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Yes, I am a dealer so I'll give you a bit of Nu Force perspective.
I heard the hub bub about Nu Force about a year ago or so after the original 9s came out. The idea and physical attributes of the amplifiers seemed intriguing, so I became a dealer after reading all the press and reviews and thinking to myself this is "too good to be true," after all 160 watts in a box the size of a pop tart box It just can't be real.
The Nu Force 9 are fascinating amplifiers, fast deep and tight bass, a good sized soundstage and a lot of clarity.
I liked the 9s but honestly I didn't love the midrange which was a little dry. The amps sounded great but not ultimatly to my taste, then the 9Se came out and the same cycle was started again, with the killer press, so I ordered them.
Game over now! The 9Se is a different kettle of fish, the 9se had the same attributes as the 9s but with a liquid midrange and they did everything better.
So if budget is an issue get a pair of 9's but save your pennies for the upgrade to the Se version! This is dollar for dollar one of the finest sets of amplfiers out there and really fullfills the promise of what a switching amplifier can really do!
I hope this helps.
Ideally I'd love to listen to a Bryston 4B SST and NuForce sie-by-side but I can't, so I have to rely on reviews and the opinion of others.You can hear them side by side. It's a matter of funds. This is the answer...
Buy a used 4B SST. They hold their value exceptionally well. If you decide to resell, you can likely do so without losing much, if any money. I owned...and sold a 4B SST, so I know this to be true. In fact, I bought mine new, and sold it for a few hundred less than what I paid. You will definitely do better than that if you buy one used (that is only a year or two old).
Simultaneously, buy a pair of NuForce 9SE that are offered with a 30 day in-home trial.
Viola! You can hear both in your own home with very little risk.
While I have never heard either of the amps you are considering, I highly recommend doing something similar to what Tvad is advising. Speaking from my experience, the only way to have peace of mind in my audio equipment decisions is to do A/B comparisons with both components in my room. When I have strayed from this step, I always have had indecision at some later point down the line. There just is no substitute for peace of mind in this hobby. Of course staying with reasonably mainstream equipment helps with the ease of resale. Good luck with your decision.
I couldn't listen to FM radio or our baby monitor, even on the next floor. But the are VERY good. I sold the pair I had only because I didn't feel the rest of my system was up to these amps. I plan on owning another pair sometime in the future, but I think everything else in my system needs to be improved first.
For the money and the size, I think they're hard (if not impossible) to beat.
Boy I dunno Dazman, don't get me wrong, the Bryston is good gear, but I personally have had a plethora of fine solid state (& tube) amps, many with similar topology to the Bryston, and the NuForce 9SE is in a whole 'nother league, IMO. You would do well to at least audition the NuForce. With the 30 day guarantee, what do you have to lose?
In my set-up, the NuForces sounded better, in every parameter, than my then Pass X250.5, which I believe most folks would agree is a better amp than the Bryston 4b, so that is saying alot.
Check out my virtual system and some of my posted reviews to see the lengthy list of "fallen amp soldiers" that came before the Nuforces. Good luck!
I considered the Nuforce amps but noticed that 6Moons had technical difficulties (twice I believe) and the RFI has been repeatedly mentioned.
I ended up auditioning the Bel Canto S300 (stereo, 150 watts per channel, 8 ohms, $1,395) and was very impressed. After 40 or 50 hours of comparison I ended up selling my Conrad Johnson MV60 and I am a tube fan from way back.
The Bel Canto is a very liquid sounding amp in a tubish sort of way but with the bass and treble extension. No harshness at all. Most impressive to me were the dynamics which hold up stunningly well even in complex passages.
I was worried about RFI since this is also a switching amp, but I had no special problems with a tuner 12" from the amp.
BC also makes a more powerful set of monoblocks, but the S300 is a real buy, IMO.
A friend of mine while auditioning the Nuforce 9SE at home, could not hear radio through is Tivoli One because of RFI problems caused by the amp. Reception was better when the NuForce was connected to AC through a shielded Siltech power cord.
RFI is a real issue with this amp.
As to my opinion I enjoyed some aspects of the sound, but I would not buy the amp. NO.
I have never heard a problem with the 9SE. The 9Se was a major redesign of the original 9s.
I invite anyone interested to come to my place and see for themselves, we are located in Jersey City NJ 3 Miles outside of New York City.
Nu Force 9Se are amazing amplifiers and are more musically involving than the ICE amplifiers.
hello all, i am using nuforce ref-9SEs, had the standard ref-9s and upgraded, the upgrade brought a already fine amp to a much better place, a more refined, detailed, and musical amp, this is the last excerpts from Edgar Kramer 6 moons, ''I've owned/auditioned/assessed/compared scores of excellent amplifiers using all manner of technology and circuitry. I consider the NuForce Reference 9 Special Edition amplifiers to be amongst a select small group of the very best amplifiers I've heard. In fact, the SEs better most of these elitists in the areas of resolution, dynamics, bass power and frequency-wide detail.
