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Niles SI-2150 Class D Amplifier Review

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Of course audibility is the main concern. How can anyone question that? The goal is reproducing sound with fidelity.

Thank you Amirm for the concise, useful review. This product appears to be outstanding value for pragmatists.

I wonder if this is the same amp used in the NAD c 368 and c268.
 

technoian

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Sry today i have a littel to much beer. But this opens up my mouth. Maybe not so good? Who cares?
But we had a diy headphone amp for 500$ @amirm liked. No problem.
But now there is a power amp for the same money. So compare the measurements? Or better not. ;) Still there is complaining. Thats realy funny. A 1w headphone amp for the same money like a 200w power amp. The power amp measures x times better. But people complain that @amirm gives a ok for the power amp. Sometimes i think that tubes have a negative effect on brain cells. Maybe some black magic thats hard to measure. ;)

Edit says: Or maybe some hf feedback quantum radiation that alters brain cells directly??? ;) sry.

The recommendations from Amirm will just be based on a combination of the performance results, features and price at the time the review is posted. Your opinion may differ but it is measurements that this site is primarily about.
Many reviewers will not post a negative review about a product for fear of their subjective opinion being questioned (and I suspect the possibility that manufacturer's will then refuse to send them new gear).Amirm does not cherry pick what gear he reviews and is fearless in his opinions because he has the measurement to back up his assessments. In contrast it is the manufacturers that now live in fear because they can no longer release poorly performing and overpriced equipment onto the market without being 'found out'. Amirm is single handedly turning the tide in the audio industry one review at a time and for that we salute him.
 

pma

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Too much talking about intentions and approach, guys. This amp simply has elevated noise, distortion rising with power and spectrum full of high order harmonics. This is said strictly technically. I would Never recommend a product like this.
 

MediumRare

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How can we interpret these results in the typical watts sustained/watts peak vernacular? Their spec is 0.2% THD into 8 ohms. To me that looks like just a little over 50 WPC sustained, far below spec. But perhaps that’s the wrong way to interpret the charts? And how do we know peak output for dynamics? Do we assume 500 hz thus about 175?
 

hira

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Think that's Europe only and 230 mains voltage. Good deal for those over there

The power supply unit of this product uses HYPEX SMPS400A400.
It can be used at 100 to 120V by inserting a jumper pin.

I'm sorry for the subjectivity.
I like this product because the bass is strong and sharp.
 

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hansik

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If it's the same Hypex amp as the IMG Stageline STA-400D then not bad... for sale here in Europe for 251 euros incl shipment.
I wonder how it compares to the Behringer A800 which can be found for even cheaper, 180 euros, which I personally like.
 

Xyrium

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Nice single box solution. It uses a different Hypex card than the NAD's, BTW.

This is a close competition with a pair of Outlaw 2200's. The Niles seems to take the pole in the 5W measurement, but...I do like the XLR's on the Outlaw.
 

DualTriode

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@amirm,

Thanks for being upfront with this review.

Nothing to hear here. Bundle this amplifier with a quality set of speakers and folks would rave about the speaker quality.

Please for future review take a look at and discuss DSP for speaker equalization and room correction, you know the kind of digital stuff built into powered monitor speakers.

I pray that I am not stricken down for speaking of DSP.

Thanks DT
 

Fafnar

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i can't understand why this has been recommended.
Good performance for a good price is worth recommending.
High performance is worth recommending at any price. High performance is relative to the competition, so something that was high performance 20 years ago may be only good now. Depending on the type of equipment, things could age faster.
Bad performance is not worth recommending.
High price for good performance (remember this is relative to the competition) is not worth recommending; there would be better items available for cheaper.

The SINAD puts it in 'good' range. Then we consider the price per watt; 190 watts (4 ohm, both channels) at $380 is $2/watt so that's very competitive. The Outlaw 2200, also recommended, is roughy similar for similar price (tho arguably better, imho) and also recommended. The Marantz HD-AMP1 does more (but a lot less wattage) for a much higher price but is missing features for its type (it is a niche product imho) so wasn't recommended.

Seems fine.
 

PeteL

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I guess it depends of the definition of "refurbished", but I do find odd to not base the evaluation based on the msrp, It's a current model, not discontinued, ain't msrp a more common metric that would help us compare amps, no? It can be had at this price now, maybe not in a couple weeks. Do we know if it's a amp that broke and had been repaired? Do we know if the next one is exactly like this one, the number of hours on component, etc. Me I find this just OK really, this curve into 8 ohm is just weird, In the end it's very little power before the distortion start to rise. Ok at the refurbished price maybe, but at msrp, the c268 reviewed here is 50$ more, and use the same modules with a more linear behavior and generally slightly better specs. Just slightly, but significant.
edit: I see this having more power in 4 ohms, not 100% sure they are the exact same ucd modules, or if the nad has limited power in 4 ohms for oher design considerations, but still this perform a bit oddly. Then again the "peak power" measurment on the NAD gives an other story. The NAD having Balanced in is a + as well in my book, as well as the possibility to use it in bridged mono.
 
