AVP-18

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ricardojoa

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #80 on: 28 Mar 2014, 09:40 am »
Dear all, here are my initial experiences and a few questions about the AVP-18.

The situation was: I listen in stereo, and my amplifier combo was a vintage yet refurbished (new capacitors, better opamps) Quad 44 & 405-2 set. DIY speakers based on Beyma (European brand, similar to professional JBL etc) coaxial drivers. The system is used for both music and video, and music quality is important. The 44 pre-amp, while I love it dearly, was getting really geriatric with a channel regularly dropping. And it was getting annoying to connect all those digital sources.
It was not easy to find a reasonably priced pre-amplifier that could handle all the digital sources and still sound very good for music. The AVP-18 provided exactly that. My sources are the Oppo BDP-103D, bought together with the NuForce, it is a great one box solution; and also the Apple TV. Cabling in HDMI. Only analog cable is a stereo cable towards the Quad power amp.

It sounds really good. I tried a few high resolution music files and they sound pristine, not the electronic sound of affordable AV gear. Compared to my old Quad 44 pre-amp, it is as if a curtain has been lifted.

Now my questions:

- Is there a list of exact improvements with in all the firmware updates? MyNuforce came with 1.52.something and it is for me a huge pain to update the firmware: my computer is a desktop mac without windows emulation and my work laptop is locked down. Meaning, I will have to ask someone else's pc for the upgrade process. Hence it would be good to see if an upgrade would matter. A recommendation is to make it possible to have simple usb memory stick upgrades, like it is possible with many devices.

- Is there an audible difference between hdmi and optical or coaxial? I read that hdmi introduces more jitter, but I am not sure if there would be any audible difference. It sounds awesome as is.

- For stereo, I selected large front speakers and all the other speakers off. Still the autoeq obviously searched the other channels during set up. Did I do it right? I also notice that the autoeq result is quite subtle, maximum resulting corrections are around 1.5 db. Years ago I borrowed a Behringer digital eq to experiment with and it made a bigger (too big in fact) impact on the sound. Still I would expect more than 1.5 db required at some frequencies. So, here again, did I do it right?

cheers and looking forward to any insights!

I have not done the latest firmware update yet but already got the cable so i will do it in the next week or so.

I think the update addresses some of the gliches that the older firmware has. I believe when the unit  frezes is one them. Im currently using two connections, one is the coaxial, the other is the HDMI. I have found with hdmi, the transiction between tracks is smoother while with the cox, i have a slight pause between tracks.

Gaara

Re: AVP-18
« Reply #81 on: 28 Mar 2014, 10:47 am »

- Is there an audible difference between hdmi and optical or coaxial? I read that hdmi introduces more jitter, but I am not sure if there would be any audible difference. It sounds awesome as is.


With a Blu-Ray player yes, as HDMI will allow you to listen to the lossless digital audio formats (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) wheras coax/optical will default to the core DD or DTS soundtrack.

Gaara

Re: AVP-18
« Reply #82 on: 28 Mar 2014, 01:03 pm »
I have a quesiton for AVP-18 users, does anyone else have the dim function defeated when changing volume?  It appears to happen only on the HDMI inputs (tried HDMI 1, 2 &3), but I can set the dim level for the front display, but if I change the volume (or anything else) it defaults to a brighter setting.  Strangly enough it doesn't seem to happen on the Coax input (only tried Coax 1).

Also, is there any way to defeat the on screen volume display?  Don't mind it when playing games, but its frustrating when watching a movie.  I know you can adjust the volume then hit exit to quickly make it dissapear, but still.  Not sure if theres a way that I just am not seeing, or perhaps this could be an option with future firmware.

...and just realized I never posted my impressions of the AVP-18.  Will do so tonight.

nuforce-casey

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #83 on: 29 Mar 2014, 12:45 am »
I have a quesiton for AVP-18 users, does anyone else have the dim function defeated when changing volume?  It appears to happen only on the HDMI inputs (tried HDMI 1, 2 &3), but I can set the dim level for the front display, but if I change the volume (or anything else) it defaults to a brighter setting.  Strangly enough it doesn't seem to happen on the Coax input (only tried Coax 1).

Also, is there any way to defeat the on screen volume display?  Don't mind it when playing games, but its frustrating when watching a movie.  I know you can adjust the volume then hit exit to quickly make it dissapear, but still.  Not sure if theres a way that I just am not seeing, or perhaps this could be an option with future firmware.

...and just realized I never posted my impressions of the AVP-18.  Will do so tonight.
If you install the latest firmware, the onscreen display of volume can be completely defeated if you turn off OSD (On Screen Display) in the setup.

mresseguie

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #84 on: 29 Mar 2014, 02:36 am »
"I have a quesiton for AVP-18 users, does anyone else have the dim function defeated when changing volume?  It appears to happen only on the HDMI inputs (tried HDMI 1, 2 &3), but I can set the dim level for the front display, but if I change the volume (or anything else) it defaults to a brighter setting."

Gaara,

My AVP-18 does the same thing. I just tried it now. To be honest, though, I hadn't really noticed the display while watching videos. I'll watch later this evening....perhaps I'll notice it now.....oh nooooooooo.  :icon_lol:


Camembert

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #85 on: 31 Mar 2014, 03:06 am »
Thanks all for your answers.

I had two remaining questions:

1. (a repeat question) would it be possible for Nuforce to release firmware updates that only need to be put on a memory stick (as it usually happens in other devices) instead of the laborious current practice?

2. I listen in stereo only. I notice the auto-eq effect on a 24 bit/88khz file from SACD source. But in another file at 192 khz the difference is subtle at best. I am wondering if the auto eq also applies to 192 khz files?

Otherwise I am happy with this device, it sounds musical and at the same time it is very convenient for a 1-box solution that can be applied to movies as well.

I did a demo to a colleague over the weekend, who uses a Naim pre/power set (always good!) and he is tempted.

Gaara

Re: AVP-18
« Reply #86 on: 1 Apr 2014, 02:00 pm »
If you install the latest firmware, the onscreen display of volume can be completely defeated if you turn off OSD (On Screen Display) in the setup.

Does this turn off just the OSD for volume, or everything including setup?  I have a USB cable coming from Monoprice, should be here in a couple days, will be sure to install the new firmware and report back.

nuforce-casey

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #87 on: 2 Apr 2014, 01:10 am »
Does this turn off just the OSD for volume, or everything including setup?  I have a USB cable coming from Monoprice, should be here in a couple days, will be sure to install the new firmware and report back.
All the OSD is turned off, because the front VFD display is active, it will show the volume bar etc...


Gaara

Re: AVP-18
« Reply #88 on: 5 Apr 2014, 01:39 am »
All the OSD is turned off, because the front VFD display is active, it will show the volume bar etc...

I did the update and it resolved the OSD concern, thanks.

ZAKski288

Re: AVP-18
« Reply #89 on: 11 Apr 2014, 03:01 am »
    Hello. Need a little help with AVP-18.  How do you exactly do the firmware update (1.52.02.41 currently on unit). I have the usb cord and a laptop. 
 
any help will greatly appreciative  :D.  Thank you.  Ken

ricardojoa

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #90 on: 11 Apr 2014, 06:01 am »
you should download this https://www.nuforce.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&task=download&id=291_3e250e0372b7a2229a3cc501842d06d0&Itemid=1103
 it tells you the steps.
Not sure if your labtop would meet the requiremnts though.

ZAKski288

Re: AVP-18
« Reply #91 on: 11 Apr 2014, 06:40 am »
     Thanks.  Have another question, Do you have to download all of the updates or just the latest update?  Also when I did the update I had an
 Error OSD Flash  not match! on the unit.   Ken

Camembert

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #92 on: 11 Apr 2014, 08:41 am »
Really, as I mentioned before, Nuforce should distribute updates that you can simply put on an usb stick for installation.

ricardojoa

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #93 on: 11 Apr 2014, 10:39 am »
the way they do, allows continuous update of firmware and at lower cost.

Camembert

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #94 on: 12 Apr 2014, 05:52 am »
Sorry, that you will have to explain. All other devices in my experience can be upgraded with a downloaded firmware on a memory stick or memory card.

mresseguie

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #95 on: 12 Apr 2014, 06:36 am »
Hi, Camembert.

