Author Topic: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions  (Read 492 times)

Offline Cyzer

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • AVForums Junior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Total likes: 5
  • FLAC + Good cans = Max Chill
Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« on: April 27, 2019, 11:14:28 PM »
Greetings all!

Today I was finally reunited with the neutral brilliance that is the Sennheiser HD600. This is my 2nd pair after having sold my first pair some years ago, as I felt the need to wander off into the world of Vintage HIFI. But I digress.

I will be comparing the DAC with the included 32 Ohm headphone amp and the DAC itself fed into a Little Dot Mk1 valve amp.

At first glance the Nuprime uDSD is an interesting unit given it's small form factor and price point it is quite baffling as to how they managed to squeeze in Sabre DAC and a small amp section into what is so little.
Driver install was a matter of going to Nuprime's website and downloading the driver to windows.

I used: Foobar/FLAC/Unit set to 24Bit/441.K

DAC/AMP combo (Volume at 2pm):

The clean and neutral sound signature produced is a perfect pairing to the HD600, the bass is slightly relaxed and with just enough warmth to bring the clear and well defined detail of the treble and mids together. Vocal clarity and the definition offered on string instruments is fantastic. In short the sound separation and imaging is so good it's almost analytical in nature. Noise wise there is nothing audible outputted to the headphone drivers from the solid state amp when you stop the source signal. You could definitely use the unit for mixing when you're on the go. The only flaw for me in this setup is the lack of volume (as to be expected as the unit is rated as a 32 Ohm headphone amp, but it did a good job none the less.) and impact/punch that you get from a larger high impedance amp.

DAC fed into Little Dot Mk1:


The rear connectors on the uDSD are well made and nicely gold plated adding some class to the tiny unit that you wouldn't expect for the price point.
When the DAC is driven by valves, it really shines. The volume issues are a thing of the past and the valves do there job in making sound punchier, slightly warmer and more relaxed in the upper treble range. This setup made a good combination for extended periods of listening, sound was more natural and less analytical, and if you added just a tad of cross-feed in Foobar you would thing you were listening to a good set of speakers in a room and not drivers right next to you ears.

I have to doubt that if you paired this wonderful unit with a even better amp of your choice you would not regret it, given it's price point and the way it separates and images sound I would take one of these over an AudioQuest dragonfly or a Schiit Modi any day. This unit punches way above it's weight and price point and NuPrime has done a fantastic job at offering a high quality and affordable audiophile grade solution to the masses. If you, like me are getting back into the headphone game or you are starting out and want something better, look no further! 

This is my first review here, so excuse me for not hitting all the correct points, I will gladly answer any questions.

~ Thanks to Scubadude for assisting with the purchase of the HD600's and for loaning me the NuPrime uDSD.
Being an audiophile is a lifestyle not a hobby. d(-_-)b

Offline Scubadude

  • Trade Count: (+42)
  • AVForums Super Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,494
  • Total likes: 53
  • Depressed? Cans on, volume up, ignore the world!
Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2019, 11:56:49 PM »
Firstly, very nicely written and glad you enjoy being back in the game!  :2thumbs: 

I used the Nuprime uDSD / HD600 as a loadshedding setup for some time, so I know the pairing well.  Nuforce had a problem with channel imbalance on their uDAC ... so when Jason Lim struck out with Nurpime and the uDSD they chose a slower taper on the volume control. Which means there is a heck of a lot of gain after 2 o'clock.  But you are very right to say the uDSD headphone amp section has limited dynamic headroom, and things get a little compressed at high SPL's.  You can add a bit of punch and definition by splitting the data and power feeds ... Remind me to give you a cable to test that.
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Hi-Phibian

  • Commercial Member
  • Trade Count: (+47)
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,465
  • Total likes: 209
  • I really prefer email, see my banner for address..
    • Croak Audio Exploration
Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2019, 08:58:57 AM »
Pretty much my feeling exactly.   The gain is quite ok. Volume control is just usable over a wide range.  The power split adds punch.
Proprietor of Croak Audio Exploration.
Fair, not crazy, cash paid for turntables and tonearms from Rega, Linn and Thorens.          http://www.croak.co.za

Offline shadow.clone

Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2019, 11:07:17 PM »
I love my HD600 headphones to the point that I don't think I'd ever sell them. I've paired mine with a Khadas Tone Board and Gustard H20 and it works really well. Headphone audiophiles are really spoiled these days.

My only niggle is the sub-bass (quantity and quality) is lacking for some genres. I'm looking to get Focal Clears but man, the marginal returns are real.

