shopping_cart
NuPrime Hi mDAC Signature – Drop Exclusive

NuPrime Hi mDAC Signature – Drop Exclusive

bookmark_border
Where's the price?
To negotiate the best possible price for our customers, we agree to hide prices prior to logging in.
38 requests
·
90 Sold
Product Description
When it comes to getting the best audio quality from your computer or portable device, your soundcard isn’t going to cut it. You need a digital-to-audio converter designed for optimal decoding, and the Hi mDAC Signature from NuPrime is here to deliver Read More
Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.0
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
8
check
67%
would recommend to a friend
search
close
tiborh
33
Dec 27, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
narrow usability scope for the price level
(update 1: mobile phone, see at the bottom) (update 2: Raspberry Pi test, see at the bottom) Let's start with what is good about it: packaging and looks. But when I started to use... First, I thought it was faulty. But no, only output is extremely low power. Test configuration 1: (powered) USB-C hub -> DAC -> Sennheiser PC38X, which can be powered even with a pre-amplifier alone or by a phone. Settings: PC volume at 150%, DAC volume at max. Headset volume at max. Output volume: low but enjoyable in a quiet room. Test configuration 2: (powered) USB-C hub -> DAC -> SMSL Amplifier (jack-to-RCA) -> Hifiman HE-X4 (headphones). Settings: PC output: 150%, DAC Volume: at max, Amplifier: High-gain (without this, volume needs to go to 3/4 for the same headphones output volume level), amplifier volume control at half. Audible volume is low, which is not unpleasant for background music while doing something else, in a quiet room. Output volume: Maximum amplifier volume is not very loud. Experience: The quality of the music heard: good, pleasant. Would I recommend this DAC/Amp to anyone? If only for display, yes, definitely. For use, no. There are cheaper, yet better powered options. Better option for less than half the price: e.g. Soundblaster G3 (tested). Am I going to use it regularly? Possibly, if I it gives acceptable performance with a Raspberry Pi or mobile phone (need to find USB-A to USB-C adaptor first). (So, I do not absolutely regret buying it, (yet?)) --> update 1: Test configuration 3: mobile phone (Redmi Pro) -> USB-C-to-USB-A adaptor -> DAC Cable -> DAC -> headphones cable -> headphones (either of the above two + Koss Porta Pro X) result: volume is not a problem there, but...: the USB-A to USB-C converter should also have had to been provided. Better still, similarly to Soundblaster G3, a USB-C-to-USB-C cable could have been better with an adaptor to USB-A because moving around with an adaptor and an extra connection point is never the best (mobile) use case. (or, at this price level: what about providing two cables?) Also, there are unpleasant cracking sounds in the headphones (occasionally, unexpectedly, sometimes in the left other times in the right ear, or even in both simultaneously), while the same song and same headphones do not produce same cracking noise when the jack output is used on the phone and not on the DAC. What's more, the sound is better from the phone than via the DAC. So: unsuitable for this use case... what a pity. --> update 2: Test configuration 4: Raspberry Pi 4 -> DAC -> Sennheiser PC38X, later HD 280 Pro, and even Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (80Ω version). result: volume is good. sound quality is rather raspy*, like an old radio with a broken speaker. Sadly, a $20 uGreen USB Audio interface has stronger and better (quality) sound. Another thing: I had to connect it three times to get it successfully recognised. But after that, I could hear sound which could be amplified with the volume control on the DAC. Not a clear win, unfortunately. * update: as it turns out, sw amplification must be turned off in Raspberry Pi because it can lead to distortions (with powered DAC, less, with unpowered DAC, more). This way both the volume level is and sound quality is excellent.
close
Would not recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
C.rad
52
Dec 6, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
This is my initial impressions. When I got the Nuprime Gold mDAC, it immediately was plugged in and played for 35 hrs to break it in without listening to it as several reviewers commented that it needs breaking in and I agree. When I first plugged it in and played it using headphones; it was far from impressive. It's now only been 35 hrs of break in but there were big improvements; much better soundstage and imaging, tighter control on instruments, * much less sibilance and better decay. It sounded like two different DAC's. *FYI: As noted below by Nuprime, the Signature mDAC is different from the standard grey/blue mDAC as the Signature is differently tuned between the standard and signature version. "In the signature version, we use the high quality Vishay's resistor ( the standard version is the common parts only) inside and deliver the clear and beautiful sound stage". I purchased my Signature mDAC here on Drop for $95. I'm comparing this DAC to my USB Halide HD DAC, both similarly in size but also different (See my five photo's). The Halide is only intended for going into a preamp via RCA's that are hardwired into the dongle, no volume control and cant be used with headphones. The retail price of the Halide was $500 ten years ago, so it's nothing new and no longer being made and can be found for much less. Cryogenic treated and with a Wolfson WM8716 24bit DAC. The Nuprime mDAC uses a 3.5mm female headphone plug for output to be used with either headphones or use a 3.5mm to RCA's cable going into a preamp; This is has been my preferred way to audition and compare the mDAC. The 3.5mm output jack also can be used as an optical out so the mDAC can be used as an usb to optical cable converter to connect to an older high end DAC that doesn't have a usb input. I have an acoustic tuned room and the nice equipment I used for auditioning the mDAC are my Totem Model 1 monitors, an upgraded Virtue Sensation M901 integrated amp with tube preamp running on a 24v battery, also Ayre AX7e, using a dedicated MacBook Pro as a source running on battery, using bit perfect redbook HD recordings and Tidal, cables are Mapleshade and Synergistic and I used the usb a-c cable that came with the mDac. My set up is very revealing and produces excellent and realistic soundstage & imaging and very low background noise (quiet). The issue with the Totem Model I's being a smaller monitor that it's not able to produce low bass like a floor speaker and Totem's can be