i'm sure its a winner, but honestly there are about a hundred top 5 amps 'old and new'
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My experience mirrors yours. The NuForce 9SE V2 (after living with the original SE for a year or so) is quite an improvement. It's an incredibly detailed, dynamic, and musical sounding amplifier. The bass goes deeper and is even more solid, and the highs are more extended and much smoother than the original. The midrange is musical, very detailed, and has a tube-like, relaxed and sweet sound. I'm definitely getting more out of my recordings. It appears that NuForce has hit a home-run with their V2 amps.
Not to change the topic, but has anyone tried the new P9 preamp, and if so, what are your findings?
Viridain - No, I have not heard all amps. But, as a reviewer for positive-feedback.com , I have heard many I suspect, more so then most audiophiles. I have been to many shows where I heard the "best" and the "flavors of the month" as concluded by the crowd. I certainly heard a large enough sample and all the most highly regarded amps to come to my opinion. And, remember, it is only "my" conclusion and making such a statement was born out of a true desire to spread the work about a remarkable product.
Jaybo - Yes, the "top 5" is fluid - But the real kicker here is that the $5k V2 competes favorably with amps 4 times its price. If it is better, is for you to decide. But, I assure you, it will be close.
If you are a reviewer, then you should probably refrain from making unsubstantiated statements based on limited sampling, no matter how broad. Perhaps something more like, "One of the top five amps that I have heard". But that really does not sell magazines, or create website hits, does it? And my user name is "Viridian", but accuracy does not seem to be a hallmark of the reviewers craft.
Jb8312: Not so fast. Next month there will be an 9 SE V3 version that will surpass the previous version in every category. And in September there will be the 9 SE V4, which will make all other NuForce amps obsolete. Gimme a break already. Oh, and pass the ear plugs to protect my ears from the zingy highs.
I am a new force dealer. I also sell one of the most regarded American made solid state amplifiers on the market, this particular amplifier costs $21,000.00 is hand made, runs class A/B and is a 300 watt power house, this amplifier line is beloved by Harry Person and the staff of the Absolute Sound. I also sell a very well respected line of Class A solid state amplifiers as well which are imported and are also well regarded.
I was a new force sceptic, I started with the original Nuforce Model 9 which I liked but honestly I didn't love.
Then the Mike Silverton review of the Se version came out where he compared and bought the 9Se over the huge class A Levinson 33H! At that point my curiosity was piqued so I bought a pair. The 9Se were much better sounding they had a liquid midrange plus the same speed and transparency and bass punch.
I then decided to show the Nuforce amplifiers at the HE 2007 show. Nuforce was excited to be one of our show partners as they had just released the V2 versions and wanted to show them off.
Long story short we produced some very, very, good sound. Many HE 2007 show goers said we had some of the best sound at the show, and our entire room cost half to a third of the price other guys rooms!
The Nuforce Version 2 amplifiers are a true breakthrough, compared with amplifiers which are four times the price the Nuforce in most respects sounds better, these amplifiers really are very special. I have to agree with JB8312, I would compare the Nuforce with many of the 20k and above amplifiers, in fact I am actively searching to find an amplifier which really does outperform these little marvels.
By the way, I worked in high ened retail for 20 years before opening my own shop. I have played with most of the top five amplfiers, and I would disagree with the assertion that there are a hundred top five amplifiers.
I would rate the current top tier amp companies in no particular order: Boulder, Vitus haven't heard but by reputation, Plinius, Edge, BAT, Halcro, Sim, Pass and Lamm.
I would add Nuforce to that very honored list, they are that good!
The V2 versions provided me about 30% improvement over the Special Edition amps. Arbitrarily speaking of course.
But 9rw brings up a very good point. A truly revealing componenent absolutely must be indiscriminate about what it reveals, whether it's musical information, time smear from the ics and scs, grunge from improper or no line conditioners, or perhaps improper vibration management and/or a just a crappy cdp.
Sadly, as 9rw shared in his experience, most of us know least one or more just like him with systems that exemplify one or more of these deficiencies that often times lead the less informed to think the zingy highs or fatiguing sound must be due to the Nuforce amp or whatever other revealing and potentially musical component may be under scrutiny.
