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[Review] Nuforce Icon HDP - Page 2

post #16 of 172

I'm thoroughly enjoying the HDPs as well. Have had them for approximately 6 months now and they drive everything i've thrown at them, from my previous HD800s to the current Hifiman HE-6s. Although whether this humble DAC/AMP unit does justice in driving them up to their potential is an entirely different issue altogether.

 

However, it must be said, I have enjoyed every moment with these gems and frankly even now with the notoriously difficult to drive HE-6s, they do an admirable job. If not for my need to see if the HE-6s can do with more power from a different AMP, i would see the HDP staying with me for a long time more.

 

Enjoy!

post #17 of 172
Thread Starter 

Why not keep the HDP for the amazing DAC and just use the line-out to a larger amp?

post #18 of 172

 

I have been considering that but we'll see when the NFB10 arrives!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulSyde View Post

Why not keep the HDP for the amazing DAC and just use the line-out to a larger amp?

post #19 of 172

Its weird - after starting a thread in the High End forum where I noted that 6Moons simply arent suffciently critical of the gear they review, I came upon their review of the HRT Streamer Pro. To me, its no surprise that a dedicated asynch DAC selling for more than the HDP (esp when you factor in the costs of connecting the Pro to the rest of your kit !) would have characteristics which might endear themselves to a reviewer.

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/hrt2/pro_4.html

 

Here the Pro's async superiority—or more sophisticated converter implementation—asserted itself noticeably. The NuForce DAC was harder, drier and sharper. Newbie listeners on their first more serious hifi foray would initially mistake that type of glossier presentation for greater resolution and vigor. Even a little experience however should quickly determine that the HRT played it more natural. Its lack of etch didn't mean lack of edge. It simply meant more realistic transients. Its reduced brightness didn't mean less treble. It simply meant better timing. This nearly invariably sweetens the top end and renders rhythm more relaxed but also endowed with a looser better swing. Swing rather than military bearing was in fact on the menu, this compliments of Eddie Daniels and Gary Burton revisiting Benny Goodman standards on GRP's Benny Rides Again.


One man's opinion, but it was interesting that they were willing to criticise the HDP's DAC when NuForce is prominently displayed as a advertiser, and shame on those of you who 'mistake that type of glossier presentation for greater resolution and vigor'  :)

post #20 of 172


Cool story, Bro!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Its weird - after starting a thread in the High End forum where I noted that 6Moons simply arent suffciently critical of the gear they review, I came upon their review of the HRT Streamer Pro. To me, its no surprise that a dedicated asynch DAC selling for more than the HDP (esp when you factor in the costs of connecting the Pro to the rest of your kit !) would have characteristics which might endear themselves to a reviewer.

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/hrt2/pro_4.html

 

Here the Pro's async superiority—or more sophisticated converter implementation—asserted itself noticeably. The NuForce DAC was harder, drier and sharper. Newbie listeners on their first more serious hifi foray would initially mistake that type of glossier presentation for greater resolution and vigor. Even a little experience however should quickly determine that the HRT played it more natural. Its lack of etch didn't mean lack of edge. It simply meant more realistic transients. Its reduced brightness didn't mean less treble. It simply meant better timing. This nearly invariably sweetens the top end and renders rhythm more relaxed but also endowed with a looser better swing. Swing rather than military bearing was in fact on the menu, this compliments of Eddie Daniels and Gary Burton revisiting Benny Goodman standards on GRP's Benny Rides Again.


One man's opinion, but it was interesting that they were willing to criticise the HDP's DAC when NuForce is prominently displayed as a advertiser, and shame on those of you who 'mistake that type of glossier presentation for greater resolution and vigor'  :)

post #21 of 172
Thread Starter 

6moons rolleyes.gif

post #22 of 172

I've also been truly enjoying the HDP.  I've put several hundred hours on it between using it for audio and video and am another who is extremely satisfied with this purchase and feel I got very good value for the price.  The HDP is just great with both my Shure SE530 IEMs and my Sennheiser HD650's.  It is especially well suited for the HD650's as the warm, lush sound and good bass of those cans is a great match for the arguably slightly bright and detailed sound that the HDP puts out.  Also love the small form factor that doesn't take up much room on my crowded desktop (in the vertical position).  Very happy with this purchase and am not feeling any urge to upgrade further, except for hooking up some speakers that will be worthy of the HDP.

post #23 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by harpua View Post

It is especially well suited for the HD650's as the warm, lush sound and good bass of those cans is a great match for the arguably slightly bright and detailed sound that the HDP puts out.


My sentiments exactly.

post #24 of 172

So, HDP owners: would you describe the amp as neutral-sounding, or is the brightness significantly noticeable?

 

Also, how's the gain - does it get very loud - too much, even? I don't see a gain switch, so I'm guessing there's none.


Edited by 12345142 - 12/23/10 at 3:39pm
post #25 of 172
Thread Starter 
I would describe it as neutral to slightly bright. As mentioned earlier, it's a great combo if paired with bass heavy or warm headphones. Grado owners beware. : )

No gain switch, but they drive everything from IEMs to HD600 with ease. If your headphones are on the sensitive side you can always knock the outgoing volume down on your PC. That's why it really isn't necessary to have a gain switch on a DAC/amp.
post #26 of 172

Thanks for the response. I find lowering the computer volume causes my music to sound compressed, though, thus the need for a gain switch. Judging from the sound signature, I guess the HDP wouldn't do so well with K702s, huh?

post #27 of 172
Thread Starter 

I think it would.  I've never demo'd the K701s but if they're anything remotely close to the K240s they'll likely be very good with that amp.  I don't think that AKGs are anywhere near as bright as most Grados.

post #28 of 172

Well it's been another 16 days or so since I last posted in this thread and I've been listening to the HDP for many hours every day between music and video.  I don't know if it's just me and my ears becoming more sensitive, or also my fairly new HD650's continuing to burn in, or the HDP, or a combination of all of the above, but whatever it is, to me it seems that the sound has continued to improve significantly and now I am just blown away with how great these two components are sounding together now.  I lack the vocabulary to adequately describe it but the sound seems to have increased depth and dimensionality since my previous comments and I was already very impressed back then.  I guess I could say perhaps that what I think is frequently referred to as the "soundstage" which was quite detailed before has become even more detailed, more articulated, there seems to be more space, more separation between instruments, more clarity, and the bass and percussion has greater depth and extension.  Everything just seems to keep getting better.  If it stops improving here I'll be very satisfied but I suspect that it's still continuing to improve.

 

And the above is very surprising to me because I would have expected some kind of listener fatigue to set in or at least to have become somewhat used to the quality of the sound and therefore to not continue to be as impressed with it as I was before.  But that has definitely not been the case.  So I continue to be very happy with the HDP (along with the HD650s).

post #29 of 172

Well, I'm looking for a neutral-sounding DAC that plays well with all kinds of different amps and headphones. For those of you with the HDP hooked up to a separate amp: would it fit this description? Also, when using the RCA-out, is there a fixed volume or does the volume control still function?

post #30 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12345142 View Post

Well, I'm looking for a neutral-sounding DAC that plays well with all kinds of different amps and headphones. For those of you with the HDP hooked up to a separate amp: would it fit this description? Also, when using the RCA-out, is there a fixed volume or does the volume control still function?


I can answer the part about the RCA outs . . . the volume control still functions and controls the RCA outs.  Also, I believe if you have headphones plugged in, that cuts off the signal to the RCA outs.

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