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NCORE MP Build using Ghentaudio Kit.

garrettwp

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Has anyone built an a amplifier using the NC502MP boards? I am building a NC252MP kit for my 2 channel setup in my home office. I need to replace the Emotiva XPA-2 amp in my home theater due to the left channel emitting distortion and I took to long to send it back during warranty. Does not help that the thing weighs 100lbs!

Is the NC502MP more than what I need to power two Martin Logan Motion 40 speakers? Would another NC252MP do the job? Right now I am using my Denon X4300h receiver to power my 9.2 setup. I wanted to offload the front two speakers with a dedicated amp for both Home theater use and music listening. I spent the extra money to go from the NC122MP to the NC252MP for the home office setup thinking it would benefit with the more power in the future. Does this hold true for my Home Theater setup?

- Garrett
 

MenloBob

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Has anyone built an a amplifier using the NC502MP boards? I am building a NC252MP kit for my 2 channel setup in my home office. I need to replace the Emotiva XPA-2 amp in my home theater due to the left channel emitting distortion and I took to long to send it back during warranty. Does not help that the thing weighs 100lbs!

Is the NC502MP more than what I need to power two Martin Logan Motion 40 speakers? Would another NC252MP do the job? Right now I am using my Denon X4300h receiver to power my 9.2 setup. I wanted to offload the front two speakers with a dedicated amp for both Home theater use and music listening. I spent the extra money to go from the NC122MP to the NC252MP for the home office setup thinking it would benefit with the more power in the future. Does this hold true for my Home Theater setup?

- Garrett

Look at it this way. Most of the cost of one of these is your time in assembly. I think the 502 module itself is what $75 more over the 252? Extra headroom never hurts. I went with the 122 because I’m only driving 110db sensitivity horns in an active setup. Another way to look at is these things are not warranted at all. Using a higher power amp but not driving it hard should extend it’s lifetime.
 
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decoRyder

decoRyder

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Has anyone built an a amplifier using the NC502MP boards? I am building a NC252MP kit for my 2 channel setup in my home office. I need to replace the Emotiva XPA-2 amp in my home theater due to the left channel emitting distortion and I took to long to send it back during warranty. Does not help that the thing weighs 100lbs!

Is the NC502MP more than what I need to power two Martin Logan Motion 40 speakers? Would another NC252MP do the job? Right now I am using my Denon X4300h receiver to power my 9.2 setup. I wanted to offload the front two speakers with a dedicated amp for both Home theater use and music listening. I spent the extra money to go from the NC122MP to the NC252MP for the home office setup thinking it would benefit with the more power in the future. Does this hold true for my Home Theater setup?

- Garrett

I've now built the 122, 252 and 502. I honestly cant tell the difference in performance, save for the fact that I need to turn the volume up slightly higher on the 122 compared to the 502 to achieve the same volume levels.

With 92db sensitivity on your Martin Logan's you should be alright with ANY of the three modules IMO.
 
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decoRyder

decoRyder

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These are the best budget amps you can get right now. Well worth the effort. Even if you bought a spare module as a backup since these have no warranty, you’re still way ahead.

You and me both brother - I have three modules in reserve:)
 

Red_Baron

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I am building an NC502MP Ghent kit. These are a new addition in a 200mm x 315mm case. Ghent put up the new item quickly after I requested a custom drilled base the prior NCore dual NC400 case kit.

Are there any additional items that I need to order such as the items below?
  1. screws to attach the NC502MP to the case. M3 6mm perhaps???
  2. Any internal cables such as Ghent's NC252MP/NC502MP cable kit
  3. other recommended items?
The build cost so far is $345 for the NC502MP module from Vacuum Tube Values and $185 for the Ghent case kit.

IMO, this is a better DIY value than the NC252MP builds compared to commercially available units. Without a case kit made easy though, I would have just ordered a new amplifier such as the Monoprice Monolith 5 channel amp that measures well from their own and Audioholics independent tests.

It is nice to see people building and sharing their results.
 
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decoRyder

decoRyder

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I am building an NC502MP Ghent kit. These are a new addition in a 200mm x 315mm case. Ghent put up the new item quickly after I requested a custom drilled base the prior NCore dual NC400 case kit.

