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REVIEW (in progress) - Nuforce HDP 24/96 USB-Optical 24/192 Coax DAC Preamp and Headphone Amp - Page 110

post #1636 of 1648

A typical line level output is 2V.  The Icon HDP has a variable output determined by the volume knob that goes up to 2.6V.  As has been mentioned, the manufacturer says to use a 2 o'clock position, which is close to a 2V output signal.  I keep mine closer to the 3 o'clock setting, and I've not had any issues with my amp clipping.  For me, 3 o'clock is easy to see as the volume line is parallel to the shelf the HDP sits on.  I use 3 o'clock as the reference and adjust the volume knob just a bit less than this.  Though, even at full setting with the HDP, my Asgard amp does not clip at all.  Basically, if your amp is not clipping, you are good.

post #1637 of 1648
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonitus mirus View Post
 

A typical line level output is 2V.  The Icon HDP has a variable output determined by the volume knob that goes up to 2.6V.  As has been mentioned, the manufacturer says to use a 2 o'clock position, which is close to a 2V output signal.  I keep mine closer to the 3 o'clock setting, and I've not had any issues with my amp clipping.  For me, 3 o'clock is easy to see as the volume line is parallel to the shelf the HDP sits on.  I use 3 o'clock as the reference and adjust the volume knob just a bit less than this.  Though, even at full setting with the HDP, my Asgard amp does not clip at all.  Basically, if your amp is not clipping, you are good.


Good addendum and I do something similar. I can attach my Icon HDP for my NAD C375BEE with the volume at max w/ no clipping that I can hear. The HDP is/was a great product.

post #1638 of 1648

understood.  thanks again, guys!

post #1639 of 1648

I have their Icon2 amp which I feed from the HDP, and it's interesting since the Icon2 has an input limit of 2V, so it's a rare case of input clipping when I have the HDP turned up all the way.

 

Here's the "NuForce Towers" as I call them...

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Photo 1 of 1Icon2 speaker amp
RJ45 adapter box modded to have the XLR4 in front
HDP as dac
LPS power supply and usb converter on the bottom
post #1640 of 1648

I'm not too familiar with this, but from what understand, Redbook is limited at 2V max.   This is a pre-amp signal and it doesn't need to be that powerful, but there are numerous consumer devices available that vastly differ in range with regards to the maximum output level.

 

If any amp has the volume control at the input, it really doesn't matter too much how powerful the signal coming from the source/DAC might be, as any distortion can be eliminated by lowering the volume on the amp.  I know the O2 amp has the volume control inserted after the input and gain, so there is no way to prevent clipping using the amp's volume control if the input signal is too powerful.  I have not really looked too carefully at the Asgard's design, so I don't know where the volume control is located.

post #1641 of 1648
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_r_ View Post
 

Huh, discontinued huh? Ill have to make sure I check them out at CES when I get there. I kinda wish I hadnt gotten rid of my HDP, I liked the way it sounded with my Denon AH-D5000s.

 

I am now leading NuPrime Audio and Celsus Sound.  Please visit Celus Sound (www.celsus-sound.com) Venetian #29-116 when you are at CES.

I will be at room #29-322 (www.nuprimeaudio.com) or #29-116.

The Celsus Companion One is a portable DAC (PCM 384, DSD128), headphone amp and WiFi audio streamer (24/192) all in one. 

Its performance is much better than HDP.

post #1642 of 1648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

Nuforce kinda doesn't exist anymore. Their upper line was bought out and now carried under a new name: NuPrime. The rest of their company is now owned by Optoma, a company that makes projectors. It says on their website they'll continue some of the audio stuff, but beyond that I have no idea what's going on with the company anymore.


The high-end stuff is getting way better than before, for example, the newly released NuPrime DAC-10H has dual headphone outputs (XLR and RCA) and supporting 6 gain settings - first of its kind that will support any headphones/earphones on the market. 

You can find even better portable electronics under www.celsus-sound.com.

If you are at CES, come and chat with me, I will tell you the road map of some incredible stuff on the horizon. 

By the way, for those who doesn't know, I was the co-founder and ex-CEO (CEO until mid 2013) of NuForce.  I left in June of last year to lead NuPrime Audio and started Celsus Sound.

post #1643 of 1648
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonl View Post
 


The high-end stuff is getting way better than before, for example, the newly released NuPrime DAC-10H has dual headphone outputs (XLR and RCA) and supporting 6 gain settings - first of its kind that will support any headphones/earphones on the market. 

You can find even better portable electronics under www.celsus-sound.com.

If you are at CES, come and chat with me, I will tell you the road map of some incredible stuff on the horizon. 

By the way, for those who doesn't know, I was the co-founder and ex-CEO (CEO until mid 2013) of NuForce.  I left in June of last year to lead NuPrime Audio and started Celsus Sound.

 

Thank for clarifying Jason. Having been a previous owner of the DAC-100, I'm intrigued by the DAC-10H (I was always disappointed that the DAC-100 didn't have balanced outputs).

 

Can you tell us anything about the dac and amp components in the DAC-10H?

- how does the dac compare to the DAC-9 or DAC-100/80?

- how does the amp compare (topologically and soundwise) to the HA-200 or HAP-100?

 

I currently have dual HA-200s and have been searching for a balanced dac. Or perhaps the amp in the DAC-10H would replace my monoblocks?


Edited by Armaegis - 1/7/15 at 11:14pm
post #1644 of 1648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Thank for clarifying Jason. Having been a previous owner of the DAC-10, I'm intrigued by the DAC-10H (I was always disappointed that the DAC-100 didn't have balanced outputs).

