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Buckeye 6 Channel Amplifier Review

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Thanks for doing this review. I am considering HypeX Ncore 502MP vs 252MP.

Advice sought: My system:

I currently have 7.2.4 system primarily used for multichannel music listening (SACD, DVD Audio, Blu-ray Audio, R2R etc).

I currently use a Denon AVR-X7200WA for decoding/preamp via 5 analog outs to an Arcam AVR600 AVR used as a 5 channel amp for my main 5 speakers (B&W 802D, B&W HTM1 fronts, B&W 804D2 sides). The Denon drives my 6 focal speakers (2 x rears and 4 x in-ceiling). I have also two subs.

The 5 x B&W speakers all go down to 3 ohms around 100Hz to around 1kHz. The Arcam gives better bass and mids over the Denon. It was my old AVR prior the the Denon and I used it when I added the 4 ceiling channels a year ago.

I recently purchased 2 x HypeX NC1200 based amps. One stereo (2 x SMPS) and one 3 channel to replace the Arcam. This was based on a user’s experience with same B&W speakers as a stereo pair. NC1200 was the recommendation after user had tried many amp combos, from high end to HypeX. These have are not yet shipped so no comment yet on performance but I’m expecting an improvement with the new amps (less THD, better power/dynamics, better handling of low impedance speakers and better power supplies, user experience).

I‘m thinking if all goes as planned my next upgrade would be to replace the Denon amplification with 6 channels of HypeX NCore, but due to budget using the mains powered MP series, I‘m thinking probably NC502MPs. Then longer term, get a new AV processor then sell the Denon.

My 5 main B&Ws are all rated between 500W, 250W & 200W (fronts, centre & sides). My rear pair & 4 ceilings are rated 150W. (Actually all these ‘ratings’ are recommended amplifier power).

The question is: Should I get a NC502 or NC252 Ncore amplifiers?

Edit: The room:
IMG_1169.jpg


IMG_1166.jpg
It's always nice to see a room where the TV is mounted at the correct height. Becoming rare these days.
 

Rick Sykora

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I certainly was not talking about fraudulently claiming conformance, I'm saying that with a very high level of confort claim that this product is compliant. You are not legally obliged, for CE, not FCC, to hire a test lab. The high cost of the CE marking, really, is to get the certificates from all the part manufacturers, In this case it should have already been done. then make sure that cabling and soldering is ROHS compliant. The triggers are part of the Hypex design.
Again, it's a self declaration, of course don't stick this sticker if you are not certain it comply.

Thanks for your clarification. Agree there is allowance if all the parts are CE and the trigger may be too.

However, Hypex does NOT supply a trigger module. Not sure which one Buckeye used, but see Amir's teardown. It is a separate module.
 

Buckeye Amps

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The 12v relay I use for the trigger has CE markings on it (it is a CIT Relay and Switch part, from Digikey). Also UL and TUV rated.

However, even if I could "legally" or morally/ethically ship to Europe, I think the conversion rate, cost of shipping, and any fees for customs/etc on the buyers end would most likely negate the price difference I can offer here in the states vs. Nord/Apollon/KJF.
 

Buckeye Amps

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Parts update, based off Amir's teardown recommendations:

- Switching to a 2-conductor 16awg Black/White power wire that also has an outer insulating coat, so it can be run next to the LED wiring
- Switching to a Green/Yellow striped 16awg for Ground
- Switching to a serrated/teethed washers for the ground connection
- Will use Red and Black 20awg for Power LED
- Will also use Red 20awg for the Vout Standby coming off the first module going to the 12v Relay
- Switching to a Green 20awg wire for the PS Enable wiring coming off the relay (Not entirely the correct wire color for DC, but it does denote Power Enable for ATX wiring scheme....I wanted Purple but it wasn't available)

Still looking for best way for securing cables without needing to worry about drilling more holes (but if it is necessary will go that route)
 
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amirm

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Still looking for best way for securing cables without needing to worry about drilling more holes (but if it is necessary will go that route)
Great improvements. There were screws in the bottom plate already. I would just use those. If there are not enough, you can use a mix of the stick on and screwed clamps. That way even if the stick on fails, the rest will hold the wires down.
 

Helicopter

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@Buckeye Amps if you really want to get the metal shavings, use a vacuum during and after and steps that generate them. A shop vac is good while drilling and something with a small flexible hose is good between steps. A blow gun can drive them into places that are hard or impossible to see and clean, so I would never use one of those. I know lots of people love blow guns because they can deep clean in half a second, but I caution against using one if you really want to get everything. Some inspection mirrors and a good flashlight can also help, and then focus your mind on your your eyes, and really use your eyes to look at everything, if that makes sense. A lint free alcohol rag and some picks are also good tools. I spent a lot of time cleaning metal shavings and inspecting for them on expensive aircraft as a mechanic and inspector, and took great pride in making sure federal agents from the DCMA wouldn't find a single piece of debris after I my final inspections.
 

rvsixer

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Do any AVRs allow you to use pre-outs for a subset of channels and use the internal amps for the rest?
My Denon x3600 so far has allowed every combination i have tried using the internal and outboard amps as well.
Just to clarify, all modern AVR's (that I have owned or read the user manuals on), allow the use of any subset of preouts as needed.