As the seasons turn and the old leaves wither away, the promise of imminent new life and rebirth swell in our universal consciousness. In a life-assimilating fashion, the NuForce Reference 9 Special Edition mono amplifiers have inspired a new cognition of what the future of amplification will be''
there are other reviews by pros not one was negative for musical performance of these fine amps, im not a pro and can hear it, yes its worth the extra money for SE, in my system which for me is as musical as any i have had the pleasure to hear, i am going to comment on the fm rf interference with nuforce, i dont have a tuner in my system and havent had one sense my marantz model 20 years ago, i do have my cable box as a input on my preamp, and when i am messing around the house, and not trying to get into the music, just listening in the back ground, the music channels on my cable box come in handy, when the time comes for sit down into the music time, fm or cable boxes just wont do, for me its a analog front end, you have to have your system synergy right on, to be able to listen for hours on end with out fatigue, and drifting from the music, with my nuforce equipment in concert with the rest of my system i have that, music realism almost like being there, if you can get a chance give the nuforce gear a listen, great musical days for all, mike
If you prefer a boat anchor try out odyssey extremes.. About the same price and return policy you search, with traditional but very powerfull sound, No RFI issues, and put tube pre's in front of them and they easily compete and beat most stuff anywhere near the price. Also, just as many or more accolaids and Zero repair history issues in the reviews up in the hundreds, they are highly praised everywhere and have a long history now, as well as the SAME warranty as bryston with 20 years on all parts no questions.. They also retain good value, about the same as mcintosh gear losing about 1/3rd if used. They killed my bryston, Easily have more power and smoother than my Pass and thresholds from the 90's, have rock bottom bass and control, They also run like the digital amps and never Break room temperature even when driven hard, Brystons run very hot. Nuforce did not do it for me when I tried them, but then again it will be very speaker dependent.
Terrific, deep, tight bass reminiscent of Bryston. Organic midrange that to me sounds more real and possessing more soul than NuForce amps that I heard several iterations ago, but perhaps the Odyssey midrange is not quite as refined and transparent as that of NuForce or Bryston. This is nitpicking , though.
My pair of Odyssey Extreme Monos had some grain and brightness in the upper mids and highs that most Odyssey owners claim their Odyssey amps don't have. Maybe I had a unique pair.
Mostly, I believe they are an outstanding value.
Will the company be around in 20 years to support the warranty? Dunno. I don't have this question about Bryston. Nevertheless, I don't know a single audiophile who has owned the same amp for ten years let alone twenty, which IMO makes the length of the Odyssey warranty more of a marketing point than one of practicality.
If you have any glare or anything from odyssey, Its A- Due to you have to adjust the Bias to custom setting due to your voltage is not 120 volts in the house and klaus will infact do this on order, but I prefer to keep it at the standard 120 volt and adjust the house to be correct instead, Or B- due to you have either a strange speaker combo with them, or simply a preamp, source etc.. That is a bit forward, needing tubes or different impeadance match. I thought my midrange was a bit raw for the first 50 hours, and also after some break in found them to darken alot and this is due to my voltage was way off needing to fix my outlets and then they are pure liquid. Against one of the warmest solid state amps in the Forte and the Mcintosh's I had they blew them away with soundstage size and depth and at super levels never gave a single offensive sharp note, and never were midrange glaring even with 100 db horns and now on 101 db speakers with super tweeters.. It is all about the basics and getting good stable power to these amps or any amps for that matter without a lot of fluxuation in voltage, I found this out cause I had a monster power center that reads voltage on my other system in the house and at night the voltage would go up to 127 volt which would make any amp spike in the upper mids, even tubes that I had which were Cary's sounded thin and steril and were perfectly fine most days. You can not find a more balanced amp just like if you have a good room and speakers positioned correctly within it, via toe in etc.. is the same with feeding these amps or any with very good power, plus they are DEAD silent so any noise coming from them means some bad power in the house, cause mine don't click, hum or even Hiss on 101 db speakers and its scary cause sometimes you would not know the system is on. Not arguing with above points but you asked for some more feedback and that is mine, But if you do try them for 30 days I can absolutley say leave them on with a music signal running a loop feeding a speaker for 2 weeks and that will sweetn them up a ton, I did not believe it either !
I bought a pair of their SE's to add a splash of color to all the boring black and gray. They look marvelous! It just amazes me how something so stylish could come from people working in Milpitas (affectionately known as the armpit of the bay area). Bravo NuForce, bravo.
My yagi's on the roof (isn't that where an FM antenna is supposed to be?), no interference here.
Heres a couple links if interested...Odyssey august 2006, also the new extremes use Vishay resistors, red boards and some fancier top plates for the 2006-2007 models, some other upgrades too from my understanding.
i have not seen so many audiofiles who were going to let fm antennas stop them from enjoying one of the best amps around, for a price that is unreal for our passion of musical reproduction, vicdamone i like your responce to this thread, i dont know where milpitas is, boy i am glad jason and the nuforce crew settled here in the USA to share the nu technolgy of nuforce products, a breath of fresh air this musical hobby needs with so much over priced gear, mike
Besides the exceptional(best I've heard) low-end, the other big improvements over my McCormack DNA-1 were
1) The Nuforce did not get compressed/confused when the music got complex or loud. Everything stayed seperated and clean.
2) The Nuforce were more dynamic at lower volume. I'd have to turn the DNA-1 up louder before it would take control of my speakers. The Nuforce were in control at any volume.
Dealers have mentioned that you should start with a good source. My speakers are Kef 104/2 and 105/3, which I think are very good.
Every component in a system is important but I think the source plays a very important part.
For example I have Focal K2ps in my car up front and Focals in the rear with an Alpine deck. My friend has the same setup but has an Eclipse deck, which is known for its excellent sound and I have to admit it sounds better than my setup. Of course the cars are different but the deck makes all the difference.
The amp makes a diffence I will admit but wouldn't your source be the place to start. Lets say like the Jolida JD-100A?