Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions

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satfrat

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #620 on: 2 Oct 2012, 01:53 am »
The custom-built preamp used was a Stereo Single Triode Linestage using a matched pair of RCA globe 171A tubes with dual mono tube regulated power supplies (Gen-Rad 1201-A). It's a pretty low gain preamp. The source was a Philips 963 SA Transport / SACD player feeding into a Eastern Electric DAC Plus with Dexa Discretes (Brimar T-Series 6067 tube used). Power cables all Triode Wire Labs ( :duh:); interconnects were Groneberg Quattro Reference, digital cable was Black Cat Veloce. The 12" Tannoy Golds in custom cabinets have a nice, high quality bass response measured into the upper 20s (Hz)...

Cheers,
Pete

Great supporting cast you have there Pete, no wonder the NCores sounded so damn good.  :lol:  :thumb:

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #621 on: 4 Oct 2012, 11:27 am »
There should be at least two more reviews coming from the tour. 

yukiginger

My Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #622 on: 5 Oct 2012, 11:15 pm »
First, I need to thank Jason for building these amps and sharing them by way of this tour.

My equipment is modest:

Squeezebox Duet w/upgraded power supply playing lossless files
Emotiva DAC
Emotiva Preamp
Vincent amplifier
Zu Omen speakers, stock
Various cables and interconnects of modest cost (no interconnect over $75/set of 1 meter)
APC power conditioner for most electronics (this is how I powered the NCores). This is on a dedicated line.

My general description of the amps: highly detailed, full-bodied, and three dimensional. I found the soundstage deeper than I’m used to. I found more detail to the instruments and notes, and to the vocals, and I felt everything was richer or fuller. By this I mean I had experienced more depth and fullness to the artists’ voices and instruments. I heard more decay of notes especially guitar and piano. More real. Here are my notes on some of the music I listened to and what struck me about its presentation:

John Hiatt’s Bring the Family – in “Have a Little Faith in Me” I could hear John’s lips parting in preparation of his vocal every couple seconds. I’ve never noticed this before. I LOVE detail. In “Lipstick Sunset” I could hear so much of the studio echo from his voice – this goes to the three-dimensionality of the amps. I felt that I was there right in front of the mic. while he recorded this song. On “Tip of My Tongue” I heard much greater separation of instruments than I am used to – such a well-defined soundstage.

Martin Sexton’s Black Sheep – the cymbal strike at the end of “Black Sheep” almost threw me out of my seat – so lifelike! Sexton’s voice was incredibly  rich in “Caught in the Rain;” the depth to his voice was tremendous.

Allison Krauss & Union Station: New Favorite – I truly felt Allison was there in front of me in “New Favorite.”

Bruce Cockburn Nothing But a Burning Light – at the beginning of “Kit Carson” it sounds like a bag of rattling bones (not sure if that’s an instrument or not), but it was much more palpable than I’m used to – just startling. It added so much to the early parts of the song that I experienced it very differently.

Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend – the guitar in “Nothing Lasts” was wonderful. I could hear every string it seems. Just more presence felt coming out of my speakers.

King’s X: Faith, Hope Love, “Talk to You” In this song there was a constant “ringing” or resonance that I think is an artifact from an instrument, but I don’t know which. It was somewhat annoying actually, but this is the detail that I find so enticing in these amps. Given more listens perhaps it would grow on me and I would realize the artists intended it (not sure on this).  I’m amazed that I’ve never heard this before and just how prominent it was.

I’ve since gone back to my previous amp and I must say I immediately missed all that the NCores had to add to the experience.  The 3 dimensional lifelike presentation is no longer there. I still enjoy my music but in the short term at least I need to remind myself to forget what once was…

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #623 on: 6 Oct 2012, 10:44 am »
Well done.   :thumb:

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #624 on: 6 Oct 2012, 01:44 pm »
Thank you for your polished review. Do you mind sharing which model Vincent amp you have?

Thanks,
Anand.

yukiginger

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #625 on: 6 Oct 2012, 05:24 pm »
Anand, the amp is the SP-331. Over the years (with different speakers and pres, etc) I have owned an older Belles, an Anthem integrated, the Emotiva XPA-2, and probably some others I am forgetting.

