Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions

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Barry_NJ

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #200 on: 11 May 2012, 02:50 am »
Dude, I want to hear that thing!  Too bad I need so much more power. 
 

More than 600/1200 watts into 8/4 ohms(?) That's a lot of power...

Of course I'm talking about using two modules and one power-supply per channel, but how much more than that do you need?

James Romeyn

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #201 on: 11 May 2012, 03:00 am »
More than 600/1200 watts into 8/4 ohms(?) That's a lot of power...

Of course I'm talking about using two modules and one power-supply per channel, but how much more than that do you need?

Barry,
My bad!  I edited the post...I was referring to Tyson's lovely modded Dyna ST70.   

Barry_NJ

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #202 on: 11 May 2012, 03:37 am »
Got ya ;)

lonewolfny42

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #203 on: 11 May 2012, 04:25 am »
Thanks to Occam / Paul for the invite to audition the NCore mono's...and thanks to Jason for the AC tour.  :thumb:

After 5 hours of listening....and close to 50 different tunes....my opinion.....

................I LIKED THEM....  :beer:

mjosef

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #204 on: 13 May 2012, 10:46 pm »
NCore 400, could very well fulfill my long standing quest for a SS amp with the unique signature of the 'best' tube sound yoked to the low maintenance of SS.
What I like about the 'tube sound' is the 'feeling' of the notes, it like what the blind feels when handling an object, the 3D aspect of each note. THe Ncore amp has some of this, enough to satisfy my taste.
The good thing about this hobby is that the able and the willing can take any product and meld it to one's liking, in the last couple days, I have lived and breathe the NCore 'sound'...yes, it has a sound, at least I hear a signature...its sweet without the syrupy, solid without the hardness, dynamic without effort.

The Ncore needs to warm up, minimum 1 hr, gets much better(liquidly?) after 6-8 hours. It responds well to isolation, weight-damping, cabling, like any other component. Right at this moment it has been on for about 18 hours, and the sound is very enchanting, the standup bass notes sound elastic, the hi hats has just the right amount of sustain, piano notes has that true live feel to it...and the live applause has that hand sting feeling as though you are also clapping along with the recorded audience.

I have now heard them in three different systems; Occam's/Paul vs his ASKA on Marten Miles2, bass and midrange was better on the NCore to a degree, hi's might have been a wash between the two amps, and last evening on Al's (forgot his AC handle) system vs. his NuForce 18(?) powering B&W 802...again NCore had better bass, tighter and more clean, upper frequencies had better shapes and clarity. And finally on my own system. Most of my electronics wouldn't garner a second look from most audiophiles  :icon_lol: , except my pre and maybe speakers, but I have tweaked the hell out of them with the results far exceeding the sum of the parts. Having heard many systems via the local raves and the various shows mainly CES/The Show, I think my system holds up well in comparison...of course every audiophile feels his/her baby is alla' that and a bag of chips.  :lol:

Here is what the NCore brought to my system, the magic 'tone' of tubes but only 'cleaner', the punch of the mid-bass with a sort of bottomless reach just for good measure, percussive notes to die for (I play a lot of world folk music), and...and...enchantment, no sense of listener fatigue.
Might just be the 'perfect' amp for me, if not for the people of Yaar.  :thumb:

My system:
Philips 795 SACD changer/Yamaha 1800 SACD/DVD-A player >EE DAC> CAT pre> Marchand Crossover>Response Audio 3205 Signature on mid/hi with Crown XTi1002 on bass(divison @ 250Hz) VMPS RM1.
 Cabling is a hodgepodge of DIY, Kaplan, Grover Zx(tour demos), AR, and CArdas.
A variety of footers...Stillpoints, Black Diamond, Walker, Tiptoes, LAT, Crazy and Happy Balls, and DIY.

Music played over the past 2 weeks:Jon Hassell 'Earthquake Island', String Theory 'triptych', Miles Espanol, Jazzhole 'blackburst', 'Further Explorations' Corea/Motion/Gomez, plus my various series of demo discs with music from all over the Globe.

Atop the heap



First placement.



James Romeyn

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #205 on: 13 May 2012, 11:25 pm »
Great review, I really "got" his meaning. 

