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Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:48 am

Incredible amps apparently! Right up there with Bryston and the like so I read.. They use this new fangled Class-D amp tech, much like Flying Moles.
The catch is, you have to put them together yourself. But the boards are assembled so the wiring and packaging into a suitable case I can handle no problem.
Still a bit costly mind, yet still a huge wedge less than any Bryston. I'd probably be looking at £700'ish for a stereo 300watt (@ 8 ohms, 400watts @ 4 ohms) amp of truly studio quality.
Heres the company website : www.hypex.nl But for a more interesting read, just do a Google search for Hypex reviews and user feedback. Scarcely a bad word to be said about these things

Im interested.. Thoughts & opinions?

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:20 am

~Paul wrote:They use this new fangled Class-D amp tech, much like Flying Moles.

There's nothing new about Class D -- it's been around for a very long time -- but it is only in the last few years that the quality has really reached audiophile levels.

Still a bit costly mind, yet still a huge wedge less than any Bryston.

True enough -- and a lot less bulky and heavy. They'll also run a lot cooler and consume far less electricity. All useful advantages. But they won't sound quite as good. The differences will be small, and for most people will be irrelevant, but they are still there.

I often use Flying Moles when recording on location for all the reasons listed above, and they are astonishingly good even disregardingthe eprice -- but at about £250 for 16oW into 4 ohms, they are superbly cost-effective little boxes.

I've no experience of the Hypex modules, but I've heard good things about them, and provided you wire them up properly with good attention to earthing I'm sure they will deliver some impressive results for the money.

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:23 pm

Cheers for the reply Hugh, I hoped you would chip in

Im getting some PMC TB2's this week, hence being on a look out for a suitable amp. Until I get one, my ol faithful Nad hifi amp will have to do (I know I know! But its really not bad, for a hifi amp......)
Plus ive been wanting to get my fingers dirty with a good DIY project for a while now, so these Hypex modules look like just the ticket.

My only dilemma is the UcD180 or UcD400 based boards. (180 or 400watts). I 'want' the 400 watt variant, but its going to cost a lot. 180 is cheaper. In fact the 180's would cost near enough the same as a pair of Flying Mole mono blocks.. The sensible and logical amongst you would say that it would be better to just go with the Flying Moles. But wheres the fun and sense of achievement in that!?


The more I read about these Hypex modules, the more I like them already.

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Folderol » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:40 pm

Just had a look at the specs. These look very impressive. Class D has certainly come a long way!
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:26 pm

^ Never mind the spec.. Seek out some user feedback/reviews. Much more convincing! I've had amps before with good specs, yet still sounded crap. These Hypex modules appear to sound great as well as having good specs.

I think i've read just about everything there is to read about these Hypex modules now, and im pretty much sold. Not least because I just read that Brystons latest Class D amps are using the Hypex OEM series of modules.
I can't confirm that as a fact, but Hypex have not denied it.. Plenty of info out there to suggest its true (What did we do before Google??)

I think I could knock up a 300watt UcD400 based amp for £600 at a squeeze. It wouldn't look pretty (merely functional) but it sure should do the business where it counts

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:39 pm

~Paul wrote:My only dilemma is the UcD180 or UcD400 based boards. (180 or 400watts). I 'want' the 400 watt variant, but its going to cost a lot. 180 is cheaper. In fact the 180's would cost near enough the same as a pair of Flying Mole mono blocks.

The TB2A version comes with the Flying Moles strapped to the back which put about 100W into 8 ohms and are a fine solution.

I run my TB2s normally with Bryston PP120 amps which deliver 120W into 8 ohms, which is nice and on occasion I have strapped a Bryston 4B on the back which is very impressive indeed, pushing out 250W/8 ohms. The TB2s can certainly handle the power and respond with a more authorative performance.

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:10 pm

I appreciate your input Hugh.. The TB2's are really starting to shape up nicely now

-------------

So! I figured i'd turn this thread into a bit of a build-up blog/diary/thing of sorts. But be warned, it might take me a week, or it might take me months!

