IA-9x vs. IDA-8

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pstrisik

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IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« on: 30 Jul 2023, 06:15 pm »
I just found this forum section today after emailing pre-sales from the website.  I see the name John Casler is listed as the pre-sales advisor and you are also here on the forum!  So, I'll copy the email here for general input (plus added a bit!)  ....Thanks


I’m hoping you can clarify the differences between the IA-9x and the IDA-8 so I can make a better choice.  I don’t need a phono input and I don’t currently need a DAC, though I might rely on it down the road.  So I would be using analog input on either.  Here are my questions:

- I think the 8 was debuted in 2015.  When was the 9x?
- Are there changes in the 9x amplifier sections that improved on the 8?  Or are they largely the same with the only difference being phono in one, DAC in the other?
- Anything else I should be aware of in making the choice between these?

(I'm working may way through the long IDA-8 thread.)

Bonus question!  What does the “x” signify?  Best I can tell, it either means phono (for the integrateds) or mono (for power amps).  Is that correct?

Thanks for any help in making my choice!   .....Pete


To complicate matters, I've started to think about using a power amp vs. the integrated.  Would doing so, at a similar price level, offer SQ advantage?  I'm wondering if the pre-amp section in the integrateds offer more Class A-ness.  I've mostly been Class A thus far.  Tubes then First Watt and now a Pioneer M-22 (circa 1978), and I like the warmth that provides.   Thanks again for input.

John Casler

Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #1 on: 30 Jul 2023, 06:28 pm »
Hi Pete,

Glad you found the NuPRIME Circle and welcome.

I too will "copy and paste" the reply I sent earlier today below:

<<The primary differences between the 2 are:

1) IA-9X is “all analog” while the IDA-8 has a DAC section
2) IDA-8 has slightly more power per channel
3) The IA-9X offers the unique ability to customize its sound characteristics to suit your musical preferences.

NuPrime Only Distortion Cancellation (ODC) circuit for ultra-low distortion for neutral and detailed sound.
Harmonic generation circuit (utilizing Class A transistors) for slightly warm, end-rhyme, and rich sound similar to that of a vacuum tube amplifier.

So as you can see, they have differences.

The IA-9X is rather recently released (in the last year) and the IDA-8 has been an industry standard for many years.

The “X” signifies an improvement over the standard 9 Series Components.  The DAC-9X, STA-9X, and the IA-9X are a small level above the other earlier 9 series models.>>

Regarding the potential of a power amp:  In that price range the STA-9X would be a consideration.  The advantage would be related to increased power (130wpc x 2)  So if your speakers are of such an efficiency that additional power would help, it could be a viable path.

pstrisik

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #2 on: 30 Jul 2023, 07:04 pm »
Thanks John,

I was more asking about the amp sections of the 8 and 9x integrateds, bypassing the DAC in the 9x.  But I'm studying the comparison grid and it looks like the ratings on the 9x fit my preferences more. It is rated higher up in every category. 

I change between two sets of speakers (using the same bass foundation for both):  Paradigm Reference Signature S2 and Omega Super Alnico Monitors - HO.  The Paradigms are ~89db and the Omegas 95db, so power isn't a concern.  My 30wpc Pioneer M-22 powers both fine.  And curious about using a pre/power combo versus power only in terms of sound quality. 

But, the more I think about it though, the more a power amp feels "right".  STA-9x may be the way to go.

.....Pete


AllanS

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #3 on: 30 Jul 2023, 07:20 pm »
Understand your focus is amplification but, related to X differences, What HiFi dropped a nice write up on the DAC-9X a couple of daze ago https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/nuprime-dac-9x

pstrisik

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #4 on: 30 Jul 2023, 07:35 pm »
Nice review.  Is he wrong about no input-specific memory for volume?  It seems that is something incorporated in the IA-9x.

rustydoglim

Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #5 on: 30 Jul 2023, 07:56 pm »
Power:
IA-9X has much more power than IDA-8.  IDA-8 power is limited by the power supply and the amp's design, so it max out at 100W at 8ohm and 4ohm.  IA-9X has 145W@4ohm. 

