAC-10H must do three things exceptionally well: 1) drive any headphones with ease; 2) deliver the utmost detail during a symphony’s quietest passages or a soundtrack’s heart-pounding explosion; and 3) all of this in the most natural sound. Simply put, the DAC-10H is a truly musical device.

NuPrime uDSD ™

Most versatile and portable USB DAC (PCM 384kHz & DSD256 decoding)

The NuPrime uDSD, a significantly advanced hi-resolution USB-powered portable DAC, connects your personal computer's audio to your home stereo, desktop sound system and headphones. The uDSD features direct DAC out, i.e., fixed-analog out, in order to provide better overall sound quality, and in particular, better-sounding DSD. As an added benefit, this arrangement prevents distortion in tandem with receiving units with volume-adjusting capabilities. The headphone circuit, built on a sophisticated balanced design, provides the uDSD with the ability to drive almost any of today's headphones -- a feature that can also be used to drive active speakers.

NuPrime DAC-9 ™

Affordable Reference Class DAC Designed For Studio Professionals

With its AES and XLR outputs and decoding capability of PCM 384K & DSD256, the NuPrime DAC-9 is a reference-class DAC designed for studio professionals. With four digital and one analog stereo inputs, the DAC-9 is a full-featured DAC and preamp ideally suited for high-end systems.

NuPrime HPA-9 ™

A pure Class-A headphone amp and preamp with low temporal distortion and lifelike sound

The NuPrime HPA-9 is a pure Class-A headphone amp and preamp with low temporal distortion and lifelike sound. The single-ended Class-A design and non-feedback output stage are capable of handling wide fluctuations and range of headphone impedances from 16 to 1000 ohms.

What is a high-end DAC?


NuPrime has designed a $99 Encore mDSD portable DAC and a $179 NuPrime uDSD DAC that are both capable of decoding 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256, therefore the DAC chip itself has advanced to the point of becoming a commodity and is no longer the biggest differentiating factor. Newer generation of DAC chips only provide diminishing return. Different brands of DAC chip have their own sonic characteristic but a skilled engineer could tuned the sound of a DAC with transistors in the preamp stage.
Power supply and preamp are now becoming the dominant factors in the DAC's performance. In this post, we will discuss about the preamp and volume control. Entry level DAC such as the $99 Encore mDSD can sound like a reference class DAC if it is used with a high-end in-ear earphones and a computer USB audio. But for a high-end DAC to work with a variety of analog and digital inputs, the volume control and preamp has to be exceptional.

DAC-10H / DAC-10 Reviews

Product Of The Year
 
OUR TOP PICKS by The Absolute Sound
 
"......Within their product categories the DAC-10H DAC/preamp and ST-10 basic power amplifier are priced at the lower mid-level, yet they both deliver a level of performance that could be considered exemplary regardless of their cost. The DAC-10H has the capabilities, sound, and feature set that should keep it current for a number of years, while the ST-10 produces a level of sound quality that unless you absolutely must have more power output capabilities, will make “upgrading” to anything but a far pricier and more powerful amplifier more of a sideways proposition than an upward one…
 
...As it is a relatively new firm, NuPrime has yet to develop the reputation and visibility of more venerable audio companies. But given the quality of its first three products, the IDA-16, DAC-10H, and ST-10, it’s hard not to predict that NuPrime will be a force to be reckoned with now and in the future...", - Steven Stone, editor
 
 
 
"…I could talk about the DAC and preamp capabilities of the DAC-10H all day—they're that good. But what I really want to focus on most is the headphone amplifier. It's really something special…NuPrime's is the real deal—fully balanced design, with gobs of power, all routed through that sweet lossless volume control system. This headphone stage was clearly taken very seriously...Maximum output is 4,000mW per channel into 32 ohm loads via the balanced output. It will do 3,200mW into 50 ohms and 1,600mW into 100 ohms, meaning every variety of planar magnetic headphone should theoretically be well served. And that's exactly how it played out in my testing.
 
...as a DAC, it equals anything I've heard in its class. Add in the exceptional preamp stage, the cutting edge format support, the very generous connectivity, and of course that killer balanced headphone amp, and it seems NuPrime is ahead of the game...", - John Grandberg, InnerFidelity.com
 
 

uDSD Reviews

 

"...Reference, appearance, compactness, design, all in the portable DAC with headphone amplifier NuPrime uDSD recalls the DAC previously marketed under the NuForce brand. But if the name has changed, the force becoming excellence, performance followed the same path as the uDSD is capable of playing digital audio files up to 24-bit PCM 384 kHz and DSD files to 2.8, 5 6 and 11.2 MHz…

...very nice sound space and airy restitution, full of life and details…this first DAC stamped NuPrime uDSD is able to decode all types of digital audio file that can be encountered today, even if some of them are very homeopathic way, and this with results sometimes sound a bit bright, but really really good…”, PHILIPPE DAUSSIN, editor/qobuz (France)

