NuForce DDA120 Powerful Integrated Digital Amp with BTR1 Bluetooth Receiver Dongle Included (Black)
- Fantastic audio quality
- Small and elegant design
- Connect all your digital and analogue music devices
- Massively powerful
- Includes the NuForce BTR1 Bluetooth receiver dongle
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From the manufacturer
1. Power On/Off, Volume control, Switch Input
3. Volume Display
4. Input Source Display
1. RCA Analog Input (Converted to 24-bit/96kHz)
2. RCA Digital Coaxial Input (75-Ohm)
3. Digital USB 2.0 Input (Adaptive mode)
4. Digital TOSLINK Input
5. Digital TOSLINK Output
6. Expansion slot / Bluetooth receiver dongle Input
7. Left channel speaker output (5-way binding post)
8. Right channel speaker output (5-way binding post)
9. AC Inlet
1. On: turns on the DDA120
2. Off: turns off the DDA120
4. Input: cycles through the DDA-120’s six inputs
5. Vol up: raises the volume
6. Vol down: lowers the volume
For the Highest Wireless Bluetooth Sound Quality, the DDA120 Supports aptX & AAC
AptX allows music signal to be sent wirelessly in significantly higher quality than that available from standard Bluetooth. Standard Bluetooth codec (SBC) has variable performance and its weaknesses are very apparent to music lovers including a reduction in high end clarity, muddiness or dullness. The aptX codec works to ensure consistently excellent quality when music data is transferred wirelessly via Bluetooth connection with almost CD quality. Your will instantly experience significantly greater dynamics and infinitely more detail from the music.
AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) was designed to achieve better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates. Unlike aptX, it is supported by iOS devices. Apple implements AAC over Bluetooth at about 250 kbps - near CD quality.
Direct Digital Architecture
Using the innovative Direct Digital Architecture for digital inputs there are no analog stages in the signal path, keeping music in the digital domain right up to the amplifier speaker outputs. There is no separate DAC, pre-amp or power amp stages. The PWM power amplifier stage is modulated directly by the incoming signal, and the digital-to-analog conversion takes place at the speaker outputs. In effect, the PWM power amplifier stage operates as a power DAC. Fewer component parts and less conversion processes result in a more direct, purer signal path. The Direct Digital Architecture utilizes a 176.4 kHz input sampling rate with an over-sampling rate of 3GB/s for smoother, more natural reproduction. An on-chip clock reference signal is used for synchronizing and re-clocking incoming digital audio data for exceptionally low jitter performance.
Remarkably Linear Frequency and Phase Response
Analog inputs are sampled using a 24-bit, 96 kHz conversion process before being fed into the Direct Digital Architecture.
The amplifier delivers 75Wrms into 4 Ohms with a remarkably linear frequency and phase response of +/- 0.1dB from 20 to 20kHz, and a THD+N of 0.07% with an A-weighted signal-to-noise ratio of greater than 95dB.
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Music Direct||Audio Advisor, Inc.||RECORDING STORE||Amazon.com||GRAMOPHONE|
|Output Wattage||50 watts||30 watts||35||100 watts||100 watts||50 watts|
DDA120 was developed for one simple purpose: To allow you to enjoy music from any source in fantastic quality. Its diminutive size and elegant styling conceal a sophisticated amplifier capable of extracting every last detail and nuance from your music collection. The DDA120 builds on the success of its predecessor the critically acclaimed, multi award winning DDA100.
Top customer reviews
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Pro's, one star for each positive feature:
- Build Quality: Absolutely fantastic. The DDA 120 is very well made and packaged, really nicely done
- Design: I love the design, smooth and solid; the multifunction button and retro display are a wonderful touch even though YMMV.
- Feature Sets: Coax, optical, Bluietooth, USB and RCA inputs - just about any input you could hope for with the exception of XLR, also very impressive.
Con's, I will deduct two stars for sound quality:
- Coax input didn't work - the unit must have been defective, since my Coax output works.
- Sound Quality: Shrill, sterile and flat sound; I have 40 Dollar chip amps that sound better than the DDA 120.
