Finally

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Old_School

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Finally
« on: 16 Sep 2014, 09:50 pm »
I finally got the NC400s I bought in July done (nice to have the kids back in school). I did them solderless, as I'm not sure I like the layout of the Silicon Ray case. I need to find a case that's wide and shallow for what I want. Still, all is working as it should, driving Quad ESL63s quite nicely.



I did a lot of reading of the threads here, and would like to than everyone for the input. It made the final assembly a bit easier for a newbie like me.

jtwrace

Re: Finally
« Reply #1 on: 17 Sep 2014, 09:24 am »
Great!   :thumb:

playntheblues

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Re: Finally
« Reply #2 on: 17 Sep 2014, 02:08 pm »
Very nice, enjoy!   :thumb:

forkliftHIFI

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Re: Finally
« Reply #3 on: 20 Sep 2014, 04:21 pm »
So how you like it so far?  Impressions?  Also what preamp and or DAC/source are you using? 

richidoo

Re: Finally
« Reply #4 on: 20 Sep 2014, 05:13 pm »
Looks great, nice fit in the box. It's nice that no additional heatsink is needed other than the box floor.
Funny how much bigger the PS is than the amp!

Welcome to (posting on) AC!
Rich

Old_School

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Re: Finally
« Reply #5 on: 20 Sep 2014, 10:03 pm »
Funny, I've been an AC member for a few years, but never posted before now.

Other associated equipment:
Pre is Aesthetix Calypso
Sources are:
Cambridge 840C CDP/DAC
Squeezebox Touch
Aesthetix Rhea phono stage
A few different TTs/Arms/cartridges

Cables are basic Van Damme studio balanced cable from pre to amps and Tannoy Ultralink solid core silver speaker cables (had them left when I sold my Tannoy supertweeters a while ago - nice and short). I run balanced from phono, CDP/DAC, and run standard phono cables and a coax from the TTs and SBT.

Impressions so far? Previous amp was a Behringer A500, which seemed ok, but I was obsessing about its input impedance as the Calypso's output impedance climbs quite a bit from its nominal 600 Ohms as the freq gets lower.

I find the bass seems better controlled with the NC400s, and detail isn't sacrificed at all (may even be better, but I'm a reluctant  subjectivist). I have yet to put the Behringer back in the system, so untill I do that, it's unlikely that I'll be able to really assess the sonic benefits.

On the other hand, I now have the monoblocks I want, that fit inside the stands I'm using for the Quads, and they stay on all the time, which I didn't do with the Behringer, as I had a couple of startup transients that I didn't like.

Subjectively I think the NCores are better than the A500, but how much better is difficult. Many would probably balk at the price difference (and I got the A500 used for £80). But were all about diminishing returns. No?

In any case, I can't see these going anywhere soon.

jtwrace

Re: Finally
« Reply #6 on: 20 Sep 2014, 10:12 pm »
Nice!   :thumb:   


Objectively the NC400's aren't too shabby either.   ;)

Old_School

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Re: Finally
« Reply #7 on: 21 Sep 2014, 12:12 am »
Nice!   :thumb:   


Objectively the NC400's aren't too shabby either.   ;)

Objectively the Behringer isn't too shabby. But it needs to be matched with suitable gear on each end. I think the NC400s are a bit more flexible in this regard.  :lol: :lol:

clpetersen

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Re: Finally
« Reply #8 on: 6 Oct 2014, 01:44 pm »
Nice!   :thumb:   


Objectively the NC400's aren't too shabby either.   ;)

Hello jtwrace - new to this forum; regular on the AVS forums. Intrigued by the concept of build it yourself, was considering the NAD M22 for example. Have a EE background and even a good tool set at home, so this looks very promising.
Where to start? I perused some threads; saw a detailed parts list from 2012 - is there anything more recent out there, even a fee-based kit plan?

jackman

Re: Finally
« Reply #9 on: 6 Oct 2014, 03:04 pm »
Objectively the Behringer isn't too shabby. But it needs to be matched with suitable gear on each end. I think the NC400s are a bit more flexible in this regard.  :lol: :lol:

I have not heard the Behringer but have owned other Behringer products in the past. Although they are a good value, I would not consider them to be in the same class or universe as Ncore.  If you feel they are close in your system, I'd suggest just selling the NCore and enjoying your system because the difference should be very large. Not a knock on Behringer, they make decent stuff at low prices, but the cost differential between Ncore (even DIY) and Behringer is very large. 

The NAD M22 looks interesting and I would have bought it instead of the NCore kit if it was available when I got my amp.  Still happy with the NCore, and looking forward to hearing more iterations down the road. 

Julf

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Re: Finally
« Reply #10 on: 6 Oct 2014, 04:17 pm »
Not a knock on Behringer, they make decent stuff at low prices, but the cost differential between Ncore (even DIY) and Behringer is very large. 

You seem to assume that there is a direct correlation between price and sound quality. I think that is an illusion that vendors of "high end" (= "high price") gear tend to promote.

Old_School

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Re: Finally
« Reply #11 on: 6 Oct 2014, 09:05 pm »
I have not heard the Behringer but have owned other Behringer products in the past. Although they are a good value, I would not consider them to be in the same class or universe as Ncore.  If you feel they are close in your system, I'd suggest just selling the NCore and enjoying your system because the difference should be very large. Not a knock on Behringer, they make decent stuff at low prices, but the cost differential between Ncore (even DIY) and Behringer is very large. 

The NAD M22 looks interesting and I would have bought it instead of the NCore kit if it was available when I got my amp.  Still happy with the NCore, and looking forward to hearing more iterations down the road.

