NuPrime preamp section

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daniele_g

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NuPrime preamp section
« on: 13 Nov 2018, 01:46 pm »
Hi,
I don't know if it has already been discussed, in case I apologise; how do the preamp section in NuPrime devices (DAC9, DAC10, HPA9) compare in terms of SQ ?
should I go for a NuPrime amplification (as I'm considering), I'd need 2 pairs of analog input, one for CDP -Naim CDX2: no digital output- and one for phonostage; if I don't go wrong, only HPA9 has 2 pairs, but is it same as others ?
how does it compare to others in SQ ? what should I expect going from one to another ?
thanks, ciao
Daniele

Samoyed

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Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #1 on: 13 Nov 2018, 01:49 pm »
Go to nuprimeaudio.com and download product manuals. I love the sound of my dac10, but don’t use the preamp.

Samoyed

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daniele_g

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Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #3 on: 13 Nov 2018, 01:57 pm »
thanks Samoyed,
but I'd like to know from users, or Jason himself, the differences (if any) in sound.
for example, I've read somewhere in this circle that DAC9 has a somehow 'warmer' presentation than DAC10: is it possibile to identify similar differences among the preamp section of the different NuPrime devices ?
is there some kind of "hierarchy" ?

daniele_g

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Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #4 on: 13 Nov 2018, 02:10 pm »
meanwhile, I realised DAC10 has 2 pairs of RCA inputs, so problem may be solved, but it's the most expensive; so I still wonder what are the differences among the different devices, concerning preamp section only.

Samoyed

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Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #5 on: 13 Nov 2018, 02:22 pm »
I use my dac10 with a cdt 8 pro, and an integrated amp. It is lovely.

rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #6 on: 13 Nov 2018, 02:35 pm »
These are not separate components like Preamp in a case, DAC in another case, headphone amp (if applicable) in another case, etc.
Just take a look at the interior photo of the product.  So I can't answer question like "just compare the preamp only".  It just doesn't work like that.
When the engineer design a $1795 product versus a $799 product, he is already given certain constrain about the use of parts and cost.
Sure, the preamp on DAC-10 and DAC-9 are using the same FPGA chip, but there are other factors in play here, such as power supply, power circuitry.  Having said that, the cost of DAC-10 design is actually for certain features such as 2 level of gain settings, circuitry that allow for high power headphone amp (DAC-10H).  So those of you who like warmer sound (typically you're not listening to classical music), would consider DAC-9 and DAC-10 at the same level, and prefer DAC-9 over DAC-10.  But if you have a power hungry headphones (or a high end one), you would save a lot of money with DAC-10H (a top of the line headphone amp alone could cost $1000 or more).  DAC-10H was compared to a $3000 headphone amp by a reviewer (he sort of gloss over in the review but private told me in more details) and he can't tell the difference.

I probably go off topic a little and my purpose is to educate customers about various design trade offs. 

Samoyed

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Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #7 on: 13 Nov 2018, 03:21 pm »
Very helpful.

daniele_g

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Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #8 on: 13 Nov 2018, 03:44 pm »
thanks, Jason,
I see your point; trying to make it simple to me, and considering that:
- I do not use headphones;
- my Naim CDX2 CD player has no digital output and I don't have streamers or whatever, so DAC in itself is (at the moment) not my main concern;
- dealing with power amps, I think I may go for ST10M's, because I've heard them in my brother's setup and... well, wow :)
- I listen mainly to pop-rock and (less) classical, no (or very little) jazz, hard-rock, electro-pop and so on;
- I use turntable with phonostage as well as CDP;

which one would you suggest ? DAC10 or HPA9 ? I did not mention DAC9 as it has only 1 pair of analog inputs, but... I'm open to suggestions :)
thanks

rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #9 on: 18 Nov 2018, 12:40 pm »
I think with your preference of pop, rock, you can consider DAC-9 or DAC-10 with HPA-9.
HPA-9 doesn't add to the sound (unless it is the headphone amp with some warmth), so you are still facing the difference between DAC-10 and DAC-9.
My suggestion is that unless you really must have warmth sound, then go with DAC-10 which is more neutral.

daniele_g

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Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #10 on: 19 Nov 2018, 05:05 pm »
thanks !

Genez

Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #11 on: 20 Nov 2018, 03:07 am »
Hi,
I don't know if it has already been discussed, in case I apologise; how do the preamp section in NuPrime devices (DAC9, DAC10, HPA9) compare in terms of SQ ?
should I go for a NuPrime amplification (as I'm considering), I'd need 2 pairs of analog input, one for CDP -Naim CDX2: no digital output- and one for phonostage; if I don't go wrong, only HPA9 has 2 pairs, but is it same as others ?
how does it compare to others in SQ ? what should I expect going from one to another ?
thanks, ciao
Daniele

One thing I can say from experience with the DAC10 and the HPA9....  The DAC10 offers balanced outputs.  The HPA9 offers a more typical arrangement of single ended inputs and outputs.

daniele_g

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Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #12 on: 20 Nov 2018, 10:42 am »
and which one did (or do) you prefer ?
I've listened to my brother's ST10M's connected to an ARC LS25/II in balanced and unbalanced mode and, though differences were very subtle, I think I preferred unbal connections; I must say that it was mostly a question of tastes and, I repeat, subtle nuances (maybe psychoacoustics ?  :roll:).

Genez

Re: NuPrime preamp section
« Reply #13 on: 20 Nov 2018, 06:22 pm »
It depended upon what type cables used.  I prefer balanced because I found some WyWires Blue balanced, used.  With another type, I may have preferred the unbalanced. Balanced simply provides a cleaner sound from where I sit.  Everyone's taste will be the deciding factor. Both are good.  It is only when one compares for themselves that one will see a preference.