For reader info: VMPS or member mjosef can chime in, but my recollection from employ there is all RM1 employ the older Bohlender-Graebener planar mid, single ended, ferrite magnet, vs. the current planar mid, push-pull, neodymium.  IIRC the RM1 discontinued before the new mids arrived.  The mids look very different from each other: older protrudes about 1/2" above the baffle, new almost flat.  Older 6 or 8 large vents/copper diaphragm, newer more vents/aluminum diaphragm. 

I presume the mid high-pass crossover is VMPS passive in the RM1. 

Also IIRC the new mid crosses @ 260 Hz, different from the old mid, but again, VMPS can confirm or correct.  260 Hz is closest to C4 or middle C.  If you have a guitar laying around that's the 1st fret of the B string (normal tuning): 2nd string from the bottom, 2nd highest pitch string, the 2nd thinnest string.

Piano key frequencies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies

That frequency is higher than the average active bass/mid crossover pole.  Absolutely no value judgement, just a reader note for review context.     

lonewolfny42

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #206 on: 14 May 2012, 12:07 am »
Tonight I will test out the low volume results, since its pretty late already.

How'd this work out for you Martin...low volume listening ?

mjosef

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #207 on: 14 May 2012, 12:52 am »
Quote
For reader info: VMPS or member mjosef can chime in, but my recollection from employ there is all RM1 employ the older Bohlender-Graebener planar mid, single ended, ferrite magnet, vs. the current planar mid, push-pull, neodymium.  IIRC the RM1 discontinued before the new mids arrived.  The mids look very different from each other: older protrudes about 1/2" above the baffle, new almost flat.  Older 6 or 8 large vents/copper diaphragm, newer more vents/aluminum diaphragm.

Both the RM1 and RM626 I got have the current mid panels from Level 9 Design, Both came with the passive crossover @ 166Hz to megawoofers, I removed the guts of the RM1 crossover network to outside the box, eliminating the bass coil and the mid panel network(except the upper cut off coil), plus upgraded the tweeter cap to sonicaps with a russian teflon bypass(value matched of course). Later on I believe Brian switched to 280Hz for the 626.
Most of my listening was done on the 626, easier to compare different amps with a single amp.
When I first took delivery of the Ncores, I opted for just replacing the Crown since it was easier to swap, I did have to adjust the balance between the mid/hi(tube amp) and bass amp(Ncore). Later on I tried the Ncore in place of the tube amp on the mid/hi with the Crown back on the bass drivers.
Early this morning I went back to my RM1's with the Ncore on the mid/hi, as it is now...before I pack them up for shipment tonight.


Low level listening was excellent...three clicks on the CAT pot, clarity and image depth/density was all present.

James Romeyn

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #208 on: 14 May 2012, 02:22 am »
I'd have to disagree with mjosef and say I like all or most of his gear quite a bit.

The following is only for reader clarification and in absolutely no way is argumentative.  I'm invested in three Ncore due any day.  Please correct as necessary: The review system in the earlier post lists active xo, Crown bass amp/(tube amp) above middle C, VMPS RM1. 

Then the later post states most of the listening was single amp VMPS 626R.  What amp vs. Ncore?  I can only presume the tubes because a Crown SS brute seems not a great match with the planar mid and planar tweeter. 

That leaves the tube amp powering full range VMPS 626R. I owned this model with the best mid bass vintage late 2006-early 2007.  ATI's big 200/350W SS power amp regularly clipped powering the mid bass only in passive biamp.  I do like live levels in a then-2700cf room.  Just providing context that most tube amps powering 626R full range might have difficulty moving those mid bass.  But conversely, I know that speaker/listener/boundary relationships, listener subjectivity (loud for one is not for another), and music program is a complicated bag of inter-related worms.  YMMV.   
« Last Edit: 14 May 2012, 06:06 am by James Romeyn »

doug s.

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #209 on: 14 May 2012, 06:01 am »
I'd have to disagree with mjosef and say I like all or most of his gear quite a bit.

The following is only for reader clarification and in absolutely no way is argumentative.  I'm invested in three Ncore due any day.  Please correct as necessary: The review system in the earlier post lists active xo, Crown bass amp/(tube amp) above middle C, VMPS RM1. 

Then the later post states most of the listening was single amp VMPS 626R.  What amp vs. Ncore?  I can only presume the tubes because a Crown SS brute seems not a great match with the planar mid and planar tweeter. 