Offline Cyzer

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • AVForums Junior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Total likes: 5
  • FLAC + Good cans = Max Chill
Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 10:44:20 AM »
I love my HD600 headphones to the point that I don't think I'd ever sell them. I've paired mine with a Khadas Tone Board and Gustard H20 and it works really well. Headphone audiophiles are really spoiled these days.

My only niggle is the sub-bass (quantity and quality) is lacking for some genres. I'm looking to get Focal Clears but man, the marginal returns are real.

I totally agree. Khadas Tone Board and Gustard H20 <--- That is a nice combo!
If you want sub bass, you have to look at something closed back OR planar. I got a pair of LCD 2.2's this weekend, they are sub bass monsters.
Being an audiophile is a lifestyle not a hobby. d(-_-)b

Offline shadow.clone

Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 02:11:27 PM »
It certainly does, and that's the reason why I struggle to pull the trigger on other headphones. I start to question whether I really need more/other headphones when I put on the HD600's. I think it's easy to get caught up with "different" rather than "better" with headphone setups (particularly due to lower costs and space requirements than full-sized systems). To some, it's a hobby to tinker around. To me, whilst I do like to play around with new toys, I prefer to "buy once and buy well" with audio.

The Tone Board is simply amazing. I imagine it will embarrass many other DACs, especially those from certain well-known ChiFi brands.


Offline gLer

Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2019, 08:07:13 AM »
It certainly does, and that's the reason why I struggle to pull the trigger on other headphones. I start to question whether I really need more/other headphones when I put on the HD600's. I think it's easy to get caught up with "different" rather than "better" with headphone setups (particularly due to lower costs and space requirements than full-sized systems). To some, it's a hobby to tinker around. To me, whilst I do like to play around with new toys, I prefer to "buy once and buy well" with audio.

The Tone Board is simply amazing. I imagine it will embarrass many other DACs, especially those from certain well-known ChiFi brands.
I havenít heard the Tone Board so canít comment but there are definitely Ďdifferent AND betterí headphones than the HD600 out there. The HD800 is one, though that is very different, while the ZMF Auteur is more similar to the HD600 but IMO better in every way, including generous dollops of sub bass, wider stage, very similar mids (the strengths of the HD600), and probably the best timbre of any headphone Iíve heard (HD800 included). Then again both the HD800 and Auteur cost significantly more than the HD600 (5x more in the case of the Auteur) so for pure bang for buck the HD600 probably canít be beat.
Desktop: Mac mini >> Audirvana >> Audio-gd R-28 >> Auteur/HD800 + Mobile: FiiO M11 >> FiiO FH5

Offline shadow.clone

Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2019, 08:35:10 AM »
I havenít heard the Tone Board so canít comment but there are definitely Ďdifferent AND betterí headphones than the HD600 out there. The HD800 is one, though that is very different, while the ZMF Auteur is more similar to the HD600 but IMO better in every way, including generous dollops of sub bass, wider stage, very similar mids (the strengths of the HD600), and probably the best timbre of any headphone Iíve heard (HD800 included). Then again both the HD800 and Auteur cost significantly more than the HD600 (5x more in the case of the Auteur) so for pure bang for buck the HD600 probably canít be beat.

Not disputing that. I've listened to those headphones (and more) either locally or abroad. My advice to Cyzer is more along the lines of being weary of getting caught up in upgraditis as it is the flavour of the day here. On the other hand, as I've noted, there is nothing wrong with tinkering as some do enjoy it. Audio is a vast hobby after all. I just present another viewpoint (not "alternate" because there's so many viewpoints) for Cyzer to consider.

Offline Cyzer

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • AVForums Junior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Total likes: 5
  • FLAC + Good cans = Max Chill
Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2019, 01:02:50 PM »
I just borrowed the uDSD. I'm looking for a high end amp and dac to replace what I have. Then once that is sorted I will probably look for a good set of HD800's. But there is no rush. I want to get something of quality that I like sound of. I don't want to buy something and then upgrade several times tone chasing.
Being an audiophile is a lifestyle not a hobby. d(-_-)b

Offline gLer

Re: Reunited with HD600's - Nuprime uDSD impressions
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2019, 08:03:05 PM »
I just borrowed the uDSD. I'm looking for a high end amp and dac to replace what I have. Then once that is sorted I will probably look for a good set of HD800's. But there is no rush. I want to get something of quality that I like sound of. I don't want to buy something and then upgrade several times tone chasing.
That is very wise indeed. Listen and explore, but when the time comes but well and buy once.
Desktop: Mac mini >> Audirvana >> Audio-gd R-28 >> Auteur/HD800 + Mobile: FiiO M11 >> FiiO FH5