Zero Fidelity reviews the North Star Design Intenso



  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,965
    Bump! :)
    DSkip wrote: »
    Clipdat wrote: »
    This would be a cool DAC to have for a forum demo program.

    SHHHHH!!! Give me time!

  • GlennDogGlennDog Posts: 1,594
    I was wondering if anyone has had the opportunity to delve into NSD products and taken a serious listen . . .
    DACs anyways (that's the only NSD product that I've got personal experience with)

    any who, ZeroFidelity review is "close", but I'm not sure the dac was fully run-in (I really don't know, bc the dac was still in a break-in phase when I had it, prior to shipping to ZF) To be clear, the Intenso I reviewed was the EXACT same dac Sean reviewed

    IMHO, the Supremo is where you want to be (although the Intenso is no slouch at it's price point) . . . this DAC is holographic (read wide and deep sound stage), dynamic, very musical and surprises me all the time

    Did I say musical? Very much so

    IMO the best way to get the word out, is to do the group demo that was mentioned earlier, just say'n

    This piece ain't go'n anywhere anytime soon ... you'll thank me L8R
    Power Rogue M180 monos & Adcom GFA 5802
    PS Audio PerfectWave Power Plant 10
    Rears Definitive Technology BP-2
    DAC North Star Design Supremo
    Source PSA PWT & Oppo 105
    Pre/Pro Integra DHC 40.1
    LCD Samsung LN46B750
    Mains Salk HT2-TL
    Pre Cary SLP-98 F1
    Center Salk HT2C
    Wires MIT S3.3
    PSA PC AC-12
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,131
    Yeah, these DAC's take quite a bit of time to break in. Regardless of being a dealer/distributor, the best two DAC's I've run across below four figures are the Marantz HD-DAC1 and the NSD Intenso here. At this price point, synergy is a bigger deal usually than component quality so the experiences will vary and I understand that.

    Comparing the HD-DAC1 to the Intenso, I favor the Intenso. The Marantz has more bells and whistles and is a great sounding DAC (its a huge value at $800) that competes directly with the sound the SA-14S1 at $2,500 offers. In fact, I actually think the HD-DAC1 BETTERS the SA-14S1 as a standalone DAC.

    The HD-DAC1 is musical and very engaging, but I do find a little bit of bite on top. It's warmer sounding than the Intenso. The Intenso is very neutral with great holographics and depth. In order to really bring these qualities out, the break-in time is necessary.

    As good as the Intenso is, the Supremo is magnitudes better - as it should be for three times the price. You get even more holographic sound, richer texture, smoother tone, more dynamics, and an overall much more musical experience.

    The Supremo and Venti (five times the price of the Intenso) are incredible pieces that really complement each other as top DAC's from NSD. The Venti is the superior DAC, but the curious thing is that with systems where the Venti just doesn't mesh, the Supremo can be supplanted and there is that synergy.

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,668
    I can tell you that since picking up the Incanto, I have been quite happy with it. Thanks again Skip for the great deal on a great upgrade to my digital listening.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • gmcmangmcman Posts: 1,268

  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,238
    edited October 12
    gmcman wrote: »


    Already did earlier. Ken is still celebrating his birthday. Little slow lol
    Post edited by ken brydson on
    HT/Main- Panny 50" G10 Plasma, Pioneer SC-1222k AVR, Panny DMP-BD60 BDP, Polk LS90 mains, CS350LS center, LS/fx side surrounds, LS50 surround backs, SVS 25-31PC+ sub, Harmony One

    Office Rig- Marantz 2252B, Denon 2910, Kenwood KD2070 TT, Polk RTA 12B's/ RTA8t
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