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Nuforce Dac-100 News

post #1 of 292
Thread Starter 

I was just checking out Nuforce's website and it seems they have announced a new flagship Headphone Amp/ DAC




Looks pretty nice!


What do you guys think?

post #2 of 292
Why no photos of the business end?
post #3 of 292
Thread Starter 

Yeah I was hoping to see a few, especially when you consider they claim they unit has been shipping since June 18th

post #4 of 292

It looks like it has one USB, one optical, and two Coax.  I might have to try it out.  It looks pretty cool in Black too.



Edited by HeadphoneAddict - 7/10/12 at 9:44pm
post #5 of 292
Thread Starter 

can you link to a review? Or is this first hand from Jude?


Agreed I have the HDP now and this may be in my future 

post #6 of 292
Originally Posted by Jmstrmbn View Post

can you link to a review? Or is this first hand from Jude?


Agreed I have the HDP now and this may be in my future 


No links to a review yet.  I think I'll get one and review it though.  


I can compare it to the HDP + Sigma 11 PSU and DACmini as a DAC/amp combo and as a DAC only.  My Apogee mini-DAC is for sale and likely won't get included if it sells soon.  However, I've compared the Apogee to the DACmini and HDP enough to have a good idea how the DAC-100 would compare.  The Apogee headphone out is nice with great micro-detail, but it's sound stage is flatter front to back and less 3D than the HDP+S11 or DACmini.  In previous reviews the Apogee's headphone out was slightly below amps like the DV336i, EF1, Travagans Red, and Grahm Slee NOVO.


I'm not really happy with any of my current DAC/amp combination units with the HD800, as those get along better better with a less aggressive sounding DAC like Stello DA100 Signature or Perfectwave DAC via hi-end amp.  If the DAC-100 sounds anything like my Nuforce CDP-8 as a source with the HD800 I think I will be thrilled with it.  The CDP-8 RCA output beats many stand alone DACs under $1000 for sound quality.

post #7 of 292



Looking forward to the feedback/reviews on this one.

post #8 of 292
Thread Starter 
Looking forward to the feedback/reviews on tis one.



post #9 of 292

Will be interested to read reviews.  Looks like it is not designed for low impedance headphones based on the specs:


Headphone Specifications
  • Recommended Headphone Impedance: 120-600 Ohm
  • Output: 10.4 Vpp, 3.7 Vrms @ 300-600 Ohm
  • Single-ended, constant current 80mA
post #10 of 292
Originally Posted by Jmstrmbn View Post





post #11 of 292

Sorry, the reviews take time, DAC-100 release was delayed until end of June. I think they will gradually appear in the next few weeks. Some people have bought them directly from our online stores. The print/commercial magazine reviews will take months to come out.

post #12 of 292

Bought one tonight after I realized the HAP-100 didn't have optical input.



post #13 of 292
Thread Starter 

Looking forward to impressions when you receive it dt880smile.png

post #14 of 292

This is what I wrote about 4 weeks ago as initial impressions, starting here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/426508/sennheiser-hd800-appreciation-thread/5040#post_8601885





For the past 2 weeks I've been listening to nothing but my HE-500 and HD800 full size phones, while evaluating a new Nuforce DAC100 DAC/amp.  Highly recommended!  This is a an absolute match made in heaven with my HD800, but still pretty good with my low impedance HE-500 which are pretty demanding on an amp for current delivery.  I understand that the DAC100 can swing 10+ volts into 300 ohm, but drops closer to 2 volts into "low impedance" loads (and I think output impedance is close to 15 ohm).  


I have compared it to several other SS DAC/amp combos and the DAC100 has a bit more of an open and deeper soundstage than my DACmini, Apogee mini-DAC, or Nuforce HDP with S11 PSU.  In comparison the DACmini is slightly more forward and brighter sounding, the HDP is kinda in the middle with soundstage and slightly more aggressive, and the mini-DAC has a more shallow depth of presentation with a little edge to it when used with HD800.  


The DAC100 is also a bit more refined sounding, not aggressive or grainy in any way, and offers a pretty nice kick in the low end with HD800.  It also goes way louder than I could ever stand, without distortion.  Note - I am using a Locus-Design Hyperion Cable I got from Lee about a year before he passed way.  And I have HD800 serial number #660 that I picked up at the 2009 CanJam, as one of the first pairs sold when they were released.


