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Semla

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1) All NCore Modules MAY Have Audible Hum?
No hum whatsoever from my BoXem nCore.
7) March Audio FTW?
The March Audio offerings don't seem to offer RCA inputs or 12V triggers as options.
March, Audiophonics, Buckeye, Vera and some Apollon have trigger inputs, they're optional with Nord and VTV. Boxem has automatic on/off based on input detection. Rouge doesn't have trigger inputs AFAIK.
(...) expensive shipping to USA and also potentially annoying warranty scenarios.
Another option would be to buy a brand like NAD or TEAC from a local dealer if you believe they would handle problems better than one of these smaller builders.
 

DSJR

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@squeedle
I recently bought an Audiophonics nc250 monoblock. No crackling or humming. From what I've read here, one channel in the stereo version hums. If you buy monoblocks, it does not apply to you. The rear panel has a cinch / xlr switch. Switching to cinch combines negative and ground. It works without problems.
I don't like heights. For example, Daft Punk - Within 0: 40-1: 40 lacks "glitter, shine, ringing", I don't know how to describe it in English. In addition, the heights sound the same everywhere. As if there was one musical instrument for treble in the world. But I don't want to deal with that here, because it would start a war here. Try to arrange a loan somewhere.


Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but I have the Daft Punk 'Random Access Memory' album downloaded and have to say I found the production rather flat and 2-D and kind-of 'muted' in a 1970's dry-dead sounding kind of way. if my terrible description tallies with your findings, I'd suspect the production of the album, not the amp which is probably just reproducing it more as it was made..

Again, please forgive me if I have it wrong...
 

abdo123

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Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but I have the Daft Punk 'Random Access Memory' album downloaded and have to say I found the production rather flat and 2-D and kind-of 'muted' in a 1970's dry-dead sounding kind of way. if my terrible description tallies with your findings, I'd suspect the production of the album, not the amp which is probably just reproducing it more as it was made..

Again, please forgive me if I have it wrong...

I think this album is overrated as well.
 

oupee

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Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but I have the Daft Punk 'Random Access Memory' album downloaded and have to say I found the production rather flat and 2-D and kind-of 'muted' in a 1970's dry-dead sounding kind of way. if my terrible description tallies with your findings, I'd suspect the production of the album, not the amp which is probably just reproducing it more as it was made..

Again, please forgive me if I have it wrong...
Several versions have been released. I have a version with DR value:14. The album doesn't seem flat to me at all, on the contrary. But it's all retro styled. I only wrote heights 0:40 - 1:40.
 
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abdo123

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btw just an FYI, my turn table setup has mains hum up to -60dBFS. and it's completely inaudible.

if you hear mains hum, and it's not ground loop related, then the unit is broken.

or the design is so broken that it will show up in every single implementation.
 

abdo123

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Several versions have been released. I have a version with official DR value: DR14. The album doesn't seem flat to me at all, on the contrary. But it's all retro styled. I only wrote heights 0:40 - 1:40.

which version is that?
 

oupee

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:facepalm:My fault. It's Tron album. Yesterday I played bass albums on nCore and I confused it. RAM has DR9.
 

JSmith

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Is there anything else I missed?
Maybe... this seems to negate the need for a 12V trigger. Further if you're planning on using a multi-function DAC as a pre, many don't have a trigger either, however some have on/off by remote.
The automatic on/off function detects the presence of sound at the input and automatically powers on the amplifier. After 10 minutes without sound at the input, the amplifier sets itself in standby, allowing an ultra low power consumption when not in use.
https://boxem-audio.eu/en/stereo-amplifiers/2-2-arthur-2408n2.html#/2-faceplate_color-oxidized_grey

I think the build quality of boXem and March Audio are a cut above some of the others.



