NuForce STA 200


Hi, everyone! I need some inputs here. I am shopping for a Amplifier and came to know NuForce STA 200. Is it a good amp? What is a pre-amp recommended to go with it? I called the seller, the guy said he recommended any “decent” Parasound pre-amp. What do you think? If I buy the amp, for now, will use it to run my Klipsch R28F and will use my Onkyo TA-8555 as pre-amp. 
justinpham2012
Hi Justin -


You need to chill my friend.  

Based on your last post, you are jumping from amp to amp, being turned around by a low price, and you seemed determined to only buy used from local sellers.

The Nu Force is a well regarded and reviewed amp.  

You can buy the NuForce NEW for $500 from Audio Advisor.

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=NUSTA200

Use it with your Onkyo for now and see how it all works together.  It will probably sound pretty good.  It will have more than enough power for your Klipschs.

Good luck.  

Rich 
@rar1 you’re the best. Thank you so much for all your inputs. You’re right, I am new in this, don’t know which way to go, and I need to chill. with a limited budget, it’s very hard to know which one is the best to go with. On the other post, I asked you a question about Adcom, was hoping you could give me some inputs, but the guy sold them now. I think I go with NuForce. Lol!
Keep in mind the STA 200 amp has an input sensitivity of .45 volts and a gain of 34.5 db. It was designed with the intent of the user to feed straight into it, the Nuforce dac, which puts out just a bit under 1.5 volts. Using any preamp, with gain ( non passive ), it is likely you will be using just a small movement of the volume control. If there is any system noise preceding it, this amp will amplify it. It is, however, an excellent amplifier and will sing with your Klipsch. Enjoy ! MrD.
^^^^^ Excellent advice. If most of the content is digital, e.g., streaming, CD, etc., this amp would be a good candidate for a DAC with a volume control , albeit it may sound a bit dry when compared to a tube front end active preamp.
Hi Justin -

The thing with the Adcom GTP 500 and 535 is that those pieces are almost 30 years old.  They are most likely due for an overhaul, so you would not be saving money in the long run.  

I would still recommend the Class D audio (CDA250).  They are having a 10% off sale right now.  These are the amps of the future in my eyes. 

The Onkyo would still be your front end and act as the preamp.  At some point that would be your next upgrade.  By then, you may have more scratch to spend.

Rich 
@rar1 many many thanks to you because with your help, now I almost make my decision. I’m debating myself between Class D Audio CDA250 vs. NuForce STA 200. Same money between these 2. So @rar1,please 1 last question, 1 last input from you ( I appreciate your help alot) which one do you choose? Base on what I have now and for future upgrade. 
I have the CDA 250 and love it.  So, that would be my vote. 

I have a working ADCOM GTP 500 II (with the remote) that I do not use anymore.  If you send me your address (private message), I will send it to you free of charge.  You would use this as your preamp.  It has a built in phono input and it has a FM tuner, as well.  I bought it 28 years ago as my divorce present to myself.  

This is an old school preamp, so I have no idea how you would do HT bypass, etc, but this would get you started for now.

I am away on business for the next week, so it will be a week or so before I can get this out to you.  I am also assuming that you live in the US.

Rich 
@rar1 thank you, Rich! Just send a message to you. 

I am going to order the CDA-250 today.

