Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions

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rave959

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #160 on: 1 May 2012, 10:02 am »
Hello,

I'd like to thank Jason once again for his generosity in letting me hear his amps.  I'm currently auditioning the amps with the following equipment:

Speakers available:  Gedlee Abbey 12A, ACI Jaguar 2000, ProAc Response 2.5 clones, Besl Series 5 mtm, Gedlee Harper 8
Tested with NCores: Gedlee Abbey 12A

Preamp: Superphon by Stan Warren
Source:  Sony SCD-XA 777ES and OPPO BDP-83

I've never really owned the highest end of amps in the level of Accuphase A50V, Ayre MXR, Lamm monoblocks, Spectral, Shindo and the like, but I've heard them for quite a bit in different setups, most of which were in dealer rooms.  I have spent some time listening to them during after I have sold my Linkwitz Orion - trying to feed this addiction or sickness that we call audio.  As far as owning, I've owned Odyssey Stratos Extremes to power my ACIs and Integra Research RDA-7 to power my Orion.  I also owned a musical fidelity class a integrated in the past, which I still regret selling to this day.  To each his own, I guess.

In any case, since we already know that the Ncores have generated much hype because of some members replacing their very high end amps with these, so I'll try to be as particular as I can.  However, some descriptions of experiences of those who have heard this amp might be repeated here.  

I've always had preference or bias towards heavier amps (and with tubes) because of the rule of thumb of old that they had to have quality.  Heavy meant quality parts and therefore, good sound.  Now that I have heard the Ncores in my own room, equipment, and speakers, this no longer applies.  The Ncores have an ability to be dynamic, even at listening to low volumes.  This is what I noticed right away with my Gedlee Abbeys.  The second characteristic that I heard was that this design is extremely quiet.  I believe this explains why it can be dynamic at low volumes as I mentioned above.  Moreover, it is able to retrieve nuances in the recording that wouldn't be otherwise obvious.  The way this amp renders music provides a window - in which one can hear separation of instruments while keeping the ever sensitive midrange without grain.  It sounds very, very slightly deeper into the soundstage, which some may or may not prefer.  

The bass portrayed by the Ncores is tout and focused, where there's texture to the notes played.  Most importantly, these amps made me understand that dynamism, midrange and treble detail are not the only sound characteristics that are essential to re-recreating a live event, but also dynamic contrasts.  Dynamic contrasts in a sense that it can sound live without emphasis on the higher end of the frequency, but also sound uncompressed.  The music can go from something simple to intricate without falling apart.  My Abbey 12As sound more alive and transparent, but not any brighter - if that makes sense.

My speakers are about 4 ohms, so I'm not sure if the amps can hold its same signature sound with speakers that dip down to 2 ohms and at high volumes.  

I tried to nit-pick whatever I could with the amp, but with my short time with them, it was tough, especially that they're impressive straight out of the box.  And no, I do not believe in breaking in amps or cables.  I have thick cables from acoustic research that has silver braids(blah, blah, blah) connected to my receiver, and I did not use those.  I used the generic kind lying around the house and I was happy with the sound.  I'd be interested more if someone could measure its response under load.

So, is it the best amp I've heard?  I'm not sure.  Is there something better out there? Probably.  For the money is it a bargain?  I believe so.  I wouldn't mind a pair of these sitting on my audio rack in the living room.

Finally, I understand that all us have some sort of preference, so please take all of this with a grain of salt.  I can only provide information on what I've heard in my own setup, and still believe that there's no replacing in hearing these for yourselves.  With that said, it might just be worth going out of your way to hear them.  Just ensure that you have accurate speakers behind them to hear what it really has to offer.  Thanks for your time!


