Review of TDSS Upgraded
NuForce Ref-9 by Jacques H.
(D.R.R.T./Level-1 Upgrade Only)
I will try to make this long story short.
I was, since 2009, the owner of a pair of Ref-9 V2SE. I was pretty happy with them, but with some reserve (found them to be, with all their qualities, a bit lean and, sometimes, a bit aggressive). Last spring one of the amps failed, refusing to power up anymore. As some of you may already know, one of the problems with NuForce products (apart from their reliability problem and very poor resale value) is that it is not easy to have them repaired; it has been impossible to have it repaired locally, and even the Canadian distributor, in the end, was of no real help. Had I found a way to do it without it costing me too much, I would have got rid of them; which, in a way, I finally did as you will find.
So, here enters TDSS. I contacted Robert; after some discussion, I finally sent to Indiana both units (and some money, of course…), in exchange for a pair of Ref-9 V3SE already upgraded by his company. I was motivated mainly by the fact that it was a way to have my amp problem settled, and by the TDSS claim that their upgrade improves the reliability of the amps (this was the second time one of my amps failed). Of course, TDSS also claims an improvement in their performance; I was a bit skeptical about this last point, and it was not a main motive for me.
I finally received these new amps about two months ago. Saying that I am happy with these new amps would be an understatement. I’m not keen on superlatives and hyperbole (even though I amtempted, frankly, to say that I have been bewildered when I first heard them in my system), and, obviously, I cannot say which part of the improvement in sound is a result of the V3 upgrade and which part is the result of the TDSS Custom Upgrade. What I can say though is that the reserve I had with the original amps (V2 version) have vanished. I have found, until now, that everything has improved in comparison with my old units; I will not go into the details here. And I must also say that Robert is a very nice, helpful and knowledgeable guy; a pleasure to deal with.
I sure hope, now, that the reliability of the amps has also improved like TDSS claims it has.
I can not, of course, say anything about the new NuPrime products; I do not know them. But if, like Jason claims, for a fraction of the price I paid you can have very nearly the same performance that I now have with my older NuForce gear (P9 preamp, REf-9 monoblocs with their replacement cost…), well, I think you will have there a hell of a deal, especially if you have it upgraded by TDSS.