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Nord Three SE 1ET400A Dual Mono Teardown

amirm

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#1
As promised in my review of the Nord Three SE 1ET400A Dual Mono amplifier, here is a tear down of its construction. Since the individual modules are known quantity, I didn't try to take close up pictures of them. Instead, my focus is on the overall assembly of the unit:


Nord Three SE 1ET400A Dual Mono Stereo Amp With  Sonic Imagery 990Enh Teardown.jpg


From high level, assembly seems neat and tidy. I checked the grounding and was pleased to see that anodization coating was properly removed and nice ground lug attached to it.

I was also pleased to see custom length power supply to power amp wiring harness. The one closer to the amp has a shorter lead which is nice. This however does point out the asymmetry in design. The top amp has to have a longer power lead and over that drapes over the amp. Two independent boxes would be superior in this regard. We can see the same lack of symmetry in the way inputs are routed.

I am not a fan of double stick tape that is used to hold down a couple of wire bundles. The worst one is sitting on the top power supply heatsink. With constant cooling and heating it is bound to lose adhesion. Why not route it as I have shown with white arrow? Those are high voltage mains wires by the way so would be good to keep them separate from everything else. For that reason, I like to see them not go over the amplifier modules.

I am being very picky of course. I have seen some real horror stories in such builds. Here, we have nice and tidy construction. Lots of heatshink tubing is used to keep things together which I like.

So overall score is "good."

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

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amirm

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#2
Forgot to note that the heasinks are cosmetic only. Why not mount the amplifier modules to them and then place the two power supplies far from them in the middle? One would get full symmetrical wiring then and the heatsinks would be put to good use.
 

phoenixdogfan

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#3
The toggle switch i the rear makes the front power button live? IEC not switched? Thinking this could be done by a DIYer for maybe 50% of NORD price with a Ghent case. Everything looks like the HYPEX kits.
 

amirm

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#4

maty

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#5
And... the same wrong STEREO implementation. First with the Hypex NC500 and now with the PURIFI 1ET400A.

Nord Three SE 1ET400A Dual Mono Stereo Amp With  Sonic Imagery 990Enh Teardown cut.jpg


And the beautiful case is without small holes to facilitate air circulation and the consequent better heat dissipation.
 

maty

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#7
I hate those cheap crimp sockets so much. It's if you give your wife a wedding ring out of a plastic.
Did anybody see the walk of shame in Game of Thrones? Sounds reasonable for me to try it out with the guy who is trying to maximise earnings here...
 

Tks

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#8
And... the same wrong STEREO implementation. First with the Hypex NC500 and now with the PURIFI 1ET400A.

View attachment 39692

And the beautiful case is without small holes to facilitate air circulation and the consequent better heat dissipation.
Bigger issue being.. cosmetic heatsinks >_<

Thanks for the internal shots bossman. I appreciate at least seeing a somewhat a "hygienic" build even if a little disorderly. Double sided tape though? Bruh..
 

somebodyelse

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#9
I hate those cheap crimp sockets so much. It's if you give your wife a wedding ring out of a plastic.
Did anybody see the walk of shame in Game of Thrones? Sounds reasonable for me to try it out with the guy who is trying to maximise earnings here...
Do you have a technical reason to hate them, or purely aesthetic?
 

somebodyelse

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#10
Bigger issue being.. cosmetic heatsinks >_<
I disagree. Superfluous heatsinks do no harm. Lack of airflow to cool the coils may since they're the hot components in the thermal images and don't have a heatsink.. Another manufacturer has claimed increased power output and reduced distortion at high power output by cooling the coils on the amp modules, but haven't published measurements to back this up.
 

Tks

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I disagree. Superfluous heatsinks do no harm. Lack of airflow to cool the coils may since they're the hot components in the thermal images and don't have a heatsink.. Another manufacturer has claimed increased power output and reduced distortion at high power output by cooling the coils on the amp modules, but haven't published measurements to back this up.
But you just said: since they're the hot components in the thermal images and don't have a heatsink.

That's precisely my point.. and it's even worse since there is a form heatsink that's a part of the product. Made only worse in fact that it goes unused as such.. If you're going to do the work faking a heatsink, the tooling cost itself already sunk. It's all the more unfortunate they didn't just make a functional one.

Oh and the bigger issue actually is that they aren't using the heatsinks since they have contact with outside air. Proper full coverage of the active parts would make air holes redundant. If you mean to say it would've been better if they at least included holes for ventalation at all(if the heatsink option was never mean't to be), then I agree.
 

dkinric

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#13
@March Audio , will Amir be getting a final production March amp for a similar review/teardown? I like what I see but am trying to justify the price delta over other Purifi amps in the market.
The cosmetics and assumed build quality, as well as your participation here, have value - I would like to see more to decide. An special ASR Holiday discount would go a long way as well.
 

