Recommend a NS10 Amp?

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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Angelface78 »

James Perrett wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 1:46 am If I was in the market for a new amp now I'd see if I could find one of the Monacor or IMG Stageline STA-400D amps. I'm not sure if they are still current but the electronic design looks almost identical to the monitor amps that I built from Hypex modules.

https://monacor.co.uk/sta-400d.html

They're amazing value for money (assuming that they haven't messed anything up in the additions that they've made).

Thank you so much for your response James Perrett, I really appreciate it. Although, I am not very familiar with the brand of amps you have recommended I did have a look and they are significantly cheaper then the Avantone CLA 200 that I was considering, which is great. But I am still a little confused concerning Class D amps as my research consensus was mostly to steer clear of them as they often introduce noise and require some sort of int built noise filter etc. I am clueless in this area so maybe you could explain this?! Once again thank you for your help thus far and I welcome any further help and/or advice you might be able to provide.
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Angelface78 »

Arpangel wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:03 am If you like the sound of your current amp, just add an ART Clean Box, instant balanced inputs, and a cheap solution.
I did this with my Quad amp, works perfectly, gets rid of all the noise and hum.

Thank you Arpangel for your input, which I am very grateful for. Now this sounds interesting!! Now in answer to your question as to whether I already like the sound of my amp. I cannot say I dislike it, but since researching the topic it got me wondering whether I am getting the best sound from my NS10’s due to the current amp choice. If the choice of amp is not going to hugely change the sound of NS10’s then I would rather not have that huge outlay and instead would purchase a subwoofer!! You have given me food for thought-which I am appreciate. I have had a quick look at the Art clean box pro. I wasn’t aware that such a box existed, but I am intrigued!!

Currently the line 1 inputs of amp (rca) are connected to my monitor controller output for NS10’s -using rca -trs leads. Therefore, how would I incorporate this into my setup? Sorry if this is obvious, but I just a little unsure.

Many thanks in advance😄
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by James Perrett »

Angelface78 wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:17 pm But I am still a little confused concerning Class D amps as my research consensus was mostly to steer clear of them as they often introduce noise and require some sort of int built noise filter etc. I am clueless in this area so maybe you could explain this?!

Yes, Class D amps need some kind of filter on the output but that filter is built into the amplifier so isn't something that you need worry about (with a properly designed amp). Hypex based amplifiers are used by many mastering engineers and, while some mastering engineers have moved on to using the newer nCore modules, the older UcD modules (which are what the STA-400D uses) were highly regarded when they came out and still perform extremely well.

As far as noise is concerned, I use them with very efficient monitors in a very quiet room (any gear with a fan is placed outside the studio) and I have to put my ear right up to the speaker to hear any noise (which is just a very slight hiss).

If you want to see the full technical paper on the UcD amplifiers then it is explained in

https://www.hypex.nl/img/upload/doc/an_ ... lifier.pdf

The Hypex application note library is at

https://www.hypex.nl/p/application-notes-white-papers/
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Arpangel »

Angelface78 wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:42 pm
Arpangel wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:03 am If you like the sound of your current amp, just add an ART Clean Box, instant balanced inputs, and a cheap solution.
I did this with my Quad amp, works perfectly, gets rid of all the noise and hum.

Thank you Arpangel for your input, which I am very grateful for. Now this sounds interesting!! Now in answer to your question as to whether I already like the sound of my amp. I cannot say I dislike it, but since researching the topic it got me wondering whether I am getting the best sound from my NS10’s due to the current amp choice. If the choice of amp is not going to hugely change the sound of NS10’s then I would rather not have that huge outlay and instead would purchase a subwoofer!! You have given me food for thought-which I am appreciate. I have had a quick look at the Art clean box pro. I wasn’t aware that such a box existed, but I am intrigued!!

Currently the line 1 inputs of amp (rca) are connected to my monitor controller output for NS10’s -using rca -trs leads. Therefore, how would I incorporate this into my setup? Sorry if this is obvious, but I just a little unsure.

