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Old 20th June 2012, 09:01 AM   #4491
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serengetiplains View Post
I didn't put that very clearly. Does anyone know how much current the Ncore draws on its +/– 15V inputs? That's better.
Less than 100mA I think.
Check the datasheet.
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Old 20th June 2012, 03:37 PM   #4492
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Originally Posted by TheShaman View Post
Less than 100mA I think.
Check the datasheet.
Looks like 40mA, Ivsig on section 5.
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Old 20th June 2012, 03:39 PM   #4493
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Default My Ncore feedback – Part 1, Temporary Setup, First Impressions

Before we get to my actual listening experience I would like to say a few words about this thread and why I hesitated to post this. I have been reading it completely, most of it some weeks ago before I ordered my amps.

My impression is that there is one lead message here – the Ncores are among the best amps in the world. Mainly because of a lot of genuine, credible very positive user feedback which really speaks for the product. One of the reasons I bought them.

But then there are a few “residents” in this thread that apparently made the Ncores a kind of religion that has to be defended against all criticism. Some don’t even own the amp, they just believe they have to be great because they like the no-nonsense technocratic philosophy which is in line with their personal believes.

I admit that the little criticism which has been expressed so far was expressed sometimes a bit un-objective. It is clear that we all just share our opinions, and opinions can differ. However, I think it should be legitimate for everybody to say if they’re not completely overwhelmed without being considered a troll or somebody who holds a grudge against the product, the producer or the concept. It is even necessary to give potential readers of this thread a complete picture. Which leads me to my listening experience.

I have tested the amps & smps only in a temporary setup without case and with suboptimal shielding, cabling etc.. I basically put them on a board and wired everything correct but far from optimal.

So far I have been listening for may be six hours. The amps show very good control, tight and dry bass and rather neutral behavior across the whole frequency range. They reproduce a good level of detail.
However, I do have a lot of noise going on in the background. Sorry my English is not good enough to describe this properly, but it is not only white noise but also other acoustic artefacts that I don’t know where they come from. Also, the whole upper frequency range sounds kind of “distant” – away from the listener, not open, much more closed. Details are present, but everything is very “twitchy”.

For comparison - I owned different amps in the past and today I own a conventional Class AB amp and two Pass F4 (which has been used as a prime example for a silly audiophool class A amp in this thread a couple of times). The F4 has far less control in the lower frequency range. The bass is spongy, I use rather conventional 3-way speakers that have only around 89dB which is not an ideal combination. However, basically all the rest (except the bass) sounds a lot better to me than what the Ncores do so far. That includes tonality, stage, completely dead silent background, etc..

To be clear - I don’t follow any philosophy. The F4 has been an experiment like the Ncores are. I would have loved to throw it out of the window, spongy bass and all, and keep the slick, small and efficient Ncores. But in the current setup they are a different league. No chance the Ncores are going to replace the F4 yet, even with the spongy bass.

Let’s see whether things change once the Ncores are in their cases, better grounded and shielded, I assume the background noise will go down. To not offend people with philosophies any further I am not going to mention they might change while they burn in. However, I will spend more time with them and report on any changes.

Best Regards
Sven
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Last edited by Abraxas336; 20th June 2012 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 20th June 2012, 04:31 PM   #4494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraxas336 View Post
Before we get to my actual listening experience I would like to say a few words about this thread and why I hesitated to post this. I have been reading it completely, most of it some weeks ago before I ordered my amps.

My impression is that there is one lead message here – the Ncores are among the best amps in the world. Mainly because of a lot of genuine, credible very positive user feedback which really speaks for the product. One of the reasons I bought them.

But then there are a few “residents” in this thread that apparently made the Ncores a kind of religion that has to be defended against all criticism. Some don’t even own the amp, they just believe they have to be great because they like the no-nonsense technocratic philosophy which is in line with their personal believes.

I admit that the little criticism which has been expressed so far was expressed sometimes a bit un-objective. It is clear that we all just share our opinions, and opinions can differ. However, I think it should be legitimate for everybody to say if they’re not completely overwhelmed without being considered a troll or somebody who holds a grudge against the product, the producer or the concept. It is even necessary to give potential readers of this thread a complete picture. Which leads me to my listening experience.

I have tested the amps & smps only in a temporary setup without case and with suboptimal shielding, cabling etc.. I basically put them on a board and wired everything correct but far from optimal.

So far I have been listening for may be six hours. The amps show very good control, tight and dry bass and rather neutral behavior across the whole frequency range. They reproduce a good level of detail.
However, I do have a lot of noise going on in the background. Sorry my English is not good enough to describe this properly, but it is not only white noise but also other acoustic artefacts that I don’t know where they come from. Also, the whole upper frequency range sounds kind of “distant” – away from the listener, not open, much more closed. Details are present, but everything is very “twitchy”.

For comparison - I owned different amps in the past and today I own a conventional Class AB amp and two Pass F4 (which has been used as a prime example for a silly audiophool class A amp in this thread a couple of times). The F4 has far less control in the lower frequency range. The bass is spongy, I use rather conventional 3-way speakers that have only around 89dB which is not an ideal combination. However, basically all the rest (except the bass) sounds a lot better to me than what the Ncores do so far. That includes tonality, stage, completely dead silent background, etc..

To be clear - I don’t follow any philosophy. The F4 has been an experiment like the Ncores are. I would have loved to throw it out of the window, spongy bass and all, and keep the slick, small and efficient Ncores. But in the current setup they are a different league. No chance the Ncores are going to replace the F4 yet, even with the spongy bass.

Let’s see whether things change once the Ncores are in their cases, better grounded and shielded, I assume the background noise will go down. To not offend people with philosophies any further I am not going to mention they might change while they burn in. However, I will spend more time with them and report on any changes.

Best Regards
Sven
Sven,

I'd love to see you do a comparison with a linear supply in stead of the SMPS.
With linear supply I mean a really good one, which IMO is a low DCR power supply transformer and not a huge bank of capacitance (2 x 20 mF high quality low ESR caps should do).
Maybe your "twitchy" sound has to do with SMPS HF issues, and this comparison might get some more insight in the behaviour of different power supplies.
I can't get rid off the feeling that a "form factor" SMPS is not the best solution for an audiophile amplifier.
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Old 20th June 2012, 04:37 PM   #4495
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Sam and Shaman, the data sheet is unclear to me. Under "4 Absolute maximum ratings," "input current" ("logical inputs and buffer inputs") is listed as 10mA max.

Moving down the page to "5 Recommended Operating Conditions and Supply Currents," I see "Signal stage supply voltage (positive and negative)," whose voltage range is listed as 16-25V, with an average current specified on the next line as 40mA.

The next line is "External driver supply voltage," which seems to refer to a +only supply voltage, the current draw for which is ave. 70mA.

The 10mA max rating, from 4, for "logical inputs and buffer inputs" (= "Signal stage supply current"?) looks to refer to the +/– 15V supply input, and seems to be in error. It perhaps should read 100mA.
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Old 20th June 2012, 04:41 PM   #4496
rha61 is offline rha61  France
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraxas336 View Post
For comparison - I owned different amps in the past and today I own a conventional Class AB amp and two Pass F4 (which has been used as a prime example for a silly audiophool class A amp in this thread a couple of times). The F4 has far less control in the lower frequency range. The bass is spongy, I use rather conventional 3-way speakers that have only around 89dB which is not an ideal combination. However, basically all the rest (except the bass) sounds a lot better to me than what the Ncores do so far. That includes tonality, stage, completely dead silent background, etc..

To be clear - I don’t follow any philosophy. The F4 has been an experiment like the Ncores are. I would have loved to throw it out of the window, spongy bass and all, and keep the slick, small and efficient Ncores. But in the current setup they are a different league. No chance the Ncores are going to replace the F4 yet, even with the spongy bass.
in my opinion , with your F4 , the spongy bass are because of a resonance in the bass range , that creates a masking effect , the mid and high range seem softer
or conversely , there is a hole in the high or midrange , so the bass seem spongy
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Old 20th June 2012, 04:48 PM   #4497
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Originally Posted by pieter t View Post
Sven,

I'd love to see you do a comparison with a linear supply in stead of the SMPS.
With linear supply I mean a really good one, which IMO is a low DCR power supply transformer and not a huge bank of capacitance (2 x 20 mF high quality low ESR caps should do).
Maybe your "twitchy" sound has to do with SMPS HF issues, and this comparison might get some more insight in the behaviour of different power supplies.
I can't get rid off the feeling that a "form factor" SMPS is not the best solution for an audiophile amplifier.
Pieter, not to preempt actual listening with a good linear supply, I question whether a linear supply can better the Hypex smps for this amp. The Hypex supply, from my reading, operates differentially insofar as it employs synchronous secondary rectification---or in other words offers the benefit of differential noise cancellation, which a typical linear supply does not. It seems to me that much of the benefit offered by the Ncore design is a thorough reworking along differential lines, including differential psu noise reduction.

Btw, bridging two Ncores should augment this benefit.
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Old 20th June 2012, 04:53 PM   #4498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serengetiplains View Post
Pieter, not to preempt actual listening with a good linear supply, I question whether a linear supply can better the Hypex smps for this amp. The Hypex supply, from my reading, operates differentially insofar as it employs synchronous secondary rectification---or in other words offers the benefit of differential noise cancellation, which a typical linear supply does not. It seems to me that much of the benefit offered by the Ncore design is a thorough reworking along differential lines, including differential psu noise reduction.

Btw, bridging two Ncores should augment this benefit.
There is no big difference between SMPS and Linear supply. The background hiss is not the NCORE that for sure. If not the SMPS is to near the input off course.
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Old 20th June 2012, 04:56 PM   #4499
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraxas336 View Post
But then there are a few “residents” in this thread that apparently made the Ncores a kind of religion that has to be defended against all criticism. Some don’t even own the amp, they just believe they have to be great because they like the no-nonsense technocratic philosophy which is in line with their personal believes.
But then there are some "residents" in this thread who have nCores (I, personally, have 8 of them) and like them not only because they seem to be designed using sound technical principles and without a lot of voodoo, but also because we like the way they sound.

I would love to see details about your setup, cabling etc. - the effects you describe could possibly be caused by bad shielding/grounding.
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Old 20th June 2012, 04:59 PM   #4500
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erlend Sæterdal View Post
The background hiss is not the NCORE that for sure. If not the SMPS is to near the input off course.
Indeed - that is why I am curious as to the wiring / shielding / grounding in Abraxas336's setup.
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