Reviews and Recommendations
Omnia Stream Mini DAC streamer Review by Hans Beekhuyzen
High-End Class D Amplifier A-300 SE – Best Stereo Amplifier In India, High-End DAC Review by Audio Guruji
Advanced audio system NuPrime Stream-9 + DAC-9X and STA-9X Review by iamhear
AMG PRA & ST-10M Review by hiendymall.com
Nuprime WR-2 Network Player & STA-100 Power Amplifier Review by audioman.co.kr
This is the Cataclysm of Class D Amplification! Would you believe it if it sounded like a tube with Class D amplification?
CDT-8 Pro Review by feverSound.com (Hong Kong)
Evolution One – JAW DROPPIN` GOOD! – FULL REVIEW by Stjernholm
Evolution Two monoblock power amplifiers review by Stjernholm
Evolution STA review by feverSound.com
– What Hi-Fi?, whathifi.com
“…Larger-scale dynamic shifts are rendered with conviction while lower-level nuances still come through with clarity.
The soundstage is impressively wide and nicely layered.
We are equally pleased to report that the DAC-9X’s preamp section is a good one. Judged by price standards it displays an impressive degree of finesse, delivering a well-resolved and musical performance.
The NuPrime DAC-9X is a talented and versatile product that is capable of delivering pleasing results in a wide range of systems. Match it with the care a product at this level deserves and it won’t disappoint.”
– Chad Olsen, summithifiusa.com
“As it turns out, I did not have to worry. With the Evolution STA in the system, there was no perceived loss of bass control. Indeed, there was the same control, but with a more detailed bass than the AMG STA’s. As cliche as it sounds, across the frequency spectrum, I was hearing things that I swear I had not heard before with the AMG STA’s. The Evolution STA was able to do all this while retaining the detailed yet smooth sound signature that I really like about Nuprime amplification. The Evolution STA represents the best class D implementation I have heard. This is a truly end game type amplifier for me.”
– John Ransley, Totally Wired Limited
“This is NuPrime at their very best – the new STA-100 is their most affordable power amp yet, a radical internal design and fantastic sound quality that will have you wondering how such a small box can produce such a big sound.
The STA-100 is real high end – it’s expressive and detailed, pacy and involving. And when NuPrime describe it as having ‘explosive power at high volume’, they aren’t kidding; this baby can go! And it just gets better as it warms up…The background noise levels are vanishingly low.
I’m struggling to find a downside…But more importantly this model is a welcome addition and delivers an authentic NuPrime experience to a whole new audience.”
– John Grandberg, parttimeaudiophile.com
“How does 120W x 2 worth of hybrid Class A + Class D amplification for $649 sound? How about running a pair of them in mono mode for a total of 290W per channel? You’d think there must surely be some compromise involved yet try as I might I just can’t find it.These little fellows offer richly textured sound with an excellent soundstage and deep low-end extension, all in a tiny package. The amps build on the classic NuForce Reference models of yesteryear, but take on a subtly relaxed flavor where those older models could be a bit high strung. This is a hugely crowd-pleasing product worthy of serious attention despite its affordable nature”
– Philippe Daussin, qobuz.com
“Combination of energy and musicality
…NuPrime’s achievements have earned an excellent reputation, including its digital amplifiers, including the STA-9 model on power stages using a brand design and preceded by class A gain stages. Listeners get excellent sound results, which should reconcile the advocates of opposing opinions on the amplification classes!…”
– Jörg Dames, fairaudio.de
– exceptionally clean, clear sound, not least promotes a very pleasant, seemingly organic timbres representation.
– tonal neutrality, the sound image becomes but absolutely consistent and coherent.
– an impeccable resolution, delivered pleasant long-term compatible sound.
– well-balanced voice or midrange.
– excellent space: precise focus
– we recommended listeners to experience with both the stereo and mono versions“
– ZAPHOD2012, audiocircle.com
“…I have Audience 2+2 in a stereo system in the bedroom, they have been powered by Cary Audio and Parasound multi channels. Due to the weight and only stereo need i sold the Cary and Parasound for the Nuprime ST-10. I was cautious as i have hated my previous experiments with class d amps such as rotel, pioneer and wyred4sound, all cold and lifeless, boring and flat. The ST-10 was a revelation, sweet, very detailed, tight, extended and bouncy, it had life and was a joyful match with the 2+2’s, I cannot remember a more enjoyable sound in 30 years, especially for the money, and the mids are incredible…
…In my main system i needed to replace my hernia weighted Cary 7 channel, so with my positive experience with the ST-10 I plumped for the MCH-K38 at half the weight of the Cary and hoping it would come close to the exceptional ST-10. The MCH-K38 will be used in a 5.1 system driving Audience 4+4’s when they arrive from the factory. In 5.1 mode the first 4 channels will be bridged and that is how i compared it to the ST-10, not only did it equal the ST-10 but in bridged mode bettered it. Same family signature but just with a more effortless control, more open, less restrained and detailed, I am extremely surprised and very happy, what a combination made in heaven, the Audience and the Nuprime ….rock on ….”
