• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Apollon NCx500ST Stereo Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 4 1.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 30 7.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 375 91.0%

  • Total voters
    412

CleanSound

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 30, 2023
Messages
1,654
Likes
2,533
The only way to shift from the XLR to the RCA inputs is with a small switch located on the back panel, correct? It would be handy if the switch were more accessible, or if a remote were supplied. You could then switch between, say, a balanced DAC and an unbalanced preamp connecting to multiple other sources.
Why would you need that though? I less you have two different sources for the amp. And what setup would entail that?
 

Ecaroh

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
47
Likes
27
Why would you need that though? I less you have two different sources for the amp. And what setup would entail that?
Yes, besides a DAC I have, primarily, a turntable with phono stage, and a TV; but also a cassette deck and an FM tuner, and occasionally a reel-to-reel. The S/PDIF out on my TV doesn't work right. So all have RCAs for output, though I expect I'll soon have a DAC that also has XLR. Not that important; I can continue to use the RCAs from all sources.
 

Julf

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
3,095
Likes
4,146
Location
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Yes, besides a DAC I have, primarily, a turntable with phono stage, and a TV; but also a cassette deck and an FM tuner, and occasionally a reel-to-reel. The S/PDIF out on my TV doesn't work right. So all have RCAs for output, though I expect I'll soon have a DAC that also has XLR. Not that important; I can continue to use the RCAs from all sources.
And of course feeding a balanced/differential (XLR) input from an unbalanced (RCA) output is no problem.
 

CleanSound

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 30, 2023
Messages
1,654
Likes
2,533
Yes, besides a DAC I have, primarily, a turntable with phono stage, and a TV; but also a cassette deck and an FM tuner, and occasionally a reel-to-reel. The S/PDIF out on my TV doesn't work right. So all have RCAs for output, though I expect I'll soon have a DAC that also has XLR. Not that important; I can continue to use the RCAs from all sources.
In this case, I think your best option is to get a pre-amp.
 

CleanSound

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 30, 2023
Messages
1,654
Likes
2,533
I expect so, and I have one. (My post #640 above :))
Am I missing something?

Comment #640 does not say anything about you already having a pre-amp:
1711041360851.png


Anyway, what you are describing here:
Yes, besides a DAC I have, primarily, a turntable with phono stage, and a TV; but also a cassette deck and an FM tuner, and occasionally a reel-to-reel. The S/PDIF out on my TV doesn't work right. So all have RCAs for output, though I expect I'll soon have a DAC that also has XLR. Not that important; I can continue to use the RCAs from all sources.
That is the exact use case for a pre-amp. The only problem is that, there are no pre-amps on the market with this level of performance to match with a matching 43cm wide case, with the exception of a very very expensive Bryston.

I have the Gustard P26 preamp, it looks absolutely weird next to all of my components due to the miniature size.
 

CleanSound

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 30, 2023
Messages
1,654
Likes
2,533
"...a balanced DAC and an unbalanced preamp connecting to multiple other sources." :)
Ahh, I see. I overlooked it as single ended preamp is rather of a rarity now.

But it's time to upgrade to a fully balanced preamp :cool:
 

Apollon Audio

Active Member
Audio Company
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
158
Likes
781
I see that the multichannel lux amp is available with a rackmount faceplate; is this one (the standard one) available with a rackmount style as well? If I am putting it in a rack there is no point in paying for the upgraded casework of the lux one since it won't be visible. I am interested in a 5 channel version.

The normal version is not available with a rack mount faceplate. Only the Lux version is.
 

