Are you a happy Ncore owner?

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forkliftHIFI

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #20 on: 7 Nov 2014, 05:47 am »

Nice system  :thumb:

Thanks man!  I admit I got a little carried away. :icon_twisted:  I initially decided I wanted a Peachtree Nova 125 with their D5 bookshelf speakers.  I really knew pretty much nothing it just looked cool and my friend had some cool tube headphone amps so I kinda wanted something like that.  I still wound up with class d and a tube in front so its pretty much the same right?   :green:   

The downside of my recent move is that this place has horrible room acoustics.  I planned to build some acoustic panels anyway but I really didn't realize how bad the echo-iness would be having wood floors and a pretty much wide open room. 


   

EuroDriver

Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #21 on: 12 Nov 2014, 04:20 am »
Yes absolutely ! The NC400's drive my B&W 805 D so well, I have no urge to upgrade my speakers.  With the previous ICE module amp I was troubled by the lack of dynamics.

A dealer friend has his DIY NC 400 mono blocks powering his KEF Blades, they are that good

My chase for better sound had me thinking about getting custom caps, a isolated SMPS housing, RF damping over the SMPS, but then in April this year I heard on the fly 16/44 to DSD 256 conversion.  Since then, I have been listening to a lot of DAC's and a lot of playback software, but the constant is the NCores.

If you have NCores then you have a high resolution playback system that can reveal the glories of PCM to DSD conversion and DSD 64 to DSD 256 upsampling.

JRMC 20 does it well, Foobar + SACD plugin does it better, but HQ Player does it best and is simply stunning in its realism.

One big benefit of the NCores when fooling around with computer audio is the very low noise floor of the amps.  Computers playing music are electrically noisy and complicated to tweak to get them electrically quieter.  The NCore's low noise floor gives you more head room for computer noise coming over the USB connection before the total noise level becomes audibly problematic

I am also a happy UCD owner with a NAD D 3020 performing amazingly driving KEF LS 50's

*Scotty*

Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #22 on: 12 Nov 2014, 05:16 am »
HQ-Player from SourceForge has a malware package associated with it and Webroot Secure Anywhere blocks access to the website, marked as suspicious. The malware is identified by Malwarebytes as PUP.OPTIONAL.SUMOTO.A
Scotty

Julf

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #23 on: 12 Nov 2014, 10:54 am »
If you have NCores then you have a high resolution playback system that can reveal the glories of PCM to DSD conversion and DSD 64 to DSD 256 upsampling.

Sure, for people who find that kind of "enhancement" pleasing.


macrojack

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #24 on: 12 Nov 2014, 10:08 pm »
Yes I own a lovely pair of NC 400 monos created for me by Mike Galusha. And I'm happy - give or take occasional mood swings and an innate tendency toward curmudgeonly observations. The NCores do not appear to have any effect either way on my happiness. I'm so glad I haven't caught whatever has infected RClark.

Julf

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #25 on: 13 Nov 2014, 07:36 am »
Yes I own a lovely pair of NC 400 monos created for me by Mike Galusha.

Just curious - how many people here built their systems themselves, and how many had them built for them (or pre-built to a standard spec)? I am just interested to see how well the hypex idea of reasonably priced (by high-end standards) modules for real hobbyists/DIY turned out...


macrojack

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #26 on: 13 Nov 2014, 12:08 pm »
Mine work impeccably and sound as good as the tour units Jason sent me. Mike said they sound identical to and measure the same as his. So what are you asking? Price?
My investment was around $1900 for all parts, transportation, tariffs and labor. A DIYer might have done the same for a couple of hundred less, not having to pay labor or shipping to and from the builder.

jtwrace

Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #27 on: 13 Nov 2014, 12:54 pm »
Just curious - how many people here built their systems themselves, and how many had them built for them (or pre-built to a standard spec)? I am just interested to see how well the hypex idea of reasonably priced (by high-end standards) modules for real hobbyists/DIY turned out...
Start a new thread with a poll.   ;)

Julf

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #28 on: 13 Nov 2014, 02:12 pm »
Start a new thread with a poll.   ;)

Just did. :)

hifial

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #29 on: 13 Nov 2014, 10:33 pm »
HQ-Player from SourceForge has a malware package associated with it and Webroot Secure Anywhere blocks access to the website, marked as suspicious. The malware is identified by Malwarebytes as PUP.OPTIONAL.SUMOTO.A
Scotty


Scotty, that is the wrong HQ Player. Here is the link:   

http://www.signalyst.com/index.html

To find out more about it there are two threads at Computer Audiophile under software.

hifial

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #30 on: 13 Nov 2014, 10:35 pm »
Well I might as well add my 2 cents ($20.00 in todays $).

