How you choose your components ? Write an article to get a discount or free gift

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  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
It was causing a low frequency, fluttering noise on my Magnepan 1.7s, preamp was Sonic Frontiers SFL-2.
I didn't bother trying it on the big system as that sounds fine just the way it is.

The BBE worked great with solid state Carver preamps and the Carver tube preamp I had for a bit.


It was causing a low frequency, fluttering noise on my Magnepan 1.7s, preamp was Sonic Frontiers SFL-2.
I didn't bother trying it on the big system as that sounds fine just the way it is.

The BBE worked great with solid state Carver preamps and the Carver tube preamp I had for a bit.

BBE tells you not to use a Sonic Maximizer with panel/planar speakers.

You may not be aware.  BBE makes compact models for desk top use.

« Last Edit: 16 Sep 2019, 04:22 am by Genez »


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My story goes like this: I'm a computer audio listener right from the start (beginning of the 2000) - which means as a software developer im used to operate the sound from a laptop because its easy, direct and versatile. The sound should get me into the flow for the programming duty and all i needed was a hassle-free way to operate it on some capable near-field speakers. So i ended in buying one of the (imho) first serious solutions therefore by getting a small wadia powerdac 151. Plug in USB as source, bind the speakers and done. I burnt into the sound of this small device and learned to love it - precise, lively, direct, engaging, easy and never harsh - fully matching my taste - electronic music.

For my living room i didn't care much about as i was used to listen music on my workplace. So i simply invested some money for some highly praised active ( speakers having all digi connectors build in and done... and... a bit disapointing - soundwise - when compared to my not so stylish little wadia. I didn't care - until they broke right after exceeding their warranty limit. Time to get digged in - ok, what do we have here - the wadia never stopped playing, never had any issues at all while beeing two/three times older and producing a much much better sound. Lesson learned: Dont trust the magazines.

Angry over my bad decision to fall for some popular BS i decided to go the safe way and install another small (used) wadia for my bigger living room. For testing i took the small unit upstairs and tried a range of shelf speakers. It soon became clear the system had to be more powerful as the device produces only 50W@4Ohms - so i had to look around for a pair of high sensitive speakers to match the wadia. I visited several dealers and listened to omega speakers, spatials and some others but the sound felt never right especially when compared to a more powerful combination of amp and speaker. During one of those sessions i fell in love with piega, a small but costly pair of swiss floorstanders having a full aluminium body and a far to high imepdance for the waddie. So this made me think maybe i should buy a bigger amp. The dealer congratulated :) me and brought in all the amps he had to offer: NADs, Rowens, he praised tubes, activated some mcIntosh-monsters where u could think the nearby atomic power plant has to inject another fuel rod instantly for keeping this thing alive. The whole effort was to much. They sounded "ok"ish but all i wanted was a grown up wadia, an easy "get the best of bit for speaker to sing"-thing - so I asked what drove the piega. Guess what. He told me, this is the last and his private for comparison reasons. The unit was not offered because the customers in general are to conservative and go with nad etc. Mhm. Superb sound with nice pace and depth. All digital. Onebox solution. Was an IDA-16. Nuprime - never heard before. Talked. Took it.

Now signs changed and instead of buying the piega i decided to take time and match some other floorstanders against the ida as there was another dealer offering to bring your own which is seldom. This finally left me with kefs r5. Its a pitty. I liked the piega so much and didn't want to go with some maybe overhyped kefs (the plastic binding port is a joke and im not sure whether i want to see their crossover...) But its the pace of dry and cultivated bass and the sound depth, space, dimension which made this combination win... Love it.

Well done.

« Last Edit: 19 Jan 2020, 05:26 am by swifri »


Thanks for your great comment.  Where are you located? I am sure you are somewhere in Europe because there are hardly any physical store dealers in the USA.


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Switzerland - right within the alps. So the IDA i bought already knows what a glacier is as the dealer is located in front of a >4000m high mountain chain "Eiger Mönch Jungfrau".,_M%C3%B6nch_und_Jungfrau.jpg
And yes, we still have some small local audio dealers. But their number is declining. Geographical it is a good place for audio sitting right between Germany, France and Italy and also having some own famous manufacturers. But i bought a Wadia and your IDA - because worldwide trends are arriving here 20 years later :) which is good and bad at once.