Today I ordered most of the parts to build a stereo UcD400 based Hypex amp. This will be 400 watts into 4 ohms, or around 300 watts into 8 ohms. Plenty for a monitor amp..
There are 3 slightly different variants of the UcD400 modules alone. Power outputs are the same, its just quality of components that varies some. And thus, sound quality and cost will vary too. I went for the middle option of the UcD400HG modules. These can be upgraded at a later date if I wish with HxR regulator modules. But to to do that right off the bat would have been pretty expensive, so that can wait for now..

The amplifier will essentially be a dual monoblock design. So, two amps with their own individual power supplies. But they will be enclosed within the same case.

Parts ordered so far..
1 X 2U aluminium case, 280mm deep ( http://www.modushop.biz/ecommerce/cat062_l2.php?n=1 ) About £60 delivered.
I worked out that technically it would all fit into a much smaller case than I chose to use. For example, believe it or not, a 1U 230mm deep case would likely work out fine. But I wanted some space to work in, and maybe expand in later.. Not to mention give the amp a little breathing space.

2 X UcD400HG amplifier modules. http://www.hypex.nl/UcD400.htm
Assorted connectors and wiring also ordered from Hypex. Approx £375 for the amp modules and other minor parts delivered.

Other parts & connectors like Neutrik XLR sockets etc (it will have balanced inputs) i'll grab from good old Maplins.

Total cost of parts so far amounts to £435. And I still need the dual power supplies yet! I'll be using 2 of the new Hypex SMPS400 units ( http://www.hypex.nl/docs/SMPS400_67_47_37.pdf ). These are currently not quite available, so will have to be ordered a little later. But they will cost roughly £220 a pair. I could have used 1 power supply at a pinch. But 2 is better, for many reasons..

So altogether I won't get much change from £700
A lot of money for something i'll be throwing together myself, but this is a high grade audio amplifier that (supposedly!?!) can readily hold its own against amps costing a couple of grand and beyond. We'll see...

All told, it shouldn't be much more difficult to put together than say, a diy PC, because the basic modules are already assembled.. The exceptions being that there will still be some soldering involved, and holes that need drilling and filing out in the case for the connectors and switches etc.

For anyone interested, i'll keep you posted

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Folderol » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:34 pm

When you start to wire up, be very careful about routing of cables. You will have a lot of gain in a very small space, so a high risk of stability problems.

The very worst of these is HF 'parasitics'. They are quite inaudible - show up on a scope as grass - but can put a lot of load on both your amplifiers and speakers. They can also be signal dependent, so nothing shows on a medium amplitude sine wave, but a sharp edged signal gives a short burst of the wretched stuff
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:36 pm

Thanks for the tips! Apparently the Hypex stuff is good in terms of rejecting most typical kinds of interference. But i'll be taking precautions against it regardless.
I 'did time' at SoundCraft for a year or 3 building all kinds of stuff in there, so im reasonably clued up in the soldering/cabling/routing department.
Unfortunately though, I don't have a scope to check for things like this.. But I do have a crusty old pair of ACME speakers of some kind in the garage that i'll use to to test the amp, before unleashing it on my Pmc's..

My only real concern is making a neat & tidy job of the case.. Drilling round holes is simple enough of course. But making square ones or whatever will be a chore and a potential mess!


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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Sat May 09, 2009 4:26 pm

The amp so far... And lets face it, posts like this are so much more interesting with pretty pictures

Image
The only thing to go on that front panel will be a power switch and a couple of power leds. Strangely making the back panel of the amp more interesting than the front!

Image
Its not easy hacking out the holes accurately with only some old and rather crude tools. But it came out quite respectably, if I do say so myself!

Image
A close up of one of the UcD400 amp boards. These things dont need much cooling (being class-D), so bolting the amp directly the the 4mm aluminium chassis panel (which in turn is bolted to the 10mm extruded aluminium side panels) should be sufficient.
I've kept internal cabling as short as possible and well separated (from L/R channels).
The only parts the left & right channels of this amp will share are the case, and the power socket/switch. Everything else is separate.

