another NORD OneUP review

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callen24
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another NORD OneUP review

Postby callen24 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:32 pm

I have ended up with this power amp, almost by accident.
And I took a massive gamble, because I swore Id never buy anything again without a home demo.
Even now I'd have the x300 I sold back again, and not be unhappy.
I blame having had the Anthem M! at home for a week as the reason for a change. With certain music they demonstrated that my speakers had alot more to give, given the right amplification.

I could have easily had one of the integrated Hegel Amps, in fact if any dealer had shown the willingness to let me have a home demo I would have bought one - given that it sounded right.
I then switched my attention to a big Sugden integrated, but realized at the last minute that perhaps this wouldn't be a good match with my speakers. i also considered a luxman 550 and a VTL.
Having provisionally sold my X300, I panicked at the prospect of no music playing in my flat.

Conclusion
If you have around £2k to spend on a power amplifier I cant imagine you would get a better amp.

A direct comparison with X300
The NORD has a huge sound stage in comparison , particularly the height of the sound stage. (as a musician friend has remarked)
The bass guitar is better defined, and deeper.
They are incredibly impressive at low volume, able to give detail at low volumes that cyrus is no where near.
The scale of classical music, as a whole, is produced significantly better, as it was with David H. personal NCore.
The slight thump you get when turning on the X300 is replaced with total silence, this amp is totally unfussy.
I cant imagine anyone finding a fault. But still I am not content.
The issue I had with the Anthem M!, and David H. Ncore was a missing element, a certain indescribable magic with vocals. I listen to a lot of vocal driven music, with sparse instrumentation. In this respect the NORD is much better than the other D class amps I've had at home, but it is not quite as good in my room, and system as the X300. But it is close.
I could try the sparkos op amps instead of the ones I have, but I suspect I will loose something. It is not a thing for now.
Test tracks included
Morning Sun - melody Gardot
I promise - Radiohead
Lift Me Up - Bruce springsteen
Teardrop - Massive Attack
shadowlands - Ryan Adams
Breathing underwater - emeli sande
melt - leftfield
Never Forever - Kate Bush ( whole Album)
Young gifted and Black - Aretha Franklin ( whole Album)

A few other remarks
As others say it was pretty un-listenable until after 100 hours of running in.
The long thread I read that others referred to put me off, almost everyone posted a technical opinion. Few referring to the music they listen to, and what it does to the music. But I had already purchased the Amp then, so couldn't change my mind.
Its very good, it replaced amps that cost £5k new. So all manufacturers face a challenge, they need to Up their game. Nord is of particular interest to cyrus owners because they are available as a mono pair, in cyrus sized boxes, with all the bells and whistles for around £2.2k.
My speakers are easy to drive, so i can imagine a much bigger difference if your speakers are more demanding.
Last edited by callen24 on Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:55 am, edited 4 times in total.
cyrus stream X2, CDi, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, mfa Baby classicV2, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand.
rega P3-24, psu, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano, Project RCM

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Re: another NORD OneUP review

Postby RichardLowe » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:17 am

Great news Chris. Look forward to the reviews of different op amps as you inevitably try them out. ;)

Buying Nord certainly seems to be a way to great amplification at a very reasonable cost.
(NAS > LAN network) + (oppo 203 > ml binary star i/c) > primare pre60 > tellurium q black xlr > primare a60 > tellurium q black 2.0 > boenicke w11

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Re: another NORD OneUP review

Postby caine » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:19 am

Good news. I'm looking at going from a 9.1 all in one av amp solution to a 7.2.4 pre (probably one of the higher end marantz AV8802 or the 8805) and NORD power amps in various configurations for the channels. Blew my wad on the tad; though this is on the cards.
SBT (mod) >7d coax> TAD D1000 mk.2 >5d> Belles LA01 (gen2) >5d> Marantz MA9S2 >4d> Vivid Audio B1
Townshend rack/platforms, Coherent interconnects, DIY mains. Room Conditioning.

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Re: another NORD OneUP review

Postby SimonJ » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:45 pm

Had this amp for awhile too on my second system and it is a stunner!
Main system: GyroDec>Dynavector XX2MK2>Auralic Aries>Pimped DDDAC 1794>Coherant 4d>TE Vibe & Pulse PSU>Coherant 4D & 4D Mains>Sugden Sapphire FBA-800 & 4D Mains>Coherant 4D Speaker Cable>Focal 1028
Office - DIY System: MMStreamer>DDDAC>KT88 Valve Amp>Focal 1008

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Re: another NORD OneUP review

Postby callen24 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:48 pm

short update
i haven’t had any issues at all, they have worked faultlessly.
With further running they have taken a step further.
A pretty good bargain, not tempted to hear other op amps.
My lack of posts seems to suggest that i’ve just been sitting back and listening. i have.
just listened to ella fitzgerald’s lovely voice after a night shift, and it sounds great
cyrus stream X2, CDi, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, mfa Baby classicV2, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand.
rega P3-24, psu, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano, Project RCM

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Re: another NORD OneUP review

Postby callen24 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:14 am

there is a more expensive case version which is thinner, and has a few more options
W430mm D371mm H92mm includes feet
cyrus stream X2, CDi, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, mfa Baby classicV2, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand.
rega P3-24, psu, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano, Project RCM