Amp Performance
IA-9X amp uses the STA-9X, which is a new design than STA-9.  IA-9X amp is at a different level than IDA-8 in all aspects.

The X in the nine series signifies a higher level of performance. DAC-9 to DAC-9X, STA-9 to STA-9X, etc.

pstrisik

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #6 on: 30 Jul 2023, 08:55 pm »
Thanks for the clarification.  Looks like it is the IA-9x or the STA-9x for me - leaning towards the latter.

Would you say there is a noticeable difference between the STA-9x and the IA-9x with analog input, everything else being equal?  They rate very similar in your chart.

....Pete

pstrisik

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #7 on: 31 Jul 2023, 01:31 am »
The STA-9x has a rear power switch.  The manual states, when it is turned on, the amp will be in standby.  What brings it out of standby? 

There is a 12v trigger.  I assume it will stay in standby and the trigger will wake it up.  What if a trigger is not used?  The manual doesn't seem to address this.  Is it activated when it receives a music signal?

.......Pete

BTW, it's nice to see some omega folks over here.   :wave: to mresseguie, hifijeff, seikosha!

John Casler

Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #8 on: 31 Jul 2023, 01:39 am »
The STA-9x has a rear power switch.  The manual states, when it is turned on, the amp will be in standby.  What brings it out of standby? 

There is a 12v trigger.  I assume it will stay in standby and the trigger will wake it up.  What if a trigger is not used?  The manual doesn't seem to address this.  Is it activated when it receives a music signal?

.......Pete

BTW, it's nice to see some omega folks over here.   :wave: to mresseguie, hifijeff, seikosha!

Page 13 of the manual Dial #1.

"Power / Input Selector:
Briefly press for 3 sec to On/Off standby mode
Turn the knob to switch between inputs"

So you press that dial for 3 sec to turn on, and off.

Or of course you can use the remote "power on" button command

pstrisik

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #9 on: 31 Jul 2023, 01:42 am »
Thanks John, but it's the STA-9x I'm wondering about rather than the IA-9x.  .....Pete

John Casler

Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #10 on: 31 Jul 2023, 01:51 am »
Thanks John, but it's the STA-9x I'm wondering about rather than the IA-9x.  .....Pete

My bad. . . . the STA-9X only has the power switch on the back, and if the blue led is lit, then it is ready for signal.

Not sure why the manual says "stand by"

pstrisik

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #11 on: 31 Jul 2023, 03:42 am »
I think I'm missing something.  I take from your last post that there is no standby.  There is a trigger.  How does that work?  Power switch on or off?  There is no button on the front as with the ST-10.

Of course, the easy alternative is to plug it into a switched outlet with the power switch left on.
« Last Edit: 31 Jul 2023, 02:23 pm by pstrisik »

rustydoglim

Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #12 on: 31 Jul 2023, 06:15 pm »
If there is a standby, then you can use the remote to get it out of standby.
If there is a trigger, you have to leave the power switch ON.  The trigger acts like a toggle switch to turn it on and off.

IA-9X has an integrated preamp that came from the very good PRA-9X.  STA-9X doesn't have a preamp.
If you already have a DAC, and don't need multiple analog inputs, definitely go with STA-9X.

pstrisik

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #13 on: 31 Jul 2023, 06:22 pm »
Thanks for the clarification Jason.  I'm already leaning towards the STA-9X but was confused about how the trigger worked with a hard on/off switch. 

The STA-9X makes the most sense for me as I do have an external streamer/DAC/Pre (Auralic VEGA G2).  I was attracted to the IA-9X for flexibility (use in other scenarios, remote volume if I'm multi-amping, etc.), but it makes less sense the more I sit with the question.

....Pete 

pstrisik

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Re: IA-9x vs. IDA-8
« Reply #14 on: 1 Aug 2023, 12:21 pm »
STA-9X ordered!

Thanks for all the decision help!