9rw, in your own words would you care to describe the zingy highs you heard? Also, please list the components in your system including line conditioners and whichever vibration methodology chosen, and associated products you are using.
Surely, amongst those here one or more of us should be help you get your system on right track. That's what I like about this forum.
there are alot of amplifiers that sound incredible for $5000.
if you take into account the used market, that becomes "a whole lot of amplifiers". as for $20k and above, that usually (okay, they could be hand-built of course) buys you more watts and/or more current into often-times non-existent loads. a pass aleph-3 (30W/ch) will knock most people's socks off for $1000. for $2000 (please correct me if i'm a bit off here), so will a used VTL ST-150. talk about flavor of the month. i've owned some embarrassingly expensive amps, and they made ME (just me) very happy. i've also enjoyed listening to an $1800 Sonus Faber Musica which will more than do justice to SF-Guarneri speakers. i also trust jb8312's ears when he says he loves the sound coming from his present system. i just wish he hadn't used the expression "one of the top 5". stereophile once exclaimed on the COVER that HALCRO-58'S were the best amplifier in the world(?!) yeah, and Motor Trend contends that a model XYZ ferrari goes 5mph faster than a model ZYX porsche... who cares?...
Stehno: You're still a NuForce dealer, aren't you? I'd imagine that your Legacy speakers are less fatiguing in the high end than those Aerial 10Ts that you used to consider a reference. I'd say they're a whole lot more coherent, too. But perhaps that's your preference. No problem with that.
My system? It's a GNSC-modified Wadia 861se (Reference mod), an Audio Research VT100MKIII and Von Schweikert VR-4Srs. I also have a REL Stadium III and a pair of Dunlavy SC-IIs that I pull out of the closet now and then and am amazed at the brilliance of John Dunlavy . Hard to beat those speakers for the money. My cables are Cardas Neutral Reference (XLR interconnects) and Acoustic Zen Satori (shotgun bi-wire). I use a Kimber Palladian PK-10 on the Wadia with an Audio Magic power conditioner. The Wadia is on a spiked Target stand and sits on Black Diamond cones.
So how many versions of the NuForce amps are there by now? I've lost count. And, by the way, are you now a Legacy dealer, too?
9rw: My system consists of the an APL Denon 3910 with all the latest upgrades run directly to a pair of Nuforce Ref 9s (recently upgraded to V2) and Von Schweikert VR4jrs. I used to use the Audio Research VT100MkII until I auditioned the unassuming pair of Nuforce Ref 9s (V1). It was no contest!
A local Nuforce dealer (who is also a friend of mine), another friend who is a member of our local audio society and myself did an A/B comparison in my system between the Nuforce and the Audio Research that I had been so happy with for several years. The little Nuforce amps absolutely humiliated my beloved Audio Research VT100MKII. We were all was dumbfounded by what we heard. I purchased the pair right on the spot.
I have since listened to A/B comparisons of my little Nuforce amps with other much higher priced solid state amp and the Nuforce beat them hands down!
I would recommend at the very least, auditioning a pair of the Nuforce. In my experience they mate very well with Von Schweikert speakers. If my recollection is correct, Albert voiced the VR-4 speakers with Class-D amps, I believe they may have been Spectrons. This may account for why the Nuforce sounds so good mated with the VS speakers.
I will say, however, that I have heard my Nuforce paired with other electronics and speakers that resulted in less than stellar sound. System synergy plays a HUGE role, particularly with these amps.
Ggil: I may do that audition some day, but unless the NuForce is better than the Pass X350, I'll keep my ARC. Also -- and I'm sure you're aware of this -- the VT100MII and MKIII don't sound all that much alike. I've owned all three versions. Regardless, I'm glad you're enjoying your system with the 4-Jrs. They're incredible for the money.
