Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions

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a.wayne

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #440 on: 1 Jul 2012, 08:32 pm »
I think this is a question that only Bruno can answer, he might have even tested an Ncore to destruction on low impedance loads.
  If I was to hazard a guess, I wouldn't be surprised to see the protection circuitry kick in with loads of this kind and their associated HIGH current levels.
Scotty

Yep , hence my question , anyway 20k Accuphase's are excellent sounding  amplifiers , anyone wanting to swap for a mono pr of ncore's I'm game ..


Regards ,

bhobba

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #441 on: 2 Jul 2012, 12:46 am »
This thread is for listening impressions, and I gather that is your "impression".  It is not fact, however; in my system I clearly stated that I needed more power (current or voltage, not sure) to produce the dynamics that my KWA-150's produce.  My speakers are different than yours, etc.  I brought up the idea of bridging them.

Hi Ted

Valid point.

And yea - it was a comment based on listening impressions - not a technical analysis.

A 1 ohm load is wild and yea I do not know how it would handle that.

Thanks
Bill

bruno

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #442 on: 2 Jul 2012, 12:44 pm »
It drives just over 200W into 1 ohm. I haven't done any distortion measurements or listening tests under those conditions. If the 2 ohm data can be extrapolated it should still sound fairly respectable. What I can say is that the overcurrent protection is more audible than clipping. So until someone actually tries it I'm not going to make any predictions as to how meaningful a pairing of NC400 with Scintillas is.

Jacq.

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #443 on: 6 Jul 2012, 12:09 pm »
Here is a short review that I also posted on DIY Audio;

''Thumbs up Short NCore listening impression
I was invited to my verry good friend Marq the other day to audition is new set of 4 NCore used verticaly. Marq is a long time avid AUDIOPHILE and a VYNIL lover. A little more than a year ago he had made a switch from a PassLab amp to a double set of UCD400hg+xr which sounded much more alive. To his saying the difference is now just as steep with the NCore.
From my short audition all I can say is that most of the comments made here are what I heard; nice highs without being emphasize, yes a more distant sound stage but aren't all verry well regarded high end equipment do perform that way, but most of all extreme control in the bass department and on the entire audio range with dynamics galor, low level detail etc..

Basically for me it resumes to two words; CONTROL and COMPOSURE.

Gongratulation to Bruno and is team and a big cheers for is contribution to the DIY community. ''

Airborn

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #444 on: 10 Jul 2012, 11:48 pm »
I was looking over the thread and noticed there haven't been any listening impressions from the tour guys for about 10 days. :o  How's the tour going?

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #445 on: 10 Jul 2012, 11:58 pm »
I was looking over the thread and noticed there haven't been any listening impressions from the tour guys for about 10 days. :o  How's the tour going?
It's going well.  4 days in shipping.  3 days listening.  a1p1 said he is working on it and should have it done in a few days. 

Airborn

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #446 on: 11 Jul 2012, 12:05 am »
Great, looking forward to it.  I can only listen vicariously until I get mine built... :green:

a1p1

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #447 on: 11 Jul 2012, 02:34 am »
I want to thank Jason for his generosity in providing his NCore NC400 amplifiers, and his considerable amount of time putting on such a tour.  Truly remarkable. 

My system:
MacBook Pro
Analog Research Technology USB-SPDIF converter
LessLoss DAC 2004 MkII DAC
SimAudio Moon P-5 preamplifier
Clayton Audio M-300 monoblock amplifiers
GR Research/AV123 LS-9 speakers
Running Springs Audio Jaco Elite power conditioner

The Claytons were formerly Jason’s and have been in my system for the past five months.
I’m not terribly verbose or prone to hyperbole and find writing up a review to be a bit of chore, but it’s the least I can do as requested per the tour. 

I was really only able to dedicate one day listening to the NCore amps.  They played throughout the day with active listening for 3-4 hours.  I listened to a significant amount of Radiohead, Sigur Ros, The Walkmen, and Explosions in the Sky during that period.  Radiohead is always good to show off a system.  The last two Walkmen albums are also well recorded.  Sigur Ros can be angelic, but can also get a bit bright.  They also build up slowly into huge crescendos (if that’s the correct term), which can get messy.  Explosions in the Sky have these traits as well. 

The NCores are dynamic, fast, and controlled at low and high volume.   They are engaging at low volume (difficult) and don’t fall apart when pushed.  I never felt like they ran out of power; 108dB peaks (hearing conservation!).

As has been stated many times before, the NCores are damn neutral top to bottom.  Bass is great; very well controlled, nothing flabby here.  Treble is clean and clear; not bright.  Midrange is good, but this may be where they are a bit lacking.  Honestly, I can’t quite put it into words; writing was never my strong suit.  Maybe it’s not the midrange, hell it’s hard to nail it down, but my gut tells me that’s part of it.  The NCores are recessed and/or flatter in comparison to the Claytons incredible depth.  There is just more “meat” to the Claytons and that makes them more engaging.  The Claytons could give me goose bumps on the final track of Sigur Ros’ ( ) album, the NCores couldn’t.  Same for Radiohead’s Pyramid Song.  That’s what I’m after.  Is it the Claytons Class A topology?  Their huge current capacity (60A continuous/ 100A peaks!)?  The additional headroom of having 300W versus 200W? Who knows?

These criticisms are mine, that’s all, and really pretty minor. 

Best,
AP

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #448 on: 11 Jul 2012, 04:49 am »
AP,

No need to apologize that was what the tour is for. Happy you like Claytons, they are a formidable amplifier. Great review.

Best,

Anand.

