MCH-K38 - a giant killer!

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 46517 times.

John Casler

MCH-K38 - a giant killer!
« on: 25 May 2016, 11:06 pm »
The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!


OK, I have been holding off on writing this for a while to continue to log time on this amp.

I have also wanted to get feedback from my customers who have it and have listened to it SERIOUSLY.

I have been a dyed in the wool AudioPhile since about 1972, when I purchased and Stacked Mirror Imaged Dalhquist DQ-10 speakers.

I have heard hundreds of absolutley INCREDIBLE Stereo and Monobloc amplifiers in hundreds of systems and rooms.

Marantz, Citation, Pass Labs, SAE, Spectron, Phase Linear, Crown, Cary, Classe, MBL, Atma-Sphere, BAT, Hegel, Bryston, Carver, Ampzilla, NuFORCE, CineNova, ATI, Lexicon, Nakamichi, NAD, CinePro, Boulder, Eagle, Levinson, Audio Research, Krell, and on, and on.

I have heard amps that cost over more than some peoples homes at the time.

Now much of my impressions would clearly be shaped by the System and Room I have heard these amps in, but when an amp is GOOD, and in a GOOD systems, and you know what to listen for, you should be able to get an idea of what is high quality sound, and what is just good.

Most of these amps were either Stereo, or Monobloc Pairs.  They mostly (the good ones) were expensive, and all had reputations for performance and often a pedigreed Designer (like Bongiorno, Iverson, Pass, Carver, Levinson, etc) who were legends in the world of amplifiers.

So I am prefacing this with all that information, so you don't get the idea I am not to familiar with High Performance Amps and High Performance LISTENING to them.

That is why it is all the more STARTLING for me to make the CLAIM that is coming.  In fact, I still hesitate to post such a CLAIM since it sounds somewhat IMPLAUSIBLE, even to me.  But HERE GOES:

The Best AMP I have EVER HEARD (EVER) in my or any system, is the NuPRIME MCH K-38 eight channel amp, with the channels I am using BRIDGED to 400wpc.

No, it is not some $40,000 Stereo, or $25,000 Monobloc, but an 8 channel with BRIDEGABLE channels.

And the most STAGGERING thing about it, is that it it only costs $3000!!!!

This is difficult for my mind to wrap around, but the assessment is NOT JUST MINE.

Most recently I have heard the AMPZILLA 2000 (300wpc $8500 pr) Monoblocs, the BRYSTON 4bSST, ($5000)  and 7bSST ($11,000) monoblocs, the NuFORCE Reference 18 ($7600 pr originally), and the Pass Labs, and Atma-Spheres. Only a couple come close to matching the K-38 in a few categories.

Not one of these amps, nor any heard previously totally matched or exceeded the MCH K38 in ANY sonic performance category, and the K-38 smoked some of the VERY BIG BOYS quite badly in most.

To tag this amp a GIANT KILLER is a serious UNDERSTATEMENT.

Now I post this because many are looking for a Serious Amp, but they don't have 5 digit checkbooks.   I also know that virtually NO ONE, including me, would be looking at an 8 channel amp, and only using 4 channels bridged to 400wpc for their SERIOUS LISTENING SYSTEMS.  Well, all I can say is "go ahead" and spend $5000-$50,000 and get the same or lower performance.

I have a feeling that even NuPRIME does not fully appreciate the qualities and performance available from this amp. 

You know how I know?  THE PRICE!!!!  From what I have heard (and I admittedly haven't heard every amp out there) there is NOTHING that can compare at even 4-10 TIMES the price.

So THAT is why we are demoing the MCH K-38 at THE HOME ENTERTAINMENT SHOW next week in our 2 channel rig.

I plan on OPENING SOME EARS and hope you can stop in and hear for yourself, before Rustydoglim comes to his senses, and doubles or triples the price on this incredible amplifier.

I'll post more later, including some quotes from recent customers.

And if you already own the K-38 congratulations and if you haven't already, get your serious listening cap on and see EXACTLY WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.





Rocket_Ronny

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1071
  • Your Room Is Everything - Use It Well.
    • ScriptureSongs.com
Very interesting read. But there is no way it will give the 3D, holographic, imaging a good tube amp will. I am talking about the lit up from within, individual images being 3D and not flat like most solid state amps, except Class As. Is this an A/B amp?
Anyway I hope you are right as it gives a new option for top shelf sound. BI, or Tri amping anyone?

