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Adventures in Purifi : Audiofonics MPA 400 ET Monobloc Vs NAD C298 Power Amplifiers

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Feb 9, 2022
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Hi

I am a long term lurker here and have picked up most of my current gear based on the ASR reviews and discussions.
Just wanted to say thanks and return the favor, by posting a subjective review of the above 2 class D poweramps.

So here goes:

Ever since using the Nu Prime ST- 10 Power amplifier, I was smitten by class D

Wanted the added headroom, of monoblocs

Finding the Nu Prime ST 10-M, monoblocs, difficult to source

I searched the net and as per recommendation, on audiosciencereview.com forums

The purifi Monoblocs from audiofonics, fit the bill nicely

Having double the power, 400 Watts at 4 Ohms, and 180 Watts at 8 Ohms

Very responsive customer service, I kept them busy with lots of queries

The amps came in some recycled material, in a simple cardboard box, well cushioned

They arrived safely in the unorthodox packaging.

They are no frills, well-constructed amps, with RCA and XLR inputs, a 12 V trigger

Light weight and cool running, with some cool blue lights inside and a white ring light on the power button, matching my RME dac.

I enjoyed them, with my Revel M106 bookshelf speakers and SVS dual PB 2000 Pro subs.

Loved the neutral sound, Produced by this combo, non-fatiguing, no harshness in the treble.

Headroom wise, I felt, I could do with a bit more of power.

My Parasound P6 Preamp was mostly functioning at 72 – 76 on the volume levels,

to achieve 80- 85 db listening levels.

I compared it with my nu prime and felt, the ST 10 had the advantage, in terms of power.



I moved the audiofonics to my desktop system, mated with a RME A2D FS, as the pre and that is a wonderful combo. I discussed the issue with a friend, who is in the class A camp.

He suggested the NAD C298, also with the Purifi module, which I already liked.

On paper, the NAD & the audiofonics, had the same eigentakt purifi module and similar power specs

Was worried about it being just an expensive side grade.

My prior experience with NAD was with a Stereo Integrated 326 BEE, which was very conservatively rated at 50 W. I did my due diligence online, and pouring through the 38 pages on topic in ASR.As I had no access locally, for a in person demo, decided to take a calculated gamble and ordered one.



After the lightweight, tiny class D monoblocs, I had previously used

I was surprised at the size and weight of the NAD C298.

The box was as big, as the one my Parasound Halo A23 (Class AB), came in

It was well packaged, with a sturdy cardboard outer cover and foam blocs, holding the amp.

It felt nearly as heavy as the Class AB amps , that I was exposed to.

Setting it up was simple, gave it a listen with a mofi SACD, which had been troubling me.

One of my favourite tracks, which I secured after a lot of searching, “ Eye in the Sky” from Allan Parsons. This track on SACD sounded very flat on the audiofonics, it came to life on the NAD

Better dynamics and instrument separation were immediately apparent.

The SACD came alive, my choice was vindicated.
 

jmillar

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
104
Likes
63
Hi

I am a long term lurker here and have picked up most of my current gear based on the ASR reviews and discussions.
Just wanted to say thanks and return the favor, by posting a subjective review of the above 2 class D poweramps.

So here goes:

Ever since using the Nu Prime ST- 10 Power amplifier, I was smitten by class D

Wanted the added headroom, of monoblocs

Finding the Nu Prime ST 10-M, monoblocs, difficult to source

I searched the net and as per recommendation, on audiosciencereview.com forums

The purifi Monoblocs from audiofonics, fit the bill nicely

Having double the power, 400 Watts at 4 Ohms, and 180 Watts at 8 Ohms

Very responsive customer service, I kept them busy with lots of queries

The amps came in some recycled material, in a simple cardboard box, well cushioned

They arrived safely in the unorthodox packaging.

They are no frills, well-constructed amps, with RCA and XLR inputs, a 12 V trigger

Light weight and cool running, with some cool blue lights inside and a white ring light on the power button, matching my RME dac.

I enjoyed them, with my Revel M106 bookshelf speakers and SVS dual PB 2000 Pro subs.

Loved the neutral sound, Produced by this combo, non-fatiguing, no harshness in the treble.

Headroom wise, I felt, I could do with a bit more of power.

My Parasound P6 Preamp was mostly functioning at 72 – 76 on the volume levels,

to achieve 80- 85 db listening levels.

I compared it with my nu prime and felt, the ST 10 had the advantage, in terms of power.



I moved the audiofonics to my desktop system, mated with a RME A2D FS, as the pre and that is a wonderful combo. I discussed the issue with a friend, who is in the class A camp.