Best,
Christian


Tracks sampled/CDs played:
Audiophile Voices CDs 1-8
MYMP - versions
The best of David Benoit
Jim Brickman - Picture This
The Shins
Blue Champagne (Jazz CD)
The Dali CD volume 2 - In admiration of music
The Best of HouseMartins
Michael Jackson's remastered CDs - Off the wall, Thriller
Andy McKee - Art in Motion
The The - Soul Mining
The Postal Service


Letitroll98

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #161 on: 3 May 2012, 03:50 am »
Arrived today, well packed and promptly shipped from Christian.  I had to run back to the office and didn't get out until 9pm, by the time I got home, fed the cat, found where I had put my extra power cords, listened to my amp for a bit to seal auditory memory, and hooked up Jason's Ncores, it was about 10pm.  So I got about an hour on them so far at reduced volume evening listening. 

All just first impressions, I'll do a real review after I ship them out.  Detailed, smooth, excellent soundstage.  Ever so slightly reticent in the treble, just to the degree I like.  You can hear everything because of the extraordinary detail, but nothing is grating on the ears.  All the attributes of my favorite chip amp, without any of the harshness.  But the most striking characteristic is the amp's ability to sort out complex musical passages, separate images from one another, and not lose the musical whole.  This is something I only hear from the finest components.  We see if it all holds up a higher volumes.     

GS

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #162 on: 3 May 2012, 06:44 pm »
Arrived today, well packed and promptly shipped from Christian.  I had to run back to the office and didn't get out until 9pm, by the time I got home, fed the cat, found where I had put my extra power cords, listened to my amp for a bit to seal auditory memory, and hooked up Jason's Ncores, it was about 10pm.  So I got about an hour on them so far at reduced volume evening listening. 

All just first impressions, I'll do a real review after I ship them out.  Detailed, smooth, excellent soundstage.  Ever so slightly reticent in the treble, just to the degree I like.  You can hear everything because of the extraordinary detail, but nothing is grating on the ears.  All the attributes of my favorite chip amp, without any of the harshness.  But the most striking characteristic is the amp's ability to sort out complex musical passages, separate images from one another, and not lose the musical whole.  This is something I only hear from the finest components.  We see if it all holds up a higher volumes.     


Very promising.
Can you tell us what speakers(and sensitivity) and preamp You are using.
Jerry

David C

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #163 on: 4 May 2012, 01:31 pm »
anyone know who the artist is for the song Dark Angel on Zybars post # 56 ?

ted_b

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #164 on: 4 May 2012, 01:45 pm »
anyone know who the artist is for the song Dark Angel on Zybars post # 56 ?

Blue Rodeo - Five Days In July

David C

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #165 on: 4 May 2012, 03:11 pm »
thanks Ted

PeteG

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #166 on: 4 May 2012, 03:39 pm »
  But the most striking characteristic is the amp's ability to sort out complex musical passages, separate images from one another, and not lose the musical whole.     


I agree with this after listening to mgalusha system, very transparent too. I thought afterwards its one of the most naked sounding amp’s I’ve heard, depending on one’s system that could be bad, good or great.
It will be interesting once mine are built to see how well it drives a difficult load.

Letitroll98

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #167 on: 4 May 2012, 04:15 pm »
Very promising.
Can you tell us what speakers(and sensitivity) and preamp You are using.
Jerry


I agree with this after listening to mgalusha system, very transparent too. I thought afterwards its one of the most naked sounding amp’s I’ve heard, depending on one’s system that could be bad, good or great.
It will be interesting once mine are built to see how well it drives a difficult load.

I'll give a whole rundown when I finalize a review, but presently running into to slightly modified Maggie MMG's which present a low, but benign, 4 ohm load.  I hope to try a few more of my speakers before they go away.  I have preamps that use both passive and active circuits, so I can also try both there.

Tyson

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #168 on: 4 May 2012, 04:59 pm »
I got a chance to go over to Mike's last night and give the nCore's a good listen.  Before we get to the impressions, I'll say up front I am biased in favor of the nCore's, as I really want to get rid of my tube amps since I have a 5 year old daughter and I'm always a bit worried she'll get into them (even though I put them inside a cabinet behind a closed door). 

