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Niles SI-2150 Class D Amplifier Teardown

amirm

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I just reviewed the Niles SI-2150 amplifier. This is a quick teardown of the same.

Here is the main entire amplifier in one shot:

Niles SI-2150 Amplifier Custom Install Stereo Audio Teardown.jpg


General construction seems fine.

The heart of the system are the two UC250LP-M OEM amplifier modules from Hypex. An input stage allows variable gain (board in blue) and speaker protection relays.

As best as I can tell, that complicated switching power supply is by Niles as it matches the color scheme of the buffer board. Looking at the capacitors, we see that they are the chinese brand, Jianghai:

Niles SI-2150 Amplifier Custom Install Stereo Audio Power Supply Switching Teardown.jpg


I can't get good information on them. They certainly are not a tier capacitor company but seems like a very big company producing capacitors. May be hard to replace them with other parts given the compact size required for the thin amplifier enclosure.

The Hypex modules use lower grade capacitors made by Samwah:
Niles SI-2150 Amplifier Custom Install Stereo UcD250 Amplifier Modules Audio Teardown.jpg


One nice thing about the modular nature of the Hypex amps is that should a fault develop in one channel, you can swap board and see if the problem is there or not.

That is all she wrote...


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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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wwenze

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Don't often see power supply bigger than the amp

Then again a power supply and an amp can be said to be the same thing...
 

StefaanE

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According to Igor Wallossek of ”igorslab.de”, Jianghai is one of the oldest Chinese manufacturers, a former supplier to the People’s Army that have acquired Hitachi’s capacitor division. In his opinion, they are as good as Chemicon caps.
 

Francis Vaughan

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Then again a power supply and an amp can be said to be the same thing...

Indeed, just a modulated power supply.

This teadown put me in mind of a very story about computers of old. Back in the day, our computer centre had a CDC 6400. This was one of the fastest machines money could buy (and cost in the millions back in the early 70's.) When performing a tour of the centre those on the tour would be shown rows of spinning tape drives, washing machine sized disk drives, line printers the size of a small car spewing paper faster than the eye could comprehend, card readers that seemed to eat cards like some sort of crazed demon machine, and then they were shown a large anonymous box in the corner with water piping connected to it. Asked to guess what it was, most guessed something to do with the air-conditioning. It was of course the actual CDC 6400 CPU.
 

StefaanE

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In the early 1980ies I worked at CDC (Ticketron, actually, but like Commercial Credit, they were a subsidiary of Control Data) for a while. We didn’t get to use the Cyber supercomputers, but their mini namesakes, the Cyber 18 (based on the 1700). These things had to be booted (we called it “deadstarted”) using a punch card. Quite anachronistic in 1983.
 

milosz

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In the early 1980ies I worked at CDC (Ticketron, actually, but like Commercial Credit, they were a subsidiary of Control Data) for a while. We didn’t get to use the Cyber supercomputers, but their mini namesakes, the Cyber 18 (based on the 1700). These things had to be booted (we called it “deadstarted”) using a punch card. Quite anachronistic in 1983.

I'm not sure what this has to do with this Niles amp, but - punched cards. I learned FORTRAN on punched cards at UC Berkeley in 1977. It took 10 minutes to code the program, a few minutes to punch it, then you had to wait in line and submit it, the oompa loompas would feed it into the computer and post your result printout maybe an hour or two later....or the next day. If there were any errors, they'd show up on the printout and you could correct them in minutes punch out the correct cards, wait in line for an hour to submit your deck of punched cards, then wait hours or overnight for them to run it and give you the printout to see if it was correct.... you young people who have only used interactive systems to learn coding do not begin to know the meaning of the word AGONY.
 

Neddy

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On topic - nice clean design, esp to fit in a 1U (presumably) chassis.
Off topic:
Oldsters unite! :)
Same experience - waiting on card stacks for my fortran programs at the UW in the early 70s caused me to give up on computer science as a major - too impatient! (Higher Maths still worked fine on paper; still does, I presume.)
30 yrs later I ended up working in/for the (brand new) state data center, many projects involved care and feeding of the latest IBM mainframes, many of which were still running COBOL.
When I started working there, the dept I was in had a lovely, and lovingly maintained 'history of computers' museum, including all the manuals, tape drives and card readers. Sadly, some irksome 'new management' type decided it had to 'go', and had the room emptied one weekend.
PS. My brother worked at DEC for years, until he saw the writing on the walls and got out in the early 80s.
 

Francis Vaughan

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I learned FORTRAN on punched cards at UC Berkeley in 1977
1978 and Pascal here. The good thing about the 1 hour turnaround is that it matched cadence of lectures. You could grab your printout and card deck, check the output, go to the express 3 cards or less card punches, correct the error (you hoped) sling the deck into the input box, and race off to the next lecture. Happy days. ;)
 

Dzhaughn

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Indeed, just a modulated power supply.

Hmmm. So, a battery is an amplifier with a really poor slew rate? Maybe if we hooked up one or those magical audio cables it would work.

A thunderstorm is an amplifier with speaker protection circuits that work *almost* all the time.
 

SMc

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I'm not sure what this has to do with this Niles amp, but - punched cards. I learned FORTRAN on punched cards at UC Berkeley in 1977. It took 10 minutes to code the program, a few minutes to punch it, then you had to wait in line and submit it, the oompa loompas would feed it into the computer and post your result printout maybe an hour or two later....or the next day. If there were any errors, they'd show up on the printout and you could correct them in minutes punch out the correct cards, wait in line for an hour to submit your deck of punched cards, then wait hours or overnight for them to run it and give you the printout to see if it was correct.... you young people who have only used interactive systems to learn coding do not begin to know the meaning of the word AGONY.
A music prof told stories of getting his electronic digital music projects punched then having to drive to another town to feed them to a DAC. Early 70s? Also agonizing!
 

wwenze

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I love how the mains wires are double-insulated where it goes over the PSU

Is there a reason for a ferrite core on the earth/ground wire?

I'm guessing for FCC compliance. The chassis can pick up radiated switching noise and feed it to earth.
 

Milesian

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UNIVAC 418III, Fastrand storage; Tape boots; 4-13 boots; tape drives you thread by hand. Yes, I remember well the dark ages of mainframe computers.
 

KEW

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The modules name are silkscreened on the pcb, are you arguind that they aren't what @amirm states they are?
These NAD Hypex units do not appear to be the same as in the Niles photo above. Are you sure the NAD units use two UC250LP-M OEM amplifier modules from Hypex (it is clearly a Hypex UcD module, but looks very different and there only appears to be one module in each of the NADs):


NAD c268
27c5691dccd440ba25024e454d6024e3.jpg

NAD c368
NAD-Hybrid-Digital-DAC-Amplifier-C-368-12.jpg
 
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PeteL

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These NAD Hypex units do not appear to be the same as in the Niles photo above. Are you sure the NAD units use two UC250LP-M OEM amplifier modules from Hypex (it is clearly a Hypex UcD module, but looks very different and there only appears to be one module in each of the NADs):


NAD c268
27c5691dccd440ba25024e454d6024e3.jpg

NAD c368
NAD-Hybrid-Digital-DAC-Amplifier-C-368-12.jpg
Yes, appear different, and no I don't know the information on what it's based on. They don't seem to perform the same in the respective implementation. Nad is also known to sometime customise Hypex modules to their needs, and sometime use them stock.
Edit: The NAD module share similarities to ucd 102 module, which is stereo and cheaper than 2 ucd 250. But then again, we don't know if they changed it, aand cheaper doesn't mean performing poorer. Other stuff comes into play.
 
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