Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions

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orientalexpress

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #120 on: 26 Apr 2012, 02:22 am »
You will have 3 days to try them!   :)
True but after 3 days,The wait is going to be a long one    :cry:

Lapsan

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #121 on: 26 Apr 2012, 02:28 am »
True but after 3 days,The wait is going to be a long one    :cry:

Lapsan
Well, then order them now!   :P

zybar

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #122 on: 26 Apr 2012, 02:30 am »
Due in part, no doubt, to the non-linear frequency response your AS amps deliver into a non-resistive load.  Toobs are cool but after living with an RM-200 for a couple years in my system the UcD's were a clear upgrade path for me.

Let's agree to disagree.

I have had a RM-200 and I would take it over the D-200 any day.

George

Chris Adams

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #123 on: 26 Apr 2012, 02:47 am »
Sorry for the long wait. Just wanted to be thorough.

First of all, thanks Jason for allowing  your amps to zip around the US and be heard by the people lucky enough to make the tour cut. I am truly grateful. :thumb:

A little background before I continue. I played drums for 57 years in orchestras, concert bands, rock, country, and jazz groups. I also managed and owned a stereo shop for about 20 years in the late 70s to mid 90s. Not high end, but upper mid-fi. Yamaha, Denon, Luxman, Bryston, Acoustat, B&W, ADS, Energy . . . you get the idea. I spent a lot of time in the shop trying to identify differences between different pieces of gear, cables, rooms, speaker position, etc. Some of the differences were close to none, some immediately apparent. What all this experience did was teach me to listen.

Over the last 8 or 9 years I have owned:

McCormack Smc modded to the max, DNA 1, TLC pre and DAC
VTL ST-85
Maxed out Musical Concepts amp, pre, DAC
Meadowlark Blue Herons
Conrad Johnson modded SA 400
Highly modded Acoustat 2+2s
And a bunch of other stuff that emptied my check book. But it’s been fun!


Concerning the balanced verses single ended cables that link the pre to the amps. I started with single ended with the adaptors that TomS was so kind to send along with the amps. With everything on and no disc spinning, there was no noise until I cranked the W4S pre up to levels that would have overloaded the amp; all I heard was a soft background hum At any volume lower, no noise. I tried the B1 and cranked it to the max. Dead silent. The only difference I could discern was the difference between the qualities of the cables. The balanced cable had not been used in years and does not have the same quality conductors. It was just slightly harsh in the mids and highs, but not enough to be a distraction.

So this brings me to what I own now and the NCores. I spent the better part of today listening to my tube amp, Tripath amp, and the NCores. All were very listenable to my ears. I used the single ended cables for all comparisons.
 

Bass on the tube amp was not as well defined as either of the solid state pieces, but it swung if you know what I mean.  The SS amps swung too and dug a bit deeper. Although deeper may be an illusion of tighter and cleaner. The NCores on stand up bass sounded the most like a stand up bass. And I’ve sat next to many a stand up bass in the various jazz groups I’ve played with. Why did it sound more like a bass to me? I could hear the instrument. There was no muffling, bloating or hyper detailing.

I was amazed at how good the low level resolution was with all the amps. Maggies are not known for their resolving  prowess at low volumes. The NCores were the clear winner. I kept turning it down and down and kept hearing nuance that disappeared with the other amps. I could clearly hear what I believe was distortion in the other amps that covered the music at low levels. In fact I could hear the distortion, in comparison, at any level.

Staging was incredible with the NCores. More air around voices and instruments than I have heard before which resulted in layer upon layer of different sounds each occupying their own space. I didn’t notice that the stage had changed in size. There was just more going on inside it.

Bottom line, the NCores let me hear more of what was on each disc. If the disc was lean, it sounded lean, if round and fat, that’s what I got. They didn’t warm things up or cool them off. I heard each disc as distinctly different from one another. That’s the biggest difference. Whether I’m listening to the tube amp or the Tripath there is a similarity to each disc when compared to the NCores. There is less similarity to each disc with the NCores. It just lets what is there come through. It tamed some of the sibilance because it either didn’t add, or added less, distortion to it. Discs that caused me to cringe slightly at times with the other amps, were remarkably clear with the NCores. I put on a couple of discs I have listened to many, many times over the years. And I knew what I was going to hear. Not! I swear some of them sounded totally different. I sat there with my mouth open listening to music I had never heard before.