I still have my Merrill Audio NC1200 Veritas monos and love how they let ALL the instruments sound like they should. It is the one constant in my system that never sounds colored, bright etc. Whenever I try a new piece of equipment or cable etc, it lets you easily hear the change and if the change has any colorization , brightness etc.

swelfelo

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #31 on: 1 Dec 2014, 12:14 am »
Yes. I intend to get two more and replace the ice amps on the woofers for my speakers. The NCores take care of the midrange and tweeters. They are simply amazing.

Swelfelo

jtwrace

Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #32 on: 1 Dec 2014, 12:47 am »
Yes. I intend to get two more and replace the ice amps on the woofers for my speakers. The NCores take care of the midrange and tweeters. They are simply amazing.

Swelfelo
Sweet!  Yes, they are.   :thumb:

gstew

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #33 on: 1 Dec 2014, 06:26 pm »
I'm happy now. It took awhile to get that way with them for me... trying various power conditioning and finally happy with the PS Audio P10, the long break-in, replacing the input cables, direct-wiring the outputs, Ric S-inspired replacement of the output filter caps.

In parallel I did a number of upgrades to my home-brew cMP/cPlay computer music server. Those changes also contributed to my current satisfaction with the amps.

They are driving the very power-hungry Eminent Technology LFT-IV's. They bring ample power to the table and I love the low-level clarity and overall bass impact, control, and reach. I did not know these small (for planar) speakers could reproduce such low frequency sounds.

Greg in Mississippi

P.S. Yep, I built AND modified them myself along with every other piece of gear in my setups.

Rclark

Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #34 on: 8 Dec 2014, 09:26 pm »
Listening to some Alice in Chains right now. Have a free day off and have the system cranked up loud for the first time in a while, and I must say, Hypex has a customer for life, they have absolutely nailed it with this amp.

No coloration (you can keep it, all you!), no added "tone", no distortion, ever, at any level, just absolute purity, power, and control. And the most alluring and supple bass.

As long as Bruno is there designing amps, I will want to own his product. Honestly though, the only thing I can see me doing is adding more Ncores. A full theater would, to quote Cable Guy, "make George Lucas cream in his pants". I got your THX right here buddy.

MarkSpace

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #35 on: 22 Dec 2014, 04:10 pm »
Hi,

I've been using a pair of NC400s each with its own SMPS600 supply for a couple of years now. System is laptop USB feeding Benchmark DAC1 USB, feeding PMC FB1+ speakers. Often also fed SPDIF from TV to the Benchmark. Mostly plays 320Kbps mp3s, sometimes uncompressed wavs. The amp is in an old PC chassis and is a bit of a lash up. It replaced a Musical Fidelity A3 integrated. Switched on pretty much all day every day.

Sounds great. Doesn't need to be turned up to sound clear and lively. Wonderfully pure, detailed and punchy sound. Is capable of reproducing a wide range of sounds well - can kick hard when required, sound harsh if a dance track is mixed to sound that way (the Musical Fidelity couldn't seem to manage that), sound wonderfully natural for a well recorded TV programme or music track played on acoustic instruments. Sound draws attention to itself even when on in the background, and for all the right reasons - there's an awful lot of information to listen to.

I do live sound mixing for a few bands, often with earplugs in for much of the evening (occasional night at a gig is fine, more often and I want to be careful)! Home system still sounds punchy and lively, even having got used to running bigger systems with very much bigger SPL output. So, thumbs up from me.

