Amp Comparison & Sonic Characteristic

Read this article about NuPrime’s hybrid Class D amp designs that put them on par with the best Class A and Tube amps.

The NuPrime Sound

– Vast soundstage
– Wide, lightning-fast dynamics
– Ultra-low distortion and noise
– Music emerges from a pristine background, with delicate details and nuances intact

We advice customers to make their selection based on sonic preference and usage scenario. In particular, higher price model does not necessary mean that it is better.

Relative Ranking of Power Amps

Models that are in the same cell are ranked the same.

Power Dynamic Resolution Sound Stage High Freq. Extension Bass Extension Warmth Texture
Mono Stereo
MCX-1  MCX-2 Evo. One Evo. One Evo. One Evo. One Evo. One   Evo. One
MCH-K38 MCH-K38 Ref 20,

ST-10/10M,

MCX,

MCH-K38 bridged

Ref 20,

ST-10/10M,

MCX

Ref 20 Ref 20,

ST-10/10M

Ref 20,

MCX,

MCH-K38

STA-9 Ref-20,

ST-10/10M,

MCX,

MCH-K38

ST-10M, STA-9 (mono) AVA, IDA-16 MCH-K38,

AVA,

IDA-16,

STA-9 (mono)

MCH-K38,

AVA,

IDA-16

ST-10/10M,

AVA,

MCX

MCH-K38,

MCX,

AVA,

IDA-16

ST-10/10M,

AVA,

IDA16

Evo. One,

Ref-20, ST-10M, 

MCX,

MCH-K38,

IDA-8

IDA-16, STA-6
Ref-20 ST-10 IDA-8,

STA-9 (stereo), STA-6, IDA-6

IDA-8,

STA-9, STA-6, IDA-6

MCH-K38,

IDA-16

STA-9,

IDA-8, STA-6, IDA-6

STA-9 AVA,

IDA-16,

ST-10, STA-6, IDA-6

AVA,

IDA-8,

STA-9, IDA-6

IDA-16 STA-9 (stereo)     STA-9,

IDA-8, STA-6, IDA-6

  IDA-8, STA-6, IDA-6    
  IDA-8, STA-6              
  IDA-6              

 

Sonic Characteristic

NuPrime Evolution One

A class-D amp product is consisted of three main components:
Preamp Stage, Class D Stage, Power Supply (note that this Preamp Stage is not the volume control preamp, but an integral front-end of the Class D amp design)

Class D Stage design can be Half Bridge (H) or Full Bridge (F).
Power supply can be Switching Power Supply (SMPS) or Linear Power Supply (LPS)

Below is an illustration of how we created the unique sonic characteristic for each product:

Practically all the amp products on the market use Op Amp for preamp stage. Only a few very high end products use discrete transistors design. Discrete transistors design is costly and challenging to accomplish.

So let’s spend a moment discussing an amp’s sonic characteristics. Let’s begin by admitting that there’s no such thing as a perfect-sounding amp. Further, some characteristics are poles apart from others. For example, a warm-sounding amp produces a fair amount of even-order harmonics. And it certainly won’t be as neutral-sounding as an amp that produces none. A recording engineer might like to employ both styles of amplification – a super-clean amp as his reference and a warmer amp to help shape the end-product. In the listening is the MCX better than ST-10? Not at all. However, if you watch a lot of movies and enjoy to a wide variety of musical styles, you might prefer MCX. If your thing is classical music in its entire vast and dramatic splendor, you will likely go for Evo One or ST-10. Conversely, if vocals are your passion, you will likely prefer the MCX or STA-9 over ST-10.

Product Preamp Stage Class-D Power Stage Power Supply Sound Characteristic
Evo One Class A Transistor Module Full bridge LPS

Neutral, dynamic, smooth, refined, powerful, deep bass.

ST-10, ST-10M Op-Amp Full bridge LPS

Neutral, dynamic, smooth & refined sound

IDA-16 Op-Amp Half bridge SMPS

Neutral, detailed, dynamic, and powerful sound

IDA-8 Class A Transistor Module Half bridge LPS

Just a little warmth and dynamic

STA-9 Class A Transistor Module  Half bridge LPS

Tube-like, warmth, and dynamic

MCX Class A Transistor Module  Half bridge SMPS

Dynamic, powerful, a little warmth, detailed, for movies and music

In conclusion, we advice customers to make their selection based on sonic preference and usage scenario. In particular, higher price model (from NuPrime’s own selections or from competitors) does not necessary mean that it is better.