March Audio

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#14
@March Audio , will Amir be getting a final production March amp for a similar review/teardown? I like what I see but am trying to justify the price delta over other Purifi amps in the market.
The cosmetics and assumed build quality, as well as your participation here, have value - I would like to see more to decide. An special ASR Holiday discount would go a long way as well.
@dkinric Eventually yes. We are only just releasing our Purifi monoblocks, they are not even on the website yet.

I'm curious about one thing though, you mention the price delta, but I'm not sure what you are referring to. A pair of monoblocks will be about the same price as the Nord here.

I will start a thread on the with some internal pics in the next few days.
 
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AudioSceptic

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#15
Forgot to note that the heasinks are cosmetic only. Why not mount the amplifier modules to them and then place the two power supplies far from them in the middle? One would get full symmetrical wiring then and the heatsinks would be put to good use.
That is so annoying. The heatsinks are supposed to make it look more serious? All they do is add to the production cost. I can't respect a company that does this sort of nonsense.
 

Frank Dernie

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#16
Forgot to note that the heasinks are cosmetic only. Why not mount the amplifier modules to them and then place the two power supplies far from them in the middle? One would get full symmetrical wiring then and the heatsinks would be put to good use.
For heatsinks to work properly there needs to be a good, preferably large, flat surface on the thing one wishes to cool so that the thermal contact and heat transfer is efficient.
There is no such surface on a purify module so mounting them on the sides wouldn't help much, if at all, even if the boards are narrow enough to fit on edge.
My guess is that the case is bought in and the fins just happen to be on it but can not practically be used.
 

somebodyelse

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#17
But you just said: since they're the hot components in the thermal images and don't have a heatsink.

That's precisely my point.. and it's even worse since there is a form heatsink that's a part of the product. Made only worse in fact that it goes unused as such.. If you're going to do the work faking a heatsink, the tooling cost itself already sunk. It's all the more unfortunate they didn't just make a functional one.

Oh and the bigger issue actually is that they aren't using the heatsinks since they have contact with outside air. Proper full coverage of the active parts would make air holes redundant. If you mean to say it would've been better if they at least included holes for ventalation at all(if the heatsink option was never mean't to be), then I agree.
I think we agree more than we disagree. My reasoning is:

The active components in need of cooling are thermally connected to a plate below the amp/psu modules, which in turn are connected to the bottom plate of the case. That plate is a heatsink with a comparable surface area to the ones on the sides, and is probably sufficient without further help from the ones on the sides as it is in the FusionAmp plate amps. In contrast the coils aren't thermally connected to a heatsink, and aren't intended to be. They're intended to be cooled by airflow, either passive or if necessary forced. Ventilation holes would improve the cooling of the coils, and the thermal image suggests that the coil cooling is more likely to be a limiting factor than using the bottom plate as the heatsink.

The case looks like an off the shelf unit more or less, so I don't think there's much extra cost in those side heatsinks. They're also difficult to use effectively with these amp/psu modules. The same goes for the similar case audiophonics use.
 

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#18
@dkinric Eventually yes. We are only just releasing our Purifi monoblocks, they are not even on the website yet.

I'm curious about one thing though, you mention the price delta, but I'm not sure what you are referring to. A pair of monoblocks will be about the same price as the Nord here.

I will start a thread on the with some internal pics in the next few days.
Great, thanks!
Sorry, I mispoke. I was referring to a comparison with the less expensive Hypex Ncore NC252MP modules vs March stereo amps, which i know use the Purifi modules.
Not the same, I realize, but in my mind was grouping them in the "new high measuring class D Hypex/Purifi amps" group that are available on the market now. Just trying to put a personal value on the diminishing returns.
Like many here, I am intrigued with the idea of completely re-doing my system, pairing one of these amps with a high measuring DAC as a pre-amp like the M500 or DX7PRO for a simple system with ASR verified excellent measurements. The 4 outputs on these DACs even work for those like me with sub(s).
I look forward to your post.
 

March Audio

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#19
Great, thanks!
Sorry, I mispoke. I was referring to a comparison with the less expensive Hypex Ncore NC252MP modules vs March stereo amps, which i know use the Purifi modules.
Not the same, I realize, but in my mind was grouping them in the "new high measuring class D Hypex/Purifi amps" group that are available on the market now. Just trying to put a personal value on the diminishing returns.
Like many here, I am intrigued with the idea of completely re-doing my system, pairing one of these amps with a high measuring DAC as a pre-amp like the M500 or DX7PRO for a simple system with ASR verified excellent measurements. The 4 outputs on these DACs even work for those like me with sub(s).
I look forward to your post.
I still think there might be some confusion. Our stereo amps don't use the Purifi modules.

Well the Purifi are better, but the value for money equation is always going to be a personal decision. :)
 
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Labjr

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#20
If nothing else, the appearance and added weight of heatsink, has a psychological effect. Pound per pound, you get more for your money. Of course, adding a couple bricks may be a more economical solution.
 

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