The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Hypex amplifier confusion
Old 28th November 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Kris Pohl's Avatar
Hypex amplifier confusion

Hi!

I'm more or less new to the whole amp discussion but I currently consider my options for an update of my old Yamaha PC2002. I'm driving ProAc Studio 100 with it and after a brief stint with a random newish amp I really feel I can improve the sound a lot with something different/new. Bryston would be an obvious choice but that's financially out of range.

On the other hand the name Hypex kept popping up and the DIY set of this NC400 kit is pretty much my budget: https://www.diyclassd.com/product/nc...mplete-kit)/24

Now, as many manufacturers seem to use their amp kits to modify to taste I wondered if there is a better option than the above mentioned? There seem to be quite a few amps using the NC500 unit instead for example Nord ( https://www.nordacoustics.co.uk/prod...ne-nc500dmst-3 ) for a little more but already assembled.

Based in UK if that makes a difference. What's my best option here?

Last edited by Kris Pohl; 28th November 2019 at 05:17 PM..
Old 29th November 2019
  #2
Gear Head
 

Looking for a cheapish amp that would go with Proac SM100 and found this thread. I hope somebody chimes in

That DIY kit is priced nicely

Edit: found a custom built NC400 used that I think I'll try with the ProAcs
I've read enough in other threads to believe that it would be an ok match for the price of the amp
Old 30th November 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 

The Nords are good apparently, someone whose ears I trust told me he didn't think there was a transistor amp anywhere close for anything like the same money new or second hand.
Old 5th December 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Kris Pohl's Avatar
bump - anyone here who can shed a little light on the topic?
Old 6th December 2019
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Pohl View Post
bump - anyone here who can shed a little light on the topic?
My findings won't matter much since I've only heard Amphion monitors before, but I've bought two custom built NC400 and will most likely order the SM100 in a few days. The only alternative is using the NC400 with ATC SCM12 and that won't be all that great I think

As you may have noticed there's not a whole lot of info about the SM100 on the internet. But everyone that talks about them have good to great things to say about them. There are some helpful threads on audiophile forums but they don't have mixing in mind at all. I've found a few people that have heard them with the NC400 and they had no complaints

People also say that the SM100 is less fussy about amps and cables than the previous version. I still think these monitors can be expected to be affected a lot by amp choice, and that the Hypex NC400 won't be the ideal choice for leisure listening. A better suited and more exciting amp would cost at least 5 times more. But for mixing? I don't see why the NC400 would be the best budget choice

People describe the NC400 as neutral and transparent. The SM100 probably won't sound at their "best" with the Hypex NC400, but for mixing I think it’s a good affordable choice. The next step up would be a Bryston or ATC amplifier I guess?

I've gathered that 200w per channel is a good choice for the SM100

Just some thoughts, but again this is just a summary of things I've been reading. Maybe it helps a little bit
Old 6th December 2019
  #6
Gear Head
 

Just realized your thread was about the Studio100, sorry about that.
Old 10th December 2019
  #7
Gear Nut
 
Kris Pohl's Avatar
HeavyMantra, no worries. Quite intrigued what the SM100 sound like actually

Anyway, another bump. Still haven't pulled the trigger on any amps even though I've got another amp booked for a trial now.
Old 10th December 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Pohl View Post
HeavyMantra, no worries. Quite intrigued what the SM100 sound like actually

Anyway, another bump. Still haven't pulled the trigger on any amps even though I've got another amp booked for a trial now.
Hypex amps are truly top class. They are the same amps in monitor companies like Barefoot, which are $10,000-20,000 monitors. If people are making equipment that is truly high end, spare-no-expense designs with Hypex, I think its fine to go ahead with the choice. Since they refuse to act as a commercial retailer for them, and only sell DIY kits or sell wholesale to other builders, they keep prices low.

If you want to avoid building them yourself, Nord amplifiers build their equipment with Hypex and the prices for integrated amps (meaning stereo with one power supply and case) tend to be cost what a DIY kit costs. If you're wanting to build mono blocks, I think the DIY route ends up being slightly cheaper.

EDIT: I also forgot to mention I own them for my studio monitors, and they are truly great. Its easy to go overboard with Class D amps since they offer so many watts, but I would undershoot on wattage unless you have mid-field / large reference monitors, or the sensitivity/1watt rating is very low. I got the NC400 and I wish I did one level lower in power since I have to send such a low level for daily use.
Old 10th December 2019
  #9
Gear Nut
 
Kris Pohl's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hairbow View Post
EDIT: I also forgot to mention I own them for my studio monitors, and they are truly great. Its easy to go overboard with Class D amps since they offer so many watts, but I would undershoot on wattage unless you have mid-field / large reference monitors, or the sensitivity/1watt rating is very low. I got the NC400 and I wish I did one level lower in power since I have to send such a low level for daily use.
Thanks a lot for the insight!
Old 11th December 2019
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairbow View Post

EDIT: I also forgot to mention I own them for my studio monitors, and they are truly great. Its easy to go overboard with Class D amps since they offer so many watts, but I would undershoot on wattage unless you have mid-field / large reference monitors, or the sensitivity/1watt rating is very low. I got the NC400 and I wish I did one level lower in power since I have to send such a low level for daily use.
Which monitors are you using?

I got the NC400 for the ProAc SM100 that are recommended for 50-150 watts. Do you think that's too much if I only use the monitors at low levels?
Old 11th December 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyMantra View Post
Which monitors are you using?