The only other time I have heard something similar was when I auditioned a Decware single ended SE34I with a pair of Decware High Definition Towers. That was a while ago so my memory is fuzzy but I remember that system clearly out of many. I’m not suggesting the NCores sounded like the Decware, but the clarity I heard is the clarity I hear with the NCores. The difference is, the NCores have balls and can drive any speaker you want. Imagine something as clear and clean as that with balls that will drive any speaker you attach it to.

Needless to say, I’m sold. I am, however going to wait and see what Bruno has up his sleeve with the Mola-Mola product. I don’t really need the extra power of the NC1200 but am curious to hear reviews. And if Bruno can design a pre and dac that sound, or rather have no sound, like the NC400 then I’m on board.

Obviously, as with any review, YMMV.

PeteG

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #124 on: 26 Apr 2012, 03:06 am »
Come one down Pete, or mebbe I could bring them by one day. :)

Thanks Mike, when we both have some free time I will come down for a listen, ordered 2x NC400/2x SMPS600 will be awhile before they ship (I guess), have to find the rest of the parts (dual mono chassis in black).

ted_b

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #125 on: 26 Apr 2012, 03:15 am »
I think so, but I am basing that answer on how they drove the 5A's. 

At no point were the amps strained or did they run out gas.  Even though the 5A's go down a little below 4 ohms, they aren't going to present the same challenge to the amps that your speakers will.

Can you remind me of the specs on your current amps?

George

George, the KWA-150's in bridged mono mode are 450W at 8 ohms and 650W at 4 ohms. 

lonewolfny42

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #126 on: 26 Apr 2012, 03:31 am »
Don't tell me your all going to have the same amp's now..... :lol:  :jester:



(Hope to hear this it when it reaches N.Y....)

hifial

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #127 on: 26 Apr 2012, 03:50 am »
Personally I can't answer the question of how they compare to the SDS amps but I've had more than my fair share of amps in the system in the last few years and IMO none of them compare in terms of clarity and the sheer amount of musical information allowed through.

List of some in no particular order

Consonance 211 and 845 (SET TUBE)
Atma-Sphere M-60 (OTL Tube)
McIntosh MC275 (PP Tube)
Pass Labs XA30.5 (Class A SS)
Luxman M-600 (Class A SS)
Jolida Music Envoy (PP tube, 211 triodes)
Luxman SQ-38 integrated (PP tube)
nuforce ref 18 (class D)
Spectron Musician III mono's (class D)
ModWright KWA 150 mono's (class A/B ss)
Odyssey extreme mono's (class A/B ss)
Threshold SA50 (class A ss)
hot rodded Dynaco ST70 (pp tube)
Eastern Electric M156 mono's (pp tube)
Eastern Electric M88 integrated (pp tube)
R.E. Designs LNPA 150 (class A/B ss)
Audio Mirror 45W SET (tube SET)

A few others that I can't think of off hand. Yes, all in the same room with either my current speakers, GedLee Abbey, or the previous speakers, Meadowlark Blue Heron 2.

With or without the subs, these amps are in a class by themselves compared to any of the above. All of the above have strengths and weaknesses but for my tastes I'm keeping the little NC400's for the foreseeable future. Just my .02.

mike
Mike, that is one incredible list. Both in your chance to hear them and that you feel that the Ncore beats them. I also have gone through a few amps to find what I was looking for.
Theta Digital, Halcro, Bryston, to name a few and now NuForce Ref 18. As you have heard the NuForce I am curious what you thought of it. Likes, dislikes and if you can compare it to the Ncores.
Regards, Al.

a1p1

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #128 on: 26 Apr 2012, 01:54 pm »
I am.

Luckily I have something that is excellent to listen to while I wait for my Ncore order to arrive.

George

This begs the question...are the NCores displacing the the Atma-Sphere monoblocks or being brought in for a long-term comparison?

Chris Adams

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #129 on: 26 Apr 2012, 02:17 pm »
Something else I tried to verify this morning. I have both single ended and balanced ICs for pre to amp connection. I have an adapter to connect SE cables to NCore balanced in. The W4S has both SE and balance ins and outs. I did all my listening between amps with the SE cables 'cause tube and Tripath amps are configured that way. Well, late yesterday afternoon I pulled the SEs and inserted the balanced cables. Umm, thought the stage sounded deeper, wider, and more layered. Didn't trust myself so listened for a couple hours with the balanced cables in place. This morning I went in and played a tune, then swapped back to SEs. I swear the stage collapsed. Not huge, but it was there. The balanced cables are stranded OFC and the SEs are solid core pcocc. The SEs did sound slightly sweeter and smoother, but the balanced seemed to have deeper, wider stage with more layering and texture. More on that once I have my own amps.

saisunil

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #130 on: 26 Apr 2012, 02:24 pm »
Don't tell me your all going to have the same amp's now..... :lol:  :jester:



Chris said it ... there is new toy in the town and now everyone wants it and it is now their favorite toy (believe me - I want it too ... though I have not even listened to it ...)