JSmith
 

Colonel7

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) Buckeye was said to be made by a college student in his spare time and potentially also have dangerous wiring and other quality control issues.
Don't know where you got this but Buckeye has been very transparent and meticulous in incorporating improvements to his products, and there's nothing dangerous. I'm not an owner but there are plenty of members here who are, including some electronics experts. And he's at the end of his PhD in a science. You should check out his thread yourself . https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...amplifier-builder-line-up-announcement.16835/
 

abdo123

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@oupee @DSJR

Apparently there is a version rotating on the internet of a rip from master tapes. The Album has a DR range of 14, the drum kicks are HUGE which makes me think this is what the mixers came up with before they sent to the mastering engineer.

They are two different animals, i don't think i would say is better than the other to be honest.

1630325741128.png


1630325920402.png
 

DSJR

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I've finally lost the plot with this. I'm not a Daft Punk fan so that doesn't help, but the chap in this video, claims to be a mastering engineer, takes an absolutely DIRE sounding final track and then triwes tro sork out the difference between the two masterings - I'd suspect the vinyl's had 'stuff' done to it as per usual as he shows BUT, both 'sounds' to me are truly awful and deliberately? distorted (Apple dongle too through headphones so not loud).

Apologies for the drift. I'll put Daft Punk back in their box and quietly forget about them - and yeah, I did 'get lucky' and the price I paid was more than I could have realised at the time :D
 

Bombadil

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I've become intrigued by the Hypex NCore amplifiers (particularly NC502MP) and this site is one of the few I've found with meaningful discussion and commentary about the various options available on the market. But it's also left me feeling a bit baffled and concerned about whether the whole thing is a bit of a crapshoot or not. I'll try to itemize and distill what I've gleaned from reading the threads so far, and I'm hoping you guys can help to correct/clarify/confirm/etc. where possible. It's entirely possible I've mis-remembered or misinterpreted some things. Hopefully this can offer some finality and clarity on some of these issues. I've numbered the issues below for quick reference in replies.

1) All NCore Modules MAY Have Audible Hum?
In one thread, a user returned an NCore amp to Audiophonics, who then supposedly confirmed that they tested all their NCore products and they all produced the same audible hum, so it was "totally normal", and "you wouldn't hear it more than 2 feet from the speaker". Meanwhile, other users chimed in that their NCore amps were "dead silent". What is the final verdict on this? Audiophonics doing something wrong (and therefore a vendor to avoid?), or what?

2) OEM NCore > End-User NCore?
Only manufacturers (including all those listed on this page) have access to the super-duper whiz-bang elite-level NCore boards that are desirable. End-users can only buy poopified lesser versions.

3) The Cheapest Pre-Assembled Amps Are Sketchy?
The 3 cheapest common options I could find for pre-assembled amps were from VTV, Buckeye, and Audiophonics.
a) VTV was said to have very sketchy build quality, with improperly-fitting connectors + duct tape, sloppy soldering, and potentially dangerous wiring mistakes. They claim to have addressed the "pin 1 problem", have they addressed the other issues?
b) Buckeye was said to be made by a college student in his spare time and potentially also have dangerous wiring and other quality control issues.
c) Audiophonics may have improper wiring and audible hum. They are based in France so return shipping and/or warranty claims would be extra annoying.

4) Proper RCA-to-XLR Cables Are Elusive?
I'm still unclear if the affordable Monoprice RCA-to-XLR cable (p/n 4777) is "good" or "bad" for this purpose. Some threads seem to allege that all commercially available options don't have the right wire-mapping and you have to make your own, which seems ridiculous if true.

5) RCA-to-XLR Cables Preferable to RCA Only?
Some amps have RCA and XLR inputs. Others have only one or the other. Some threads seem to allege that using RCA-to-XLR cables offers better sound quality compared to just using RCA cables and RCA inputs.
a) First of all, is this actually true, and if so why? Presumably an amp with RCA inputs has those inputs properly grounded, same as an RCA-to-XLR would be?
b) Secondly, does this mean that the very presence of RCA jacks on an amp means the sound quality will be degraded, even if only using the XLR inputs? For example, Audiophonics amps include both RCA and XLR inputs. Is that going to be worse than a similar amp with only XLR inputs?

