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Integrated Amplifier of the Year 2017 – The Absolute Sound Magazine
Ultra Low Noise Class A+D Integrated Amplifier with DAC and Wireless Port
NuPrime's new Class A+D hybrid amplification technologies deliver the substance and warmth of Class A amplification and the efficiency and speed of Class D technology, plus an unmeasurable level of noise. The IDA-8's spacious, transparent, dynamic, and luxuriously textured soundstage has to be heard to be believed.
The Absolute Sound magazine calls the IDA-8 "a great-sounding stone-cold bargain" and honored it with a Product of the Year Award for 2017 as Integrated Amplifier of the Year. "It's a sleek-looking, small-footprint Class D integrated amplifier/DAC with a Class A input stage that combines Class A warmth and resolution with Class D speed, power, and efficiency," reports the magazine's Managing and Digital Editor, Julie Mullins in the January 2017 issue.
The NuPrime IDA-8 consists of an ultra-low-noise integrated amplifier and digital-to-analog converter that decodes USB PCM 384 and DSD 256 with the convenience of wireless audio in a small, handsomely designed home stereo component. A hi-res Bluetooth dongle for wireless streaming is included.
A Black-velvet Background to Music
With all stages contained in one chassis, the IDA-8 avails itself of the shortest possible signal paths in order to facilitate vanishingly low levels of noise and distortion for a black-velvet background to music. The listener's initial reaction might very well be "I can't believe my ears!"
The IDA-8's low noise floor is further complimented by an innovative volume control based on a thin-film resistor design that positions a single resistor in the signal path for each volume setting. Volume changes occur in 99 precise 0.5dB increments for each input's individually adjustable volume level. Precise level matching is a breeze, as is the user's ability to make comparisons of music sources.
ULCAM Amp Circuit and Linear Power Supply
By utilizing discrete components in NuPrime's ULCAM circuit, the signal can be fine tuned to reduce noise and provide maximum power. The NuPrime amp circuit improves on traditional class-D design by using a self-oscillating circuit to generate pulse-width modulation. The amplifier switches at a frequency of 600kHz, well beyond the compact disc's 44.1kHz sampling rate. Most class-D amps switch at 300kHz or lower. In addition, NuPrime's SRC IC chip provides Field-programmable Gate Array (FPGA) processing for ultra-low jitter and distortion rates. Output power is a very healthy 100-watts per channel x 2.
Completing the ensemble is NuPrime's new linear power supply with its high-efficiency toroidal transformer for reduced high-frequency noise and strengthened low-frequency performance.
In addition to its advanced electronics, the IDA-8 has extra help in reducing distortion. The damping effect of the NuPrime isolation feet (patent pending) absorbs and cancels vibrations that degrade audio performance. The overall result of all of these technologies is unprecedented transient speed and an almost shocking level of dynamic impact.
An Impressive Complement of Connections
Here's the run-down of the IDA-8's impressive complement of connections. It has one USB PCM / DSD digital input offering PCM up to 384kHz and DSD up to DSD256), one coaxial digital S/PDIF input providing PCM up to 192K supporting DoP format DSD64, and one optical digital S/PDIF input with PCM up to 192K supporting DoP format DSD64. Additionally the IDA-8 has one analog stereo RCA input plus a connection for the included Bluetooth receiver dongle or the optional (when available) WiFi receiver module.
Outputs consist of one pair of stereo speaker binding posts and one pair of stereo RCA (6V) connections. An analog subwoofer line-out boasting three times the standard output power provides impressive lows and a wide sound stage specifically designed for subwoofers.
Specifications with Few Equals
The IDA-8 achieves Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N) levels of less than 0.005% while achieving a system efficiency of up to 93%. The IDA-8's frequency response to 50 kHz elevates vocals into emotional experiences; similarly, instrumental upper registers mimic a live performance's shimmering heights.
The IDA-8's features and specifications have few equals. Just one audition will convince you that the IDA-8's performance and sophisticated styling are rarely duplicated at far above its price point.
"The IDA-8 combines the substance and warmth of an Ultra-Linear Class A Module (ULCAM) in the preamp stage with the extraordinary speed of NuPrime’s proprietary Class D power stage for a spacious, transparent, dynamic, and textured soundstage."
- The Absolute Sound, High-End Audio Buyer’s Guide 2017
Product of the Year Award Winner 2017 – The Absolute Sound Magazine
Integrated Amplifier of the Year
"It's a sleek-looking, small-footprint Class D integrated amplifier/DAC with a Class A input stage that combines Class A warmth and resolution with Class D speed, power, and efficiency."
"A great-sounding stone-cold bargain and TAS' Integrated Amplifier of the year."
- Julie Mullins, The Absolute Sound magazine, January 2017