That leaves the tube amp powering full range VMPS 626R. I owned this model with the best mid bass vintage late 2006-early 2007.  ATI's big 200/350W SS power amp regularly clipped powering the mid bass only in passive biamp.  I do like live levels in a then-2700sf room.  Just providing context that most tube amps powering 626R full range might have difficulty moving those mid bass.  But conversely, I know that speaker/listener/boundary relationships, listener subjectivity (loud for one is not for another), and music program is a complicated bag of inter-related worms.  YMMV.

jim - 2700sf?  or cu-ft?  2700sf is a pretty big room.   8)  your present room, which is a good size, comes in at ~3100cu-ft.  joseph's room, at 11x14x10 would easily accommodate spls from 626r's as loud as tolerable w/his tube amplification, imo...

doug s.

mjosef

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #210 on: 14 May 2012, 06:06 am »
Let me clarify the timeline...
Wednesday nite picked up the Ncores. First position was in for the Crown which powers the bass drivers of the bi-amped RM1(via Marchand electronic crossover @250Hz/ 24dB) with RA 3205S tube amp powering mid/hi section.

Thursday morning moved the Ncores to the mid/hi with the Crown on the bass. At this point I had the Ncores resting on the Crown atop a layer of wool felt, not an ideal position, and the sound was not inspiring.  Tried some footings and got improvment but it still wasn't happening. Thursday evening shifted to the RM626 which ment removing the RM1 (no small task), listened to the 626 powered by the tube amp for a couple hours, then switched to the Crown...by the time I got to the Ncores turn it was midnite(thurs.), still atop the Crown(which was off) and so it was until Saturday nite, after a trip to a fellow audiophile home and a evening concert. Sat. nite was when I finally placed the Ncores on the top shelf where the tube amp usually sits. Here is where it really shone, with the right footers(Black Diamond #4 cones) and Walker brass/lead base as shown in the posted pics.

Amps compared to on the 626R, Response Audio 3205 Sig. tube amp , Crown XTi1002 and Exposure 2010 amp.  My room is small 11x14 and filled with stuff. Speakers are about 5feet apart and I sit about 7-8 ft' away. Normal listening level are between 70dB and 90dB...not that loud.

Sunday @noon reinstated RM1, kept Ncore on top shelf powering mid/hi with Crown on bass. This set up constituted the rest of my listening session all through the evening until I packed up the Ncores around 10pm.

Final thoughts.
Going back to my usual set up I began to second guess my impressions, tubes just does something with the midrange that SS never seem to touch...I thought the Ncores had some of the qualities that tubes bring and whilst the Ncores were in the system I didn't really miss that quality...now with the tube amp back in on the mid/hi, I don't really miss the Ncore.  :lol:

Full range Ncore might pull ahead of the individual amps but in my situation where I am powering just the midrange/ hi freq. above 250Hz, the results are much closer and depending on the tubes used...anyway I still need a (cooler running)summer amp to sub for the tube amp during hot summer days and so far the Ncores meet that critera. Today was a warmer day and the temp. in my apt hit 83*F...my apt is usually 10* warmer than the outside temp.

The end.  :thumb:


Edit: Doug is absolutely right, 40W.  tube power(KT77) is plenty...I also have a 20W. tube amp (Jolida 102b/ EL84s) which does magic at reasonable volume.

Also I find the Crown on the 626 to be quite good, surprisingly good actually, throws a massive soundstage and with the right conditioning has a slightly sweet tone.

James Romeyn

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #211 on: 14 May 2012, 06:07 am »
jim - 2700sf?  or cu-ft?  2700sf is a pretty big room.   8)  your present room, which is a good size, comes in at ~3100cu-ft.  joseph's room, at 11x14x10 would easily accommodate spls from 626r's as loud as tolerable w/his tube amplification, imo...

doug s.

My bad: 2700cf, edited above, thanks!

Yeah, reading above, I agree, my power needs are much different...maybe I should delete that post.  I saw 115+ dB peaks on my decades old RS meter, no idea of its accuracy.   

James Romeyn

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #212 on: 14 May 2012, 06:26 am »
...Going back to my usual set up I began to second guess my impressions, tubes just does something with the midrange that SS never seem to touch...I thought the Ncores had some of the qualities that tubes bring and whilst the Ncores were in the system I didn't really miss that quality...now with the tube amp back in on the mid/hi, I don't really miss the Ncore.  :lol:

This makes me laugh.  I've had similar experiences and I'm not surprised to read this.  Tyson's tube comments messed with my head and since he posted his review I've been thinking a lot about tubes, again...