Patrik Bredberg

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Rafa! Thank you so much for your inspiring article. So happy to find another Totem enthusiast coupling Totem with Nuprime. You're article was what drew me into this forum.
I also have the Totem Rainmakers. Currently they're being repaired though. But when back, and when I've moved to a new apartment or house, they will be
the speakers of my main system. Currently I'm looking for good electronics to go with them. I just started by buying a streamer that can also act as pre-amp, Bluesound Node 2i, and now I'm looking for a good amplifier. Preferably something small. And my prime consideration right now is the Nuprime ST-A9. So I will continue reading your posts with great interest, thank you!

How to choose your components (specially when you can’t audition them beforehand!)

Part 2 of 4: Adding sources, and losing the NuForce DDA-100

Now that we were enjoying great TV sound through the new setup, we found ourselves listening to youtube music often in the bedroom rather than in the smaller Sony mini-component in our living room.
We felt it was time to add better music sources to our system.  What was our goal? To be able to remotely control the system from our cell phones.  Since we already have iPhones and our house had already an AirPort Express in our living room, the first logic approach was to add another AirPort Express in the bedroom.
This proved really useful as we now could stream audio from our phones into the bedroom system without having to first locate the youtube file on the TV.  It also allowed a first in our home: multi-room listening experience.  Through the addition of Tune Relay software to the home computer, we were able to broadcast the same sound to both the living room and the bedroom.  It’s a joy to just walk around the apartment and listen to the same music all over the place, all controlled from our cell phones.
At this point, we (or at least I) had been ‘bitten’ by the audiophile bug.  You just know you want to start trying new things, exploring bigger sound, better sources, simpler control, or, at the very least, be able to keep on enjoying sound even if someone decides to call you in the middle of your music listening session.
So, being a software developer, I went down the DIY (do it yourself) route and installed a Raspberry Pi3 Linux computer plugged via USB to the DDA-100 to achieve bit-perfect audio.  If you are into HiFi Digital audio and have no idea what this is, I urge you to read more about the subject.  It really is a fun project and your audio experience will be rewarded.
After testing a few linux distributions specifically designed for the RPi3 and bit-perfect audio: Volumio, Runeadio and Moode, I decided Moode was (at least for me) the best sounding of the three.  Also the one that had more active development and a great community behind it.  With some tweaks I was able to install a Spotify connect client into the RPi3 so that our phones and tablets could control the music, but no longer get interrupted when the phone rings or when other apps make sounds.
Everything was going smoothly and it was a system we truly enjoyed and, within our budget, it was really hard to find any complaint.
And then, during a thunderstorm, the NuForce DDA-100 got damaged and died on us!
Starting System:
  • NuForce DDA-100
  • TV optically connected
  • Totem Rainmaker Speakers

Components added:
  • Apple AirPort Express with optical (toslink) connection to DDA-100
  • Raspberry Pi3 Moode OS Music server (with custom Spotify connect client) with USB-B connection to DDA-100


  • Jr. Member
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Rafa! Thank you so much for your inspiring article. So happy to find another Totem enthusiast coupling Totem with Nuprime. You're article was what drew me into this forum.
I also have the Totem Rainmakers...
Patrik! Sorry for the late, late reply. More than a year!!! Thanks so much for your kind words.  It was really an interesting journey for us, but one always doubts if there will be any interest for others to read along.  I am really happy that you found it useful.

Hope you have your Rainmakers back with you!  I must confess that I have auditioned a lot of speakers, some several orders of magnitude more expensive, and I still think the Rainmakers are one hell of a sweet spot in terms of price vs. performance.

This words may come too late, but:  the one thing that is true is that the metallic dome tweeters in the Rainmakers can get a little harsh, specially on "bright" instruments, like the Harpsichord, for example.  With that, the warmth of the STA-9 could actually be a better fit than the ST-10... so, if you are looking into the STA-9, I really think that you cannot go wrong with it, and save some bucks on the process.

Did you already buy it? What was your experience?