Wow...Bel Canto certainly has come a long way from their modest little tube amplifiers and affordable class D. It looks like they are entering the big boy territory.
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Many people still think that power supply has to be linear and
heavy to deliver great performance. In reality many designers
use large heavy transformers because of this belief - that
creates better sales (If it is heavy it has to be good). Look
at new class AB amplifiers from Jeff Rowland - all use 1MHz
SMPS and are very quiet. Black amplifier by Bel Canto claims
amazing 120dB of dynamic range. Do you think it is because of
heavy power supply? New Benchmark ABH2 - a class AB amplifier
achieved 130dB dynamic range using SMPS. Also their new DAC2
got 10dB quieter than DAC1 by using SMPS (multiple) instead of
linear power supply. From technical view point linear power
supply is a non-regulated noisy switcher.
I'll be more interested in something similar to the compact ref1000m monoblocks I currently have that I might also be able to afford using latest Class D technology when the time comes. This already has more than enough muscle for pretty much anyones need, so not sure what the benefit of upping the size, weight and cost with these accomplishes practically for most.
I listened to a pre-production unit of the entire Bel Canto Black system at RMAF 2013. It was a very sweet and musical sounding system, with very fine resolution and no glare.
Per my undrstanding of a brief chat that I had with John Stronczer at that time, Black monos appear to sport custom modules from Hypex... But it was not clear to me if such power conversion modules were derived from NCore NC1200 parts, or they were derived from upper end UDC modules with some NCore extensions.
Some information about the Black system can be found at:
The BLACK Class D mono amp uses a new type of transfer function design with the incoming circuit from the wall that is not found in any other Class D amp. There is no switching module, instead, the current comes into a A.C. filter then into a large D.C. power supply that sends the current to the Ncore power supply that was custom built for Bel Canto. This A.C. filter/D.C. power supply designed by Stronczer is known as the HSDR/High System Dynamic Range power circuit.
Sounds like the cat's meow.
I understand the design motiviation but large expensive Class D amplifiers seem to defeat the primary advantage of Class D amp technology for most, ie lots of drive and muscle in a small, light, reasonable cost package, er, kinda like the current BC CLass D amps.
Seems to me the efficiencies of the switching power supply, is a key to this.
The value might be if this kind of Class D design is able to outperform anything else. Could be. I guess if you really want the biggest and best, you should still expect to have to pay for it.
Audiozen, I see no evidence on the system description page of NCore power supplies.... I see a reference to an NCore power processor, which I interpret to be a power conversion module of some kind...
"The analog signal passes through custom discrete Bel Canto balanced amplifier stages for current conversion and voltage amplification. Each PowerStream Mono Block holds a Bel Canto nCore Discrete Power Processor stage that can supply 1200Watts and 40 Ampere peaks to the loudspeaker with 128 dB of dynamic range."
Admittedly, the above is a bit confusing... I will call up Mr. Stronczer when I have time and will try to get a better description.... Will post it here.
No doubt. It's hard for me to perceive what more I might ask for, but I know the technology continues to improve and evolve and teh Icepower modules used in the ref1000m in particular are several years old at this point.
Give me the latest technology done well that is similarly tube pre-amp friendly and with similar generous power supply in a similar small, lightweight and power efficient package and I will continue to be happy once what I have is no more for whatever reason.
I am Bel Canto fan. fantastic performance, good value, and their customer service has been spot on for me to-date when needed as well. What more is there?
Hi again Mapman, I looked up the NAD M22. Fascinating device at an "entry level" audiophilic price point... Lots of technology inside, NCore being only part of it. Seems continuous power / 8 Ohms with nominal THD is 250W with a peak current of a whapping 50 Amps. On 4 Ohms, peak power is about 600W. There seems to be a little discrepancy between the damping factor stated on the devices home page (120) and what the manual says (800). Device is already available from Crutchfield. Here is the amps web page, where you will also find a link to user manuals in several languages:
If anyone is looking for an amp that will not break the bank, whith probable high potential, M22 should be one to look at seriously.
The M22 is too high priced for a "budget" Class D amp for $3K. The very best value currently for an outstanding Class D amp is the recently released Wyred 4 Sound ST-1000 MKII which puts out just about double the power of the M22 and only costs $2K with a new chassis design. It uses the same latest generation ICE amps that are used in Bel Canto's REF500M amps. Also, the Wyred would be much easier to drive if using single ended RCA cables. Single ended input impedance on the Wyred is 92kOhms and a very low 17kOhms on the M22. Wyred is completey built and assembled in the U.S.
No offshore manufacturing. The M22 is manufactured in China.