To be thorough, I brought over my tube amp to hook up into Mike's system so we could do direct comparisons on a level playing field.  My tube amp is a hotrodded Dynaco ST70 using modern VTA boards and input circuits, an upgraded oversized power supply from Triode Electronics, and premium parts throughout. 

We listened to Bjork, Mahler, and Shostakovich in the comparison.  All in Hirez.

So, how did they sound?  Well, first up, I am happy to report they do NOT sound like the typical sterile and shrill class D amps I've heard up till this point.  I was particularly concerned the highs.  Bjork in particular can drive you out of the room if the highs are poor.  Same with the flutes and piccolos in the Shostakovich.  But luckily they did not sound harsh or strident at all.  Very smooth.  Nice.

Soundstage was awesome.  Some amps give you good SS width, others give you good depth.  Few give you both.  But the nCore gave perfect soundstage, front to back and side to side.  I believe it's because they have such incredible transparency, there's just a perfect view into the recording venue.  You hear everything.  But not in a clinical or dry way.  Mike said the nCore's are warmer in the mids than his Atmasphere's were, and I believe him!  (But then again, I've always hated the sound of OTL amps).   

Another noteworthy area is dynamics.  With the nCore's, you have basically unlimited dynamics, no compression at all, and complete and utter ease when in the middle of large dynamic peaks.  The other cool thing is the soundstage does NOT collapse when played  back full bore and using very complex music (ie, the Mahler and Shostakovich).  For fun, at the very end of our session, we also threw on some Kodo, also in hirez.  Uhm, holy crap!  That was awesome, it really brought out all the strengths in the nCore's.

So, how did my tube amps fare?  Worse in every category I can think of except one.  The one area the tubes did better was tonal density.  There were simply more tonal variety and saturation for different instruments.  Not so much in the highs, which sounded pretty much the same on both amps, but in the mids.  Easier to hear the difference between violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. 

Unfortunately, tonality is the single most important factor for me when listening to a system, so the tube amps are staying.  They actually did pretty well in the dynamics, transparency, soundstaging areas, but were definitely not at the level of the nCores. 

GS

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #169 on: 4 May 2012, 05:31 pm »
I got a chance to go over to Mike's last night and give the nCore's a good listen.  Before we get to the impressions, I'll say up front I am biased in favor of the nCore's, as I really want to get rid of my tube amps since I have a 5 year old daughter and I'm always a bit worried she'll get into them (even though I put them inside a cabinet behind a closed door). 

To be thorough, I brought over my tube amp to hook up into Mike's system so we could do direct comparisons on a level playing field.  My tube amp is a hotrodded Dynaco ST70 using modern VTA boards and input circuits, an upgraded oversized power supply from Triode Electronics, and premium parts throughout. 

We listened to Bjork, Mahler, and Shostakovich in the comparison.  All in Hirez.

So, how did they sound?  Well, first up, I am happy to report they do NOT sound like the typical sterile and shrill class D amps I've heard up till this point.  I was particularly concerned the highs.  Bjork in particular can drive you out of the room if the highs are poor.  Same with the flutes and piccolos in the Shostakovich.  But luckily they did not sound harsh or strident at all.  Very smooth.  Nice.

Soundstage was awesome.  Some amps give you good SS width, others give you good depth.  Few give you both.  But the nCore gave perfect soundstage, front to back and side to side.  I believe it's because they have such incredible transparency, there's just a perfect view into the recording venue.  You hear everything.  But not in a clinical or dry way.  Mike said the nCore's are warmer in the mids than his Atmasphere's were, and I believe him!  (But then again, I've always hated the sound of OTL amps).   

Another noteworthy area is dynamics.  With the nCore's, you have basically unlimited dynamics, no compression at all, and complete and utter ease when in the middle of large dynamic peaks.  The other cool thing is the soundstage does NOT collapse when played  back full bore and using very complex music (ie, the Mahler and Shostakovich).  For fun, at the very end of our session, we also threw on some Kodo, also in hirez.  Uhm, holy crap!  That was awesome, it really brought out all the strengths in the nCore's.

