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March Audio Hypex Ncore Power Amplifiers

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I've currently got a P502 at home, on trial as a prospective purchase from Keith at Purite in the UK. I'd be using it to replace an ATC integrated class A/B amp, and relying on the pre-amp capabilities of my Dspeaker Antimode 2.0 DAC/Processor combined with the P502 for power.

So far I've proved that it'll work fine in my system from a connectivity and usability standpoint, and it has enough power to drive the speakers to uncomfortable levels. The improved efficiency is nice, as it seems to use 30-35W when working hard, compared to the 130W of the ATC, if I can believe what my mains monitor is telling me. It's also entirely fitting my expectation bias by sounding no different from the ATC amp !

One thing that makes me slightly nervous is that I'm not a frequent gear swapper, so I'm likely to be using this amp for many years, and I wonder what the support position would be in a few years time, given that March Audio is not a large company. I suppose the Hypex parts within it would likely be readily available at least. @March Audio any comments ?
 

DonH56

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Unfortunately most major manufacturers have a pretty lousy record for long-term support these days. A five year old component from most of them is unrepairable unless you are willing (and able) to do it yourself and can find parts. DSP and logic chips (FPGAs, PLAs, etc.) tend to become unobtanium fairly quickly.

For as long as he is in business, which we all hope will be a good long while, you'll get much better and more personal service from March Audio. And as you noted Hypex has been around a while so you can always go to them if needed -- assuming they still support the products.

I wouldn't worry. Or no more, and realistically less, than buying from a major manufacturer. At least with March Audio you can bend his ear instead of wading through layers of "tech support" that often seems to have little of either (tech or support).

IMO - Don
 

ahofer

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Honestly, March's prices are good enough to forego the (false?) comfort of a more established company's warranty. But I'd imagine it's hard for smaller entrepreneurs to answer that question. It came to my mind when I was thinking of Elac's DPA-2. But that costs twice as much with ucd modules instead of ncore. And there's no guaranty they stay around. I had Thiel and Magnepan speakers, and both companies were awesome about service (including freebies and new packing material), but there aren't too many companies like that (Bryston, McIntosh). And Thiel is dead and gone (although one of their old techs still provides good service).

I heard somewhere that switching power supplies are a futile repair job, and life expectancy on Class D should be 10 yrs max (but from a critic). Is that smoke or truth?
 
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Olli

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Service is great at @March Audio. I always got an answer within 12 hours max, not only related to his stuff but also other topics. And the P 252s I have are great amps, I am pretty sure I couldn't tell a difference in an ABX test vs the Benchmark AHB2's I also own. Plus they look really nice.
 
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Service is great at @March Audio. I always got an answer within 12 hours max, not only related to his stuff but also other topics. And the P 252s I have a great amps, I am pretty sure I couldn't tell a difference in a ABX test vs the Benchmark AHB2's I also own. Plus they look really nice.
May I know what speaker are you using?

I wish @March Audio has a gain switch and better-looking case.
 

Thomas savage

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I wouldn't worry. Or no more, and realistically less, than buying from a major manufacturer. At least with March Audio you can bend his ear instead of wading through layers of "tech support" that often seems to have little of either (tech or support).

IMO - Don
.. if you even get through to a human..
 

March Audio

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I've currently got a P502 at home, on trial as a prospective purchase from Keith at Purite in the UK. I'd be using it to replace an ATC integrated class A/B amp, and relying on the pre-amp capabilities of my Dspeaker Antimode 2.0 DAC/Processor combined with the P502 for power.

So far I've proved that it'll work fine in my system from a connectivity and usability standpoint, and it has enough power to drive the speakers to uncomfortable levels. The improved efficiency is nice, as it seems to use 30-35W when working hard, compared to the 130W of the ATC, if I can believe what my mains monitor is telling me. It's also entirely fitting my expectation bias by sounding no different from the ATC amp !

One thing that makes me slightly nervous is that I'm not a frequent gear swapper, so I'm likely to be using this amp for many years, and I wonder what the support position would be in a few years time, given that March Audio is not a large company. I suppose the Hypex parts within it would likely be readily available at least. @March Audio any comments ?
@tw99 It's a valid question which I have been asked a few times. However I think the issue has to be put into a realistic perspective. Size of company is no guarantee of them being around in 5 or 10 years, or that any particular product will be supported and serviceable.

As a personal example, I bought a very expensive Tag McLaren AV processor and 5 channel amp. Guess what, they went out of business. Sold to IAG, they resurrected the Audiolab name (which Tag McLaren had bought and taken over in the first place) but very quickly stopped supporting the old Tag kit. I know for a fact that they ran out of the few remaining DSP daughter boards within a few months. If that failed in your processor it became a doorstop. However the Tag kit still gave me 15 years of reliable service before I sold it. (Actually that's a bit of a fib, I did replace some psu caps in the processor because I was stupid enough to leave it on 24/7).

