Review of TDSS Upgraded
NuForce Ref-9 V3SE Amplifier by Bob S. (Part-2)
LINK to: Audiogon Review
From Audiogon Review:
"Latest sound of the TDSS Level-3 upgrades of the NuForce Ref 9 monos is now phenomenal. I took the amps to a friend’s house so he could hear what they sounded like with the pair of Tekton Double Impacts...
...with Bill Dion’s fantastic parts upgrades including new Dueland wiring direct to each driver from the individual crossover parts, many large and expensive caps in the all new crossover, and some of the drivers were upgraded. He used a very highly reviewed tube integrated amp, and then a parts upgraded and other-mods-done Threshold 400 amp...
The 400 sounded a little deeper and tighter in the bass, but both sounded a little lacking in the presence region. We listened for about 1 hour to the 2 amps.
Then we inserted the Bob Smith upgraded Ref 9’s. Immediately, the sound was much more live and involving. The bass was now incredible in all ways, and no matter how much more information was easily present, the sound NEVER got harsh in any way. We gave the amps the power test and turned them up very loud and the sound just scaled upward. There was no irritation on the ears and the amps just kept on going. The dynamics with this combination were just off the charts--drum hits, guitar picks, horns sections all popped.
We listened for the better part of 3 1/2 hours straight until I figured I overstayed my welcome. My friend wanted me to leave the amps there for awhile, like 3-4 months!!! However, I wanted to see if the amps would do the same in my system. Bob A., my friend, had plugged the amps into 2 different outlets side by side, with all his other stuff plugged into the bottom 2 outlets. At my house, I had plugged the amps into the same outlet with just the DUDE preamp...
...on the other. All my front end stuff was plugged into an SR QLS-6 strip and then to its own 3rd outlet. In my system with VMPS RM40 speakers, the volume would shut down on one channel when I tried to turn the volume up. Would this be the same if I plugged them in the same as Bob did?
The sound of my system was now unbelievable...
... and (yet) I have all my components stacked on the floor temporarily while the rods of my Sistrum rack are getting cut and retooled. The clarity, dynamics, sound-stage, etc. became even better than before I took the amps to Bob A.’s house. I then took the volume up to where it was when one amp would temporarily shut down and a couple notches higher. It was now LOUD and I kept it that high or higher for over 2 hours. Never had the problem of overloading the amps. The sound just soared and again there was no listener fatigue. I really can’t wait until the Sistrum rods are re-tuned and I will now have 2 much shorter racks with the wonderful sound the Sistrums bring.
These amps are world class and I’ve now heard them in 4 different systems. Unlimited volume with live dynamics and transparent, detailed sound yet organic. Thank you Bob Smith of TDSS for an unbelievable amp upgrade and thank you Bob A. for letting me see a better way of getting my power from the amps. Needless to say, Bob A. is having some serious thought about getting his own pair or TDSS Level 3 Ref 9’s SE V3. He has been looking for an amp that would put the life into his wonderful speakers and he has found it. If you have NuForce or NuPrime amps) and you are thinking, "How can I make this even better sounding?"... RUN, don't walk, and talk to Bob Smith about his upgrade. By the way, the amps will become much more reliable with the improved power supplies put in -- an added benefit!"
- Bob S.