Are there any additional items that I need to order such as the items below?
  1. screws to attach the NC502MP to the case. M3 6mm perhaps???
  2. Any internal cables such as Ghent's NC252MP/NC502MP cable kit
  3. other recommended items?
The build cost so far is $345 for the NC502MP module from Vacuum Tube Values and $185 for the Ghent case kit.

IMO, this is a better DIY value than the NC252MP builds compared to commercially available units. Without a case kit made easy though, I would have just ordered a new amplifier such as the Monoprice Monolith 5 channel amp that measures well from their own and Audioholics independent tests.

It is nice to see people building and sharing their results.

1) I bought a whole set of m3 kits of different lengths - always good to have around: )
2) The cable kit is included in the Ghent Kit.
3) The Kit really contains everything you need - I ordered several harness sets, and mogami signal cable, just in case:)

Unless you are very patient - use Ghent's express shipping instead of the regular shipping - otherwise it will take 2-3 weeks.
 

Red_Baron

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My case had order had express shipping by default. It looks like it is in customs in the US already. On the contrary, the RCA to XLR cables that I ordered separately with regular shipping seem on target for e a long, slow journey.

Google led me to a blog post with a nice writeup of a NC252MP build with a Ghent case. It may help others.
 

bcurtin

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1) I bought a whole set of m3 kits of different lengths - always good to have around: )
2) The cable kit is included in the Ghent Kit.
3) The Kit really contains everything you need - I ordered several harness sets, and mogami signal cable, just in case:)

Unless you are very patient - use Ghent's express shipping instead of the regular shipping - otherwise it will take 2-3 weeks.

I unfortunately did this and am getting impatient... :)

Assuming you selected regular shipping, how much longer after "Origin Post is Preparing Shipment -> We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece." did it take to go through customs and transfer to local carriers?
 

JimB

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I unfortunately did this and am getting impatient... :)

Assuming you selected regular shipping, how much longer after "Origin Post is Preparing Shipment -> We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece." did it take to go through customs and transfer to local carriers?
Shipping times are a bit variable. And the information about progress is often, 'iffy'. That said, all of my many orders did show up, usually within a few days after I started to be concerned. Often, it is farther along than it appears (of course, notification is NEVER ahead of where it actually is).
 

MenloBob

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Shipping times are a bit variable. And the information about progress is often, 'iffy'. That said, all of my many orders did show up, usually within a few days after I started to be concerned. Often, it is farther along than it appears (of course, notification is NEVER ahead of where it actually is).
Ghent could make a ton as a Prime merchant..
 
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decoRyder

decoRyder

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I unfortunately did this and am getting impatient... :)

Assuming you selected regular shipping, how much longer after "Origin Post is Preparing Shipment -> We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece." did it take to go through customs and transfer to local carriers?

In my case it took 11 days to clear that stage, it might have been delayed for whatever reason, but so far the average time I've waited for any Ghentaudio shipment is 2-3 weeks. Other than that Ghentaudio is absolutely stellar, their parts are really 'crafted' - and yes I mean 'crafted' - with attention to detail and real finesse.
 

bcurtin

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Shipping times are a bit variable. And the information about progress is often, 'iffy'. That said, all of my many orders did show up, usually within a few days after I started to be concerned. Often, it is farther along than it appears (of course, notification is NEVER ahead of where it actually is).

Thanks for the replies - emailed Ghent and they said it would take 2 - 3 weeks so there's still some time before I'm out of the typical window. Hopefully it's not worse with CNY and FYI for others who are looking into this path.
 

Red_Baron

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My Ghent NC502MP kit arrived today. This was quicker than I expected even for the west coast and the expedited shipping option standard on this item. (Ordered on 1/18, shipped on 1/20, delivered on 1/23) Conversely, my RCA to XLR cables to use with this amplifier are claimed to have just arrived at the Shanghai airport today from a 1/13 shipping start and 1/11 order date.

I am very happy with Ghent's NC502MP kit. It had everything that is needed including M3 machine screws to mount the module to the case. The case is attractive and very solid. It really does seem like it will act as heatsink. If there was a solder-less option, I would gladly pay the extra $20 as my technique on the banana plugs is clearly amateur quality.

