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Old 8th January 2013, 02:31 PM   #5851
ua100k is offline ua100k  United States
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Default Merrill Audio VERITAS - Comparison and questions.

Great questions. Here are the answers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjf View Post
Does anyone have any pics of the guts and back of chassis of the Merrill Audio VERITAS amp they could share? I'm not seeing this on their website for some reason. 9 pictures of the front/sides but nothing showing the back...
Pictures of the back are provided below and will be updated with other pictures of the Bordeaux color chassis on the website soon.

A picture of the top view is also included for the questions below and as an indication of size of the chassis.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cjf View Post
I am curious to see if the VERITAS is built any better on the inside then the Acoustic Imagery Atsah that was reviewed at 6moons. After seeing the innards of the Atsah I'm having a hard time justifying its $9K /pr asking price. As also mentioned in the 6moons review of the Atsah I too would have expected to see some attempt at component isolation at this price point as well as a better layout of the binding posts. Maybe I'm asking for too much here but since they already went thru the trouble of using a milled aluminum chassis how much more effort would it have been to give each board its own separate area for better isolation, shielding and vibration immunity?
Hard for me not to be biased however, the answer to this is an absolute yes. The engineering thoughts and design is described on the website merrill Audio Hypex Ncore NC1200 based VERITAS Power Amp Mono Blocks
Chassis highlights – 17” x 12” x 3” exterior, 1” thick walls, 2 compartments, 3”x 3”solid center. 30 lb weight. I could not comment on the Mola-Mola however it does not have a billet aluminum chassis.
For the Merrill Audio VERITAS –
No stock wires are used in the audio signal path.
High grade components
Board independently damped from chassis.
Separated chambers for isolation and distance between boards with minimum wire distance (a tradeoff).
Not to mention the Stillpoints footers, customer power cord, SR Fuse.
Aside from pure components, the price is really very well justified when compared to other components anywhere in double this price. The sound quality is where the VERITAS shines, regardless of load (based on testing’s so far).

The Merrill Audio VERITAS Monoblocks have been designed not just for the best audio signal reproduction but also for ease of use. The 2 binding posts have plenty of space between them to allow for thick Speaker cable routing and management. The gap for the spades on the binding posts have also been made 5mm larger to allow for thicker spades and easier to use. The same with the IEC, XLR input and Remote control trigger. As far as I know, the VERITAS Monoblocks is the only one with a Remote Control Trigger. That has been engineered to work with the manual mute button in front with either one being able to turn the mute off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjf View Post
Would this make any difference in SQ, who knows but at least the cost would be better justified IMO.
Based on extensive testing and other components that Merrill Audio either has or is in development, Sound Quality is very highly dependent each one of the factors that we have paid attention to.
1. Wires – length, placement, type, thickness, solid versus stranded, etc. Defines the clarity, bass and transients.
2. EMI/RFI – most often left out but is most sensitive on the input side and makes a big difference to the mid and top end.
3. Microphonics – if not taken care of you lose the tighter bass and microdetail. Isolation of the chassis and boards are very important.
4. Placement. This is a tradeoff between wires, circuit boards and EMI/RFI. Longer wires reduce transients and increase transmissions, especially in Class D. Shorter wires means closer boards and higher RFI/EMI interactions.
Over doing EMI/RFI protection damps the sound. The faster your transients get, the more interactions chassis, placement, wires, footers, powercords, fuses, interconnects have. The silker your mids/highs are the more you will notice any minor change in wires, components, even a fuse.

A picture of the top view is provided so you can see the size of the chassis that allows for the separation of the boards, spread of the inputs, speaker binding posts and AC input. There is plenty of room for large speaker cables and power cords. Note we supply a custom built 10 AWG power cord that is one of the best out there - not the best but a significant improvement over a stock power cord and competes with $1,000 power cords.

On a separate note of softstart.
The SMPS1200 and SMPS600 already have softstart and a multitude of other protection circuitry built in so there is no need to add further delay to the power up. Adding a softstart to the power supply would be like adding a pre-amp to the pre-amp.
On the VERITAS Monoblocks, the remote trigger is tied to the mute switch which allows the inputs to be muted when the VERITAS Monoblocks are powered on. While this is not necessary as there is the soft start on the Power supply and the power supply subsequently turns on the amp board in a controlled manner after all checks have passed, the remote trigger and mute button is a convenience and helps when switching inputs or just turning the pre-amp/sources off.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg VERITAS Top.JPG (24.7 KB, 372 views)
File Type: jpg VERITAS Back.JPG (28.2 KB, 366 views)
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:56 PM   #5852
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Default nC400 vs nC1200

Since so far, the commercial implementations of the nC1200 modules feature a stock configuration, with stock power supplies (Merrill and Atsah), I would suspect that any differences in sonics vs. a well built nC400 amp would be due to the different input buffer, and the difference in output power. Bruno Putzeys is on record as saying there is no difference in sound... which is a little odd.
Has anyone checked to see exactly how the input buffer on the nC1200 is implemented? My suspicion is that it uses an IC as opposed to the discrete circuit used on the nC400. Perhaps some are preferring the higher distortion of the nC1200?
The power output difference "should" not make any difference in sonics, except with very difficult speaker loads...
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Old 8th January 2013, 03:08 PM   #5853
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrows View Post
I would suspect that any differences in sonics vs. a well built nC400 amp would be due to the different input buffer, and the difference in output power.
Occam's razor once again. disregard the most likely causes and try to find the explanation in the occult.
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Old 8th January 2013, 03:22 PM   #5854
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrows View Post
Since so far, the commercial implementations of the nC1200 modules feature a stock configuration, with stock power supplies (Merrill and Atsah), I would suspect that any differences in sonics vs. a well built nC400 amp would be due to the different input buffer, and the difference in output power. Bruno Putzeys is on record as saying there is no difference in sound... which is a little odd.
Has anyone checked to see exactly how the input buffer on the nC1200 is implemented? My suspicion is that it uses an IC as opposed to the discrete circuit used on the nC400. Perhaps some are preferring the higher distortion of the nC1200?
The power output difference "should" not make any difference in sonics, except with very difficult speaker loads...
The output does depend on the rail voltage due to that the distortion depends on the magnitude of the output voltage compared to the potential of the rail voltage. At least this how i understood Bruno. It probably relates to the way the signal-modulation and feedback operates... This means that if we disregard noise then the higher the output is relative to the supply voltage, the higher the distortion will be. Due that the nc1200 can run on higher voltages it should distort less for the same output.

According to Bruno the "stock nc1200" has an IC as buffer. If it is really down to this, then maybe the IC infuse a more ear-friendly distortion than the discrete instrument buffer on the nc400... -It might not always be only about the magnitude of total distortion, but instead about the "quality" of the distortion which could be a way the answer how we in fact can audibly detect small upstream changes when speakers infuse magnitudes more THD downstream.

One might question the basis of Bruno´s statement that there is no audible difference between the nc400 and the nc1200. Is this down to his habit of using earphones on the output to perform AB listening tests? earphones are a very different load than speakers and may not produce the reason for the audible difference when using loudspeakers. This could be related to the O/P´s power and current behavior as explained above.

Last edited by Juhleren; 8th January 2013 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 8th January 2013, 04:19 PM   #5855
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juhleren View Post
Is this down to his habit of using earphones on the output to perform AB listening tests?
I clearly remember him mentioning speakers using Seas drivers (please correct me if I'm making this up) that they (?) made. maybe the active Grimm Audio LS1 speakers? also, I think he said that when comparing UCD against NCORE it started to show that the speakers are the weakest link.
if so, I heard that Seas tweeter used in the LS1s in another DIY speaker. it's smooth but IMO not the most transparent, my Esotars are clearly superior. yes, that may have been actually an effect of the midbass (a cheaper one, not Excel series) I was hearing, I'm not like all the other people who think they can tell with absolute accuracy which component does a certain thing to the sound.
of course, we're all speculating.
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Old 8th January 2013, 04:50 PM   #5856
ds23man is offline ds23man  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ua100k View Post
Great questions. Here are the answers.

Pictures of the back are provided below and will be updated with other pictures of the Bordeaux color chassis on the website soon.

A picture of the top view is also included for the questions below and as an indication of size of the chassis.




Hard for me not to be biased however, the answer to this is an absolute yes. The engineering thoughts and design is described on the website merrill Audio Hypex Ncore NC1200 based VERITAS Power Amp Mono Blocks
Chassis highlights – 17” x 12” x 3” exterior, 1” thick walls, 2 compartments, 3”x 3”solid center. 30 lb weight. I could not comment on the Mola-Mola however it does not have a billet aluminum chassis.
For the Merrill Audio VERITAS –
No stock wires are used in the audio signal path.
High grade components
Board independently damped from chassis.
Separated chambers for isolation and distance between boards with minimum wire distance (a tradeoff).
Not to mention the Stillpoints footers, customer power cord, SR Fuse.
Aside from pure components, the price is really very well justified when compared to other components anywhere in double this price. The sound quality is where the VERITAS shines, regardless of load (based on testing’s so far).

