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Review and Measurements of Hypex NC400 DIY Amp

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Or as good it gets as long you the load doesn't drop much below 2 ohm and you have sufficient watts for the usage. There are a few amps of other classes with good amount of watts that more or less rival Hypex, i.e. the Halcro and ASR Emitter II. But they cost much more and I don't see them being any better.
https://halcro.com/product/eclipse-mono/
https://www.stereophile.com/content/asr-emitter-ii-exclusive-integrated-amplifier-measurements
holy... 125k $... i've always read and believed that class D are a great bargain for the price but don't expected that much. Interesting to see that apart from fancy caseworks, even mcintosh and similar other high priced amps, have a THD that is at least ten times more than the hypex.
 

Bjorn

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holy... 125k $... i've always read and believed that class D are a great bargain for the price but don't expected that much. Interesting to see that apart from fancy caseworks, even mcintosh and similar other high priced amps, have a THD that is at least ten times more than the hypex.
Yes. At lot of so called high-end electronics is much about fancy cases, bullshit commercial, etc. While I don't disagree that some amount of second harmonic distortion can sound good and pleasing (but also very depended on speakers, acoustics, recording, etc.), that's not what they advertise and it's difficult to understand the prices. It's getting very low distortion and a transparent sounding product which is really technically difficult.
 

pos

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i've built months ago an amp around an Anaview AMS 1000 module... I would be very interested in how this compare to the hypex.
I've done some researches and found that is a module commercially used also in the Marten M-AMP and in Amphion pro amps, i really like the sound but i do not have the equipment to test it.
Comparing specs from datasheets i see an SNR of 93dB (measured at 1W) vs hypex' 124dB, and a noise of 60 vs 23uV, but the anaview is interesting because it costs way less than the NC400, around 360 dollars for the bigger version and 150$ for the smaller AMS0100.
The nc400 SNR is around 100dB at 1W, 124dB being at full power.
The anaview is a tad noisier indeed.

I have used these anaview modules, and compared them to the nc400.
IMHO their main problem is their input configuration: the end result is very depend on the output impedance characteristics of the source.
They need an additional buffer stage if the source is not well defined/controlled, and this adds $$ and noise.
The nc400 is a safer bet.
 
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arisholm

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Or as good it gets as long you the load doesn't drop much below 2 ohm and you have sufficient watts for the usage. There are a few amps of other classes with good amount of watts that more or less rival Hypex, i.e. the Halcro and ASR Emitter II. But they cost much more and I don't see them being any better.
https://halcro.com/product/eclipse-mono/
https://www.stereophile.com/content/asr-emitter-ii-exclusive-integrated-amplifier-measurements
Just curious: In what way do you see those amps not being any better? In terms of measurements or sound quality? Certainly when I went from my Electrocompaniet mono blocks to the Emitter II it was not "watts" that impressed me.
 

Bjorn

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Just curious: In what way do you see those amps not being any better? In terms of measurements or sound quality? Certainly when I went from my Electrocompaniet mono blocks to the Emitter II it was not "watts" that impressed me.
I don't see them measuring better than Hypex Ncore in a way that they would sound more transparent. Measurements will show how transparent they sound. Someone blind testet Ncore NC400 and ASR Emitter II, and not surprisingly no known could hear a difference. EC amps don't measure great by the way, so not surprising you experienced a difference when changing to a low distortion amp like ASR.
 

amirm

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But your reply triggered some thoughts. I realise that I will be barking up an old tree now, and sticking my neck way out there, but: after reading a lot of posts in ASR I get the impression that many people on this forum quite strongly believe that you can use a relatively small suite of measurements (including THD) as "objective" indicators of the quality of sound, for both DACs and amps.
We have hashed this out in many threads. Let's not get into it in this (or other review) threads please. You can create a new thread on that or add to existing ones.

For now, the "people" in this forum follow the Audio Science as the name indicates. Audiophiles beliefs to the contrary are not valid in the collective views of audio science research and engineering.
 

arisholm

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We have hashed this out in many threads. Let's not get into it in this (or other review) threads please. You can create a new thread on that or add to existing ones.

For now, the "people" in this forum follow the Audio Science as the name indicates. Audiophiles beliefs to the contrary are not valid in the collective views of audio science research and engineering.
OK, sorry for that, I should have realised that this was discussed elsewhere. Deleted as off topic as damage control :) But my post was not about audiophile beliefs, quite the contrary the topic was construct validity.
 
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I have been using the Ncore 400 for several years and found it very good in a variety of situations.

as to making it better and the differences between the NC400 and the other Hypex OEM modules, there really is only one major difference. The NC400 has a built in buffer amp (discrete) and the OEM modules need a buffer which the oem provides. Hence a source of different voicing or texture. The raw (oem) module has a fairly low input impedance and is single ended. So adding a suitable balanced easily driven buffer is desirable. And of course the wider range of output power available in their oem modules.

The other notable difference between Bruno's class D amps and others which I did not see referenced elsewhere in this thread (could have missed it) is the position of the output filter. To me this is the one great thing that Bruno realized and got patented for Philips, that the filter is in the feedback loop, not in line with the load. This significantly reduces the interaction of the load with the amp. It also reduces the requirements of the filter amperage wise and makes it easier to build with sane components.

Cheers
Alan
 
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GioF71

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I don't see a review of a Nord Acoustics amp here.
I have the NC502MP and I very much enjoy it.
Though I am quite sure you want to see some measurements instead of my personal appreciation :)
Regards!
 

GioF71

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Happy to hear another good opinion. Did you see the latest NC1200s? They seem quite impressive. I am set for the moment with the NC502MP on my desk (I also have desk space limitations in this scenario) but I sure would enjoy reading an objective review.
 

Samoyed

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I’d love to buy it, but I’d be eating the cat’s food for weeks. Colin is a straight up guy, so I believe it must sound good. I have chronic tinnitus and for whatever reason, going to the Sparkos helped or obviated aggravation.
 
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Matias

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I wonder how the Sparkos and SI opamps measure on an NC500 mk2 based Nord amplifier. Anyone willing to lend Amir his or hers for testing?
 

Matias

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@amirm has quite a queue of equipment to test, so it is up to you 2 to coordinate a date to meet. Fingers crossed here! :)
 

Samoyed

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@amirm has quite a queue of equipment to test, so it is up to you 2 to coordinate a date to meet. Fingers crossed here! :)
I’d suggest you contact Colin North directly at Nord. He may have the measured data, or have an interest in obtaining it in the UK. Frankly, I don’t care how it measures as to me, I’ve never heard anything like the sound stage and detail it produces.
 

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