orangeart

New multi channel ncore amplifier

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This has taken quite a bit longer to get off the ground than I hoped, I designed the circuit for the control board once I had pinned down the functionality and then sourced which parts I wanted to use. I tried a couple if PCB layout engineers to do the layout for me as I had thought this would be the quickest route. I've done quite a lot of DIY PCB boards in the past but never anything with a micro-controller. Up-skilling is something I really enjoy but was wanting to cut down on the time taken. The layout engineers turned out to be a PITA and just kept putting me off. Long story short, I have bitten the bullet and taught myself Eagle, Really glad I did, I've been able to be much more flexible with the design and keep an eye on different or future functionality at the same time. Any way the first PCBs with ICs pre-soldered should be arriving today, I'll start slow and try and get the parts soldered on that I need to be able to get a bootloader onto the chip, and them move onto the other functionality until the whole thing works. I'm sure there will be more iterations than just the v1.0 of the board but I'm now well under way.

Here are some renders of the board to whet your appetite.

caps n res front.png

MP CU front.png

MP CU top.png

MP front.png

MP top.png

whole rear.png

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Looking very sophisticated and great renders.  Are you having the components made to your spec by an electronics manufacturer offshore? One thing I have come to realise from my time with multi amp DSP setup is that individual volume controls for each amp/channel is really useful to fine tune the sound. I guess this could be done with levels in the DSP but its good to control directly at the amp which is not possible with most power amps.  Another nice to have is a digital display for volume, source, etc I assume your micro-controller could handle this.  I have been looking at the TFT HiFiDuino Pro Project to achieve something similar with Arduino.  Another great addition to a modular amp design would be a DAC module, something like the Creek Ruby DAC module, which could be a plug and play upgrade.  This would allow all digital DSP output to AMP/DAC combo which I think is the best solution for multi channel DSP setup.

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I've finally got this ready for release and it is now over at Kickstarter where you can find all of the specifications and some photos and videos. If you've got any questions please do ask. If you are not in the market for a new amplifier I'd really appreciate it if you could still share this product with your social groups, it'll help me get the amplifier launched and funded. Take a look at Kickstarter

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Super Wammer

PM sent

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And replied.

Just to cover one of Colin's questions in open forum, if you get a multi channel version, not all channels have to be plugged into a source so you can have 6 channels but just use it as a stereo amp should the need arise.

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Super Wammer
6 hours ago, orangeart said:

I've finally got this ready for release and it is now over at Kickstarter where you can find all of the specifications and some photos and videos. If you've got any questions please do ask. If you are not in the market for a new amplifier I'd really appreciate it if you could still share this product with your social groups, it'll help me get the amplifier launched and funded. Take a look at Kickstarter

It looks very interesting.  I don’t understand why all three power outputs into 4 ohms (125, 250, and 500 watts) are all shown as just 75 watts into 8 ohm.  Is that a characteristic of the way they are designed or perhaps a typo?

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Oh, thanks I'll check that out. They halve into 8ohm as you would expect.

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12 hours ago, Nopiano said:

It looks very interesting.  I don’t understand why all three power outputs into 4 ohms (125, 250, and 500 watts) are all shown as just 75 watts into 8 ohm.  Is that a characteristic of the way they are designed or perhaps a typo?

Thanks for pointing that out @Nopiano it's all fixed now :)

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, orangeart said:

Thanks for pointing that out @Nopiano it's all fixed now :)

You’re welcome. That looks better!

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 was asked a few questions over at Kickstarter, so thought I answer them over here as well. If anyone is thinking of getting new amp with N-Cores in any time soon, I've only got till the 11th January to get this over the line at Kickstarter, if I can;t i'm afraid it's a dead duck.
 

  • If I get a multi-channel version do I need to have a source and speakers into all the channels?
    No not at all, you can use an 8 channel amp as a 2 channel amp if you want. There is no need to have either a signal or a speaker plugged into any of the channels.

