NuForce claims the IA-7 V2’s Analog Switching Amplifier technology eliminates the bandwidth limitations of conventional Class D (digital) amplifiers. The AV-7 V2 uses the same circuit board as the brand’s top-of-the-line Reference Series amplifiers; the new board lowers the amp’s noise floor by 20dB (that’s a lot) compared to NuForce’s older designs. Ergonomically speaking, the IA-7 V2 leaves room for improvement; for example, the volume ramp up/down is painfully slow. That said, I loved the amp’s trim shape and decidedly high-end demeanor.
Tip: This baby runs warm--so don’t even think of hiding its gorgeous extruded chassis away in a cabinet.
First impression: Wow, the NuForce AV-7 V2 feels powerful, dynamic as heck, and supremely low in distortion. Soundstages are wide and deep, with an exacting depiction of spatial cues.
On Ghatam, by the Antenna Repairmen [MA Recordings], the IA-7 V2 nailed the transients, textural quality, and timbre of the band’s ceramic percussion instruments. The tactile quality of human hands striking and rubbing earthen objects was immediate and absolutely true.
Nirvana: Unplugged In New York [DGC] demonstrated the AV-7 V2’s toe-tapping tunefulness. Kurt Cobain sounded like he was enjoying the acoustic set as his raw vocals sent shivers down my spine. Uncorking the little amp’s power potential, I cranked The Damned’s punk masterpiece Damned Damned Damned CD [Sanctuary] up to “11.” ’twas pure, unadulterated sonic ecstasy.