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Hypex NC400 users and pictures

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
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18,545
Curious if any Hypex NC400 users are here and want to share their impressions and their build up?Unfortunately only NAD with the M22 offers OEM ready to go amp with them,which I found impressive but a bit pricy although i got a good deal on it.Now I am curious how DIY ones compare to it.Honestly i don´t expect any difference but you never know.I heard some DIY a few time ago but couldn´t activate my memory how they compare when I did demo the M22.

Finally the new batch is available and I got my parts from Hypex few days ago and will start build up probably the next days,maybe we.Would be nice if there are others who intend to build some too.
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
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Hi Esra,

I'm intrigued by the NCore modules too. In fact, I'm planning a NC400 project myself. I want to build my dream system around a pair of modded Magnepan MMGs (new, solid wood frames), which I'll drive actively, using a DEQX-module. So I'll need 4 channels of amplification.

Two NAD M22s would be pretty pricey; moreover the power supply is NAD's own design and gives 'only' 250 W into 4Ohm (whereas the NC400 can cope with 400 W/4 Ohm), which could be important with the Maggies' flat 4 Ohm impedance.

So a DIY project it will be... I'm thinking of a stereo-amp (1 SMPS-600 and 2 NC400s) for each speaker, which I'll probably put as close as possible to the speakers: the amp's extremely low output impedance asks for short speaker wires!

Since you've ordered already: what set-up do you have in mind? Did you find a suitable chassis?

BTW, there's a huge thread on the NC400 over at diyaudio. Many users compare the module with their UcD set-up, or also with the NC1200. It takes some effort to plough through the thread, but it's worthwhile IMO.

Keep us posted as you progress!
 

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
18
18,545
Hi Doc, sounds like a plan ;-).These will rock your Maggies for sure.I did demo the NAD 22 and M12/Audiolab M-Dac with Magnepan 1.7i and Sonus Faber Olympica.Very impressive as i mentioned before.I am looking forward to test these amps with my LS50 and R900 Kef. I would go maybe for a SMPS 1200 with two NC400 instead SMPS 600 in your case.Should not cost more.

I am going to build 2X Mono amps with 1 NC400 and 1 SMPS 600 each.Although I would like to have a nicer case i decided to go with the cases from ghentaudio as they seem ok for the price.Parts are pretty standard,so i can change to better ones if there is a need to do so, like binding posts etc..This will save some time and nervs.I plan to connect the speakers directly to the NC400 without the binding posts anyway.Power inlet is standard with on/off switch and XLR input comes from Neutrik,so should be ok.I will not use RCA.
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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Esra said:
I would go maybe for a SMPS 1200 with two NC400 instead SMPS 600 in your case.Should not cost more.
I considered that, but a/ the SMPS-600 is specifically designed for the NC-400, b/ Maggies don't dip below 4 Ohm (so one amp would never need more than 400 W) and c/ the module driving the tweeter shouldn't burn too many Watts anyway; I think 1 SMPS-600 should be fine.

Esra said:
I plan to connect the speakers directly to the NC400 without the binding posts anyway.
How long (and how thick) will you have the speaker wires? I guess hardwiring the SC will keep the impedance low, compared to classic binding posts (or Speakons - Bruno's prefered solution).

Esra said:
I will not use RCA.
You read Bruno's advice well! *smile*

Do post pictures of your work!
 

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
18
18,545
Doc I am waiting for some soldering wire...I thought i could use some ex. kimber cable/audioquest slip speaker cable and connect speakers directly to the NC400 as they are twisted and shield them if there is a need to do so in the case.2x2.5mm or 2x 4mm should be fine and they will be max.2.5 meters long.Otherwise i would use some PTFE AWG 18 copper/silver wire to connect from NC400 to binding post.

Do you think it´s worth to shield SPMS from the NC module within the case?
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
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Esra said:
Doc I am waiting for some soldering wire...I thought i could use some ex. kimber cable/audioquest slip speaker cable and connect speakers directly to the NC400 as they are twisted and shield them if there is a need to do so in the case.2x2.5mm or 2x 4mm should be fine and they will be max.2.5 meters long.Otherwise i would use some PTFE AWG 18 copper/silver wire to connect from NC400 to binding post.
No personal experience, but from a theoretical POV, you should try to keep the SC's impedance as low as possible. Is it feasible to use longer interconnects and shorter speaker cables?