9rw, yes, I am a Nuforce and Legacy dealer but I'm also an enthusiast. And though the Aerial 10Ts would hold their own against many speakers, the ribbon tweeters and ribbon midranges on the Legacys provide a more complete and refined musical presentation than the Aerial 10Ts and perhaps many other dynamic-driver speakers. Amazing how much more complete horns, vocals, and strings sound. And the 10Ts were never a bad speaker in my opinion.
BTW, you never did expand on your experience about what you heard specifically with the Nuforce amps. In fact, your comment to Ggil almost sounds as though you never auditioned the Nuforce amps. I hope that's not the case.
Nevertheless, based on the system you listed I would like to take a stab at some comments and suggestions as to why I think you may be hearing 'zingy' highs in your own system.
Speaker Cables and Interconnects
I would recommend auditioning other ics and scs. I've never heard the Cardas in my own system but I've heard them in others and I've heard what others have compared them to and based on that information I would not hesitate to audition other ics. Seven years ago, I owned both the AZ Satori (shotgun bi-wire) and Harmonic Technology Pro-9 speaker cables (both engineered by Robert Lee of AZ). In my experience the Harmonic Technology Pro 9s and AZ Satoris were loaded with time-smear as are many cables. But that only became evident when I replaced them with the similarly-priced Audience Au24 speaker cables. Even better cables are the Paul Speltz Anti-cables and Anti-ics, Balanced Power Technology, and Audio Tekne cables. But the Audio Tekne scs and ics are far better than any of these and are almost identical in price. I still am not aware of a better ic or sc. Installing any one of these other cables could easily minimize the so-called zingy highs that you claim to hear while also providing much greater bass definition and a far more musical and pristine presentation.
I've heard good things about the Audio Magic lc, but it sounds like you have no line-conditioning for your other components. This is a big and obvious area of concern and could make any revealing component sound weird in the highs. Any component that is not receiving proper line-conditioning is passing much AC noise into the presentation. One of the most obvious side affects of improper or no line conditioning is negative sibilance and the affects can easily be interpreted as zingy highs, fatiguing, etc..
To the best of my knowledge there's near zero if not zero performance gains in the Target rack and perhaps just a bit more performance with the BDR cones. In either case if either one of these items has no performance value, then the other item will not be able to perform either because they must work together. This area of vibration mgmt may not seem significant at the moment but properly addressing vibrations can bring by far the greatest performance gains you may ever hear. If you've ever been in your car at a stoplight with some kid blasting his subwoofer two cars behind wreaking havoc on your car in the outdoors, you can begin to get an understanding of the absolute havoc caused by vibrations trapped inside your components in a closed-in room. Obviously Robert Harley (editor of The Absolute Sound) is not aware of this fact, otherwise he would never have admitted to auditioning the lightweight Nuforce amps by placing them on the carpet as he claimed in an issue about 9 months ago in TAS where they systematically tried to pooh-pooh all Class D technology in general and essentially retracted their Nuforce amp the Amp of the Year award. Still Harley said that he enjoyed the Nuforce amps. But when Jonathan Valin claimed that all the Class D amps just sounded weird in the highs makes me think perhaps he had his digital amps hanging from a chandelier. At the very least you could audition Star Sound's Audio Points. This may only get you about 5 or 10% gain simply because of the rack you are using. But that's still a pretty good and inexpensive improvement and would help minimize the so-called zingy highs you claim to hear. To realize more benefits, you would have to replace your rack with a performance-oriented one.
In summary, any one of these deficiencies will make any truly revealing component sound fatiguing, 'zingy', hyper-detailed, etc. I can all but guarantee that if you or anybody else (including TAS) claims that weird things are happening in the high frequencies with the Nuforce amps in place, it's simply not the amps. Rather for the first time deficiencies within the system may be exposed because of the extremely revealing Nuforce amps.
Bottom line is a truly revealing component is not so common in high-end audio. And when such a component does come along its revealing beauty for what it does with music also becomes its own worst enemy simply because a truly revealing component must be indiscriminate about what it's revealing. Whether it's musical information, time-smear, AC noise, or trapped resonance energy.
But then again, it's all too common to shoot the messenger.