I've done as much as I can with the amp until the rest of the bits arrive. Like the dual power supplies.. Hence the large empty void within, leaving the diddy amp boards looking a bit lonesome in there (the power supplies are a fair bit larger than the amp boards themselves). Plus, as I mentioned before, I deliberately oversized the case to give me working space. Its quite possible to make this with a 1U height case if you wanted.
The rest of the bits should be here in a week or two. Total cost has climbed a little though.. But still around the £700 mark all in.

Now I wait patiently for the "Ooo, I wouldn't have done it like that!" comments.


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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Folderol » Sat May 09, 2009 10:45 pm

Anything to oblige

Ooo, I wouldn't have done it like that!

Nice neat work, however I would have had the speaker sockets nearest the mains socket rather than the inputs
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Sun May 10, 2009 1:10 am

Sure, but some professionally built amps using the same innards have those 2 connectors right next to each other!? For example
I spaced things out a little bit due to not having precision tools (Just the bare essentials). This way allows a little room for error with regards to drilling and general hole placement, so I know it will all fit regardless. There is still 3 inches or so between those connectors on my amp So im sure its all good.
If I were to build another, and had better tools, then sure, i'd do it a little differently.

Cheers, Paul
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Sat May 30, 2009 6:41 pm

Image

Not quite finished, but it sure is working!
I just need to tidy some wiring, and wire up the power led's, which i'll do as soon as I have the right resistors for them.
I wasn't quite sure how to ground/earth the amp, as I read some conflicting information with regards to using balanced or unbalanced connections. Im kind of using both. Anyway, I just grounded/earthed everything, and it works just great.
Powered up with no signal input, it is as quiet as a dead mouse to a deaf man. Zero hiss or hum from the speakers.
Very very clean sounding

The amp and power supply modules appear to be first rate quality. I can't quite say the same for the supplied cables, as I had a couple of irritating little problems with them. The kind of thing that was harder to track down than actually fix.

The only thing im not happy with is that (f)ugly power switch on the front. I have a much nicer push button switch, but its not man enough for the job. So the ugly switch was grabbed at the last minute from Maplins. That, and the case is hugely oversized considering what's in it. But I dont care too much what the amp looks like, so long as it does the job. And it certainly does that

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Reiknir » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:33 pm

Uhrg.. for that sort of money you can get a job....

No sorry, I mean a JOB
http://www.jobsys.com/

In a class of its own really, used in Goldmund amplifiers that sell for ridiculous amounts of dosh.

Slightly less power, but how ineffective are your monitors?
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:07 am

I can't say I have heard of JOB. Or Goldmund for that matter (that isn't to discredit them at all, mind). I did a fair amount of research before deciding to go the route that I did.. But had I of gone with JOB, then im sure im equally likely to have heard from a person or two who would have said I could have gone with Hypex.
Besides, according to the JOB website, they have not sold to the public for a year now. Nor am I seeing any bare modules that would have scratched my DIY itch?

As for my monitors, I'm told they are quite power hungry, so perhaps that indicates they are not so efficient. But with over 200 watts available into 8ohms from the Hypex amp, they are certainly not wanting for power.

Sure, the amp wasn't especially cheap to build. But its cheap compared to what it can supposedly compete with. And im pretty sure I couldn't have built an equal or better quality amp for less.. To compromise and build one for much less, I could have waited a few months for the exchange rate to perhaps sort itself out, used lesser spec Hypex modules, and made do with a single power supply instead of dual. Then mounted the lot in a biscuit tin

Regards, Paul
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby lazyrich » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:39 pm

Been looking into this myself. Interestingly, the blurb for the new AII activated PMC models states:
'The power plant has also undergone drastic improvements with the inclusion of PMC’s all new DS-001, a cutting edge Class D power module.' ... 'A single feedback loop circuit senses the loudspeaker load and adjusts the frequency response accordingly, making output impedance of this amplifier design extremely low'

Which sounds a lot to me like the description of the UcD tech in those Hypex modules.
Pure conjecture of course, and probably incorrect, but it made me wonder. It's tempting to go into digital village with a screwdriver and have a look inside one but I doubt they'd thank me.

