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Posts posted by jmpsmash

  1. 3 minutes ago, Dev said:


    AFAIK, native dsd256 always worked right from the release of this DAC. Did you mean dsd512 instead ?


    not for mine. for some strange reason. my Terminator firmware didn't advertise any native DSD capability to the USB Audio driver. not even DSD64/128/256. As a result, Ropieee (the Raspberry Pi software) I used didn't allow Native DSD.


    it was fixed after updating firmware.



  2. 26 minutes ago, fas42 said:


    That's not as silly as it may sound to many people - I've done the equivalent to that, and you can end up with a pretty impressive presentation. That is, the cheap speakers will unerringly show up weaknesses of the amplifier; but pricey speakers won't do anything to compensate for a poorly done amplification chain.


    That's interesting. I thought it would be the other way around. Have you tried it? can you elaborate?


  3. 45 minutes ago, fas42 said:


    A system is a system. An excellent rule of thumb is that the closer one is to the "ideal", the more the one outstanding weak link will stand out like the proverbial sore thumb, and haunt you until you get rid of it.


    Will an "excellent" amplifier make your rig sound magical? ... ummm, will the best tyres you can buy turn your old bomb of a car into a magical driving experience ... ?


    that's a skewed analogy. it will be equivalent to saying we are driving $50 pair of computer 3" speaker with a $2000 amp. I am hoping most people have more balanced system than that.



    while i agree that a true review should cater for the general public by pairing amps with different speakers and other components, we are not professional reviewers, just some dude sitting in his cave listening to music.


    However, having said that, this is more in the tune of a comparison and not an absolute review. So it does show the comparative qualities between the different amps.


  4. Amp polarity is known. The ST10 is supposed to inverse phase, while the Nord doesn't. However, I did try to experiment with phase and I kept them at what is spec'ed.


    I understand your concern. I have kept all associated equipment the same, same cables, same speaker, preamp. everything.


    Now I just want to point out that this is just the evaluation in one system, there can be issues with synergy with other component, synergy with the room, etc. I may not be maximizing something coz maybe the ST10 need some cable and mine wasn't the one but that one I have works well with the Hypexes. Could be, I don't know. But I know if I started using different cables, then it will be less of a apples to apples comparison. But it is a comparison nonetheless and that's what my ears tells me. Which brings another point is that this is what I hear and I try to be as discerning as I can but my ears are not yours and every pair of ears are different and everyone have different experiences and preferences.


    So take it with a grain of salt. My comparison is just another data point and is definitely not definitive. :)



  5. 22 minutes ago, GeneZ said:

    I think one issue in evaluation is maybe being missed.  Does the amp reverse polarity?  My DAC has a polarity button so its easy to check.  One amp may be failing when compared to another in an area because it has its polarity the opposite position than the other amp being evaluated.   Has that been noted in testing?

    Yes. the ST10 reverses polarity and it has been compensated by reversing the speaker terminals.


  6. Anyway. Back to topic.


    The Nords are in the house. Been running them around the clock for the past 2 days. Won't say much before a couple more days of burning in. At the moment they do sound better than my NC400 but not much. They sound completely different than the NuPrime ST-10.


    Given that, we should stop lumping all class-D into 1 bucket. They each have their own character and sound.


  7. On 12/4/2018 at 12:22 AM, Matias said:


    It makes a lot of sense for integrated and preamplifiers, anything with volume control. But the Stellar power amps do not have volume controls. So the gain cell has fixed gain.


    Which really begs the question of why. If the Icepower already has an input stage, adding another fixed gain input stage goes opposite of the less is better philosophy. The only explanation is it colors the sound in a more desirable way that is preferred by the designer.



  8. 18 hours ago, Ralf11 said:


    if you guys do a shootout, please write about it on here


    No takers at the moment. Class D is one of those cases where it is possible to gather some enthusiasts into one location for comparison. The amps can potentially fit into backpacks. Imagine asking ppl to bring in their class A amps, it will be quite an operation!


