Hypex UCD180 Class D Amplifier
I have recently purchased a pair of Hypex UCD180 class D amplifier modules that were recommended to me via another Tannoy enthusiast. I have also read numerous reviews comparing the Hypex to brands like the high end Marantz series, Accuphase, Bob Carver Sunfire, Vincent SP331, Sentec PA9 and Musical Fidelity and simply the Hypex put these to shame.
These modules are quite cheap and the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) circuit is over 90% efficient so only small heat sinks are required. The units are very easy to connect and have adequate input sensitivity to be driven directly from a CD player, therefore no pre-amp is required. The modules can be configured for differential or single ended inputs.
For the past few years I have been using a
Marantz PM66 KI Signature Series amplifier to drive the Autographs and up to
date have been pleased with its performance. I have however never had a chance
to compare the Marantz with another amp so for the relatively small cost of
buying two Hypex modules I decided it would be worth knocking up a cheap
I have been amazed at the sound improvement using these tiny modules. The sound is very neutral and clear and the dynamic response is sharp and controlled. The level of detail is amazing and there seems to be no degradation in performance even when the volume is turned up. They drive with immense authority with never a hint of congestion or confusion, even on loud orchestral passages. The high frequency performance is where the Hypex modules really stand out, Cymbals suddenly sound like Cymbals and less like a noisy metallic sound.
Power output from these modules is 88w rms into 8 Ω and 144w rms into 4 Ω. The output power would match the manufacturers specifications if the modules were run on slightly higher(about 4 volt) power supply rails but the power output is more than adequate to drive the Autographs.
It is a bit sad but the Marantz will be put to rest or sold and the Monoblocks will take its place.
Here are a few pictures of them: