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Merrill’s Taranis is another attainable Hypex NCore amplifier

  • Taranis (Celtic God of Thunder). That’s the name of Merrill Wettasinghe’s new, more affordable Hypex Ncore power amplifier. Wettasinghe’s goal? Audio purity. US$2500 brings home a stereo amplifier that punches 400wpc into 8 Ohms and 600wpc into 4 Ohms. Those are some big numbers for this price point.

    But that’s not the only reason for props. The Taranis sees the same Hypex NCore technology found in the US$12K Merrill Veritas monoblocks. It would appear that the DIY community’s hitherto hold on affordability in this area of Class D amplification is slowing being eroded.

    For those keeping tabs on commercial Hypex implementations these are not the NC400 used by NAD in their Master Series M22 but modules “based upon NC1200 technology” with which Merrill’s using only the output stage.

    “This is not a publicly listed NCore Module and is just the output stage.”, he confirms by email.

    On input staging, the Taranis goes fully custom: full differential, ultra-fast, 100k input impedance, 26db of gain and high current drive all conspire to give the end user “superb musical speed and detail” (according the the press bumf).

    Despite piling pounds onto the shipping weight, Merrill’s opted for a steel chassis in order to ward off EMI/RFI evils. The face plate is described as “mirrored stainless steel”; it’s reflective enough for a quick check of the hair before heading out the door.

    SNR is rated at an impressive 120db and THD is reportedly better than 0.005%. Connectivity? Silver-plated pure copper speaker binding posts and XLR balanced inputs with silver plated pins.

    Merrill will also option Stillpoints Ultra Mini Riser footers, Waveform Fidelity power cords and Synergistic Fuses as point of sale upgrades.

    Further information: Merrill Audio

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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      • I requested more pics but the only ones forthcoming were of the front panel. I’ll see if I can dig up more dirt on the power supply.

      • I hit up Merrill with a request for power supply info and internal pics.

        His reply: “Sorry I don’t have any shots of the internals. It is powered by an SMPS. The power supply noise and ripple is well below the distortion levels, so it is a non-issue. The instantaneous power available from the SMPS is equivalent to a 1.7KVA transformer. Guess which one I went with!”

    1. Good to see that Hypex is doing unique licensing/hardware configurations with audio companies. Means that “affordable” amps can be produced that probably sound better than can be done with the stock NCore 400 modules.

    2. Knowing what I know, having heard both the Merrill 1200’s and the Ncore 400’s – I think this amp will be quite special for the $$ – perfect electronica amp

    3. No internal or rear images, no replies from Merrill, no one appears to have their hands on one yet, god of blunder maybe.

      • I requested a rear image but only got a line drawing image in return. I think Merrill might be having the pics reshot.

    4. SMPS is probably no longer the concern it once was. Carlos Candeias uses it in his well reviewed mcci phono preamp, just where you thought you couldn’t use one, and that piffling signal is amplified 1000 fold.

    DAR prize giveaway #1: AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2 DAC ‘Inna Rooms’ – the sound of the atom splitting