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Purifi 1ET400 vs. NC500 vs. NCxxxMP vs. NC400 for home theater setup

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#1
As I mentioned in my previous thread, longtime "listener", first time poster but an avid A/V enthusiast with lots of time and energy on various different theater setups over the years. About to pull the trigger on a 3ch amp for my LCR speakers, which are the new JBL HDI series (90db sensitivity, nominal impedance 4ohms). Use is primarily movies with little music listening.

I have seen the reviews by Amir of the Purifi 1ET400, NC500, and NC400 and they all measure well (with the Purifi and NC400 being the "better" for SINAD). I also saw the NC252MP review by Amir (the IOM offering), which is slightly lower in SINAD.

The one thing I noticed from Amir's reviews is that the Purifi, the NC400 and the NC500 measure lower for power output at 4ohms then advertised, which is because Amir doesn't use 1% THD as the benchmark for distortion (which makes sense). I did see that the NC252MP review, however, showed that module was actually coming close to it's advertised 4ohm power figure, which makes me hopeful that maybe the NC502MP would also come closer to it's advertised power figure.

The overall question I need to answer before making my decision, however, is how important is max power output vs. distortion for my usage of mainly movie watching. I listen near reference, usually 6-9dB lower (so theoretical peaks of 96-99dB), and sit about 3m away. Thoughts?
 
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Thread Starter #2
I am strongly strongly now leaning toward the Nord NC500 3ch model that uses the stock Hypex Input buffer boards. Any reason I might regret this over spending more for the Purifi setup?
 

Fred Jacquot

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#3
As I mentioned in my previous thread, longtime "listener", first time poster but an avid A/V enthusiast with lots of time and energy on various different theater setups over the years. About to pull the trigger on a 3ch amp for my LCR speakers, which are the new JBL HDI series (90db sensitivity, nominal impedance 4ohms). Use is primarily movies with little music listening.

I have seen the reviews by Amir of the Purifi 1ET400, NC500, and NC400 and they all measure well (with the Purifi and NC400 being the "better" for SINAD). I also saw the NC252MP review by Amir (the IOM offering), which is slightly lower in SINAD.

The one thing I noticed from Amir's reviews is that the Purifi, the NC400 and the NC500 measure lower for power output at 4ohms then advertised, which is because Amir doesn't use 1% THD as the benchmark for distortion (which makes sense). I did see that the NC252MP review, however, showed that module was actually coming close to it's advertised 4ohm power figure, which makes me hopeful that maybe the NC502MP would also come closer to it's advertised power figure.

The overall question I need to answer before making my decision, however, is how important is max power output vs. distortion for my usage of mainly movie watching. I listen near reference, usually 6-9dB lower (so theoretical peaks of 96-99dB), and sit about 3m away. Thoughts?
You created a thread today to ask questions about Purifi/Hypex amps, now another thread to ask another question, on the same subject, i.e. helping your purchase decision.
You are not the first one to do this, nor the last one either. 5 members spent some of their valuable time to answer your questions. On your side, not a thanks, not even a like showing your appreciation. For this you are not the first nor last either. Question: is there any place in your back that would hurt if you would use the basics of politeness?
Just asking for a friend.
 
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Thread Starter #4
You created a thread today to ask questions about Purifi/Hypex amps, now another thread to ask another question, on the same subject, i.e. helping your purchase decision.
You are not the first one to do this, nor the last one either. 5 members spent some of their valuable time to answer your questions. On your side, not a thanks, not even a like showing your appreciation. For this you are not the first nor last either. Question: is there any place in your back that would hurt if you would use the basics of politeness?
Just asking for a friend.
I wasn't done in the other thread, merely created this one because it was a different focus of topic (not concerned with the buffer boards/OP amps). Though I must admit this is the first time on an internet forum I've ever seen someone get a little bent out of shape because someone hasn't pressed the like button yet. Weird.
 

Xulonn

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#5
I am strongly strongly now leaning toward the Nord NC500 3ch model that uses the stock Hypex Input buffer boards. Any reason I might regret this over spending more for the Purifi setup?
For European 3-channel amps, the one from Nord costs about $1,000k, and I don't think you would regret buying it. Apollon has a NC500 3-channel for 2,400€ and a Purifi 1ET400A version for €2,600. The Apollon amplifiers might be overkill, but add to the "Rolex Club" creds.

Otherwise, there aren't a lot of 3-channel amps pit there. My room and speakers are very small, so I decided to get a pair Ghent/ICEpower amplifiers - one stereo (200ASC + 200AC) and one monaural (200ASC) - and I'm waiting for PartsExpress to get the modules back in stock. Apparently these [email protected]Ω/[email protected]Ω modules measure much better than the cheaper, lower-powered ICEpower modules. Indeed, the 200/300ASC series modules have been used in Jeff Rowland, Bel Canto, Cary and Emotiva amplifiers. (Although in inflation-adjusted dollars, that thick gold Bel Canto faceplate in the picture below effectively costs about $1,000.)

Quite frankly, the high-quality construction and "industrial hi-fi" looks of the black Ghent cases suits me fine - and nicely matches my IOTAVX 4K 7.1 AVP. Plus, I am saving about $500 compared to the Nord 3-channel amp - which I considered seriously.