As you have alluded to, even if March Audio ceased trading, so long as Hypex are still going the amplifiers can be supported by a half decent electronics engineer. In reality they are more supportable by a 3rd party than many other well known brands.

We are of course not planning to go out of business :). Its actually a very exciting time as the business is growing steadily and the product range is expanding. Today I received the production boards for the headphone amp and I have just finished the PCB layout for the input buffer for the Purifi based P451 monoblocks. Also preparing to exhibit at the Melbourne International Hifi show in October. Speakers coming soon too! In many respects I hope we don't become too big, as I enjoy the customer interaction, technical and design work. As Don alluded to above, personal service is very much part of the ethos. I don't want the company to become a faceless organisation.

I think another thing to mention is that many manufacturers these days have very rapid product cycles which make their older products obsolete and often unsupported. We won't be doing that.

There are no guarantees in life, but I certainly aim for March Audio to be around a very long time :)
 
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Olli

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May I know what speaker are you using?

I wish @March Audio has a gain switch and better-looking case.
I am using TAD CE-1 with them but below 165 Hz I have 2 Rythmik F8s and below 62 Hz one Rhytmik F8 and one JL Audio E112, all 6 channels eq'ed with Audiolense. And I really think the cases are another major reason to buy them :)
 

Thomas savage

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I am using TAD CE-1 with them but below 165 I have 2 Rythmik F8s and below 62 Hz one Rhytmik F8 and one JL Audio E112, all 6 channels eq'ed with Audiolense. And I really think the cases are another major reason to buy them :)
Those TADs are nice , I had them at home for awhile.
 

Thomas savage

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Curious: Why did you sell them? I know they are not the bang for the buck, but they look nice AND sound great.
I just had them on a extended loan while I was testing speakers , at the time I was not using a sub and they just did not do what I wanted .

With proper dual sub integration I would think they would suit me just fine.
 
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@tw99 It's a valid question which I have been asked a few times. However I think the issue has to be put into a realistic perspective. Size of company is no guarantee of them being around in 5 or 10 years, or that any particular product will be supported and serviceable.
...
I think another thing to mention is that many manufacturers these days have very rapid product cycles which make their older products obsolete and often unsupported. We won't be doing that.
...
There are no guarantees in life, but I certainly aim for March Audio to be around a very long time :)
Thanks for the helpful reply - I do appreciate the fact that you're active on this forum, it certainly adds to confidence in your products.

(For the last 25 years or so, I've only had amps from Naim or ATC, both of which have a deservedly excellent reputation for supporting their older products, so I'm sure you can understand why I was asking).
 

tw99

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I was happy with the performance of the P502, so I've now bought it. I'd also been considering buying the Hypex nc400 monoblock kit, but this single stereo box is a little bit more convenient and also somewhat cheaper.

The only thing that's really surprised me is it does get quite warm just when powered on, even when not playing anything. I'd somehow expected it to be much cooler running, especially given the reduced power usage compared to the ATC amp.
 

deafenears

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The only thing that's really surprised me is it does get quite warm just when powered on, even when not playing anything
Same here. I wonder whats causing it to be so hot and if the P701s are the same, or runs cooler.
 

maty

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If it were you I would return it already. Excessive heat is counterproductive to the life of electrolytic capacitors. And if they are cheap and 85 ºC even worse.
 

Ron Texas

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Those TADs are nice , I had them at home for awhile.
For $24k they ought to be.
I am using TAD CE-1 with them but below 165 Hz I have 2 Rythmik F8s and below 62 Hz one Rhytmik F8 and one JL Audio E112, all 6 channels eq'ed with Audiolense. And I really think the cases are another major reason to buy them :)
That's an unusual setup.
 

g29

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Hi @Totoro Since the Nc1200 module has become available I made the decision to not offer an Nc500 unit. This decision has been re-inforced by the arrival of the Purifi 1ET400 which with its improved performance, to my mind, in effect makes the Nc500 obsolete. If you want/need more power and drive capability then the nc1200 is a better option than the nc500.

The next product will be the P451 Purifi based monoblock. A stereo unit would require different casework so is further down the track.
@March Audio , Have you tried to BTL the Purifi amp boards yet ? If so, how do they perform in BTL (output, noise, heat) ?

TIA
 

March Audio

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@March Audio , Have you tried to BTL the Purifi amp boards yet ? If so, how do they perform in BTL (output, noise, heat) ?

TIA
I havent but if my memory serves they dont recommend it. Let me dig around and see if I can find where I think I read that. :)
 

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