• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Review and Measurements of Neurochrome Modulus-286 Amp

tomchr

Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Manufacturer
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
239
Likes
658
Location
Calgary, Canada
#42
The chassis is grounded through the IEC inlet, so I'm a bit puzzled about this "mains leakage".

Tom
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
20,563
Likes
25,234
Location
Seattle Area
#43
The chassis is grounded through the IEC inlet, so I'm a bit puzzled about this "mains leakage".

Tom
I did not have the top screwed down at the time so that may be a reason.
 

Killingbeans

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
179
Likes
288
Location
Bjerringbro, Denmark.
#44
That said, consumer psychology experiments show that males (who tend to be the ones buying audio gear) associate heavier products with better quality, so maybe there's a psychological argument for transformer-based supplies. :)
I believe that. I've seen lots of audiophile reviews that sets an overall negative or positive tone depending on the weight of the product. Also, a few hundred grams of electronics in a stupidly heavy enclosure is not an uncommon sight.

I can't help thinking that many of these guys simply fear the size of any of their possessions (or preferences) will project an image of their "procreational equipment". The amygdala is a difficult little bugger to ignore. Or maybe I'm overthinking :D

The way I see it, SMPSs are only held back by the bane of all electronics: Electrolytic capacitors. Once a high temp, high voltage 'solid state' alternative hits the market, the old trafo-PSUs will become a relic.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
54
Likes
24
#46
This may be. SMPS are simply not as stable at high complex loads as toroidal transformers. furthermore there are often EMI problems due to wrong caps etc ..
 

vitalii427

Active Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
158
Likes
163
Location
Kiev
#47
This may be. SMPS are simply not as stable at high complex loads as toroidal transformers
What do you actually mean by this?

furthermore there are often EMI problems due to wrong caps etc ..
Why should anyone care about EMI when he has perfect measured performance in audio band?
 

tomchr

Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Manufacturer
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
239
Likes
658
Location
Calgary, Canada
#48
[F]urthermore there are often EMI problems due to wrong caps etc ..
There are often EMI problems with rectifiers in transformer-based supplies as well. The main difference there is that the EMI issues caused by rectifiers cause crap at integer multiples of the mains frequency, thus end up smack in the middle of the audio band, whereas EMI from SMPSes occurs well beyond the audio band. The little bit of mains hum (we're talking a few uV here!) in the MOD286 Kit is caused by EMI from the rectification of the mains voltage, not by the primary switch of the SMPS.

Tom
 

restorer-john

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
2,354
Likes
3,737
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
#51
...Why should anyone care about EMI when he has perfect measured performance in audio band?...
Because anyone who wants to be able to actually sell their products, needs to care about the emissions standards for unintentional radiators. This is a useful resource, although it is getting out of date. An insight into how many standards there are, and the complexity of adhering to constantly moving goal-posts.

http://www.dbicorporation.com/standard.htm
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
34
Likes
36
#52
I am not sure what value judgement to put on the amplifier. Certainly at $1,300, the Modulus-286 amplifier is "cheap" compared to any high-end amplification. At the other externe, the DIY Hypex NC400 I tested produced more power at I think $1,500. Purchasing the Neurochrome Modulus-286 would let you support a smart, Canadian designer and entrepreneur. I let you decide how valuable that is.
FWIW, if you're inclined to do a some soldering, the Modulus-86 is available, and a full stereo build will be cheaper than the 286 kit. It also uses only one lm3886 (as opposed to two in the 286), so power is roughly halved. But the technology is virtually the same. I am currently in the process of building a stereo amp with two Mod86 modules. Once it's all done I'll be in for about $500. The biggest cost was the case, which was just over $200 from the diyAudio store (Mini Dissipante 2U 330x300, including baseplate and custom CNC work). There are cheaper cases available from China through ebay, aliexpress, etc.
 

rebbiputzmaker

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
751
Likes
127
#53
I am not sure what value judgement to put on the amplifier. Certainly at $1,300, the Modulus-286 amplifier is "cheap" compared to any high-end amplification. At the other externe, the DIY Hypex NC400 I tested produced more power at I think $1,500.
You are comparing very different amps. The built 2 channel ncores are approx half the price. This amp is a fancy gain clone. Have built several, they were popular maybe 10 years ago.

Even the boards favorite manufacture has a modern class ab 100W 8ohm 200W 4ohm amp for $700.
 
Last edited:

tomchr

Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Manufacturer
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
239
Likes
658
Location
Calgary, Canada
#54
This amp is a fancy gain clone.
The only thing my Modulus-series has in common with a gain clone is the LM3886. The Modulus amps all have error correction built in, which is how they achieve such high performance. If performance is not your thing, that's fine. There are other options that you might find more enticing, including the gain clone (though Chipamp appears to have gone out of business).

Pricing: I run a low volume production business. As a business I have to charge more than the production cost. That's how businesses make money. If I charged at or below cost, I would not have a business; I'd have a hobby. This has been discussed ad nauseam on DIY Audio. You will always be able to find something cheaper on eBay and you are certainly free to do so. I compete on quality, characterization, and customer service.

I think a more reasonable price comparison point for my Modulus series would be Hypex. Another comparison would be the Aspen NAKSA/AKSA series, though the Aspen products are of considerably lower performance.

Tom
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
20,563
Likes
25,234
Location
Seattle Area
#55
The built 2 channel ncores are approx half the price.
Where? This is what the original owner said it cost him to build the nc400:


The amp modules alone are $1,000 and we still don't have a case, or power supply. Where do you see supported NC400 for $650?
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
20,563
Likes
25,234
Location
Seattle Area
#56
This amp is a fancy gain clone. Have built several, they were popular maybe 10 years ago.
I already explained this in the review. Did you not read it? LM3886 does not remotely have the same performance/power of this amplifier.
 

Killingbeans

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
179
Likes
288
Location
Bjerringbro, Denmark.
#57
Pricing: I run a low volume production business. As a business I have to charge more than the production cost. That's how businesses make money. If I charged at or below cost, I would not have a business; I'd have a hobby. This has been discussed ad nauseam on DIY Audio. You will always be able to find something cheaper on eBay and you are certainly free to do so. I compete on quality, characterization, and customer service.
You don't have to go as far as DIY Audio to find people who can't grasp that particular part of reality. The recent review of the March Audio Dac1 springs to mind. I'm no saint, but feeling butthurt about people trying to make a perfectly honest living is one of the saddest waste of time I can imagine.
 

rebbiputzmaker

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 28, 2018
Messages
751
Likes
127
#58
Where? This is what the original owner said it cost him to build the nc400:


The amp modules alone are $1,000 and we still don't have a case, or power supply. Where do you see supported NC400 for $650?
I never said nc400 I said 2 channel ncore.

The nc252 amps would be closer.
https://www.hypex.nl/product/nc252mp-oem/76
You can check March Audio also.

Here is another built amp with the nc252 $725
https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1519724451445816/
 
Top Bottom