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Neurochrome Modulus-286: 65W (8Ω); 125W (4Ω) @ <-120dB THD Composite Amplifier Module
Neurochrome Modulus-286: 65W (8Ω); 125W (4Ω) @ <-120dB THD Composite Amplifier Module
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Old 18th October 2018, 05:20 AM   #1
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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Arrow Neurochrome Modulus-286: 65W (8Ω); 125W (4Ω) @ <-120dB THD Composite Amplifier Module

Update 2018/10/20: The introductory sale has started: Modulus-286: 125W composite amplifier achieving <-120dB THD
The sale will end by 23.59 Mountain Time (GMT-7) on November 30th. This will be the only sale on the Modulus-286 so get 'em while you can.

Key features (preliminary):
  • Mono construction.
  • 65/125 W into 8/4 Ω, respectively @ THD < -120 dBc.
  • Tested for stability with reactive loads up to 1.0 F || 8 Ω.
  • Multi-tone IMD residual: < -100 dBV.
  • Damping factor: >560 @ 1 kHz; >225 @ 20 kHz (8 Ω).
  • Integrated noise (20 Hz - 20 kHz): 17 V (A-weighted); 22 V (unweighted) @ 20 dB gain.
  • Integrated noise (20 Hz - 20 kHz): 27 V (A-weighted); 32 V (unweighted) @ 26 dB gain.
  • Balanced input (can be connected to unbalanced sources as well).
  • Default gain: 26 dB for ease of use with other HiFi components. 20 dB available upon request. Higher gain possible by a simple resistor swap.
  • Four-layer PCB, fully optimized for the highest performance.
  • Designed, manufactured, and assembled in Canada. All components sourced from reputable distributors (Mouser, Digikey, et al.)
  • Available for pre-order within the next few days with a significant early adopter discount. Expected in stock by the end of November, 2018, at which point the into sale will end.
The Modulus-286 is a composite amplifier, which uses an LME49720 to perform error correction on two LM3886 power amplifier ICs in parallel. This results in an amplifier which has the precision of the LME49720 and the power of the two LM3886es. This error correction is the central point of the Neurochrome Modulus composite architecture. The composite design will correct for many types of error, including distortion and power supply induced errors. It is due to this architecture that the Modulus amplifiers achieve their high performance levels as evidenced by their ultra-low THD, IMD, multi-tone IMD, etc.

Note that attached picture and measurements are of the prototype. I will follow up with a more comprehensive set of measurements once the production version is in.
The production version will be Neurochrome Blue and professionally assembled in Calgary on a gold-plated PCB made in Ontario, Canada. The finished module will include aluminum mounting hardware (also made in Canada), which allows the module to be bolted directly onto a heat sink. This mounting method greatly simplifies the mechanical work for the the DIYer (only three holes needed with 0.5 mm precision in their location).

I will open up for pre-orders through my website (Neurochrome Audio: High performance DIY audio circuits.) within the next few days. I expect the final cost to land at $350-$375 per module. I'll offer the early adopters a good discount in exchange for their patience. The introductory offer will end by the end of November.

Enjoy.

Tom
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MOD286_PROTO.jpg (306.4 KB, 867 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286 R2.0 PROTO_ THD+N vs Output Power (8 ohm, 1 kHz, 20 kHz BW).png (50.8 KB, 919 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286 R2.0 PROTO_ THD+N vs Output Power (4 ohm, 1 kHz, 20 kHz BW).PNG (46.7 KB, 896 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286 R2.0 PROTO_ THD+N vs Frequency (50 W, 8 ohm, 60 kHz BW).PNG (35.0 KB, 890 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286 R2.0 PROTO_ THD+N vs Frequency (100 W, 4 ohm, 60 kHz BW).PNG (36.0 KB, 881 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286 R2.0 PROTO_ THD+N vs Output Power (26 dB, 1 kHz, 8 ohm, 20 kHz BW).PNG (51.1 KB, 58 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286 R2.0 PROTO_ THD+N vs Output Power (26 dB, 1 kHz, 4 ohm, 20 kHz BW).PNG (47.0 KB, 48 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286 R2.0 PROTO_ Residual Hum & Noise (8 ohm, 1M FFT, 8 averages).PNG (50.9 KB, 76 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286 R2.0 PROTO_ Muli-Tone IMD (AP 32-tone, 50 W, 8 ohm, 1M FFT, 8 averages).png (68.9 KB, 92 views)
File Type: png Modulus-286_R2p0_DampingFactor.png (61.8 KB, 93 views)
__________________
Modulus-86, 186, 286, 286 Kit, & 686: 40-240W (8Ω) at <-120dB THD. HP-1: 3W/20Ω, -130dB THD, 128dB DNR.
Neurochrome : : Audio - www.neurochrome.com - Engineering : : Done : : Right

