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Hypex NC400s: Are they musical?


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Doing a bit of research on NC400s and it seems unanimous that they're hyper accurate, neutral and have bass in spades.

 

But are they 'musical'? Or enjoyable? Or whatever adjective you use to describe how a system draws you to the music.

 

 

 

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Very musical....

The only class D I know that comes with a 24A Max rating and can drive most Magnaplanars.

The NAD 22 uses nc400 but modified by NAD to have this "NAD house S/Q" that stuffs it up by over emphasising the low end, but the OEM nc400 are very neutral. I almost decided on the nc400 but went for the Magtech instead.

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IMO the answer will be what your ears are telling you.

Try them, demo them, find someone who has some and listen yourself.

Until you have heard it yourself the rest is theory.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

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IMO the answer will be what your ears are telling you.

Try them, demo them, find someone who has some and listen yourself.

Until you have heard it yourself the rest is theory.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

I did this unintentionally, took a M51 DAC to a SNA member here so he can hear what it was all about, he had nc400 driving ref Kef floor mounts, immediately I can hear ease of clarity compared to what I had at home that was DIY 20yds old, immediately it hit me that this is what I crave for, clarity transparency and every microdetail can easily be heard. It also kept up with the fast passages and still individualised every instrument, some electronics can't do this! The nc400 can, with ease and efficiency! One thing about power amps is that they must have the ability to drive difficult loads and must get out of the way and have no coloration of its own, only coloured by the upstream components, the nc400 ticks all the above boxes and the bonus of being class D with 24A capability and super efficient on standby. The nc400 made me realised that i can't replicate that quality at that cost.

Hopefully that SNA member will chime into this thread and enable you to have a listen, he also doesn't live far from Brunswick.

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Depends entirely on the implementation, as a whole. One NC400-based amplifier might sound cold, sterile and unapologetically accurate, while a completely different NC400-based amplifier could sound warm, lush and mesmerisingly involving.

The NC4090 module does not make 100% of the amplifier, only a part thereof.

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They sound like nothing, which is what the perfect amplifier should sound like. All distortion and noise figures are so low there's no point trying to compare them or argue about them, they are WELL below any stretch of human hearing. They are just about as close to "pure gain" as you can get, they add nothing but most importantly subtract nothing. Bass, treble, midrange all running at 100% quality and quantity, but never 101% or beyond.  If you want distortion or "warmth" then Hypex amps are not for you.

 

People say "NC400 has great bass!" but in reality it's because all the amplifiers you've owned before had (comparatively) poor bass. The bass is not emphasised in any way shape or form, it's just no longer restrained by anything aside from the speaker itself. Treble is not bright, it's just not rolled off like it might be with a "warmer" amp, so it might sound harsh if you've been concealing flaws in your speakers with a "warm" amplifier.

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I did this unintentionally, took a M51 DAC to a SNA member here so he can hear what it was all about, he had nc400 driving ref Kef floor mounts, immediately I can hear ease of clarity compared to what I had at home that was DIY 20yds old, immediately it hit me that this is what I crave for, clarity transparency and every microdetail can easily be heard. It also kept up with the fast passages and still individualised every instrument, some electronics can't do this! The nc400 can, with ease and efficiency! One thing about power amps is that they must have the ability to drive difficult loads and must get out of the way and have no coloration of its own, only coloured by the upstream components, the nc400 ticks all the above boxes and the bonus of being class D with 24A capability and super efficient on standby. The nc400 made me realised that i can't replicate that quality at that cost.

Hopefully that SNA member will chime into this thread and enable you to have a listen, he also doesn't live far from Brunswick.

That SNA member would definitely get a case of beer or a cracking wine if a loan could be arranged! ;)

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I'd like to help but I've had to put my gear in storage for the time being. I've had the nc400 mono's with the SMPS600 power supply for each amp for over a year now and I think they're excellent value but more importantly they sound great. They are as mentioned very neutral but still enjoyable. I prefer listening with a valve preamp in front but sometimes take it out for a change. Right or wrong you can colour them how you like depending on preamp. They still sound good with a variable volume dac direct into them but the valves add a little more fullness and depth to the sound. I think the ncores take time to break in and seem to sound better about an hour after power up. Or I'm misguided :)

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@@legselevens thanks for getting in touch!