The total build time was about 2 hours and 45 minutes for me including correcting my swapped R/L speaker connections to match the XLR. All the cable lengths are well chosen with no changes needed. As others have said, there are no instructions. A second build could be done in less than an hour for a solder-less kit. I have not tried turning it on yet. That can wait until this weekend.

Feedback on what can be improved is welcome. I still have to secure the cables to the chassis with zip ties later.

IMG_0823.JPG
IMG_0824.JPG
 
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decoRyder

decoRyder

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My Ghent NC502MP kit arrived today. This was quicker than I expected even for the west coast and the expedited shipping option standard on this item. (Ordered on 1/18, shipped on 1/20, delivered on 1/23) Conversely, my RCA to XLR cables to use with this amplifier are claimed to have just arrived at the Shanghai airport today from a 1/13 shipping start and 1/11 order date.

I am very happy with Ghent's NC502MP kit. It had everything that is needed including M3 machine screws to mount the module to the case. The case is attractive and very solid. It really does seem like it will act as heatsink. If there was a solder-less option, I would gladly pay the extra $20 as my technique on the banana plugs is clearly amateur quality.

The total build time was about 2 hours and 45 minutes for me including correcting my swapped R/L speaker connections to match the XLR. All the cable lengths are well chosen with no changes needed. As others have said, there are no instructions. A second build could be done in less than an hour for a solder-less kit. I have not tried turning it on yet. That can wait until this weekend.

Feedback on what can be improved is welcome. I still have to secure the cables to the chassis with zip ties later.

Love it, looks great! +1 for Express Shipping btw - compare that to the 3 weeks I had to wait : ) Looks perfect to me, the only thing I typically do in terms of tweaks is that I add heatpaste between the metal backplate and the chassis.
 

JimB

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I have no experience with these particular modules, and it is clearly meant to be installed as you have done, but I wonder why it isn't rotated 180 in the case, so that the power leads would be very short, rather than very long. The audio I/O runs would still be about the same, mid-board to the rear.
 

Red_Baron

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I have no experience with these particular modules, and it is clearly meant to be installed as you have done, but I wonder why it isn't rotated 180 in the case, so that the power leads would be very short, rather than very long. The audio I/O runs would still be about the same, mid-board to the rear.

Agreed. I would have placed it like that myself. The mounting holes below are not symmetric aside from the 4 corners making it unviable to rotate the placement 180 degrees.

--------------

I powered it up and it worked on the first try. At first I thought that I had a bad connection on one of the channels because of audible noise. It was actually a loud microphone input on an unused input on the mixer that was only routed to one stereo side that I was using as a preamplifier because of cable availablity on hand.

There are audible clicks/pops on power up and down. Measured DC output offset voltage (with floating input XLR terminals) were ~1mV and ~10mV each which does not seem like enough to cause this.

Sound quality is really good subjectively. Clean, revealing and effortlessly powerful come to mind. Bass clarity is audibly better than the Marantz AVR that was powering the speakers before. Subtle details come through more clearly, and even more so in the presence of a prominent bass line. The bass improvement was audible using a Crown XLi 1500 at the added cost of a high noise floor and harshness for lack of a better word that could be the comparitvely poor linearity there.

IMG_0825.JPG
 

irvingpulaski312

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Thanks for the write up! I'm completely new to DIY amplifiers and this has been a great resource. I'm currently debating between the NCORE 252 and the ICEPower 200 dual mono projects but having a hard time making a decision. I'm liking the ICEPower because it's a bit cheaper but I'm wondering if the NCORE is worth the extra cash.
 

MenloBob

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Thanks for the write up! I'm completely new to DIY amplifiers and this has been a great resource. I'm currently debating between the NCORE 252 and the ICEPower 200 dual mono projects but having a hard time making a decision. I'm liking the ICEPower because it's a bit cheaper but I'm wondering if the NCORE is worth the extra cash.
Having built both ncore and IcePower it’s hard to go wrong either way. One advantage to IP 200s is you can get one’s with warranty from PartesExpress. The 122,252 and 502s from ebay are grey market and you’re on your own if they fail.
 
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