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Nuforce Primo 8 - an Audiophile Phase Coherent Quad Balanced Armature Driver IEM - Impressions - Page 14

post #196 of 289

The sticker on the box of my review unit says 2 year warranty hmm

 

post #197 of 289
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post
 

The sticker on the box of my review unit says 2 year warranty hmm

 

 

 

I just took imakler's word that it was 1 year, and didn't check. So, that means it only costs you about $0.68 a day to use the Primo 8 in the event that they die right at the end of the 2 year warranty and have to replace them.  i had sent an email to Nuforce though, asking how they handle repairs outside of warranty, so I should hear back soon.

post #198 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post  The sticker on the box of my review unit says 2 year warranty hmm

 

Ditto.

post #199 of 289
Thread Starter 

Here is the response from Jason at Nuforce:

 

Quote:
 

Q: Someone posted in my review thread asking how does Nuforce handle repairs for defective items that are past the one-year warranty period.

A: Primo 8 has two year warranty, not one as indicated in the manual.  The packaging box stated two year warranty.

 

Q: Does Nuforce repair and charge the customer, replace and charge the customer, or not do anything? 

A: For Primo 8, it is possible that we can sell the earphones only to customer at... a price which we have not determine, but probably below $200 provided that the customer return the failed earphones.  We already sell a replacement cable.

 

Q: And, are the charges less costly than buying a new unit?

A: Definitely much less costly than a new unit.

post #200 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
 

Here is the response from Jason at Nuforce:

 

 

Oh stellar! Awesome that he responded. 

post #201 of 289

My review (up on CYMBACAVUM) of the Primo 8 is finally finished, after multiple delays...

 

I really need to be more focused when work on this stuff. Too much other work to attend to, though.

 

Also, I didn't want it to take forever, so I elected to drop a few comparisons that I originally intended to include.

 

:(

 

However, here are some choice excerpts:

 

On Design:

The design of the Primo 8 is a departure from typical Nuforce styling (i.e. minimalist and angular with flat, matte surfaces), and now harks a more "flowy" look. Color is an iridescent, metallic blue that looks fairly handsome in person, but is difficult to photograph well --- hard light overwhelms the iridescence, while soft light obviates the aesthetic purpose of the ridges.

 

The deep ridges help break up the otherwise smooth surface of the concha bowl shell to lend a more interesting look to the aesthetic topology. Perhaps unflatteringly, at some angles, the Primo 8 does in fact at times resemble a miniature bicycle helmet, but close handling and inspection allow for a deeper appreciation of the complexity of the shell design.

 

I am most struck by the blue --- its specularity is perhaps as alluring a look as I've seen in earphones, and despite its flat finish, manages to call upon the depth of a certain piece of work by Miles Davis.

 

 

Nuforce Primo 8

On Comfort:
The shells of the Primo 8 are plastic, but feel quite sturdy, presumably some kind of polycarbonate material. The absolute size of the housings is not the smallest around; it is slightly wider than the Westone W40 and is most similar in its dimensions to Shure's SE846, but can hardly be classified as large. The vast majority of users should have no problem achieving an optimal fit with the Nuforce Primo 8.
On the In-Line Microphone:
Call quality was clear via an Apple iPhone 4S. Remote control functions were also effective. The aesthetics of the in-line remote control and microphone are perhaps polarizing, but the large, flat-surfaced gloss black single rocker button works quite well and clicks positively. However, the controls aren't compatible with Android devices.
On Sound:
...I took one listen and could immediately tell they put significant effort into this earphone.  No, it doesn't have mind-blowing clarity, or velvet richness. I found that the Primo 8 is neither diamond nor cowhide, but definitely also neither pleather nor zirconium. What it is, is a near ideal mix of audiophile inspiration and Joe Blow sensibility.
 
...
 
I listened to an old Ella Fitzgerald track of her scat singing 'One Note Samba', and Ella came through true. Her presence bathed my ears, wrapping them with a blanket of warmth but was simultaneously accompanied by a swath of definition.
 
...
 
To test out Nuforce‘s claims of phase coherence, I tried numerous tracks with multiple voices and exaggerated stereo panning. In all tracks, the Primo 8 managed to define the stereo image very linearly, allowing for easy directional tracking of instruments and vocalists swaying around on their mics.
 
...
 
The discerning head-fier will find that the bass response of the Primo 8 hits a near sweet spot. It’s impactful enough not to prompt complaints of not being able to hear a certain bass sound, but it doesn’t really accentuate any part of the bassline either. Earphones with a distinct mid-bass hump like the Westone W50 will give listeners a greater sense of thump and circumstance, but prevent them from hearing the evolution and decay of the various vibrational nodes in a drum instrument. Sub-bass registers still render perfectly, as while there’s subtle roll-off, the dual woofers don’t stop vibrating until below 20 Hz.
 