But as has been tested here many times over, most of the time the use of external amps can gain you power output, but not necessarily any measured fidelity increase. Some (few) AVR's whose internal amps can be shutoff when using preouts, have shown a marked increase in preout measured fidelity (i.e. mid to higher end Denon's, etc.). The mid range units such as X3600 allow the user to shut off the internal amps for only the right and left channels if using preouts, the rest of the channels the internal amps remain on when using preouts. Higher end units allow all internal amps to be shutoff when using preouts.

I'm about to pull the trigger on an X3700 and 6-channel Buckeye myself when my other equipment is sold :) .
 
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Matias

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Thanks for doing this review. I am considering HypeX Ncore 502MP vs 252MP.

Advice sought: My system:

I currently have 7.2.4 system primarily used for multichannel music listening (SACD, DVD Audio, Blu-ray Audio, R2R etc).

I currently use a Denon AVR-X7200WA for decoding/preamp via 5 analog outs to an Arcam AVR600 AVR used as a 5 channel amp for my main 5 speakers (B&W 802D, B&W HTM1 fronts, B&W 804D2 sides). The Denon drives my 6 focal speakers (2 x rears and 4 x in-ceiling). I have also two subs.

The 5 x B&W speakers all go down to 3 ohms around 100Hz to around 1kHz. The Arcam gives better bass and mids over the Denon. It was my old AVR prior the the Denon and I used it when I added the 4 ceiling channels a year ago.

I recently purchased 2 x HypeX NC1200 based amps. One stereo (2 x SMPS) and one 3 channel to replace the Arcam. This was based on a user’s experience with same B&W speakers as a stereo pair. NC1200 was the recommendation after user had tried many amp combos, from high end to HypeX. These have are not yet shipped so no comment yet on performance but I’m expecting an improvement with the new amps (less THD, better power/dynamics, better handling of low impedance speakers and better power supplies, user experience).

I‘m thinking if all goes as planned my next upgrade would be to replace the Denon amplification with 6 channels of HypeX NCore, but due to budget using the mains powered MP series, I‘m thinking probably NC502MPs. Then longer term, get a new AV processor then sell the Denon.

My 5 main B&Ws are all rated between 500W, 250W & 200W (fronts, centre & sides). My rear pair & 4 ceilings are rated 150W. (Actually all these ‘ratings’ are recommended amplifier power).

The question is: Should I get a NC502 or NC252 Ncore amplifiers?

Edit: The room:
IMG_1169.jpg


IMG_1166.jpg
This magnificent home theater deserves the NC502MP.
 

Matias

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I edit it out as he said budget was limited and he already said he has NC1200 for the front trio, so no need to add Purifi to the surrounds IMO, but NC502MP definitely.
 

mariano3113

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The suggestion and replies to said suggestions are what I have enjoyed most reading through the forums.

Has me reminiscing about CanJam and recently cancelled car show events.

I believe I know where I am ordering my next amp from.
 

Bsinger

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These hypex modules can report temps and clipping , dc errors, etc. But manufacturers don't seem to be taking advantage. Why? Is there a disadvantage or just for a more economic and simpler implementation?
 

Bsinger

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Very Nice!! Definitely pushing me toward the buy button. Will those be available for all channel selections? Hope to see a picture.

Do you also have a picture of the bottom side? Maybe a picture of an empty enclosure? I am concerned with venting and heat in general and would like to get a better idea of air flow.

I understand these are very efficient but with 6 - 8 channels per enclosure and no personal experience, I am skeptical. Especially when put in a rack with a total of 19 channels of amplification. I suspect space and external fans will be needed but I don't know if air would be drawn through the enclosure to cool.

Your amplifiers look very appealing, especially with speakons.
 

Buckeye Amps

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Very Nice!! Definitely pushing me toward the buy button. Will those be available for all channel selections? Hope to see a picture.

Do you also have a picture of the bottom side? Maybe a picture of an empty enclosure? I am concerned with venting and heat in general and would like to get a better idea of air flow.

I understand these are very efficient but with 6 - 8 channels per enclosure and no personal experience, I am skeptical. Especially when put in a rack with a total of 19 channels of amplification. I suspect space and external fans will be needed but I don't know if air would be drawn through the enclosure to cool.

Your amplifiers look very appealing, especially with speakons.
speakON's are available for all channel configurations. I am using 4 pole speakON's with cutouts for every XLR, so you can use one speakON for every input or one speakON for every two inputs/channels. Whichever the buyer wants at time of purchase, I can wire it either way.

Regarding cooling. I can take a picture of the inside of an empty case when I start a new build. I will say that the bottom cooling is minimal as there are no cutouts for vents. However, I run a 6ch NC252MP in my cramped AV cabinet and using a simple AC Infinity Aircom that vents out the top, temps never go above 86C with the fans on the lowest setting.
 

Descartes

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I've been thinking about this the last two days as I have gotten a good amount of orders recently. I have a good idea right now of how many I can fill with a 2wk lead time if only doing work for a few hours a night and on the weekends. It works well for me as I am at a point of my PhD where all my work is done in the morning....once my dissertation comes onto the radar in about 18 months that'll be a different story but a lot of time until then.

Since this isn't a business/living, worst case is I will have to have a longer lead time if orders pile-up. I understand this may drive away some buyers who are hoping to have an amp quickly. But for those who are planning an A/V setup or can wait, it works out.

Of course the lead time is an average. If I got (5) 2-channel orders all at once, those are pretty easy to complete in one night if I have all inventory necessary.

I'm being as fluid as I can be with this while being upfront to all those who contact me with interest regarding timelines, etc.

What field is your PhD in?
 
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