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NC500 VS NC400

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Feb 28, 2020
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#1
Hello all,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Thank you all for the awesome information and collaboration here.

I'm looking for a new amp for my LR two channel stereo listening. However, the stereo room is also the theater room, so I would like to upgrade with at least the LCR all being the same topology.

After countless reading here, the purifi module, the nc400 diy module, and new nc500 (not the 500mp and not the 502mp) all seem to be great options in a reasonable price range. I'm leaning towards hypex based on costs and options at this point.

While the SINAD of the nc500 is not as well measured as the nc400, the nc500 does measure well and It seems to have an advantage in power.

I've been leaning towards building a 3 nc400 with 3 smps600n400 in a ghentaudio 3 channel chassis, but the 3 nc500 with 3 smps1200n700 from Nord or others (e.g. Apollon) seems very attractive. After all the reading, I have paralysis by analysis. But I like to 'buy once, cry once'. Any additional objective or subjective information to sway one way or another would be appreciated!

I will be driving 3 Danley SH50s with the amp in a soundproofed room. The amp will be in a separate room with about 50 feet of 10ga speaker wire to traverse to the speakers. An old b&k 200.7 is used today for all 7 channels (LCR included).
 

Spocko

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#2
Because of your home theater needs and requirements for headroom due to loud transients during action movies, I always defer to power assuming measurements are above average.
 

boggit10

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#3
We have many customers upgrade from NC400 with very positive results. Initially 3 years ago we were very cautious with advise, is it really worth spending £1500-£2000 on a NC500 over a NC400. From feedback its seems yes it is.
Some feedback from our website. The NC500 was our MKI amp.
  • Sorry for the lighting quality, it was late and a great evening held at a reviewer for HiFi News I have been invited to go and have a listen and to discuss.
  • The Sir Galahad speakers from Townshend Audio are astonishing, but you'd have little change from £50K to get a pair. They're actually cheap when compared to other 'high end' speakers I've heard in the same room. The room is asymmetrical in W,H and D. No parallel wall surfaces allows for a fantastic sound.
  • Both the NC400 and NC500 were connected using balanced feed direct from the DAC.
  • Cheers.
  • Evidently it was a long night well into the very early hours fueled by red wine and Malt Whisky. All present were astonished by the Nords easily bettering the Hypex NCore NC400.
Hi Colin,

We've not met or spoken yet, but I'm a friend of Julian Ashley and John Bamford. I was at the listening evening when we heard the One-Ups, A/B'd with the NC400 monoblocks... Actually those are my NC400s, I built them about this time last year, although they've spent much of that time in Jules' system while my front room has been awaiting redecorating.

Anyway, the Nords are cosmic. The first time I heard them, in Jules' system with the Audionotes, they were doing things I didn't think the Audionotes were capable of. Then we heard them on the Sir Galahads, and they were doing things I'd not heard the S.G.s doing before, too! I'm very impressed! I understand that you may be popping over to see John, and I'm sure Jules and myself would also like to meet you, and have another listen to the One-Ups, of course. It'll be fun.

I must say that I'm very keen on buying a pair for myself, although I have quite a bit of kit to sell over Christmas to fund them. I honestly never thought I'd be wanting to sell the NC400s so soon after assembling them, but the improvement is like night and day!

I'm sure I'll be in touch again soon, but do keep your soldering iron hot!
 
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Thread Starter #4
Thanks for sharing. Looks like 2 votes for more power...

@boggit10 were those individuals going from nc400 to nc500 with the standard hypex buffers?
 

boggit10

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#5
No at the time REV C buffers.
I would say with Hypex buffers very close though NC500 edges it. Beauty is you can upgrade or change the buffers with NC500. And I suspect the NC400 had the smaller 600 PSU.
 

kevinh

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#6
If you need power you can considering bridging NC 400 with dual SMPS 600, you get 600W/8 ohms
 

Matias

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#9
An old b&k 200.7 is used today for all 7 channels (LCR included).
Maybe one of the manufacturers could build you a custom amp based on 3x (NC500 + SMSP1200) and 2x NC252MP for the surround channels? That would be one killer multichannel amp! :)
 

lashto

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#10
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#11
I found out this morning that Audiophonics Purifi amp is on sale for 1500 euros.
Don't laugh at me, but after a listening test of the Behringer A800 (150 euros) I just bought 2 more. Interesting to see user reviews of the Purifi though.
 

Grur

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#12
I found out this morning that Audiophonics Purifi amp is on sale for 1500 euros.
Don't laugh at me, but after a listening test of the Behringer A800 (150 euros) I just bought 2 more. Interesting to see user reviews of the Purifi though.
Are they in stock yet? I bought one several weeks ago and still waiting. (UK)
 
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#13
No idea, but according to the site they will be soon, interesting to hear feedback when you get it.
 

SIY

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#15
Isolation feet? Isolating from what?
 

SIY

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#17
I see the need for that, but I'm not getting the "isolation" description. They just seem like... feet. Now you're making me look at the amps I have here to see what their feet are made of...:D

Do you have a rubber something on them for scratch prevention?
 

SIY

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#19
They are commenly called isolation feet in the industry and yes they have a rubber O ring in the base.
Thanks. I noticed at my usual jobbers (Digikey, Mouser, Newark, McMaster), they're just called "feet," so perhaps that's where my confusion comes from.

Checking my own amps, they have either rubber feet or rubber rails. I need to up my game!

BTW, the Purifi modules are absolutely superb, and your price for interface, power supply and packaging is very reasonable. Well done!
 

boggit10

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#20
No problem and thank you. I guess what I was trying to say is we have not scrimped on build quality for the price, one way to do that is use the tiny self adhesive rubber feet that come with the cases.
 
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