I upgraded from the Nuforce Ref 9 V3se's to the Ref 18's. I have since changed to the Pass Labs XA30.5 which I regard as superior to both the Nuforces in my system (I have Sonus Faber Cremona M's).
26 responses Add your response
Yes I been thru 4 generations of Nuforce I have had lots of experience with them. These amps require some different things to get the most out of them. The 18's are more refined in everyway the sound like they have more power and are fast amps. I have not done any vibration control what have you done?
For my Ref 9 V3SE's, I use 3 Hyperion Magnetic floaters each directly under them, sitting on an oak shelf, under which are sandwiches of rubber-cork-rubber. This helped considerably. Then I added a 5 lbs diving bag filled with lead shot on top of each and obtained great results in liquidity and reduction of glare and etch and better sound staging. I also have the Ref 9's plugged direct into dedicated line with all other equip going through a power conditioner on another outlet to separate out the Nuforce because I think they can transmit dirt back into the other equipment. All this sounds complicated but it is easy and cheap to do and resulted in stellar sound. I wonder if some of the improvement in the 18's is a result of increased weight and isolation, which is fine with me.
As an v3 SE owner it's unusual to hear from more than just one other who not only enjoys the NuForce presentation thru a reveling speaker system but who has also experienced the improvements that the attention to setup possibilities has on their presentation. I wanted to ask about your brief amplifier evolution.
I began with Marantz 8B's, Cerwin-Vega, MFA, Ayre, and audition many others. Using their trial offer I acquired a PS Audio HCA-2 long before the Stereophile review and was struck by the switching amps overall resolution, bass, and its fatigue free stability at higher volumes. After dealing with the shortcomings of my AC and tubed preamp revealed by the HCA I audition a number of other switching amplifiers and settled for the unique presentation of the v1 SE, skipped the v2, and now the v3 to power my Avalon Eidolons.
Mine are powered with a dedicated 20 amp AC using 12 ga. metal clad BX to metal box housed IG receptacles, DIY double shielded AC cable. Amps are mounted on a DIY Salamander style shelf system using birch ply supported marble shelves with large Iso Pod feet under the amps and five pound led shot weights on top all with improving success.
Vicdamone - Glad you posted. There are other discerning folks out there who I have been in contact with by phone who have also spent the time to dial in these amps and been very satisfied compared to many high rated tube and SS amps. Magnan Audio Cables has two great pages about Nuforce amp tweaks. If you PM I can send to you as the link to page is no longer active.
I started with Adcom amp, then Onkyo Grand Intergra 508, then Aragon 8008BB. Listened to Pass XA 100.5 and several others near time of purchase and started with the V2SE
There's a new Sheriff in town at Nuforce. Its what we all have been hoping for and its now a reality coming out in February-March. The Nuforce Reference 20. 400 watts rms into 8 ohms. The amp will be displayed at CES. Price will be the same as the 18. This amp will go down as one of the finest sounding amps in the world regardless of price. Very few high end amps have a bandwith from 5hz to
120,000 hz as the Nuforce. Nuforce's patented pulse width modulator, which is a true 100% analog device, and their V3 platform topology and advanced circuit design
puts them light years ahead of any manufacturer of class D or similar light weight, high powered amps. The 20 can go head to head with FM Acoustics, Soulutions, Boulder, Vitus, Krell, Luxman and Accuphase. Even your "A" game will be a challenge to beat the Reference 20.
Correction update on the Nuforce Reference 20's. Bob in tech support at Nuforce and several dealer's who got email announcement's on the Reference 20's informed me they put out 400 watts rms into 8 ohms. I just received an email from my Nuforce dealer with corrected fact's on the 20's. They put out 260 watts into 8 ohms and 420 watts into 4 ohms and will sell for $9K a pair and start shipping February 15th.
Summitav..My Nuforce dealer also informed me today that the email he got from Nuforce is that they will not upgrade
for free the REF 18's to the REF 20's. That was the original intention last fall when Nuforce had intended to discontinue the REF 18, but recently decided not to, so the upgrade will cost $1400.00.