Quote
Full range Ncore might pull ahead of the individual amps but in my situation where I am powering just the midrange/ hi freq. above 250Hz, the results are much closer and depending on the tubes used...anyway I still need a (cooler running)summer amp to sub for the tube amp during hot summer days and so far the Ncores meet that critera. Today was a warmer day and the temp. in my apt hit 83*F...my apt is usually 10* warmer than the outside temp.

This is funny too, for two reasons: first, warm environs where audio fans consider winter and summer amps...we know about tires, but isn't this, well, different?  Second reason is you'll seldom hear protest of amp heat from me or my neighbors in N. Utah, especially in the basement!  (62" of snow average...my wife is fond of repeating this fact.)


« Last Edit: 14 May 2012, 06:29 pm by James Romeyn »

*Scotty*

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #213 on: 14 May 2012, 04:54 pm »
Jim, you could always consider moving to St. George or Hurricane.  :lol:
I spent a few years in Kanab and I KNOW where there is less snow to be had in the state of UTAH.
Scotty
 
This is a sort of a UTAH joke, you kind of had to have lived there and watched the daily weather reports on KUTV,KSL or KTVX it doesn't really matter which one, the reports will be the same HOT.
See link. http://stgeorgelexington.com/blog/southern-utah-climate/st-george-utah-climate/
« Last Edit: 14 May 2012, 06:21 pm by *Scotty* »

Occam

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #214 on: 14 May 2012, 06:19 pm »
Martin,

Thanks for the great review. I especially focused on your comments about mechanical isolation devices and their associated changes to subjective sound. I didn't get a chance, or was frankly too lazy, to play that kind of slap and tickle with the Ncores when they were here. Isolation tweaks certainly have a strong influence on my Aksa Lifeforce.

Thanks again,
Paul

mjosef

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #215 on: 15 May 2012, 01:23 am »
I didn't really detail much about the tweaky stuff since it will vary depending on local circumstances...my pic show two Walker pucks, later on I resorted to just one per unit, since I felt the sound was kinda 'heavy' with two...with one the sound felt more airy, more open.
YMWV of course.




maxwalrath

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #216 on: 17 May 2012, 07:14 pm »
More to follow later tonight or tomorrow.

I'm switching sources and preamps back and forth, but in general, I can say that the attack and decay of notes is lightening fast.

Albums that always appeared to be so well engineered in their complexity with a blend of sounds in the background (Radiohead's Kid A and Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason) have those individual sounds fleshed out so they can be individually identified. The background singers on the Floyd album are way more distinguishable from each other than they have ever been in my system.

The Very Best of Cream sounds more like a live album than I've noticed before.

The transparency of a Warpspeed Optocoupler before the NCores is something special.

Headroom is there in spades as one might expect with 400w amps and 92db efficient Reference 3A DeCapo i's. I can play at volumes way above painful levels without the sound becoming strained.

« Last Edit: 18 May 2012, 05:41 am by maxwalrath »

James Romeyn

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #217 on: 17 May 2012, 07:31 pm »
It's good when you hear mixing board noise modulate up/down as the engineer/producer fades the slider on a 60s-70s era board.  (Though it pains me to hear how compressed and lifeless Roy Buchanan's last album In The Beginning sounds compared to the 3M 2" 24-track studio master, which sounded a lot closer to the live event.)  Dr. Patrick Gleason and John Viera's Different Fur Trading Company in San Francisco had among the best recording studios of that era (Herbie Hancock's Headhunters).           

Chris Adams

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #218 on: 17 May 2012, 10:49 pm »
I posted my thoughts a number of pages back. This morning I ordered 2 NC400s and 2 SMPS600s. I just could not get the sound out of my head. I remember exactly (well, pretty darn close :wink:) what they sounded like and miss it too much not to have them. :green:

maxwalrath

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #219 on: 17 May 2012, 10:59 pm »
I posted my thoughts a number of pages back. This morning I ordered 2 NC400s and 2 SMPS600s. I just could not get the sound out of my head. I remember exactly (well, pretty darn close :wink:) what they sounded like and miss it too much not to have them. :green:

Yeah, I'll probably take the plunge too as soon as financially possible.