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NuForce DDA-100 impressions thread (computer, but not headphone, DAC/amp) - Page 3

post #31 of 70

Anyone have a chance to compare the DDA-100 to the Wadia 151? Curious what the relative strengths of each are given that they are very similar functionally, and with the current reduction in price of the wadia also close in price.
 

post #32 of 70

I have been enjoying my Nuforce dda-100 for two weeks now.

My setup is as follows:
Squeezebox duet --> DDA100 --> Elac BS243 87 dB/2.83V/m 4-8 ohm

I connect the DDA-100 with an optical cable. so i have not tried out the usb connection as this review suggests is a little bit better http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/nuforce_dda100_e.html
I have not opened it up so i don’t know which layout i’ve got or verison, in the sixmoons review there is a discrepancy between the reviewed model and the model people have actually received.

This was the cheapest solution for what i needed. A Dac and Power Amp. I live in Denmark,

It's a neat little package, the DDA-100 is smaller than i expected and the design very modern and clean typical boutique design. The front is populated by one multi functioning Volume/source turning button which feels a bit cheap and light and two groups of digital readouts of source and volume in red light. It looks gorgeous and expensive. There is a small remote with on/off, source and volume. It’s a very small, smaller than a credit card, and feels very cheap but it works just fine.
In the back you find four pure digital connections, 1 USB2, 1 COAXIAL 75-Ohm and 2 TOS LINK. Besides those you find Speaker connectors and a power plug.

It’s super easy to set up and it was up and running in no time.

When i first turned it on i was surprised by how quiet the background is. Before i had a cheap transistor amp i found noisy as hell so this was a very pleasant surprise.
I started out with music at very low level and it sounds very nice at a low volume which i like then I turned the volume up til it got very high at level 75.
Depending of the music played it clearly behaved best with small scale music and electronica with very nice middle’s, very controlled hight’s and bottom that fits my Elac’s very well. When i played big scale music, orchestra and rock the 75 watts just ain’t enough for my Elacs and the sound gets a bit flatter and more uncontrolled and a bit out of breath, but still a lot better than my last amp which was around 50watts.

One thing I noticed is that it sounds small, everything is nice and details are there, but somehow it just seems quieter/smaller than before, somehow a lean back sound like my Sennheiser 580 and 600. I have a tendency to crank the volume a bit higher than before to get the same feeling but because it just sounds very clean and undistorted on a pitch black background I have no problem with that except for my neighbors maybe ;)

I would love to have more oomph, which you will get with a higher powered amp, But for the money and what i’m using it for it’s a quite nice and cheap buy.

 

marz.dk

post #33 of 70

Thanks for the extra info, you all.  I'm looking forward for your reviews.  Please a link to them in this thread.

 

[]s

Walfredo

post #34 of 70

I've been listening to my DDA 100 for about a week and I am SO impressed.  There was a break-in period and it takes about a week of continuous playing for the amp to come into song...and boy, does it ever.  My purpose was to find a small form-factor amplifier for my living room.  My source is an ART-modified Squeezebox Duet and speakers are Morel Octave 5.2Ms with dedicated stands.  Yes, I'm aware that the speakers cost four-fold more than the amplifier.  Since this is a living room system, the goal was to sound good, especially at lower levels.  However, just because I listen to music at low background levels on this system, doesn't mean I don't crave detail every time I pass by or sit in the sweet spot.  Before break-in, the sound was detailed, but a bit treble-y, particularly around the 4-8 kHz area.  After break-in, I am not disappointed- quite to the contrary.  In my system, this amp competes very favorably with a Bel canto DAC 3 into Bel Canto M300 monoblocks.  This is strictly using red-book streams and internet radio (TSF Jazz from Paris).  What wows me is the nuanced delivery with fantastic instrument separation and depth. More comments as I listen more, feed it with a hi-rez feed and test out the USB input.  I must admit I'm a little dumb-founded by Srajan's 6 moons review.  My impressions are very different from his.  The only issue I see is it being under-powered a bit.  That being said, for the way I listen to music, these work...and work marvelously, at that.  To me, this system sounds a lot like my portable one, with my iPhone/ Macbook air; Audirvana playing through Phonak Audeo PFE 132 earphones... sweet, yet detailed.  And my speakers are an insensitive 83dB/W/m! Bravo Nuforce!!! 


Edited by ajayrav - 12/7/12 at 2:37pm
post #35 of 70
Thread Starter 

The Absolute Sound entry-level integrated amp of the year here:

 

"The bargain-priced NuForce DDA-100 delivers 50Wpc and sounds better than any conventional integrated amplifier Steven Stone has heard priced under $2500."

post #36 of 70

I got mine installed two days ago (jan 2013, Denmark) with Dali Ikon 2 speakers (88db sensitivity). Numerous positive reviews convinced me to try this out. Regrettably, as much as I like the simplicity and the design, the nuforce has been a great disappointment to me. This unit severely lacks musicality, dynamics and less surprisingly power. My music (mostly jazz, blues, soul and acoustic stuff) refuses to leave the speakers. It's just not coming out and the bits that's eventually escaping the boxes is either weak or metallic. The rythm sections are very thin at all volumes, especially bass drum and bass. At the other end, trumpets, cymbals and vocals are insintent and metallic. The mid range is acceptable but flat, empty in a strange way. Nuforce effectively takes all the joy out of listening to music. My ears get irritated and my head tired. I have no previous experience with digital amps and this may be best of breed. I was using Thule IA100 before, but sadly it brooke down beyond repair. The nuforce DDA-100 is nowhere near a  competent substitute for a decent analogue amplifier at +400 USD. It's not made for music if you ask me. 

post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by briansorensen View Post

I got mine installed two days ago (jan 2013, Denmark) with Dali Ikon 2 speakers (88db sensitivity). Numerous positive reviews convinced me to try this out. Regrettably, as much as I like the simplicity and the design, the nuforce has been a great disappointment to me. This unit severely lacks musicality, dynamics and less surprisingly power. My music (mostly jazz, blues, soul and acoustic stuff) refuses to leave the speakers. It's just not coming out and the bits that's eventually escaping the boxes is either weak or metallic. The rythm sections are very thin at all volumes, especially bass drum and bass. At the other end, trumpets, cymbals and vocals are insintent and metallic. The mid range is acceptable but flat, empty in a strange way. Nuforce effectively takes all the joy out of listening to music. My ears get irritated and my head tired. I have no previous experience with digital amps and this may be best of breed. I was using Thule IA100 before, but sadly it brooke down beyond repair. The nuforce DDA-100 is nowhere near a  competent substitute for a decent analogue amplifier at +400 USD. It's not made for music if you ask me. 

That's odd. I had mine for close to a month, speakers monitor audio gx 50.

I really won't fault the dda-100 for lack of musicality, dynamics or even power. coming from an avr pioneer lx75 and the dda-100 is an improvement.

The only concession is that the sound from it can be too neutral and clean that it takes getting used to. Some may describe it as digital?

Did you try cranking up the vol? I went as high as 70.
post #38 of 70

Review from TAS:

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/nuforce-dda-100-integrated-amplifier-1/

 

I think the professional reviews and many positive user testimonies can't be wrong. Maybe it's your speaker too hard to drive? The DDA-100's power output is 75W (4 ohms), 50W (8 ohms). The Thule IA100 is 2X 100W.

post #39 of 70

I agree, the sound and dynamics change to the better when volume is above 70 or 75%. It's not from good to great, but from bad to..well still disappointing. See http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/nuforce17/1.html. Reviewer, Srajan Ebaen, elaborates pretty much what I am experiencing. Sound won't come out. Flat as a pancake.  

