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A little too expensive. For 200 I would be all over it. The only thing is that NuForce is not getting good reviews now after it was purchased by another company... People responsible for NuForce reputation are now running NuPrime which does get great reviews product wise... I probably would be more inclined to spend more and get NuPrime current product... But that's just me...
I normally don´t comment rumours but if something is very inaccurate then I believe it is worth correcting.
Almost everyone who developed original NuForce products, and are responsible for NuForce reputation, are still with NuForce. Only one original member of NuForce is not with Optoma and he was let go from NuForce way before the acquisition.
Jyri - NuForce/Optoma
Could be. But you can't argue that after NuForce was purchased by Optoma their products do not get much love comparing to how it was prior to the acquisition. On the other hand NuPrime products get stellar reviews all over.
I do not have any personal interest in either. Just done a lot of reading about their products in a last few years as I was interested in getting an integrated amp. Then I discovered other products by both brands: dacs and headphone amps... At the end I did not purchase from either any went with other brands.
I´m not sure why you think this way but in 2015 Worldwide we received more positive reviews than ever before (albeit less in the US).
Comparing to NuPrime is irrelevant as they focus on amplifiers which we haven´t done lately. However I do understand that we are being compared. I love their products and I know the people behind those. I have nothing negative to say about them but to be honest our focuses are very different.
But the part I am concerned now is that we lost you as a customer. May I ask which dacs and amps you bought? :)
Since you work directly with the company - would you mind elaborating how this product, 6 yrs later, is priced competitively?
This is an exclusive product for Massdrop. Even 6 years later it is still a great sounding and versatile product but naturally not with all the latest specs. Some might appreciate what the product can offer while some might be looking for other features. In the past customers used the HDP as desktop headphone amp, DA-converter with larger hifi system or as a preamp for active speakers. Even with the current specs I could see lot of customers having great value for $279-$299.
Having said all this, of course both NuForce and Massdrop listen the feedback customers and the community give. Doesn´t mean we are always able to deliver but we surely try. If you feel the current price is not competitive enough, what price would be in your opinion?
And thank you for the feedback!
I was in the market for an integrated amp as I stated initially. I loved the aesthetics of NuForce designs when I discovered the brand and started researching about their products last year. In what I was able to find there was a lot of love for NuForce DDA-100 Integrated amp in the Audiophile community. I hope my memory serves me correctly with the product number. But that model was discontinued and replaced with the NuForce DDA120. Again I hope I am getting the model number correctly. New version of the device gets significantly less love based on my research on Audiophile chat boards, Amazon feedback and professional reviews. Also very little love for the unit on the UK's whathifi.com. It received 3 stars out of five with the verdict: "The NuForce DDA-120 has a lot going for it. It’s a neat package, nicely built, and with a host of connections. We just can’t ignore the fact that your £600 (indeed less) will buy you better, more involving and enjoyable sound elsewhere."
The NuPrime unit that I considered after I discovered that brand was NuPrime IDA-8 that gets stellar feedback on Audiophile boards and scores very high in reviews. I almost pulled the trigger on that one, but at the end few reasons made me go with another brand. First, I was slightly puzzled by their explanation how their technology works. Second, limited dealer availability in USA...
At the end I purchased a well reviewed unit from a well known MidFi-HiFi brand.
Then I researched the small headphone Dacs and again I got interested in NuForce uDAC3. Very similar story here. Good reviews, but not stellar. As far as NuPrime goes they got a similar unit for a little more money - NuPrime uDSD. Stellar reviews all over. A good example would be a very credible The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel on Youtube that reviewed both units. Reading the reviews it clearly seems that NuPrime unit is superior to NuForce unit. The only negative thing for me personally about NuPrime unit is the input on the side of the DAC which is just bizarre design to me.
I also did read quite a lot about the unit that is now on Massdroop - NuForce Icon HDP DAC/Amp. Lots of positive, but also a good amount on negative feedback. For the money there are many other units that score much higher. In my opinion based on my research it is not worth the retail price or the Massdrop price at this point and time. I love the aesthetics, but question the technology as it is quite few years old. At the price point there are other units that have better sampling rates and things like visual display and other features which at $449 retail is reasonable to expect.