Esra said:
Do you think it´s worth to shield SPMS from the NC module within the case?
Again, no personal experience (nor a personal opinion actually), but both Bruno and Jan-Peter at Hypex clearly state you need not do that (having said that, it won't hurt either). Most important IMO is proper wiring: twist your wires (audio in - power - audio out) tightly, keep the power wiring as far as possible from the audio signal, and if these need to cross, cross them perpendicularly; avoid running them in parallel at all cost.
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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Neat work, Esra! Do you have previous DIY experience? Any background in electronics or other technical skills? (I don't; I hope it's not strictly needed...)

The Ghent Audio cases come predrilled and precut for one NC400 and one SMPS600, right?

Could you post a detailed photo of the NC400 with its connections?

Oh, and do you use some cheap car speakers or similar for the first tests? Or are you confident enough to use the KEFs right away?
 

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
18
18,545
Thank you Doc.I have nearly just finished the sec. one.It works too.Now I have to put the cases together.I had a little problem with the grounding with the first one,so I attached the black n-ampon(from the XLR input) to the SMPS at the end as it shut down after 5 minutes or so when I had it star grounded.Problem solved.Just follow the instructions and compare with other builds/pictures.Build is pretty straight forward if you don´t need to mess up with wires you have to configure to individual lenghts,that´s also why i decided for the ghent case,saves a lot of time and everything is predrilled and you get all the stuff(Powerswitch/XLR/bindings posts etc) you need which fit perfectly fine and are of standard/good quality.

You just need some isolated speaker wire,solder and crimp utilities extra.Safety features are very good , you have to do a lot wrong to blow up things,i used MA RX2 speakers for the first test though;-).

More important there is risk of electric shock,so READ the instructions if you don´t have a background in electronics.That´s what I did (few times).

If you are going to build your own don´t hesitate to ask if something is not clear.
 

MattSPL

New member
Jan 4, 2010
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Interesting thread and nice looking builds.

whats the difference between the different smps's? Are they just bigger power supplies to give more grunt to the amp module?
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
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I surfed to the Ghent Audio website yesterday, and he now has a case for 2 NC400s and 1 SMPS1200 too. The back panel looks rather crowded. The bottom plate comes with holes predrilled for a SMPS600 also, so this might be my case! It will be pretty tight inside though; not sure if there's enough room for all the wiring... Brainstorming on different options with Ghent now (who's a friendly guy and a quick replier too).

Esra, if you can find the time to give us some listening impressions, that would be appreciated. Though I understand there's a whole lot of music waiting to be listened to! :^)
 

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
18
18,545
Hi Doc,all I can say that these amps are incredible value for your money and easily among the "best" and joyfull amps i have ever heard at any price.They do sound a little dry and unspectacular(which is good) the first time you fire them up but after good 2 hours you get an opinion what is expecting you.They open up and present mid and top end similar to good and expensive valve amps but with precise and textured bass like good/strong transistor amps without adding some warmth and richness and without having a bit of an edge somewhere . They are no doubt powerfull and present the music completely effortless with a deep black background and realistic 3d scale.You soon appreciate their extreme neutral presentation as they let the music flow as it is.Imo. they seem to be the perfect amp you can build up a system around to your likes and just forget about the factor amplification.Pre´s and sources get immense impact on how things will sound later so i could imagine that these amps are not everybodys cup of tea as it could also sound not as good as you might expect if you combine them with poorer equipment or equipment which is designed to be used within it´s own brand,ex. most filters of my audiolab dac got pretty useless and on the other hand i can enjoy it´s optimal spectrum filter( which is the most neutral full spectrum one) for the first time without getting fatigue which always happened sooner or later with other amps and often was not my prefered filter.The sense of deepness,liveness and 3d presentation which is on the record itself is absolutely sufficient so there is no need to use special filters and manipulation to get a better sound if you can understand.
 

