Hypex Ncore NC1200 Amps at NY Audio Show in April

This is a BIGGIE! Both based on the Hypex Ncore NC1200, the Mola-Mola Mono Amps and the Merrill Audio Veritas Mono Amps will be at the NYC Audio show in April. The Mola-Mola with Vivid Speakers and the Veritas with Raidho and Sanders Sound Speakers, all in separate rooms.
The Raidho D-1 Monitors were stunning on their custom stands. (The integrated speaker package has an MSRP of $28,000.) It was quite surprising how they are able to fill the room. For a smallish profile, they were amazingly full range and dynamic. This was another room with Merrill Audio amplification.
This just means that they filled the room and sounded dynamic. Plenty of other stand mounted speakers can do that. You can check many other reports on these rooms and you'll find that they either just mentioned the gear in the room or used generic terms to describe the sound.

On the other hand, a lot of audio gear can produce a very clean, taught, fast, controlled, articulate, high contrast sound. But this doesn't necessarily mean that it sounds real. If one listens to a lot of live music, it then becomes more difficult for the brain to associate reproduced sound with live music. What I heard from all three rooms was a sound that was going the opposite direction of trying to reproduce a live performance. I can extrapolate and say that all three systems will certainly sound better in a more controlled environment, but I'm not that optimistic and think they'll sound like live music.

Designing amps can be very, very difficult. It took John Ulrick from Spectron a few decades to produce their excellent live-sounding amps. There are a couple of other legacy companies that also took a few decades of research and customer feedback to arrive at the great products they produce today. Many of these engineers happen to also be musicians. Their products simply aim at recreating a live performance in your room and that, IMO, should be the ultimate goal. An engineer can produce the most desirable measurements from an amp and not sound real at all. On the other end, some high-distortion tube gear can sound so real.

Now, let's not confuse noise with distortion. I've heard a lot of high-distortion tube gear that sounded very pleasing and real. I have not heard a system with some electrical noise in the signal sound pleasing and real.

Musical instruments have all kinds of sound. My wife and I went on a cello auditioning tour a while back. We encountered cellos with fat lower frequencies and clean upper frequencies, cellos that were very quick to recover from excess reverberance, cellos that sounded lean and forward, but the one thing that they all had in common is that they sounded real. And this is the experience I want to dive in at home when listening to music.

I agree, that is what I look for in my system. But the best tube amps I have heard are very clean with the least distortion. Unfortunately way too costly, $30,000 and up.
But I understand that some people like the sound that some tube amps that have the "distortion" you like.

As a counter to the PF post see the post below on HP Soundings from the Brill Report.

"My first stop was the small Raidho room, where their new D-1 loudspeaker was partnered with Merrill Audio amplification and a Kondo preamplifier. All of the zest and verve in the Jarosz tune was delivered by this system with great tactile flair, especially capturing Jarosz’s soaring vocals and her sparkling mandolin hits. A little bass boom was apparent, but this was a nice demonstration of the Raidho’s superb coherency, galvanizing high-octane energy and overall gift for capturing pace and rhythm. Interestingly, even in this small room, one could gain a palpable feel for the recording venue, particularly noticeable on another cut I played here: the “Willowtwist” from Michael Gandolfi’s remarkable piece, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation [Telarc SACD]. With the Raidho system, you were seated in the balcony of Atlanta’s Woodruff Performing Arts Center with the sprawling Atlanta Symphony spread out before you."

And also this.

"“Pure sounding” could also nicely describe the Sanders Sounds 10c Electrostatic Speakers partnered with Merrill Audio electronics. Although they were positioned to listen very near field, the Sanders performed spritely and with more tonal weight than I expected on Jarosz’s feathery high vocals and on her bassist’s quick plunges. You could lean-in towards these speakers (positioned only a few feet away) and yet be immersed in a deep, layered soundstage that was quite impressive and full of inner tactile treats."

I must ask, did you (or anyone) sit in the "sweet spot", front center, location in all the rooms you visited in order to evaluate the sound of the rooms?

If you (or anyone) did bravo to you, if not then your evaluation has to be off, just like your seating position.

Anyway enjoy your Spectron amp, they are great sounding amps. I actually almost bought a pair of the mono blocks before I heard the NCore based amps (DIY NC400-OEM NC1200). My only other choice was the Pass Labs Class A (160-200 watts) mono amps.

I would like to clarify that my posts were strictly based on what I heard at the show and that I am not in any way questioning or generalizing the performance of the NC1200-based amps. Based on your posts, I'm sure you're happy with how they sound in your system. I also think that perhaps you would not trade the sound you're getting in your system with these amps with how they sounded at the show.

These amps are new in the market, so perhaps dealers have not had a chance to really explore what gear mates best with them to get the best possible sound. Every new company goes through this experience to some extent, so time may tell a different story as users start to narrow down what works best with these amps.

I did sit in the sweet spot in all rooms. I also happen to have speakers that sound best in the sweet spot. They also sound great from anywhere 20 - 30 feet away. Sure, the sweet spot magic brings everything into focus and all instruments take their space in the soundstage, etc., but the quality of the sound is always there, regardless of where you are.

We also have different tastes. What suits you and me, may not suit others. In the end, it's what makes us happy what counts:)

"This is a quote from Positive Feedback reporting on the NYAS 2013:

Sanders Sound & Merrill Audio
Right across the hallway was another electrostatic speaker, the Sanders Model 10c, and another variation in sound quality. Power was provided by the Merrill VERITAS Mono Blocks, which use the latest Hypex Ncore NC1200.

Radically different than the Martin Logans, the expected transparency usually associated with 'stats wasn't in evidence. The midrange on down was heavy and the top lacked a bit of sparkle."

Hello Isanchez - I heard the same. I called this sound "warmish and boring" - may be your definition "overprocessed" is more accurate then "warmish" but boring it WAS !!!
I also like word "artificial"

If I remember well, you are aslo Spectron owner. A few weeks ago, I audition Spectron stereo with all upagrdes versus SET amp - the rest of the system was the same. To my surpise, the midrange was equally (well, very close) sweet in both amps...

All The Best
Hi Dob, you stated that in room 1019 Tube Audio Design featured their new Ncore NC1200 monoblocks, which you heard on Sunday. Are you sure about the name of the company? The web site listed for Tube Audio Design on the Audiogon Industry directory is no longer active. I then sent an email to the company, and its owner of record -- Paul Grzybek, responded today that Tube Audio Design is closed.

What is the scoop?

Saluti, Guido