So, how did my tube amps fare?  Worse in every category I can think of except one.  The one area the tubes did better was tonal density.  There were simply more tonal variety and saturation for different instruments.  Not so much in the highs, which sounded pretty much the same on both amps, but in the mids.  Easier to hear the difference between violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. 

Unfortunately, tonality is the single most important factor for me when listening to a system, so the tube amps are staying.  They actually did pretty well in the dynamics, transparency, soundstaging areas, but were definitely not at the level of the nCores.

Very fine review,

What source did you use (through the tubesamp)
And what speakers.
Jerry

mgalusha

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #170 on: 4 May 2012, 05:49 pm »
What source did you use (through the tubesamp)
And what speakers.
Jerry

See here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=105310.msg1075943#msg1075943

mike

GS

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #171 on: 4 May 2012, 09:02 pm »

Letitroll98

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #172 on: 7 May 2012, 05:25 am »
The Ncore have left my home and headed back up to NYC for the next stop.  I'll add my thanks to all of the others herein to Jason for his kindness and generosity in sending out these amps on tour.  I enjoyed my time with them immensely and it was fun having Al, Kevin and Barry stop over on Saturday to give a listen.

I'll give a brief rundown of my system for reference.  Oppo 971 transport into a JEC 7510 DAC with upgraded power supply, B&K CS 115 Preamp, which runs either passive or active, Pure AV power conditioner, used both in and out of circuit with the Ncores, VPI HW19Jr MkIII upgrades, classic NOS Empire cartridge, NAD 3020B as phono pre.  Speakers used were slightly modded Maggie MMG's and PSB Alpha T, Yamaha twin 7" paper cone subwoofer.  Cabling is a mix of Magnan, Zu, and Tuan's homemade cables, Zu Wylde were used with the Ncores.  Comparison for the Ncores was a B&K ST202 amp, Barry had brought a Bell Canto that we didn't have time to hookup.  The room is 10'x13.5' heavily treated with bass traps and wall mounted absorption.  All of the components, except the Ncores, sit on Maple cubes.

I wish I had some startling new revelation to add to the previous reviews, but I'm afraid everyone has nailed the character of these amps already, and they weren't wrong.  They come out and go back in the box with the same basic sound, no breaking in or warm up time that I noticed.  Al had suggested Friday that I disconnect the amps from my power conditioner, even though it has a a dedicated high power outlet, and hook them directly up to the wall outlet.  I noticed only a very slight difference, maybe opening up a bit, or not.  Note that after the amps left I tried this with the B&K and noticed a marked difference, much more open and fast, closer to the Ncores than it had been previously.  So despite the rather lightweight power supply, they appeared immune to variations in power source.

In comparison to the classic AB push pull B&K, the Ncores were immediately faster, cleaner, with a wonderful ability to delineate complex musical passages into their individual parts while still delivering a musically whole presentation.  You could hear more into each instrument even with a  reduction in apparent absolute treble levels.  They sounded ever so slightly rolled off in the treble, yet had more high frequency detail, if that makes sense.  Dynamics were completely unrestrained at loud levels, they never once pooped out no matter how loud we took them.  Yet something I didn't get 'round to showing the other guys, they maintain this dynamic contrast even at low volumes.  Bass, midrange, treble, soundstaging, imaging, tone, detail, etc. were boringly even and uneventfully excellent.  They didn't do anything wrong across the board, there wasn't lightweight bass, harsh treble, flat imaging, haziness, nothing you could pick out to criticize.  These are attributes I only hear in much more expensive amps, and certainly not in my B&K's.       

One minor problem cropped up only when the other guys were here, the left channel Maggie went into a weird oscillation that sounded like a blown tweeter, but wasn't.  The first trouble shooting was to switch out to the PSB's which fixed the problem and gave us a chance to hear woofer in boxes speakers, so we never went back.  I have no idea what it was, it didn't crop up before or after.

