NuForce Icon Integrated Amp ($249) Review on 6moons

Thursday, September 11, 2008

6moons posted their much-anticipated review of the NuForce Icon integrated amp ($249). Reviewer David Kan, known for his affinity for NuForce gear, put the 12W Class D unit through its paces using a variety of partnering speakers. Since the amp is targeted primarily at the consumer electronics crowd, Mr. Kan offered both an “audiophile” and “consumer” conclusion.

Here’s an excerpt from the “audiophile” conclusion:

Whereas the Trends and KingRex have perfect synergy with my Klipsch Synergy F2 and Loth-X BS-1, the Icon proved to be too soft and laid-back.

And here’s an excerpt from the “consumer” conclusion:

If you desire soothing music more than a sonic body massage, the Icon/S-1 fulfills the definition of consumerism by equating personal happiness with a $500 purchase.

These conclusions appeared to come as a surprise to 6moons publisher Srajan Ebaen, who commented that:

…at NuForce’s pricing for the Icon and S-1, audiophile reviewers are severely challenged to adapt their expectations and review contexts to a realistic level befitting the intended target audience.

So, will non-audiophile readers (huh?) be able to tell the difference and appreciate the Icon for the mainstream value that it is? Mr. Ebaen continues:

I know how NuForce feels about it. I’ve had numerous e-mails about it with Jason already and appreciate his frustration.

I have to say I am surprised by these comments. The publisher appears to be undermining the conclusions of his own reviewer and sympathizing with the manufacturer regarding the potential negative repercussions of the review. He is also inferring that readers shouldn’t value the reviewer’s conclusions because they are coming primarily from the perspective of an audiophile. Isn’t 6moons an audiophile publication?

Read the entire review, then read a review of a similar product that exceeded audiophile-grade expectations (for even less money), then leave a comment if you think I am missing something here.