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Vera Audio P400/1000 Review (Amplifier)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 2.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 53 21.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 186 75.6%

  • Total voters
    246

PierreV

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Enormous listening fatigue
Strangely enough, I am more tired of those class-D comments than I am of music listening on class-D amplifiers... (And yes, I also own non class D ones)
 

Spocko

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First time to hear “greenflation”. What a manipulative neologism!
Not saying you’re being manipulative.
Let’s face it, if you are manufacturing in a high wage country, taking care for the environment (e. g. like Genelec) and not using slaves as work force you have to ask for a higher price. That’s totally justifiable in my opinion.
Exactly what I mention when people complain about the price of Genelec speakers.
 

Spocko

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Nobody will use work forced labour in this industry. You need at least 10 year of education to do assembly. You must be comfortable with machine and tools. That was decades ago. You can't do it with forced labour at all. With lots of automation, you need people at least 12 years of education to do it. Lot of programming and less hand on. It really against fact and science to claim forced labour nowadays, unless you talk about slave trade in Africa which don't involved in any technical field.

To add, it is not expensive to make this hi end gear in EU. Properly better than US as over inflated economy. In youtube, you can look see all the machine doing most of the work with a dozen workers. Even made in China is not affordable if you do not pushed for great quantity.
Not to go off topic, but since it's mentioned: manufacturing costs go BEYOND labor - it includes sustainability (which includes end of life strategy), material waste disposal, responsible energy/water usage, reasonable work hours (high paying 60 hour work weeks are not healthy), etc. ALL OF THIS, requires government enforcement because it massively raises the cost of a product without raising its performance or market appeal.
 

Spocko

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I don't see a reasonable value equation in the Vera Audio P400/1000 amp. From the measurements it looks like the Purifi design offers similar performance for almost 1/3 the cost. The hand written 120 VAC on the back seems to indicate it's not really designed for USA distribution? And as far as a switch for gain it's just another part that can fail. The XLR inputs are mounted too close together for my taste. I'll skip this one for the upcoming Buckeye Purifi model. :D
They went to great lengths to cool this amp with quality fans and heat sink design - the number one reason for electronic failure is excessive heat over time. You're paying for a product that is overbuilt for sustained high output tolerances. If you're only going 60 MPH, no reason to overpay for Pirelli P Zero tires for sure. But if you're driving low sensitivity speakers for loud dynamics representing a symphony orchestra from over 2 meters away in a well damped large spacious room?
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Let's remember that all Hypex amplifier modules are rated for short-term use. Continued use causes power throttling. So beyond reliability, getting full power long term requires proper cooling. Unfortunately the modules are not made to be easily cooled so it does take the effort such as the one here to get there.
 

Xyrium

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Wait, another high performing Hypex assembly? Crazy... ;)

I like this one better than most, just based on the aesthetics. The rest seems to go with the Hypex flow. Good stuff overall, though it does seem like Hypex or generally Class D designs are no longer the red headed stepchildren of audio, and they're fetching higher prices.

Amir, like everyone, I hope you guys are rebounding. Be well.
 

amper42

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Let's remember that all Hypex amplifier modules are rated for short-term use. Continued use causes power throttling. So beyond reliability, getting full power long term requires proper cooling. Unfortunately the modules are not made to be easily cooled so it does take the effort such as the one here to get there.

I have not seen any evidence of power throttling with my everyday use. When I measure the 2-channel Buckeye NC502MP with the BMR monitors the energy usage is only 24W to reach 81dB. Personally, I'm not using much louder than that for comfortable listening. After running for two hours the case is just barely warm to the touch. If I use a $20 AC Infinity MULTIFAN S7 on the lowest setting pulling air from the top like I do on the Denon 4700 the case stays totally cool. Do you have any studies/experience that show how long the NC502MP has to run or how hard to cause power throttling?

In addition, with the March Audio P452 Purifi design that I use in a larger room it runs for 4-6 hours at a time without a hiccup driving the Revel F328Be and it's aluminum body doesn't even get warm to the touch. It seems the Purifi has the ability to run even cooler than the NC502MP. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

pma

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Let's remember that all Hypex amplifier modules are rated for short-term use. Continued use causes power throttling. So beyond reliability, getting full power long term requires proper cooling. Unfortunately the modules are not made to be easily cooled so it does take the effort such as the one here to get there.
Give it a proper heatsink with fins and low K/W coefficient and you are there. Of course the smaller boxes made from sheet metal do not make it, a fan is not enough. But the current demand are smallest boxes with many channels, so then it is what it is.
 

Bjorn

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Many thanks to Amir for taking time to measure our VA P400/1000 amplifier.

The VA P400/1000 is not a power amplifier where pre purchased parts are simply put into a low cost plate chassis but time and money has gone in to several areas with a specific design goals. Among those are:

- Ability to maintain the low distortion in the lows with very high power unlike some other class D amps. Compare and see for yourself in the graphs.

- A special cooling system to ensure a long life span combined with a small enclosure. High temperature over time is what often causes failures or death. We wanted to make sure this an amplifier that will last for many years no matter how its' being used or placed. The design ensures that the temperature never goes above 65°C.

- Functions like bridging, bi-amping, trigger input with light indicator, a warning system that indicates clipping in the front LED and other "messages" to the user, and an extremely accurate gain control besides mute function. A micro controller monitors many functions.