Stehno: I assume you're a dealer for all of the other products you are recommending. That's fine, but you should mention that up front -- like in your first post on this thread. That's just the ethical thing to do.
To my knowledge, no one has ever accused Cardas cables of being zingy or having an exaggerated high end. And, by the way, my system is not bright at all yet it is highly resolving and highly musical. Also, my amp has a dedicated 20-amp circuit, which is far better than any line conditioning. I've tried probably 10 and while they may help in some areas the tradeoffs were unacceptable to me. I forgot to mention that my amp sits on a Sound Anchor spiked stand.
While the Wadia -- with the SE transport and GNSC extensive damping and isolation -- is fairly immune to vibration, that is one area that I could probably improve upon. I'll check into that with Steve at GNSC. Thanks for reminding me.
Incidentally, with your Legacy speakers (and the Aerials for that matter), which are neither phase- nor time-aligned, more time smear is coming from the speakers than any cable could cause. But I'll bet they sound incredible on highly processed rock 'n' roll recordings played real loud!
I have never heard a non-phase or time-aligned speaker that has as natural a presentation and imaging as speakers that are. You should check some of them out. It's amazing how everything falls into place when a speaker has coherency. Such speakers are ruthlessly revealing of problems with upstream components, even those that are enjoying some almost certainly short-lived popularity.
Versions - I asked Jason about the market perception (and reality) that NuForce makes revisions weekly. Because I, like you all, don't like to feel I am behind the ball from the get go. Basically, with the V2 came some new "patented" technology and other propritory changes. So, when will the V3 introduced, I asked? I was "told" that NuForce plans to stand on this Version for some time as they beleive, and I agree, that the changes made are so significant that improvment on it will take another major change in technology or the sort.
Yes, I may have bit off more than I should have when I claimed "one of the top 5", but I was (am) so impressed and amazed at the improved preformance that such a statement is not far off. I challange anyone to give a good listen to the 9 SE V2, I strongly suspect that you too will be amazed and find your self thinking and saying things about it performance that you would not have thought before about any amp.
My reviews? Both the Ref 9 SE and the 9 V2 are posted and the Ref 9 SE V2 is a while off...I have some others in line first.
Zing? With the V2 there simply is none.
It all about the V2. As good at the none V2 units are, the V2 is really something else.
I own the Reference 9SE's and have been blow away with the sound. I run them with Dali MS5's and experience ZERO listener fatigue. For me cables and power conditioning seem to be a moot point. This has never been the case with any other amplifier that I have owned. The 9SE's are so clean and clear that I find myself pushing the volume to insane levels. I am in the line to get the upgrade to 9SE V2's. I should be sending mine in, in about two to three weeks. My Cd player is a Modwright 999ES without the clock or new power supply. Everyone that listens agrees the sound is simply awesome. The 9SE's are the best amps that I have heard or owned.
To the person that said "zippy highs" I say huh? That describes most other amps I have heard, not these. I know as I have suffered from "bleeding ears" my entire audio life until I got the BAT 300XSE and now these.
Can't wait for the upgrade!!
Oh but it's OK for brands like Audio Research, Wilson Audio, etc. to bring out "MK II", "MK III", "MK IV" versions and constantly improve THEIR stuff, right? Man! Where do all these vitriolic comments come from anyway? Have either of you (Lacee, 9rw) actually LISTENED to the damn things? What the heck is wrong with a company constantly striving to improve their products? Are you guys still using 486 based PCs at home? ("We'll I'm just gonna wait until the new Vista 'verion 20' comes out, then maybe they'll have gotten it right!") Sheesh. Give it a rest or audition a pair already.
I don't even currently own a pair, but did have the 9SE's for about a year and they were amoung the finest amps (glass, hybrid, or SS) that I've ever heard. And YES, I've owned my fair share of amps over the last 30+ years (well over twenty). I'm currently running a pair of heavily modded Joilda JD3000 mono block tube amps, but with heat, high operating cost, etc. am once again considering another pair of NuForce - ESPECIALLY now that they have an even better V2.
