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Old 29th July 2015, 10:13 AM   #1
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Default Brand New NAD M22 (Hypex) cheaper than DIY ?

TWO embeded UCD (or NCD?) 1000 from Hypex... in the brand-new M22 NAD amp

Could it be a bargain instead a DIY amp ?.... And : could it be sounding better than DIY NCORE 400 Watts DIY amp devices ?

Last edited by Eldam; 29th July 2015 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 31st July 2015, 03:58 PM   #2
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I have both nCore 400 DIY project (mono blocks) and the M22. The M22 seems derived from the core 500 modules.

Click the image to open in full size.

IMO, the M22 has a better top to bottom tonal balance, and takes a smidgen of fog away from the acoustic image. Obviously, the value proposition is quite high compared with solutions like the Theta Digital mono blocks, which themselves are lower priced than many other commercial nCore solutions. The pricing of most commercial nCore solutions supports AURALiC's contention that it was more cost effective to pursue a modified UcD approach than to go for an nCore solution in their Merak Monoblocks.

Click the image to open in full size.

Their approach mirror my own experience that more and better local bypass is needed compared with what the UcD modules or the nCore 400 provide.

Click the image to open in full size.

I own a number of well regarded sub 5K class AB amplifiers, and the M22 beats them all, so while not wanting to go too far out on a limb, I have to say the value proposition is clear, and may be unmatched by others at the $3K price point, regardless of technology.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 10:07 PM   #3
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Thank you for the input and testimonial,

unfornatully I have 85 DB efficienty speaker with something 2.5 ohms dip around 125 Hz who need a SSS (solid state strong) amp... not so easy to find musical amps in this league !

Having for some year a Chord SPM 1000 B (200 W/8 ohms; 400W/4 ohms; ???/2 ohms .

I always ask myself if it was powerfull enough when great dynamic & transitions are needed (classical music, Attack of trumpett with Jazz and at least most of the musics needs curent reserve for transcient in fact to say it with simple words !). I also tweaked my DAC and the passive filter of the speaker to my personal tastes and room !

Question was also asked because it seems not so far in price from an equivalent complete finished diy project with two Ncore 400 and expensive powersupplies from Hypex, casing, etc... without saying that maybe NAD "improved" the outputfilter (sorry for my poor understanding here) with a tailored sound (softer in the highs because brand signature ?)

Plus of DIY NCore400 is maybe more PS headroom ! Maybe the Nad will be a little more expensive (but second Hnd) but less risky (can be re solded more easily...).
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Old 2nd August 2015, 10:21 PM   #4
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The M22 is quite clean and dynamic sounding, and in fact I'm using with relatively low sensitivity speakers (about 84 dB), but which do have a very benign impedance curve, relatively speaking.

Click the image to open in full size.


If you look at the output filter in the last picture above, you'll note an array of three film caps in parallel, something I've done in my own experimental model to reduce the dissipation and extend the full power operating envelope. I wouldn't describe the signature of the M22 as soft; it's quite detailed and clean, with a lot of presence. Not at all like a typical ICEPOWER module, which I find colored; warm in the mid bass and lower midrange, and reticent in the top end, as if they tuned it to sound more like many upper end mid fi class AB amplifiers.

What will be interesting is to see how another speaker I'm developing works with the M22 as well as an SMPS for Class D modules I'm developing for my day job. The speaker shown above uses two Wavecor SW223BD02 4 ohm drivers in series; the new one will use a single SW223BD02 with a ScanSpeak 26W/00-0 PR; and a Seas C18EN001 coincident midrange/tweeter driver. That system should be quite compact for the bandwidth, but modeling shows a fairly punishing impedance curve, around 2.5 ohms from about 90 Hz to 200Hz+. It will be interesting to see how the M22 fares, as well as the new electronics in development.
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Old 3rd August 2015, 12:24 AM   #5
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Default Front End circuitry?

What is the M22 using for the front end circuitry?

NC-400 (DIY) uses Bruno's own discrete circuit with discrete HrX style regulators

NC-1200 (OEM) uses onboard IC opamps

NC-500 (OEM) does not include front end circuitry, and the manufacturer has to develop their own front end circuit.

With how transparent the NC output stage is, I suspect the front end circuitry will have a lot to do with any sonic signatures...
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Old 5th August 2015, 05:22 PM   #6
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There was one article I read, an interview with one of their engineers; my foggy recollection is that NAD does their own front end stage (like most everyone else) and it is to optimize the noise performance and clipping behavior. They avoid pushing the nCore modulator into clipping itself. No more details than that were provided.

There are many possible solutions, of course - this is why AURALiC uses their proprietary discrete buffer modules in the Merak (which is based on UcD, though).

I suppose I really should open it back up and try to figure out what they're doing- just out of curiosity, at this point.
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Old 10th August 2015, 11:31 AM   #7
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I miss measurement results (maybe released in stereophile next time of this year) so as detailed schematic diagrams of all components (front end, power stage and SMPS).
Observations while listening tests without this are not really helpful.
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Old 10th August 2015, 01:02 PM   #8
rickpt is offline rickpt  Portugal
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Hi Guys

The M22 service manual can be found on the Hifi Engine website.

Cheers
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Old 10th August 2015, 10:12 PM   #9
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Do you think the Hypex NC-500 OEM device is able to manage such low impedance pitch below 2.5 ohms like a strong Krell like could do ?

In the reviews they don't try it most of the time with too difficult speaker with efficienty as poor as 85 db and impedance curve pitchs lower than 3 or 2.5 ohms... for good reasons because MOST of the todays seakers are not made anymore with such bad impedance curve...

M22 for non skilled diyers seems maybe to have enough trade offs for my speaker but enough with this peak in relation to a stronger NC-1200 OEM ? (Mola amps like!)
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Old 29th March 2016, 07:50 PM   #10
mirekti is offline mirekti  United States
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In my opinion NAD made a great job, again!!!

Not sure if M22 can be compared to Mola or such "class" amps, but knowing that certain engineering has been done by NAD's standards, which now offers nCore technology packed in a not bad looking case and for $3k is highly appreciated from my side.

Thank you NAD!!!
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