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Preamp with NC502. Schiit Saga, Yamaha WXC-50 or pro-ject pre box ds2 analogue?

mtocrat

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Hello,

I have been researching amplifiers to match with a pair of LS50 and after reading the reviews here I am considering trying out a Hypex power amp, most likely the Nord NC502 power amp. What I couldn't find was a lot of information on what kind of pre-amp one should pair with it and whether it matters. Nord's own offerings seem to be fairly expensive so I was wondering if any of the options in the title will do and whether there would be a noticeable difference. My source will be a minidsp ddrc 24 (which can control volume, but not in a very convenient way).
 

Matias

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Hello,

I have been researching amplifiers to match with a pair of LS50 and after reading the reviews here I am considering trying out a Hypex power amp, most likely the Nord NC502 power amp. What I couldn't find was a lot of information on what kind of pre-amp one should pair with it and whether it matters. Nord's own offerings seem to be fairly expensive so I was wondering if any of the options in the title will do and whether there would be a noticeable difference. My source will be a minidsp ddrc 24 (which can control volume, but not in a very convenient way).
Welcome to ASR. I suppose you use the miniDSP DDRC-24 for digital room correction, right? If so, why don't you sell it, buy a RME ADI-2 DAC and use it as DAC, preamp, and DSP for DRC, while having better converters and headphone outputs? You would also connect it to the NC502MP based amp using balanced cables, which is a better connection.

If not, consider also a Topping Pre90 as preamp.
 
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MaxBuck

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... why don't you sell it, buy a RME ADI-2 DAC and use it as DAC, preamp, and DSP for DRC, while having better converters and headphone outputs?
@Matias, are the five EQ bands the ADI-2 provides likely to be sufficient to generate an effective DRC correction curve in most settings? I'm completely ignorant on this stuff, but looking to find effective room correction options given my highly nonideal listening room.
 

Matias

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@Matias, are the five EQ bands the ADI-2 provides likely to be sufficient to generate an effective DRC correction curve in most settings? I'm completely ignorant on this stuff, but looking to find effective room correction options given my highly nonideal listening room.
Try it and see for yourself. It probably does, more bands are decreasing returns.
 

Phorize

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Hello,

I have been researching amplifiers to match with a pair of LS50 and after reading the reviews here I am considering trying out a Hypex power amp, most likely the Nord NC502 power amp. What I couldn't find was a lot of information on what kind of pre-amp one should pair with it and whether it matters. Nord's own offerings seem to be fairly expensive so I was wondering if any of the options in the title will do and whether there would be a noticeable difference. My source will be a minidsp ddrc 24 (which can control volume, but not in a very convenient way).

The rme is a great suggestion. Pound for pound it’s the best value front end out there, a dac with decent dsp, balanced io, outstanding headphone amp, programmable remote, relay based everything (at least everything that should be relay based) built well in Germany, best in class documentation, very good customer support, great warranty. At £849 online inc VAT and shipping it makes some very competitive products look like over priced toys.

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/rme...erence-class-usb-dac-spdif-coax-and-optical-i
 

Phorize

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The rme is a great suggestion. Pound for pound it’s the best value front end out there, a dac with decent dsp, balanced io, outstanding headphone amp, programmable remote, relay based everything (at least everything that should be relay based) built well in Germany, best in class documentation, very good customer support, great warranty. At £849 online inc VAT and shipping it makes some very competitive products look like over priced toys.

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/rme...erence-class-usb-dac-spdif-coax-and-optical-i

If rme implemented a version of the rme adi 2 pro black edition with purifi power stages it would be game over for a lot of companies in this space.

Edit: on reflection, I don’t want to come across being hostile to the handful of makers who really bring alot if value (some of whom are on this forum). Just my opinion that if the rme adi is so compelling that a power stage would render it a one box solution to SOTA audio.
 
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mtocrat

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Thanks! Replacing the ddrc with another, more feature complete pre/pro is an idea, but may be more involved and more expensive. I'm not sure how easy it is to sell a ddrc here in the UK, but I suspect I'd still have to spend around 500gbp to replace it with the RME. This would net me a pre-amp and a much better DAC, but I'd also be replacing dirac with something less powerful. I'm not sure I want to do that without auditioning which may be hard. I have a schiit modi that I plan to use to test if the not-so-great DAC on the DDRC makes an audible difference.

As for the Pre90, would you expect this to perform better than the pro-ject pre box DS2 analogue? Comparing prices, the Pre90 seems more expensive here in the UK than in the US for example and about 200 GBP more than the pro-ject. I have no idea what to look at when comparing simple preamps like those two and can't find much information about it.
 
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