MCH-K38 - a giant killer!

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wushuliu

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #80 on: 27 May 2016, 09:07 pm »
So what kind of class d chip does this amp use?

Wind Chaser

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #81 on: 27 May 2016, 09:18 pm »
And glad you appreciate my enthusiasm...

I would also like to be equally honest and confess that if I had the option of viewing anything anyone posted without unnecessary font deviations, I would make that my default setting.

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #82 on: 27 May 2016, 09:19 pm »
So what kind of class d chip does this amp use?

It is a proprietary design. 

From the website:

"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.  By utilizing a 1000W power supply and CMA capacitor array, the MCH-K38 fully exploits the Class A+D design’s ability to deliver massive amounts of power and speed when needed by a single or multi channels."

If that is helpful.

Evoke

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Oops
« Reply #83 on: 27 May 2016, 10:09 pm »
Posted in wrong thread
« Last Edit: 28 May 2016, 12:59 am by Evoke »

DARTH AUDIO

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #84 on: 27 May 2016, 11:11 pm »
It is a proprietary design. 

From the website:

"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.  By utilizing a 1000W power supply and CMA capacitor array, the MCH-K38 fully exploits the Class A+D design’s ability to deliver massive amounts of power and speed when needed by a single or multi channels."

If that is helpful.



Sounds like what Davialet is trying to pull off. Class A with Class D. I hope the NuPrime sounds better than the Devialet!! That amp had zero emotion! Like sitting in a room with all white walls!

Armaegis

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Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #85 on: 28 May 2016, 06:50 am »
And on the Ncore tour, there were several listeners that did not like the sound of the over-hyped Ncores.

Though what you're describing isn't really any different from virtually every new product that comes out. Announcement, hype machine, squawking parrots, units circulate, lovey dovey, more hype, a few detractors, anger disbelief, hype counterhype, more squawking, hype dies down, those who like it still like it, those who refused the hype feel vindicated, no one cares anymore except for the squawkers, announcement for next shiny thing comes out. Repeat ad nauseam.

maty

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Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #86 on: 28 May 2016, 07:33 am »

Sounds like what Davialet is trying to pull off. Class A with Class D. I hope the NuPrime sounds better than the Devialet!! That amp had zero emotion! Like sitting in a room with all white walls!

The key are the even harmonics. If we could adjust their level depending on the type of music and the format (I listen more very good 24/96 vinyl rips mastered analogically with tubes -> even harmonics; played with my cheap/second hand/tweaked AV Marantz SR4500 and they sound very well now after I having solved my serious problems with DC and RFI/EMI) we would have a winning product.

When the mastered is digital (after 198*) the sound is other, good sound but without emotion and even less if the phono used in the ripping is also digital.

gregfisk

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Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #87 on: 28 May 2016, 08:29 am »
Though what you're describing isn't really any different from virtually every new product that comes out. Announcement, hype machine, squawking parrots, units circulate, lovey dovey, more hype, a few detractors, anger disbelief, hype counterhype, more squawking, hype dies down, those who like it still like it, those who refused the hype feel vindicated, no one cares anymore except for the squawkers, announcement for next shiny thing comes out. Repeat ad nauseam.

Very to the point, I've seen this happen so many times, I have fallen into the trap myself once. Most everyone wants to have the latest and greatest, it they are the competitive type and like to switch up gear on a regular bases. The senario you discribed is right on the money.

timind

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #88 on: 28 May 2016, 12:03 pm »
Though what you're describing isn't really any different from virtually every new product that comes out. Announcement, hype machine, squawking parrots, units circulate, lovey dovey, more hype, a few detractors, anger disbelief, hype counterhype, more squawking, hype dies down, those who like it still like it, those who refused the hype feel vindicated, no one cares anymore except for the squawkers, announcement for next shiny thing comes out. Repeat ad nauseam.

Kinda, but the hype for the Ncore was at a level I'd not seen before...or since. It was mostly confined to A/C if I recall though.
We're in the middle of one thread so far; we'll see what happens here.

bummrush

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #89 on: 28 May 2016, 12:56 pm »
It was the same when class d popped up years ago.

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #90 on: 28 May 2016, 04:43 pm »
John,

I may need to stop by your place for a listen.  :)

Hugh,

Yes, I hope to see you at the SHOW.