EuroDriver

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #626 on: 7 Oct 2012, 08:11 pm »
I have only got back into HiFi a little over a year ago after a 10 year hiatus.  My present amp is a Wyred 4 Sound ST-500 with which I was very happy with.  My build has been posted in "Show us your NCores" and has been running for about 1 week

My comments on the NCores compared to the W4S ST-500

-  The bass is visceral, very clean and strong.  Very noticeable on the double bass notes, there is much less flopping around and wooliness.  I almost don’t need the subwoofer anymore

-  The realism of the voices is eye opening (Patti Barber, Diana Krall), but the tone color is noticeable cooler than the ST-500 but not to an extent that bothers me any more after several hours of listening

-  My B&W 805 Diamonds are not very dynamic, but with the NCores driving them I no longer have any complaints about lack of dynamics

-  I am a detail freak, and the NCores delivery it in spades with new little details that I did not notice before.  The extra detail is a bit of a double edged sword.  There is a lot more of reverberation detail perceptible from the speakers, but I have found on certain classical orchestral recordings, this extra detail actually makes the focus of the sound stage significantly worse than it was with the ST-500.  What I had to do was to increase the area of sound absorption panels [GIK 244] between the speakers, and then everything snapped into focus superbly.

Summary, I am a happy camper, with no significant down sides

Audiolab 8200CDQ > Wireworld Eclipse XLR > dual mono Ncore > inAkustik LS803 > B&W 805 Diamond

Supra Lorad AC cord > Oyaide IEC > Mundorf Ag/Au Teflon wire > WBT NextGen
« Last Edit: 8 Oct 2012, 07:16 am by EuroDriver »

Phil

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #627 on: 11 Oct 2012, 02:03 am »
Since the Ncore sounded great without a conditioner, it took me some time to experiment with the Majikbuss (which already fed the Bryston isolation transformer which in turn feeds the digital components).  This small change has exceeded my expectations.  If you have access to one, this is a must try. 

Of course, since there is a 30 day trial period, it is easy to try one:  http://www.piaudiogroup.com/RevB_MajikBUSS.html

Just a happy customer....Dave does not provide kickbacks (but he does provide great service).



EuroDriver

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #628 on: 11 Oct 2012, 08:52 pm »
My Dual Mono NCore has been playing close to 2 weeks non stop.  The sound has clearly improved from a week ago, the tone has become warmer, so my only mild criticism has now gone ! Voices have acquired more texture, live performances, sound even more live, I am going wow every minute or so on familiar tracks

The transparency and detail of the Ncore has had some unexpected consequences.  I have a Velodyne 1200 SPL Ultra hooked up to the single ended outputs of the Audiolab 8200 CDQ, whilst the XLR's feed the power amp.  The output stage of the CDQ is not designed to drive both XLR and single ended simultaneously.  With the ST-500, I could not detect any sound quality degradation using both sets of outputs, however with the NCores I do notice a degradation.  I have now totally disconnected the subwoofer and single ended IC's from the CDQ, but the bass is now so strong with the Ncores, I don't miss subwoofer.

I believe the NCores deserve a better DAC and I am looking at the NAD M51.  That's the problem with the NCore, you want to start upgrading the source components ;-)

genjamon

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #629 on: 11 Oct 2012, 09:09 pm »

I believe the NCores deserve a better DAC and I am looking at the NAD M51.  That's the problem with the NCore, you want to start upgrading the source components ;-)

And in my case, the speakers and everything else!!!

lonewolfny42

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #630 on: 18 Oct 2012, 06:13 am »
Sorry for the delayed tour comments.... :?


I received the NCore Mono's on Monday,Sept. 24th. for a three day audition. I listened on Monday and Wednesday nights...and for Tuesday, I allowed “Triode Pete” to use them in his system since his power cords were part of the tour package....and he wanted to try them in his system. His review is posted above.

I shipped them out early Thursday morning, Sept. 27th.....then around 12:30PM, my wife had major surgery...hence the reason for the delay in posting. (All went well with the surgery)


So....how were they...pretty good. 8)

The first night .... simple system.....NCore amps, Phillips CD-80  Cdplayer, and SP Technology Mini speakers. All cables were Ridge Street Audio.Since the Phillips player has a volume remote - and still works pretty good....no need for a preamp...just the "sound" of the amp.


The second night...more "stuff" in the mix....the NCore amps, ModWright SWL 9.0 SE linestage, EA Turbomodded Sony 7700 player w/ SuperClock 2, EA Turbomodded Electrocompaniet ECD-1 w/SuperClock 2, SP Technology Timepiece 2.0 speakers.

My usual amp...either one or two Butler 2250 amps.....

Looking back at the comments posted by others...seems mine will be similar to some.


The bass....strong...even at low volume....something you don't find in some amps. Plus....with the SP Tech speakers the power was very good...a nice full soundstage.

Mid's and high's were very detailed...and warm.... smooth sound...easy to listen too... 8)

Adding the tubed preamp the second night...sound was even more relaxed...but nothing was "lost"...detail was still there.

Music was mainly Rock and Jazz.

Comparing the Butler (one) amp....NCore's bass was better....mid's were similar...as were the highs. Also...a better focus in the sound with the NCore's.