Last edited by tomchr; 20th October 2018 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 18th October 2018, 08:01 AM   #2
HarmonicTHD is offline HarmonicTHD  Switzerland
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Cool. Could you point out the major differences eg in performance to the Mod268 ver 1.1 in mono mode? At first glance it seemed pretty identical. Of course now with the benefit of not having to solder all the SMD parts and the inherent risk of something going not as planned.

Thx
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Old 18th October 2018, 12:36 PM   #3
poseidonsvoice is offline poseidonsvoice  United States
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Neurochrome Modulus-286: 65W (8&#937;); 125W (4&#937;) @ &lt;-120dB THD Composite Amplifier Module
Sign me up!!

Best,
Anand.
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Old 18th October 2018, 02:34 PM   #4
wcwc is offline wcwc  United States
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Now to choose between this and the Mod186.
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Old 18th October 2018, 05:56 PM   #5
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarmonicTHD View Post
Cool. Could you point out the major differences eg in performance to the Mod268 ver 1.1 in mono mode? At first glance it seemed pretty identical.
At first glance, I agree with you. Rev. 2.0 provides higher output power (65/125 W vs 60/100 W into 8/4 Ω, respectively). It also offers lower noise. Rev. 2.0 is also quite a bit smaller. And slightly lower cost (Rev. 1.1 fully assembled was $400). The fully assembled Rev. 2.0 is also more robust mechanically and easier to use for the DIYer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarmonicTHD View Post
Of course now with the benefit of not having to solder all the SMD parts and the inherent risk of something going not as planned.
Indeed. The biggest advantage of Rev. 2.0 is probably a long-term one. As you point out, sometimes DIY builds don't go exactly as planned. Even the most competent DIY enthusiast (or professional for that matter) makes the occasional mistake. I know I do from time to time. Whether we like to admit it, SMD builds do cause more headaches than leaded builds. At the same time, the SMD builds are often very difficult and time-consuming to debug via email. While I do enjoy the personal interactions that come with debugging, I would much rather focus on growing my business and delivering cutting edge products. I also think that when someone spends a few hundred bucks per channel on my state-of-the-art products, the build experience needs to be state-of-the-art as well. So by offering only the fully built modules, I expect to be able to offer more positive build experiences while getting to spend my time more productively and grow my business. All of which will benefit everybody in the form of more and better products available at a good price/performance point.

Another advantage of Rev. 2.0 is that it's positioned very well for OEMs. Building relationships with OEMs will allow me to further grow my business. (Why do I suddenly feel like I'm writing the quarterly earnings statement for a Fortune-500 company here? Must be getting ahead of myself. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by wcwc View Post
Now to choose between this and the Mod186.
The struggle is real, man...

Let me throw this into the mix: I'm seriously contemplating putting a kit together with two channels of Modulus-286 in a ModuShop Mini Dissipante 2U x 230 x 200 mm chassis and power them with a Connex SMPS300RE (36 V). This should result in a stereo amp that can deliver 2x 65 W (8 Ω) 2x 125 W (4 Ω). It should also be possible to bridge the two channels for 1x 100-120 W into 8 Ω.
I have all the CAD drawings done and all the chassis bits (power switch, connectors, mechanical bits) selected. I just need Connex to deliver the supply so I can test the prototype.

