Review of TDSS Upgraded
NuForce ST-8.5 by Dave S.
(D.R.R.T./Level-1 Upgrade Only)
I have several solid state amps that have other modifications to compare; likewise tube amps and Nuforce ref-8 mono amps (one blew a resister on the sound board but I replaced it).
The NuForce ST-8.5 has less storage capacitance than the Ref-9s, thus, less slam and softer bass.
However, despite only 120 hours to fully break in...
You do need a ribbon based speaker to be able to keep up with the speed presented. The only exception being the Monitor Audio Gold Series within my arsenal. High end cables became more apparent. Also, turntable cartridges likewise.
Although I rolled several pieces of hardware, here is my preference:
Wadia 23 to a >
Nad M51 D/A to >
Nuforce ST-8.5 version 3 to >
Arual Speaker cables to >
Apogee Centaur with a port kit.
That was a great combination.
The only drawback I've had is the amp seems to run a little warmer at idle now. 88 degrees before and 91 at present."