We are in 1046

flat4

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Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #91 on: 28 May 2016, 08:02 pm »
John, i look forward to your input on the STA-9 also.  Nuprime gonna be at capitol audio fest?

rustydoglim

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #92 on: 28 May 2016, 08:46 pm »
Wow, I was busy for a few days and this thread just ran away.  As the co-founder of NuForce and now CEO of NuPrime, let me say a few things to summarise what is going on.

In 2005, The Absolute Sound, for the first time (of any audiophile magazines), gave the NuForce Reference 9 Product of The Year award. In that article, Chris Martens made a controversial statement that Class-D has arrived. Well, it took the next ten years and countless iterations of designs to finally master it. There aren't many companies engaging in high power, high-end class D design, most of them purchase the module from Ice Power or Hypex and tweak it from there.  And sure, those amp modules improved over time.
With every new models of UcD (now Ncore) or ICE, people raved about it. Likewise, NuForce plowed along with its own V1,2,3 series of amps.

A very layman explanation about Class-D concept: input analog signal is modulated into a series of pulses (think of your FM or AM signal). Unlike FM and AM, class-D uses the width of a pulse to represent the amplitude of the input analog signal that is sampled. So, you ended up with a series of pulses with the same amplitude but different width. The pulses are further manipulated to become pulses with bigger amplitude. And eventually the big pulses are then demodulate to become analog signal again to drive your speaker.  Other than converting the initial analog signal into pulses, there is nothing digital about this type of implementation. It is very analog in nature (ah, you have many ways to shape the sound using analog techniques). There is another type of Class D implementation that is very digital where input signal is converted into 1s and 0s using DSP to manipulate (Devialet and many low power class-D chips). The advantage of going digital is that you can do a lot of processing to change the sound (increase the bass, change the EQ, combined with DAC, etc).  So this is where Class D is often confused with all-digital amp. The drawback of this all digital approach is that it sounded "digital".

In the early days of Class-D "analog" implementation, engineers have not figured out how to improve switching frequency (of the pulses) and manipulate them, so people can detect various weaknesses (bass, HF extension, jitter, whatever). Solid state and tube implementations have weakness too. But engineers have worked on those designs for much longer period of time. Some people think that Class D is not high resolution and so it will always sound digital. Unless you are listening to live music, as long as music has to be recorded, along the way, resolution is "constrained", even with vinyl. 

By now, a handful of engineers who specialised in Class-D designs can implement switching frequency at more than 500kHz (CD is 44.1kHz) and in our lab, we have designs running at 1MHz, 0.0x% THD at wide range of freq and power, low jitter, etc.  Without going into details that get many people lost (and I can't explain anyway),  our engineers can now produce class-D amp that is near perfect.
This is not to say that most class-D engineers know how to do that. There are many bad class D implementations on the market too.

Unlike Ice Power or Hypex, we are not in the business of making high volume amp modules at low cost.  So we spend a lot of our effort in making different sounding amps.  See http://www.nuprimeaudio.com/index.php/reviews/amp-comparison.html
Just like one of you who stated, high-end audio is like women (or men if you are one of those rare lady audiophile), not everyone share the same taste.  I would say that MCH-K38 is like a very sexy blonde that most men like. Make sense?

Lets talk about amp characteristic. There is no perfect sounding amp. And some characteristics are contradictory to others. For example, to make an amp "Warmth" sounding, it must have more even order harmonics. And it won't be as neutral and clear as one without even harmonics. A recording engineer might use both types of amps. A super clean and detailed amp as a reference, and another amp to help shape the sound. Electric guitar amp is intentionally made to have a unique sound, but it is used to produce the sound, not for reproduction.

Ref 20 was the NuForce top end reference amp, and it was designed to be as smooth, clean, detailed, dynamic, etc as possible. At NuPrime, we made a huge leap forward in not only how to build a world class amp, but many different sounding amps. Going from making one "near perfect" design to making many "near perfect" designs is a huge step. Very often, you improve something and you lose something else. So we want a tube amp to sound like tube, but I don't want to lose the dynamic and speed. Is MCH-K38 better than Ref 20, no, otherwise we would not have kept Ref 20 with NuPrime logo. but if you watch a lot of movies and also listened to a wide variety of music, you might actually prefer MCH-K38 over Ref 20. If you are into big classical music, you will likely go for Ref 20 or ST-10. If vocal is your thing, you will likely pick MCH-K38 or STA-9.