I hope you understand that I have no negative agenda towards NuForce and actually interested in some of your products. Like right now I am in the market for quality IEM headphones and I really like NuForce IEM headphones visually, but there seems to be many better options based on reviews...
If you want to prove me wrong and make me a believer you can contact me privately...
I truly appreciate the thorough feedback. This helps me to understand you thinking better and actually this is a good learning point for us. So, thank you! :)
DDA120 - actually shares the same technology as DDA100 but with added Bluetooth and analog inputs. Sound quality is 10% better than the DDA100 but the higher price point caused some trouble. Currently the price is lowered to $499. (What Hi-Fi is always hit or miss to be honest. There are lot of other positive reviews such as The Absolute Sound "Editor´s Choice award".)
uDAC3 was launched 2013 and the retail price is $99. NuPrime is almost double the price so not exactly the best comparison. uDAC3 is a great entry-level product and we have kept it in our product range because it is still selling well and in general our customers love it.
On the HDP - I would agree on the $449 price but Massdrop price $279.99 is pretty decent. I am surprised you find good amount of negative feedback. In general the feedback has always been positive and there are lot of appraising reviews (one can never avoid the negatives as well, audio is always subjective). With audio it is never about the specs alone. Two products with equal specs can sound very different.
And finally, yes I would like to make you a believer. Could you give me your email address please?
I hear you on What Hi-Fi. But you know after you read such a strong opinion it is very hard to justify pulling the trigger...
Jyri, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org...
Fully understand. And there is some work we need to do to improve our operations and the impression we give to our potential customers.
I will send you an email.
Just to add to this discussion a bit (sorry if it is off topic). I too share ld100's view of the perception of NuForce brand after the Optoma acquisition.
My first purchase in "audiophile equipment" was the original NuForce uDAC. Blew my mind away the first time I heard the sound quality difference. Since then I have been loyal to the NuForce brand, having purchased several uDAC variants as well as the NuForce ICON-DAC (not HDP). You could say I was a NuForce fanboy.
I was recently in the market for an integrated DAC/AMP, just like ld100 I was looking at DDA-100/DDA-120. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the DDA-120 (through World Wide Stereo on Amazon). Box arrived and first impression was this unit was repackaged and resold to me as new (damaged packaging, hand prints on the unit itself, etc.). Attempts to contact Optoma about the issue went unanswered. I decided to set it up anyway to see how it performed.
The audio quality of the DDA-120 seemed very good. The mids were much more pronounced than my previous setup (Yamaha RV1600). I was driving it via MacMini and toslink. When I switch to the USB DAC I had many issues with the DDA-120, audio would work for 5-10 seconds then just cut out. Having alot of experience with previous NuForce USB DACs I debugged as much as I could. Again attempts to contact Optoma went unanswered.
At the end of the day I unfortunately returned the DDA-120. In the past NuForce customer support was *superb*. Emails would be returned usually within 30-45 minutes. I have no doubt that the quality of the NuForce product line has remained mostly unchanged. When it worked the DDA-120 sounded awesome, however lack of customer support left me in the lurch and forced to move to a different brand.
I bought the ICON-DAC new for $299 back in 2014. If the HDP variant is anything like the ICON-DAC the current Massdrop price tag seems a bit steep to me. I cannot find much in comparison between the ICON-DAC and HDP other than the HDP includes an optical input. A price tag of $229-249 may be more appropriate.
Juri, I did not get anything from you... Did you email me?
On behalf of whole Optoma and NuForce I want to apologize for the poor customer service. To be honest I am shocked to hear this. I receive customer service reports every week and according to our team no inquiry is left unanswered. Obviously something strange happened here and I want to understand what.
What makes me more unhappy is the fact that DDA120 does not require any USB-drivers, and due to the all-digital platform there shouldn't be any reason why it wouldn't work or why it is cutting out. It basically works or doesn't and everything in between are more or less related to source, connections etc. Our team should have been able to support you or simply swap the unit to a new one. But in the end we did not do any of this and we lost you. To me this is something which should never happen.
I am also worried to hear that you received a damaged package. World Wide Stereo is using Amazon fulfillment service so this is more likely related to Amazon than them. Nevertheless also something which should never happen. I will make sure our account manager has a discussion with World Wide to see if there is something we can improve.
Once again, my deepest apologies for this very unfortunate experience.
I do appreciate this feedback and we will take actions to improve our customer service.