 

I don't think the nuforce DDA-100 treats input in a very neutral way. On the contrary, I hear inability to deliver the power and accuracy needed for proper reproduction of bass and drums (even just acoustic bas and drums - no metal, speed pedaling). Treble is metallic, not neutral. Trumpets, saxes, guitars, cymbals and even vocals become ear-tiring. My Dali Ikon 2 normally handles the high frequencies very well and I have had access to high-end gear. I know how my music should ideally sound.

 

Like I don't blame a tiger for being a tiger and for eating a man, I don't really blame the nuforce-DDA 100 for sounding like a digital amp because thats all it is. I just think the reviews and marketing is misleading. I suspect, like aformentioned review, that my nuforce is less sophisticated than the models that was origianinally put to the test. That would explain a lot and of course raise some serious questions to the nuforce people.

 

   

post #40 of 70

It a good point that the nuforce most likely prefer a very sensitive speaker. At least to handle the lower pulses. However, while My Dali Ikon 2 is not the most sensitive speaker (88db), it is a bookshelf (size) speaker and any 50 W amp should be able to drive it without a problem. So, while I would never expect the nuforce to deliver power anywhere near the Thule's 100 W, I still think it delivers very poorly in the low end, especially bass and bass drum. However, I did have high expectations for the mid and high frequencies and that's where the nuforce DDA-100 fails completely.        

post #41 of 70
I definitely agreed initially it was causing some ear fatigue for me. After some run in, I am glad to say it's gone. Hope that's the case for you as well.

Another point is that I've only used the coaxial and optical inputs. Usb might perform differently.

Am going to bring it to a local diy guy and see if he can do anything to improve it. First thing I can think of is perhaps upgrading to an external linear psu.
post #42 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisnew View Post

I definitely agreed initially it was causing some ear fatigue for me. After some run in, I am glad to say it's gone. Hope that's the case for you as well.

Another point is that I've only used the coaxial and optical inputs. Usb might perform differently.

Am going to bring it to a local diy guy and see if he can do anything to improve it. First thing I can think of is perhaps upgrading to an external linear psu.

 

Mine hasn't played for more than 10 hours. Is that really why it does it like a novice? Some have mentioned 'burn-in time', but I thought that was a nerdish conviction. BTW, I am connecting USB/USB - no converter in between. I was expecting this to work jitter-free with the PWM concept. Maybe I should try a suitable DAC converter with a S/PDIF coaxial output. Any recommendations would be helpful. Thanks. 

post #43 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by briansorensen View Post

 

Mine hasn't played for more than 10 hours. Is that really why it does it like a novice? Some have mentioned 'burn-in time', but I thought that was a nerdish conviction. BTW, I am connecting USB/USB - no converter in between. I was expecting this to work jitter-free with the PWM concept. Maybe I should try a suitable DAC converter with a S/PDIF coaxial output. Any recommendations would be helpful. Thanks. 

 

Burn-in time absolutely could be it.  Mine sounded terrible when I first used it.  I've come to expect that, even with solid-state gear.  There's huge debate about burn-in in audio circles.  I believe in it because I can hear it.  Give your unit some time - 100 hours seems to be the default period (not for the DDA-100 in particular but just in general) and see what happens.

 

Wait on the converter until then.  I'm using an AR-T Legato because I've got it, but I'm honestly not sure that it's making a big difference (it was very noticeable on my last USB DAC).

 

Keep us posted and thanks for the review.

post #44 of 70

I think you might need to give more time to burn-in. I've asked them about the burn-in time which is 75 hours. 

post #45 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by briansorensen View Post

Mine hasn't played for more than 10 hours. Is that really why it does it like a novice? Some have mentioned 'burn-in time', but I thought that was a nerdish conviction. BTW, I am connecting USB/USB - no converter in between. I was expecting this to work jitter-free with the PWM concept. Maybe I should try a suitable DAC converter with a S/PDIF coaxial output. Any recommendations would be helpful. Thanks. 

How about this?
Behringer UCA202 2-In/2-Out USB Audio Interface S/PDIF Out

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=248-599
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