CUTTING out the middleman can bring about a variety of benefits, and in the audio playback system, it means fewer editorials in the chain and thus, better sound quality.
Perhaps not all would agree but in the digital age, you really want to keep things straightforward and simple – and NuForce shows how with its new DDA-100, described as a “digital integrated amplifier for computer and home audio, with exquisite minimalist design and high-end audiophile-grade sound quality.” (Bet you couldn’t say that in one breath!)
“The DDA-100’s minimalist design is so exquisite that it begs to be displayed as a piece of art,” says NuForce CEO Jason Lim.
Amplifiers and preamps with DACs on board are nothing new, but the DDA-100 bypasses this altogether, lending the “Class D” description its original meaning in that the digital-to-analogue conversion is executed directly at the final stage, just before output to the speakers. No DAC, so minimal jitter.
Those familiar with such things will recognise this to mean that the DDA-100 incorporates a PWM (pulse width modulation) amp output.
NuForce says the direct-digital DDA-100 heralds a new phase in digital sound, claiming this PWM design executes the same level of performance as costlier audio equipment – among the pros are low distortion and noise floor that stay in the digital domain right through, bringing about a wider dynamic range and increased clarity.
The amp accepts four digital sources – one USB, one coaxial and two optical inputs – and comes with a remote control. Power is rated at 75 watts RMS with a peak of 250W per channel. Sufficient for a majority of users, one would think,
On the digital front, there’s the 96kHz input sampling rate, 3GB/s over-sampling, and an on-chip, clock reference signal to synchronise the input digital audio data, re-clocking it for ultra low jitter.
Sonic benefits apart, this ‘desktop’ amp is clearly aimed at computer audio enthusiasts – just plug in source and speakers, and have a blast at real-world prices.
The NuForce DDA-100 retails at US$549 and is now shipping to any part in the world.