All of my devices that can be updated are either connected to my router or to my PC for the firmware update. There is nothing odd or peculiar about Nuforce's procedure in my humble opinion.  :D


ricardojoa

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #96 on: 12 Apr 2014, 06:41 am »
Oh you mean downloading to a stick memotry card? That will do and will skip a few step for the end user.
I thought you meant nuforce sending a memory stick card for every firmware update.

No worries on my part, having good duscussion is always welcome.

Gaara

Re: AVP-18
« Reply #97 on: 12 Apr 2014, 10:21 am »
     Thanks.  Have another question, Do you have to download all of the updates or just the latest update?  Also when I did the update I had an
 Error OSD Flash  not match! on the unit.   Ken

When I did the firmware update I grabbed the most recent version.  My process was as follows:

1) Download the instructions off the Nuforce site
2) Download the installer for the firmware upgrade program
3) Download the most recent firmware
4) Install the firmware upgrade program
5) Connect my PC via USB to the Nuforce via a USB A to USB B cable
6) Opened the Nuforce_AVR_Upgrade program
   a) Hit "Select File" and selected the firmware
   b) Hit Start
7) The update ran for a few minutes and was done (and if I recall correctly the Nuforce restarted)

impaelas

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #98 on: 19 Apr 2014, 01:05 pm »
Greetings everyone.

I was on a mission to upgrade my current stereo setup to be able to enjoy the video in the living room. Still, the focus had to remain on stereo sound as music is what the system is playing 95% of time. I sadly don't have the luxury of having a spare room for music listening and have to accomodate other family members without ruining music listening experience for myself.

Current setup is
Marantz CD6000
Sony BDP-S790 bluray player
Arcam A70 amp
Q Acoustics 2050i

I've tried adding Denon AVR X-4000 due to vast number of gimmicks (and a great price too) by using preamp to Arcam A70 as I wasn't happy with what Denon was delivering sound vise on it's own. In this setup, Marantz CD was connected directly to Arcam with Audioquest Redriver analogues while Denon was taking care of sound from Sony bluray and Samsung smart tv. It was also used to play files over network since FLAC is supported but network adapter was buggy and kept losing connection. I was not happy and it made me want to stick with Arcam A70 more and more.

Potential solution was introduction of NuForce AVP-18 with following logic:
- Sony BDP-S790 (via HDMI) used for bluray and playing audio files over network even if it currently won't play FLAC. CD is still the main source. Question: solution for FLAC over network?
- Marantz CD6000 was due an upgrade for a long time now. Question: Would using AVP-18 as a DAC qualify (I have no chance of testing before purchase)?

Regards,
Imp

Camembert

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Re: AVP-18
« Reply #99 on: 25 Apr 2014, 09:11 am »
Quote
Potential solution was introduction of NuForce AVP-18 with following logic:
- Sony BDP-S790 (via HDMI) used for bluray and playing audio files over network even if it currently won't play FLAC. CD is still the main source. Question: solution for FLAC over network?
- Marantz CD6000 was due an upgrade for a long time now. Question: Would using AVP-18 as a DAC qualify (I have no chance of testing before purchase)?

I had a very similar use case. 1 audio system, stereo only, that is used for both video and music and that should sound good with music.
The AVP-18 successfully replaced my geriatric Quad 44 preamp. It sounds very clean. I am not sure if it sounds better than the excellent Cambridge DacMagic Plus dac which I also briefly used as a pre-amp for my quad power amp, but it is much more practical and comprehensive.

For the source, next to an Apple TV that streams various data, I upgraded my BR player to the Oppo BDP-103D. This one is tremendously versatile, can be connected to anything, can grab most kinds of video and audio files. It has excellent picture quality, it stream PCM to the AVP18 (for example for music that is in SACD format which the AVP cannot decode directly, I also use it for FLAC files, mkv video etc), and the AVP competently covents to analog.

Really happy. Minimalist, no nonsense, practical. The auto eq is even slightly better than my traditional "straight audio" preference.