NuForce Ref 18V3 SE
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The NuForce Reference 18 Mono Amplifier
Music lovers have long esteemed NuForce's award-winning amps for the clarity they bring to the source. Those qualities that set NuForce amps apart -- superior resolution, transparency, dynamic finesse, harmonic integrity, and the projection of a precise, well detailed soundstage -- have advanced incrementally to our proudest accomplishment, the Ref 18.
RETAIL $7599 PAIR 1 PAIR (black) & 1 PAIR (silver)
$5499 FLOOR SAMPLE PR.
PRICED AS A PAIR
A recent proprietary development, the Cross-Matrix Array (CMA) capacitor board, along with a number of ancillary refinements, combine to produce an amp we’d not hesitate to compare with anything out there. A delicate tap on a glockenspiel ? a sound so lifelike that it seems to occur in the listening room ? will of course demonstrate an amp’s ability to deliver lightning-swift transients. Less obvious, perhaps, is the harmonic and textural wealth ? in a word, the musical truth ? swift, meticulous power delivers. Subtleties suddenly spring to life. A panoramic, rock-steady soundstage, a richly engaging, all-embracing midrange, sweet, airborne highs, tight, extended lows, high-volume playing that simply will not congeal: if it’s there in the music, it’s yours to enjoy. The Ref 18 takes ultra-high-end sound to a place that belies the amp’s real-world price.
The Ref 18's every aspect has been evaluated against those of the Ref 9V3SE in order to identify areas available to improvement. Input-stage circuitry, solid-state and passive components have been reconfigured with an eye to providing a quieter, more distortion-free environment, and greater speed via the Cross-Matrix Array (CMA) capacitor board, the effectiveness of which becomes especially apparent in the supremely fast delivery of musical transients (read more about Nuforce Capacitor Array Technology)
Owing to the CMA's larger size relative to the Ref 9V3SE's Sequential Linear Array, the Ref 18 occupies a commensurately wider chassis that likewise allows for a more effective routing of internal wiring, resulting in a reduction of background noise.
In addition to the Ref 18's performance gains, the amp features a touch-sensitive front panel, WBT binding posts and a 12-volt On-Off trigger permitting it to operate as the cornerstone of any premium installation, be it two-channel, home theater, and other domestic or commercial application.
As always, in keeping with NuForce policy, customer access to upgrades offers an assurance of non-obsolesce. Advances in technology and circuit architecture will remain available for the new Ref 18 platform, as well as for that of our Ref 9 designs -- and again, as always, at a reasonable cost.
In summary, NuForce's Ref 18 elevates the already excellent performance characteristics of the Ref 9V3SE -- most notably, liquidity and neutrality -- to a degree that must be heard to be believed. As with the Ref 9V3SE, operation in a less than well resolved and transparent system may mask the Ref 18's advantages. Conversely, a pair of Ref 18s in a fine, audiophile-grade system will reveal the following qualities:
* Sweeter, more natural highs.
* A near-palpable midrange and harmonic structure, resulting in a more natural and relaxed presentation.
* A beautifully textured low end exceeding even that of the Ref 9V3SE's exemplary authority and control.
* A deeper, more coherent soundstage.
In short, the answer to a discriminating audiophile's prayers.