I ran them with both passive and active circuits from the pre amp.  I felt the active stage gave greater dynamics at almost no cost in noise or graininess.  The passive stage was a little sweeter and cleaner, but I felt the trade-off went to the active side, which is the opposite of what I hear with my B&K.  The other guys were firmly convinced I was wrong, and the passive stage was way better with only a slight loss in dynamics.  A classic case of YMMV.           

Here's a pic of the little rascals, sitting on some short speaker stands I dug out of the attic.  Note they are without the custom front faceplates that Jason removed. 



I can't wait for the $200 Chinese clones that will surely be out in a couple of months.

GS

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #173 on: 7 May 2012, 06:38 pm »
The Ncore have left my home and headed back up to NYC for the next stop.  I'll add my thanks to all of the others herein to Jason for his kindness and generosity in sending out these amps on tour.  I enjoyed my time with them immensely and it was fun having Al, Kevin and Barry stop over on Saturday to give a listen.

I'll give a brief rundown of my system for reference.  Oppo 971 transport into a JEC 7510 DAC with upgraded power supply, B&K CS 115 Preamp, which runs either passive or active, Pure AV power conditioner, used both in and out of circuit with the Ncores, VPI HW19Jr MkIII upgrades, classic NOS Empire cartridge, NAD 3020B as phono pre.  Speakers used were slightly modded Maggie MMG's and PSB Alpha T, Yamaha twin 7" paper cone subwoofer.  Cabling is a mix of Magnan, Zu, and Tuan's homemade cables, Zu Wylde were used with the Ncores.  Comparison for the Ncores was a B&K ST202 amp, Barry had brought a Bell Canto that we didn't have time to hookup.  The room is 10'x13.5' heavily treated with bass traps and wall mounted absorption.  All of the components, except the Ncores, sit on Maple cubes.

I wish I had some startling new revelation to add to the previous reviews, but I'm afraid everyone has nailed the character of these amps already, and they weren't wrong.  They come out and go back in the box with the same basic sound, no breaking in or warm up time that I noticed.  Al had suggested Friday that I disconnect the amps from my power conditioner, even though it has a a dedicated high power outlet, and hook them directly up to the wall outlet.  I noticed only a very slight difference, maybe opening up a bit, or not.  Note that after the amps left I tried this with the B&K and noticed a marked difference, much more open and fast, closer to the Ncores than it had been previously.  So despite the rather lightweight power supply, they appeared immune to variations in power source.

In comparison to the classic AB push pull B&K, the Ncores were immediately faster, cleaner, with a wonderful ability to delineate complex musical passages into their individual parts while still delivering a musically whole presentation.  You could hear more into each instrument even with a  reduction in apparent absolute treble levels.  They sounded ever so slightly rolled off in the treble, yet had more high frequency detail, if that makes sense.  Dynamics were completely unrestrained at loud levels, they never once pooped out no matter how loud we took them.  Yet something I didn't get 'round to showing the other guys, they maintain this dynamic contrast even at low volumes.  Bass, midrange, treble, soundstaging, imaging, tone, detail, etc. were boringly even and uneventfully excellent.  They didn't do anything wrong across the board, there wasn't lightweight bass, harsh treble, flat imaging, haziness, nothing you could pick out to criticize.  These are attributes I only hear in much more expensive amps, and certainly not in my B&K's.       

One minor problem cropped up only when the other guys were here, the left channel Maggie went into a weird oscillation that sounded like a blown tweeter, but wasn't.  The first trouble shooting was to switch out to the PSB's which fixed the problem and gave us a chance to hear woofer in boxes speakers, so we never went back.  I have no idea what it was, it didn't crop up before or after.

I ran them with both passive and active circuits from the pre amp.  I felt the active stage gave greater dynamics at almost no cost in noise or graininess.  The passive stage was a little sweeter and cleaner, but I felt the trade-off went to the active side, which is the opposite of what I hear with my B&K.  The other guys were firmly convinced I was wrong, and the passive stage was way better with only a slight loss in dynamics.  A classic case of YMMV.           