6) Trigger Or No Trigger?
Some amps offer a 12V trigger. This seems like a good option but raises several potential issues:
a) Does the trigger add any noise or potential issues? I seem to recall some posts about users having to disable that feature as it was causing problems. These amps should have minimal power draw when not being used, yes? How important is the trigger?
b) Which manufacturers have soft-on/soft-off to avoid popping when powering their amps on or off? Is this a feature built-in to NCore boards or is it something manufacturers add?

7) March Audio FTW?
The March Audio offerings don't seem to offer RCA inputs or 12V triggers as options. And based on their sales rep's knowledgeable, coherent, and articulate responses in several posts, they seem to know what they are doing compared to other manufacturers (including some that are outside my price range like Nord--who also seems to have the "pin 1 problem"--and Apollon). Is March Audio basically the safest bet here all around? Their price is higher than Audiophonics but below Nord and Apollon; and they are in Australia which = expensive shipping to USA and also potentially annoying warranty scenarios. But they seem to be the only (?) truly safe option right now. Is this correct, or have there been any issues with their NCore amps reported?

Is there anything else I missed? I would love to identify a top pick or two among these offerings for myself and perhaps that will be helpful to others in the same situation as well. Thanks for your contributions!

I have a pair of March Audio P701 monoblocks, they work perfectly, trigger is standard.

  • Power Output
    2 Ohms - 1200 W
    4 Ohms - 700 W
    8 Ohms - 400 W
THD 0.0006% / -104dB (at 6 Watts RMS 8 Ohm Load)
Signal To Noise Ratio - 128 dB
Output Impedance - 2 mOhms
ETI Research Tellurium Copper Silver Plated Kryo Speaker Binding Posts
12 Volt Trigger Input
 

Walter

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Buckeye was said to be made by a college student in his spare time and potentially also have dangerous wiring and other quality control issues.
Lots of things are said on the Internet. Many of them are untrue. Some are outright ridiculous, like the claim that there is anything dangerous or lacking in quality about the Buckeye amps. It would take maybe 5 minutes to read the teardown thread on this site to learn that for yourself.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ckeye-hypex-nc252mp-amplifier-teardown.18614/
 

aac

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Only manufacturers (including all those listed on this page) have access to the super-duper whiz-bang elite-level NCore boards that are desirable. End-users can only buy poopified lesser versions.
You can buy a plate amp (for active speakers) directly from hypex, unscrew the module and just use it. The price will end up slightly lower than buying "low-priced" oem option even with case. At least it was a year or so ago.
 

NirreFirre

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Exactly. On my B class amplifier which has "only" 100W / 4ohm I have to remove 4db on the preamplifier to have the same volume as nCore. nCore has low input sensitivity. For laymen, it can seem less louder than a weaker amplifier with better input sensitivity.
Just read through this thread and even if it doesn't help the OP, saying the above is a bit weird.
Since a low input sensitivity means your pre/avr more easily can drive the amp to its max gain. Perhaps you are thinking of impedance matching gear?
There's not a generic "good" or "bad" input sensitivity, that number must be looked at with regard to the other factors. Gain structure in one's system (up and down stream to get good SNR, can your pre/avr be told to match potentially other amps/speakers?) and desired volume levels are the two main ones I come to think of.
 
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S

squeedle

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There are too many replies to address each one, but thanks everyone for your feedback. As suggested, I did go and read the Buckeye thread (all 50 pages) and by the end of it decided he was definitely the guy to buy from. I ordered an NC502MP. I also determined that the 1V pre-out from my Yamaha AVR was probably a bit low, so I also found a used Marantz SR7007 for my new AVR and its 4V pre-outs should be perfect to power the NCore for the front stereo channels. I will be curious to hear if there is any audible difference between my current setup, the Marantz setup (it arrives today), and the NCore setup (due in a couple months, long wait list). Thanks again!
 
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