Affordable Reference Class DAC & Headphone Amp Designed For Studio Professionals
With its AES and XLR outputs and decoding capability of PCM 384K & DSD256, the NuPrime DAC-9H is a reference-class DAC designed for studio professionals. With four digital and one analog stereo inputs, the DAC-9 is a full-featured DAC and preamp ideally suited for high-end systems. The DAC-9H differs from DAC-9 with additional balanced 4.4mm ‘Pentaconn’ socket and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone outputs that support Single Ended Unbalanced, Fully Balanced and Active Balanced Ground Driving headphone amplifier.
State Of The Art Balanced Headphone Amplifier
The DAC-9H headphone amplifier is capable of driving the most demanding headphones, be it through the balanced 4.4mm ‘Pentaconn’ socket or the 3.5mm standard stereo socket. The ‘Pentaconn’ socket (manufactured by Nippon Dics Co.) is the new unified standard for balanced headphone connection which headphone and cable manufacturers are using in their new and future products. Audiophile quality components and a fully balanced layout ensures minimal crosstalk and maximum channel separation. Supplying up to 1.2W of output power, the circuitry supports Single Ended Unbalanced, Fully Balanced and Active Balanced Ground Driving. Besides offering a high level of transparency through both types of connection, each offers a slightly different flavor.
Through the 4.4mm ‘Pentaconn’ socket balanced output, listeners will appreciate the pristine background with the absence of noise. The soundstage is wide and possess a strong presence with a full and extended bass.
Through the 3.5mm socket low impedance output, the sound is clearly outlined and has a sense of naturalness. The midrange performance is a prominent highlight and imaging is solidly focused.
- 1 x USB PCM / DSD Digital (PCM up to 384kHz & DSD up to DSD256 )
- 1 x Coaxial Digital S/PDIF (PCM up to 192KHz supporting DoP format DSD64)
- 1 x Optical Digital S/PDIF (PCM up to 192KHz supporting DoP format DSD64)
- 1 x Bluetooth or WiFi receiver module (optional).
- 1 x AES balance XLR (PCM up to 192KHz)
- 1 x Analog Stereo RCA (does not go through A2D conversion, analog input is selected by the preamp directly to analog outputs)
- 1 x pair of stereo RCA out (max output 4V)
- 1 x pair of stereo XLR balanced out (max output 8V)
- 1 x Optical S/DPIF out
- Balanced 4.4mm ‘Pentaconn’ socket and 3.5mm standard stereo socket headphone outputs
- USB Sampling Rates: 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, 352.8KHz, 384KHz and DSD 2.8MHz(64), 5.6MHz(128), 11.2MHz(256)
- S/PDIF Sampling Rates: 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, 352.8KHZ, 384KHz (Coaxial)
- Bit Resolution: 16-32-bits
- THD+N: 0.0015%
- Dynamic range: >-113dB
- Frequency Response: 10Hz to 80kHz
- Dimensions: 235 mm W x 281 mm D x 55 mm H (including feet)
- Weight: 2.3Kg
- Worldwide AC voltage: (90VAC~130VAC // 210VAC~ 250VAC) With Voltage Select Switch
- AC Fuse: Slow-blow, 1A, 250VA
Curently using a DAC-9H and STA-9 combo and I love them. I can't comment the sound of the unit alone as I only use it with the STA-9 but together, they make sonic bliss no less. Deep tight bass, clean midrange and extended highs that are not fatiguing or anything. For the price you can't go wrong.
2 things to note though:
1) The binding post are close to each other making most spades difficult to place so they don't touch (safely). Since there is no dedicated sub out, I use the speaker level wires so I run bananas to speakers and spades to sub. I will make/buy angled stacking bananas to remediate. No biggy.
2) The preamp section doesn't mute the speaker output when connecting headphones. This is a design oversight/error in my opinion. Luckily, I use it in my office system so I can easily reach the back switch on the map to shut it off or on when necessary.