THE NUFORCE REFERENCE SERIES UPGRADES
& THE ORIGINS OF D.R.R.T.
In any case, in the very beginning it was the NuForce Reference Series amplifiers and our effort to correct their relatively high failure rate that became the primary motivation for what has since become the TDSS Upgrade service. Once having worked though all of the issues and witnessed for ourselves the impressive results thereof, it became obvious that the amplifier instability problems that our initial efforts were intended to address could possibly be “expanded.”
As a result we embarked upon a “mission” that included such things as spectral and (in particular) phase analysis of low-level signal performance, power bandwidth and accelerometer testing. As a result of those tests we then went on to include a few other passive treatments that work to reduce noise and other types of distortion that are often overlooked by even some of the most prestigious (and often quite expensive) amplifier designs. At the end of it all we had assembled a series of treatments that not only proved to be truly transformative with respect the the NuForce Reference Series amplifiers, but would also apply to virtually any other audio component... regardless of make or model. Hence, the TDSS Custom Upgrade (now D.R.R.T.) was born.
Improved Amplifier Reliability & The Origins of D.R.R.T:
With NuForce Reference Series power amplifiers being in widespread use from about 2007 onward, they eventually became the driving force behind the development of the first TDSS Custom Upgrades. As had been the case for several years, enthusiasts found their award-winning sound quality and overall value to have few equals. Nevertheless, they weren't quite so enamored with the frequent failures many were experiencing with them.
Fast-forward to the fall of 2014, NuForce had ceased operations and the Intellectual Property rights to their high-end product line became the property of the factory in Taiwan (Hontron Electronics Co. Ltd.) that had, up to that point, been the OEM vendor that manufactured most all of the NuForce’s products. Previously, in the spring of 2014 in a somewhat desperate effort to reduce overhead so as to try and avoid bankruptcy, NuForce had solicited TDSS to take over warranty service so that they could shut down their service facility in California.
So it was that when NuForce finally ceased operations, Hontron picked up where they left off and formed NuPrime Audio. TDSS was then solicited by NuPrime to became what is now the only authorized NuPrime and Legacy NuForce service center in North America. That being the case, at that point it would now be our reputation on the line if a recently repaired amp were to subsequently fail again in a short period of time. You see, many folks aren’t that interested in the technical aspects of a product, so they will often be a bit skeptical when you try to tell them that their amplifier has a few inherent design, uh… “oversights” that are causing the repeat failures. Rather, they are just as likely to suspect that the service center lacks sufficient competency to perform the necessary repairs correctly, and interpret such comments as more a matter of CYA and excuse making instead.
That said, the primary goal of our first upgrade effort was more about trying to correct the underlying design issues of the older NuForce Reference Series amps so as to make them more reliable, if nothing else. At the time we just wanted to give NuForce owners another option beyond having to deal with the need for repeated repairs and a bunch of “lame” excuses from us.
As "serendipity" would have it though, almost as much to our own amazement as anybody else’s we found that not only did our modifications result in much improved amplifier stability & reliability, but they also ended up having a secondary, "not fully anticipated" effect. To our surprise and great pleasure we discovered that the amplifiers' slight static background noise levels had essentially vanished to "zero," and their dynamic speed, resolving power and ability to more fully and naturally render subtle harmonic detail had been greatly improved as well - in fact, amazingly so. . "Not bad" when your original goal was to simply “fix” the darn things so they quit blowing up! :-)
At that point we determined to do all that we reasonably could to enhance and optimize these improvements to their furthest practical limits by including a few additional performance-enhancing modifications. From there onward, the TDSS "Custom Upgrade" (now D.R.R.T.) had been born... and the rest is fast becoming history.