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Hypex NCore

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
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Has anyone had a go at using the Hypex NCore modules DIY? There are a number of firms that box the modules up, but I wanted to use the modules 'as delivered'. There seem to be two flavours, a DIY module and an OEM module. The DIY modules are quite pricey, but apparently OEM modules are available sub Euro100.

I was just about to start re capping my Krell Showcase, and it occured to me I would be doing it all over again in a few years time. The thermal design of the Krell amplifier modules is dreadful, I could actually believe that they are mounted in the case the wrong way up - all the heat from the emitter resistors flows over the decoupling caps, which then fry.

Given I have some time on my hands, I thought I might ditch the Krell innards (they sell for remarkable prices on Ebay, even duds) and replace with NCore modules. I would solve my systems cupboard cooling problem as well. My wife has been rebelling about the fan noise for a while now.

My main question is whether anyone has tried NCore with badly behaved loads? - I have Martin Logan hybrid ESLs where the impedance curve dips below 2 ohms at the crossover frequency, and many amps stuggle with this.
 

paulkebab

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Dec 26, 2014
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refit the Krell's innards? You obviously know its issues so are you up to repositioning that board, or maybe someone else could do it? Seems a shame to ditch something you're happy with, with one issue that might be easier than you think to resolve.
 

DocG

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May 1, 2012
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Hi Andy,

I used NC-400 modules and the SMPS-600 power supplies in my DIY set-up: a DSP cross-over and then one SMPS600 powering two NC-400s per speaker. I'm very happy with the result indeed: ample power; crystal clear, full sound; not a hint of harshness. That's with Maggies, with a resistive 4 Ohm load though.

As for the stability into very low impedance speakers, Hypex provide 8/4/2 Ohm data for both their NC400 and NC500 modules, but nothing about 1Ohm loads. Imo the NC400 looks better suited than the NC500, since the latter drops in power output at 2 Ohm (200/400/580 W vs. 400/700/550 W).

I don't recall the exact price difference anymore, but it was huge indeed (Colin should know all about that, but he might not be allowed to disclose). Apart from the 2 Ohm performance, the other important difference is the NC400's embedded, discrete input circuitry, designed by Bruno Putseys in person; whereas the NC500 comes without the input stage, which you need to add yourself: great for OEM, but you need to be a rather experienced DIYer if you're on your own. Since you have a solid background in electronics, it might nog scare you off, though. If you can lay hands on the NC500, that is...
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
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Coll built his own NCore amp too. I don't remember which speakers he uses though.

And he hasn't been seen on the forum for over seven months...

Same story for Esra, but he's lost to follow up over a year ago...
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
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paulkebab said:
refit the Krell's innards? You obviously know its issues so are you up to repositioning that board, or maybe someone else could do it? Seems a shame to ditch something you're happy with, with one issue that might be easier than you think to resolve.
Paul,

The amp is a Showcase 5 - it has 5 x 250W modular amps in it. The modules get used in other Krell products, they had a range of monoblocks that used the same modules.

If I remove the modules, I end up with a fancy aluminium case and a huge power supply - conveniently the right voltage for the NCore.

Mounting the modules the other way up is a possibility, but they are AB with a heavy dose of A, and run very hot. The amp's maximum power input is rated at 1400W - while I didn't run it flat out, keeping the damn thing cool was always a challenge.

I did buy a dead Showcase 5 from eBay to practice my recapping on before I had a go at my 'real' amp (which still works, but suffers from the 'bacon frying in the disatnce' problem of dying caps) and I plan to use the dead amp as the case donor.
 

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