Gilmore Raptor 500D monoblocks
Best amps I have ever heard including many tube amps I have owned
Best amps I have ever heard including many tube amps I have owned
Check out the "Acoustic Imagery ATSAH Monoblocks" or the "Merrill Audio Veritas MonoblockS" amplifiers. These are based on the Hypex Ncore NC12OO modules designed by Bruno Putzeys. The following links will tell you much about amps based on the Ncore modules. Even the basic DIY NC400 module has replaced class A/AB tube and solid state amps in many systems.
Best class D or otherwise that I have heard are the Veritas mono blocks by MerrillAudio.net based on the new Hypex Ncore NC1200 technology. I believe they offer a home trial and at one time they were offering a limited time pricing, not sure they still do. They have been the equal and bested all comers at prices points far higher then their cost and that is not just my opinion but others also.
Here is the Stereophile writeup on teh BEl Canto ref10000M Class D monoblocks that I use.
These were very well received in all aspects and I would agree that the sound overall at least with my gear is hard to fault, though the biggest strengths lie other than at the extreme top end of the audio spectrum, which most guys my age can no longer hear effectively anyway, and not much really occurs musically. I'm not sure there is anything there to indicate any significant rolloff of the top end? How about in comparison to other comparable amps?
You truly MUST HEAR the Veritas monos by Merrill Audio. They do NOT need any tubes to sound amazing. They do NOT need a linear power supply to sound amazing. I know of several, nameless, long time Audiophiles/Industry people who have heard them expecting to "hear the usual class D sound" and they were total AMAZED by the great sound from top to bottom. The Ncore NC1200 tech that the Veritas is based on is being talked about in the industry as a 'Game Changer" and for the first time, making long time "ONLY CLASS A" SS/tube amp builders wondering what to do as the NC1200 is that good.
I can tell you that the Veritas gives you more then just the NC1200 tech for your money. Talk to Merrill, he is more then happy to spend the time answering your questions and has the necessary background. Try and set up a demo.
Regardless what you do, good luck.
I thought my Bel Canto REF1000s were the best bang for the buck. They were upgradeable from MkI to MkII specs which really really brought out the best of the sound.
I've since upgraded from the REF1000Ms to a pair of Electrocompaniet Nemos but I can tell you, the incremental improvement isn't a lot more than the difference in price tag would suggest.
I did find they could sound a bit lean and the depth of the soundstage wasn't as deep compared to more expensive amps but you could improve that with a good tube preamp. I have had great success pairing the Bel Cantos with Ayon CD5S (tube pre, CDP and DAC in one box) as well as an ARC Reference 5 (then 5SE).
Here are some from "Arion Audio" is a USA based company producing class D amplifiers.
The line includes 250 watt (8 ohms) mono amplifiers, 500 watt (8 ohms) mono amplifiers and soon to be released tube / class-D hybrid 500 watt mono amplifiers.
Arion Audio is a sister company to Analysis Audio and together we strive to make the best possible audio equipment available for your music enjoyment.
Our first offering is the very musical MK 1000.
MK 1000 Amplifier Specifications:
Rated Power @ 8 Ohms : 500 Watts
Rated Power @ 4 Ohms : 1000 Watts
Sensitivity : 3.5 Vrms
Gain : 25dB
THD+N < 0.03%, 0.1W to Rated Power, 10Hz 20KHz
Signal to Noise Ratio : 116 dB
Frequency Response: 20Hz 20KHz +/- 0.5dB
Bandwidth : 5Hz 70KHz
Input Impedance : 10 K Ohms
Damping Factor : 900 Ref @ 8 Ohms Nominal
Maximum Output Current : 35 Amps
Dimensions : 9.75 in W x 4.75 in H x 14 in D
Weight: 20 Lbs
Arion Audio MK 1000 Features:
Over Current Protection
Clip Indicating LED
JPS Labs Hookup Wire
Proprietary Hookup Wire at Inputs
Cardas Gold Over Solid Copper 5 Way Binding Posts
Gold Over Solid Copper RCA and XLR Inputs
Machined Billet Aluminum Case (0.25 Inch thick 6061-T6)
Machined Billet Aluminum Faceplate (0.375 Inch thick 6061-T6)
High Quality Fasteners Used Throughout.
Amplifier Can Be Placed in The Vertical Position for a Very Small Footprint.
Not an issue. They play nice with all types. Watts are just one aspect and not the end all. There is a misconception that you can have too much watts. The overall measurements on the Veritas NC1200 is about (some are the best) the best you can get.Go to Merrillaudio.net and call Merrill and discuss any concerns or tech questions you have. Merrill is very conservative and will be very upfront with you if there is anything to be concerned about.
Let me know after you have a chance to talk to him.
I LIKE my "antique" Roland 201s, damnitt. Screw you clowns for getting me all fasciated and obsessive on this latest hypex ncore whizz-bang. Cheaper than the IWC watch I decided I "needed" last week (albeit not by much), though, I'll grant you that. If I can just keep myself distracted by constantly new stuff before giving myself the chance to rationalize pulling the trigger on something I'd have trouble explaining when the Lady gets home from China next weekend. Only one more week to go, willpower fading....first world problems are so hard, no?
Thanks to all for your input but one more question. One of the biggest complaints of Class D amps was that they are too sterile and just not musical is that still true with the ncores?
A BIG ABSOLUTELY NOT WITH THE NCORE NC1200! Again, try them in your system and see for yourself. I know that at least Merrill Audio has a home demo trial available. Some others might too. I Have had other well respected Class A and A/b amps of all price and watts in my system and also Class D and I HAVE NEVER HEARD AN AMP SOUND THIS GREAT.I am talking about amps costing from a few thousand to well over 25 thousand. Amps costing much more then that and I start to gage. I would call the sound truthful in its reproduction of the instruments and voices. And that is the rub, because some like the way some distortion adds to the sound. I am not faulting as that is a personal preference. But if you are looking for hearing the music and the instruments as intended then look no further. Though your other components may not be up to the task. This is one of those rare pieces that can show a weak link in your system and force you to find it.
As far as not being musical. When I demoed the Veritas monos in my system, I had a chance to have several fellow Audiophiles over and too a one all where taping their toes and bobbing their heads to the music. when I had a chance of taking the amps to other Audiophiles homes and played in their systems , the same thing happened.
So YES, I would say the Veritas are very musical.
While these are my opinions they are also those of the Audiophiles I spoke about above. And for the expected character assassins for posting, I have no financial interest of any kind with Merrill Audio or Hypex. I am just a BIG FAN.
Just inviting anyone that is the NYC area that would like to hear the Merrill Veritas amplifiers to stop in for a listen at Rhapsody Music and Cinema. We are an authorized Merrill Audio dealer and have a pair of the Veritas amps (black beauties) driving Raidho D1's or several other available speakers if you prefer. Sure I would like to sell you a new pair, but seriously anyone that would just like to stop by and hear the Veritas amps just give me a call at 212-229-1842. Ask for Bob.