My HiFi hobby and choosing IDA-8 over other integrated amps

– By Amal, audiocircle.com

I have always loved music and it is part of my life since I am a teenager even if I am not a person that knows by heart all the artists and their albums. I like the good sound and I listen to all type of music from philharmonic to rock, acoustic, hip hop or electro. I have been to several auditorium in France where people play to you only classical music when you want to buy a hi-fi system. This does not suit me. I have grown with other types of music and I would like to have a system suitable for a large variety of musics.

I have started when I was young with my uncle’s hifi system, an Akai AA-5210 amplifier and French 3A Apogée speakers with huge 25cm speakers. It was nice until I broke a loudspeaker during a party and the amplifier volume control was starting to be damaged. I then switched to Focal Chorus 714S and a HC Yamaha amplifier. I have never really been satisfied with the sound stage but I kept it for a long time until now. I knew the amplifier was the weak part.

I have tried to search an integrated amplifier with a good compatibility with my speakers as I did not have the budget to change everything at once and it has been really difficult… I had mainly targeted 2 amplifiers which where the NAD C368 and the NAIM Unity Atom. The NAD was giving a too harsh sound with Pop Rock music and it was tiring even after a couple of minutes. The NAIM was a better match but the price is more than double of the NAD. Then I decided to read again and I discovered Nuforce, I read the story of the company and discovered the Nuprime brand from Jason. The IDA-8 became my target only on reviews because of its completeness and its sounds which is a bit warm with the class A preamp and to be frank, the price was really interesting. I was searching an amp with all the digital inputs as I do not listen CD anymore and the IDA-8 had everything build in. For the NAD I would need to add also the Bluesound module and on the NAD, with the WR-100D, I would have the same in the future.

Now I really start in the high fidelity with the IDA-8, I can watch my TV and movies using the optical cable, my computer and NAS using the USB A, the USB B for the Bluetooth with the good BTR8 and soon the WR-100D. The output sound is great, the design of the amp and super nice and you can put it everywhere with its size! The speakers became the weak part of my system. They sound a bit flat and lack the 3D scene that I could hear with the Sonus Faber Chameleon B of a friend so I am thinking to upgrade them and I feel the IDA-8 can drive really nice speakers of 3 or 4 times its price. I start to be addicted with this hobby and I think I will continue my journey with Nuprime products!

Why I chose NuPrime and STA-9 ?

– By CharlesKu, audiocircle.com

I would like to share you my experience. I had order OPPO sonica DAC as my audio player. What I should do is to convert my CD to digital files and save it as a *.wav files in USB. Then I can play it via OPPO sonica DAC. My speaker is KEF LS50. I choose a pair of STA-9 as my power amp to ended up my system. This is because when I wish to purchase ST10 I found that there are no DEMO of ST10 amp but STA-9 amp.

It sound good and I decided to purchase a pair of it. I search the internet where I could buy it with my credit card with zero interest for 24 months. I found that there are many, like YAHOO mall, ET mall, u-mall, MOMO mall in Taiwan. Why I choose Nuprime product? This is because I had read the review from web site of u-audio. http://review.u-audio.com.tw/reviewdetail.asp?reviewid=1220, http://review.u-audio.com.tw/reviewdetail.asp?reviewid=1258. And then I found that there is a forum here.  I like the NuPrime of its good sound and has a forum here to discuss and share our experience. I am a newbie and younger audiophile, too. Before I end at my system with NuPrime, I had consider the DIY brand of Breeze audio C20 as player and DAC (a digital player come with ES9018K2M of DAC with a bluetooth 4.2), SMSL SA-98E (160w*2, Class D power amp) as power amp. These set of system is good sound for me when I listen it at other place. So, I decided to set a system (a combo of player with good DAC and power amp) which may come with better sound. I also consider the set of OPPO UDP 205 with Integra DTA 70.1 or NuPrime MCH-K38. I give up due to it may cost me a lot of money.

Next generation into hifi or high-end.