– BERND WEBER, hifi-ifas.de
“…Digital zeros and ones are very precise numbers, without any cuts or roundings. They are rocked through the area and it is good with it. At the same time, checksums are transmitted to determine errors in the data transmission. If something does not match, the data will be requested again, and then it should be correct. IT also works. If there are still deviations, the gaps are interpolated, done.
And this is exactly where the rabbit is in the pepper: This leads to inaccuracies in the signal flow. There are also unloved things such as signal noise, electromagnetic interference and a lot more. And this is exactly where the NuPrime Omnia SW-8 comes in.
But when I hung the two devices on the NuPrime SW-8 switch, I was really amazed. The voice of my favorite sizzler Katie Melua does not become velvety, which is simply due to the recording. But it’s no longer so aggressive and sharp in my ears. And I hear more fine ramifications and more breaths in her voice. The strings also play more silky and better resolved. Overall, the music seems to me to be calmer, you can describe it as “analog” if you like.
The NuPrime Omnia SW-8 brings the existing digital components a step forward. And is therefore a worthwhile investment for the streaming enthusiast…”
– Holger Biermann, lowbeats.de
“…Probably the one who has hardly any network pollution at home and so does not need a network filter. But such an ideal situation is rare: I recommend everyone else to try the NuPrime AC-4 at least once. The thing weighs just 3.2 kilos; that will be shipped quickly or the dealer around the corner will be happy to borrow the smart filter for a while. I’m afraid you’re like me: in the end he’ll stay…”
– FALK VISARIUS, hifi-ifas.de
“…Dealing with electricity is certainly not the very first thing the hi-fi fan has to do. In the beginning, it certainly does a neatly constructed power strip. If the value of the system reaches a region that puts the purchase value of 849 euros into perspective and detail optimization is required anyway, the Nu-Prime AC-4 is a worthwhile investment. The music gains authenticity. With concentrated listening, the music lover is rewarded with more details, fine dynamics, space, naturalness and simply liveliness. A worthwhile attempt even for skeptics.”
– John Ransley, Totally Wired Limited
“…The NuPrime Omnia A-300SE is not your every day amplifier. It’s one of the most feature rich and modern designs you’ll find and fits into any lifestyle with its minimalist, cool running and compact aesthetic. Most importantly the A-300SE delivers on sound; it’s subtle yet powerful, taking cues from NuPrime’s accomplished separate components, combining their attributes in an accessible and easy to use package with understated ease.”
– Pierre Stemmelin, on-mag.fr
“…The NuPrime Omnia A300 is an atypical connected Hifi amplifier open to all the most modern music sources. Beneath its very compact armored chassis, it hides a fiery temperament. Its 2 x 150 watts of power allow it to power large speakers, push the level of decibels very high, deploy an overflowing energy and a stereo image that takes on grandiose aspects…”
– Alban Amouroux, qobuz.com
“…For listening, we simply connected our usual Dynaudio reference speakers to the Omnia A300…The rhythm section is essentially centered, as for a small group listening. However, this does not prevent the NuPrime from distinguishing the drums, quite wide in the background, from the highlighted and ultra-centered bass and percussion on the left. Everything is compact and cut at the same time. The Omnia A300 knows how to do what is necessary to highlight without ever attenuating the characteristics of each instrument…
The NuPrime Omnia A300 is a practical all-in-one device that faces little competition. It only needs a pair of speakers. And to you the dematerialized music! We appreciate Qobuz’s presence in Hi-Res to enjoy his favorite titles and the recommendations perfectly integrated into the Omnia mobile app. You can of course connect other sources, the number of entries should be enough for most systems. The Omnia A300 stands out for its sound quality with both sinful and Zen amplification. That is to say, capable of the largest flights without ever becoming aggressive thanks to exemplary respect for stamps. The feeling of ventilation between the instruments and the different planes is the main characteristic of the Omnia, which immediately jumps to the ears. To get as close as possible to his favorite performers and musicians, it will be difficult to do better than the NuPrime Omnia A300 in this range of rates…”
– John Ransley, Totally Wired Limited
“…From the very first listen, the IDA-8 elicits a big ‘WOW’. For those that know me you’ll appreciate I can be a bit of a cynic and our home system is very much biased toward the analogue. So the initial recommendation of the IDA-8 is not given lightly. It’s the immediate impression of enhanced clarity coming out of the little NuPrime that is most striking…”
– Julie Mullins, theabsolutesound.com
“…The IDA-8 conveyed the music’s richly woven textures as well as its individual parts. Soundstaging was deeper and wider than I expected for an amp in this price category, with precise instrumental placement. Background noise was also shockingly low; the IDA-8 boasts an impressive 95dB signal-to-noise ratio…
