"It Sounds Virtually Invisible"
The NuForce MCP-18 is an audiophile preamp for use in either a two-channel traditional setup or as the heart of a 7.1 channel home-theater system. Employing a very high performance, numerically-controlled analog volume control to provide channel calibration without losing audio fidelity, it is the ideal companion for mating with an audiophile Blu-ray player like the Oppo BDP-103D or BDP-105D in a system that may also include other analog output sources and/or DAC outputs.
The MCP-18 has a high quality MUSE72320 volume control with no capacitor in the front left and right channels, along with relay-based muting on L/R/C channels. It boasts a non-inverting op-amp output circuit. A balanced circuit is created with the op-amps to eliminate phase delay. Each channel can be individually attenuated to match speaker sensitivity.
"If you are in the market for a multichannel analog preamp, you should consider the MCP-18, regardless of how much more money you were prepared to spend," notes Steven Stone in his April 16, 2014 review for The Absolute Sound magazine. "It looks good, sounds virtually invisible, and even has a remote, all for under $1,000."
Impressive Input and Output Flexibility
You get impressive input and output flexibility with the NuForce. Inputs consist of 2 two-channel unbalanced RCA inputs, 1 two-channel balanced XLR input, and 2 unbalanced eight-channel RCA inputs. Outputs consist of unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR connections.
A low noise linear power supply with toroidal transformer helps maintain signal purity. Other features include a trigger output with a ten-second delay, RS-232 control, and a worldwide power supply offering 90-245 VAC.
Bi-amping And Beyond
If you are interested in multi-amping, the MCP-18 offers incredible flexibility for a diversity of uses. It is an excellent candidate for audiophiles seeking the perfect preamplifier for their advanced loudspeaker configurations. When combined with either the NuForce MCA-18 or the MCA-20 power amplifiers, a multi-amping setup also becomes a relatively compact and affordable option.
The advantages of multi-amping your loudspeakers are many. Generally speaking, often two or more smaller amplifiers can be used to achieve the same volume levels as that of a much larger one. In addition, peak dynamic capability is often increased while overall system distortion is reduced. There are more advantages for sure, but taken together the end result is simply a better sounding system.
The NuForce MCP-18 not only makes such a system relatively easy to configure, but offers very precise adjustment while ensuring that micro-dynamic information is preserved at all listening levels.When integrated into any multi-amplifier/loudspeaker setup, you can trust that the MCP-18 will deliver pristine audiophile clarity at all times and unprecedented NuForce value throughout.
"If you are in the market for a multichannel analog preamp, you should consider the MCP-18, regardless of how much more money you were prepared to spend. It looks good, sounds virtually invisible, and even has a remote, all for under $1,000."
"While I still subscribe to the opinion that no active preamp can be as transparent as no preamp at all, the MCP-18 is one of the most transparent preamps I’ve heard. It is also the least expensive preamp I've reviewed that has such a high degree of transparency. According to NuForce’s head honcho, Jason Lim, 'Basically, the MCP-18 is a hidden gem in our products and on hindsight we grossly mispriced it.' NuForce's 'loss' could be your gain."
- Steven Stone, The Absolute Sound, April 16, 2014