So....yes I liked them...good qualities....and for around $2,000.00 (DIY)....I'd say their a good buy. :thumb:

Small....compact....good on electric :lol:....powerful....full sounding....relaxing.....nice.


Thank again Jason for running this tour....back in the early days for AC, I sent a few different pieces of equipement around to different members to try in their systems...always worked out well.You've taken it to a higher level...nice going. :beer:


Thanks.....

                  Chris








jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #631 on: 18 Oct 2012, 11:02 am »
Chris

Happy to hear that everything worked out with your wife and the amps.   :thumb:

jugi6

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #632 on: 6 Feb 2013, 06:10 pm »
Hi there,

I'm new to this thread but have been lurking... =) Actually partly because of this thread and the positive listening impressions, I made my order and am now listening to my new amps. (I´ll post a couple of pics to the 'Show us your Ncore thread soon.)

Just wondering about Jason's (jtwrace) NC400's build...  Do they use the basic power cable (from ac input connector to smps600) that comes standard with the modules? This I ask because when I subtituted that cable for Belden power cable, there was a sustatial improvement in sound.  The said knowlage would give a better perspective of the posted listening impretions.

Thanks!
- Jukka

jtwrace

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #633 on: 7 Feb 2013, 12:16 pm »
Hi there,

I'm new to this thread but have been lurking... =) Actually partly because of this thread and the positive listening impressions, I made my order and am now listening to my new amps. (I´ll post a couple of pics to the 'Show us your Ncore thread soon.)

Just wondering about Jason's (jtwrace) NC400's build...  Do they use the basic power cable (from ac input connector to smps600) that comes standard with the modules? This I ask because when I subtituted that cable for Belden power cable, there was a sustatial improvement in sound.  The said knowlage would give a better perspective of the posted listening impretions.

Thanks!
- Jukka
Stock power cable.

jugi6

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #634 on: 7 Feb 2013, 01:01 pm »
Thanks!  8)

clpetersen

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #635 on: 10 Oct 2014, 06:05 pm »
Hi there,

I'm new to this thread but have been lurking... =) Actually partly because of this thread and the positive listening impressions, I made my order and am now listening to my new amps. (I´ll post a couple of pics to the 'Show us your Ncore thread soon.)

Thanks!
- Jukka

Ditto the above. I am about to order the components; looking around a bit for cases - lots of choices of course. Started a 'newbie thread'.

Read through a lot of this thread and others; obviously strong support for the audio performance of NC400's with a few notable dissents.

My question for the super-users (jtwrace?) - what if any adverse events have been reported with the Hypex NC400 design - any catastrophic failures, or reliability issues of note?

Nick77

Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #636 on: 10 Oct 2014, 09:13 pm »
Hi there,

I'm new to this thread but have been lurking... =) Actually partly because of this thread and the positive listening impressions, I made my order and am now listening to my new amps. (I´ll post a couple of pics to the 'Show us your Ncore thread soon.)

Just wondering about Jason's (jtwrace) NC400's build...  Do they use the basic power cable (from ac input connector to smps600) that comes standard with the modules? This I ask because when I subtituted that cable for Belden power cable, there was a sustatial improvement in sound.  The said knowlage would give a better perspective of the posted listening impretions.

Thanks!
- Jukka

I also found significant sonic advantage replacing stock power wire with Cardas litz on my Hypex UCD unit. The input wire also made a big difference. I think the stock wiring is a deficient to the amps potential, at least the UCD series. 

Julf

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #637 on: 11 Oct 2014, 07:35 am »
I also found significant sonic advantage replacing stock power wire with Cardas litz on my Hypex UCD unit. The input wire also made a big difference. I think the stock wiring is a deficient to the amps potential, at least the UCD series.

At least with the nc400, I would strongly recommend against litz wire - the nc400 really needs low-impedance, high-current-capability wire.


Speedskater

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #638 on: 11 Oct 2014, 02:29 pm »
At power line frequencies, Litz wire has no advantages.  At least for the diameter of wires in question. When your wires get near the one inch diameter range, we can talk again.

James Romeyn

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Re: Hypex NCore NC400 - USA Tour Listening Impressions
« Reply #639 on: 26 Nov 2014, 04:55 am »
...what if any adverse events have been reported with the Hypex NC400 design - any catastrophic failures, or reliability issues of note?

I saw someone accidentally short outputs of two bridged NC400 (1200W @ 2 Ohm) for about 30 seconds, with absolutely no negative effect, not even a blown PS fuse.  Suspect this might be the most "bomb proof" amp extant.  Most amps suffering such abuse might immediately blow up one or both, possibly taking some or all speakers too.