…the IDA-8 is a winner, and a force to be reckoned with in its category (and beyond it)…it brought warmth to its clean and clearly resolved presentation of digital sources to…Though a touch dark in character (à la Class D), it delivers substance and warmth with A well-conceived Class A/Class D hybrid that doesn’t want for power or clarity, the IDA-8 ought to find itself on the audition short list of a wide range of hi-fi hobbyists, from newbies to more experienced audiophiles…”
– Roger Kanno, soundstagexperience.com
“…When I’d hooked up the Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 45 speakers to the IDA-8 and begun playing music, I realized that the NuPrime was unlike any other entry-level amplifier I’d ever had in my system. Everything immediately sounded more precise and controlled…
… the little IDA-8 sounded so refined and powerful that I soon decided that, to get a true measure of its sound, I needed to move it into my reference system. In that system I had a variety of high-end but still high-value speakers to use with the NuPrime IDA-8: the KEF R900, Definitive Technology Mythos ST-L, and GoldenEar Technology Triton Five. Even with those floorstanders, the IDA-8 was able to tightly control the low frequencies in Lorde’s bass-laden Pure Heroine (24/48 FLAC, Lava Music/Republic). The IDA-8’s midrange was also something special: exceedingly clean but very full, reproducing voices with clarity and presence while also providing their full weight and body. With the IDA-8, I felt I was hearing everything in Susan Wong’s 511 (24/96 FLAC, Evosound) — not something that I think I have ever said before about an integrated amp costing under $1000…The NuPrime’s sublime midrange allowed voices to float effortlessly in mid-air…
…It sounds fantastic, has plenty of power to drive any reasonably efficient loudspeaker to room-filling levels, it’s compact, and, best of all, it costs less than $1000…the NuPrime IDA-8 was so good that it seemed almost a shame to extract it from my reference rig and reinstall it in my second system, where it will remain as my new budget reference amplifier. It’s one of the best deals available in audio today…”
– Michael Piskor, headfonics.com
“…No question about it, this NuPrime Hi-MDAC has the best build quality in a small form factor DAC that I’ve ever seen…and dang, I own so many and have reviewed so many….
Gods honest, I am so tired of the larger DAC’s that claim to be portable but are the size of small bricks. These little DAC’s are the future and I want these companies to push the boundaries of what is possible.
The Hi-mDAC is the first I have heard that is actually very musical, enjoyable on a tonality viewpoint and that offers a slick sense of style in the physical dynamic impact area of the listening experience.
By that, again, I mean it sounds smoother and easier to listen to than most other small DACs. The tradeoff is that it is quite chunky and much bigger than the others, but still, it is petite. And it has decent power! To see a budget tiny DAC performs well with demanding planars such as the Dan Clark Audio Aeon Flow is impressive.
Of course, it does not power it as well as a good desktop amp, but for a casual walk, or sitting outside somewhere, doing the dishes and cleaning the house with this Hi-mDAC in your pocket? I cannot complain when I look at the bigger picture.
We have come far with these little guys and I am happy to keep this in my pocket for the duration of my day, at least, until my phone dies and cannot power the DAC anymore.”
– Guillaume Fourcadier, on-mag.fr
“…The NuPrime Hi-mDAC sound is a great little blend of power and detail, all without getting aggressive. The soundstage is not disproportionate but surprisingly coherent, carried by a rather neutral or even slightly brilliant signature. Unless you come across a monster headset like the Hifiman Susvara or an extremely high impedance headset, the Hi-mDAC can power all headsets or almost without a hitch…”
– NanoTechnos, headfonia.com
Hi-mDAC achieved something quite remarkable. First and foremost, it drives my Audeze LCD-3 and gives me “commanding bass” as stated on the website. Where the Sennheiser HD-800S felt a little cramped last time, the Audeze sounds quite the opposite with a wide sound-stage and delightful lows….
The Hi-mDAC is fast and precise, at any level of volume. The layering is impressive, the sound feels natural, effortless and I think NuPrime really did a good job in term of tuning. This isn’t a DAC that’ll wow you right off the batch, on the contrary, the more you’ll listen to it the more you’ll get to love it.
Highs : clean and transparent. The Nuprime achieves a good job there, with a good amount of air. Trebles are precise, never harsh and with the right headphone, you’ll get a level of comfort that I wouldn’t believe possible a few years ago. It’s never dry, never sibilant, never boring. Very impressive!
Mids : excellent layering and great spaciousness. The mids blends perfectly with the rest of the spectrum. The soundstage is excellent, sometimes astounding until you reach the highest level of volume. If so, the mids tend to fall behind the highs and lows, giving us an odd V-Shap signature. Still, this is only if you really push the DAC to its limit.