  9. 50 minutes ago, Matias said:


    I understand that the PS Audio Stellar amplifiers are based on the new ICEpower AS modules: 2 x 300AS1 on S300, 1 x 700AS1 on each M700, plus their custom buffer. I read that currently the best ICEpower module is the 1200AS. And also that both Apollon and Nord sell both nCore NC500+discrete opamps and ICEpower 1200AS, and both say that the best sound quality is the NC500.

    Having said that, of course the ideal would be to test all options in the same system. I would very much like to read such a shootout review.


    PS: Apollon also has a "PRO" buffer board that accepts the larger opamps from Sparkos or Sonic Imagery, but not the smaller DIP8 versions, although they said not be night and day difference.

    Anyone who lives in the silicon valley area who has the icepower amps and would like to get together for a comparison we can arrange it. 


    The mk2 of the nord amps also has the pro socket. That's the main change with the matching pro level opamps.

  10. Just now, GeneZ said:

      If it sounds dark?   What preamp? What cables?  Speakers?  


    Mine is effected by anything in front of it. I have made it sound dark with certain speaker cables.  I find its no more darker than what precedes it.  I get a very open 'transparency' with my set up. 


    Though my speakers are far from what was listened with here.. This review matches my experience.

    Amplifier Reviews, Analog Reviews NuPrime ST-10 power amp


    It sounds darker when A/B comparing with my NC400. Everything else are kept the same. In fact, I think the ST-10 beats the NC400 on all categories except for the sparkle at the upper frequencies. It has clarity and transparency, even at the high frequencies, just that it is not as forward. Mind you that it doesn't have the DTSS mods that yours has. from ppl who reviewed it says DTSS opens up the upper end.  Perhaps the DTSS mod is where it fixes these issues.


  11. 7 hours ago, Matias said:


    And I ended up ordering yesterday the Apollon NC800 SL with Sparkos opamp, but I am going to test the SI from a friend as well.


    Very interested to know what you think the differences are. Took me a while to decide on which one to get and at this point I am still not sure if getting the SI is the right choice. the Sparkos are $80 each.

  12. 5 hours ago, Ajax said:

     Hi jmpsmash,


    I purchased the Nord One UP NC500DM Stereo amplifier with the Sonic Imagery op amp about 2 years ago and have been very very happy with its performance while driving a pair of ATOHM GT1 bookshelf speakers (French) and a pair of ATC SCM19 (UK). 


    Its being fed Tidal and hi Rez using  Audirvana via the balanced outputs of a Benchmark HDR DAC 1.


    I note that our resident tosser GUTB insinuated in a post on about page 3 of this thread that I was making up the fact that I was enjoying the sound of the Nord as “no one with high end audio systems uses class D” or words to that effect.


    Why I would feel the need to do that I am not sure. I can’t remember a thread where GUTB hasn’t either offended someone or made a full of himself.


    I am therefore keen to hear your impressions so pls post when you get the time.


    All the best






    Lots of trolls in this forum. ;)


    I will be receiving the Nords today. Gonna give it a few days of burning in.


    I also listened to the NuPrime ST-10. Quite impressive, great focus and texture, placement and imaging is so precise there is a great sense of presence and realism. It sounds a bit more dark than the NC400 though, the NC400 sounds more open. I wish I have the budget for the Evolution One, I can only imagine how good that sounds.


    Maybe I will get to do a 3 way comparison.



  13. 3 hours ago, mocenigo said:


    I would suggest to take the monoblocks. Two monoblocks cost about 100EUR more (total) than the stereo version and, apart from having better separation, you can place them close to the speakers with short speaker cables and drive them with longer XLR interconnects. Also, the internal placement of components of Apollon monoblocks is a bit better than in the Nord ones. One cannot go wrong with those monos.


    I ended up getting the monoblock from Nord. They are quite comparable. They are pretty much just the same ideas with the same components in the input stage (Sparko regulator and Sparko/SI op amps). Interesting that you think the Apollon has better layout, the only difference i see is the orientation of the power supply. they have the opposite orientation and the Nord one ended up with shorter cabling from IEC to PS and from PS to the input stage board.

