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You know, when I started following your project, I really didn't know what to expect. Now that you've completed, two words come to mind.....Stupid Sick:D That is one helluva job
 

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You know, when I started following your project, I really didn't know what to expect. Now that you've completed, two words come to mind.....Stupid Sick:D That is one helluva job
Agreed, looks great, glad to hear you like it. I'm curious about the noise floor as well. Part of my desire to build is to maintain 0 hiss with more headroom and high sensitivity speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #83
Turned out great, minus those LEDs :) Whats the cause of the poor noise floor ?
haha thanks. I don't know if there's a "cause", I believe all amps and DACs have at least some noise, even if it is very low.

You know, when I started following your project, I really didn't know what to expect. Now that you've completed, two words come to mind.....Stupid Sick:D That is one helluva job
Thank you sir.

Agreed, looks great, glad to hear you like it. I'm curious about the noise floor as well. Part of my desire to build is to maintain 0 hiss with more headroom and high sensitivity speakers.
Thanks. I was after the same as you, the biggest dynamic range possible by lowering the floor noise and providing the most headroom via excess amp power. While I was after zero hiss as well, the truth is you won't find much, if any, source material (music, movies) with a floor noise that isn't well above what most HT equipment puts out. The unmodded UcD400 boards have a very low floor noise...I just wanted to note that there is some noticeable hiss when you shove your ear in the waveguide. I didn't test it, but I'd imagine that I wouldn't be able to hear hiss from my listening position even if I had not done the gain mod. I did the gain mod because I knew I had enough voltage/headroom with the Focusrite 18i20, and removing the one resistor on the boards was pretty easy. I'd even say I could get the resistors back on if I wanted to. Anyway, it's hard to make an objective statement about this. I've seen people claim that they've been able to achieve absolutely zero hiss on their horn tweeters with the amps/DACs they have. Honestly, I really doubt that. While the floor noise may be very low, I doubt it's truly undetectable. My point is, imo, when considering the real floor noise of most content, the UcD400 boards will do just fine, modded or not. I was paranoid about it before, but now that I've played around with the Hypex amp and 18i20 DAC, even though there is some noise, I have to be within 3 feet of the speaker to hear it. Start a movie while still sitting 3 feet away and you'll quickly hear that the movie noise floor is much much higher.

Last note, I'm making these statements based on my own testing in my small home theater. My Onkyo TX-NR818 has very low floor noise...I think I read somewhere that it's combined DAC and amp have around a SNR of 110dB. By a very narrow margin, I think the 18i20 DAC (108dB SNR on line outputs) paired with the modded UcD400 boards in my amp, have a slightly lower floor noise than the Onkyo. I also have played around with the Pure 10's on my Behringer EP4000 and iNuke 6000DSP amps as well. Both obviously have a very high and what I consider an unacceptable floor noise. Maybe this weekend I'll setup the umik-1 and try to get some measurements with all 4 amps. If the floor noise of the room and mic are low enough, I might be able to put up some quantifiable data, that would at least let us see which amps are noisier than others. I dunno if that would help anybody or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
Man, the amp turned out great!!
Thank you Gpmbc.

Looks like a gorgeous finished product! You did a top notch job on the entire assembly. I hope you are very proud and it gives you lots of enjoyment for years to come!
Thanks Dtsdig. Let's see some curved 1099 updates!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #88
Any update to your listening impressions now that you've had the amps a while?
Yes, I've been meaning to make a post. It's difficult to compare the amp to what I had before, since I've changed so much in the signal chain, but I'll comment anyway.

Old setup: Windows Media Player > HTPC > Onkyo TX-NR818 (DAC and Amp) > Speakers (Note: I was not running Audyssey)
New Setup: JRiver > HTPC > Focusrite 18i20 DAC > Hypex Amp > Speakers (Note: I have not setup any EQ yet, other than on the iNuke for the sub)

Power/Watts: I'm currently running a 5.1 setup: CC - Clearwave 4CC SE, Fronts and Surrounds - PE RS722, Sub - lil wrecker horn powered by an iNuke6000DSP. As all of those speakers have a sensitivity of somewhere around 88dB, they are very power hungry. I always watch movies at reference level. When I was set up with the Onkyo AVR, I was always able to hear at least some distortion during very loud scenes in actions movies and such. I never knew if it was because the speakers couldn't handle that SPL (dome tweeters and small woofers), or if I was simply running out of power with the Onkyo. Now that I'm running the Hypex amps, it's obvious that I was running out of power with the Onkyo, and possibly clipping the amp. With the Hypex, the very loud scenes sound much cleaner. So with regards to power, the Hypex amps absolutely out class the Onkyo.