Is your glass half full? What in life doesn't chance. Cars are updated every year, TV's just about every week (lol)everything is improved for the better or cheapened to sell more. This is a young company that makes a great product. $800 to upgrade from V1 to V2 is cheap considering. I could live ever happy with my 9SE's they are that good. $800 to upgrade them to even better--- WOW! My glass is always full and running over. Everyone that listens to my system is amazed at the sound. I am not affiliated with the company in any way, I am just a consumer.
your response is quite puzzling. Would you prefer to have a company that offers no upgrade pathways or no evolution?
The fact that Nuforce is offering an evolutionary and revolutionary product which for a reasonable fee keeps on improving is a testament to how good a company they are.
In my 20 years of selling equipment, I can't tell you how many times customers were upset that Mark Levinson or Krell had come up with a new product, which made their current models obsolete, and in most cases there was no upgrade path. Most high end companies come out with new models every four to five years.
You also forget how many revisions ARC came up with for many of their preamp models!
In reality this is only the second generation for the Ref 9 in two years. The 9Se is a different model entirely!
Also after talking with Jason, the V2 board will be very hard to better, so you can be assured that the V2 versions will be current for quite a while, but even if that is not the case, the upgrade costs with Nuforce for an original owner are very reasonable and is testament to the kind of customer support that will make Nuforce a real player in
So if you buy an amp that is subsequently upgraded, does that somehow change the sound of your amp? Or invalidate your buying decision? The next guy presumably gets a better sounding product, that would be progress wouldn't it? Perhaps version 3 will have two of the NuForce amps in the "five best amplifiers out there and currently available" category. In fact, if they kept going they might just have the top five all to themselves.
Right, with a feedback rating that is double yours, I have never had the pleasure of selling anything here that isn't current so I appreciate you setting me straight. I guess that makes me a dealer, and you a psychic, eh? As I said, I do agree with you that it does devalue gear but "worthless", come on now.
Marty: Your feedback is perhaps double in quantity, but obviously not in quality. They are both 100 percent positive. With 36 transactions, I think I have a pretty good handle on how these things go. You know darn well that stuff that isn't current takes a HUGE hit. It isn't worthless, but it's pretty close. The very first question is always whether it's the latest greatest. If it's not, a lot of people don't want it. Period.
I just love the caginess of all these pseudo findings like "competes favorably with amps 4 times its price." And of course, our most audiophillically morbid curiosity having been duly peaked. . . we will be kept hence and forever in the dark. Who are the megagalactic heavies that have been thussly behumbled? What does the ever-so-generic "competes favorably" even mean? And then there is peap show part 2, where a yet unnamed and strangely unmentionable former 'belle'--"one of the most regarded American made solid state amplifiers on the market [. . . costing] $21,000.00"--is almost coquettishly hidden from full public view by a gauzy veil of hints and tantalizing innuendos about her most electrical of aging prowess.
May I suggest that comparative findings should either be made openly, honestly and forthrightly. . . or mercifully not even hinted at all?
Seems to me this is almost like the old drole commercial for CountryCrotch margarine which 'research proves' is invariably so much preferable to the ever unmentionable 'leading brand'. . . of course costing 'up to' 4 times as much.
Just give me a break!
first off i owned ref 9, then ref 9se, i will be sending them in i a few weeks for V2, now let me see my initial investment is now current with whats sold new today. for cash up front, then some cash a year later, and again for the latest, deferred payment for current technology, IMO a great way of doing business. i am in great anticipation on getting V2 as reviews in positive feedback, stereo times, and others are so positive,
i am sorry that some find upgrading such a bad thing by nuforce but i surly dont see it that way,
i got my P-9 preamp several months ago, this preamp is the real deal, super quite, quite simple, motorized volume, two box design, that throws a super musical performance with the rest of my system. a huge up grade from p-8. but darn i had to buy new with out upgrading p-8, nuforce being the company that keeps there customers first give full retail trade in on p-8 even if you got it for less,
guys and gals how in the name of audio can you complain about nuforce. yes they may be nu on the scene. but i think they are bringing a needed breath of fresh air to the audio world.