Again, thank you so much for your help.
Just ordered the ClassDaudio CDA-250C. I’m so excited. Can’t wait till it shows at my front door. 
You are going to like that Class D Audio amp. I own both a Class D Audio SDA-470 and a Nuforce MCA30. The Class D Audio amp sounds more life like than the Nuforce which is no slouch to begin. It is just the Class D Audio amp is a notch or two better sounding to my ears and my wife. That is why I am using the Class D Audio amp to actively biamp my KEF XQ5 towers and having the Nuforce power the rest of my 7.2 system. 
@slbenz thanks for input. Now I have another question about DAC. Because my wife sometimes like to watch music videos from YouTube through TV, I am thinking to buy a DAC, connect TV to it through Toslink/Optical, then DAC to preamp —>amp—>Speakers. I am looking at 3 DACs: Cambridge MagicDAC 100 (found new one for $150), Peachtree DAC-it ($250) and Schiit Bifrost (found used one for $300). I dont want to spend more than $300 and at same time want to impress my wife ( happy wife - happy life LOL). Which DAC is ok to go with? Is Cambridge Dacmagic 100 is good enough? 
Thanks again everyone!
Dac-itx, Parasound Zdac, Simaudio 100D.  I have owned each, they are excellent, and can be had for around $200
does the OP have an update for us yet on the new amp that is to arrive ?
I should receive it tomorrow, 
I would have gotten the NuForce. Based on the Job225, the amp his highly regarded and will have better resale value over the Class D audio amp. Let us know how you like the Class D
Interesting to see if used prices are based on $1250 list price or the $499 most owners paid...
The original $ 1299. price for the STA 200 was not going to work, simply because the JOB 225 was $1599., more power and bridgeable. However, the technology is almost exact, and when Nuforce decided to deliver them to their dealers for far less, the $499. became the new price. There are many who feel at $1299. it would still be a good deal. I purchased mine in April of "17, at the $499. price, just for the shits and giggles of it, knowing I could return it. Surprisingly, it has bettered many amps in my collection, many of which I have sold off. I did not manufacture it, nor do I have any association with the company, but my ears tell me it is a very good music maker. Enjoy ! MrD.
Pretty much my reaction as well. I purchased mine as an "in between" amp and now have no desire to upgrade further.
It’s a great little amp. I’m tempted to buy another one at these prices. 
Hard to beat my $199 Audionics CC2 but yes I am considering the Nuforce as a $499 returnable folly
it has good genes for sure....
I had a CC2 and BT2 back then. The amp in particular, was exceptional for what it was. Considering the age and technology of the components in the CC2, my bet is on the Nuforce. However, a complete rebuild of the CC2 might be very enjoyable. Enjoy ! MrD.
I received the amp CDA-250C about 5 days ago and have been playing music with my Onkyo. The amp makes the speakers sound much better. 

Today I got the Adcom GTP-500II from @rar1 and connected it to the CDA-250C, wow! The music even sounds much much better, feel more power from speakers even played at very low volume.

Now I have another question: I have the sub, how I can use it with the Adcom GTP-500II? Do I have to buy 2 RCA spilliter like this one from Amazon and connect to the speakers and the sub? 
https://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-splitter-female-15-24cm-cable/dp/B000GUSQJG/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?ie=UTF8...


By the way, my sub is Klipsch R-12SW
I recently purchased a Nuforce STA200 based on this thread. Other solid state amps I’ve had:

TAD Hibachi monoblocks
NAD M22
Paradigm Active 40 v2 (active speakers)
Simaudio I5 (integrated)
Anthem Integrated 2

Current setup is as follows:

PMC OB1 speakers
NAD M51 DAC
Doge 8 preamp (w/ re-issue Genalex 12AT7)
Rel T7 subwoofer

Out of the box the amp was hot on the high end. Over the course of the past 3 days the highs have tamed a bit and the sound is more balanced. The NAD M22 was probably the smoothest amp I’ve had, with the Anthem Integrated being the darkest. The Paradigm speakers had better dynamics, but the level of detail does not match the Nuforce amp. In fact, it’s really not close. The PMC speakers are known to work better with lots of power (PMC uses Bryston as a reference) but considering the size of my living room, the Nuforce has enough ooomph.

Overall I’m very happy with the STA200 and will report back once the amp has broken in further. For $500 from Audio Advisor, it is certainly worth the price. I was not expecting the quality of sound that this amp produces. For $500 I can't think of anything else in the price range that can compete. The level of detail bests the Simaudio I5, which is an extremely highly regarded integrated.

Nothing Bryston or Simaudio makes can be had for $500. Odyssey, McCormack, Electrocompaniet and Naim are amp manufacturers that play in this league of sound quality, and none of them can be had on the second hand market for $500. No the STA200 is not perfect. Compared to active speakers the dynamics don't compare, but the overall presentation is fantastic. If there are other amps that can be purchased for $500 that compare to the Nuforce please share your experiences.

jeenam, I am surprised about your STA200 sounding a bit hot on the high end, mine was/is not.

