Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 283885 times.

zybar

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #20 on: 12 Apr 2012, 06:57 pm »
Nice write-up macrojack.

While I am a tube lover (I have 46 tubes between my amps and preamp), I do have an open mind and I am really looking forward to hearing the amps in my system.

From a pure cost, ease of use, and maintenance standpoint, I want the Hypex amps to sound as good or better than my Atma-Sphere MA-1's.  If they do, I will happily move to them and never look back.

Guess I will know towards the end of next week when I get a package from you.   :wink:

George
« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2012, 12:24 pm by zybar »

mgalusha

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #21 on: 12 Apr 2012, 07:09 pm »
Well said Tom.

I was trying to restrain my enthusiasm but really, it's much like your reaction.

Like George, I wanted to reduce the number of tubes in my system and the consequent heat. I started looking for a suitable replacement in December, before I even knew of the NCore, so there was no influence from these prior to the current impressions. I sold the Atma-Sphere, having decided that no matter what the NCore sounded like, I needed to simplify and have been living with less since then. It seems I will soon have my modules; I received a ship notification from Hypex today and assuming UPS doesn't lose them, delivery is Monday.  8)

mike

brj

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #22 on: 13 Apr 2012, 07:01 am »
Jim/JDUBS, is there any chance you have pics of your friend's implementation?  It sounds intriguing.  Thanks!

zybar

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #23 on: 13 Apr 2012, 11:12 am »
I get that. You like the way it sounds over the music. Or rather you like your system's sonic characteristics for all your music.

My own amp is said to be very tubelike, it's a tripath, but even as sweet as this sounds I'd rather go for neutrality and clarity above all. Let the recording through.

And as far as synergy, well, as this amp has the finesse   to apparently match or beat anything, I think this is a situation where you let the amp dictate the synergy and you choose pieces from there until you get it right. If these amps are as good as being reported, and you kind of have to believe it at this point, why would you let any other piece of gear dictate things?

I get it though, there will always be tube amps. The thing I'm saying is, a lot less people are going to want to pay the premium for what is now lesser performance.

People will just use buffers I think, if they want that tube flavor.

Let's not jump the gun and start saying this is the best and nothing is better.

George

macrojack

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3781
Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #24 on: 14 Apr 2012, 01:37 am »
timind - I haven't any experience with the Bel Canto pieces you mention but your description seems apt for the Ncore 400s. The seeming lack of a noise floor is surely part of the impression but I also am struck by the timbre of percussion and the remarkable way it reproduces metallic sounds. The clocks and chimes at the beginning of "Time" from DSOTM is very alarming (pardon the pun) and the vibes I heard on MJQ this afternoon were very "in the room" lifelike. There's more there there. The presentation stands out in front of my speakers in a phantom spirit sort of way. The fun is more fun. I think anybody who has a chance to put them in his/her system will buy them.

macrojack

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3781
Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #25 on: 14 Apr 2012, 02:16 pm »
In a private email to Jason this morning, I included this observation which he suggested I publish. It could be important to some of you who live with others who keep different hours or just don't want to hear your music playing loudly all the time. Here it is:

And finally, this morning I got up about 5:00 A.M. Family still sleeping, I turned on the radio, made my tea and sat down to look at messages on my phone. All at once, I remembered what you said about your amps sounding very good at low volumes. What an understatement!! Some of what I heard may be due to the character and broadcast pattern of my horns ( meaning other people with more conventional speakers might not realize the same level of drama) but the sound was inaudible 25 feet down the hall from where I was sitting and was full and detailed at my position. Very musical, very convincing, very enjoyable sound coming in at whisper level. Quite a trick.

                                           ------------------------------------


macrojack

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3781
Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #26 on: 16 Apr 2012, 08:15 pm »
Well I can take us back on topic. I shipped the amps out to Zybar this morning and he is predicted to receive them Thursday.

After I recovered from my orgasmic trance, I settled in and listened much more carefully to the NC 400s. Still very impressed. I don't get out much since I'm lazy and there is nothing convenient to visit. So I don't have a lot of experience with the recent (last 15 years) headline grabbing amplification. My references are mostly pretty old. It remains true, however, that I have never heard anything as crisp, detailed, delineated and defined. The Ncore amps move to another level of focus. There was no glare despite acute detail, and no slurring. Lyrics are clear as could be and every note at any frequency seems to stand out prominently. I just don't have the vocabulary to bring the reality of it across with prose. You'll have to hear it for yourself. It may not be to your liking but you will be unable to find fault with it. Maybe you just won't be able to give up what you have now. There just doesn't seem to be any characteristic to the sound. And that may be objectionable to some listeners.

jackman

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #27 on: 16 Apr 2012, 08:29 pm »
So I guess anyone who tries one of these amps and doesn't fall immediately in love with the sound (or lack of it) must have an affinity for colored sound?  Or they don't have a system resolving enough to truly understand the game-changing nature of this amp?  Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to trying the NC's in my system or at least hearing them at someone else's place sometime. 