Dalprad

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
25
Likes
32
When buying expensive stuff, you expect exceptional, life-changing results. Given enough time, the novelty wears off, you accept the new balance on your bank account, stop listening to amps and start to enjoy the music. You have changed.
Spot on! It's also why a $10 amp from goodwill sounds so amazing at first. Your expectations are very low going in.
 

bmwr75

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
37
Likes
65
I bought one of these amps after reading this review. Have been using it to drive a pair of 4 ohm speakers lately. The gain is on the highest setting, no specific reason for that. It runs pretty hot, like a class A amp, even at listening levels in the 70-80 dB range. Twice lately I've switched it off to roll a different tube into the Musical Paradise MP-701 MK3 preamp. Both times heard a pretty loud pop from the speakers when turning off the Apollon amp. Both times it didn't come back on after the preamp tube change. Seems to be a thermal protection circuit because after it cools down the amp will power back on.
 

lordhumungous

Active Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
259
Likes
313
I bought one of these amps after reading this review. Have been using it to drive a pair of 4 ohm speakers lately. The gain is on the highest setting, no specific reason for that. It runs pretty hot, like a class A amp, even at listening levels in the 70-80 dB range. Twice lately I've switched it off to roll a different tube into the Musical Paradise MP-701 MK3 preamp. Both times heard a pretty loud pop from the speakers when turning off the Apollon amp. Both times it didn't come back on after the preamp tube change. Seems to be a thermal protection circuit because after it cools down the amp will power back on.
Maybe you should turn amp off first and then turn off the preamp to avoid this shutdown .
 

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
576
Likes
470
Maybe you should turn amp off first and then turn off the preamp to avoid this shutdown .
I turn my amps off first on shut down, and preamp on first on startup.

If there’s a problem with your amps I’m confident Apollon will come through.
 

Xcaliber

Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2024
Messages
105
Likes
116
I bought one of these amps after reading this review. Have been using it to drive a pair of 4 ohm speakers lately. The gain is on the highest setting, no specific reason for that. It runs pretty hot, like a class A amp, even at listening levels in the 70-80 dB range. Twice lately I've switched it off to roll a different tube into the Musical Paradise MP-701 MK3 preamp. Both times heard a pretty loud pop from the speakers when turning off the Apollon amp. Both times it didn't come back on after the preamp tube change. Seems to be a thermal protection circuit because after it cools down the amp will power back on.

If the case of the amp feels very warm, it can only mean that the heat is transferring to the chassis to dissipate right?
 

restorer-john

Grand Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
12,989
Likes
39,823
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
I bought one of these amps after reading this review. Have been using it to drive a pair of 4 ohm speakers lately. The gain is on the highest setting, no specific reason for that. It runs pretty hot, like a class A amp, even at listening levels in the 70-80 dB range. Twice lately I've switched it off to roll a different tube into the Musical Paradise MP-701 MK3 preamp. Both times heard a pretty loud pop from the speakers when turning off the Apollon amp. Both times it didn't come back on after the preamp tube change. Seems to be a thermal protection circuit because after it cools down the amp will power back on.

Do you have a killawatt style power consumption meter? I think you should measure the consumption and post the idle figures.

There's so much misinformation regarding the "efficiency" of these things.
 
Last edited:

Labjr

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
1,081
Likes
996
Do you have a killawatt style power consumption meter? I think you should measure the consumption and post the idle figures.

There's so much misinformation regarding the "efficiency" of these things.

I don't personally care about the effiiciency of an amplfier. I see Class D being touted all the time, as if amp pays for itself in energy savings. Is anyone really that concerned about their electric bill?
 

DrCWO

Active Member
Audio Company
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
290
Likes
403
That is my standard practice.
I own a custom build NCx500 and it stays cool. I would send it to Apollon. There seems to be something wrong with the power supply. Did you order it with the correct mains voltage? The power supply can be switched with a jumper between 115 qand 230 volt.
 

EJ3

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
2,358
Likes
1,818
Location
James Island, SC
I don't personally care about the effiiciency of an amplfier. I see Class D being touted all the time, as if amp pays for itself in energy savings. Is anyone really that concerned about their electric bill?
Funny, my old NAD 2200's consume very little power, they 3 & 2 APT/Holman Preamps have been left on for years at a time.
Going on 7 months of work away from the home (shutting the stereo down & disconnecting it all from the mains shows very little effect on the power bill (if any).
The water bill sees a substantial drop, though. Are the amps drinking water when I'm home but not looking at them?
 
Top Bottom