The Merrill Audio VERITAS Monoblocks have been designed not just for the best audio signal reproduction but also for ease of use. The 2 binding posts have plenty of space between them to allow for thick Speaker cable routing and management. The gap for the spades on the binding posts have also been made 5mm larger to allow for thicker spades and easier to use. The same with the IEC, XLR input and Remote control trigger. As far as I know, the VERITAS Monoblocks is the only one with a Remote Control Trigger. That has been engineered to work with the manual mute button in front with either one being able to turn the mute off.



Based on extensive testing and other components that Merrill Audio either has or is in development, Sound Quality is very highly dependent each one of the factors that we have paid attention to.
1. Wires – length, placement, type, thickness, solid versus stranded, etc. Defines the clarity, bass and transients.
2. EMI/RFI – most often left out but is most sensitive on the input side and makes a big difference to the mid and top end.
3. Microphonics – if not taken care of you lose the tighter bass and microdetail. Isolation of the chassis and boards are very important.
4. Placement. This is a tradeoff between wires, circuit boards and EMI/RFI. Longer wires reduce transients and increase transmissions, especially in Class D. Shorter wires means closer boards and higher RFI/EMI interactions.
Over doing EMI/RFI protection damps the sound. The faster your transients get, the more interactions chassis, placement, wires, footers, powercords, fuses, interconnects have. The silker your mids/highs are the more you will notice any minor change in wires, components, even a fuse.

A picture of the top view is provided so you can see the size of the chassis that allows for the separation of the boards, spread of the inputs, speaker binding posts and AC input. There is plenty of room for large speaker cables and power cords. Note we supply a custom built 10 AWG power cord that is one of the best out there - not the best but a significant improvement over a stock power cord and competes with $1,000 power cords.

On a separate note of softstart.
The SMPS1200 and SMPS600 already have softstart and a multitude of other protection circuitry built in so there is no need to add further delay to the power up. Adding a softstart to the power supply would be like adding a pre-amp to the pre-amp.
On the VERITAS Monoblocks, the remote trigger is tied to the mute switch which allows the inputs to be muted when the VERITAS Monoblocks are powered on. While this is not necessary as there is the soft start on the Power supply and the power supply subsequently turns on the amp board in a controlled manner after all checks have passed, the remote trigger and mute button is a convenience and helps when switching inputs or just turning the pre-amp/sources off.
I have never heard so much mumbojumbo! And you are writing this with a straight face while there is a completely inferior one dollar Euro mains inlet????

4,500 dollar per monoblock????????????
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Old 8th January 2013, 05:01 PM   #5857
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ds23man View Post
I have never heard so much mumbojumbo! And you are writing this with a straight face while there is a completely inferior one dollar Euro mains inlet????

4,500 dollar per monoblock????????????
I can't say I agree with that post but I think that at least a portion of it is not mumbo-jumbo.

oh, and if you want to be outraged, look at the UCD180ST (standard, that is) based Genesis amp, more than $5k as far as I remember.
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Old 8th January 2013, 05:08 PM   #5858
ds23man is offline ds23man  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_push_pull View Post
I can't say I agree with that post but I think that at least a portion of it is not mumbo-jumbo.
Very small portion?
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Old 8th January 2013, 05:14 PM   #5859
Omholt is offline Omholt  Norway
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At least I had a good laugh! And it confirmed why I've already decided to stay away from so called high-end hifi dealers.
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Old 8th January 2013, 05:15 PM   #5860
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ua100k,

I actually did quite a few different experiments on the nCore 400 regarding EMI absorption / rejection, the change of internal wires some very high end ones (including OCC Silver); replacing the the bindings, XLRs with Cardas etc - they indeed make a huge difference.

The cost of each of my NC400 monoblock is already over USD2500. So, the price of $4500 is actually reasonable when you add the profit margin. And NC1200 cost quite a bit more too.

TBH, nCore is not a cheap DIY project. I am willing to spend so much time and $ on it because there are so much potential. But it also means nCore is very sensitive to noise or pollution. Dilemma.
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