Lows : fast and powerful. Bass is impressive, very impressive. Usually, this is where small DAC falls short, but this is never the case with the m-DAC. It’s fast, powerful and with a good headphone, you’ll be rewarded by deep, tight, toe-tapping bass. Plus side, it never oversteps on the other frequencies…”
– John Ransley, Totally Wired Limited
“…The Evolution Ones are giving us the best of sound quality attributed to Class A or tubes – the fluidity, ease and open nature, yet eliminating the downsides of heat, power consumption, noise and compromised long term reliability. They bring the best of solid state – high power, exceptional bass control and an astonishing frequency range…”
– 林治宇, u-audio.com.tw
“…以阿格麗希演奏蕭士塔高維奇的第一號鋼琴協奏曲為例，第一樂章前段弱音的鋪陳就顯得頗具張力，輕重對比鮮明，鋼琴觸鍵的重量感明確，尤其是背景幫襯的弦群綿密如織，起伏連貫，快慢有致，讓人感覺音樂處處暗藏機鋒。隨後的強奏EVO One表現得輕鬆寫意，迅速帶起熱烈的激昂感，音場結構井然有序，彷彿再複雜的場面都在掌握之中。我還聽到不僅鋼琴觸鍵的重量感優異，顆粒飽滿，而且小號兼具密度與金屬光澤，穿透力十足。更棒的是，音場下盤既穩且沉，低頻層次豐富之外，更因為主奏鋼琴的音像凝聚，顆粒形體清晰，伴奏聲部在後方層次分明，更凸顯主奏與樂團主從地位的分別。就是這樣的條理分明，顯示EVO One處理複雜音樂更駕輕就熟，性能更為卓越…”
– gammajo, audiocircle.com
“…First noticed was the freedom from an ever so slight, unnoticeable-till-its-gone digital haze. Wow! Minor and subtle, yet highly important. Next was that the soundstage was much improved in terms of depth, separation of instruments, and air and bloom. Then I was entranced at how much more natural and beautiful high bells sounded – more rounded with more realist timbre, attack, and decay. All voices, especially female vocalists were more natural and captivating. Yet when music was supposed to be edgy it was, they could rock out with the best. When the music is relaxed and sweet, these amps allow you to be emotionally moved by liquidity and languidness ( I think because they sound less digital). This involvement could still be enjoyed at lower volumes than with other amps. They are excellent at naturally presenting the slightest micro-detail with no excessive spotlighting. Solo and massed strings were more realistically presented both in the string sound itself and the body of the instrument.
Where I found the Evos clearly better than any other amp that I have heard in any typology is with highly complex classical music such as symphonies but also complex rock and new age. Everything is more naturally delineated and more realistic sounding even when 100 diverse instruments are playing at once. In fact, I have been listening to much more symphonic music with these amps, where before there was something unsatisfying about the reproduction of such massive and detailed soundscapes. Solo instruments in these works stand out more clearly in character from the mélange of sound around them and dynamic swings are surprisingly instantaneous….
…I like the sound of Pass Labs, Constellation, and VAC amps, yet not even considering the price, size, and heat difference, feel like I like the Evos better. They hit the sweet spot between fluidity and control. There is ample mico-detail for this detail freak and yet they present the music as a whole cloth to be enjoyed as a living presence.”
– Neil Gader, theabsolutesound.com
“..Class D generally has never gotten the love it deserves. However, the performance of the Evolution One largely undercuts those preconceptions and redefines what it means to be a top-tier monoblock amp in 2019.
..the Evolution One allowed music to unspool effortlessly without electronic affectation.
Transients were naturalistic (more on this later), and there’s was no indication of etch or grain in the upper octaves…
Key to the Evolution One’s performance was the finesse it exemplified reproducing inner detail. That could be Brubeck’s touch on the piano keys, Ringo’s brushes playing off the skin of a snare, even the tick of a flat-pick on Chris Thile’s bluegrass mandolin—pretty much any pattern of single notes played by an individual or a section of players. A great amplifier needs more than just a low noise floor, it also has to have the responsiveness and speed to reproduce the ever-changing gradations of energy emanating from each instrument or combo. These are not elements that we necessarily isolate in our minds, but the transient and microdynamic surprises are what spark our ears to attention. Such attributes define the “live” experience for this listener.
Images were so unwaveringly stable that they could have been applied with crazy glue…
Today I see no sonically valid reasons to raise an eyebrow at Class D amplification. In short, it’s high time that audiophiles park their biases at the door. In its Evolution One, NuPrime, in grand fashion and with musicality to burn, has laid to rest the argument that Class D is somehow intrinsically inferior to traditional Class A/AB. Every amp, regardless of letters of the alphabet, needs to be judged on its musical merits, not its topol- ogy. That’s always been what the high end is about. My recommendation couldn’t be more enthusiastic. Evolution really does improve the breed.”