  14. On 11/26/2018 at 2:17 PM, jmpsmash said:


    Did a bunch more research online. I am throwing into the mix a couple more amp/modules and my options:


    - fix Hypex (I already ordered a new module, I need to fix it and in the worse case, sell it)

    - NuPrime ST-10

    - NC500 - the popular ones have either a Sonic Imagery or Sparko opamp input stage

    - ICE Power 1200AS2 module - this is relatively new from early this year. Most review rank these in par with NC500 at just above 1/2 the cost



    So it has been decided. I will get the NC500 w/ Sonic Imagery opamp from Nord.


    And my current NC400 has already been fixed. Super fast shipping from Hypex arrived from Netherlands in less than 2 days and swapping in the new module only took 10 mins. Now it is being burn in around the clock. It will take a week for it to match the hundreds of hours that I have on the other channel.


    After the NC500 arrives and burned in, I can do a comparison. And I will need to find a new home for the NC400. I am tempted by the ST-10 too actually.


  15. On 11/24/2018 at 9:00 PM, jmpsmash said:

    The NuPrime Evoluion One looks fantastic. But unfortunately out of my budget.


    The ST-10 however, look more in my ball park. My dilemma is whether to just fix the Hypex NC400 and keep it, which cost around $400 or so, or try the NuPrime ST-10. Anyone have comparison of those two?


    Looks like my option so far is one of:

    - fix Hypex

    - NuPrime ST-10

    - PS Audio Stellar M700




    Did a bunch more research online. I am throwing into the mix a couple more amp/modules and my options:


    - fix Hypex (I already ordered a new module, I need to fix it and in the worse case, sell it)

    - NuPrime ST-10

    - NC500 - the popular ones have either a Sonic Imagery or Sparko opamp input stage

    - ICE Power 1200AS2 module - this is relatively new from early this year. Most review rank these in par with NC500 at just above 1/2 the cost


    Tough choice. Wish I can get all of them and compare! These are all in the region of US$1k -> $2k



  16. On 11/18/2018 at 1:40 PM, The_K-Man said:


    I agree!  


    And there are some big fat myths out there regarding live/concert/worship sound:


    Dynamic processing(limiters, compressors) aren't used in reinforcement of live performances.  If anything, the live performance of popular and faith-based music is becoming increasingly more processed(equalized, dynamically processed) to a point approaching how recorded genres are in mastering.


    When something is compressed and or limited, it can then have gain applied to it to make it much louder than it normally is in nature, and that's before the signal even gets near the final amplifier stage!  



    I agree. Which brings up a point (a bit off topic one), is that sometimes music listening at home is not representative of a real performance. People (me included) would listen to orchestral music or chamber and the bass is full and fills the room. It sounds great and satisfying in the listening room. In a live concert, the cello and double bass don't have that amount of intensity, there is lots of definition, but no way 12 cellos and 8 double basses would shake the whole concert hall.


    A lot of times, the faithful reproduction might actually sound dull in comparison. I like to use photography as a analogy. Most photos taken without any post processing look rather dull. Have anyone seen straight prints from Ansel Adams? they look as dull as the ones we took. He spent a enormous amount of time planning and enhancing the photo in the dark room. I think we do that with stereo equipment to a certain extent.


    But back to the topic, I do agree with many ppl here, the sound makes the music more enjoyable. a means to an end, a more enjoyable end.


  17. 1 minute ago, GeneZ said:


    The moral to the story?   Have some tubes in your system when using D class for its full potential.  BHK uses tubes. 

    Don't think that makes no difference between the M700 and its big brother.  I now have a tube preamp with my Nuprime ST-10.  I can see why some say its the way to go.


    That's what I have. Tube pre and class D power. I think that's the best combo. Tube tunes the sound, and a "wire with power and dynamics" for the power.


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