Rclark

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #449 on: 11 Jul 2012, 06:22 am »
I remember the ad for those. Nice looking amps, and well reviewed. 

:thumb:

jackman

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #450 on: 11 Jul 2012, 03:34 pm »
I remember the ad for those. Nice looking amps, and well reviewed. 

:thumb:

You should do a review of the Clayton versus the Ncore based on the reviews you have read.  That would be entertaining.   

a1p1

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #451 on: 11 Jul 2012, 04:04 pm »
You should do a review of the Clayton versus the Ncore based on the reviews you have read.  That would be entertaining.

The best amps I've never heard. 

a1p1

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #452 on: 11 Jul 2012, 04:43 pm »
AP,

No need to apologize that was what the tour is for. Happy you like Claytons, they are a formidable amplifier. Great review.

Best,

Anand.

Anand,

I'm not apologizing.  I think the Claytons are better amps.  My point is that my review, like any other review, is just one opinion.  I know you get this.  The overzealous NCore fans with the "game changer" mentality, playing scorekeeper of the latest amp slayed by the mightly NCore, while treating positive reviews as gospel are a disservice to the NCore. 

AP

ted_b

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #453 on: 11 Jul 2012, 04:58 pm »
AP,
Thanks for that review.  As I listed in my review several pages back, the Claytons (as well as my Modwright 150 monos) are two of the best amps I've ever heard.  So are the NCores, bu they didn't unseat my Modwrights.  They are great little amps, and I'd love one for my center channel in my 5.1 dedicated setup, as well as maybe replacing my McCormack as my surround amp in same setup; bridged feedback will be needed (Serengetiplains is doing that right now) to understand whether the extra bridging power puts the necessary meat on the bones (and dynamics) that I require.

BruceD7575

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #454 on: 11 Jul 2012, 05:02 pm »
It's worth noting from a value standpoint that the M300 monos retail for $13.5k (at least according to one review I saw). Of course, you can't put a price on goose bumps!

mjosef

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #455 on: 12 Jul 2012, 04:46 am »
Further impressions of the Ncore 400...
Most of my impressions of the tour model holds true for Occam's recent build. Yesterday we (3 pairs of ears)spent a few hours trying different signal input wiring, and the different resultant sound was easily audible and confirmed starkly my earlier impression that the Ncore does not do piano the proper justice, nor does it have the 'ambiance' in the upper range that Occam's ASKA possess in spades.
Its almost like the Ncore sound is too fast and leaves the stage before the notes have time to 'shimmer' away in the distance. I feel as though the Ncore shortens the decay time of the instruments, resulting in a slightly smaller music space. 
The test track we used with the piano was Holly Cole Trio, 'I can see clearly now".

Like any other amp, the Ncore kicks it up a notch with better quality front end, be it the source or even the wiring(4" in this case) carrying the signal from the input XLR to the amp module.

serengetiplains

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #456 on: 12 Jul 2012, 05:42 am »
My impressions are similar to yours, mj.  For me, the Ncore excels in what class D amps seem consistently to do well, particularly in the way it reproduces midrange ambiance and decay and thus tone.  I hear a continuity I quite adore, and in a degree to which I've not heard from other amplifier types.  That said, and despite other things the Ncore does well, I find its presentation a little flat, and leaves me wanting more.  It's as if the Ncore, like you said, drops the finer leading edges of the music---almost as if I'm listening through a cloth that veils high frequency decay, ambiance and subtle detail.

I suspect that this quality, which I've also heard by degrees but consistently in other class D amplifiers, relates somehow to FET switching nonlinearities, dead-time and mistiming.  Class D amps also make my ears ring with a subtle HF pressure.  Has anyone ever talked with another while playing a 20Hz tone through a subwoofer?  You can hear the other person clearly, but there's this evident pressure.  I think what I'm hearing with class D amps is something of the HF version of that.  Class D amps create a tremendous amount of HF noise.  Most of that is filtered off at the output, but some gets through.  Yes, not much gets through below 20KHz, but the human ear is imo sensitive at least a few doublings beyond that, where appreciable noise stills passes into the speaker.  That noise, I suspect, creates the pressure I sense, and in some difficult-to-identify manner intermodulates or disturbs the perception of HF space and subtle ambiance.

On those speculations---the related problems of switching and HF noise---I would predict that something would have to give in particularly in the HFs.  I'm unsurprised some people report hearing a certain flatness or lack of sparkle. 

*Scotty*

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #457 on: 12 Jul 2012, 05:56 am »
serengetiplains, you don't happen to have an Iphone do you? When I downloaded RTA Lite from iTunes
the RTA program showed that the internal mic in the iPhone,in my case an iPhone 4, was good to 16.5kHz. I could clearly pick up the 15.734 kHz horizontal scan frequency of my 32in. JVC CRT television from 20ft. away even though I couldn't hear it at all. Being 57, my hearing quits at about 14kHz.
 The point is with some kind of measurement program in your computer or an iPhone you could look around for the presence of HF noise coming from your ribbon tweeter or emitted from the amplifier itself.
Scotty

serengetiplains

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #458 on: 12 Jul 2012, 06:30 am »
That might be something I'll look into, Scotty.  Thanks for the tip.

serengetiplains

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #459 on: 12 Jul 2012, 06:34 am »
Btw, this 'softening' I hear with the Ncores seems a feature of PWM's digital cousin, SACD.  Though the SACD version comes across differently than as through class D, I would characterize both versions as some form or rounding of steep edges.  I hear a triangle, for instance, and I'm left wanting it to have hit that sparkle higher, then decay.  The upper reach and peak of that sparkle-decay-pyramid is missing.  The bottom part of that pyramid---sounding pretty good, but no (zing).