– CHRISTIAAN PUNTER, hifi-advice.com
“…Naturally, there were many more implementations using ICE and Pascal modules that I have not used in a controlled environment but judging from what I heard at shows, it seemed that class D would never be it for me. Then I heard the NuPrime ST-10 using proprietary class-D circuitry and it changed everything. The ST-10 does not sound like a typical class-D amp at all. It has bass control and heft easily as good as the best Pascal amps I heard, a natural timbre even better than that of many class AB amps and while its transparency and resolution could be better and its treble lacks fluidity and air, the amp has such magnificent PRaT and makes for such a lively and engaging performance that you quickly forget about that. …
…The Evolution Ones were used in several scenarios, both using my own systems as well as in two friends’ systems and a pattern soon emerged. Wherever they were used, they were like chameleons, always refrained from editorializing the sound. These amplifiers really are as neutral as they come…
The Evolution Ones sound crisp and clear yet richly textured and timbrally natural, with excellent focus and a reach-out-and-grasp solidity to objects within the soundstage along with a level of lifelike purity and directness that is quite rare. The amps do not rose-tint of otherwise beautify the sound in any way which does make their performance highly dependent on the recording quality. These are reference amplifiers for those who wish to hear precisely what is in their recordings.”
– Dick Olsher, theabsolutesound.com
“…First up was the Fleetwood Sound De Ville loudspeaker, a fairly benign 8-ohm bass-reflex load. Several sonic characteristics became evident rather quickly. First was the exceedingly low noise floor. Backgrounds appeared to be eerily quiet, more so than with the average solid-state amp and, obviously, without the tube-rush noise that I’ve become accustomed to. Second, resolution of low-level detail was superb. In particular, violin vibrato was exquisitely resolved with the sort of timing precision I’ve only experienced from far more expensive amps. But what surprised me the most was the Evolution STA’s ability to flesh out a believable depth perspective. In fact, the soundstage was exceptionally transparent, wide, and deep, with believable image focus. So now I’m thinking to myself, can a Class D amp really dish out this sort of imaging? And then it got even better. Micro dynamics were served up with emotional expressiveness. Orchestral crescendos were unfurled with tremendous power and control. And bass lines were punchy and tightly defined. It began to occur to me that this amp was going to be difficult to criticize.
This scenario was much different than that presented by, say, a single-ended triode amp, whose distortion spectrum is rich in even harmonics and as a result dominates a system’s voicing. The NuPrime proved to be the total opposite. In this respect, it turned out to be a reference tool by
providing a truthful sonic snapshot of upstream components.
Next in line was the Innersound Isis 3.5 hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker. This load has proven to be problematic for some Class D amplifiers due to its capacitive impedance and 2-ohm minimum through the upper octaves. Again, there was nothing of significance to criticize. ……..As you would expect from an electrostatic midrange and treble, transients were supremely well controlled, while the bass range was reproduced with control and full extension.
Finally, it was time for the Analysis Audio Omega. This quintessential planar speaker, an Apogee look-alike, has been a staple in my reference system for many years. It’s a 4-ohm nominal load, though it dips to around 3 ohms and demands a lot of current. In this context the NuPrime was able to generate a panoramic soundstage and believable depth perspective. Its level of micro dynamic finesse, purity of tone, resolution of individual voices in a complex mix, and rhythmic drive kept me listening late into the night.
The NuPrime Evo STA caught me by surprise. I didn’t expect any amp at this price point, let alone a Class D amplifier, to be capable of such exquisite musicality. Mated with a compatible speaker load, it is deserving of an enthusiastic endorsement. It will not be leaving my system any time soon.”
– CHRISTIAAN PUNTER, hifi-advice.com
“…For my first listening, the Evolution STA was positioned on top of the CH A1.5, connected with the stock power cable, just like the A1.5, as the only exception in my system.
The Evolution STA sounds marvellously energetic, expressive, and utterly coherent with immense neutrality but without tipping over into leanness or coolness. The amp is also very linear and quite detailed but not revealing to the point of being analytical, let alone clinical. First and foremost, it paints the complete musical picture while sounding nothing like your typical Class-D amplifier.
Between the CH and the NuPrime, certain key aspects have certainly noticeably shifted, but on the surface of it, and in an absolute sense, there is not very much to indicate that we just switched from a 31 K amplifier to one costing only 5 K. Honestly, it was more like switching from one high-end amplifier to another, invoking differences catering more to taste than to absolute quality. For instance, the Big Swiss amp remains the King of resolution and refinement. But to offset this, the NuPrime actually overshadows the CH in a couple of areas.