Prior to the DAC100 the only solid state amp I have throughly enjoyed with the HD800 was the Luxman P-1u, which sounds a lot like my Eddie Current ZDT with partial silver transformers and Tung Sol 5751 tube.  I don't have the Luxman to compare now (was a TTVJ loaner), but I'd say the DAC100 comes very close to what I recall.  I'll compare it to my ZDT eventually, but since the DAC100 doesn't have analog inputs I'll have to use it as the source for the ZDT.  Usually I only listen to the HD800 with my PS Audio Perfectwave DAC > ZDT amp, because they sound a little aggressive with my other amps.  If I tune my Woo WA6 to sound best with the HD800, then the amp lacks sparkle and soundstage with my other phones.




Originally Posted by Agarvaen View Post

Have you listened to V200 as well and could compare the two paired with HD800?


No, sorry.  I've only tried a few solid state desktop amps with the HD800.


SS amps I've tried with the HD800 that were great with them were Luxman P-1u, Nuforce DAC100, and HiFiMan EF-6.  I enjoy these with the HD800 about as much as my Eddie Current ZDT.  Can't say they are all on the same level, but they all have good synergy with the HD800.


SS amps that were fairly good with HD800 were Grahm Slee Solo SRG II (but not the original SRG yuck) and ALO Amphora.  I tried a B22 and Lavry DA11 with them at a meet and it was fairly good, but in meet conditions and can't say I liked the pairing as much as the above.  These were all about as good in synergy as the Schitt Valhalla tube amp with HD800.


SS amps that are not bad but not optimal with HD800 are DACmini and SR-71b in balanced mode (which pair with them better than EF5 or EF2 hybrids).


SS amps that are a little fatiguing with HD800 are the Apogee mini-DAC with 12v Sigma 11 PSU, Nuforce HDP with 15v Sigma 11 PSU, and SAC KH1000 via APogee XLR out. (the HDP is much more refined with S11 PSU than Std PSU)


Of the portables that sounded good with HD800, I like the balanced SR-71b the most followed by the Meier 3MOVE (using Pico DAC as source).  The Stepdance prototype was slightly grainy with HD800, the final version less so but I had less time with it, but still not as good as the other two.  The HM-801 is better with HD800 than the Meier amps, and almost as good as the SR-71b but a little darker and less powerful.  The Pico Slim has great tonal balance with HD800 but is fairly underpowered with them - good for low volume listening at night.


So far I am absolutely thrilled with the DAC100, only wishing for an analog input for "just in case".  But when I want to listen to music with my iPod or iPad I simply connect my Nuforce iDo digital dock coax out into the DAC100, so lack of analog isn't a deal breaker.  It wasn't a deal breaker with the Apogee mini-DAC either, which has now been sold.


Since I got my HD800 in 2009 I'm not sure I've listened to them as many days-in-a-row as I have in the past 6 weeks.  I haven't been down to my basement rig in over a month to listen to my electrostatic headphone rig!  Instead I get to be up on the main floor of the house where all the action is, and enjoy my HD800 in my bedroom rig again.  Previously I spent most of my listening time in the bedroom rig with my HE-500 via DACmini, or KGSS/Stax O2, but I missed the huge soundstage of the HD800 (and HE-60 or SR-009) which I've kept paired with the bigger amps in the basement set up. (too big or run hot to set up in the bedroom)


Now that the kids are back in school, and my daughter is safely off at college, I'm hoping that I'll soon have the time to take the DAC100 down to my basement rig and hook it up to the ZDT amp and compare the amps with phones like the HD800, HE-500, LCD-2, HF-2 and LA7000.  I suspect, based upon what I've heard so far, that it will pair nicely in tone with the low impedance cans but will not have nearly the power of the ZDT into low impedance, which can output nearly 3-watts into 32 ohms and drives an HE-6 or K1000 fairly well.  Still, the DAC100 plays the inefficient HE-500 louder than I would normally listen, so not being able to replicate night-club volume levels isn't really a bad thing.  The ZDT is too tempting sometimes, where I just want to feel the bass rattle my ears off occasionally.


The DAC100 class-A amp does run warm, but from what I've read of the descriptions of the Schiit Asgard it doesn't seem to be nearly that hot.  I can keep a hand on the DAC100 for a long time without having to remove it.  It's also much cooler than my ZDT, KGSS, or KGBH amps which can become painful if touched for too long.  In comparison my DACmini and Woo WA6 don't seem to get warm at all.


I like not having to deal with a power brick, and just like with my maxed Woo WA6 I can plug an IEC cable directly into the amp itself.  The remote is about the size of those old white Apple remotes, and works nicely - you can turn it on or off, mute the audio, change sources, and adjust the volume with it.  


Overall I'd say this is an excellent value, especially for someone looking for the right DAC/amp to pair with their HD800 and not spend an arm and a leg on it.  I'll post more impressions as I have them.

post #15 of 292
Thread Starter 

Lots of good information there, thanks for sharing!

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