I got the NC400 for the ProAc SM100 that are recommended for 50-150 watts. Do you think that's too much if I only use the monitors at low levels?
Earthworks Sigma 6.2

The main thing is that there’s no attenuator on most Hypex designs, so you’ll need to either send a low signal from the audio interface or use a monitor mixer. The NC400 are rated at 250w at 8ohms, but I wouldn’t expect most people to need more than 50-75 watts for daily use at safe hearing levels. And I just realized that there isn’t any NC-grade Hypex amp for purchase below NC400 :(

As long as you don’t accidentally send full volume to the amps it’s fine, but it’s just more than anyone needs. If you were driving mid-field speakers in a large studio that were twelve feet or more listening distance, then that wattage would come in handy since watts aren’t linear - it takes far more watts to go from 100-105db than it does from 85-90db.
Old 11th December 2019
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairbow View Post
Earthworks Sigma 6.2

The main thing is that there’s no attenuator on most Hypex designs, so you’ll need to either send a low signal from the audio interface or use a monitor mixer. The NC400 are rated at 250w at 8ohms, but I wouldn’t expect most people to need more than 50-75 watts for daily use at safe hearing levels. And I just realized that there isn’t any NC-grade Hypex amp for purchase below NC400 :(

As long as you don’t accidentally send full volume to the amps it’s fine, but it’s just more than anyone needs. If you were driving mid-field speakers in a large studio that were twelve feet or more listening distance, then that wattage would come in handy since watts aren’t linear - it takes far more watts to go from 100-105db than it does from 85-90db.
Thanks for clarifying. I guess it's a bit overkill in my case since I don't plan to listen louder than 70 dB. Volume accidents are my worst nightmare but it's never happened so far.

Some people claim that certain monitors like ATC benefit from having more powerful amps than needed but I honestly don't understand why

Isn't the NC400 rated 200w at 8 ohms?

Bit of an aside, but I don't think I could have found more visually pleasing amps if they weren't custom built.
Attached Thumbnails
Hypex amplifier confusion-20191202_200349_resized.jpg  
Old 11th December 2019
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyMantra View Post
Some people claim that certain monitors like ATC benefit from having more powerful amps than needed but I honestly don't understand why...
What is "than needed" supposed to mean?

All I can say to that is that you should compare the sound of bass- and transient-rich material on your favorite passive speakers at very low volume with a high-powered amp vs a low-powered amp. Again, at very low volume. If you don't hear a significant difference, don't spend for the difference. But don't give up your day job, either.
Old 11th December 2019
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
What is "than needed" supposed to mean?

All I can say to that is that you should compare the sound of bass- and transient-rich material on your favorite passive speakers at very low volume with a high-powered amp vs a low-powered amp. Again, at very low volume. If you don't hear a significant difference, don't spend for the difference. But don't give up your day job, either.
Well, more than recommended by the manufacturer is what I should have said

I won't be able to make that comparison anytime soon. I get the feeling you're saying that there's a difference, care to tell me?

My used Hypex NC400 is the cheapest amp I felt I could get away with, and I did buy it specifically for the extra watts over the Amphion Amp100.
Old 11th December 2019
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyMantra View Post
I get the feeling you're saying that there's a difference, care to tell me?
Your feeling is correct, that's what I'm saying. And you need to experience the difference in amps for yourself. Partly because sheer watt-numbers don't always tell the whole story. I'm not nearly as tech-savvy as many folks here, but I do know that, say, 50 Class-D watts probably aren't going to pack the same punch as 50 Class-A watts. And when it comes to that Amphion amp, I have no idea what "Adaptive Modulation Servo Technology" means.
Old 11th December 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I agree that one should never push amps to their limit for daily listening - a 100w amp playing at 100w will sound worse than a 200w amp playing at 100w. That “Goldilocks” zone of keeping the amp in the low/middle of its power rating helps with many things, but if someone’s needs are such that 50w is all they’ll need, 250w is overkill when 100w will still be fine.

I’m not advocating for someone running an amp at full capacity, just that if they can reduce overall cost by buying an amp suited for their needs they should. And if the NC400 is the lowest rating they’ll do for DIY use, I would still opt for it since they’re one of the best Class D amps in the market right now

EDIT: and I was wrong, NC400 is 200w at 8ohm, so it’s less of a risk than I thought. And I can’t find a detailed spec sheet for the ProAc 100, but I am assuming the 50-150w amp suggestion is for RMS instead of peak, so the NC400 may be fine without much attenuation.
Old 11th December 2019
  #17
Gear Nut
 
Kris Pohl's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hairbow View Post
I’m not advocating for someone running an amp at full capacity, just that if they can reduce overall cost by buying an amp suited for their needs they should. And if the NC400 is the lowest rating they’ll do for DIY use, I would still opt for it since they’re one of the best Class D amps in the market right now

EDIT: and I was wrong, NC400 is 200w at 8ohm, so it’s less of a risk than I thought. And I can’t find a detailed spec sheet for the ProAc 100, but I am assuming the 50-150w amp suggestion is for RMS instead of peak, so the NC400 may be fine without much attenuation.
You are correct with your assumption. I always ran them with pretty powerful amps but I listen back extremely quietly these days.

Interesting though about the NC400, aye? Can't find a smaller one either as DIY solution.
Old 11th December 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Well I think you’re golden to get one! Let us know how you like it
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump