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Buckeye 6 Channel Amplifier Review

Maybe obvious, but people looking for 6 channel are likely to be in the market for an AV.R

No. A multi-channel amp and an AVR are not replacements of each other - apples and oranges just because they both have amps. Just as an AVR and a multi-channel DAC are not good comparisons just because they are multi-channel and have a DAC.

Most direct would be other multi-channel amps if you wanted to look at it from a market need perspective (if there was enough data).

The direct comparisons in this price range would be the Outlaw 5000 (discontinued and replaced by 5000x with XLR) at a lower price and Monolith 5-ch amp at a bit higher, neither of which also should be compared to an AVR.

I don't mean to take away from the builder as a non-professional (or non-corporate entity) but objectively speaking it gets its positives from the use of Class D but has design issues relative to pure Class D amps.
 
No. A multi-channel amp and an AVR are not replacements of each other - apples and oranges.
Multichannel amp are being bought to replace the internal amps in AVRs since they have the best DACs/processing right now of all that we have tested. To the extent they are no better than the internal amp in an AVR, then there is no sense in doing that. But if they are, they make a good case for themselves. Not sure why this obvious application is being missed in your post.
 
Multichannel amp are being bought to replace the internal amps in AVRs since they have the best DACs/processing right now of all that we have tested. To the extent they are no better than the internal amp in an AVR, then there is no sense in doing that. But if they are, they make a good case for themselves. Not sure why this obvious application is being missed in your post.

That is a valid point. However, not the reality.

You don't need more than a 2 (or maybe 3) channel amp to augment an AVR (typically for music use or because of hard to drive main speakers or heat issues with all channels driven), not more channels than that (unless you are looking at a completely separate pre/pro and amp solution in which case they are at a very different price point). You can get better bang for the buck that way than a multi-channel amp unless it is dirt cheap like the Outlaw or Emotiva.

AVRs that provide more than 2.x pre-outs also have decent amps that don't have any problems driving the rest of the channels and so no need to buy a separate multi-channel amp. You just can't increase the speaker count more than what the AVR is capable of decoding/processing so these are not solutions for making a 7.1 AVR into a 11.x for example. If your AVR amps are busted and you are fine with its processing, perhaps but that is a rare case!

If a multi-channel amp is bridgeable, then it may be considered for the above use. Otherwise, it is just chasing specs and wasting money with a misguided idea of how much power they need for surrounds hoping it will improve their theater experience.

I wish the boutique builders were more creative and enterprising to build Class D versions with some versatile and value add features like a Class D version of the below than slapping on Hypex or Purifi cards and power supplies into a case like PC builders.

avalon-g4-back-1280x550.jpg
 
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No. A multi-channel amp and an AVR are not replacements of each other - apples and oranges just because they both have amps. Just as an AVR and a multi-channel DAC are not good comparisons just because they are multi-channel and have a DAC.

Most direct would be other multi-channel amps if you wanted to look at it from a market need perspective (if there was enough data).

The direct comparisons in this price range would be the Outlaw 5000 (discontinued and replaced by 5000x with XLR) at a lower price and Monolith 5-ch amp at a bit higher, neither of which also should be compared to an AVR.

I don't mean to take away from the builder as a non-professional (or non-corporate entity) but objectively speaking it gets its positives from the use of Class D but has design issues relative to pure Class D amps.
Serieusly, you are putting words in my mouth, I didn’t say they where replacements of each other, I didn’t say they where comparable, no one did. It’s pretty simple, you are setting up a multi channel audio system, you have options, AVR is one way to go, But mainstrean AVR have lower fidelity in their amp section than this, then amir goes and measured it against the data from other power amps. what’s so wrong with mentioning it, it is what it is, a high fidelity class d amp for the home theater crowd.
 
You don't need more than a 2 (or maybe 3) channel amp to augment an AVR (typically for music use or because of hard to drive main speakers or heat issues with all channels driven), not more channels than that (unless you are looking at a completely separate pre/pro and amp solution in which case they are at a very different price point).

There's plenty of situations where this 6 channel power amplifier would be a value conscious and significant performance upgrade for a mid range AVR with 5.1 pre-outs.

It could also be an excellent unit for someone bi-amping, tri-amping in 2ch, or running multiple speakers in a large entertainment space/room.

Basically, there's a call for more amps in one box and @Buckeye Amps has come to the party at a cheap price. What's not to like?
 
I'll say it: multi channel amps and AVRs are comparible. Not completely alike, but definitely can be compared.

Comparison: they are both metal boxes that can amplify multiple channels of line level signals to speaker level.

Now, to save you some time, lets proactively contrast them: A multi channel amp doesn't do anything else. This multi channel amp does the amplification better than AVRs. An AVR has sophisticated pre-processing that can convert, attenuate and otherwise improve various signals before it sends them to the amplifiers; they let you switch sources; they also handle video signals. Some AVRs also have line level outputs, and most have subwoofer line level outputs.

In some use cases, like amplifying the signal coming out of a stereo CD player into a pair of speakers (how I am using my Yamaha 5.1 ch AVR) they are completely interchangeable. In other use cases, like taking two HDMI signals and sending them to multiple speaker level outs and an HDMI out for a TV, they are not. In the later case you will need an AVR, or a multi channel amp and another metal box with some other stuff in it. An AVR can be directly controlled remotely.

Glad that is settled.
 
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As an owner of an NC502MP based amp I always wanted to know how is crosstalk between channels in the same board and between different boards within the amp. This graph is spot on: it is very good.

Again thank you for measuring this!

index.php
 
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That is a valid point. However, not the reality.

You don't need more than a 2 (or maybe 3) channel amp to augment an AVR (typically for music use or because of hard to drive main speakers or heat issues with all channels driven), not more channels than that (unless you are looking at a completely separate pre/pro and amp solution in which case they are at a very different price point). You can get better bang for the buck that way than a multi-channel amp unless it is dirt cheap like the Outlaw or Emotiva.

AVRs that provide more than 2.x pre-outs also have decent amps that don't have any problems driving the rest of the channels and so no need to buy a separate multi-channel amp. You just can't increase the speaker count more than what the AVR is capable of decoding/processing so these are not solutions for making a 7.1 AVR into a 11.x for example. If your AVR amps are busted and you are fine with its processing, perhaps but that is a rare case!

If a multi-channel amp is bridgeable, then it may be considered for the above use. Otherwise, it is just chasing specs and wasting money with a misguided idea of how much power they need for surrounds hoping it will improve their theater experience.

I wish the boutique builders were more creative and enterprising to build Class D versions with some versatile and value add features like a Class D version of the below than slapping on Hypex or Purifi cards and power supplies into a case like PC builders.

avalon-g4-back-1280x550.jpg
Swapping just 2 channels instead of all of a home theater system is not that straight forward. You would need matching gain on the power amp section, you would need measurments. Plus there is no reason movie lovers would want less fidelity. If anything, the Dynamic range on most movie soundtracks is quite a bit greater than for most recorded music. also, notice that the top measuring amp here contain amplification topology developped by a company mainly involved in movie theater/home theater audio, and bloomed with this use case in mind.
 
The NC252MP is a 2 channel amp module with integrated power supply, so you basically have 3 completely separate power supplies within this unit here, which will ensure maximum power delivery to all channels, something an AVR for example can't do.
As Hypex OEM customer I can say that this device is very well priced and offers a great price to performance ratio, especially in the US, where shipping is probably much more than for me to Germany. I'm using NCORE myself and they're great modules.
Have the UcD amps modules been tested here before? They're dirt cheap
 
I am missing 19+20 kHz twin-tone IMD measurement at 5W or more.
There is too much of high order distortion components, compared to best Class A and AB, and also mains components.
Distortion at higher frequencies is too high.
Just an ordinary Class D.
 
A lot of drug-pushing going on here because of Class Darling. ;)

Serieusly, you are putting words in my mouth, I didn’t say they where replacements of each other, I didn’t say they where comparable, no one did. It’s pretty simple, you are setting up a multi channel audio system, you have options, AVR is one way to go, But mainstrean AVR have lower fidelity in their amp section than this, then amir goes and measured it against the data from other power amps. what’s so wrong with mentioning it, it is what it is, a high fidelity class d amp for the home theater crowd.

You said people looking for a multi-channel amp will be in the market for an AVR, justifying its evaluation vs an AVR. That is a non-sequitor is what I was saying because they are not replacements of each other.

If they are looking at an AVR as a pre-processor AND a multi-channel amp, then the necessary evaluation would be which multi-channel amp (including non class D), not whether it is better than the AVR amps.

My point is that its shortcomings as a Class D amp has been lipsticked over by comparison to an AVR in the narrative. It is a red herring that misses the point that it is mediocre. I would expect this from the glossy magazines who need to put a positive spin on all reviewed material but not here.

There's plenty of situations where this 6 channel power amplifier would be a value conscious and significant performance upgrade for a mid range AVR with 5.1 pre-outs.
Like what? Why would you need this with a Denon X3XXX AVR for example? How many AVRs that have a balanced XLR out have insufficient amps to require an external amp? What would the performance of this be if you stick in an unbalanced to balanced cable?
It could also be an excellent unit for someone bi-amping, tri-amping in 2ch, or running multiple speakers in a large entertainment space/room.
Then its rightful comparison would be with other multi-channel amps not AVRs which are not designed for that purpose. This is my point.

Swapping just 2 channels instead of all of a home theater system is not that straight forward. You would need matching gain on the power amp section, you would need measurments. Plus there is no reason movie lovers would want less fidelity. If anything, the Dynamic range on most movie soundtracks is quite a bit greater than for most recorded music. also, notice that the top measuring amp here contain amplification topology developped by a company mainly involved in movie theater/home theater audio, and bloomed with this use case in mind.

