NuPrime STA-9 Power Amplifier Mini Review

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by Marvey, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Kamikazi

    Kamikazi Friend

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    My experience with the NuPrime IDA-16 was that it lacked outright resolution and could be a bit lacking in emotion, especially compared to SET based Class A amps so with the STA-9 positioned beneath it according to table provided by NuPrime the observations do make a lot of sense. In the case of the IDA-16 it has been left alone to be as Class D as it can be and as far as that goes it does have some good strengths (bass, macro dynamics, neutral presentation, imaging) and the internal (ESS based) DAC didn't grate as much as I remember the NuPrime DAC-10H DAC/preamp did, though it still sounds a bit sharp.

    I am a bit mystified with NuPrime's obsession with trying to make their Class D amplifiers to sound warm like valve amps. I think it kind of defeats the purpose of Class D since it doesn't have any of the other virtues of valve based or Class A amplifiers and nullifies some of the typical strengths of Class D amplification (wide category, so that generalisation could be off the mark here), leaving only power efficiency as a plus.

    I was kind of curious as to how the STA-9 would compare to the other amplifiers tested so far, especially also since it can also be bridged as a 290W mono block so it kind of make sense to get another later so it kind of has a nice upgrade path if you have speakers that require lots of power to sound their best. My recent experiences with efficient systems have been that they are the preferred route when going with 2-channel stereo due to how much possibilities it opens for synergistic systems and enable the use of very high quality low power amplifiers that don't cost a huge sum of money.
     

  2. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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    @Kamikazi
    I'm with you and a good Class A solid state amp. There seems to be nothing that can touch it to this day. Wish the good ones didn't cost so much. Perhaps a good deal on a used one would take some of the pain away. Years ago, the Krells and Mark Levinson were my absolute favorites. With the right preamp, wow.
     
  3. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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    I have found something that changes the Vincent sound since last night. And I'm getting close to the timbre I'm hearing with the NuPrime STA-9. I'm moving that discussion where it belongs in the Marvery's Vincent review section of Power Amps. Look there for more on my work on getting the Vincent sounding proper.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  4. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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    Unfortunately I must report that my mini-review of the STA-9 matches that of @Marvey

     
  5. Big D Design

    Big D Design I've got stereo junk in my trunk.

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    Just curious as to.... did you run the amp thru a set of speakers? What were they?
     
  6. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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    No, I was attempting to use it to power a Hifiman HE-6. Next, before I sell it, I plan to try using it bridged to power the sub in the Bose 502 Panaray system in my workshop. Surely it can pull that off.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  7. Nbees

    Nbees Rando

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    So true if U can stand the heat, there's Chinese clones of Krell and others that are affordable
     
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  8. quick

    quick Rando

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    @beemerphile

    I use a nuprime ST-10 to power my heavily modded HE-6's (fed by a wyrd -> multibit gumpy -> goldpoint SA1X -> ST-10), and I am a huge fan of the sound. I also own an STA-9 which powers a pair of focal chorus 816V speakers, however when I tried hooking up the STA-9 to the HE-6's I was pretty disappointed with the outcome. So if the price doesn't turn you off, I highly encourage you to give the ST-10 a go before writing off nuprime. I've had the chance to audition pretty much every TOTL headphone since I travel to Tokyo for work, and I have yet to hear something I prefer over the HE-6 <-> ST-10 combo.

    I also have to say I'm a bit surprised by the negative reviews on the STA-9, as it really seems to have a decent amount of heft when hooked up to the focals, but maybe it's just a happy combo. Note: I've been lurking on this place for a couple years but I finally got around to creating an account.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  9. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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    I considered the ST-10 vs. the STA-9 for quite a while and then, I guess, made the wrong decision. I am using the STA-9 bridged to drive the bass module in a Bose Panaray system. For that it seems to work well. I settled on a Marantz MM7025 for use with the HE-6 and am quite happy with that set-up. Thanks. I had since wondered how the ST-10 would have performed in HE-6 duty.
     
  10. quick

    quick Rando

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    Glad it worked out with the STA-9. I can relate to the 10 vs 9 choice, I had a similar debate and crossed my fingers and went with the 10 with only the reviews to go on. Afterwards I half bought the 9 because I was so happy with the 10 and half as comparison to see if the 10 was worth the extra money. If the 9's only job was powering the HE-6's it would have been on its way back within a couple of days. The Marantz looks like a pretty solid choice, this board is dangerous...

    I should also mention that the STA-9 is paired with a matching DAC-9, which is where I think the tube claims come from (true or maybe not so true. Yes I now have 3 nuprime products, lets not even talk about how much Schiit stuff I have laying around...). I seem to remember it was that the DAC-9 that leaned towards being tube sounding, so I thought they would be a good pairing with the focals which are known for being bright. The dac/amp combo is not the last authority on detail but the sound is pretty organic so I'm happy with the outcome for the price. It might also be that my speakers being 2.5 vs 3 is helping the cause a bit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 5:14 PM

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