...
 
The best way to characterize the Primo 8‘s treble response is that it attempts to present a relaxed milieu without having it sound dark. I’m perhaps compartmentalizing too much by segregating the treble from the midrange, so I’ll say that the treble is a continuation of Nuforce‘s midrange philosophy. They’re attempting to achieve a more intimate feel with the Primo 8, and so, the upper treble will be relaxed. At the same time, the lower treble still contains harmonic information of the vocals, and needs to remain present.

 

 

Additional Commentary

  • Honestly, I had low initial expectations for the Primo 8. Their lower-end IEMs (all <$100), while decent in the landscape of all earphones, aren't world beaters when it comes to the cream of the crop, even for their respective price categories. So when Nuforce proclaimed that these IEMs were "phase-coherent" and all that jazz, I thought it was a crock of [expletive]. They proved me wrong and some more, which is really great.
  • As HeadphoneAddict pointed out, the mids on the Primo 8 are quite forward, such that tracks with vocalists that sing with their mouths right up against the microphone will at times sound overwhelming. Have Nuforce gone overboard, though? No.
  • I think I've made most of my points pretty clear in the other posts I've made on this thread, so I don't think I need to reiterate them again.
  • In short, I think this is a great first effort from Nuforce and I hope they continue this path of excellence.
  • I want to give a shout-out to Wolf, who has since left Nuforce, but he was immensely helpful with everything, and since the two of us live close by (like, literally ten minutes apart walking distance), I hope to see him again one of these days.

 

 

Equipment & Testing Conditions

Listening was conducted primarily on a Sony NWZ-F886 portable DAP and a Resonessence Labs Concero HP, an USB D/A converter and headphone amplifier.

My reference for a transparent, neutral response was and is currently the Ultimate Ears In-Ear Reference Monitors. Because IEMs impart a very different sonic milieu from headphones, no references to on/over-ear headphones were made.

post #202 of 289

That was an awesome review Tom. I'm really enjoying my Primo 8. I need to try some different tips though, since the Comply doesn't seem to work for me but the silicone tip cuts off the treble a bit too much for my taste.

 

Also I'm still not convinced by the stock earguides. They are too stiff and make cable noise rubbing against the back of the ear. :(

post #203 of 289
I changed mine to the Moon Audio Silver Dragon v1... So much better and no more stiff ear guide.
post #204 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post  Also I'm still not convinced by the stock earguides. They are too stiff and make cable noise rubbing against the back of the ear. :(

 

I think I forgot to mention the stiff ear guides... oh well, too late now. I was lucky to have gotten a good fit with them, but indeed, they are very stiff.

post #205 of 289

Excellent review, as always, Tom..

post #206 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post
 

I think I've settled on the silicone tips. I don't believe the comply foam tips are actually sealing properly in my ears and they are quite uncomfortable for me.

 

I'm starting to think that the stiffness of the earguides Nuforce has chosen is causing unnecessary microphonics - the earguides make quite a lot of noise when they tap against the back of your ears. The earguides on the XBA-H3 are silent. I think Nuforce should revise the earguides to make them just a bit softer. Just a bit, because the stiffness helps them retain shape during storage, which I think is a plus.

 

Still very pleased with the sound. It still doesn't quite seem to have the cleanest leading edge compared to my beloved dynamic drivers. There is a bit of fuzziness in the way it renders strings and pianos, though nothing as bad as something like the Westone W4R. It's a really articulate and sprightly sound nonetheless, and imaging is nicely detailed and holographic. I think sometimes on some denser tracks the mid-forwardness can start to sound a little shouty. Overall though this is definitely one of the better quad BA's I've heard.

Thanks for your impression / Review.  Any chance you can provide information versus the ATH-CK100 pro? 

post #207 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinster View Post
 

Thanks for your impression / Review.  Any chance you can provide information versus the ATH-CK100 pro? 

 

Eventually in the future I should be able to compare the two, though not anytime super soon. Nuforce has given me the review unit to keep for future comparisons, so it will be a good reference for me to have around.

post #208 of 289

Come to think of it I might order a Logitech UE900 cable just to see how it works with the Primo 8.

post #209 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinster View Post  versus the ATH-CK100 pro? 

 

That's a huge difference....

post #210 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

That's a huge difference....

 

Haha yes. And at the opposite end the XBA-H3 is also a huge difference. Would be fun to compare all 3!

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