known to sound a bit too accurate (clinical) making it a good setup to hear/compare gear; it's plusses and minus's. I also own Totem Mani 2 monitors but only used the Model 1's for this audition. Background: I've been very surprised and happy how good the Halide sounds, it's been very musical and gets a lot of things right; it allows me to sit down for long periods and listen to music. It's not perfect and the soundstage is narrower than other good DAC's but produces a very detailed and realistic soundstage with really good separation of instruments and depth of stage, texture and has tight bass. It does a great job painting a picture of a performance being played right in front of you, it's very musical and smooth. The front of my speakers are five feet from the back wall and I get a very vivid 3D soundstage about two-three feet behind the monitors (they disappear). The Nuprime Signature mDAC gave me a different location of imagery of the instruments which is a bit odd, I was able to hear a bit more background information in the recordings than the Halide, the mDAC was fast and really brought out symbols, chimes, snare drums. The soundstage was slightly bigger and taller than the Halide but the mDAC was also much more forward in the room between me and the monitors, the soundstage was no longer behind the speakers, The soundstage was much closer to me and had more sibilance. I heard less upper bass and was less 3D soundstage than the Halide. Compared to the Halide, the Nuprime mDAC was a bit more clinical and a bit less musical than my Halide which goes against other reviewers comments. It also had bloated bass, not sounding like there was more bass but not as tight or controlled as the Halide. Don't get me wrong, the mDAC still sounded nice and only pointing out the small differences and I'm sure it would sound different, maybe better with longer break-in (100+hrs) and with different equipment. I suspect the mDAC needs more break in time. I've had DACs needing 300+ hrs of break in before sounding good. Also, I was using speakers, preamp/amp with the mDAC and not really yet tested it with good headphones. I did find the volume control (up/down) a bit slow. When you turn off the DAC, you have turn the volume back up which takes a while. It's a <$100 portable DAC for headphones so that has to be considered when comparing. I don't think it's the be all and killer of more expensive DAC's. I'll for sure will be keeping my Halide, I like listening to music more with it and I wont compare the mDAC to my Schiit Multibit or Ayre DAC, what's the point of that? I'll continue to play it more and break in and will update this review if there's any changes.
(Edited)
Dear customer, Thanks for your great view after you used the Hi mDAC signature. I would like to explain that there are different tuned between the standard and signature version. In the signature version, we use the high quality Vishay's resistor ( the standard version is the common parts only) inside and deliver the clear and beautiful sound stage.
C.rad
52
Dec 7, 2021
Thank you Nuprime for the info, I'll make the correction. You may want to update your North American support people; as I was told by them that the Signature was only different by color to the standard.
(Edited)
sandriyi
26
Nov 29, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Pointless waste of money, Drop refused return
Marketing says use it with any mobile devices through USB C. Well, you need an OTG USB C cable, which is ridiculous. Why can't you use it with any normal USB C cable? How much power and data can this thing possibly use? Anyway, the whole point of it is that it's small for travel, but because you need special cables, it invalidates the whole concept. The price is ridiculous too, as it doesn't come close to the fun and sound quality of similarly priced Magni amp, FiiO BTR5, or even the SXFI Amp from Creative that I was able to snag for 55 bucks during the holiday. This is a garbage product, so learn from my mistakes please. Yes, the noise floor is ok, and output is clean, but that's just it... there's absolutely nothing else positive to say about it. Tried to return to Drop, but they refused.
close
Would not recommend to a friend.
Talking
0
Nov 24, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Beautiful
Very small, buy absolutely stunning, great sound but had connection issues on certain devices
check
Would recommend to a friend.
theDu
15
May 10, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Very impressed
I got this DAC sort of out of the blue, with not much research into competing products because I just noticed that my new Galaxy S21 Ultra no longer had a 3.5mm AUX. That said, I had retained my old phone the S10+, which does keep the AUX, and so I had a baseline to compare. I used the DAC with: Creative Aurvana Live! and E-Mu Purplehearts, along with HIFIMAN HE-4XX and NuForce Triple IEM. After tuning the volumes to match as best I could, I was so impressed with the performance of this DAC. I'm not the most advanced audiophile yet (listening language lacking) but there was a heightened quality--very noticeable-- when using the Signature DAC compared to the default on the S10+. It had no problem driving anything I have, and my very old, probably first-gen iPod earbuds, were not working at all on my S10+, EXTREMELY crackly. That all disappeared on the Signature mDAC. Really wish I had the non-Signature version to compare to, that might be fun.
check
Would recommend to a friend.
yeggfromseattle
7
Apr 21, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
great little device!
Really liked this nifty little goodie. Well worth the cashola paid.
check
Would recommend to a friend.
SaitoHajime
33
Feb 15, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Very good dac/amp.
search
My first dac/amp so I cannot say much but definitely an improment over the onboard output. Some more accessories like usb-c to usb-c or lightning adapter, protective case... would be better packaging. At the moment, I'm happy with the product. Edit: And wow, after remove the face plate cover. There literally a glass behind it. A mirror to be exact. The most aesthetic dac/amp ever build, in my opinion. 4/11: I bought it 139$, now only 95.
(Edited)
EatMyDustbunny
3
Jul 7, 2021
If you think that’s the nicest aesthetics you’ve ever seen, I hate to break it to you but let me show you my amp build and then tell me what you think.
search
search
search
search
search
search

SaitoHajime
33
Jul 8, 2021
Haha, just nicest in my own league. Your is super incredible!!
Markitron
2
Jun 25, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
check
Would recommend to a friend.
Recent Activity