Here's a pic of the little rascals, sitting on some short speaker stands I dug out of the attic.  Note they are without the custom front faceplates that Jason removed. 



I can't wait for the $200 Chinese clones that will surely be out in a couple of months.


Excellent post, and good to hear the differences from others
BTW what chinese clones do you mean(ncore produced in the far east)?

Jerry

Letitroll98

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #174 on: 7 May 2012, 06:46 pm »
Thanks for the appreciation Jerry.  Do you think there won't be Chinese clones?   :roll:  Seriously, I have no idea which company or companies will clone them, but they most surely will do so.

And so I won't get flagged for off topic (sorry Jason), here's a short list of some of the music listened to:
Paul Simon, Graceland
Lyle Lovett, Joshua Judges Ruth
Her Infinite Variety, Celtic Women in Music and Song
Sara Gazarek, Return to You
Holst, The Planets, LSO w/ Geoffrey Simon
Liz Story, Solid Colors
Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls
Sara K, Closer Than They Appear
Shadowfax, Too Far to Whisper

There were others, but you get the idea.

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #175 on: 7 May 2012, 06:53 pm »
Please keep this thread for Listening Impressions only.

That can be moved to here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=106188.0

TomS

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #176 on: 7 May 2012, 07:33 pm »
...

And so I won't get flagged for off topic (sorry Jason), here's a short list of some of the music listened to:
Paul Simon, Graceland
Lyle Lovett, Joshua Judges Ruth
Her Infinite Variety, Celtic Women in Music and Song
Sara Gazarek, Return to You
Holst, The Planets, LSO w/ Geoffrey Simon
Liz Story, Solid Colors
Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls
Sara K, Closer Than They Appear
Shadowfax, Too Far to Whisper

There were others, but you get the idea.
Wow, a lot of my favs on that list, being a Metheny/Mays and Shadowfax junkie myself. You've prompted me to cue a few of those up for the NCores this week  :wink:

Barry_NJ

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #177 on: 7 May 2012, 09:54 pm »
Well, I was lucky that I was able to squeeze myself into a night with the N-Cores by playing courier.

I heard them at Dan's (Letitroll98) home in South Jersey on Saturday afternoon, and liked what I'd heard of them there. That evening, I had Al (hifial), his buddy Kevin (both of whom had traveled south to Dan's for a listen), and NYRaver Gary (he happened to call out of the blue asking about some DIY speaker cables), over to my place for a listen. We listened to some various tracks from; Fiona Apple "Tidal", Norah Jones "Come Away With Me", Johnny Cash "American 4: The Man Comes Around", some music that Al had brought, and a classical disc that Gary had brought. Initially the N-Cores were plugged into my Belkin PF60 power conditioner, and Though Al preferred the N-Cores by a smidgen, I was not swayed. I felt there was more bloom, space, and air, with my Alchemy amp in the system, Gary agreed with me, said he'd heard enough, and he decided it was time for him to go. After Gary left, Al suggested we not use the Belkin power conditioner with the N-Cores, as Bruno (the designer) really recommends against using a conditioner. This is difficult for me as I only have one outlet available for my system, so I grabbed a short, but fairly heavy gauge, extension cord and plugged the N-Cores into it. Lo-And-Behold they opened up nicely. My impression is that they are the epitome of neutral, not sterile, but neutral, I feel my Alchemy still offers more Bloom but that Bloom is very likely an artifact of that amplifier.

Sunday morning was hectic for me, but after my son's soccer game I packed the amps up and headed into Brooklyn to deliver them to Paul (Occam). Al and his friend Kevin were also in headed over there, so I car-pooled with them. I went into Paul's to deliver the amps while Al and Kevin parked the car, so I had a chance to listen to Paul's system with his AKSA amp in place, to help give me a base line there. We tried the N-Cores with and with out power conditioning at Paul's as well, and again they preformed better right into the wall. Paul is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to power conditioning, I don't claim to fully understand the explination he gave that afternoon, but he said he was not totally surprised by this as he believes that there is enough conditioning and isolation built into the SMPS600, so that more conditioning hurts rather than helps. My thoughts after listening at Paul's reinforced what I'd concluded at my home. So again, the AKSA was not blown out of the water by the N-Core, but the N-Core seemed to have a more neutral presentation.