Rocket Ronny

Evoke

  • Industry Contributor
  • Posts: 135
    • EVOKE Planar Loudspeakers
Very interesting read. But there is no way it will give the 3D, holographic, imaging a good tube amp will. I am talking about the lit up from within, individual images being 3D and not flat like most solid state amps, except Class As. Is this an A/B amp?
Anyway I hope you are right as it gives a new option for top shelf sound. BI, or Tri amping anyone?

Rocket Ronny


Hey Rocket - I would have agreed with you 100% until I heard it. I'm a huge fan of triode class A tube amps. Yes they are insanely wonderful. However - the damping factor has always been an issue - especially in the bass region.


Some time ago, David Hafler created the equivalent of a tube circuit for his Transnova amps. Turned out to be pretty awesome. So here we are today...


That said, enter Class D. Once considered dirty words, it has turned out to be very interesting. The NuPrime is a Class A/D amp. (Class A circuit design with Class D back end efficiency.) In fact, it does sound like a refined tube amp but with no issues on damping in the bass region. I have had some Audio Research gear and currently one of my amps is a hybrid Class A front end (tubes) and a transistor back end biased to Class A. The NuPrime makes that amp sound like a $250 receiver - well not that bad.


I hope you can hear the NuPrime - it's really worth some time and will challenge your thinking on amps. I can say this - at first glance I passed on it. After hearing it - I bought one.


Happy Listening,
Mark

John Casler

Very interesting read. But there is no way it will give the 3D, holographic, imaging a good tube amp will. I am talking about the lit up from within, individual images being 3D and not flat like most solid state amps, except Class As. Is this an A/B amp?
Anyway I hope you are right as it gives a new option for top shelf sound. BI, or Tri amping anyone?

Rocket Ronny

Hi Ronny,

Strangely enough the most noticable qualities when I first started listening were:

1) Imaging Palpability
2) Improved Depth of Images
3) An uncanny Transparency hearing detail either somewhat hidden, or never heard before
4) Larger Soundstage
5) Bass Dynamics and Harmonic Overtones.

While there certainly can be disagreement on what qualities are most important and how they rank in importance, this amp far exceeds what I thought possible at this price point.

It is also beyond interesting that BRIDGING the channels actually makes them sound BETTER.

And you are correct, if you have Bi-AMPABLE Speakers you have your amp.



To read more CLICK HERE

John Casler

Oh, and Ronny here is the info on the classes:

<<<<<The MCH-K38 amplifier is derived from the ULCAM (Ultra Linear Class A Module)+Class D design first introduced in IDA-8.  By joining a powerful high impedance single-ended amplifier circuit in the preamp stage with a well integrated Class-D power stage, the MCH-K38’s rich tube-like sound and tremendous speed is sure to impress audio enthusiasts.>>>>>

So part of the sound quality is the inclusion of even order harmonics, resulting in a more tube like quality, without giving in to the some of the tube downsides, as Mr EVOKE, just mentioned.

mca

Make a two channel version and you would get my attention!

Folsom

Honestly I don't think your associated gear isn't good enough to make this claim true for everyone.

Do you know if your DAC has a buffered output? It uses an Alps Blue Velvet (not that good). 

Sounds more like you've achieved synergy.

Rocket_Ronny

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1071
  • Your Room Is Everything - Use It Well.
    • ScriptureSongs.com
Cool, just read up on them. Class A front end for the 3D imaging and power of Class D. I like it. Are the ST-9, 10, and integrated up to the same sonic performance?

If I did not already own some Tube Research Lab gear I would considering a purchase.

Rocket Ronny

Evoke

  • Industry Contributor
  • Posts: 135
    • EVOKE Planar Loudspeakers
Cool, just read up on them. Class A front end for the 3D imaging and power of Class D. I like it. Are the ST-9, 10, and integrated up to the same sonic performance?

If I did not already own some Tube Research Lab gear I would considering a purchase.

Rocket Ronny


Hey, Rocket - I heard the smaller integrated. It was truly amazing. Then I hear the smaller STA amp. Same clarity - but the "weight" and authority were astounding.

Rocket_Ronny

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1071
  • Your Room Is Everything - Use It Well.
    • ScriptureSongs.com
Nice.

I see a nuforce 20 amp on the site. Is Nuprime a division of Nuforce?

Rocket Ronny

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #10 on: 26 May 2016, 12:23 am »
Honestly I don't think your associated gear isn't good enough to make this claim true for everyone.

Do you know if your DAC has a buffered output? It uses an Alps Blue Velvet (not that good). 

Sounds more like you've achieved synergy.

Hi Folsom,

My Associated Gear not good enough? Not sure what that means, but obviously any and ALL amps will be facilitated and or possibly degraded by associated gear.  I cannot make ANY claim as to what you will hear, except based on what I hear.