     
  • Are more models available and how can I get one?
    • Yes there are, each amplifier has 4 slots which you can populate with any of the following modules. 
    • 125 W stereo modules (making up to 8 channels across 4 slots) 
    • 125 W mono modules (making up to 4 channels across 4 slots) 
    • 250 W stereo modules (making up to 8 channels across 4 slots) 
    • 250 W mono modules (making up to 4 channels across 4 slots) 
    • 500 W stereo modules (making up to 6 channels across 3 slots) 
    • 500 W mono modules (making up to 4 channels across 4 slots) 
    • 100 W mono tweeter modules 
    The tweeter modules are powered as daughter boards by the above parent modules, you can use 1 per parent module and a pair takes up one slot in your amplifier.

    I’ll list some of the configurations in the rewards I think will be most popular, if you need a different configuration or the rewards are sold out already you can message me using the Kickstarter message system and I can add you configuration to the rewards section for you to 
    pledge to.

    Alternatively, some of the configurations listed in the rewards will not have all the slots populated so feel free to order the closest to your needs and we can add your extra modules later.

     
  • Some manufacturers provide the ability to change the op-amps in the input stage of the amplifiers to change or ‘improve’ the sound, do you?
    These latest N-Core modules have got a buffer already built in, Bruno Putzney (N-Core designer) is one of the most talented audio designers on the planet so I’m pretty sure he’s got this well sorted in these modules. Most of these off-board buffers use op-amps which must exist in a circuit that is designed and optimised for that op-amp. Op-amp 'rolling' should be discouraged, as putting a supposedly high performing op-amp into a circuit not designed for it can cause oscillations in the circuit that will cause non-linearity further down the line. I don’t provide this functionality, I want to make amplifiers that are unconditionally stable into all loads.
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Hi Stefan,

Good luck with this, I'm away from home without my wallet, but will pledge when I get home in January. This venture deserves to succeed.

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Many, many thanks Joolz.

I certainly hope it does succeed. I'd love to be able to bring this amp to the market in a bigger way.

Stefan

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We are 10 days in and I've never been so busy. We've only actually got one backer so far, but I'm still expecting us to meet the target. I've spent the last couple of weeks speaking to audiophiles and studio engineers via forums and e-mail from all over the world who have been looking for a project just like this. We have had contact with online magazines from across the audio spectrum and have been featured in lots of audio blogs as well. HiFi Pig, Paul Rigby, Gearslutz, Stereo & Video, Stereo Sound & Vision, Hi-Fi and  Audio-Video Online have all featured the new amplifier. My alerts have shown it cropping up in discussion on Facebook, Flipbook, Twitter, the forums and other social media. Maybe it's just an ego thing but it's been ridiculously exciting to see the fruits of my labour spread far and wide. Here is hoping we do meet the funding goal and get this project over the line. Don't forget you fellas can help by sharing the project out to your own social circles.
 
Have a great Christmas.
 
Stefan

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, orangeart said:
We are 10 days in and I've never been so busy. We've only actually got one backer so far, but I'm still expecting us to meet the target. I've spent the last couple of weeks speaking to audiophiles and studio engineers via forums and e-mail from all over the world who have been looking for a project just like this. We have had contact with online magazines from across the audio spectrum and have been featured in lots of audio blogs as well. HiFi Pig, Paul Rigby, Gearslutz, Stereo & Video, Stereo Sound & Vision, Hi-Fi and  Audio-Video Online have all featured the new amplifier. My alerts have shown it cropping up in discussion on Facebook, Flipbook, Twitter, the forums and other social media. Maybe it's just an ego thing but it's been ridiculously exciting to see the fruits of my labour spread far and wide. Here is hoping we do meet the funding goal and get this project over the line. Don't forget you fellas can help by sharing the project out to your own social circles.
 
Have a great Christmas.
 
Stefan

Best of luck in getting your funding, Stefan. I've been very impressed with the Hypex-based amps that I've heard.

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