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.
Guido and others; the TRL NC1200 based amps are in the center of this photo and are orange/gold in color.

Also here is another professional posting of the listening impressions of the sound in the Merrill Audio Veritas and Mola-Mola amps rooms.


"Rhapsody Music and Cinema outfitted three rooms, each at different price points. At the lower end room (relatively speaking), I met a new company with the unlikely name of Mola-Mola. New York was effectively its U.S. launch, with products becoming available in June. On hand were the $10k preamp and the Bruno Putzeys-designed Class D $15k monoblocks. They were sourced by the all-new, double-DSD capable Luxman DA-06 DAC ($6k, June). Driving the Giya G1 speakers and wired with Kabula-Sosna cables, the sound was, in a word, lovely.

At the highest price level, Rhapsody fielded a roomful of equipment from Kondo Audio Note Japan. (Note to manufacturer: could you please just call yourselves Kondo?) There were Kondo Audio Note Japan (OK, that’s the last time I’m doing that) speakers, electronics, cables and ‘table, plus a Pi Greco CD player. Total price: $400k, including a prototype of the 55 Watt Kagura SET monoblock amps, which will see production next year at a price somewhere north of $160k.

Although the sound in the Kondo (….) room was very fine, I personally was more taken by Rhapsody’s “middle” room, which was anchored by the amazing, stand-mounted Raidho D-1.1 ($28,500). Are these guys on a roll or what? As driven by a Kondo G70 preamplifier (see how much better that works?) and Merrill Veritas amps, the Raidhos delivered better bass than any speaker this size has a right to. Overall, the sound was sweet and spacious, despite some room-borne mid-bass resonance. BTW, elsewhere in the show, this same amp paired beautifully with Sanders Sound’s new flagship ‘stat, the 10C ($14k). The duo delivered some of the best imaging I heard, along with other virtues, such as transparency, that one expects from good electrostatics."

And here is another one.
Merrill Audio: "Not For Tube Lovers"
By Ariel Bitran • Posted: Apr 16, 2013
Merrill Wettasingh of Merrill Audio says his class-D Veritas Monoblock amplifiers are "not for tube lovers." The crimson or black chassis is made of a solid 60lb billet of aluminum. Allowing only spade connection for the "best and biggest" sound, these 400 watt (8 ohms) power-houses seek "audio purity" rather than coloration, according to Wettasingh.

Very interesting posting by The Absolute Sound. These are the same people now being accused by Harry Pearson (the creator of The Absolute Sound) of writing favorable reviews in exchange for advertising in TAS. I wouldn't be surprise to see Merrill Audio placing an ad in TAS with that quote in it.

Audiogon members with no affiliation to the brand they own have a lot more credibility than many "professional" reviewers. My entire system was built based on information I gathered from this website and I'm absolutely happy with it. So I choose to believe no-brand-affiliation Audiogon members and their comments over "professional" reviewers recommendations.
It will be interesting to see how the stock modules in a box, $12K Merrill Monos compare to the $4K PS Audio Hypex amp to be released this summer.

According to Mr.McGowan:

"Basically regardless of which core we use, the 700 UCD or the Ncore, the sound quality is almost all found in the input stage. By that I mean if we were to use the Ncore and put on a lesser input stage, the sound would not be as good as the UCD with an exceptional stage. Pretty much everything you are hearing with this amp, in terms of pacing, transparency, frequency extremes, control and dynamics are all controlled by the input stage design. Both of these Hypex modules are off the chart in terms of quietness, control and linearity - we just ran a bunch of sweeps, Vin vs. Vout, IM and THD and very high levels and it's as if the Hypex stage is not even there - it mirrors almost identically the input stage performance."
Although my experience with class D amplifiers is with modules that some might consider inferior to the Hypex Ncore modules, Mr. McGowan's statements appear very accurate to me. According to most listening impressions, including my own, Class D technology's main overriding sonic characteristic seems to be that it sounds like nothing. In other words, class D's main sound character is a total lack of a sound character.

I think it is this character, or lack of it, that makes class D so impressive. It has achieved what most amp designers have been striving for since amp design work began: "a straight wire with gain". The amp designers' self-stated goal was a device that accepted an input signal at low voltage, amplified it with no additions or subtractions and outputted a signal that was sufficiently amplified to drive any transducer/speaker regardless of that tranducer's/speaker's impedance.

All other current and past amplifier types have failed to attain this goal, mainly due to either altering the inputted signal or failing to drive speakers of very low impedance. Class D's success in achieving this goal, imho, is a landmark achievement in the history of amplifier design and the main reason that those of the opinion that class D is just the 'latest fad' can be disregarded.

Class D designs will obviously become the wave of the foreseeable future, at least until the next major achievement in amp design.

Mr. McGowan's comments about the importance of the, or his, input stage in the performance of a class D amp's performance is completely consistent with the concept of class D having no sonic signature. His input stage, and anything else preceding the class D amp modules (preamp, dac, source or anything else), will be the major factors determining the sound quality of a system. The final factor influencing the sound quality will, of course, be the speakers selected/matched.

I wish the best to PS Audio and any other amp designers working to maximize the performance of this exciting new technology.

Just my 2 cents,