|NuForce Reference 9 V2 Special Edition Mono Power Amplifier|
|Home Theater Power Amplifiers Mono Amplifiers|
|Written by Jim Swantko|
|Friday, 01 February 2008|
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I found it very difficult to find faults with these little amplifiers. However, I would like to see a better set of binding posts on the back. The fact that they were small and a close together only exacerbated the issue of struggling to get the speaker cables firmly connected. Cardas-style posts, which allow you to clamp both terminals with a single large knob, would be perfect – I know they were offered on previous versions of NuForce monos. Why they are no longer available, I have no idea.
I also noticed that these amplifiers don’t like to be powered off. When powered down for extended periods, I found that it took four to five hours to get them back to sounding their best. When cold, they were not as open as I had come to expect. The stage shrunk in all dimensions, though it gradually reopened as time passed. This only happened once, however, as I am a quick learner and never powered them off again, which wasn’t a problem, considering how miserly they are with electricity.
The other downside I can see, if you can call this a downside at all, is that anyone who wants to use these amps needs to be sure their front end is up to snuff. The Ref 9s pass absolutely every bit of detail, good or bad. If you are providing the amps good-sounding audio, they will be very happy. If you have weaknesses in your system, you will be made aware of them very quickly, probably triggering another round of upgrades.
I must admit that, prior to my time with the NuForce Ref 9 V2 SEs, I was firmly ensconced in the camp that dismissed switching amplifiers. I felt they had no business in the world of true “high end.” I am man enough to admit when I am wrong. I simply cannot recommend these amplifiers highly enough to those who appreciate the very best. They are small, energy efficient and cool running. They are smooth from top to bottom, with an open, airy top end, beautifully textured midrange and a bottom end to die for. If you still aren’t a believer, maybe you should audition a pair for yourself. NuForce is so confident in these amplifiers that they are offering home auditions for a buck. You read that correctly, a measly dollar will get a pair of these wonderful amplifiers to you to experience for yourself. I now see how this seemingly crazy offer isn’t really that crazy after all.