Anyway, I was really posting to ask why you went with two separate PSUs? It looks like the SMPS400 has more then enough grunt to power a couple of the 400W modules, so was planning to just go with the one and save some pennies. I was just wondering what your reasons were before I take the plunge.
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:13 pm

Yes, I could have gone with a single PSU. It would have saved me a few pennies too!
But.. apparently it is better to have 2 for stereo separation reasons. Or something like that. Plus I did seriously consider building this amp as 2 individual mono blocks. So having 2 PSU's kept my options open for that. Im sure it would still sound just great with a single PSU though, and I believe plenty of folk do build similar amps with just the 1.
I've not had a single problem with the amp since building it either. It's been fabulous! If a bit over powered for my modest room. All I have changed since building it, is that awful on/off toggle switch. I got a much nicer fancy metal push button one from RS on there now.

As for the amp's PMC are using. I put a similar question to Hugh a while back. I believe he said it was not a Hypex amp (although Hypex do produce amp modules for OEM use). But the latest PMC's use an amp very similar to what the Digidesign RM1\2's use. They happen to be quite similar monitors to the PMC's too (and are indeed, built by PMC)
But yes, the amp specs are very similar. In that it's a quality Class D amp with nigh on identical power outputs.

Cheers, Paul
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Folderol » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:07 pm

I was wondering how you'd got on with this once you settled down to actually using it. Nice to hear it's been a success
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Red Mastering » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:19 pm

Folderol wrote:I was wondering how you'd got on with this once you settled down to actually using it. Nice to hear it's been a success
I second this question
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:08 pm

Red Mastering wrote:
Folderol wrote:I was wondering how you'd got on with this once you settled down to actually using it. Nice to hear it's been a success
I second this question

Still working as well as it did the day it was completed. Im still quite happy with the amp
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Red Mastering » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:34 pm

thanks for update Paul,
glad you are happy with hypex,
I ordered parts on Friday, and also a same case at modu, (just black front panel)
I am gonna have very similar amp like you, just 1 smps PS instead of 2,
I got question though - I don't have any tools to cut/drill holes, how you managed to do it ?
It's 4mm thick alu, not an easy task, especially hole for IEC power socket (square)

thanks in advance for help
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:06 am

That was probably my biggest issue with making it.. And thus, almost none of the holes look like factory work! But its fine if you don't look too closely Plus I didn't make it to look good, least of all from the rear! The important thing is that all the fittings are securely mounted.

Most of the panels are aluminium, which is quite a soft metal, so it is not that bad to work with by hand. Only the top and bottom panels are steel, if I remember rightly (and those are much thinner, so again, not so bad to work with)
I'd first use masking tape to cover the entire panel. Its easy to mark that with a pencil, plus it helps stop the rest of the panel getting scratched while you work on it. After marking up the panel with where I needed the holes (and clamping the panel flat in a vice), i'd simply use an electric hand drill (with metal bit) to make the initial holes. Bigger holes, for say, the XLR inputs, were simply filed out to the right size! Which takes a while, but works fine if thats the only tools you have.. For larger, rectangular holes, like for the power socket, i'd use an electric jigsaw, again with metal blade, and cut the hole to pretty much the right size and shape as marked on the panel. Actually, I would cut it a little smaller to begin with, then finish it off with a hand file, until the socket fitted! That way i'd never make it too big by accident, which would be ugly, and probably not fit very well..

I think the modu case company will make you custom panels now to go with the case, but im not comfortable with the cad type software that I needed to design it with. Same for Front Panel Express etc. But I didn't mind a little manual labour and doing it myself, plus 1 off custom panels tend to be expensive also..