– By Bloom1966, audiocircle.com

If you want the next generation into hifi or high-end you have to talk about music and the way (format) they listen to it. There’s a whole generation who’s only listening to MP3 format. The music is cheap to get, easy to switch and there’s less involvement in reading the inlays and artwork.
I think that with the revival of vinyl there’s a new market and target-group which can be more involved into hifi. So, play hi-res on mobile device, play vinyl at home…

1.   A good record player can bought for couple a hundred euros/dollars. There’s a start. HPA-9 has a phono-stage (and headphone outputs);
2.   A mobile device which plays on cd quality at least. (Omnia SP1);
3.   Streaming at home (DAC-9);
4.   Lifestyle products (all products of NuPrime);
5.   Total solution and integration (NuPrime does that);
6.   One sales point for the customer.

Manufactures like NuPrime should jump in to that. And NuPrime does.
The new coming generation must learn to listen again. Let them hear the differences between MP3-formats and hi-res and vinyl.
Let them become familiar with the beautiful sleeves of records, the inlays and so on. Let them go to the markets where you can browse through boxes with new and old vinyl albums.

Nuprime can be that framework to support that way of living.
It’s not about technology or parameters.
It all about music, lifestyle and involvement.
NuPrime must jump in on that. (And they are).

Wanted more than what an all-in-one-box would provide.

– By SFDude, audiocircle.com

In this market of multiple choices, I wanted to build a system that was more than what an all-in-one-box would provide. I wasn’t looking for something that was a plug-and-play, download an app, and tie-me-down to a subscription model for streaming services system. (A Sonos system would have been fine for that.) I also didn’t want to spend $2K for each separate component, which would have been made up of an Amp, a Preamp and a DAC.

As I was researching for different components and manufacturers, NuPrime sort of stood out with the DAC-10 initially. This was a preamp and DSD DAC in one unit. I wouldn’t have to worry about separates as long as both the preamp and the DAC portions of this unit were top-notch. Reading reviews online, anecdotal feedback on forums and with the experience of the company that NuPrime was formed from (which is Nuforce), I didn’t have to worry so much about a new upstart that was looking to break into the market. There is a flexibility if I wanted to use just the preamp portion or the DAC portion of the DAC-10 which also appealed to me, should I be upgrading one or the other.

I then decided to go all-in with picking up a pair of STA-9 amplifiers due to the speakers I had chosen, as the recommendation from the speaker manufacturer was that digital amplification worked well with them. This was an easier point of entry due to the pricing of a pair of the NuPrime amps (each was $650 USD). You could say for the price of a single amp, I was getting a solid bargain in having a true pair of monoblock amps with enough power on-hand to drive any speaker well.

In the end, what I really wanted was something that didn’t date me and give an image of someone who is still hanging onto how audiophile components from the “golden” years look. Three NuPrime components had the same footprint of almost one full-sized audiophile component, with all the modern technology advancements of digital amplification and signal processing. They would look equally at home in Stereophile magazine pictures as they do in Dwell magazine photoshoots. And the gear would still sound pretty darn good regardless of their aesthetics.

Great, it looks nice and all. How does it all sound? Effortless. Nothing is really forced in the music. It sounds coherent, powerful but with a restraint that comes with the volume turned down. I have fleeting moments at home when I can crank the music and, when playing good source material, it is really dynamic and engaging. This isn’t the case with the bulk of my source material but for those rare special tracks which are recorded really well, my system lets it loose. For this amount of $$, the two STA-9 amps has enough ‘cojones’ to cajole your passiveness into toe-tapping movement. On really good source material.

On bad material, it is a combination of the speakers and gear that makes it feel flat overall, despite the loudness. I think most of digitally streamed sources, except for some rare tracks, are like that. I really need a transport/CD player and dig out my old library of stellar, goosebump inducing CDs to test this out further, though.

This still doesn’t beat the ability of the NuPrime gear to recreate that toe-tapping magic, though. And that’s what really matters at the end, isn’t it?