The Evolution STA’s bass really is sublime and reminiscent of that of the Analog Domain M75, AVM Ovation A8.3, and Anthem STR. It is full-size, unrestrained, rock-solid, full-bodied, and weighty, but not in a thick, enriched, or loosely gripped manner as it can be with many powerhouse amplifiers, such as I feel is the case with certain Bryston amplifiers such as the 4B cubed. By the same token, the Evolution STA most definitely does not have the kind of bass that you’d expect from a Class-D amplifier, far from it actually. I have always found the bass from ICEpower, Pascal, and NCore amplifiers to be a little on the lean side, but as I found with the ST-10, NuPrime blissfully deviates from this pattern. It’s deeply saturated and full-bodied yet fast, articulate, and nimble.
The amp sounds very much of one piece and its midrange follows the superbly well-balanced foundation in all parameters. Just like the bass, the midrange is concrete, clean, open, and expressive, without sounding lean or being devoid of saturation or harmonics. I’d go as far as to say that this is one of the best and most supremely neutral midrange performances that I have heard.
A surprising strong suit of the Evolution STA is the soundstaging. In this area, the amp miraculously performs on par with the CD A1.5, providing a wide, deep, and room-filling stage with strong focus and depth.
The Evolution STA is extremely neutral but never lean or clinical. What it does magnificently well is to lend weight, body, and saturation to instruments, and vocals alike, and with plenty of warmth if needed, but without ever tipping over into mushiness or ever sounding colored in any way. This amplifier sounds full-bodied and it can certainly sound smooth, warm, or romantic but only if the recording dictates it. It will not overlay the music with any added softness or warmth of its own.”
– Steven Stone, theabsolutesound.com
“……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…”
“…over the years I’ve reviewed and used plenty of digital power amplifiers from Bel Canto, Wyred4Sound, April Music, and others, and I appreciate what a well-designed model can bring to a system. And it happens that the ST-10 is the best digital power amplifier I’ve heard to date…
…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… “
– Raphael Vogt, lowbeats.de
So far, for the best CD sound, I could only recommend ripping the sound carrier and playing it via Roon. The NuPrime CDT-9, however, with an obviously extremely clean signal, delivers practically the same musicality and resolution as an external player for physical media. Due to the flexibility of the output via Toslink, Cinch, AES / EBU or even directly I²C, practically every digital input can be optimally controlled. Then you should test which output resolution and in which format, thanks to the potent sample rate converter, exactly hits the sweet spot of the D / A converter used. So: Clean the CDs and then have fun rediscovering the old discs … “
– Sweetmeat, head-fi.org
“…I am always on the lookout for a premium-sounding, reasonably-priced CD transport with a small form factor that I can use at work. It’s not perfect, but I think I found my holy grail with the Nuprime CDT-8.
…OK the Nuprime is still basically from a “boutique” manufacturer so don’t expect a slick operating interface. The important part is that it sounds glorious, full and balanced, smoother than even the Woo Audio which has some peaks in the top end. In addition to the Nuprime, my work stereo includes Burson Conducter SL with Sabre DAC and Audeze LCD-XCs. This is definitely the best my work system has sounded, I am so pleased….”
– John Ransley, Totally Wired Limited
“The NuPrime CDP-9 clearly better than any CD Playing system we have sold previously over the last decade with the exception of the top end Meridian products. And even then it does bring something unique to the party. The CDP-9 is also better than our previous recommendations of transport (Oppo and Cambridge) and DAC combinations, both in performance and value for money. The quality and implementation of the new Sabre chipset surpass the digital performance of both NuPrime’s own IDA-8 and DAC-9.
There is also a certain irony going on here with the cycling of formats. CD was predicted to spell the end of vinyl and that’s come back. Streaming was supposed to spell the end of CD (and let’s not even start to talk about format changes with the little silver discs). But here we are with a new player from a forward looking company that breathes new life into the compact disc. If you have a CD collection, NuPrime are looking after you.”
– Marcus, headfonics.com
“For just over $1700 the NuPrime CDP-9 delivers extremely competently over a very wide range of feature sets. Primarily, people will see this as a CD Player and certainly compared to my old flagship Meridian it competes very well indeed with additional detail and a very accurate yet decidedly “not” sterile in sound quality.
However, there is much more to it than that. The big attraction for me is the DAC features with both analog and digital inputs and outputs as well as the bonus feature of a being able to drive efficient IEMs and headphones from a headphone amp. The hybrid volume control and opamp design of the CDP-9 will deliver excellent channel balance and a very black background with next to no noise.
For those coming from similar modern Sabre DAC infused DACs such as the Sonica from Oppo you will find that the CDP-9 is just that bit livelier and more engaging. This is a clean sound but an energetic and 3-dimensional performance.”