I don't feel the need to dump my Alchemy, but these would be top contenders for me, if/when the time comes, that I need a replacement amplifier, especially considering the price performance. As I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on my audio hobby, and for what I've seen/heard, these are a very very good value that I could be happy with.

Regarding the Power Supply: At my home I have tried several different amps of a Class-D switching amp topology, and ALL of them, from several of the Class-D Audio kits, to the Ghent ICE Modules, to the DAC Cherry amplifiers, to the Bel Canto e.One S125 I recently won in a raffle, produce an audible 60Hz hum at the listening position. With my Alchemy, the transformers hum, and there is a slight hum through the speakers as well, but is isn't audible from the listening position. The N-Cores were DEAD QUIET. Not a thing was heard from my speakers when the CD was not playing. This is a first for me in my home, and is another reason the N-Core is very high on my list when I decide I have some money to put into my system.

Letitroll98

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #178 on: 7 May 2012, 10:18 pm »
Wow, a lot of my favs on that list, being a Metheny/Mays and Shadowfax junkie myself. You've prompted me to cue a few of those up for the NCores this week  :wink:

And there were many more not mentioned, I have a top shelf for CDs and a top bin for LP's that are in no order whatsoever, just were I put my favorite selections.  Certain ones stay perennially, some go back to category and alphabetical order shelves as they are replaced by others.  When evaluating new changes to the system invariably I grab stuff from there, those were the Saturday morning selections.  In the afternoon the guys brought their own CD's, none brought LPs so the table stayed unplugged, which can be noticed in the pic.

It didn't matter to the Ncores what you played, they sometimes brutally, sometimes lovingly, revealed what was on the black or clear disc.  A Mary Black CD from the late 80's revealed how bad some of the first CD's were processed, despite the music itself being absolutely lovely.  Joanna Newsom's LP "Ys" was presented in all of it's sonic glory, both musically and technically.  My system has a tendency to make everything a little bit better than it may actually be, the Ncores could show how much better or worse a recording was, uneditorialized.

Well, I was lucky that I was able to squeeze myself into a night with the N-Cores by playing courier.

I heard them at Dan's (Letitroll98) home in South Jersey on Saturday afternoon, and liked what I'd heard of them there. That evening, I had Al (hifial), his buddy Kevin (both of whom had traveled south to Dan's for a listen), and NYRaver Gary (he happened to call out of the blue asking about some DIY speaker cables), over to my place for a listen................. 

Ha!  It figures the boyz from Joysey would hijack the tour and make off with the amps for themselves.   :lol:

BTW, an Audio Alchemy OM150 just sold on eBay for less than a B&K of similar power.  Maybe Audio Alchemy is the bargain here?
« Last Edit: 8 May 2012, 10:16 pm by Letitroll98 »

mjosef

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #179 on: 10 May 2012, 04:06 am »
I picked up the amps tonight...in comparison to Paul's ASKA, I thought it sounded a little tighter in the bass, and slightly warmer in the mids. It definitely was not a night and day difference...Good seeing you Wolfy, been a 'long' time.  :thumb:
Tonight I will test out the low volume results, since its pretty late already.

My speakers(VMPS RM1) are bi-amped, with tubes on the mid/hi and a Crown XTi 1002 on the bass <250Hz>...since the Crown has balance inputs I will swap in the Ncores there first...already using RCA to XLR cables.
I will also try them full range on a backup VMPS RM626 at some point.

Since my apt is tiny and I cannot really have more than one person over at a time, I may be willing to travel with the amps to someone with a bigger space to demo the Ncores with a larger audience. This is time permitting and transportation availability of course. And I will have to clear that with Jason.

Now onto listening to the Ncores...