Many thanks in advance😄


I use my Clean Box Pro to go from my mixers balanced main outputs into my power amp, because I was having hum issues, I’m assuming from what you say you have a balanced source on your monitor controller.
You’re using balanced to unbalanced leads at the moment if I’m correct? If you use the Clean Box, you’d be using TRS to XLR.
With your current leads, as long as they are working correctly, and there are no noises, hums etc they should be fine, going to balanced leads and a Clean Box won’t make anything sound any better.
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Just for clarity... ART have two similarly-named, but completely different products.

The CleanBOX II is a dual-channel passive box containing a pair of audio transformers connected with TRS sockets in and out. The transformers provide galvanic isolation between the line level inputs and outputs (to break ground loops) and also convert between balanced and unbalanced connections on either side.

Image

It operates at nominally unity gain (ie, the output level is the same as the input level) and is ideal for converting between unbalanced outputs and balanced inputs, or vice versa, and for breaking ground loops.

It has a slightly more expensive (but far more versatile) sibling called the DTI which is essentially the same thing in a differently shaped box with a plethora of different parallel-wired connectors on each side (XLR, TRS and RCA-Phono). This makes it far more convenient for connecting different devices as well as for splitting and duplicating signals. (I have five of them at the last count as they are so extremely useful).

Image

Then there's the CLEANboxPro which is a dual-channel 'level converter'.

Image

It looks similar to the DTI, but it has volume knobs on the front and no TRS connectors!

Internally, this is a very different device, though. It is an active product that requires external power, and it is intended to connect unbalanced domestic equipment like video recorders etc to balanced professional equipment. To that end, it receives unbalanced (RCA-phono) inputs at a nominal -10dBV and provides +12dB boosted balanced outputs at +4dBu. It also receives balanced +4dBu inputs and attenuates them by 12dB to provide unbalanced outputs at -10dBV. (The actual gain is adjustable.)

The nature of the active circuitry means there is no galvanic isolation between inputs and outputs. It's a useful box for converting between consumer and professional equipment connections, especially if you need to also adjust the signal levels, and can also be used to interface between pro gear and fx pedals. But it will not help with ground-loop problems.
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Angelface78 »

James Perrett wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:16 am
Angelface78 wrote: Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:17 pm But I am still a little confused concerning Class D amps as my research consensus was mostly to steer clear of them as they often introduce noise and require some sort of int built noise filter etc. I am clueless in this area so maybe you could explain this?!

Yes, Class D amps need some kind of filter on the output but that filter is built into the amplifier so isn't something that you need worry about (with a properly designed amp). Hypex based amplifiers are used by many mastering engineers and, while some mastering engineers have moved on to using the newer nCore modules, the older UcD modules (which are what the STA-400D uses) were highly regarded when they came out and still perform extremely well.

As far as noise is concerned, I use them with very efficient monitors in a very quiet room (any gear with a fan is placed outside the studio) and I have to put my ear right up to the speaker to hear any noise (which is just a very slight hiss).

If you want to see the full technical paper on the UcD amplifiers then it is explained in

https://www.hypex.nl/img/upload/doc/an_ ... lifier.pdf

The Hypex application note library is at

https://www.hypex.nl/p/application-notes-white-papers/

Thank you James Perrett for your helpful explanation of class d amps and for the link you kindly provided. I will continue to read up on the amp in question, but already I am seeing the brand name on some retailers websites, which is encouraging! Thank you for the recommendation. Do you think this would be a noticeable upgrade from my current Yamaha As301 amp?
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Angelface78 »

Arpangel wrote:use my Clean Box Pro to go from my mixers balanced main outputs into my power amp, because I was having hum issues, I’m assuming from what you say you have a balanced source on your monitor controller.
You’re using balanced to unbalanced leads at the moment if I’m correct? If you use the Clean Box, you’d be using TRS to XLR.
With your current leads, as long as they are working correctly, and there are no noises, hums etc they should be fine, going to balanced leads and a Clean Box won’t make anything sound any better.

Thanks Arpangel for your response once again. Just to be clear I am connecting an unbalanced source to my Nero monitor controller. As follows;- amp rca (end-TRS monitor controller end). So I am not sure whether the clean box pro-like you have kindly suggested or the DTI version, like Hugh Robjohns also mentioned would be better?! As I do have some hum coming from speakers which has improved since upgrading monitor controller from passive to active, but it is still present when volume is cranked up. So am hoping either box will resolve this perhaps?!
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Angelface78 »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:53 am Just for clarity... ART have two similarly-named, but completely different products.