Can you tell us anything about the dac and amp components in the DAC-10H?
- how does the dac compare to the DAC-9 or DAC-100/80?
- how does the amp compare (topologically and soundwise) to the HA-200 or HAP-100?

I currently have dual HA-200s and have been searching for a balanced dac. Or perhaps the amp in the DAC-10H would replace my monoblocks?

the NuForce DAC-9 was the first high end DAC and sounded great at the time. Implementation took too long and complicated. DAC-100 was the next design but posited at the < $1000 price point, so there are features and performance considerations that we can not do due to cost limitation.
At NuPrime, I wanted to start from the ground up with no constrain, so NuPrime DAC-10. Several design differences:
1. Preamp section of NuPrime DAC-10H comes from the high end $5000 P-20, using switch resistors implementatiin.
2. DAC section has been upgraded to 32-bit/384kHz for DSD256
3. Headphone amp as I mentioned before, dual outputs with stereo XLR so that you don't need to have two HA-200s (more to this below). So the key thing is the six gain settings that allow you to listen to your sensible IEM as well as hard to drive headphones.

Back to your setup, I thik you can still keep the HA-200s for really really hard to drive headphones, plus DAC-10H for all others.
Contact me by private message for trade-in deal.
post #1645 of 1648

Well when the DAC-100 came out it was actually over $1k (if memory serves I think it was 1.1k). Then you guys quite literally yanked the amp out and had the DAC-80, but also the UDH-100 without the spdif inputs, etc. To be brutally honest your product lineup and pricing schemes there made no sense and you lost a lot of customer confidence there.

 

Drivers for the dac were also fiddly, and having to choose the sampling rates in an external window/program was an odd and unpopular choice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonl View Post

 

the NuForce DAC-9 was the first high end DAC and sounded great at the time. Implementation took too long and complicated. DAC-100 was the next design but posited at the < $1000 price point, so there are features and performance considerations that we can not do due to cost limitation.
At NuPrime, I wanted to start from the ground up with no constrain, so NuPrime DAC-10. Several design differences:
1. Preamp section of NuPrime DAC-10H comes from the high end $5000 P-20, using switch resistors implementatiin.
2. DAC section has been upgraded to 32-bit/384kHz for DSD256
3. Headphone amp as I mentioned before, dual outputs with stereo XLR so that you don't need to have two HA-200s (more to this below). So the key thing is the six gain settings that allow you to listen to your sensible IEM as well as hard to drive headphones.

Back to your setup, I thik you can still keep the HA-200s for really really hard to drive headphones, plus DAC-10H for all others.
Contact me by private message for trade-in deal.

post #1646 of 1648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

Well when the DAC-100 came out it was actually over $1k (if memory serves I think it was 1.1k). Then you guys quite literally yanked the amp out and had the DAC-80, but also the UDH-100 without the spdif inputs, etc. To be brutally honest your product lineup and pricing schemes there made no sense and you lost a lot of customer confidence there.

 

Drivers for the dac were also fiddly, and having to choose the sampling rates in an external window/program was an odd and unpopular choice.

 

As a manufacturer, we have to figure out the sweet spot for features and pricing and very often it is a shifting position.  This is a very tough business (profit is slim due to low volume) and unfortunately we didn't get it right with DAC-100. Performance wise, I think it was much better than its price so it was a good deal. But the demand has shifted toward > $1500 or < $800 price points. To be brutally honest as you put it, we have no choice but to yank out the headphone amp and drop the price to move the inventory. It was painful. Anyway, our pain is your gain ;).

 

So with DAC-10H, we packed in more features and performance go for "the last desktop DAC you will ever need" position.

post #1647 of 1648
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonl View Post
 

As a manufacturer, we have to figure out the sweet spot for features and pricing and very often it is a shifting position.  This is a very tough business (profit is slim due to low volume) and unfortunately we didn't get it right with DAC-100. Performance wise, I think it was much better than its price so it was a good deal. But the demand has shifted toward > $1500 or < $800 price points. To be brutally honest as you put it, we have no choice but to yank out the headphone amp and drop the price to move the inventory. It was painful. Anyway, our pain is your gain ;).

 

So with DAC-10H, we packed in more features and performance go for "the last desktop DAC you will ever need" position.


I think I was one of the few people that knew what was going on. You had to make some tough decisions.

 

What I'd love to see is you innovating past the "usual" feature set, with new features similar to the Lavry DAC-11's PIC variable soundstage enhancer/compressor, or featuring Bluetooth wireless with APT-X and up-sampling the basic BT signal to 24 bit to re-clock and de-jitter the signal.

post #1648 of 1648
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
 


I think I was one of the few people that knew what was going on. You had to make some tough decisions.

 

What I'd love to see is you innovating past the "usual" feature set, with new features similar to the Lavry DAC-11's PIC variable soundstage enhancer/compressor, or featuring Bluetooth wireless with APT-X and up-sampling the basic BT signal to 24 bit to re-clock and de-jitter the signal.


I think WiFi audio is ready. It is now fast and robust enough to offer much better fidelity than bluetooth. So we are moving toward more WiFi audio and BT integration.

Take the Celsus Sound Companion One for example (www.celsus-sound.com), with a little bit of planning, it is possible to stream from NAS to Companion One at 24 bit/192K.  Have to use WiFi scanner (free App on Android) to find the best available channel, then set up a WiFi repeater SSID from the main SSID (so that it is still connected to the internet). All the audio devices (NAS with music, Companion One, tablet) all attached to the SSID dedicated for audio, away from the data SSID for best performance.

If Companion One is used with smart phone outside of home, then set it to AP mode with direct streaming (no more bundling DAC and smartphone).

:tongue_smile:, a little bit of sales pitch here.  But it is the innovation beyond the usual features.

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