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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

PeteL

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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.
Well that tells us that Dirac reduce the dynamic range, but not that i need more power to reach the same level in real life. Yes if you increase the level of the frequency range that was making your amp near clipping, you effectively will need to dial down everything but we don't know that, it will depend on content, but there is also a chance that Dirac will be able to push even more level before clipping. And it's as likely has the other scenario. if we are not limited by the effective gain applied. I am no expert on Dirac, but more often than not, if I apply a wide band EQ, I'll cut some stuff and boost some, but overall, I'll be able often to bring the level in the room likely even higher. The 0DBFS reference don't mean anything anymore once you are at the power amp stage. No?
 
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Scgorg

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Well that tells us that Dirac reduce the dynamic range, but not that more power would give me more level in real life. Yes if you increase the level of the frequency range that was making your amp near clipping, you effectively will need to dial down everything but we don't know that, it will depend on content, but there is also a chance that Dirac will be able to push even more level before clipping. And it's as likely has the other scenario. if we are not limited by the gain applied. I am no expert on Dirac, but more often than not, if I apply a wide band EQ, I'll cut some stuff and boost some, but overall, I'll be able often to bring the level in the room likely even higher. The 0DBFS reference don't mean anything anymore once you are at the power amp stage. No?
Sure, it will depend on content, but personally I have a large amount of music, of which many tracks reach very close to full-scale somewhere in the 40-1000Hz range (where "room correction" is usually applied). This would mean that my max volume is effectively limited by whatever frequency I've boosted.
Another thing to make note of is that reducing most of the frequency range by the aforementioned 5dB also means that you need a higher voltage output from your DAC/preamp/other device for the amp to reach it's rated power. If you're using a DAC with a set output of, say, 2 volts, and the amplifier itself would usually be able to play to clipping with that, then reducing it to 1 volt (-6dB preamp) would mean that the amplifier itself is no longer able to output it's max power. This only works for cases where the frequency you've boosted doesn't put the DAC/digital signal into clipping even with higher output in the rest of the spectrum, however, so the former case is much better as a rule of thumb (no chance of clipping).

Also, to make it clear: 0dBFS is in the digital domain. You can clip a signal digitally without the amp itself clipping, which is why boosting digitally without adding a negative preamp digitally is not possible (or rather, it shouldn't be done). From your answer it was unclear whether you know this (no offense intended whatsoever, it's just good that we're clear on what we're discussing).
 

sarumbear

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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.
This old man thought this amp to be the same. That's why :)
 

PeteL

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Sure, it will depend on content, but personally I have a large amount of music, of which many tracks reach very close to full-scale somewhere in the 40-1000Hz range (where "room correction" is usually applied). This would mean that my max volume is effectively limited by whatever frequency I've boosted.
Another thing to make note of is that reducing most of the frequency range by the aforementioned 5dB also means that you need a higher voltage output from your DAC/preamp/other device for the amp to reach it's rated power. If you're using a DAC with a set output of, say, 2 volts, and the amplifier itself would usually be able to play to clipping with that, then reducing it to 1 volt (-6dB preamp) would mean that the amplifier itself is no longer able to output it's max power. This only works for cases where the frequency you've boosted doesn't put the DAC/digital signal into clipping even with higher output in the rest of the spectrum, however, so the former case is much better as a rule of thumb (no chance of clipping).

Also, to make it clear: 0dBFS is in the digital domain. You can clip a signal digitally without the amp itself clipping, which is why boosting digitally without adding a negative preamp digitally is not possible (or rather, it shouldn't be done). From your answer it was unclear whether you know this (no offense intended whatsoever, it's just good that we're clear on what we're discussing).
I agree, you do have the right understanding. But what is "level"? Think of it as A weighted dB SPL. Not position of the volume wheel. Your DAC exemple is good: "The amplifier itself is no longer able to output its max power" Then, how a more powerful amplifier, with the same gain, would help? That was the original statement. In effect, Dirac, or any other EQ, will in the end only leed to limit the level the power amp can give you if after applying EQ the loudest peaks in the content you are playing become further away the average rms level of the content. Which can be the case or not. Yes sharp boosts do that but Dirac shouldn't have to do sharp boosts. Yes there are gain related considerations, but it has to do with what is on the front end, not the power amplifier.
 