OK Guido, I'll bite. One of the amps that my little Nuforce Ref. 9 (v1) "behumbled" was the prized darTZeel NHB-108, weighing in at a hefty 65 lbs!
However, we only listened to 3 tracks or so, and as I said previously, synergy is everything with these amps... as I suspect it is with the darTZeel.
And I don't believe, based on such a short listening comparison, one can draw the conclusion that "this sounds better than that." But nonetheless, it was a very fascinating -- even shocking evaluation.
P.S. Your writing is fantastic!!!
I am a dealer with certain loyalties to my brands, and not in every circumstance will the Nuforce sound better.
So I don't want to slander my own brands by naming names, but with a little research you could find out what brands I am comparing to.
The best thing if you are skeptical is to hear these amps for yourself, the tide is turning, and many people are starting to realize that Class D can have real magic and are not just technological freaks, but real instruments.
There will always be people who are drawn to the massive metal and sound of some of these conventional class A or Class A/B monster amps, but I am also willing to bet many consumers are going to rethink that Class D can't get me there, line of reasoning.
Thank you for the info Ggil!!!
AudioOracle, given my prior quotation and the following you wrote:
"The Nuforce Version 2 amplifiers are a true breakthrough, compared with amplifiers which are four times the price the Nuforce in most respects sounds better,
these amplifiers really are very special. I have to agree with JB8312, I would compare the Nuforce with many of the 20k and above amplifiers, in fact I
am actively searching to find an amplifier which really does outperform these little marvels."
I am not sure if your claims of holding 'certain loyalties" have much merit. Declining to reveal the identity of 'leading brand X', does not hide the undeniable fact that you seem to favor NewForce over your other more expensive brands. Nothing wrong with that in my view, except for the self-delusional coyness.
yet, I am positive that there are aspects in brand x that may be desirable over NewForce. If would be helpful to both us and to your manufacturers if you could enlighten us over the relative strengths of New Force and the yet unnamed leading brand X amp.
Okay, everyone has their likes and dislikes of the overall sound signature of the NuForce amps. My biggest complaint about them (I did have a 9 in my system for a while) was the RFI interference with my Tuner and telephone. Did they get that fixed 100%? If so, then I may give them another spin on the dial.
Zilla, you stated, I should be sending mine in, in about two to three weeks... Everyone that listens agrees the sound is simply awesome. The 9SE's are the best amps that I have heard or owned. If the older version is awesome...and [the] best amp you have ever heard or owned, why in Einsteins name would you be sending it in to get upgraded?
My response to the responses about my response.Some audio history that influences my take on NuForce upgrades.I was an original adoptee of the very first Oracle turntable and felt that it had certain things going for it that my old LP12 didn't.Well after a few upgrades I got out of the Oracle pit I had dug for myself.But my friend who kept his Linn stayed on for the ride right up to the Valhala mods and then he quit.Now they have an even more improved lp12 which I heard in comparison with the older Linn. The new one wins.So do the new Oracles,so do the newest of most audio gear.Yet why do some designs and gear become classics and win the test of time?Why are people willing to pay 4 times what an original 15 ohm LS3/5A cost when it was new?
I have nothing against the nu er NuForce,I hope it is an improvement over the first ones that I heard which didn't touch me in any positive ways musically and were as far from what I call listenable as it gets.Rough around the edges is too easy a description.But they were brought to market that way and sold after some good press. Then NuForce started to get other less flatering opinions and not just schoolboy first crush gushing reviews.It was then that they felt they could improve the amps.So from their track record of let the public tell us what is wrong and we'll fix it approach to audio,new improved versions keep popping up.
So I ask all my detractors, "what's wrong with waiting it out for the final best version?"
You know it's coming don't you?
Lacee - I agreee with your lodgic, and with that said, I bekleive me the Ref 9 SE V2 is their best and (maybe) final.
Never say never, right? But, I think with this version, NuForce should stand on it and let the market take them in. They are very very good, perhaps the sound they have been chasing with the earlier versions.
God, help us all.