There's a WhatHifi review out there which describes the amp perfectly: Wonderful execution in terms of design and quality, but the sound is severely lacking. It's been a long time since an amp actually gave me a headache, and this amp managed to do just that. The high and midrange is over-emphasized, which makes this amp very shrill and dry sounding. The low end sounds frail and forced, there is no real bass, which is actually normal for a chip amp, but is emphasized by the shrill sounding high- and mid-range. Speaker sensitivity wasn't an issue, I tried speakers ranging from 86 to 92db, and the result was the same. It's a darn shame that such a quality piece in terms of design and build quality sounds so terrible, but unfortunately this amp lacks severely where it matters most - Sound Quality.
The unit's power supply was killed by a brown out or possibly a power surge after a month of use (or simply failure). After returning the unit to Nuforce through their RMA process, they promptly shipped a new replacement unit that's been in use for over two years now with no issues.
The build quality and form factor of the unit are pleasing, but the volume knob occasionally scratches while adjusting it. If you're just going to use the remote it shouldn't matter, but if you plan to install on a desktop and use the knob be aware.
To my ear the sound is great. While I haven't had a ton of amplifiers to compare against, it is superior to my high-end vintage Denon amp and pre-amp. Voices are clearer during music playback and dialog is easier to hear during movies. There is more detail. Strings are crisper and occasionally a singer's breath puffs on the microphone. Live music is more real. Bass is not quite as deep or powerful, but it is far faster. When not reproducing music, the speakers are completely silent. There is none of the background hum my old equipment produced.
For my 675sf apartment a comfortable listening level was obtained at about 25 to 35 on the volume display with vintage 8 ohm JBLs. I've since replaced them with some Boston Acoustics A25 bookshelf speakers. Now a comfortable listening level is about 35 to 45 on the dial as expected. Changing input sources can require changing the volume level to maintain the same output as the prior source. The analogue input in particular requires much more power and over the air TV through the optical input requires volume levels of 65 to 75 to achieve the volume levels of Spotify or Pandora on a 35 to 45 setting through the second optical input. Not sure what causes this.
While not a perfect solution, this amp makes listening to music easier and more fun. I am pleased with this purchase, and my only regret is that it is selling at a far lower price now than it was in 2015 when I purchased it ($299 vs $699).
Great RMA customer service even if purchased at Amazon, simple form factor, and great upgrade in sound quality from old analogue gear.
Update: The bundled USB dongle was missing from the replacement provided through the RMA process. More kudos to their RMA team. After some communication by email about a two year old RMA, they shipped me a BTR-100 under the old RMA number. I thought that was exceptional on their part.
It's tiny, elegant form factor belies a wealth of functionality and power all of which is immediately easy to use and my gosh does it sound good. It sounds REALLY good. For the price tag, I'm astonished by its smoothness, level of clarity and ability to drive my admittedly sensitive but rather large Klipsch RF-82 II's. I was initially worried the amp might struggle, but after 5 months of daily use, it's plenty able.
The amp is mostly for music running off a dedicated HTPC connected via optical cable. A Bluetooth dongle is included which makes broadcasting music directly to the amp a breeze, perfect for when you want to play audio from you or your friends phone.
The only area where this amp suffers is in its remote control and general control wheel. The remote control is cheap, there's no denying it. It's the kind of remote control you get with a $5 set of badly made LED lights. It's surprising given the attention to detail elsewhere. It's range is poor and I must be honest I gave up on it after 5 minutes and now only use the control wheel on the amp. The wheel is better, push it in and hold to turn it on and off, click it to change inputs. The amp will remember your last selected input, so you don't have to rotate when you turn it on. The wheel can be temperamental especially if you often switch inputs.
Overall, I couldn't be happier. I say that, because I don't believe you can get the level of connectivity, sound reproduction and compatibility in any other device at this price point. At this moment in time, I think you'd have to up your budget significantly to better the sound offered by the NuForce DDA120 and I'd rather put up with the slightly lacking control for such a performance.
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