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I listened to the Ncores with the Salk HT2-TL speakers. Unfortunately, it was very apparent that they were a bit disappointing on the many vocals we listened to, as they rendered the vocals unnaturally thin and nasal compared to the AVA Synergy 350 and modified Naim amplifiers (both very good amplifiers in their own right) that got the vocals just right. They also were a bit shrill on super dynamic high frequency passages that the other amplifiers rendered without harshness.The Ncores won for efficiency/power saving and a smaller enclosure, but were just lacking in sound compared to the other amplifiers. I was a little surprised after all the hype and for the fact that the Salk HT2-TL are probably fairly representative of a fair number of 4Ω, ~ 88dB speakers with conventional cone drivers and ribbon tweeters.Class D amplifiers in general seem to have more variable results depending on the speaker type and load, and these were no different. I'm sure there are speakers that sound much better when paired with the Ncores, but these Salks were not one of them.We all did agree that the little round Ncore modules were cute as a button, though. And that the Salk HT2-TL are very nice speakers.I recommend an audition before purchasing.Steve
Given the sudden placement of this "review" and my own experience with these amps, I found the points humorous. And experienced the total opposite, on several speakers including my own Magnepans. Vocals are live, in your room, highs are beautifully rendered, often breathtaking.I've already convinced three other people, who've posted here as well, I can quote them, to build Ncores and they blew their other amps away.I've received no angry PM's or backlash threads, only thanks for the heads up.
What model Magnapan , what other amps for comparison ....?
You do understand why it would sound different on the Salk vs the MMG , look at their impedance magnitude and phase ...Regards
Faint praise indeed. Given Bruno Putzeys sterling reputation as a designer not only of amplifiers but reference grade D/A converters and speakers, I must wonder if the nasality and hf shrillness heard was the amplifier or the speakers.
81 dB speakers here and I went from DIY Ncore to NC1200. IMO, easily bested Parasound JC-2 and Conrad-Johnson LP275M.Literally removed the need for a subwoofer. Smooth highs, just beautiful!
Faint praise indeed. Given Bruno Putzeys sterling reputation as a designer not only of amplifiers but reference grade D/A converters and speakers, I must wonder if the nasality and hf shrillness heard was the amplifier or the speakers.see Grimm Audio site: http://www.grimmaudio.com/about_us.htmand these reviews:http://www.grimmaudio.com/index.html
A JC-2 is a pre-amp, I'm positive and in agreement your Ncores drove your speakers better ........
Not fair and a pretty loaded response, no one is talking down Bruno's work, SRB gave his assessment of what he experienced , it was not an attack on Bruno or his work , why the Dogma ... Like anything else in audio , there are going to be situations where the NC400 excels and those where it does not .....Regards,
I stand by what I said. "We all did agree that the little round Ncore modules were cute as a button, though" is indeed faint praise, apparently intended to belittle.Salk speakers I have not heard, but they are made of good wood and employ high level off-the-shelf components, but it takes more than that to make a reference grade speaker, and this amplifier assessment seems to be based on that premise - that these speakers are in fact reference grade, so that tonal anomalies such as HF harshness and thin and nasal vocals must characterize the amplifier and not the speaker. That the modified Naim and the AVA Synergy 350 got the vocals "just right" might just be the function of a fortunate interaction between those amps and this speaker.
.... that these speakers are in fact reference grade, so that tonal anomalies such as HF harshness and thin and nasal vocals must characterize the amplifier and not the speaker. That the modified Naim and the AVA Synergy 350 got the vocals "just right" might just be the function of a fortunate interaction between those amps and this speaker.
So far the NCore has failed to impress with the Salk HT2-TL and in a completely different setup, Linn Isobaric speakers (I was at both auditions).
After a new design checks out in the lab the vast majority of audiophile designers set it next to an older design (theirs or someone else’s) and listen alternately to both using music that they’re familiar with, in a room they’re familiar with and with ancillary equipment that, well, has been with them for a bit as well.I don’t think I’m misrepresenting anyone’s practice here. But there’s something fundamentally wrong with this idyll. No, not the use of one’s favourite room and speakers. That makes perfect sense. Look again, then I’ll help.Here’s the problem. The hidden assumption is that the comparative listening test will somehow reveal which of the two DUT delivers the truest signal. How can this be if you don’t know what the input signal sounds like? At best comparing two boxes will tell you which produces a signal that to you sounds most like the internal platonic ideal you’ve built up over the years. Reviewerese has words like “warm” and “musical” which are overtly subjective. Much more treacherous though are terms like “transparency” or “precision” that do precisely the same thing – label the listener’s subjective experience – while very much contriving to suggest a more objective observation.Psychologists studying aesthetics have known for a long time that platonic ideals of perfection are formed by averaging. This has been famously shown for human faces using morphing but it holds just as well for audio kit. So someone who subscribes to the view that negative feedback is evil will preferentially listen to low-feedback amplifiers and come to get used to their idiosyncrasies and absorb them into their platonic “ideal amplifier”. If you hit that sweet spot for a given reviewer, you hit the jackpot.
You are absolutely right, that is why, if possible, a person should audition an NCore in their system before building one.So far the NCore has failed to impress with the Salk HT2-TL and in a completely different setup, Linn Isobaric speakers (I was at both auditions).Next up in July: a comparison in a Magnapan 3.7/Krell/REL Sub system.And I'll try to deliver the amp at least 24 hours ahead so they can warm up and sound their best.Wayne
I have the Ncores with Salk SongTower STs (plus a Dobb Buffer, Toshiba UD-501, and optimized Mac Mini).
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