I also have no idea what ALPS volume control you are talking about in my gear.

I think the DAC-10H I use, has the MUSE 72320 or similar. 

I would agree that the system has acheived a high level of synergy, and that translates to the overall product.

OzarkTom

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 2828
Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #11 on: 26 May 2016, 12:26 am »
Make a two channel version and you would get my attention!

+1

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #12 on: 26 May 2016, 12:32 am »
Nice.

I see a nuforce 20 amp on the site. Is Nuprime a division of Nuforce?

Rocket Ronny

Ronny,

No, NuPRIME is a NEW separate company, but has some of the original NuFORCE staff.  Optoma bought NuFORCE some time ago and NuPRIME took responsibility for the current REFERENCE Gear, of which the REF 20 was part of.

That marketing agreement has since ended, and the REF 20 will now be sold under the NuPRIME Logo/Name.

I do not include the REF 20 in my comparisons (as it should perform even better) because I have not personally heard it.

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #13 on: 26 May 2016, 12:42 am »
Cool, just read up on them. Class A front end for the 3D imaging and power of Class D. I like it. Are the ST-9, 10, and integrated up to the same sonic performance?

If I did not already own some Tube Research Lab gear I would considering a purchase.

Rocket Ronny

There is always Audiogon  :green:

I will have a pair of STA-9s here in a couple days to compare.  I was under the initial impression that they were the same, except "4 in a box", bur Rustydoglim said there are differences, so I will report.

The ST-10 is in the same League, but with some slight sonic differences.  It is less tube-like, and has a slight leading edge transient attack that makes a special difference on "struck" instruments, like piano and percussion.  Overall just a slight bit more aggressive.

ST-10 also is rated at a conservative 150wpc, so it is less powerful than both the bridged K-38 400wpc, and bridged STA-9 290wpc.

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #14 on: 26 May 2016, 12:44 am »
Make a two channel version and you would get my attention!

This IS a 2 channel version, with spare channels thrown in  :lol: :lol: :lol:

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #15 on: 26 May 2016, 12:54 am »
 Here is a message I received and was granted permission to post, by a new K-38 owner

<<<<Hi John,

I got the amp yesterday and set it up with the HD AVP in my downstairs system.

AMP:  I can only say positive things about this amp, it’s a masterpiece

-Even running the power hungry VMPS RM 30’s full range, the power was effortless and vast
-I heard bass I never heard before, coming out of those speakers!
-Even without break in time, the amp is nuanced, smooth, yet detailed.  Yes, much smoother still than the V3 SE’s.
-Music had excellent bloom and dynamics
-The sound field is vast.  On two channel listening, there were sounds coming from center (such as voice of course) but the other instruments were held in space, sometimes way out to the left or right.  In one fun recording (Deep Forest), there are sounds that go behind you in the listening position.  Incredible imaging and depth.

Bridging was really easy and intuitive.  One little note: the manual says to use the white connector ends, but the red ones were active, not the white, when in mono mode.

I used 6 channels bridged for my front three channels and the remaining two for sides, unbridged.  Works great.>>>>

Wind Chaser

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #16 on: 26 May 2016, 01:42 am »
How much better than NuForce Reference 20?

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #17 on: 26 May 2016, 01:50 am »
How much better than NuForce Reference 20?

I have not personally heard or auditioned the Ref 20 (as I mentioned above).

The K-38 is the equal to the REF 18 in most areas and IMO slightly better in tonal quality and detail than the Ref 18.

The K-38 bridged also has more "horsepower" than the REF 18, 400wpc compared to 335wpc.

That said, the REF 20 is a the flagship, and while it is hard to imagine, I assume it would be better, but my criteria was "The BEST AMP I EVER HEARD", and I haven't heard that one.

I might mention, that one of my GOLDEN EARED Clients has purchased TWO K-38's and is planning on bridging each to get 8 channels at 400wpc.

He will receive his second in about 10 days.  Maybe he will post (I know he reads AC)

Wind Chaser

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #18 on: 26 May 2016, 02:08 am »
I have not personally heard or auditioned the Ref 20 (as I mentioned above).

I'm just asking ...anyone... who might know.

Folsom

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #19 on: 26 May 2016, 02:11 am »
Audio Alchemy has basically a 2 channel version. It's class A front end, class D. Better? Probably, but wasn't the end all if you ask me.

A lot of equipment makes up for problems elsewhere in the chain. I don't believe it makes it correct however, or really good. But it can provide synergy.