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Hypex DIY Preamplifier Kit Review

Rate this preamplifier and headphone amp:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 46 20.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 84 38.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 87 39.5%

  • Total voters
    220

thecheapseats

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I still can’t get past the four-figure asking price given its limited functionality.
As to future add-on cards, the idea of it’s price ballooning with said cards makes this “diy” (assembly, ikea style without pricing reflected as such) beyond a non-starter for myself.

All my power amps are Ncore self-assembled affairs, that I’m quite satisfied with, so my opinion isn’t anti-Hypex, it’s more anti money-grab for those so enamored with the brand that they fail to truly understand what they’re getting (or not) for such a princely sum.

Thank you to Mr. Putzeys, et. al for setting the standard with first UCD, then Ncore. However, the money-grab with this one is painfully obvious, and unbecoming.

In many ways, the antithesis of DIY.

Just one man’s opinion
electric legos for big kids...
 

Gremlins

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Drawback if used with unsuitable sensitivity amps with both of them is outputs:
1V for RCA's and 2V fot XLR.
Doesn't make sense for generous traditional preamplifiers that usually can go up to 10 (or more) volts.
And how many volts mas does output the hypex preamp?
 

Sokel

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And how many volts mas does output the hypex preamp?
4V RMS in/out according to manual,so what's expected.
I would like double that of a generous pre so it can match with a big variety of power amps but also RCA outputs so to cover all bases.
A good pre is the center of a system and should be able to mix/match and make life easier.
 

Bruce Morgen

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Thank you to Mr. Putzeys, et. al for setting the standard with first UCD, then Ncore. However, the money-grab with this one is painfully obvious, and unbecoming.

Bruno Putzeys isn't associated with Hypex -- he was an employee there when he developed UCD and Ncore and quit to help found Purifi. He's also a co-founder of Kii Audio. IOW, this product is not his doing,
 

Skeeter

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I still can’t get past the four-figure asking price given its limited functionality.
As to future add-on cards, the idea of it’s price ballooning with said cards makes this “diy” (assembly, ikea style without pricing reflected as such) beyond a non-starter for myself.

All my power amps are Ncore self-assembled affairs, that I’m quite satisfied with, so my opinion isn’t anti-Hypex, it’s more anti money-grab for those so enamored with the brand that they fail to truly understand what they’re getting (or not) for such a princely sum.

Thank you to Mr. Putzeys, et. al for setting the standard with first UCD, then Ncore. However, the money-grab with this one is painfully obvious, and unbecoming.

In many ways, the antithesis of DIY.

Just one man’s opinion
If you want a decent preamp and don’t want to pay a lot of money for it, you are going to have to assemble the PCB’s yourself and if it has some of the features on this preamp, code as well. Then there’s the engineering in the housing (drill, machine, anodise etc). It’s a EU product, so will be attracting duties in the US. Things add up very, very quickly. If the all in material costs are $250, they’re doing well to get it into the consumers hands at $1200.

Otherwise, you can try this https://hifisonix.com/projects/x-altra-mini-ii-line-preamplifier/ but you won’t get away with a spend of less than $500 or $600 for a full function unit and you’ll have be very food with a soldering iron
 

sofrep811

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Why do Pre-Amps get marked up so high? They seem to use much less components inside and out. Most especially Passive Pre-Amps with no power. Makes no sense on those when you can DIY one just as easy.
 

Trell

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Why do Pre-Amps get marked up so high? They seem to use much less components inside and out. Most especially Passive Pre-Amps with no power. Makes no sense on those when you can DIY one just as easy.

Reminds me of an AVP that is more or less an AVR minus the amps, but perhaps have balanced input/output. But since the [edit: sales] volume is much smaller the price will be higher just to recoup the costs.
 
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EdW

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4V RMS in/out according to manual,so what's expected.
I would like double that of a generous pre so it can match with a big variety of power amps but also RCA outputs so to cover all bases.
A good pre is the center of a system and should be able to mix/match and make life easier.
I too saw the 4V spec. Suggesting +/-5V rails for the opamps? Yet the (rather underperforming) headphone amp gives 7.5V rms single ended so there must be something like +/-15V supplies there.
I’m also intrigued to know what opamps are used - a tear down would be useful.
 

