Review of TDSS Upgraded NuForce STA-100 by Gene Z.
(From archived forum - no longer accessible)
I used to never be able to listen without my Ground controls. They added a life to the sound that spoiled you. Once you hear what they can do you never look back. Now? They are sitting on a shelf. The transparency of the TDSS upgrade has made them obsolete. I put them on several times and now they add nothing. :) I found out after the fact that the mod was not involving the special Vortex system Bob had previously developed some years ago... I assumed it did, because the added clarity and transparency had relegated my once needed Ground Controls to obsolescence. They had always benefited my other amps before by adding a sense of transparency.
What I would like to mention after burning in my STA-100 for a while longer is that I had no idea how an amp alone can make everything more transparent in the way it has. I mean, what I am hearing I assumed would be what improving the preamp would effect. Live and learn. I am now looking forward to see what the TDSS upgrade for my HAP-100 preamp will produce.
A heads up. The new found transparency may cause some to think there is a problem when there is not. For, now I can hear things that before the upgrade were masked over and not heard clearly. Not to mention, the stock amp was already more transparent than your typical AB solid state amps.
Streaming can cause a problem when you hear internet interference in a new way. I am assuming others have experienced the stopping in sound when the signal is dropped while streaming music using an online internet radio. Before the upgrade, when this happened it used to simply drop.. and then, silence until it reconnected. Now, I can hear something when it disconnects that I never knew was there before. I thought it was a glitch with the amp. No, its what is produced when Flash Player has a fit when disconnected. Nothing serious. But can sound somewhat like a power surge(which I never get in my system). Before, when that happened it was pretty much masked. Transparency when increased causes a new awareness of both the good and the bad.
I was just listening to internet radio - classical guitar. I began thinking: "What the heck is that noise?" Transparency again. I was hearing for the first time very clearly those famous clicks and pops that we used to get when playing records. Nostalgia! lol: Turns out, the recording I was enjoying was taken from a record. Transparency. I never heard clicks and pops so distinctly presented before. Even with tube equipment. Taking off the masking lets colors shine through. The TDSS Custom Upgrade is like removing audio cataracts.
Its been a couple of weeks now since having my NuForce STA-100 amp upgraded by TDSS. Its been burning in, and in a most pleasant way. Another interesting phenomena has now become apparent. I have never heard this kind of clarity and impact before while listening at lower volumes. I used to have to crank the volume up a bit higher before I could begin to get this sense of clarity. Maybe someone can explain what that means? There is a new sense of effortlessness as well.