But the reason I am writing is that as mentioned in other threads the STA200 is fairly high gain, and with my tube preamp I was able to turn the volume control up much less than before. At another’s recommendation I purchased the Schitt Sys (volume control) for about $50. It does not plug in, and its between my preamp and amp. I love being able to use whatever range on my volume control I would like.

Jetter - I previously ran a Schiit Sys with Paradigm Active 40 v2 and Active 450LR and it is a good deal for $50. The hot in the highs can probably be attributed to the Doge pre and Genalex tubes. Attenuation of the signal is not an issue as the NAD M51 DAC's 35-bit depth allows for up to ~55db of attenuation without affecting signal quality.
Received my sta 200 today. I push the power button and as soon as I let go of the power button the power goes out.  Actually, the power never really comes on or stays on. Anyone else have this issue?
The selecter was on the correct voltage. But just for the hell of it I switched it over 220 and then back again. Visually I could tell the selector switch was in exactly the same spot. So not expecting anything to happen, I pushed the power button and this time it stayed and turned on.
Wtf?

Also, please don't tell me those foam "things" bent at 90 degree angles are the feet...
Devilboy, the STA200 is a very " non resonant " chassis, and those rubber feet at 90 degree angles are all part of the design. I have tried other feet, and very little improvement. I do have the amp sitting on an old VPI platform, which is a sandwich design of various materials that is quite non resonant in and of itself. I am still amazed at the sonic ability of this little gem. Enjoy ! MrD
Thanks Mr. D. I have mine on a platform as well. An older one. The name escapes me now. The feet are a bit strange though. I've had two Job 225 amps plus their  INTegrated.  The STA 200 sounded nice right out of the box last night. Clean and dynamic, typical of the Job amps.
What preamp are you using?
Not sure of whom you are asking the question. I am using a Luminous Audio Axiom, Walker mod, 3 in, 2 out, single ended, with remote. Incredible. Enjoy, MrD.
I'm using a Burson V2+ as my DAC, preamp and headphone amp for my Focal Clears.
Was asking any and all since it’s a difficult match. I’m currently using DAC-9 as pre    Thanks 
I've had my STA200 for over a year now and I still love it. I have it pared with a Rogue tube RP5 with a Schiit SYS in between to cut the gain. As I said before, I originally got the amp as an "in between" amp. However, I still am in no hurry to upgrade. When I do, The Benchmark amp sounds really tempting.
It's been over 30 days since I purchased the STA200 and I've ironed out some issues with my system. I had been using an Apple TV 3rd gen via the optical output to the NAD M51 DAC and switched to the USB input connected to an old Windows laptop.

The sound is now phenomenal. I am seriously convinced that you're not going to beat this amp for $500. Bass is full and tight. I ditched the Doge 8 and am running the M51 directly into the STA200 and there is no harshness, but the highs are extended and detailed.
@jl35 

The DAC-9 will work fine as I tried it briefly with the DAC-10.  My preference is the W4S STP-SE.
I’m currently using DAC-9, CDT-8 and STA200. Great combo
An amazing little amp, for sure. Enjoy ! MrD.
@mrdecibel  @tomic601  - I had an Audionics BT-2 and CC-2 (later, a pair of bridged CC-2s) back in the day. They were my first audiophile setup. Loved them back then. Replaced them with a Conrad Johnson PV-2ar and the newly introduced (in 1985) Adcom GFA-555.

Tomic - Do you still have/use the CC-2?
@reubent - Yes I do !!! Right now it’s hooked up to Thiel but IF you look at my Vintage system, you can see a wide variety of speakers it will run including the 3 Ohm Apogee Stage. I sold quite a few BT-2 and CC2 combos back in the day. At some point I will go thru the amp and rebuild it.
best
jim
@reubent - 1st, I wish you, and all, safety and well being, during this pandemic of ours. I sold my CC2 a few years ago, along with many other amps from my collection ( had close to 100 ), after purchasing my 1st STA200, as it easily bettered it. As I mentioned earlier, the CC2 was a great amp, but unlike tomic, I had no interest in rebuilding it, but felt, it would be worth it. I am down to a dozen or so, of some older amps. Anyway, be well, and Enjoy !.