Bel Canto - ICEpower 200ASC.jpg
 

Fred Jacquot

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#6
I wasn't done in the other thread, merely created this one because it was a different focus of topic (not concerned with the buffer boards/OP amps). Though I must admit this is the first time on an internet forum I've ever seen someone get a little bent out of shape because someone hasn't pressed the like button yet. Weird.
My friend doesn't give a crap about likes.
 
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Thread Starter #8
For European 3-channel amps, the one from Nord costs about $1,000k, and I don't think you would regret buying it. Apollon has a NC500 3-channel for 2,400€ and a Purifi 1ET400A version for €2,600. The Apollon amplifiers might be overkill, but add to the "Rolex Club" creds.

Otherwise, there aren't a lot of 3-channel amps pit there. My room and speakers are very small, so I decided to get a pair Ghent/ICEpower amplifiers - one stereo (200ASC + 200AC) and one monaural (200ASC) - and I'm waiting for PartsExpress to get the modules back in stock. Apparently these [email protected]Ω/[email protected]Ω modules measure much better than the cheaper, lower-powered ICEpower modules. Indeed, the 200/300ASC series modules have been used in Jeff Rowland, Bel Canto, Cary and Emotiva amplifiers. (Although in inflation-adjusted dollars, that thick gold Bel Canto faceplate in the picture below effectively costs about $1,000.)

Quite frankly, the high-quality construction and "industrial hi-fi" looks of the black Ghent cases suits me fine - and nicely matches my IOTAVX 4K 7.1 AVP. Plus, I am saving about $500 compared to the Nord 3-channel amp - which I considered seriously.
Thanks! That's where my journey first started with my original thread, was cutting through the price difference the companies offering their own buffer boards and discrete OP amps. I definitely don't want to rely on discrete OP amps or anything like that. Just the module with the stock buffer board is fine with me, hence looking at the "basic" Nord offerings. Or just going with the NCxxxMP modules with everything built onto the board. This would also put another company on my radar: KJF Audio.

I'm just trying to ensure whatever choice I make will be plenty of power going forward if I ever switch speakers, say getting 8ohm ones or less sensitive ones. Or if seating ever changes and distance increases.
 
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Thread Starter #9
@Xulonn

I agree with the Ghent case look also. I am actually thinking now to just go the DIY route and get (3) NC400's, (3) SMPS600's and the Ghent 3ch case and do it myself. Especially after all the helpful people in these forums providing nit picking of offerings from other companies and also providing access to appropriate wiring techniques, etc. I would go the solderless route (my soldering skills have always been subpar).
 
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Thread Starter #10
Pulling the trigger now on the NC400 setup. Ghent already got back to me and will be paying shortly. Next is ordering the modules and PSU's. Can't wait. Will read up the best I can on builds and proper connections. If I have specific build questions is there a dedicated NC400 DIY thread?
 

Xulonn

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#11
//
Pulling the trigger now on the NC400 setup. Ghent already got back to me and will be paying shortly. Next is ordering the modules and PSU's. Can't wait. Will read up the best I can on builds and proper connections. If I have specific build questions is there a dedicated NC400 DIY thread?
Congratulations - I think that will be a great solution for you. I've never communicated in detail with Ghent, but I paid for bothe cases with PayPal, and got quick responses and shipping. I've never seen a complaint about the company.

Use the search function here at ASR to look for "NC400 Kit"

I know of at least one recent thread on building a pair of NC400 monaural kits - HERE.

There are other comments buried in the nearly 60 page thread following Amir's review of the NC400 kit amplifier - HERE.
 
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Thread Starter #13
Ugh....and as I am adding up the pricing, getting ready to pay I make a final check on Nord's site and see the MC500MP and NC502MP are back in stock. Pricing that out, it would be $1200 USD after conversion and shipping for a 3CH NCxxxMP setup from Nord vs. ~$1700 USD after conversion and shipping for a 3CH NC400 setup.

This circles me back to the Price vs. Performance issue and me being paralyzed by choice.

*sigh*
 

Xulonn

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#16
So. Curve ball at the last moment. Have put an order in for (2) March Audio 502 Stereo blocks.
Good choice - If you can afford the extra cost (over basic DIY or pre-assembled kit versions) you get a pair of amps from company run by a guy with an obsession for manufacturing quality and craftsmanship. Alan March not only supports his own products, but offers online advice and help to others here at ASR who own or are considering other brands of amplifiers. The review thread on the March Audio 502 is a textbook example of great interaction and cooperation between reviewer, manufacturer, and ASR members.

Call me a fanboy if you like, but Alan March is a true gentleman, and sets a high bar for other small audio businesses. There are other such folks around, but Alan is quite active here at ASR, so we get to see his responses more frequently.
 
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Thread Starter #17
Good choice - If you can afford the extra cost (over basic DIY or pre-assembled kit versions) you get a pair of amps from company run by a guy with an obsession for manufacturing quality and craftsmanship. Alan March not only supports his own products, but offers online advice and help to others here at ASR who own or are considering other brands of amplifiers. The review thread on the March Audio 502 is a textbook example of great interaction and cooperation between reviewer, manufacturer, and ASR members.

Call me a fanboy if you like, but Alan March is a true gentleman, and sets a high bar for other small audio businesses. There are other such folks around, but Alan is quite active here at ASR, so we get to see his responses more frequently.
All of this is exactly why I paid the premium to order from him. Even the simple fact that he properly wires pin 1 was a huge plus to me. I also emailed him and he was very helpful with questions. Seeing his dedication to every detail just made sense to pay the extra price. I also spoiled myself and get some audio cables from him.
 

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