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restorer-john

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This old man thought this amp to be the same. That's why :)

I have power amps where I wouldn't dream of flicking the BTL switch whilst powered up. And some Class A/AB switchable units. Even 4R/8R rail switches are catastrophes waiting to happen.

But these modern Class Ds can kill the PSU in <mS in the case of stupid mistakes. Sure, it makes for bulletproof designs, but it also takes the fun out it. :)
 

Jim Shaw

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Some people who have spent a lot of money on other amplifiers - such as a few which have been reviewed here recently - might feel considerable pain and distress if they heard a current Hypex.
Typically, when a $2K amplifier sounds as good/better than a $7K amp, the 7K owner's imagination will kick in. "... but mine has cool blue meters, and rose gold knobs, and every audiodolt I know thinks it's the best..."

Prada should go into hifi amplifiers, eh?
 

aschen

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Really nice amplifier. The thoughtful heat management, gain selectors, machined chassis, and clipping indicators are all welcome value added features in my book.

Lots of worse ways to spend 3k on an amplifier. I can see the apeal of buying the cheapest basic box snuffed with the models of your choice, but I'd think the upcharge for the additional engineering and features here is altogether reasonable.

Would love to replace my crown sub amp with one, in the spirit of overkill. Golfing panther vote from me
 

anchan

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Of note is that 16 out of 20 blue "excellent" amplifiers in terms of SINAD, are either Hypex or Purifi (Bruno P) based. The 4 within this category that are not are the Benchmark AB, Topping PA5, Neurochrome Modulus, and SMS VMV. Just interesting is all.
 

amper42

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Hopefully no one will check their retirement account before buying that next amp. It's 1929 all over again. :D
 

nagster

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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.
I likewise this bridge switch looks like a booby trap.
According to the manufacturer's commentary, there is no problem. I'm sure it's true.
But still I'm scared. Because I am an old man...
 

Spocko

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I likewise this bridge switch looks like a booby trap.
According to the manufacturer's commentary, there is no problem. I'm sure it's true.
But still I'm scared. Because I am an old man...
My favorite reason for everything: “because I am an old man,”

This is more true than people realize!
 

sarumbear

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I likewise this bridge switch looks like a booby trap.
According to the manufacturer's commentary, there is no problem. I'm sure it's true.
But still I'm scared. Because I am an old man...
As it is often the old man who buys these amplifiers, maybe the manufacturer consider a change? Old men friendly can’t be bad for business :)
 

mocenigo

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Are we going to talk about this? Edit : @restorer-john did.
View attachment 180939
Thanks, @biglebowski

The modules are wired out of phase. So the input of one module is inverted and therefore the output as well. This helps the power supply work better, and if they used one of the 2K one by Hypex; they HAVE to do this to avoid bus pumping.

I have done the same in my build. It is not the wiring mistake done once by Nord - or was it Audiophonics? Doesn’t matter.
 

mocenigo

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Hi,
Interesting test. I had an experience with hypex modules back in 2005/6 implemented by a great electronician. The project was abandoned for the simple reason that after 10 minutes you could't listen any more. Enormous listening fatigue ( not with the class d Topping pa5) . It is very probable ( i hope so) that from than hypex evolved but i reccomend to Armirm an extended listening test to confirm his judgement..

If they were UcD, or NCore NC500s with the ”evaluation” buffers I can believe that.

I have had both NCore with a properly designed buffer and Purifi based amps. Zero fatigue. And esp with the Purifi treble smooth as silk, as audiophiles would say. Hours of listening every day, no stress whatsoever. In fact, that treble could be associated to a little refined DHT SET.
 