The chassis will be super nice. It'll feature digitally printed front and rear panels. It'll have all the necessary holes for connectors, standoffs, power switch, etc. All the hardware will be included with the kit right down to the wiring harnesses.

I should be able to offer the kit at a price point that's lower than the sum of the parts if ordered at QTY = 1. The pricing isn't etched in stone quite yet, but a total kit cost of $1249 seems realistic. I will offer the kit to the early adopters at a significant discount. I'm currently thinking something like $899 for the first six and $999 for the next 12 or so. I'll announce the launch in this tread as well as through my newsletter (signup: Sign Up to Stay Informed) and Facebook feed (Neurochrome - Home | Facebook). Intro sale aside, I'm not planning any other sales.
I'll also offer the kit as a fully assembled product. I haven't decided on the pricing there.

Tom
__________________
Modulus-86, 186, 286, 286 Kit, & 686: 40-240W (8Ω) at <-120dB THD. HP-1: 3W/20Ω, -130dB THD, 128dB DNR.
Neurochrome : : Audio - www.neurochrome.com - Engineering : : Done : : Right
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Old 18th October 2018, 06:07 PM   #6
wcwc is offline wcwc  United States
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How big of a heat sink would you need for two bridged channels?
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Old 18th October 2018, 06:09 PM   #7
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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Around 0.44 K/W if you put both channels on the same heat sink. Twice that if you have them on separate heat sinks.

For reference, the 3U x 300 mm heat sinks from ModuShop (available separately if you need just the heat sinks) are 0.40 K/W.

You'll want a 2x25 VAC @ 200 VA transformer and a Power-86 (or -686) to go with it. Or a suitable SMPS.

Tom
__________________
Modulus-86, 186, 286, 286 Kit, & 686: 40-240W (8Ω) at <-120dB THD. HP-1: 3W/20Ω, -130dB THD, 128dB DNR.
Neurochrome : : Audio - www.neurochrome.com - Engineering : : Done : : Right

Last edited by tomchr; 18th October 2018 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 18th October 2018, 07:29 PM   #8
wcwc is offline wcwc  United States
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What is involved with bridging the amps? Do we need to make any changes to the board or just to the wiring coming to/from the board?
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Old 18th October 2018, 11:47 PM   #9
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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If you build the amp for bridging, you just connect the inputs of the amp to the same XLR connector in opposite phase and take the output across the two Speaker(+) terminals.
If you already have the amp built, I find it easier to make an "inverter" (XLR cable with the signal conductors swapped). Use an XLR Y splitter and put the "inverter" in one of the branches. Take the output across the Speaker(+) terminals.

I'll include drawings of this in the documentation.

Before any of this happens, I need to get a prototype going. I'm still waiting on the power supply from Connex.

Tom
__________________
Modulus-86, 186, 286, 286 Kit, & 686: 40-240W (8Ω) at <-120dB THD. HP-1: 3W/20Ω, -130dB THD, 128dB DNR.
Neurochrome : : Audio - www.neurochrome.com - Engineering : : Done : : Right
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Old 20th October 2018, 08:47 PM   #10
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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The introductory sale has started: Modulus-286: 125W composite amplifier achieving <-120dB THD
The sale will end by 23.59 Mountain Time (GMT-7) on November 30th. This will be the only sale on the Modulus-286 so get 'em while you can.

I expect to launch the intro sale for the Modulus-286 Kit (chassis + amp modules + supply + etc.) in about two weeks. I should have the parts necessary for the prototype by then.

Tom
__________________
Modulus-86, 186, 286, 286 Kit, & 686: 40-240W (8Ω) at <-120dB THD. HP-1: 3W/20Ω, -130dB THD, 128dB DNR.
Neurochrome : : Audio - www.neurochrome.com - Engineering : : Done : : Right
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