- Very low noise and high CMRR (common mode rejection ratio). A CMRR above 100 dB at 1KHz is world class performance.

- Multi step RFI/EMI filtering to effectively keep harmful radio waves away from the audio circuit.

- A 10mm thick chassis milled out from one block of aluminium. This gives a high quality design with no visible seams or screws. Take note there are no visible screws in the back either. Besides the aesthetics benefit, the thick chassis provides somewhat better cooling and it enabled us to have the entire stage mounted inside a screen in a separate chamber inside the cabinet, which also minimizes RFI/EMI interference.

- Testing and optimizing every amplifier module. The modules, especally in the past, have actually varied quite a bit but we found a way to optimize them. This is something we have brought to Hypex' attention and it seems production are now more consistent by the way. We measure every amp and no one is released to the market without meeting certain measurable criteria.

As always, whether one finds the value and willingness to pay for this will always vary. Using a low cost thin plate chassis, choosing a standard buffer instead of developing our own, having less functions, etc. would have obviously brought down the cost considerably. But these are some of the design attributes and thoughts which have gone into to the amplifier.

Considering that we offer 5 years of what's basically a full warranty to Norwegian customers, we wouldn't charge anything for service within the same time frame for customers outside of Norway either. And in most cases (as long as needed parts are obtainable) not after many more years either, except the cost of freight.
 

Walter

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I doubt I will ever need the power this amp can produce, or be willing to spend this much, so I'm obviously not the target market. However, I personally think this amp represents very good value, equal or superior to literally any other amp tested here.
 

Bjorn

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Thank you Walter.

We do actually have several customers who have bought one and found out they reached the clipping limit and ended up buying a second one.
The need for power varies greatly and depends on speaker sensitivity, listening distance, how loud one is playing, and whether one is using something like Dirac that steals a good amount of level.
 

Walter

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Thank you Walter.

We do actually have several customers who have bought one and found out they reached the clipping limit and ended up buying a second one.
The need for power varies greatly and depends on speaker sensitivity, listening distance, how loud one is playing, and whether one is using something like Dirac that steals a good amount of level.
Oh yeah, I can certainly see plenty of valid uses cases, just not any I am likely to personally encounter in the foreseeable future.
 

MarcosCh

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I think we consumers are now in a very good position as we have these hypex boards that we know we can trust as a baseline and then a constellation of implementations for every budget and need. I hope it lasts, thank you to everyone implied!!
 

PeteL

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I have not seen any evidence of power throttling with my everyday use.
Nobody will, only test signals can ask for an amp to push full power continuously, not music or video medium content. And that's if you don't blow your speakers or your eardrum before the throttling occurs.
 

restorer-john

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I looked, read, looked again, I was about to give up that, shame, there is nothing I can criticize, the horror! :)

Then I found it!

I don't like a major set-up setting like stereo/bridged to be treated the same as operational settings like gain and that they are placed next to each other. You use the bridge switch once the amplifier is connected but you adjust the gain controls later on. It is entirely possible to change the amplifier mode by mistake if you are trying to adjust the level controls standing in front of the amplifier but reaching the knobs at the back.

View attachment 180977

It would have been perfect if the bridge switch would be made different and difficult to be used by mistake. A slider switch with a recessed tag is the best for such settings. Example below.

View attachment 180976

Needless to say. I am nit picking. I voted Great. However, excellence is not easy to achieve.

Thing is, with a bridge switch like this, it doesn't matter even if you flicked the switch at high power in stereo by accident. Unless you have a load over the two hots (in this case marked + and - for BTL) and even then, it wouldn't matter.

It's not like old amps where the BTL switch had a slide switch with a clear plastic cover you needed to remove a screw, slide and re-install and operate prior to switch on. These things can kill (edit: as in, shutdown) their mains SMPS faster than a fuse or OPT can blow.
 

PeteL

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Thank you Walter.

We do actually have several customers who have bought one and found out they reached the clipping limit and ended up buying a second one.
The need for power varies greatly and depends on speaker sensitivity, listening distance, how loud one is playing, and whether one is using something like Dirac that steals a good amount of level.
May you explain how Dirac can "steal" level? That would come upstream of the amp no?
 

Scgorg

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May you explain how Dirac can "steal" level? That would come upstream of the amp no?
Imagine Dirac increases some part of the frequency range by 5dB digitally. You now need -5dB of digital preamplification as well, to avoid signals potentially going over 0dBFS and clipping. If you then want the speaker to play at the same level as before, the amplifier now has to make up for the "lost" 5dB in the digital domain.
Simple, and rather intuitive.
 

Final

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I have been audiophile for many years. If I,ve learned one thing it is that components that fail comes with a High Price, potentially damaging other equipment, and ruining listening experience long before it finally gives up. To me Vera is a steal. If in the market for Hypex, I would look no further. My 2 Cents.
 

restorer-john

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Imagine Dirac increases some part of the frequency range by 5dB digitally. You now need -5dB of digital preamplification as well, to avoid signals potentially going over 0dBFS and clipping. If you then want the speaker to play at the same level as before, the amplifier now has to make up for the "lost" 5dB in the digital domain.
Simple, and rather intuitive.

And that's why high Q, high boost PEQ is a silly idea unless you have a kilowatt or more on tap...
 
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