Back when the time there are not so many audio equipment manufacturer on the market, Rudistor is one of that top end brand that compete with the competitors in top end market. Albeit throughout these years high end manufacturers have been shadowed by the flooding of lower end cheap market that offered insane level of price to performance ratio that start to steal away crowd’s attention from those high end brands, such as the one that in Earmass.com today, Rudistor.
I have been long admired Rudistor’s products, their design, their asthetics and spirit behind products, such as their Top of the Line. In my living place, it is nearly impossible for us to try Rudistor’s products, luckily through Earmass.com I managed to hand on with two of Rudistor’s products, one being the Rudistor ‘homade’ headphones, the Rudistor MD2, another one being the headphone amplifier that I am reviewing today, the NX-03.
Rudistor NX-03 (790USD), Class A headphone amplifiers
NX-03 is Rudistor’s entry level headphone amplifier in their line up, currently selling for 790usd directly from Rudistor. NX-03 offers a class A power output. It is a single ended input and output as well instead of the balanced topology that some of the manufacturers are offering now.
Ergonomics and Finishing
NX-03 is pretty simple device like what you can see through the picture, its design is clean and cool, from NX-03 you can understand what is the definition of beautiful. The front panel is constructed by a thick aluminium which give you absolute confidence, the ‘toggle switch’ that act as a main switch and bold volume control. There are two headphones output as well if you want to play your headphones simultaneously, I have briefly tested it and it do can play two headphones but I don’t practice this so just use one of them most of the time. The components quality are very high standards, I definitely love the superb volume control that is very easy to access.
Honestly, for the price I do really hope to see a balanced input and output since many similar priceing DACs and headphone amplifier start to offer balanced input and output, many entry headphones started to have balanced input as well, such as the ZMF headphones and the not that expensive Sennheiser HD600/650, also endless list of headphones that can be modified to balanced input as well, so I see this like a necessarily nowadays.
Sources: Soundaware D100Pro Premium Edition, Pioneer CD Player as transport, iBasso DX50, Asus Laptop
DACs: Yulong Audio DA8, Arce Mdac3, Kingrex UD384
Headphones: Rudistor Chroma MD2, German-Maestro GMP450. Sennheiser HD600, German-Maestro GMP400
Rudistor NX-03 do sounds good, especially considered that it is the entry level of headphone amplifiers in Rudistor’s lineup. It is kind of relaxing sound in general, with a slightly mild and warm sound signature that easily blend with ears. It is kind of beautiful sounding that I can keep listening for hours. Something like the 24 bit 192kHz version of Norah Jones (Feel like Home) can keep me listened to it. The music is blessed with details and touching element, everything was presented in beautiful manner, very Italian’s style.
I listened the Vivere The Best of by Andrea Bocelli, first track (la voce del silenzio), through MD2 it is a good vocal presentation, starting from the good drum kick in background with enough impact, the intimidating voices of Andrea Bocelli is really a Godsend, one thing for sure. Vocal is detailed and instrument is separate greatly. A presentation that is never getting tired or being harsh. Track 4th (Vivere,Dare to live) is a famous track and I have listened it countless time before, it is a touching song and NX-03 do nothing less, voices of both Andrea and laura are superb and detailed.
Next, I played one of my favourite album, Midnight Matinee by Amanda McBroom, I recommended this album to everyone of you here, it is a superb album, Amanda’s vocal is really sentimental and touching, layered and detailed. Starting from the Crime of the heart, The Rose and The potrait, NX-03 managed to give them a beautiful presentation which is quite relaxing and laid back. Another album that worth to mention, Gold Amanda is also a good album.
DSD version of Ultimate Mancini by Monica Mancini, ‘The Pink Panther Theme’ shows lots of definition and instruments, NX-03 separate them nicely. Positioning is good and stereo imaging is good, I can’t really complain on NX-03, it is a fine headphone amplifier.
What I wish to be better?
Maybe I am expecting too much, but I really hope that there are at least balanced inputs, some DACs are better in XLR output. Besides, I will be happier if there is NX-03 can deliver more drive and energy, maybe this is what Rudistor sounded, I am looking into their higher end model.
There is one thing for sure, NX-03 sounded really good. Another thing for sure, things are getting really complicated in this price range. I have a sense that NX-03 is a good step to introduce people what is Rudistor’ voices sounded like, looking up there are way higher end models stayed in their line-up, interesting.
Back to the NX-03, personally I do like this headphone amplifiers, the untiring feeling that it give is very good, and Italiano pretty, paired with the Rudistor MD2 you can easily tied with music for whole days, although this is not the best pairing that I have listened so far, but good enough, really good enough. So, music that is untiring and natural, why not?