The NuPrime Ida-8 integrated amplifier has been available for a while but because it did so well in our last bookshelf multitest it deserves a full-fledged review. This amplifier “matched” very well with each speaker and drove them effortlessly as well. So the focus today is on NuPrime and Jason Lim with his interesting amplifiers and sources. It is our first introduction to this manufacturer and we are very curious to see what we can expect. Meet the NuPrime Ida-8, a compact amplifier with a surprising amount of connectivity ánd some nice surprises. Let’s check it out! NuPrime divides its products into a number of series of which the High-end series and Home Stereo series are the two most important for the hi-fi enthusiast. In addition, you have the Portable series, Wireless Audio series and the Power series. The NuPrime Ida-8 belongs to the Home Stereo series and is a small unit with limited height. It weighs only 4.3 kg and is only 5.5 cm high. Because it’s pretty compact, you do feel some heat. We don’t really understand why Nuprime doesn’t provide ventilation anywhere.
We have the all-black version inside but you can also choose a silver front. With the sleek lines, it’s an attractive device. The lines look even better in silver.
At the front we see a rotary knob on each side, right for volume, left to select inputs. In the middle you get – with some help of the blue LEDs – the necessary information such as volume and selected input. It takes some getting used to the somewhat atypical names of the inputs but soon we get used to them.
The screen can also be dimmed and the volume goes from 0 to 99. At the back the layout is very clear. We see a few nice, gold-plated speaker connections, a sub-out and rca-input with also four digital inputs (optical, coax, USB and Bluetooth).
So you can connect either a streamer, CD player, computer or record player. For the latter, though, you have to bring your own phono stage. The focus here is clearly on building out a digital system but that one analog input does give you some more options and that’s a plus in our book.
The small remote possesses all the necessary functions, fits well in the hand but is a little less responsive from an angle. At the bottom, attention has been paid to the feet which are extra cushioning.
We wisely left the NuPrime Ida-8 closed this time. You can surely get it open but we didn’t want to break or scratch the casing. So we did some research to find out what’s inside. The power supply is switching but a NuPrime proprietary design. NuPrime calls this Ida-8 a hybrid amplifier due to the combination of a ULCAM (ultra linear class A module) class A preamplifier combined with their class D power amplifier.
The Ida-8 is specified at 100 watts into 8 Ohms. The preamp is built from discrete components to perform its task as quietly as possible. The volume control was also given due consideration and is built from an FPGA chip (field-programmable gate array) and ladder resistors. The dac chip used is a Sabre ES9010K2M that only upsamples to 176.4 instead of its maximum at 384 khz. DSD is supported.