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KEW

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I guess it depends of the definition of "refurbished", but I do find odd to not base the evaluation based on the msrp, It's a current model, not discontinued, ain't msrp a more common metric that would help us compare amps, no?
See my post #12 in this thread.
There are some products with strict price controls (Bose quickly comes to mind). where MSRP is the actual cost.
However, other products have a street price that is well below MSRP.
In the case of this unit, street price was $430. Not sure it will stay in that area as Covid 19 is disrupting pricing on many products.
I would say for those products that have street prices, it makes more sense to use that price than MSRP because that is the actual price you would pay were you to buy one!
So comparing MSRPs with this at $850 vs Nad c268 at $900, I would say the NAD is probably worth the extra $50.
However, when you are actually buying them, this is under $500 vs the NAD at $900 which is a no-brainer! From my perspective, this is the realistic comparison, not MSRP!

(Crutchfield and most other suppliers are out of stock (It seems Covid 19 is impacting the industry, I've also noticed many Yamaha units are also OOS), but you can currently buy at New Age Electronics for $470):
https://www.new-age-electronics-corp.net/niles-si-2150.html

The NAD having Balanced in is a + as well in my book, as well as the possibility to use it in bridged mono.
Just FYI, this Niles amp is also capable of being bridged (they claim 550 watts into 8 ohms).
 
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PeteL

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See my post #12 in this thread.
There are some products with strict price controls (Bose quickly comes to mind). where MSRP is the actual cost.
However, other products have a street price that is well below MSRP.
In the case of this unit, street price was $430. Not sure it will stay in that area as Covid 19 is disrupting pricing on many products.
I would say for those products that have street prices, it makes more sense to use that price than MSRP because that is the actual price you would pay were you to buy one!
So comparing MSRPs with this at $850 vs Nad c268 at $900, I would say the NAD is probably worth the extra $50.
However, when you are actually buying them, this is under $500 vs the NAD at $900 which is a no-brainer! From my perspective, this is the realistic comparison, not MSRP!

(Crutchfield and most other suppliers are out of stock (It seems Covid 19 is impacting the industry, I've also noticed many Yamaha units are also OOS), but you can currently buy at New Age Electronics for $470):
https://www.new-age-electronics-corp.net/niles-si-2150.html


Just FYI, this Niles amp is also capable of being bridged (rated at 550 watts into 8 ohms).
Could be. Some say dealers can negociate good discounts on NAD too but not half off. It's hard to say with just your examples that 430$ is "the street price". Maybe, but there was on Crutcfield some Niles products that weren't discounted. yes at 430 this could be a good purchase. Still, we can't remove from the equation that, they could for a reason or the other have been put at a heavily discounted price. Could be that the manufacturer fixed small issues on the next production run but don't want to announce it for fear of having customers having their product replace, could be that Niles needed an input of cash flow and decided to offer a sale, or could be the street Price, or could be Crutchfield decision because they have the right to and then the rest of the retailer try to compete. We don't know if we don't have entries at Niles. Most manufacturers, on their Price list would have a MAP minimum advertised price). Not exactly "Street price" But if this MAP is too low compared to MSRP, well they lose control on the perceived value, but sometimes, smaller companies just desperately need the input of money. I do agree that if MSRP don't mean anything it should not be what's used to assess the value, but refurbished price neither. So it's a difficult debate, I think MSRP should mean something.
 
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KEW

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@amirm what voltage is required to drive this amplifier to rated power?

Also: https://www.amazon.com/Niles-SI-250...&keywords=niles+si-2150&qid=1600964498&sr=8-3 $259 on Amazon.
Just wanting to make sure!
You realize that that is not the same model. right?
I ask because the numbers are close and the difference between SI-2150 and SI-250 might not catch your eye if you are not focusing on the number, they look identical, and I'm not sure why you would expect @amirm to know the needed voltage if you are asking about the SI-250!
 
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Ron Texas

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Just wanting to make sure!
You realize that that is not the same model. right?
I ask because the numbers are close and the difference between SI-2150 and SI-250 might not catch your eye if you are not focusing on the number (and I'm not sure why you would expect Amir to know the needed voltage if you are asking about the SI-250)!

Thank you for pointing out that the item on Amazon is not the same.
I wanted to know the voltage for the unit tested here.
 
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KEW

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@amirm , you don't happen to have a rogue crosstalk measurement hiding out on your computer do you?:)
 

Filmgeek47

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Anyone know the input sensitivity for this guy? Trying to find something that would work well with a Marantz SR7012.
 
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