– Christiaan Punter, hifi-advice.com
The AMG-PRA + AMG-STA form a beautiful combo, not only visually, but also in terms of sonic synergy, the preamp’s robust and full sound perfectly complimenting the power amp’s slightly leaner balance. The combined result is a musically always engaging sound that is solid and full-bodied, smooth and refined yet highly detailed and transparent, with perfect pacing, and great dynamics. Honestly, at 3200 euro, I haven’t heard a better amplifier, either integrated or separates.
As great as the combo is, the AMG-STA power amplifier really is the star of the show. On its own, it is capable of performing on a level that is well and truly beyond what might be expected from an amplifier at its price point. To be more precise: if the preamp already performs at a level that belies its price sticker, the power amp steals the show as it has the ability to perform on the level of amplifiers that typically cost multiples of its modest 1.595-Euro price. I am not kidding!
Combine the AMG-STA with a great volume-controlled DAC and you’ll have a nearly unbeatable system. Between single and dual amps, if ever there was a no-brainer decision, this is it. The pair simply raises the performance in each and every audiophile parameter, without harming the emotional involvement.
As should be clear by now, I am definitely impressed by NuPrime power amplifiers. First, the ST-10 proved to be a keeper, then the ST-10 Monos proved that the concept could be taken further, then the AMG-STA proved that Class-D can be as “analog” and as refined as the best linear power amplifiers, and now, the pair of AMG-STA’s have further raised the bar. Although the ST10 and ST10 Monos still have their unique flair, as of now, the pair of AMG-STA’s are my personal reference in the field of affordable power amplifiers with true high-end aspirations.
Whether used as a single stereo model or as a double-mono pair, the AMG-STA is an absolute HFA Favorite.”
– CHRISTIAAN PUNTER, hifi-advice.com
“The AMG STA not only addresses all of the ST-10’s weaker areas but actually raises the overall quality to such an extent that it comfortably positions itself among high-end competitors that cost multiples upon multiples. Alas, in the process, it does give up a portion of the ST-10’s bass heft and overall robustness. But otherwise, it sets the benchmark, not only in its price class but also far, far beyond.”
– John Ransley, Totally Wired Limited
This is an exceptionally detailed review of the AMG PRA and you have to read the review in its entirety. Here is just an extract from one section:
“…From the outset you’ll find the sound velvety and smooth – yet there’s an immediacy and rush of detail that makes production differences huge …
With a month of serious listening in a progression of systems, I’ve enjoyed every minute of the PRA. The tag line for Well Tempered Labs is ‘new music from your records’ and this is exactly what the NuPrime does in this setting. Every turntable and phono stage combination reveals previously unheard details that upset our established hierarchy of performance. Crazy as it might sound, when first listening to our entry level turntable with an affordable MM cartridge, I was hearing passages, vocals and instrument lines that I’d not heard before in any context. I was starting to think that there might have been something wrong with our best turntable system. This seemed to be the only rational explanation given the price disparity.
But as we stepped the system up, the qualities of the PRA became more obvious. Once you hear what you have been missing there is no going back.
Transparency is one thing but transmission is another. As we noted at the start transparency is almost a passive quality – you can see through something. And there is no doubt that by conventional standards the AMG PRA is transparent. But it does a lot more than that – it effectively illuminates, expands and magnifies giving a level of clarity I’ve never heard before at this level.
– Mikkel Gige, HiFi4All
“But then the sound also immediately became much more forgiving, and the soundscape clearly grew in all three dimensions. Likewise, the bass became more nuanced and detailed while the weight was still present. And that meant I could now start listening to other things in the music. At the same time, listening to STA became a very musical pleasure. And it was here that it became clear that the sound is very similar to PRA. However, STA does not have quite the same slap and dynamics as PRA, but it is also completely unique in that area.
It also meant that I actually stopped thinking more about the sound, and instead just enjoyed the music. As if by magic, there was a presence in the music, and both voices and instruments gained naturalness a la what I know. And the sound just stretched further up towards the high frequencies completely without artifacts or anything else that could interfere with the experience.
… I give Nuprime AMG PRA the award “Best Buy” along the way!
“…And the bass sounded like what was known in the “old days” as typically “at D-bass”: Lots of level and weight, but no details and nuances!
But then the sound also immediately became much more forgiving, and the sound image grew clearly in all three dimensions. Likewise, the bass became more nuanced and detailed, while the heaviness was still present. And that meant I could now start listening for other things in music. At the same time, it was a great musical pleasure to listen to STA. And it was here that it was clear that the sound is very similar to PRA. However, STA does not have quite the same punch and dynamics as PRA, but it is also quite unique in that area.
– Drew Kalbach, The Absolute Sound
Overall, the PRA’s design is simple, but attractive and effective.