Noise/Hiss: I've already commented on this a bit, but in my room, this was not an issue with my previous setup and it is still not an issue with my new setup. I am very pleased with the noise floor from the Focusrite DAC and Hypex amp combo (Note: I did the resistor mod on all Hypex amps to lower the amp gain)

Overall impression: I am still very pleased with the amp. With more power on tap, the audio from movies sounds more dynamic and clean. It's still difficult for me to make a subjective comment on how the amp sounds though. I feel like the Onkyo AVR did a good job of providing non-colored reference sound and so do the Hypex amps. I would have to setup an ABX blind listening test to see if I or others could really tell a difference, before making any more speculations.
 

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Yes, I've been meaning to make a post. It's difficult to compare the amp to what I had before, since I've changed so much in the signal chain, but I'll comment anyway.

Old setup: Windows Media Player > HTPC > Onkyo TX-NR818 (DAC and Amp) > Speakers (Note: I was not running Audyssey)
New Setup: JRiver > HTPC > Focusrite 18i20 DAC > Hypex Amp > Speakers (Note: I have not setup any EQ yet, other than on the iNuke for the sub)

Power/Watts: I'm currently running a 5.1 setup: CC - Clearwave 4CC SE, Fronts and Surrounds - PE RS722, Sub - lil wrecker horn powered by an iNuke6000DSP. As all of those speakers have a sensitivity of somewhere around 88dB, they are very power hungry. I always watch movies at reference level. When I was set up with the Onkyo AVR, I was always able to hear at least some distortion during very loud scenes in actions movies and such. I never knew if it was because the speakers couldn't handle that SPL (dome tweeters and small woofers), or if I was simply running out of power with the Onkyo. Now that I'm running the Hypex amps, it's obvious that I was running out of power with the Onkyo, and possibly clipping the amp. With the Hypex, the very loud scenes sound much cleaner. So with regards to power, the Hypex amps absolutely out class the Onkyo.

Noise/Hiss: I've already commented on this a bit, but in my room, this was not an issue with my previous setup and it is still not an issue with my new setup. I am very pleased with the noise floor from the Focusrite DAC and Hypex amp combo (Note: I did the resistor mod on all Hypex amps to lower the amp gain)

Overall impression: I am still very pleased with the amp. With more power on tap, the audio from movies sounds more dynamic and clean. It's still difficult for me to make a subjective comment on how the amp sounds though. I feel like the Onkyo AVR did a good job of providing non-colored reference sound and so do the Hypex amps. I would have to setup an ABX blind listening test to see if I or others could really tell a difference, before making any more speculations.
Glad to hear. My build will be delayed. Going away for work in a little bit and still want to finish up the uxl project once the group buy comes to fruition and just got some 1099's. Hoping dual UXL's, 1099 front stage and maybe hypex mono blocks like yours will leave me in sonic bliss..
 

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Discussion Starter #90
Glad to hear. My build will be delayed. Going away for work in a little bit and still want to finish up the uxl project once the group buy comes to fruition and just got some 1099's. Hoping dual UXL's, 1099 front stage and maybe hypex mono blocks like yours will leave me in sonic bliss..
Nice man. I still haven't had a chance to hear the 1099 yet. You'll love the Hypex amps.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
What did you end up having into the amps price wise when you were completed?
I think around $2200. But I was pretty inefficient in my parts buying...tons of excess screws, standoffs, wires, etc. This exact build could be done for $2k. Could be done cheaper with a cheaper case too.

Great thread :D
Thanks man.
 

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Great build and thread. I built a 5x Hypex UcD400 amp from a Kevin Haskins / Exodus Audio kit years ago and it was phenomenal-sounding with my Ascends. They truly came alive vs. the limits of my AVR. However, one by one each amp channel died a painful death and I did not realize until reading your thread that it was probably heat and lack of active cooling (fans) that did it. I wonder if I could resurrect my dead amp somehow...will post pics if anyone's interested.

Cheers.
 

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I did consider this, but I didn't know if the general community would care too much about seeing results on these DIY amp boards and power supplies. It would be cool to put them to the test though, I'd be down to send the amp to notnyt.

Great build, Id even kick in for the shipping, Id love to see how they test

I cant be the only one.Bueller,Bueller, anyone...
 
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