NuForce AVP-18 Surround Processor Test Bench

Test Bench

48 kHz PCM frequency response:
–0.26 dB at 10 Hz
–0.06 dB at 20 Hz
+0.20 dB at 20 kHz
+0.19 dB at 24 kHz.


The above chart shows the frequency response for the AVP-18 at the preamp outputs of the Dolby Digital decoder. Left (aqua), center (green), left surround (red), and LFE (purple) channels at the preamp outputs of the Dolby Digital decoder. Left (aqua): –0.06 dB @ 20 Hz, +0.20 dB @ 20 kHz. Center (green): –0.06 dB @ 20 Hz; +0.14 dB @ 20 kHz. Left Surround (red): –0.07 dB @ 20 Hz, –0.15 dB @ 20 kHz. LFE: channel, normalized to the level at 40 Hz, is –0.04 dB at 20 Hz, reaches the upper –3dB point at 118 Hz, and reaches the upper –6dB point at 121 Hz.

There was no multichannel or other analog input to measure. The THD+N was less than 0.008% at 1 kHz with a 48 kHz/ 24 bit PCM input and the volume control set to “70”. Crosstalk with a PCM input was –102.93 dB left to right and –103.07 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with “A” weighting was –103.95 dBrA. —MJP


The NuForce initially passed our standard video tests with the exception that our original sample clipped all video information that was below-black (video levels 0-15) or above-white (video levels 236-255). Although this technically meets broadcast specs, elimination of headroom above 235, in particular, can cause a loss of detail in bright highlights on occassional scenes that nonetheless contain above-white information. (The inability to pass below-black information can make it more trickly to use test patterns to set display black level, i.e., the brightness control, but is otherwise benign).

By our print deadline for this review for Sound & Vision magazine, Nuforce had sent a new sample that partially corrected the clipping issue for RGB video signals and had another sample on the way said to fully resolve the problem for the more common YCbCr signal type. Our 5-star Video Performance rating in print was based on our confidence that this would be resolved, and we have confirmed that the subsequent firmware update did fully resolve any video clipping of either signal type. Owners of AVP-18s should visit the "Downloads" tab at the AVP-18 product page at and insure they have downloaded firmware version "AVP-18_Firmware_02172014" or later. -Rob Sabin

(408) 890-6840

LordoftheRings's picture

It fails that one and yet it receives five stars!

Rob Sabin's picture
Our 5-Star Video rating was reflective of what ran in our magazine print version of this review, which was contingent on Nuforce resolving the clipping issue with a pending firmware update. Unfortunately, that clarification appeared in print but not here. The clipping issue has now been fully resolved in AVP-18 firmware version "AVP-18_Firmware_02172014" or later, available at the Nuforce Web site. See our Test Bench page for more information.
TimmyS's picture

I was looking at the circuit board for this unit and it looks in many areas suspiciously like some other "direct to consumer" brands unit that sells for much less and even has more inputs.

Could someone address this?

samchitwood's picture

They're also suspiciously similar...

I'm very disappointed at S&V for not mentioning the similarities to the other company's product. That product was also reviewed here months ago, so it's not like they can claim they didn't know about it.

Why I should pay nearly double for this unit? That should have been the core of this review. But this smells of product placement. That makes some people specifically choose another vendor.

givmedew's picture

this thing is too too much like the emotivia umc-200 that was sold for under $600. The display, the way the Bluetooth works, the dsp, the HDMI and more. It seems like a cheaper umc-200 that costs more.

LordoftheRings's picture
LordoftheRings's picture

Sorry, I don't know how to give direct links here.


1. Emotiva UMC-200
2. Outlaw Model 975

* Perhaps it's up to the readers to compare, and not up to the reviewers?'s picture

As exposed in other forums, the Nuforce unit appears to be an Emotive UMC200 in a different case with fewer inputs at about twice the price. Exact same remote, same front panel display, and other pics of the internals are nearly identical. The EQ behaves the same. Hard to see why the Nuforce is worth the price.

JAC's picture

This has been covered in other forums as it pops up, but this "clone" concept is put forth by those who don't know that many companies use OEM contractors to build their designs based on a pre-existing foundation.

The above mentioned companies are no different. The OEM offers a Chassis, and various foundational circuitry and or firmware, and the company then "SPECIFIES" what components/parts quality, functions, performance specifications, feature sets, and materials are to be used.

There are at least 4-5, if not more companies using this same chassis, and ALL of them offer different inputs/outputs, component parts, functions, and other features at various price ranges.

So these units may share "some" features that work the same, and some that work differently based on the firmware menus the Company selected. For example Processing Firmwares are ALL the same since Dolby Labs, DTS, etc require a strict adherence to performance parameters using specific processors.

For example the $9400 Bryston uses the same Processor chipset as some far less expensive Harman Kardon Receivers, because they work and function the same.

This practice is common, but making the assumption that the units are clones, displays only the ability to recognize the chassis size and "look". Upon closer inspection the differences and designs show clear differences.

It is up to you, to evaluate and figure out which best fits your needs, system quality, and budget.

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