Is it better than everyone else's favorite toy  :duh:  :lol:

zybar

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #131 on: 26 Apr 2012, 03:02 pm »
This begs the question...are the NCores displacing the the Atma-Sphere monoblocks or being brought in for a long-term comparison?

While I am extremely impressed with the Ncore amps, I would like to spend a little more time with them before actually selling the Atma-Sphere amps. 

Luckily, I am in the position to do just that.

George

mgalusha

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #132 on: 26 Apr 2012, 03:08 pm »
... now NuForce Ref 18. As you have heard the NuForce I am curious what you thought of it. Likes, dislikes and if you can compare it to the Ncores.

Hi Al,

I had the nuForce because the owner wanted Bybee music rails added. Before the music rails I did not care for it at all, about 10 minutes of listening was enough for me, too much irritation in the high end. After the music rails were added they were much better and I listened to them for a few days without having a desire to pull them out or run from the room. :) It's been a while but from what I remember, they were not unpleasant but also didn't suck me into the music, which is something the NC400's do better than other amps I've owned.

mike

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #133 on: 26 Apr 2012, 03:16 pm »
While I am extremely impressed with the Ncore amps, I would like to spend a little more time with them before actually selling the Atma-Sphere amps. 

Luckily, I am in the position to do just that.

George
What's your buddy with the Lamm going to do?  Will we hear from him?

ted_b

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #134 on: 26 Apr 2012, 03:26 pm »
And in Mike's list he had the Modwright KWA 150 monos, but he confirmed they were the first production ones, on loan for a month...not the later ones I have lived with now since their inception.  The differences were substantial.  I will surely report back, albeit with one day's ncore experience.

I may think differently once I have these inhouse, but the hyperbole here has gotten a little much, huh?  The greatest amps ever?  I feel like if I respond to the tour feedback with anything but religious zeal I will be flamed by some.   :flame:

(only slightly in jest)

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #135 on: 26 Apr 2012, 04:29 pm »
I may think differently once I have these inhouse, but the hyperbole here has gotten a little much, huh?  The greatest amps ever?  I feel like if I respond to the tour feedback with anything but religious zeal I will be flamed by some.   :flame:

(only slightly in jest)

As I've asked in my tour thread that I started and the members have agreed with.  I ask for honest feedback.  So if you are one that is invited by an actual tour member and want to comment, then please do so as long as it's honest feedback. 

I started the tour to give something back to AC and thought it was a nice thing to do.  I think it's neat to see all the different systems and ears try it and see the comments.


mgalusha

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #136 on: 26 Apr 2012, 04:39 pm »
I may think differently once I have these inhouse, but the hyperbole here has gotten a little much, huh?  The greatest amps ever?  I feel like if I respond to the tour feedback with anything but religious zeal I will be flamed by some.   :flame:

Certainly not by me, I am 100% certain they are not for everyone and I make no claims they are the best ever. They are better than others I've had to the opportunity to play with, for my tastes. :)

ted_b

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #137 on: 26 Apr 2012, 04:42 pm »
Jason, that bit of partial tongue-in-cheek was not aimed at you...but as the person who's generosity this tour is built on, you have every right to ask me to back off.  And yes, I am not official; I am relying on Randy's wonderful act of sharing.  I will sit this out until I hear the amps.  My bad...

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #138 on: 26 Apr 2012, 05:10 pm »
Jason, that bit of partial tongue-in-cheek was not aimed at you...but as the person who's generosity this tour is built on, you have every right to ask me to back off.  And yes, I am not official; I am relying on Randy's wonderful act of sharing.  I will sit this out until I hear the amps.  My bad...
Nah, it's all good. 

I think Mike said it best.  I wouldn't expect everyone to want a pair but I do think that many will.  This is why a tour can be so beneficial as you know from being the tour coordinator on other products.   :thumb:

sts9fan

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #139 on: 26 Apr 2012, 05:20 pm »
I did notice that George had one disadvantage and Jason shot back immediately defending Ncore.