Before I dive into listening, it’s time to look at the “Active Low Frequency and Harmonic Gain” control feature. To put it very simply, this knob is somewhat like Ye Olde Loudness switch of yore. When turned on it very noticeably boosts bass, without increasing the overall volume. It is an interesting EQ effect, and definitely achieves NuPrime’s stated goal of giving smaller speakers a bit more natural low end. It worked well with my Wharfedale 225s, and actually sounded fairly nice with my Omen Dirty Weekend on its lowest setting. However, through the Polk L600 (review forthcoming), the knob made the bass a little too flabby, which makes sense. (The L600 have a very deep low end, and compensating made the bass a little too intense.)
The backgrounds were shockingly black, and it almost felt as if the AMG PRA preamp was nearly transparent, if you’ll forgive a reviewing cliché. That deep noise floor allowed the music to shine with a crispness and dynamism that I absolutely loved.
…“Active Low Frequency and Harmonic Gain” control feature. To put it very simply, this knob is somewhat like Ye Olde Loudness switch of yore. When turned on it very noticeably boosts bass, without increasing the overall volume…It worked well with my Wharfedale 225s, and actually sounded fairly nice with my Omen Dirty Weekend on its lowest setting.
The single STA was more than enough to power my Zu Omen Dirty Weekends, and made my copy of the recent Ray Charles vinyl reissue Genius + Soul = Jazz sing and scream and shout. Lows were suitably solid, and the midrange really shone with an extremely pleasant smoothness. I never felt as though the AMG STA lagged behind or ran out of headroom powering the Zu DWs, even on this very dynamic recording.
Where this dual-mono configuration really worked was with the Polk L600s, the more difficult pair of speakers to drive. The AMG STA retained its signature relaxed and easy sound, but with that much power on tap really opened up the full potential of the Polks. The backgrounds were shockingly black, and it almost felt as if the AMG PRA preamp was nearly transparent, if you’ll forgive a reviewing cliché. That deep noise floor allowed the music to shine with a crispness and dynamism that I absolutely loved.
Williams’ fills sounded exuberant and rhythmically complex, and the system never compromised or slowed down his fascinating drumming. In the midrange, the piano and horns were smooth and silky with a hint of nice, heavy warmth down in their lower regions. Hancock’s solo was quick and slithering, like the song’s namesake, and each note was clearly delineated. Attacks and decays were on point, which added to the whole rhythmic picture building throughout the song. When the horns massed for the theme, each instrument remained wholly itself and focused, creating a wide sense of soundstage. The STA/PRA dual-mono combo worked very well with the L600s, since the speakers have a very solid and deep lower end, and the amp/preamp shines in the lower registers. It was that deep heft that really brought a difficult song like “King Cobra” to life, and leant the entire ensemble a massive sound.
For many folks, I suspect a single STA will provide enough power, but for those who have more difficult-to-drive speakers, or those who want a massive amount of power on tap and ready to go, the monoblock setup is fantastic. This is a system worth trying and comes highly recommended.
-By Stephan from Germany
“…The CDT-10 impresses with its sophisticated technology.
With its design, it adapts seamlessly to the 10 series.
He reproduces the music the way I love it, honest, not bloated, not soft and beautifully colored.
My preferences are small ensembles, percussions, singing and noises. Jazz and world music.
In combination with the components used, the result is a stage that makes the musicians visible in their actions.
The workmanship of the CDT-10 is high quality.
For the price, the CDT-10 offers a previously unknown pleasure to me.”
-By Jan A., audiocircle.com
“…ST10M is a reference level amplifier, just like advertised, in performance at least equal in many respects to the equipment that is multiple of their price level, which is saying something about NuPrime engineering abilities….”
– By RafaPolit, audiocircle.com
For the first time I understand what “sound stage” means. Sound comes from everywhere, not just from the speakers. Each voice and instrument has its own position, really an eye opener for me!
It is a powerful combo, so much so that if you a not careful, you can blow out your speakers.
The clarity of the sound is remarkable if the source has that quality…”
– By Brad from Canada
“…They sounded pretty impressive right out of the box, but have improved greatly over the last 3 weeks. It would be a huge understatement to say that I’m very impressed with their performance. The following are my observations on sound quality in no particular order: Large holographic soundstage, 3D imaging, completely black background, very neutral and highly resolving, tight defined bass, superb mid-range (vocals are awesome), rich tone, smooth and dynamic. Excellent performance from top to bottom, very musical and engaging (toe tapping goodness!) I’ve been in this hobby for approx. 30 years, and at no time have I come across the price / performance value that NuPrime offers, it really is unbelievable. These amps are the real deal, and I will be keeping them…”
Evolution One review by Feversound.com (Hong Kong)
– By Amal, audiocircle.com
“…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.
…The output sound is great, the design of the amp and super nice and you can put it everywhere with its size!…”
– By SFDude, audiocircle.com
“…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….”