I know this one is different but I've heard ICE and Hypex amps in the past and although there were things I liked about them, they didn't blow me away.  So far, I prefer Class A sound over Class D, but I don't like having a 60lb piece of steel capable of frying bacon heating my room, especially in the summer.  Small, cool and efficient amps would be a big bonus for me, especially if they sound as good as everyone says the N-Core sounds. 

If half the hype is true, it looks like they might have a real winner on their hands.  Of course, you can't spell Hypex without "hype".  Just saying.

Cheers,

J

emailtim

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #28 on: 16 Apr 2012, 10:20 pm »
... Still very impressed. ...

What speakers were you driving with them?

Are you going to pull the trigger and order some ?

Thanks,
Tim

macrojack

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3781
Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #29 on: 16 Apr 2012, 11:03 pm »
It has just occurred to me that Zybar represents a first in this tour. Mike, Jason and I all have horns although I believe theirs are called waveguides. George will be the first (of our group) to try them with cone midrange drivers. That might be more meaningful to most of you.

zybar

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #30 on: 16 Apr 2012, 11:59 pm »
Here is the system I will be auditioning the amps in:

Room description:

The previous owners used these two rooms as their formal living room and dining room. The "front" part of the room has an opening on the left side to the two story foyer. The "back" of the room has a open doorway into the kitchen with a bank of windows on the right side.

Acoustic Treatment:

Generous amounts of room treatments from www.realtraps.com are used throughout the space: 8 - Minitraps 6 - Tri-Corner traps 2 - Mondo traps 3 - Diffusors

Component listing:

Digital Source:   Bryston BDP-1/Bryston BDA-1
Preamp:           Atma-Sphere MP-1 MK 3.1 with NOS 6SN7 tubes
Power Amp:     Atma-Sphere MA-1 MK 3.1 mono blocks on SRA Platforms with NOS 6SN7 tubes
Speakers:      Vandersteen 5A's in Birdseye Maple
Subwoofer:    none - 5A's have built in subwoofer with EQ
Speaker Cables:   Morrow Audio SP4 (two independent runs)
Interconnects:   Morrow Audio SP6 and SP4 xlr ic's
Power Cables:   Kaplan Cable (Conditioner Cords Copper and Rhodium)
Racking:        Sistrum SP-4 Platform, Sistrum SP-004 for the Uber Buss
Power            
Conditioning:
       Pi Audio Uber Buss with Kaplan Cable Copper Cord, Furman IT Ref-20i with Kaplan Cable Copper Cord
Other
Components:
   Speltz Zero Autoformers in Maple - turns a 4ohm speaker into a 8-16 ohm speaker from an amplification perspective





George

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #31 on: 17 Apr 2012, 12:37 am »

JTWRace is very generous and trusting, letting people demo his cool new amp.  Although I missed the original sign up, I'm hoping to hear it at Roscoe's place.

Cheers

Jack

Thanks.  I'm really glad that I'm doing this as most of the people here are good people.  Yes, you did miss the first one. Will there be second tour?  Let's get through the first one and see how it goes. 

I do know that this is my current amp.  It's a 45 yr old Leach that my dad built in college.  Yes, it sounds pretty freakin' good too.  Well, that's not hard to do when there is no other choice.   :wink:







So I guess anyone who tries one of these amps and doesn't fall immediately in love with the sound (or lack of it) must have an affinity for colored sound?  Or they don't have a system resolving enough to truly understand the game-changing nature of this amp?  Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to trying the NC's in my system or at least hearing them at someone else's place sometime. 
Not at all.  I know that this will not be liked by everyone.  Whether I agree or not is completely irrelevant.  We all have differnt tastes and I'm good with that.  The purpose of the tour is so people with different systems, tastes and rooms can hear the same amp that I have other have and like.  That's it!  Nothing to hide...I certainly wouldn't be opening my amps for tour around the USA. 

Rclark

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #32 on: 17 Apr 2012, 03:21 am »
 A very good review just posted and thought it might be appreciated here. From user Juhleren-


http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/vendors-bazaar/190434-hypex-ncore-369.html


 Another ncore listening experience -head to head with AELPH F5

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have just returned from visiting Olle in Stockholm where we spend about 2½ hours listening to his 2xNcore/2xSMPS600 amp and comparing it to his AELPH F5 mono blocks.
(Please correct me if i´m wrong, but the only mod that had been done to the ncore´s was removing a resister for gain reduction of 13dB. Other specifics of the fine system is best supplied by Olle himself)

Because Olle has a very nice and well-though-through system that differs quite a lot from my own system, it is important to note that the listening observations I share here reflects what we heard (and my subjective interpretation) in his specific system, and the emphasis is therefore on how the nocre´s compared to the aelph f5. -A reference that others may be able to relate to.

First we compared the two amps in a single-speaker setup with his Carlsson inspired omnipolar speakers (mentioned and shown earlier in this thread) placed up against each other in the middle of the room. We could thereby throughout the music switch between the two amps without knowing which one where playing.

Both amps sounded very good and there only appeared to be very slight tonal differences. Apparently speaker placement made as much difference in that test setup so I won´t commit to any conclusive result other than the amps appear to be very similarly balanced and that the small nuances that gave them away from each other, were comparative to the effect of switching between the two speakers (and thereby their specific in-room placement).

