As I reported in the IDA-8 thread, my integrated NuForce DDA-100 died on me, and the local distributor is offering me two models. One is the trusted NuPrime IDA-8 of which he already has a representation here, the other is an equipment from Hegel, the H80 which he has the choice of bringing to Ecuador as he is currently on the Munich fair.
So, keeping in line with this site's rules of not bad-mouthing either NuPrime or any other brand, if you guys could help me decide, I would be really grateful.
So these are my options:
Unfortunately, none are locally in stock, so this is a 'deaf' purchase, I cannot listen to one or the other. There is also no 30 day return policy, as this item will have to be imported just for me, so it's either one or the other. No chance of testing both. I need to make an informed decision based on research and people's advice, nothing more.
So, I'm looking for precisely that: advice.
A bit of background if this helps in the decision making. The use scenario is this one:
- Speakers are a pair of Totem Rainmakers, 4 Ohm, 30 -100 W, 87.5 dB/W/m bookshelves
- Use is for music / tv listening.
- I will hook into it a RaspberryPi3 running Moode OS for Hi-Fi audio files and streaming from Spotify to the USB-B port
- I will hook into it a Samsung TV via Optical Cable
- I will hook into it an Apple Airport Express for multi-room listening (not often used) via optical or analog depending on optical input availability (IDA-8 would have to be analog)
- The H80 could be brought directly, the IDA-8 needs to be "properly" imported, so the prices for both may be the same, so lets leave price out of the equation for now
As you can see, all my sources are digital, and here lies my main interest in asking these questions here.
Apparently according to reviews, specifically an answer here from the author of the review: http://blog.son-video.com/en/2015/12/review-nuprime-ida-8/comment-page-1/#comment-12008
, seem to suggest that the H80 has a better sounding analog input. I have no doubt this is probably true, as the IDA-8 analog in is digitized. In that way, the IDA-8 appears to have more emphasis on the DAC with a very good amplifier. The H80 seems, on the other hand, to be more of an AMP with an integrated DAC, focus spent more on the AMP.
So, if my needs don't change, what would be my best pick?
Will the (apparently) better AMP on the H80 be hindered by quality of the DAC, making the IDA-8 (with an apparently better DAC) better sounding if all my inputs are digital? Will the H80 still be better sounding? Is it actually true that the H80 sounds better than the IDA-8 at all?
I understand that, from a growth perspective, the H80 seems more future-proof friendly, as I can later down the road buy a much better standalone DAC and hook its analog outputs to the Hegel's better amplifier... the other way around is a bit more limited as I could not buy a better amp for the IDA-8 as it lacks good analog outputs to an external AMP. But lets assume I won't change my needs in quite a while.
What do you guys think? Is the H80 really a better sounding device? Has anyone tried and listened to both? Can you describe as objectively as possible what were the differences?
Thanks for any advice and be kind if I'm missing something obvious :). Thanks again,
ps. I know this is purely subjective, but I really believe this is a valid and useful question / advice looking. If everything in this section can only be praise of NuPrime without ever mentioning any other brand, the usefulness of these type of forums is really diminished... at least that is my humble opinion.