iQ Speakers

New member
Feb 24, 2013
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Now looking at putting together an integrated amp based around the Hypex modules. Was there any reason you guys have opted for the €325 NC400 rather than say the €€70 UcD180HG. I'll Probally build a power amp first then look to add pre amp and volume control.
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
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iQ Speakers said:
Now looking at putting together an integrated amp based around the Hypex modules. Was there any reason you guys have opted for the €325 NC400 rather than say the €€70 UcD180HG. I'll Probally build a power amp first then look to add pre amp and volume control.
I haven't heard the Ncore amps myself. But the consensus on the forums (like the Ncore-thread on DIY Audio) seems to be that the NC400 is superior (most mention of the more fluid, sweeter treble). But the UcD modules give a large chunk of the quality for a fraction of the price.

So me, I want to build a SOTA system, the last hifi I buy! Hence NC400.

But if you build to a price, the UcD modules are much more sensible. Avantgarde Acoustics use a UcD amp for the bass-driver in their Zero 1. So I guess the quality must still be outstanding!

Why don't you start with active iQs? Combining them with a source/pre (Audiolab CDQ, Oppo 105, what have you) would make for an excellent combo -- and you avoid the cost of a casing (which is often substantial if you want to give your amp a 'face'). Just my view: source/pre + active speakers = the future.
 

iQ Speakers

New member
Feb 24, 2013
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Cheers Doc, just started looking into what I need. Ivan at IPL would go mad! To be honest i dont have the time, knowladge, or test equipment to make active speakers! An amp would make sence as I might lose the Abrahamsen deal one day. And I like the idea of have a very cost effective solution in a sexy looking case, perhaps drummerman might get off my case then! Cheers for the feedback early day yet.
 

iQ Speakers

New member
Feb 24, 2013
129
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No I'm hoping I can find sombody to compare the NC400 when Ive finished. Id like to be able to offer complete DIY kits everthing they need cables instrutions all in one kit. I get 25% off so should be possible.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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iQ Speakers said:
No I'm hoping I can find sombody to compare the NC400 when Ive finished. Id like to be able to offer complete DIY kits everthing they need cables instrutions all in one kit. I get 25% off so should be possible.
You certainly have a business mind!

This looks interesting though and I could imagine people taking you up on it. As always with DIY projects, the packaging (casings) usually let them down imho but that is certainly subjective and personal.

It will be interesting to see what you come up with.

PS. I almost miss seeing pictures of the Abrahamsen though :)
 

iQ Speakers

New member
Feb 24, 2013
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Its easier when you enjoy it been bloddy tough though still is. How about this DM? I want glass rods out the top transfering the blue light from the 2 Hype modules! I also admire your rechnical insight to speakers etc. I could possibly veneer the front or sides in a choice of wood?

 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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I think it is obvious you're enjoying it :) (envious)

As to looks, I am probably the wrong person to ask, remember I think shoe boxes look nice.

It looks elaborate and I can't imagine it will be cheap to produce?

Lights? - Reminds me a bit of those fitted under cars. Does anyone still do that?

Alright then, since you ask ... I looove sandblasted aluminium (and probably more the simple/unfussy looks. Having said that, I really like T&A's V10 and matching G10 turntable and CD player). Think Copland/T&A/Nagra etc. ... just think it looks smart (and doesn't show dust/fingerprints up quite as much). If it is the size of a shoe box, even better! :)
 

iQ Speakers

New member
Feb 24, 2013
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I can source them for around £65 less Im sure if i buy a few. Yep like all those looks the Nagra is particual interesting but not cheap to engineer those controls! Most of the Hypex cases are half width but I want to fine a Preamp so i can make an integrated amp which is proving difficult at the moment.

As to the glass rod lights, very subtle a nod to valve amps, evidently the Hypex have valve like qualities.

Love the look of Pass Labs

 

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
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18,545
iQ Speakers said:
No I'm hoping I can find sombody to compare the NC400 when Ive finished. Id like to be able to offer complete DIY kits everthing they need cables instrutions all in one kit. I get 25% off so should be possible.
I think it makes more sense to compare with a Bluesound Powernode 2 from business aspects.That´s a pretty smart piece of hardware imo..
 

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