NuPrime STA-9 Power Amplifier Mini Review I was going to take some pictures of the amp myself, but I figure I'll link to the manufacturer provided ones or others on the Internet. Thanks for @beemerphile for sending this in. The amp is diminutive in size, being only 235mm or 9.25 inches in width. It's not super heavy at 4.75kg or around 10 lbs, but heavy enough to support decent sized audiophile speaker cables without the chassis doing a backflip. Despite the small dimensions, the speaker posts, input jacks, switches, and IEC power jack are smartly laid out. The staggered diagonal pattern of the speaker posts actually allows me to use spade connectors, provided the amp is elevated to allow room for the cables to dangle down from the spades. Otherwise, banana plugs will work in a jiffy. Both balanced and unbalanced inputs are provided and placed well away from the speaker posts. No spaghetti here. Parasound should learn from these NuPrime guys. http://www.fairaudio.de/img/test/nuprime/sta-9/innen2.jpg The transformer in the front provides good weight distribution and counterbalances speaker and line level cables connected to the back. There's a little heatsink in the middle of the chassis, a little bit toward the back. This area of the chassis gets warm to the touch when the amp is in operation. The STA-9 when cold, or at least when first out of the box, sounds terrible. The sound is thin, grating, grainy, and raspy. Think of it as the combination of the worst qualities of Wolfson, Analog Devices and ESS delta-sigma DAC chips. It's basically a digital product, so I let the thing warm up for about two days and came back to it. The sound of the STA-9 was much better after this warm up period and consistent with what we've heard on the Internets regarding its "tube like" sound. First of all, regarding the "tube" sound: I don't know WTF the Internets is talking about in regards to this. The STA-9 sounds nothing like tubes other than offering a warmish (and smooth) sound, which not all tube implementations do. Tubes (properly implemented) to me might mean bloom, harmonic richness, huge deep staging, microdynamics, microdetail, or immediacy. The STA-9 posses none of these qualities. The presentation of the STA-9 doesn't do anything outright wrong. There are no solid-state needles or glare. There seems to be plenty of power with an ease to the presentation. The price seems decent. However, the STA-9 is rather uninspiring sounding. Perhaps the word I am looking for is insipid. I actually didn't know what this word meant. In closing, I will leave you with the definition of the word insipid: in·sip·id adjective lacking flavor. "mugs of insipid coffee" synonyms: tasteless, flavorless, bland, weak, wishy-washy; unappetizing, unpalatable "insipid coffee" lacking vigor or interest. "many artists continued to churn out insipid, shallow works" synonyms: unimaginative, uninspired, uninspiring, characterless, flat, uninteresting, lackluster, dull, drab, boring, dry, humdrum, ho-hum, monochrome, tedious, uneventful, run-of-the-mill, commonplace, pedestrian, trite, tired, hackneyed, stale, lame, wishy-washy, colorless, anemic, lifeless "insipid pictures"