After that we made a more conventional stereo test with small bookshelf speakers that were based on the SEAS T14RCY/P 5" woofer and a 19mm SEAS alu tweeter. We listened to the same music material again at very moderate listening level. My guess is that the speakers were around 87db/W/M so we have max had one or two watt at peaks. –No sweat for either amp in other words.

In this setup the differences between the amps were much more noticeable, though both amps definitely sounded very good. No bashing :-)

In comparison the ncore´s presented the music with noticeable more scale and focus. The AELPHs, though very good, seemed a bit restricted and appeared to let the bass content slightly blur the midrange.
The AELPHs seemed ever so slightly softer but not by much. The ncore´s, on the other hand, definitely didn´t sound hard in any way.

I can see why some like the AELPHs, but if one is after an amp that makes the speaker produce what the source is delivering as accurately as possible, the ncore´s were the clear winner. -I am starting to save up for them at least :-)
–any used ncore bargains out there for sale yet ;-)

As a side note (and note that this has NOT been based on a direct “head to head” comparison), I would say that what impressed me the most about the ncore is the way it made the small speakers sound so dynamically unrestricted and precise at the same time. One of the things I know that my own two class D amps (Acoustic Reality Ear Two and ucd100oem) both suffer from, is a slightly restricted "sound envelope" compared to my class AB amps (nxV200 and NCC200). It´s like the ICE´s and UCD´s cut out a slightly more restricted "window" of the material, and then presents this "cut out" very good, focused and clear -but nevertheless slightly restricted in scale.

With the ncore, this kind of "envelope" or "window"- size restriction didn´t seem to play in and it presented both a bigger and more accurately rendered picture than the AELPHs. It was like the dynamic range and bandwidth of the source was remarkably improved through the ncore´s. Not just a clearer and more precise picture but it was also presented in a larger frame -so to speak.

If this is what Bruno meant when he earlier in this thread mentioned that the ncore presents with a better balance between the individual instrument and the whole orchestra -and in that way enables the listener to better hear both the single instrument and wholeness of the complete composition, I believe that this is what I experienced at Olles today.

In comparison to how my memories serve the UCD´s at home, the ncore gave me an impression of noticeably tighter and detailed image-focus and presence that was more refined in relation to the whole picture. I recall the UCD´s as presenting the individual instruments less precise and at the same time taking up more “space” in the smaller “frame”.

Many thanks to Olle for offering me a chance to listen to his fine system and the ncore´s and for a “jättetrevligt visit”! –as they say on Swedish :-)

Best

Phil

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #33 on: 17 Apr 2012, 03:25 am »
just read that review.  Since a little ICE amp is playing right now (and not too bad at all, really), this part intrigues me:    "It´s like the ICE´s and UCD´s cut out a slightly more restricted "window" of the material, and then presents this "cut out" very good, focused and clear -but nevertheless slightly restricted in scale.

With the ncore, this kind of "envelope" or "window"- size restriction didn´t seem to play in and it presented both a bigger and more accurately rendered picture than the AELPHs."

zybar

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #34 on: 20 Apr 2012, 05:12 pm »
Well the amps arrived safely and they are now installed in my system.

I am not ready yet to talk about how they sound, but I will say that they certainly aren't embarrassing themselves in any way. 

I'll try and get some first impressions posted tonight or tomorrow.

George


OzarkTom

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #35 on: 20 Apr 2012, 10:24 pm »
Well the amps arrived safely and they are now installed in my system.

I am not ready yet to talk about how they sound, but I will say that they certainly aren't embarrassing themselves in any way. 

I'll try and get some first impressions posted tonight or tomorrow.

George

I sure would love to hear this amp comparison.

GS

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 16
Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #36 on: 21 Apr 2012, 01:12 pm »
I sure would love to hear this amp comparison.

+1 :D :D :D

roscoeiii

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #37 on: 21 Apr 2012, 11:06 pm »
+1 :thumb:

zybar

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #38 on: 22 Apr 2012, 12:47 am »
Ok, here are just a few comments as I won't have time till tomorrow to really write something.

1.  The amps are darn good - period!! 

2.  I really don't care whether they are Class D, A, A/B, etc...they make music and are very engaging.

3.  These amps are one the BEST values I have come across in the last 15 years!  To get this level of performance for this amount of money is just insane!

4.  Strengths: 

Fast, detailed, and dead quiet. 
Very engaging and does a great job drawing you into the music. 
Lots of slam and impact. 
Can play at high levels (over 100 db peaks) with no distortion, compression, or hardness
Small form factor and energy draw
Extra power/headroom is greatly appreciated

5.  Weaknesses: 

Not as spacious and big sounding as my current amps
Female vocals aren't quite as sexy and seductive sounding
No glowing tubes   :o


I'll post more tomorrow. 

George

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #39 on: 22 Apr 2012, 12:57 am »
Not as spacious and big sounding as my current amps
I agree but that's one of the things that the A-S OTL's did for me that I didn't like.  TO ME, it was very unrealistic...

Look forward to more thoughts! 

Will you be trying them on your HT too?  Even if you just tried them on that brand....