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Nuforce Icon HDP vs Nuforce uDAC-2

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello,

Can someone shed a light on what would be a better choice in my setup?

Mac Mini -> Nuforce Icon HDP OR Nuforce uDAC-2 > Active speakers

I've been reading about preamplifiers, but I'm still not clear what the advantages of HDP might be over uDAC-2 considering uDAC-2 also has a volume knob.

Will HDP perform noticeably better than uDAC-2 (price aside)?

Thanks!!
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by schung View Post

Hello,

Can someone shed a light on what would be a better choice in my setup?

Mac Mini -> Nuforce Icon HDP OR Nuforce uDAC-2 > Active speakers

I've been reading about preamplifiers, but I'm still not clear what the advantages of HDP might be over uDAC-2 considering uDAC-2 also has a volume knob.

Will HDP perform noticeably better than uDAC-2 (price aside)?

Thanks!!

Interesting thing about a post like this. No matter how it gets answered, its good PR for Nuforce!
post #3 of 8
I own both of these DACs and can say that the HDP performs better. Soundstage is wider with more space/definition between individual instruments. With the uDAC-2, the soundstage collapses in towards the centre in comparison.
post #4 of 8
Maybe not, Arny.

I had a UDAC-2 as a soundcard/headphone amp for some time. There was a very noticeable channel imbalance at moderately low volumes (granted my headphones were easy to drive), but it was bad enough that I RMA'd it. The second one was worse.

When I emailed Nuforce about it, they suggested I buy one of their more expensive models to avoid channel imbalance issues (it may have been the HDP). It was a funky experience. I sent it back for a refund.

OP, do you just need a usb soundcard/DAC?
Some adequate options out there for cheap. Behringer UCA 202 is more than adequate and very affordable. High resolution files will need to be downsampled, but any losses will likely be theoretical only.
Edited by baniels - 1/13/13 at 10:13am
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by baniels View Post

Maybe not, Arny.

I had a UDAC-2 as a soundcard/headphone amp for some time. There was a very noticeable channel imbalance at moderately low volumes (granted my headphones were easy to drive), but it was bad enough that I RMA'd it. The second one was worse.

When I emailed Nuforce about it, they suggested I buy one of their more expensive models to avoid channel imbalance issues (it may have been the HDP). It was a funky experience. I sent it back for a refund.

OP, do you just need a usb soundcard/DAC?
Some adequate options out there for cheap. Behringer UCA is more than adequate and very affordable. High resolution files will need to be downsampled, but any losses will likely be theoretical only.

Thanks for your input!

This is exactly the question I'm trying to find an answer for. Do I need a preamp, or is usb DAC enough?
post #6 of 8
You could just leave the computer volume fixed and manage levels on the monitors, or vice versa. Not sure what a preamp would do for you since you won't need input switching.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by schung View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by baniels View Post

Maybe not, Arny.

I had a UDAC-2 as a soundcard/headphone amp for some time. There was a very noticeable channel imbalance at moderately low volumes (granted my headphones were easy to drive), but it was bad enough that I RMA'd it. The second one was worse.

When I emailed Nuforce about it, they suggested I buy one of their more expensive models to avoid channel imbalance issues (it may have been the HDP). It was a funky experience. I sent it back for a refund.

OP, do you just need a usb soundcard/DAC?

Some adequate options out there for cheap. Behringer UCA 202 s more than adequate and very affordable. High resolution files will need to be downsampled, but any losses will likely be theoretical only.

Thanks for your input!

This is exactly the question I'm trying to find an answer for. Do I need a preamp, or is usb DAC enough?

A USB DAC can easily be enough depending on your headphones and listening level preferences.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I think I will choose a suitable USB DAC.

Thanks everyone!
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