The CleanBOX II is a dual-channel passive box containing a pair of audio transformers connected with TRS sockets in and out. The transformers provide galvanic isolation between the line level inputs and outputs (to break ground loops) and also convert between balanced and unbalanced connections on either side.

Image

It operates at nominally unity gain (ie, the output level is the same as the input level) and is ideal for converting between unbalanced outputs and balanced inputs, or vice versa, and for breaking ground loops.

It has a slightly more expensive (but far more versatile) sibling called the DTI which is essentially the same thing in a differently shaped box with a plethora of different parallel-wired connectors on each side (XLR, TRS and RCA-Phono). This makes it far more convenient for connecting different devices as well as for splitting and duplicating signals. (I have five of them at the last count as they are so extremely useful).

Image

Then there's the CLEANboxPro which is a dual-channel 'level converter'.

Image

It looks similar to the DTI, but it has volume knobs on the front and no TRS connectors!

Internally, this is a very different device, though. It is an active product that requires external power, and it is intended to connect unbalanced domestic equipment like video recorders etc to balanced professional equipment. To that end, it receives unbalanced (RCA-phono) inputs at a nominal -10dBV and provides +12dB boosted balanced outputs at +4dBu. It also receives balanced +4dBu inputs and attenuates them by 12dB to provide unbalanced outputs at -10dBV. (The actual gain is adjustable.)

The nature of the active circuitry means there is no galvanic isolation between inputs and outputs. It's a useful box for converting between consumer and professional equipment connections, especially if you need to also adjust the signal levels, and can also be used to interface between pro gear and fx pedals. But it will not help with ground-loop problems.

That’s Hugh, for explaining the differences, as I must admit when I initially came across them and did wonder whether I had typed in the correct name as I noticed the variations that you have listed here on different music retailer websites!

Okay, as I am also experiencing hum well do you think the DTI would be better suited perhaps to my situation? whereby I am using unbalanced inputs of amp to balanced inputs if monitor controller? The DTI appeals as it is passive and also has trs inputs in addition to rca and Xlr so a bit more flexibility there. However, arpAngel also mentioned that he clean box pro helped with his noise issue (hum) and it has input volume knobs, which could be handy-but not imperative, so I am still undecided?! Although, I am still trying to decide whether to simply just update amp with something with balanced inputs and hopefully get rid of hum as result as well!! Kill two birds with one stone….so to speak!

It was interesting to read your comments about NS10’s not being fussy about the amp that drives them, as there is so much conflicting information out there, but I am inclined to trust you more as I have been reading your articles for some time. Therefore, I think it’s fair to say I trust your judgement:-) Decisions, decisions!!! Many thanks for your help thus far and if you can think of anything further that might swing my decision I would welcome the additional feedback😄
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by James Perrett »

Angelface78 wrote: Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:19 pm Do you think this would be a noticeable upgrade from my current Yamaha As301 amp?

I don't know the AS301 but, if it is competently designed, the difference in sound will be small - especially as the NS10's aren't the most revealing of speakers in my experience.
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Angelface78 »

Well I appreciate your input and honest opinion James. I just need to decide on my next move!! Glad to have learnt about other possibilities, which is great and having now been introduced to a new amplifier brand! Thank you
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Arpangel »

IMO amplifiers will make a large contribution to your overall sound, not as obvious as changing monitors, bit it’s there, oh yes it is.
I have three amplifiers here for my passive speakers, and all sound different, I choose which one to use according to what speaker I'm using at the time.
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Re: Recommend a NS10 Amp?

Post by Angelface78 »

Thanks ArpAngel for your response, which I do appreciate. It does appear to be the opinion of some others too. But for me never really hearing them on higher end amps (apart from being in studio sessions-where at the time it was not necessary for me to be checking out how the NS10’s sounded and what drove them:-). It’s left me now wondering what am I missing out on in my home studio?!
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