PeteL

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If they were UcD, or NCore NC500s with the ”evaluation” buffers I can believe that.

I have had both NCore with a properly designed buffer and Purifi based amps. Zero fatigue. And esp with the Purifi treble smooth as silk, as audiophiles would say. Hours of listening every day, no stress whatsoever. In fact, that treble could be associated to a little refined DHT SET.
What's wring with the evaluation buffer?
 

LTig

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@Armand Det er et veldig fint forsterker - fantastisk!

Seriously if one targets for SOTA amplification there are now two great choices: the Benchmark AHB2 for low power and this one for high power. It's a real pity that I'll never gonna need one (all active speakers here).
 

kongwee

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Well that tells us that Dirac reduce the dynamic range, but not that i need more power to reach the same level in real life. Yes if you increase the level of the frequency range that was making your amp near clipping, you effectively will need to dial down everything but we don't know that, it will depend on content, but there is also a chance that Dirac will be able to push even more level before clipping. And it's as likely has the other scenario. if we are not limited by the effective gain applied. I am no expert on Dirac, but more often than not, if I apply a wide band EQ, I'll cut some stuff and boost some, but overall, I'll be able often to bring the level in the room likely even higher. The 0DBFS reference don't mean anything anymore once you are at the power amp stage. No?
0DBFS at digital domain is already clipping. You can read somewhere is +6dB in analog equivalent domain. Best it is to keep the peak at -6dB maximum in digital domain. There is even sound quality different when you are -6dB peak and level up in analog stage than 0dB digital domain and level down in analogy domain.
 

PeteL

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0DBFS at digital domain is already clipping. You can read somewhere is +6dB in analog equivalent domain. Best it is to keep the peak at -6dB maximum in digital domain. There is even sound quality different when you are -6dB peak and level up in analog stage than 0dB digital domain and level down in analogy domain.
Sorry that wasn’t exactly the discussion, there is also a bit more to what you say, gain structure is indeed important, but I think this could be derailing the thread if go there. but anyway. In my example there was no digital domain volume control, that wasn’t the point, most recordings ar normalized at 1 bit below 0 dBFS, technically 0 DBFS really. but my point was that the necessary margin below that to allow DSP like dirac don’t have to correspond to an equivalent loss of volume when at the power amp stage. Using digital volume control to lower your signal at -6 DBFS is not necessarally wrong but is arbitrary, not sure where this recommandation come from, you either use digital volume, then the DBFS level will vary depending how loud you listen or you don’t, then it will be near 0DBFS.
 
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kongwee

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Sorry that wasn’t exactly the discussion, there is also a bit more to what you say, gain structure is indeed important, but I think this could be derailing the thread if go there. but anyway. In my example there was no digital domain volume control, that wasn’t the point, most recordings ar normalized at 1 bit below 0 dBFS, technically 0 DBFS really. but my point was that the necessary margin below that to allow DSP like dirac don’t have to correspond to an equivalent loss of volume when at the power amp stage. Using digital volume control to lower your signal at -6 DBFS is not necessarally wrong but is arbitrary, not sure where this recommandation come from, you either use digital volume, then the DBFS will vary, or you don’t, then it will be near 0DBFS.
You are somewhere correct when you most recording normalised 1 bit 0dbFS. They put a limiter in their mix or master. You can see it hit 0dB at some point and can't really tell the different. But that is another big topic. Just for playback if you can actually control the volume digitally, it is best to lower it down a bit. I don't use DIRAC, but I do some DAW and have to look at my audio interface mix level.

Of course these is a volume loss from the DAC output, many argue that resolution loss due lower bit rate. At least in my audio interface, if I have to achieve 0DB to minimum bit rate loss, I will gain some distortion. In my audio interface screen, I have -6db in software control and -12 dB at monitoring . -6db at software control, I don't get to see red. -12 db monitoring to have lesser gain so that I have better volume control range at my audio interface physical volume control knob to my studio monitor. When I see red in metering, I assume it already distorted even I can't prove it.
 
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