I think MCH-K38 strikes the right balance that impressed John so much. Yes, MCH-K38 is really something.
We won't be bringing out a stereo/mono amp using the same K38 amp. To do that would mean our R&D has stopped working on amp.

Oh, I want to talk about pricing. We don't price something based on how good it sounds within our own family or versus the competition. We are an engineering company.  We are not in the business of pricing our amps based on weight or extensive workmanship. We price our amps based on our cost. With more knowledge over time, the cost comes down while complexity and performance go up. I will use an example that most of you understand. You all know that switch resistors is an expensive high end preamp design. But we learned how to implement it using FPGA (it is a big logic chip) so this design that used to be in $5000 preamp, is now in every one of our integrated amp and DAC. We are talking about an order of magnitude in cost reduction (from a bank of expensive resistors to a chip). Similarly, our amplifiers use a naturally occurring self oscillating design principle to generate the PWM pulses for Class D sampling (instead of very expensive external PWM generator).  As we learned how to increase the frequency to 1MHz, instead of selling you a $100,000 amp, we might be able to sell you a $649 amp that priced like the STA-9. To be very honest, some other parts of the amp now cost more than the amp module itself. Power supply is now the dominant cost.

Hugh

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Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #93 on: 28 May 2016, 09:31 pm »
Hugh,

Yes, I hope to see you at the SHOW.

We are in 1046

John,

I'll try to get away from our room.

When you get a chance, come down to Trabuco C in the lobby.

John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #94 on: 28 May 2016, 09:39 pm »
John, i look forward to your input on the STA-9 also.  Nuprime gonna be at capitol audio fest?

I just hooked up my first pair this morning and they are burning on an ISOMIKE test tone, burn-in track for LARGER systems.

I did a quick initial listen and was impressed with the out of the box performance.

Also spend a little time with the ST-10.

All three (STA-9, ST-10, and K-38) sound fantastic, but slightly different from each other.

It will take me quite some time to clearly define those differences via A/B listening, but they seem much like rustydoglim has posted in the AMP Chart.

It will likely be after THE SHOW unless someone purchases the show sample.




John Casler

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #95 on: 28 May 2016, 09:42 pm »
John,

I'll try to get away from our room.

When you get a chance, come down to Trabuco C in the lobby.

Got it.

I also want to hear your new Seraphin, and you need to hear our room partner EVOKE Loudspeakers.  They are my exact sound.  They have the VMPS (Cheney) and INFINITY (Nudell) Gene Set.

Armaegis

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Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #96 on: 28 May 2016, 10:26 pm »
Kinda, but the hype for the Ncore was at a level I'd not seen before...or since. It was mostly confined to A/C if I recall though.

It didn't seem quite so bad to me, though I come from the headphone world which has a younger and more easily agitated crowd.

My view on the Ncores is not so much hype derailment, but moreso a failure on the manufacturer to really capitalize on it. First of all, their pricing structure kicked it off the tracks before it even really began. At 3x the price of the equivalent wattage UcD module, that's a tough pill to swallow. Secondly, there seemed to be hardly any community engagement/involvement afterwards, which is anathema to a DIY product. Even on their webpage, there is practically zero news. There has been no followups. No announcements on who their partners are that are using similar modules. Maybe Bruno is active on other forums, I don't know.

There was a great interest/hype generated right at the beginning, and with just a little bit of effort (hire a PR guy for goodness sake) could have kept it running, but instead they let it wither on the vine.

wushuliu

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #97 on: 28 May 2016, 10:33 pm »
It didn't seem quite so bad to me

Mmmm... it definitely had a vocal following. Reminded me of the NwWavGuy ODAC 'movement'.

I think Bruno is pretty active at diyaudio. But there are also so many diy amp modules out now that are inexpensive and sound excellent. A 1k+ diy amp is a real tough sell these days, with the possible exception of tubes.

wushuliu

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #98 on: 28 May 2016, 10:34 pm »
Power supply is now the dominant cost.

Ah. With Class-D, it often seems to boil down to the best power supply possible.

Thank you for the informative post!

timind

Re: The BEST AMP I have EVER heard (at ANY price) has 8 channels!
« Reply #99 on: 29 May 2016, 02:27 am »
It didn't seem quite so bad to me

Hah, I was moderating the circle which hosted the early Ncore threads. Great day for me when the Ncore circle was created. :D

As for the new NuPrime amps, I'll have to investigate them. The comments on the power supplies is encouraging as the SMPS is the main reason I had no interest in the Ncore.