Gremlins

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4V RMS in/out according to manual,so what's expected.
I would like double that of a generous pre so it can match with a big variety of power amps but also RCA outputs so to cover all bases.
A good pre is the center of a system and should be able to mix/match and make life easier.
Thanks

This is disapointing. I use two hypex dusion fa503 : xlr inputs sensivity is 6.5v , i would have expect hypex to market a preamp that can match their product?
 

Sokel

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I too saw the 4V spec. Suggesting +/-5V rails for the opamps? Yet the (rather underperforming) headphone amp gives 7.5V rms single ended so there must be something like +/-15V supplies there.
I’m also intrigued to know what opamps are used - a tear down would be useful.
Some pictures here but not very detailed.
Gives an idea though,pretty basic PSU.
 
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TonyJZX

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i think these people made their own bed... how many people are willing to pay $1,300 for a diy preamp with 2 balanced 1 rca in? you end up targetting the 0.0001 of 1% of buyers. For many people there's always going to be a slew of products that flat out will not work for you.

Because like all preamps they're not going to sell many, then they dont have economies of scale.

for people who say there arent that many parts inside one i get that...

eg.
i'm intrigued to see what cards come out to justify the price.... there could be real innovation coming

if you buy an emotiva or rotel preamp then what you see is what you get
 

Skeeter

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4 V RMS out suggests +- 7.5 V rails, not 5 V. There are quite a few PGA products that use these voltages so my guess is one of these is buried in there somewhere, although looking at the main analog board I see lots of very small 8 pin and 6 pin devices.
 

EdW

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4 V RMS out suggests +- 7.5 V rails, not 5 V. There are quite a few PGA products that use these voltages so my guess is one of these is buried in there somewhere, although looking at the main analog board I see lots of very small 8 pin and 6 pin devices.
Looking at the graphs I rather assumed that 4V rms is the balanced output - so just 2V rms per side which is attainable from +/-5V
 

EL_PW

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They should offer another XLR in as a card for the cutout.
 

Rick Sykora

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Are there scratches on the front plate ?

View attachment 276996

Is the front finishes that fragile ?

If it is the case, a general comment or informations about the overall quality of the hardware would be a welcome addition to the review.

With all the pics and videos already online, felt no need to do a build thread on this. Aside from what I posted already, will add the following:
  1. The unit is robust mechanically and has the heft and finish of a high end product.
  2. The controls also have a premium feel and operation.
  3. The 5 year warranty is outstanding (notably for a DIY product).
Neglecting the price, would be happy to own one. Note I prefer speakers to headphones but the ones I own would work fine with this preamp. Would readily traded the headphone amp for more inputs or a lower price. For that matter, would have optimized for more inputs/outputs and left expansion options to another box/boxes.:)
 
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Rottmannash

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With all the pics and videos already online, felt no need to do a build thread on this. Aside from what I posted already, will add the following:
  1. The unit is robust mechanically and has the heft and finish of a high end product.
  2. The controls also have a premium feel and operation.
  3. The 5 year warranty is outstanding (notably for a DYI product).
Neglecting from the price, would be happy to own one. Note I prefer speakers to headphones but the ones I own would work fine with this preamp. Would readily traded the headphone amp for more inputs or a lower price. For that matter, would have optimized for more inputs/outputs and left expansion options to another box/boxes.:)
I agree-the HP amp is an odd choice-most pre's I assume reside in a rack away from the human head so would prefer another set of XLR inputs.
 

FERCSA

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Regards of XLR inputs.
The preamp has two extra internal XLR inputs. One is for a DAC (not activated by software rn). Second one is a loop for the phone preamp and you're able to change the the input routing from the menu to PHONO. This loop acts like a SEND and RETURN just like on an studio environment. I'm pretty sure in the future you'll be able to daisy-chain multiple modules.

So basically you can use this PHONO routing option as an extra XLR input and you just have to make a pigtail. There you go you got an extra XLR input for a dollar or so.

I'm using this preamp and a nilai combo a while and I just love it. I'll make a longer write up later on.
 

Matias

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YSDR

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Output one to Hypex/Purifi monoblocks and output 2 to active subwoofer.. that Is something i was searching for years
You can do this with a miniDSP SHD or Flex for example, and in this way you have DSP control not only over the subwoofer, but also over the main speakers, because this is a proper sub + main integration. With an analog preamp like this new Hypex, you can't do that, pretty pointless product in this form IMO.
 
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