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Nuprime IDA-8 DAC measurements


Addicted to Fun and Learning
Dec 31, 2018
Courtesy of a kind loan from a local DIYer, I had some bench time with an RTX6001.

I used it to measure a Nuprime IDA-8 DAC and pre-amp section since no test results exist on line for this product and its received some glowing reviews from the audio press. The manufacturer's web site is:

Test results were constrained by my available time which led to use of RMAA but the set up was carefully benckmarked here:
Results will be limited by the common mode noise of the RTX6001.

Tests were taken from the usb in to the sub out, which is really a wideband pre-amp output. RMAA also provides limited options for setting up record and playback powers and best results are found avoiding too much A/D gain. So, the results were with the source ~ -4.5 dB relFS before D/A maybe leaving a few dB on the table.

The unit supports most any format outside of MQA and is based around the ES9010K2M Sabre chip. Its form factor is desktop friendly and on careful inspection the construction quality is actually quite good. The mechanical designer earned his keep packaging this one up:
Nuprime IDA-8 Topless.JPG

Packed in there is a supposedly 100Wx2 class-d amp. Comparing seat of the pants to my Bryston 60Wx2 2BLP Pro, I think Nuprime's power rating is a bit of a stretch but didn't have time to measure the amp section. The supply is a switcher, and all this tech is in close proximity. The layout did a good job keeping power supply and switcher noise as far from possible from sensitive line level electronics

Over-all, performance was decent if not class leading. 24 bit 96kHz:
Nuprime IDA-8 24_96 Summary.JPG

The anti-aliasing filter was gentle:
Nuprime IDA-8 24_96 Frequency Response.JPG

There were many very low level noise components even without an active input:
Nuprime IDA-8 24_96 Noise.JPG

I can't help but wonder if this is a trade off for such a small form factor (noise from the switcher or amp coupling in) or whether there is some aliasing noise wrapping back in as putting in a tone make things a bit more interesting:

Nuprime IDA-8 24_96 THD Noise.JPG

It looks worse than it is since RMAA's measurement have significant FFT gain. Curiously, those 7, 8, and 9 kHz components were a common feature even without signal presence (so I don't think they were HD).

At 16 bit/44.1kHz, most of this hash gets lost in the noise floor of the test kit and 16 bit limit:
Nuprime IDA-8 16_44.1 Summary.JPG

Nuprime IDA-8 16_44.1 Noise.JPG

Frequency response is as expected:
Nuprime IDA-8 16_44.1 Frequency Response.JPG

THD @ 1kHz is in the noise except for a bit of third harmonic, but we see the 7, 8 and 9 kHz low level tones once again
Nuprime IDA-8 16_44.1 THD Noise.JPG

The unit measures decently if not breaking any new ground and I'm happy with the outcome. I think digging any deeper would require a higher end test kit.
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