Review NuPrime Ida-8 integrated amplifier

Pros

  • Compact
  • Controle
  • Complementair

Cons

  • Gets (very) hot
  • Prijs: € 1450

    Build quality
    Usability
    Sound
    Price

    Listening

    Sound

    Over the last few months we have tested a lot of amplifiers and preamps in a much higher price range and so it took some time to switch back. But soon we heard the quality of the NuPrime. It’s a robust, round and rhythmic sounding amp. This is quite a powerful amplifier with a round mid-bass and enough punch in the sub-bass.

    The midrange is slightly darker with a reasonably clean treble area. In this price range, the Ida-8 performs very well. The stereo image is not too wide but the sweet spot is sufficiently wide. There is a lot of control. And not to forget: this amplifier brings enough calmess to listen for longer periods. The NuPrime does perform a bit better at a slightly higher volume but otherwise there are few complaints.

    Faye Webster with “I know i’m Funny haha” is the perfect album to describe the quality of this amp. At the bass-end there is plenty of body so music never sounds bare or analytical. The bell on “Both all the time” comes through clearly and on Webster’s voice there is only a slight edge via the built-in dac. A good start.

    “In Velvet” by the Belgian jazz formation Nordmann is another album that mainly lets the strengths of the Ida-8 come through. Here the focus is on the instruments (guitar, bass, sax and drums) and the balance throughout the listening session is particularly good. The Ida-8 has a lot of PRAT and has no problem with the sometimes frenetic music. 

    Electronic music with “Musipal” by Wagon Christ, the alter ego of sound artist Luke Vibert. Adventurous music full of samples and bouncing beats. With the volume tap turned up more, this amplifier comes fully alive. The combination of Class A and D technology makes for a wondrous listen. Control and rhythm so it doesn’t become a bogged down mash.

    The track ‘Bend Over’ is a good example. All the samples and little sounds are audible individually. The whole of the music comes through nicely without any emphasis imposed anywhere. The hi-hats don’t sound shrill or sharp but nicely controlled so you don’t get a headache from them. The slightly darker tone we talked about helps. Often budget components are forced detail rich or tweaked in the bass and then the combination with an affordable speaker can be seriously disappointing. The NuPrime Ida-8 does not suffer from this.

    To conclude some calmer work. Julie Byrne in her angelic voice on “Not even Happiness.” This is an excellent recording and Ida-8’s built-in dac handles it well. Our Sonnet Morpheus goes further, brings more nuance, feeling and flow but then we are talking about a 3500 euro dac. Not really a fair comparison but we now know that the one analog input is fine. The Ida-8 is ideal for those who do not have much space or for those who want to build out a compact second set

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