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Head-Fi.org

"...Performance as Headphone amp
 
vs uDAC-3
- can immediately tell the uDSD is stronger and a cleaner through the whole range
- it's not a matter of energy or detail, just a sense of a haze that is lifted
 
vs HDP
- almost on par with the HDP headphone out on technical ability
- HDP has more power overall, better subbass presence because of that
- with the Wyrd I would say uDSD has slightly better detail across the board
 
…It's a really fantastic multi-tool. It was great when auditioning new gear and I didn't want to install drivers. Took it to a local and just fed the Moon Neo 430HA from the coax. I had an Oppo HA-1 on loan and I fed it coax and RCA simultaneously so I could evaluate and switch inputs directly...", - Armaegis
 
 
 
 
 
 

HPA-9 Reviews

 

 It certainly has it’s own signature that will impart a bit of it’s flavor into your music but the for the most part bleeds and inviting warmth down low and lack of glare and airiness up top. I find it neither forward or laid back but a really good middle ground of aggression. Musically natural is what this amp is…  

 
…(with the HD800S) the bass is pretty tight. Instantly agreeable in tonality and balance. High gain is heaps better for the HD800S as the bass firms up substantially and adds tonal weight overall…    
 
…(with the THX00) this is golden right here. This sounds better than all of the other amps for the THX00 on exciting songs…The warmth of the 9 and linear treble balance of its tuning, gently buffer the glare of the THX00 but only slightly as to not hinder its perception of a forward and breathy vocal run. If you are looking for an amp for your THX00 I would say stop right here…  
 
… it has a lot going for it and is an easy recommendation for someone looking for an amp that can play with most headphones and then some. My Trafomatic Head 2 has an impedance knob of 25,50,100,300, and 600 ohms yet it seems and sounds less versatile than this amp. Good insight, refinement, and musical tonality make this headphone amp a real winner in my book…”, grizzlybeast (Head-Fi.org)
 
 

...As a line level preamplifier, the HPA-9 is everything we could want - transparent, with a vanishingly low noise floor. You can draw a direct line of comparison with one of our NuForce favorites - the HAP-100 preamplifier.But having enjoyed a lot of time with both in our home system, the NuPrime is much better in detail and dynamics, with far superior bass performance. There is a sense of scale with the NuPrime which is comparable with far more costly preamplifiers from the very best analogue designers.…

 
…Most people underestimate the importance of preamplifier performance in a system - but for many years (and with many different brands) we have found that the perceived impact a preamplifier can make is often greater than that made by upgrading power amplifiers. Not only will you gain in terms of quality, but the better dynamics conferred by a quality preamplifier can often make and existing power amplifier sound much ‘bigger’ for want of a better word. A good preamplifier drives and controls a power amplifier...
 
The HPA-9 is a real eye opener - the abundance of detail it extracts, the clarity and lack of background hash and the sheer wealth of music it produces are unequalled at anything even starting to approach its most affordable price - anyone with an NZ built pre and power combination should be taking notice right now...”, Totally Wired
 
 

DAC-9 Reviews

"…For the DAC-9, NuPrime wanted to bring something a little bit more musical and colored to the market than what the DAC-10H offered and as such tapped into AKM’s VELVET SOUND architecture instead of Sabre. To achieve this change in tonality NuPrime designed the DAC-9 around an AKM4490 EQ 32-bit stereo DAC which is also a very popular chip design used in the likes of Cayin’s new i5 DAP, the AK380 from Astell & Kern, as well as desktop units such as the TEAC UD-503, the new Schiit Bifrost and the forthcoming Amare Musica DAC...

… (tonality) the vocal performance is natural sounding, clear and sibilant free though on formidable DACs such as the Hugo and the DAC-10H that additional level of clarity and layering better-suited choir and orchestral works were vocal layering sounded more precise and detailed…Rock and pop vocals, modern genres with high range synth-happy workouts suit the DAC-9 so much better where is can display a detailed treble performance that sensibly avoids grating or any digital glare…

…The pairing with the NuPrime HPA-9 amp was spot on. This is NuPrime’s twin amp that stacks ever so sweetly with the DAC-9, on top or below…It really is worth the money for me with its excellent transparency and eye for detail…

…Power wise the DAC-9/HPA-9 can easily handle planars such as the Ether C, LCD-2 and tonally treble edgy headphones such as the K812 actually behaved themselves wonderfully. In fact, so much so I used the K812 for the majority of the review combined with the HPA-9 amp for comparative listening it was that good. It is normally quite hard to find a combination that tames the treble peakiness of the K812 without losing a ton of detail but the DAC-9/HPA-9 combo did a very nice job indeed, keeping plenty of detail and allowing me to sit back and listen to the music without getting zapped by painful treble…", marcusd (Headfonics.com)