Thanks,

Mark.
« Last Edit: 22 Dec 2014, 05:14 pm by MarkSpace »

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #36 on: 22 Dec 2014, 05:15 pm »
YES,

My Ncore stereo amp build has replaced my Pass Labs X 150.5 (which will be for sale soon) in my system:

Custom Sonore Server with internal LiFePO4 battery supply-Custom Buffalo DAC with Sonore USB interface-NC-400 Amp-Focus Audio FS-888 Signature loudspeakers.
DIY parallel power conditioner-DIY AC cabling-Nordost Frey balanced interconnect and speaker cable-Nordost Blue Heaven USB cable.

I continue to make subtle tweaks to the amp and DAC, trying to eek out a little more warmth, body, and natural sound, and they keep getting a little better.  The amp is dead neutral as far as I can tell, so it will reveal any other problems you have, ruthlessly.  This has made the amp a perfect companion for perfecting my DAC build.

I am quite surprised that your NCores sound better than the Pass X150.5.  I have a Pass X250 (which is a different animal compared to the 150 series according to the guy at Pass Labs that I spoke with when I bought my amp) and a friend of mine brought over his NCore Mono Blocks to try in my system and they were just OK sounding,  They were a little flat with limited dynamics compared to my Pass and the sound stage was smaller.  After hearing this, he went out an bought a new AVA 400R amp which took his system to another level. 

My system at the time consisted of a Pass X1 preamp (since replaced by a BAT VK-51se) and Magnepan 1.6 speakers
It proves that system matching is important and all Ncores do not sound the same.

Freo-1

Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #37 on: 22 Dec 2014, 05:30 pm »
I am quite surprised that your NCores sound better than the Pass X150.5.  I have a Pass X250 (which is a different animal compared to the 150 series according to the guy at Pass Labs that I spoke with when I bought my amp) and a friend of mine brought over his NCore Mono Blocks to try in my system and they were just OK sounding,  They were a little flat with limited dynamics compared to my Pass and the sound stage was smaller.  After hearing this, he went out an bought a new AVA 400R amp which took his system to another level. 

My system at the time consisted of a Pass X1 preamp (since replaced by a BAT VK-51se) and Magnepan 1.6 speakers
It proves that system matching is important and all Ncores do not sound the same.

My experience is closer to yours.  Just did not sound all that involving.

System matching is very important.  The Pass Labs gear sounds excellent.  With my speakers, the Electrocompaniet preamp/amp setup actually sounds a bit better overall to the Pass Labs gear I had, but it could be personal preference.

OTOH, The custom DIY tube gear I have is at a whole different level (higher) sonically compared to any of the above mentioned solid state gear.  Music sounds much closer to the illusion of live performances. 

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #38 on: 23 Dec 2014, 04:38 am »
Freo-1,  I agree, need to have tubes in your system.  Thats why I sold the Pass Preamp and bought my BAT.

barrows

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Re: Are you a happy Ncore owner?
« Reply #39 on: 23 Dec 2014, 04:52 am »
I am quite surprised that your NCores sound better than the Pass X150.5.  I have a Pass X250 (which is a different animal compared to the 150 series according to the guy at Pass Labs that I spoke with when I bought my amp) and a friend of mine brought over his NCore Mono Blocks to try in my system and they were just OK sounding,  They were a little flat with limited dynamics compared to my Pass and the sound stage was smaller.  After hearing this, he went out an bought a new AVA 400R amp which took his system to another level. 

My system at the time consisted of a Pass X1 preamp (since replaced by a BAT VK-51se) and Magnepan 1.6 speakers
It proves that system matching is important and all Ncores do not sound the same.

Only difference between my X150.5 and your X250.5 is the output power.  The input modules are exactly the same, I have the newest version of the X150.5.  Unless you do not have the .5 series, which is very different.  The .5 versions of the Pass amps have JFET input devices, and twice the number of output MOSFETs, and by most reports sound considerably better than the previous versions.
If you are listening to Ncore, you need to make sure the are powered up at least overnight before listening, they take a long time to stabilize and sound their best.  The Ncore has lower noise floor, and reveals more detail than my Pass, without any drawbacks-but if just plug one in cold it sounds pretty flat and bland.  I keep mine powered up at all times and just use the Nampon option to mute the output.