 

I've got a pair of Dynaudio Audience 52 bookshelves. They dip down to around 5 ohms and sensitivity is 86db. So they're not Magnepans but still need some juice.

I know even the NC400s would be overkill but I'm attracted to a neutral sounding, small and cool running amp (with amazing sound quality per dollar of course!).

 

Also, on the current 'wish list' are these open baffle spatial M4s- maybe a year or two from now http://www.spatialaudio.us/

Box count would be the only stopping me at this point (DAC/streamer + preamp + mono + mono).

Edited by Fitzroyalty
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The mono blocks are very small. Less than 200mm wide and can be stacked, side by side or hidden behind your speakers or rack. From what I hear the Dyns are hungry speakers so the ncores would really give them a boost and might delay the upgrade urge longer than expected.

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The mono blocks are very small. Less than 200mm wide and can be stacked, side by side or hidden behind your speakers or rack. From what I hear the Dyns are hungry speakers so the ncores would really give them a boost and might delay the upgrade urge longer than expected.

Took you long enough for you to chime in...:P

Yeah, agree, tiny boxes that punches far above there looks, bit like watching Doctor who when he entires that Tardus; looks like a phone booth outside, but a massive time travel spacecraft on the inside.

@Fitzroyality,

You can never have enough power..... The more the better... :D

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Sounds interesting. Are they available ready made or are they strictly diy?

Just think of it as a jigsaw puzzle but you're playing with 240V :P. :D

Seriously it's all plug and play to me, you can't get the connectors wrong, just bolt the modules in place in the cabinet, I can't remember where there is soldering required but all soldering is not on the pcb. The PCB are already populated with the SMDs soldered in place and that includes the SMPSU, The dedicated wiring and connections are all on the website. All you have to do then is plug in a few connectors and power up! There's a manual you can download on the website, follow that, if its out of you're depth I'm sure there's places in the US that can package it complete. But best to do it yourself as it's not that hard.

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Thanks @@Addicted to music & @@legselevens - I will keep on acquiring power!

 

@buddyyev

Hypex do a complete mono kit now at about $1000 AUD per mono:

https://www.hypexshop.com/shop/shop.jsp

 

You can also get cheaper cases at http://www.ghentaudio.com/kit/index.html . This route was recommended on another thread to save on import taxes which kick in over $1000 I think?

 

So you just order the case, a SMPS600 power supply, and the NC400 and Robert is your father's brother.

 

Also, some of the cases don't require soldering so it really is like Lego. 

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Just think of it as a jigsaw puzzle but you're playing with 240V :P. :D

Seriously it's all plug and play to me, you can't get the connectors wrong, just bolt the modules in place in the cabinet, I can't remember where there is soldering required but all soldering is not on the pcb. The PCB are already populated with the SMDs soldered in place and that includes the SMPSU, The dedicated wiring and connections are all on the website. All you have to do then is plug in a few connectors and power up! There's a manual you can download on the website, follow that, if its out of you're depth I'm sure there's places in the US that can package it complete. But best to do it yourself as it's not that hard.

looks very straightforward. Even I should be able to manage it. Around $2000 for two mono-blocks. I mght give this a whirl.
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Thanks @@Addicted to music & @@legselevens - I will keep on acquiring power!

 

@buddyyev

Hypex do a complete mono kit now at about $1000 AUD per mono:

https://www.hypexshop.com/shop/shop.jsp

 

You can also get cheaper cases at http://www.ghentaudio.com/kit/index.html . This route was recommended on another thread to save on import taxes which kick in over $1000 I think?

 

So you just order the case, a SMPS600 power supply, and the NC400 and Robert is your father's brother.

 

Also, some of the cases don't require soldering so it really is like Lego.

yes I think it's $1000 before the gst kicks in. But you might just get away with it. It's certainly a lot of power for $2000.
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This is what my Jeff Rowland amp apparently uses. Manufactured by Pascal in Denmark.

 

http://www.pascal-audio.com/downloads/M-PRO2_Datasheet-2_1.pdf

 

This is my first class D amp and after owning a number of high end Class A designs as well as Class A/B I reckon this is the best sounding amp ive heard. 

I've heard that module in it's vanilla form and it's a great sounding amp too but only available to OEM as far as I know.

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