When discussing any piece of gear; the question always is, compared to what? Reviews that paint a broad brush (as they so often do) often lead people into this false hope that any piece out there that is just plop and drop short of a miracle. Everyone wants a 'giant killer'. Everyone wants a lot for not much green down; yet at the end of the day it all boils down to experience, expectations, taste, and intelligent system planning.
this is the thing with nuforce gear in my experience, and others i have seen. ref 9 was a very good amp in my system. then nuforce released SE, and the reviewers gave good press to that upgrade, and with mine and others that i have read here on the Internet the press was right. now as nuforce upgrades there entire amp line with V2. reviewers got first taste of this technology. and as of yet not one negative anything, now that regular audiophiles are getting V2 more of the same. fine gear.
no doubt any given piece of gear is not for everyone. yet when it comes to nuforce and class d amps people want to knock them. man if you are happy with your system god bless you, and enjoy.
for me i'm happy with my nuforce amps and preamp. and this thread is for people who are getting or have V2 to share there thoughts.
why the responses to this thread that have nothing to do with what it was started for.
start or add info to threads that interest you for the gear you have.
Stltrains, my amps are 2 20 years old JRDG 7M golden giants, and I am starting to get an education in view of upgrading, hence my presence on this and other related threads. I am intrigued by potential of class D/T. Yet I am a seeker, never a 'believer'. For me NewForce is yet another device worth examining. . . critically, that is. . . like everything else I listen to, including the gear I own and love, and any amp that I may have fallen in love but do not own. If audiophiles love Newforce, I wish to find out why, when and how. What amps have they compared it to? What were the differences? Pros and cons? Makes sense?
First and foremost, I must confess, I simply do not believe in giant killers. I do believe in giants eg; products that deliver performance previously un-attainable in their price class. More and more often, people are becoming fixated with the notion that they can slay giants with inexpensive marvels. While there are plenty of great alternatives out there at the end of the day there is only so much performance many of these pieces can offer. The exciting thing however, is that you can get so close for so little.
Stepping off my soapbox and getting to your questions; I got an ear on the NuForce Ref 9.02 SE a year or so ago. Note that I did not own the piece, nor did I spend a large amount of time with the unit. I heard it paired with a few expensive electrostatics and dynamic cones and domes. This much I will say; if you have speakers that are require lots of current to really sing, and if you like your sound a bit forward and out into the room with all the added goodies of excellent detail, speed, control, and dynamics the NuForce could really delight. A good example would be Dynaudio speakers, which I found to be an exceptional match with the NuForce house-sound. One of the things I also love about NuForce is how invested they are into the market. This isnt just another one-man operation out of some garage NuForce are in it for the big time. People often dont know and subsequently cannot appreciate just how much effort that money it takes to do what they are doing.
The H2O Signature 150 is my favorite powerhouse class D amplifier. There is no other amp for $2000 that is built so whole-hog. It weighs roughly 50 pounds, and can drive any speaker on the planet (including the vaunted Apogee Scintilla), as it well should. While it is an ICE powered amp, it has a very warm and sweet sound that has offered the best blend of resolution/musicality that Ive come across in a high powered amplifier. Yet with all that said, like everything else, it wont be to everyones liking.
Guidocorona thats what the site is all about what you have said above. digging for the truth. you can do all of the research you want. as we all know actual auditions of gear in your system is the only way to know the truth. most manufacturers now have a in home audition program. any time you have gear in your system like your giants, and they have proved there pleasure to you over that long period of time is super. good luck in finding a replacement.
Rumadian i will be sending in my ref 9 SE amps next week for the V-2 upgrade. as for the strengths of my SEs along with the rest of my system, pure musical enjoyment for hours on end.
They easily drive my tylers which together throw a wide and deep sound stage. imaging that is very well placed. rock bottom bass, mid and upper range that is just right for my preference musical choice rock and roll. My system is completely rebuilt from scratch due to Katrina wiping me out.
Compared to my rotel, rocket setup my new system is easily superior in sound quality, and long term listening.
Other than classic rock and roll. i like the blues with some occasional classical.