Well, my experience with amplifiers has generally been as long as I'm not trying to make them do something beyond their limits, they have little influence on the final sound (and I've used a number of things, including SET and PP tubes). Though the cost of the Behringer is orders of magnitude less than the NCores, it seemed to perform well enough in my system. It seemed to struggle a little with the Quads, but at my usual listening levels the little power dots never pegged out and the thing never went into protection. That said, I'm now convinced the impedance issue was having an effect, as I can subjectively say the bass out of the Quads is "cleaner" (if that means anything) than with the NCores. The other ergonomic advantages they offer tip the scales.

jackman

Re: Finally
« Reply #12 on: 6 Oct 2014, 10:32 pm »
You seem to assume that there is a direct correlation between price and sound quality. I think that is an illusion that vendors of "high end" (= "high price") gear tend to promote.

I'm not assuming anything, just relaying my personal experience.  If Behringer or cheaper Crown amps sounded as good as NCore (or any decent amp) I would sell my stuff and go cheap.  I was trying to point out that it is unfair to expect the Behringer to perform anywhere close to the NCore because of the price difference. 

Why would anyone own a high end amp if you could get the same performance from a $299 Behringer?  I have a Crown K1 which is highly regarded running my subs.  I can let you hear it or any cheap amp and compare it to the NCore if you wish.  There is a difference and it's not close.  You can get a VERY powerful pro amp for pretty cheap. 

Pro amps are very robust (you can literally drop the Crown K1 down a flight of stairs and it will still work) but they lack refinement.  I suspect the new Behringer amps are even worse sounding. If not, maybe I need to get one and try it. 

jackman

Re: Finally
« Reply #13 on: 6 Oct 2014, 10:38 pm »
Well, my experience with amplifiers has generally been as long as I'm not trying to make them do something beyond their limits, they have little influence on the final sound (and I've used a number of things, including SET and PP tubes). Though the cost of the Behringer is orders of magnitude less than the NCores, it seemed to perform well enough in my system. It seemed to struggle a little with the Quads, but at my usual listening levels the little power dots never pegged out and the thing never went into protection. That said, I'm now convinced the impedance issue was having an effect, as I can subjectively say the bass out of the Quads is "cleaner" (if that means anything) than with the NCores. The other ergonomic advantages they offer tip the scales.

I'm not talking about power, you can get a cheap pro amp with tons of power.  They just don't sound as good.  Pro amps work great with subs and that's where they belong, IMO.  The NCore might not be a good choice with your Quads but I'm the wrong guy to speculate about this because I've never owned Quads and I'm not a fan.  Those types of speakers could present strange impedance issues and the NCore might not be the right amp. 

Honestly, I'm really hoping a pro amp comes along for a reasonable price and sounds good enough to make me sell my current amplifier.  I'll gladly pocket the cash but I'm not holding my breath. 

Cheers,
J

Julf

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Re: Finally
« Reply #14 on: 7 Oct 2014, 08:56 am »
Those types of speakers could present strange impedance issues and the NCore might not be the right amp.

Actually, my experience is that the nc400 is one of the best amps I have come across for driving "tricky" loads.

Trismos

Re: Finally
« Reply #15 on: 7 Oct 2014, 02:42 pm »
Hello jtwrace - new to this forum; regular on the AVS forums. Intrigued by the concept of build it yourself, was considering the NAD M22 for example. Have a EE background and even a good tool set at home, so this looks very promising.
Where to start? I perused some threads; saw a detailed parts list from 2012 - is there anything more recent out there, even a fee-based kit plan?

You'd be very hard pressed to beat any of the Nelson Pass projects. Try the Aleph J. And if AudioCircle isn't alergic to my sharing from a different forum (because it's all about sharing the love):http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/241729-aleph-j-illustrated-build-guide.html

Dave

jtwrace

Re: Finally
« Reply #16 on: 7 Oct 2014, 02:51 pm »
You'd be very hard pressed to beat any of the Nelson Pass projects. Try the Aleph J. And if AudioCircle isn't alergic to my sharing from a different forum (because it's all about sharing the love):http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/241729-aleph-j-illustrated-build-guide.html

Dave
That's not true.  This is the Hypex Owners Circle...

jtwrace

Re: Finally
« Reply #17 on: 7 Oct 2014, 02:56 pm »
Hello jtwrace - new to this forum; regular on the AVS forums. Intrigued by the concept of build it yourself, was considering the NAD M22 for example. Have a EE background and even a good tool set at home, so this looks very promising.
Where to start? I perused some threads; saw a detailed parts list from 2012 - is there anything more recent out there, even a fee-based kit plan?
Welcome to AC!   :thumb:


No fee based kit that I'm aware of.  However, if you decide which case you want it's really simple to assemble with the bits that you want.  Objectively it's very very hard to beat this amp.  It's a stellar performer IMO.  If you choose to move forward start a new thread so we can all follow your progress and answer any questions that may arise. 

Trismos

Re: Finally
« Reply #18 on: 7 Oct 2014, 02:58 pm »
That's not true.  This is the Hypex Owners Circle...

My apologies. Not trying to derail the thread, just help out clpetersen. Maybe I could have put that in with the "Class D verses the Rest..." war. I mean thread. It would be an interesting comparison at any rate.

Dave

jtwrace

Re: Finally
« Reply #19 on: 7 Oct 2014, 03:01 pm »
My apologies. Not trying to derail the thread, just help out clpetersen. Maybe I could have put that in with the "Class D verses the Rest..." war. I mean thread. It would be an interesting comparison at any rate.

Dave
No apology needed.  I just don't want this thread to turn into one of "those" threads.