He suggested the NAD C298, also with the Purifi module, which I already liked.

On paper, the NAD & the audiofonics, had the same eigentakt purifi module and similar power specs

Was worried about it being just an expensive side grade.

My prior experience with NAD was with a Stereo Integrated 326 BEE, which was very conservatively rated at 50 W. I did my due diligence online, and pouring through the 38 pages on topic in ASR.As I had no access locally, for a in person demo, decided to take a calculated gamble and ordered one.



After the lightweight, tiny class D monoblocs, I had previously used

I was surprised at the size and weight of the NAD C298.

The box was as big, as the one my Parasound Halo A23 (Class AB), came in

It was well packaged, with a sturdy cardboard outer cover and foam blocs, holding the amp.

It felt nearly as heavy as the Class AB amps , that I was exposed to.

Setting it up was simple, gave it a listen with a mofi SACD, which had been troubling me.

One of my favourite tracks, which I secured after a lot of searching, “ Eye in the Sky” from Allan Parsons. This track on SACD sounded very flat on the audiofonics, it came to life on the NAD

Better dynamics and instrument separation were immediately apparent.

The SACD came alive, my choice was vindicated.
Why would the EVAL1 based, Hypex PSU plain vanilla Eigentakt sound "flat"?

The demos I have listened to on the EVAL1 are anything but flat, and Audiophonics is a "system integrator" using off the shelf parts, which for me is a potential "plus" (easy parts switching, almost DIY, module swaps in the future?) And the company is EU, and practically "next door" to my home?
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
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Calling it flat, is just a subjective observation
In terms of the volume level needed to get to 85 db, on the Parasound P6 pre amp
The NAD gets there at around 60- 66 Vs the the Audiophonics MPA 400 ET at 66-72, with the same source material
Hence I feel that the NAD has a bit more of head room
 

KMO

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The NAD gets there at around 60- 66 Vs the the Audiophonics MPA 400 ET at 66-72, with the same source material
Hence I feel that the NAD has a bit more of head room
I feel that the NAD is set to its default 25dB gain, while the Audiophonics is set to its default 20dB gain.

Might have been simpler to fit the high-gain jumper to the Audiophonics... ;)
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
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The gain on the audiofonics was already to set to max using the jumper setting, when I noticed the difference in gain
 

KMO

Senior Member
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Ah, I misread the spec sheet. The NAD has default 28.5dB gain - the 25dB is in Bridge mode.

So that's 3dB higher than the 25.3dB for the Audiophonics' max gain.

Which would suggest your Parasound uses 0.5dB volume steps, which is fairly conventional.

Although this source here suggests it's actually 1dB steps above 60 on the volume?

Anyway the gain difference will have nothing to do with any fundamental output characteristics, unless you were reaching the limits of the pre-amplifier's output. And from its specs (max 7.5V output), that seems very unlikely - you wouldn't need more than 2V even with the 25dB.
 

jmillar

Active Member
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Why would the EVAL1 based, Hypex PSU plain vanilla Eigentakt sound "flat"?

The demos I have listened to on the EVAL1 are anything but flat, and Audiophonics is a "system integrator" using off the shelf parts, which for me is a potential "plus" (easy parts switching, almost DIY, module swaps in the future?) And the company is EU, and practically "next door" to my home?
Just realized that the single channel monoblocks have different PSU and preamp buffer stage (from Hypex). They are NOT exactly "half the two channel device", and the single channel performs just a smidgen differently. Its gain stage is just a notch below. My advice: choose the two channel if buying Audiophonics.
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
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Just realized that the single channel monoblocks have different PSU and preamp buffer stage (from Hypex). They are NOT exactly "half the two channel device", and the single channel performs just a smidgen differently. Its gain stage is just a notch below. My advice: choose the two channel if buying Audiophonics.
That figures, I feel a 6 dB difference in headroom between the nad and the audiofonics Monobloc
 

Marvin_Germany

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I bought exactly your previous power amplifier, which are on the way to me by postal service.
Namely the NuPrime ST-10 and from another dealer the NAD C298

If you compare the two directly, how do you find the sound character and tonal differences between these two?

Mine should probably not arrive until after Easter, as many packages are currently being sent and the post office in Germany can hardly keep up.

I look forward to your experiences.
Best regards
Marvin from Germany
 

TheBatsEar

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Why would the EVAL1 based, Hypex PSU plain vanilla Eigentakt sound "flat"?
Does the NAD add distortion maybe, as a secret sauce? That would let people believe it sounds less flat i think.
Was it properly measured yet?
 

envydd

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Interesting to see that the purifi didn’t sound as good as a nuprime st10.
 

ENG

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TheBatsEar

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