NC400 THD+N vs Power

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a.wayne

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #20 on: 27 Jun 2013, 10:53 pm »
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

You were quite  possibly exceeding the 100 watt limit set by its distortion spectra , your speakers are 88db/2.83v/M @4 Ohm ...?

Then Its really  85db/w/M.....

Regards

a.wayne

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #21 on: 27 Jun 2013, 10:57 pm »
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 ....?

Rclark

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #22 on: 27 Jun 2013, 11:18 pm »

What model Magnapan , what other amps for comparison ....?

It's the MMG, which is already considered a special speaker in its range, that is known to perform very well when paired with a strong amp of high quality. I've seen Tonepub use the phrase "scary good" when used with a high end amp.

But mine are Magnestands, so they have the benefit of the hardwood frame mod, flipped pole piece, a very stout, framed base with spikes, an external crossover with $300 in parts, some other minor things I'm forgetting.. so it's not an average MMG.

Let's see, there's also been my modded GR Insignia monitors, a budget, but popular monitor redone with reinforced cabinet and no rez, high end crossover with bypass capacitors and nice wiring, etc. I also had a friends Klipsch RS floostander speakers here in the last month, and I also tried them on some JBL's.

Fabulous amps, I will stand by that.

Oh and versus amps in my system so far it's been my Virtue Two.2 on switcher, linear, and battery with several different configurations and now modded with Claritycap MR's.

And the TBI Millenia.

a.wayne

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #23 on: 27 Jun 2013, 11:41 pm »
You do understand why it would sound different on the Salk vs the MMG , look at their impedance magnitude and phase ...


Regards

Rclark

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #24 on: 27 Jun 2013, 11:49 pm »
You do understand why it would sound different on the Salk vs the MMG , look at their impedance magnitude and phase ...


Regards

Perhaps. This is where more technically empowered people step in and I step aside. I can only describe what I've experienced, so I can't say what a Salk/Ncore pairing would be like.

My point was about the consistency of sound and lack of audible sweet spot, and that's what I've found so far. I'm sure the sudden bout of shrill treble would be consistent throughout the entire range, if that were the result of the pairing. It would sound like an eagle's cry.


Regnad

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #25 on: 28 Jun 2013, 01:02 am »
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!


Russell Dawkins

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #26 on: 28 Jun 2013, 01:31 am »
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

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.htm

and these reviews:
http://www.grimmaudio.com/index.html

srb

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #27 on: 28 Jun 2013, 01:46 am »
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.

Because neither of the other two amplifiers exhibited those traits with the speakers, everything else being the same, I had to fault the amplifier in that particular pairing.  Other components in the chain were: Foobar 2000 / AudioCircle member mgalusha's FLAC to WAV loader memory player > Kingrex UC192 USB to S/PDIF converter > AVA Fet Valve Hybrid DAC > AVA Fet Valve Hybrid Preamplifier.

Steve

a.wayne

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #28 on: 28 Jun 2013, 01:49 am »
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!

A JC-2 is a pre-amp, I'm positive and in agreement your Ncores drove your speakers better ........ :lol:

a.wayne

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #29 on: 28 Jun 2013, 02:01 am »
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.htm

and these reviews:
http://www.grimmaudio.com/index.html

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 ...  :roll:

Like anything else in audio , there are going to be situations where the NC400 excels and those where it does not .....


Regards,

Regnad

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #30 on: 28 Jun 2013, 04:54 am »
A JC-2 is a pre-amp, I'm positive and in agreement your Ncores drove your speakers better ........ :lol:

So that was it, I knew something was wrong!

Russell Dawkins

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #31 on: 28 Jun 2013, 05:41 am »
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 ...  :roll:

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.

a.wayne

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #32 on: 28 Jun 2013, 05:47 am »
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.

Correct or they could just sound better, or they preferred the sound, I dont see the big deal and u cant blame the Salk no more than i could blame your speaker for having some kind of coloration that made it sound good with the NCore ....


Regards,

WGH

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #33 on: 28 Jun 2013, 02:03 pm »
.... 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.

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

Julf

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #34 on: 28 Jun 2013, 02:11 pm »
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).

Interestingly my nCores are driving Linn Isobariks (in a 4-way active configuration). In my highly subjective opinion, they sound better than anything else I have heard in my 35 years of experience - but the neutrality of the sound is not for the "warm and musical" crowd... 

FloridaBear

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #35 on: 28 Jun 2013, 02:30 pm »
I hate to play the ABX card, but based on my own experience, if you're not doing an instant switch, and then backing up your impressions with blind switching, then I have to take any comparisons between amplifiers with a large grain of salt.

Shaman

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #36 on: 28 Jun 2013, 02:37 pm »
Your discussion reminded me of something Bruno had posted on his Mola-Mola blog.

Quote
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.

Read more here.

I must confess I'm a bit more blunt when it comes to these issues: Reading reviewers' or fellow hobbyists' "listening impressions" is good fun, often a nice read, part of the hobby even - and utterly useless.
Too bad even technical threads like this one often veer off to irrelevant discussions about personal preferences.

WGH

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #37 on: 28 Jun 2013, 03:03 pm »
Our last listening session compared the NCore to other amps but the main reason was to compare the PS Audio PerfectWave MKII, Van Alstine FetValve Hybrid, and Twisted Pear Buffalo DAC's. The PS Audio DAC has adjustable filters which work great on harsh CD's but change the setting and they can also add more detail. Herman preferred the more detailed, sharper perspective; David and I preferred the less detailed which we thought was more natural. We both agreed Herman was wrong and we can't trust his hearing anymore.  :)

Wayne

Atlplasma

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Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #38 on: 28 Jun 2013, 06:41 pm »
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). I enjoy the sound very much, but this hobby is quite subjective so YMMV.

 

srb

Re: NC400 THD+N vs Power
« Reply #39 on: 28 Jun 2013, 07:04 pm »
I have the Ncores with Salk SongTower STs (plus a Dobb Buffer, Toshiba UD-501, and optimized Mac Mini).

I know for sure you referring to the Dodd Buffer, are you also referring to the Teac UD-501 DAC?