This is total BS and post-rationalization. All AVRs have channel balance and it is automatic when you have room correction.

People who feel the need for more than AVR amp are perfectly capable of acquiring a suitable amp and you don't need more than 2 or 3 ch amps because they have difficult main speakers that the AVR struggles to drive with all channels. In no reality will this amp improve the experience for replacing surround sound amplification of an AVR.

Class Ds have lots of advantages and have good applications. But, for objectivity's sake, let us not hype/spin things because they are Class D.
 
AVRs that provide more than 2.x pre-outs also have decent amps that don't have any problems driving the rest of the channels and so no need to buy a separate multi-channel amp.

Do any AVRs allow you to use pre-outs for a subset of channels and use the internal amps for the rest?

EDIT: thinking about this, they should I would think, but not sure if they actually do.

EDIT2: if they do support the above, will room correction filters apply to pre-outs?
 
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Swapping just 2 channels instead of all of a home theater system is not that straight forward. You would need matching gain on the power amp section, you would need measurments..
I have always found it quite straightforward, no different than initial system setup using internal amps (i.e. use normal speaker level matching procedure, which must be done anyhow since VERY few people have matching speakers all around).
 
A lot of drug-pushing going on here because of Class Darling. ;)



You said people looking for a multi-channel amp will be in the market for an AVR, justifying its evaluation vs an AVR. That is a non-sequitor is what I was saying because they are not replacements of each other.

If they are looking at an AVR as a pre-processor AND a multi-channel amp, then the necessary evaluation would be which multi-channel amp (including non class D), not whether it is better than the AVR amps.

My point is that its shortcomings as a Class D amp has been lipsticked over by comparison to an AVR in the narrative. It is a red herring that misses the point that it is mediocre. I would expect this from the glossy magazines who need to put a positive spin on all reviewed material but not here.


Like what? Why would you need this with a Denon X3XXX AVR for example? How many AVRs that have a balanced XLR out have insufficient amps to require an external amp? What would the performance of this be if you stick in an unbalanced to balanced cable?

Then its rightful comparison would be with other multi-channel amps not AVRs which are not designed for that purpose. This is my point.



This is total BS and post-rationalization. All AVRs have channel balance and it is automatic when you have room correction.

People who feel the need for more than AVR amp are perfectly capable of acquiring a suitable amp and you don't need more than 2 or 3 ch amps because they have difficult main speakers that the AVR struggles to drive with all channels. In no reality will this amp improve the experience for replacing surround sound amplification of an AVR.

Class Ds have lots of advantages and have good applications. But, for objectivity's sake, let us not hype/spin things because they are Class D.
Sure, so apple to apple, let's not get lost in semantics. What other multichannel amp, any topologies you'd like, perform better for 1149$.
 
I see limited wise use cases. A dyi speaker builder triamping, but them you're better off with something factory built like an m2. And then you don't have enough power anyway. Somebody who has XLR outs on their avr but wants better amplification, but if you spent enough for that kind of avr with balanced out, you probably have speakers that can take more than 300 front channel watts. Somebody using a pc as their avr, hopefully running Dirac software or the equivalent and then going to a minidsp or octo or similar XLR out and then to this. If I had one of those, I would get a better amp than this.

So just a weird corner of the market.
 
Actually, since these amps can be bridged, you get much more flexibility than a typical multi-channel amp.

For example, it could also do just the front 3 channels for a home theater setup. Also could bridge 2 and use them in an a 2-way active design to power the bass (this is one use case I am considering). Or could run passive subwoofers with the bridged modules and passive satellites with the remaining stereo amp.

If you want 5 equal channels, pretty sure @Buckeye Amps could replace one NC252 with a NC250...
 
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Huh. Why on Earth is there pushback here on this amp?

Looks excellent/fantastic for the price.

Yes, 6 channels is unusual and therefore IMHO needed. I have searched many times for a prebuilt 6 channel. I have several active 3-way set-ups and an all in one box would often be very helpful. I just have not had time to DIY my own and thus drag all sorts of amps all over the house.
Why would anyone argue against more diversity among amp channel #'s?

The power is excellent. 100watts in 8ohms is more than nearly any active situation would require in a midrange and tweeter.
The woofer might want more but you just buy 4ohm drivers. 200/250+ watts into 4 ohms without any passive component losses in most situations are very well served - with very, very few exceptions, only subwoofers can even handle more power in an active.
 
Do any AVRs allow you to use pre-outs for a subset of channels and use the internal amps for the rest?

EDIT: thinking about this, they should I would think, but not sure if they actually do.

EDIT2: if they do support the above, will room correction filters apply to pre-outs?
Yes. All DSP processing applies to pre-out.
 
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