what's a good Gan / Class D option under 3k? Nilai or Ncorex500?

I was on the VTV amplifier page and a bit overwhelmed by all the options

I like a fast energetic amp with lots of power

I want something that I can use as a tool to test a variety of different speakers in  2 channel application

The NcoreX500 modules appear to be just about right but then I noticed both VTV and Deercreek audio carry the Nilai modules which are apparently even better?

any suggestions/advice?




Under 3k$


Orchard audio starkrimson amp is a good option.

It sounds sharp and energetic.


You can join the tour for home audition.



Hifi Rose 180 or the newer smaller one they just came out with. 

I have the 180 in one of my secondary systems and it sounds good. Lots of connectivity options and even tone controls. 

I have an Orchard Audio Bosc 150W  setup as monoblocks in a single chassis. It was paired with a Chord 2Qute/Denafrips Ares DAC, an LTA MZ3 as a preamp and the synergy was excellent. The benefits of the LTA with the speed, clarity, and, detail of the GaN. I am actually going to sell it as I am going to try and consolidate into an integrated. It has been my favorite setup to date.

I listened to the Orchard Gan amp at the last Florida audio show. Obviously I couldn't spend a lot of time with it and I was limited to only listening with his speaker set up. All I can say is that it's a very capable amp. Speed, clarity/detail, & power. I don't feel that it lacked anything. 

I was initially interested in the Gan but I somehow ended up ordering a Hypex Nilai Stereo DIY from DeerCreek. I've had a couple Hypex type module amps in the past. Great value and sound for the money. Plus the size of these amps is spectacular when you consider the power they produce.

In the past though I would say something about the higher end frequency's didn't totally do it for me with class D. Nothing really wrong with it but maybe just didn't have that subjective sweetness I was looking for in cymbals or instruments like that. I still believe that if someone is on a budget the Hypex & Purifi amps give you so much. Especially with the low noise, clarity, dynamics, and power that  you can't get from similarly priced mainstream class AB amps. I think they pair well with tube preamps that have a slightly exaggerated warmth or softness. If I only had $1k for a new separates power amp.. I'd probably choose a Hypex or Purifi amp. Great amps to do a comparison of speakers like you mentioned. They are a truthful amp. 

So back to the Nilai. As I was building it the thoughts of did I just waste $1300 because of curiosity? The enclosure & connectors are meh & there is not much to the amp.  I had to check myself with a reminder that is was only $1300..what should I have expected? 

I hooked the amp up in my living room set up. All digital..TV & streamer hooked into a RME dac. Analog system has its own room. Anyway the Nilai sounds fantastic. Compared to other Hypex I've used it seems smoother. Not as hard edges to the notes or pushed forward. Still the black background with great clarity & detail as other good class D.  I started to think it doesn't have as much speed on the woofers but I dk if it's that smoothness that's tricking me. I will just say that there is nothing "Class D" about the sound. It's a proper amplifier..hard for me to imagine anything better for the price. 

To compare it to more expensive amps I can't do that at the moment. I've only had it a couple weeks. The amp I was using in the living room was the Arcam PA240..so the only amp I can truly compare it to.  Think I paid $2400 for it. After trying a few other mainstream amps I felt that Arcam was kind of a hidden gem. Gobs of power, ultra quiet, the speed & control that I like and it had a top end that was nice. It's a really nice amp with a couple good features on it. 

Compared to the Arcam I think the Nilai is better at lower volumes..though the Arcam switches to Class A the first 25watts x 2. A little more separation/darkness between instruments. Deeper soundstage. Vocalist is not out as front  either. Not sure if I prefer that. Nilai is maybe a smidge smoother/softer in upper frequency's..though when I use a tube preamp the Arcam seemed to put the treble notes further out into space. The Nilai is not as sharp sounding if that makes sense. Bass is good on both amps..Arcam more power. 

So little differences between the amps. I like the Arcam but decided I'm keeping the Nilai in my living room. I love the size & performance. Sounds great paired with the RME ADI-2 and still fabulous with different tube preamps I've tried. My living room is set up with budget in mind..but I've evaluated a lot of budget-ish equipment before settling on what's in there. The Nilai is a perfect fit and I personally believe would pair well with even more expensive equipment. I use a Primare Prisma NP5 streamer with Ifi ipower elite. The RME dac powered by the Farad Super 3 with Polk R700 (great budget full range speaker) & SVS sub. The dac has enough PEQ tabs to control my in room frequency response with the help of REW. I use switches, isolation products and quality cables from Japan. I mention all this to give a little context to how the Nilai was evaluated. No criticism's please.

I don't know how well it would compare to the GAN. I'm still interested in the Orchard product and I'm sure I'll try one sometime this year..& their new streamer. Everyone seems to love the GAN amp & I probably would too. I really do rotate a lot of gear in my living room and just like to try new things if the expense isn't too great. The NCx 500 is different in its technology and power supply. More power too. I would love to be able to compare it to the Nilai. Big group of people would say we wouldn't be able to tell them apart. I've always felt that if you can't hear a difference you will usually notice a difference in things like soundstage and imaging. Making that statement will bring backlash as well. I do wish I would have gone for the Nilai mono blocks though for more power, but they were more expensive and I felt I was already taking a leap of faith on the Nilai. Plus realistically I don't need the extra wattage. I did find  out I can buy an extra power supply from a different seller and should be able to make mono blocks myself. They are easy to put together. That's my story on the Nilai.