The NuPrime 9 Series.
All about the new NuPrime 9 Series. 3 new high performance separates for both digital and analogue enthusiasts. In stock now.
This time last year, NuPrime was a one-trick pony with just a single model - the wickedly powerful IDA-16 digital integrated amplifier. The NuPrime team worked over-time as they cracked through 2015 with the launch of the even better separates - the DAC-10 in two versions and the killer ST-10 power amplifier. Then the brilliant little entry level IDA-8 integrated amplifier.
For 2016 we've already got 3 brand new models which we have spent a good deal of the summer break evaluating. For want of a better name they have been designated the '9' series but this carries some logic. Although originally flagged at around the time of the IDA-8 introduction, they have been the subject of continual redevelopment. While this delayed the launch, it also allowed significant improvements to be made in performance which takes them well beyond what the IDA-8 does and not far short of the flagship Reference LE range. And there are some things they do that even the DAC10/ST10 combo doesn't. This dramatically broadens the appeal of these components and allows you far greater flexibility in terms of matching into existing systems and building new ones.
The 3 components are
The DAC-9. This is obviously a DAC but with several distinct twists. As well as the usual array of digital inputs there is also analogue in. It's also a highly competent preamplifier. NZ$1250
The STA-9 stereo power amplifier shares the same casework as the DAC-9 and is an obvious match. But it is much more than just the power amplifier section of the IDA-8. NZ$1100
The HPA-9 doesn't fit into any conventional labeling as a component. Call it an analogue preamplifier, a phono stage and a headphone amplifier combined but with some stand out qualities. It is an intriguing mix, that takes a while to understand. But there will be situations where it's easily the best answer. NZ$1100
All of these components are priced well under the IDA-8 - and could easily be described as entry level. There are Cambridge Audio and Rotel components appear that inhabit a similar price territory. But it is NuPrime's remarkable sound quality and adoption of unique technologies that carries them far further than entry level - these are components with serious high end aspirations that will provide you with revelatory performance and often replace far more costly products.
The DAC9/STA9 is an obvious pairing and outperforms any integrated option. The flexibility of a pre-power system lends itself to change and upgrade as well as opening up other options including matching with both the Reference series DAC-10 and ST10 when there is a requirement to balance performance, budget and speaker matching.
There is an obvious progression from the NuForce 100 series we launched just on two years ago - on the face of it, the DAC and power amplifiers are upgraded versions but once you get into the detail it's obvious that despite the similar size and purpose there are major differences. The performance differential is significant, the new components being a lot better (although it was near on impossible to beat the originals at the time). But there are also a lot of things we liked about the NuForce sound which have been carried over to the NuPrime range - the rich midrange, the low noise and open character. In all cases these strengths have been greatly expanded upon.
Totally Wired Limited