So you'll need some tools! But nothing too fancy..
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby zenguitar » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:09 am

For drilling holes like this a step drill bit comes in very handy. A drill press helps a lot too

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:24 am

Yes, there are certainly better tools for the job than I used! But as the cost of the amp parts had mounted up, I decided to make use of the tools I already had, rather than splashing out even more.
That said, I could have done with that step drill bit thing!
Still, even the slightly tedious and labour intensive way I did it, it still isn't that much work, and could probably complete the entire thing in the same day if you got all the parts together at once. Amps are pretty simple case wise and don't need too many holes making, fortunately!
(It did put me right off making a 96ch analogue mixing desk by hand though, granted)
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Red Mastering » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:00 pm

zenguitar wrote:For drilling holes like this a step drill bit comes in very handy. A drill press helps a lot too

Andy
thanks for this, it will help a lot, actually if I grab one like this :
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TITANIUM-STEP-DRILL-4-22MM/dp/B001O3V9I4/ref=lh_ni_t
I'd be able to drill all holes (binding posts, xlr socket, etc) except IEC mains.
I don't have jigsaw, and I don't want to buy one just to drill 1 hole:), so I will try to work without it...
I got few questions for you guys if you could direct me, as I am very very 'green' diyER
1. question about IEC main chassis, if this one is ok :
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290594549523?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
or better this one :
[url=http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400240167567?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649\]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400240167567?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649\[/url]
2. thermal grease, would this one be suitable for a task:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/130627042028?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
3. push/power button :
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320822202307?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
or rather :
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250955614034&ssPageName=ADME:B:WNAFP:GB:1123
really appreciate for your help
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:17 pm

For thermal grease, I used some of that silver based stuff that computer CPU's use (I had some laying about, you can find it in Maplins etc)
The non filtered power socket looks fine..
As for the power switch.. Im not sure about the first one.. It says 12v AND 240v?? It seems to suggest it is for boats and cars, so I highly doubt the 240v rating.. The second one would not work either, because it is non latching. You don't want to hold your finger down on the button all the time to make the amp work In fact most of those vandal proof style switches are non latching. It's a bit tricky to find a latching one that is also man enough for the job, with respect to current etc.
I used this power button (to replace the ugly maplins switch you see in the old picts)
http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/0426540/
It's latching, and up to the job. It is not illuminated however, but I didn't mind having separate power indicator LED's on the front panel. In fact I got all the sundry parts from RS (You don't need a trade account there now)

I can't help with the step drill thing, not having used one before! But for the square hole, I guess you can still do it by making lots of small holes with a drill, knocking out the centre, then filing out the rest. It will be a little tedious, but will work fine

PS, If an admin is reading, this thread was originally in the old DIY forum, maybe it needs slinging in the newer DIY forum?
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:24 pm

I've moved it back to the DIY section...

If you were doing lots of cutouts for IEC sockets then you might want to investigate buying a suitably shaped sheet metal punch. One other method would be to use an Abrafile saw but it looks like they are no longer made - or at least a Google search didn't seem to bring up anything.

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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Folderol » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:10 pm

If you are working with ally, get a fret saw. OK the blades don't last too long, but is surprising what you can do with them - for odd-ball shapes you only have to drill holes in a few corners.

Very much agree about the step drill. I've got two sizes. My work mates used to laugh at me for having them - these days I have to keep a close eye on them! They are especially useful on ABS boxes (of which I handle a lot).

Gentlemen please! They are IEC chassis plugs not sockets - at least, I sincerely hope you are not fitting IEC plugs to the mains cable! Don't go for the push-fit ones, as hole dimensions and plate thickness are critical. Besides, the ones with the nice fat flanges with two screw holes will cover considerable 'allowance'
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby Red Mastering » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:09 pm

Folderol wrote:
Gentlemen please! They are IEC chassis plugs not sockets - at least, I sincerely hope you are not fitting IEC plugs to the mains cable! Don't go for the push-fit ones, as hole dimensions and plate thickness are critical. Besides, the ones with the nice fat flanges with two screw holes will cover considerable 'allowance'
thanx for info, could you point which one of those mentioned by me are fine, that would be great:)

thank you in advance
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Re: Has anyone got/built a Hypex studio monitor amp?

Postby forumuser695516 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:51 am

That was probably just me getting my words jumbled up!? I fitted the right parts though.. I think I used this one:
http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/iec-connectors/7300470/
So the first ebay one you linked to should be fine, it looks pretty much identical (and cheaper!)
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