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Computer Audiophile


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About Arcee

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  1. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    A month since I got my STA-200 and it has kept on improving. I’ve changed speaker cables, using silver for the mid/high and big fat copper for the low. The amps have really opened up and the sound signature that I had previously described as dark is no longer dark, but simply warm. Bass is superb, warm but controlled, the definition and precision amazing. Recordings I’ve listened to hundreds of times reveal new details. My Reference 9 monoblocks are now on a shelf, disconnected. I won’t sell them, but the balance on listening hours is shifting towards the STA-200 more and more... The STA-200’s are available for US$499 again and anyone looking for a fantastic hi-end audiophile power amp should look no further. Go get it, or preferably, like me, get two if you have bi-wired speakers.
  2. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    It's now almost a week since I got the STA-200 and it continues to impress me. I do admit I am using two of them, bi amping my self built Vifa speakers. They seem to be well burnt in now and that has improved the sound signature substantially. I don't think there are much better power amps to get for US$499 to be honest. I did reconnect my Reference 9 amps to compare. The Reference 9 is class D which sounds very different. But it is not anymore that the STA-200 has a veil, that has gone with the burn-in. The Reference 9 is faster which captures the emotion especially in female voices better than the STA. But otherwise the Reference 9 has a colder sound. The bass of the STA is fuller, more present, but otherwise the STA is somewhat darker and less fast. Somehow I feel the STA gives a warmer, more natural sound. And, to my surprise, the soundstage of the STA is even wider than of the Reference 9. And that is impressive! In other words, I cannot decide which one will be the keeper. I got the STA out of curiosity, with the intention to sell again later on. But it is too good to sell. At least for now it is... but it is not good enough to make me want to sell my Reference 9's, those are keepers for sure. Luxury problem!
  3. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    The Reference 9 is no longer manufactured, because it was from the time before Nuforce was sold to Optoma. But around 2010 the Reference 9 with the V3 and the Special Edition upgrade sold at US$5000 for a pair of monoblocks. You find them used these days for around half of that.
  4. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    It's now 20 hours since I connected the STA-200's and they have been playing all the time. Now back from work I'm listening again and the sound is MUCH better, these apps need serious break in. Even though they still do not have the speed of the Reference 9 and they still are substantially darker in coloring, they also have advantages. Soundstage, to my surprise, is wider for the STA-200's than for the Reference 9 and the bass is different. The Reference 9 extends deeper, with tighter control, but the STA-200's sound fuller. I still think the Reference 9 is superior, but the STA-200's do surprisingly well and I am enjoying listening to them. So I won't directly revert back to the Reference 9 and try out the STA-200's a little longer.
  5. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    My pair of STA-200 arrived today. Unhooked the Reference 9's and connected the STA-200's straight away. As my loudspeakers have bi wiring connections each loudspeaker has a dedicated STA-200 with one side driving the bass and the other the mid high. First impression: straight out of the box, tight bass control, good sound stage, they are reasonably fast and the separation is good. But, admittedly, they are not even close to the Reference 9V3SE's. They sound darker. As many speak of veils being lifted, going from the 9V3SE's to the STA-200's it is as a veil is put back on. To be honest, the STA-200's are connected only 30 minutes as I'm writing this. I will allow a few days burn in before a real verdict. Even though it will not be easy to resist the temptation to put my Reference 9V3SE's back on.
  6. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    Yes, the R9's are class D indeed. Which is why I purchased the STA-200's in addition, to compare the class D Ref 9's to the class A/B STA-200's. I'm curious. Just ended another long listening session with the Ref 9V3SE's again and I must admit that now I wonder why I purchased the STA-200's. The Ref 9V3SE's remain amazing amps. In fact it's just curiosity.
  7. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    You can occasionally find Reference 9 monoblocks used. I got a pair and I'm not intending to sell them, they are amazing. Make sure you get the V3 though, and if you appreciate the low end, get the Special Edition.
  8. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    Nuforce became Nuprime a few years back. Nuprime has several monoblocks. Nuforce used to have the Reference 8, Reference 9 and Reference 18 but they are discontinued. The ultimate is the Nuprime Reference 20, but that is a different price range...
  9. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    By the way, for those having missed the $499 deal, Amazon replenished and put again 5 units up for sale for this price. A bargain, go get it if you were hesitating before! https://www.amazon.com/NuForce-STA200-160-watt-Power-Amplifier-Swiss-design/dp/B01552AKCU?tag=mfconvert-20
  10. My Nuforce STA-200 amp arrived yestarday

    I ordered two of the remaining four Nuforce STA-200's from Amazon this week on Tuesday. Can't wait to receive them! It will take a while as I live in Europe. My current set-up is NAD M51 and Nuforce Reference 9 V3 Special Edition. Due to circumstances I've temporarily downgraded to very old Quad 405, and even though the Quad 405 doesn't match the sound stage, the speed, the definition and tight bass control of the Reference 9, I enjoyed listening to the Quads. Which is why I'm curious to try the STA-200's. I wonder how they compare to my Reference 9's. Reason I bought two is because I am using bi-wireable loudspeakers, and I want to go bi-amping. I have four ohm speakers with 91dB gain so that means plenty of headroom, even with the STA-200. Did anyone compare the Reference 9 V3 Special Edition yet to the STA-200?
  11. I love the interface and usability of Lightning DS so I don't want to demotivate or insult the programmers. But, I agree that in terms of code optimization and such, Lightning DS doesn't deserve a prize. Memory use is very high and battery drain severe. For this reason I sometimes (for longer listening sessions) divert to the Lumin app, which works perfectly with the Aries in combination with a Minimserver music database. No battery drain, much more efficient memory use and much faster response, especially when starting the app. It responds almost immediately where lightning takes forever to start up. And, it allows to sort albums on date added, which Lightning doesn't do (that option is greyed out for me). But, admittedly, the user interface of Lumin comes nowhere near Lightning DS!
  12. ** LAST UPDATE ** Finally in the Aries settings I've been switching Roon and AirPlay on and off several times. Guess what, AirPlay works again. Not only from iOS 9, but also from 10.1. Apologies for having suggested Aries wasn't compatible with iOS 10.1 because so far I never had compatibility issues, and still don't have them today. Topic can be closed.
  13. **UPDATE** Just now I found my old iPad Mini and tried to connect from there. It's still running iOS 9. Strangely, also there my Aries is not showing up as AirPlay playback device. So it seems my problem has nothing to do with iOS 10.1 but what can it be then? Lightning DS works perfectly fine otherwise, no network connectivity problems. I'm running on wired network. I've made no changes to my router. I've done a full power cycle on the Aries and rebooted my router. Problem persists. What can it be?
  14. This week I installed iOS 10.1 on my iPhone and iPad. Call me an idiot, but when firmware upgrades present itself, I'm always hitting the install button. This morning I want to start listening on my Auralic Aries from an Apple Music from my iPad, using AirPlay, and somehow the Aries doesn't appear anymore on my iPad as AirPlay playback device. Checking the same on my iPhone, and also there, the Aries is not appearing. Could it be that iOS 10.1 again changed something in the Airplay implementation, causing the Aries not to be compatible anymore? Does anyone else have this problem? Firmware installed on my Aries is also the latest one, version 4.0 I believe.
  15. This is not an error, it simply means there is another field that is not coherent with the other tracks. Start by checking the album name. Even if you don't see the difference, copy and paste the album name of another track on the same album and rescan. Pretty sure the problem goes away. Tag & Rename has great features to align fields within a single album to prevent such issues, just experiment with it and you'll see. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk