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Old 28th October 2012, 03:41 PM   #5291
cab is offline cab
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I have read reports from at least 6 people that compared and preferred the nc1200 to the nc400. I am very curious as well why this should be. The distortion of the nc1200 is still incredibly low and I am doubtful that is the cause. I wonder if the smps might play a role?
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Old 28th October 2012, 04:08 PM   #5292
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cab View Post
I wonder if the smps might play a role?
The Atsah seems to use the hypex SMPS1200. Not sure about the Veritas.
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Old 28th October 2012, 04:10 PM   #5293
Regnad is offline Regnad  United States
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I do not know why the Veritas amps sound so good, my NC400 amps were put together very basically and still sounded the best I had heard.

As far as the snickering about price and subtle differences, perhaps I should put my opinion in context. I do NOT hear the differences (improvements?) from things like connectors, metals, pebbles and so many of the other tweeks that I read about. I remember a rather uncomfortable time when a fellow was demonstrating Shakti Hallographs in my living room, exclaiming "Hear that??? Do you hear that?!!!". I didn't. While curious I also remain VERY skeptical of processes like quantum tunneling using 2,000,000 volts tesla coils for fuses.

That said, the Veritas amps completely redefine my ideas of what my speakers are capable of. I listened to everything from internet radio streaming to SACDs directly from the BD player to the amps. Add the efficiency and other attributes and I am thrilled.

Oh, other amps I've recently owned were Parasound JC-1, CJ LP276M and the NC400s.

So, the sound... All the buzzwords, I guess. Deathly quiet, palpable room loading, unbelievable low end control, amazing detail extraction without stridency, terrific separation of musical lines while still naturally blended, etc.

I also want to say how impressed I am with the physical construction, feels like a solid slab of aluminum, internal layout is clean and gives the modules the best possible environment.

Finally, I do plan to see if I can tell the difference when I install Quantum SR20 fuses next week, currently the amps have stock NC400 fuses in them. I almost hope I don't (I wonder if that sentiment will affect my perception?).
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Old 28th October 2012, 04:15 PM   #5294
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regnad View Post
So, the sound... All the buzzwords, I guess. Deathly quiet, palpable room loading, unbelievable low end control, amazing detail extraction without stridency, terrific separation of musical lines while still naturally blended, etc.
Were the Veritas amps clearly better than the nc400's in all those areas? Or were there specific differences you can pin down?
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Old 28th October 2012, 04:23 PM   #5295
ChrisPa is offline ChrisPa  United Kingdom
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Regnad

What about your internal layout?
(not accusing you of a 'bad' layout, but that would be a starting point
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Old 28th October 2012, 04:49 PM   #5296
Regnad is offline Regnad  United States
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Thanks for being kind, my NC400 layout is very simple and, while the improvements with the new amps are great, I can't help but think construction must be part of it. However, the modules do look quite different and I'd love schematics.

I modified my NC400 boxes so they can sit right behind the speakers with 8" speaker wires and it sounded better to me than with long speaker cables. Maybe I should remove the Veritas modules and install them in my boxes to compare?

I would have been pleased with a pretty case and more power, I was not expecting the sound to improve as much as it has. It sounds odd to say that I have heard new detail in recordings I have had for years but it's true.

Sorry I am not better at conveying the differences but, apart from both amps being very quiet, the other attributes and more, are clearly in another league, IMO. I am also sure that all this has much to do with the particular speaker, too.
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Old 28th October 2012, 05:48 PM   #5297
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Originally Posted by Regnad View Post
I also want to say how impressed I am with the physical construction, feels like a solid slab of aluminum, internal layout is clean and gives the modules the best possible environment.
Maybe the mechanical construction has something to do with the differences in sound.

Has anybody compared nc1200 and nc400 in similar cases, and if so, what are their impressions?
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Old 3rd November 2012, 03:20 PM   #5298
ua100k is offline ua100k  United States
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Default NC400 to NC1200

Quote:
Originally Posted by cab View Post
I have read reports from at least 6 people that compared and preferred the nc1200 to the nc400. I am very curious as well why this should be. The distortion of the nc1200 is still incredibly low and I am doubtful that is the cause. I wonder if the smps might play a role?
I hate to get into this mess so I will do one posting and then not get back in. I was pointed to this by someone, so you have to blame that person for my post. I will post his name anonymously.

First, the Disclaimer - I build the Merrill Audio VERITAS Monoblocks - Merrill Audio Stereo equipment for the demanding Audiophile.

A lot of the build and specs for the VERITAS Monoblocks are on the website so I won't get into the common questions of build of the VERITAS monoblocks.

The difference the NC400 and NC1200 is not just the specs. There is a build difference in addition to the power supply - SMPS600 versus SMPS1200.

On the Amps, I cannot speak for other companies, however we did extensive listening tests to get all the right components, wires, casing etc. All of it made a big, audible difference. Each one of the items added more, and more. Sometimes it was more of taking away to make it sound better. And other times, components were just bad sounding, even though it was a very big brand name and supposedly good.

Can the NC400 be as as good as a NC1200 in the same build? Short answer from the testing we did with the NC400 is close but no. Again this goes back to the details that differentiate the $1k amp from the $10k amp to the $100k amps. Why does DartZeel sound so good. If you look inside, you would think the amp was made in a 3rd world country with all point to point wiring, cramped space. However everything in the DartZeel is thought out, measured and calibrated. It does take a tremendous amount of of work to put that together.

As for the exact details of all of this, I will leave that open for discussion otherwise it will get quite dreary at this and other forums. I am sure to get a lot of smart comments on this. Do note that there is a science to this (BSEE, R&D positions, etc to my name) and experience plays a very big role in getting things perfect.

Case in point, My first interview with Motorola after graduating, the interviewing manager insisted my design at the interview was incorrect. I told him to build it can then call me back. We had some words. True enough he and everybody else called back - I did not go to work for him. Moral of the story, beside tooting my own horn, is that there is a really science behind this and not just the specs. If you look at super computers, they even calculated the distance between each connection for speed of execution. It is build in an octogon (last one I saw), to get the speed faster. Perhaps I have gone too far here however the point is every piece in an amp does add or subtract from the sound, even the metal used. Sometimes the eliminating the components that subtract is as important as adding the components that add to the purity of the sound - we had to go through that.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 04:18 PM   #5299
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I like your post very few have the insight that you have . Thats why audio this days are so f...... bad designed.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 04:23 PM   #5300
cab is offline cab
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So you are saying that the difference in the implementation (type of speaker posts, XLR's, etc.) is what you are attributing the difference in sound quality between the 400 and 1200?

Seeing as how the distortion figures are so low I suppose it will be extremely revealing of the slightest differences and thus perhaps that is the only plausible explanation. Especially in light of this comment from Hypex:

On NC400 vs. NC1200: "The NC400 has somewhat lower distortion & output impedance than the NC1200 and those deluxe discrete input buffers. Otherwise the NC1200 has about 40% more voltage and current reserves. That's pretty much it."

Which leaves one with the impression that identical implementations should actually favor the nc400.

We need to keep in mind that Bruno is not one to "voice" his designs-he is spec driven and thus I doubt he used anything but best practices when designing these two amps to be as neutral as possible.

Of course one needs to keep in mind that several of the reviews of the nc1200 vs nc400 were done by compensated beta testers of a commercial nc1200 product so I tend to take those with a grain of salt....Still, inquiring minds would like to know...

Thanks for your input.

Last edited by cab; 3rd November 2012 at 04:28 PM.
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