HERE’S a company that keeps busy – California-based NuForce is shipping its third new product in as many months, the HAP-100 headphone amplifier, which the company describes as aggressively priced, single-ended, Class-A and targeted at the high-end headphone enthusiast.
Says NuForce CEO Jason Lim: “We have every confidence that the most demanding listener will find the HAP-100 to be the ideal centerpiece for headphone and conventional stereo listening. For transparency, speed, accuracy, resolution and musicality, along with high style and convenience, the HAP-100 has no equal at its price.”
What’s special? Well, for starters, the HAP-100 uses some of the technologies seen on the company’s flagship P-20 preamp, including the digital volume control. The core of this is a switched-resistor ladder network of low-noise, thin-film resistors, one per volume setting, allowing discrete, high-resolution increments of 1dB for each of the HAP-100’s one hundred volume steps. Also, the signal’s passage through a single, high-quality resistor at all settings ensures minimal sound degradation.
A zero-negative-feedback preamplifier stage delivers negligible levels of distortion, accuracy and musicality. The preamp section is a true minimalist design, with an extremely low-noise FET input stage and single high-quality capacitor in the entire signal path.
The toroidal transformer and capacitor bank’s massive energy reserve ensures the HAP-100’s linear power supply delivers explosive dynamics and lightning-fast transients. NuForce says it will drive any headphone with ease.
Also on board are four stereo RCA inputs, a stereo RCA preamp output and a stereo 6.3mm headphone output – enough for most users, we reckon.
The NuForce HAP-100 is available worldwide for a suggested retail price of US$595 – details at the NuForce Online Store, Nuforce Amazon Online Store and NuForce resellers.