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March Audio P451 Mono Blocks - first impressions straight out of the box.


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Well after Toll doing their very best to give me a stroke (and not the good kind mind you) with their alleged "delivery service" for the amplifiers, coupled with being temporarily trapped in WA due to COVID lockdown, I eventually escaped and returned to Canberra.

 

First off, the amps were well packed and in excellent cosmetic condition - they are also quite a compact and very neat unit.

 

Plugged the amps into my VAF i93 and my NAD C268 into the amps and used the trigger option - powered up on command straight away.

 

These amps have some serious grip, not the sort of amps you mix with alcohol where you confuse your speakers capabilities with your inability not to select 11 on the volume control.

 

There is stone cold silence where there needs to be - these are stunningly quiet units at the speaker end.

 

My neighbours and I listened to Jon Lord, Randy Bachman, Cowboy Junkies, Van Halen, Harry Connick Jnr, Jake E Lee, Shelby Lynne, Steely Dan, Boston, Nils Lofgren, Vanessa Fernandez and Amanda McBroom - all handled very easily with no fuss on behalf of the little mono blocks.

 

Do not let the lack of weight of the little machined aluminium boxes fool you - these little units bring a weight of their own, they had the i93s fairly belting out the sound - seriously impressed, will give them a few more weeks of listening before giving my final verdict.

 

 

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Nice to hear the initial feedback and hope to hear back from you once you've clocked in more hours.

 

On a side note, which power amplifier were you using earlier? Are the VAFs power hungry speakers?

Edited by anandpkumar
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I was using a NAD C298 - nice amp, just not Australian!!

 

I think the VAFs like power, but are not power hungry as such.

 

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On 26/04/2021 at 10:42 AM, Pigpen said:

My neighbours and I listened to

Hahaha.

 

I was initially saving up for the P252 stereo amp, then was convinced to go for the P452, which I almost have the funds for. Please, please don't convince me that I now need the mono blocks. ?

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40 minutes ago, twofires said:

Hahaha.

 

I was initially saving up for the P252 stereo amp, then was convinced to go for the P452, which I almost have the funds for. Please, please don't convince me that I now need the mono blocks. ?

If one is good, surely two must be better - unless of course we are talking speeding fines.......

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Great to hear your happy straight out of the box. And being Aussie is a huge advantage 

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One difference I think I am noticing between the NAD C298 and the March Audio is the latter is not as "warm" (I think - no DBT done), however, I am enjoying the little amps immensely.

 

The NAD is Eigentakt under license with the NAD version of such to an extent - may explain the slightly warmer sound, definitely not an offensive sound on the i93s. Great control, heaps of power and super quiet.

 

The March Audio, a cooler, more clinical?? sound, again, super quiet, more power than the NAD - the little mono-blocks are impressing me - listening to Shelby Lynne (streaming from Tidal) "Just A Little Lovin'" - the control over the bass in the opening track is impressive.

 

Even playing the super bass heavy Sonar track "Find" from "the new beginning" album, the little March units do not embarrass themselves in any way shape or form.

 

There maybe something to this Eigentakt thing.......

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts @Pigpen I'm not the only one hungry for impressions of an Eigentakt amp, in particular from March audio. I was interested to see one review of the NAD that was not altogether  complimentary, on 10.audio, by a reviewer who has recommended and raved about  some other Class D type amps before. 

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1 minute ago, Mickstuh said:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts @Pigpen I'm not the only one hungry for impressions of an Eigentakt amp, in particular from March audio. I was interested to see one review of the NAD that was not altogether  complimentary, on 10.audio, by a reviewer who has recommended and raved about  some other Class D type amps before. 

The NAD is a good amp - (other than the software issue I experienced) it was my introduction to Eigentakt and it’s possibilities. I stumbled on to March Audio when researching Purifi and here we are…….

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1 hour ago, Pigpen said:

 

The March Audio, a cooler, more clinical?? sound, again, super quiet, more power than the NAD - the little mono-blocks are impressing me - listening to Shelby Lynne (streaming from Tidal) "Just A Little Lovin'" - the control over the bass in the opening track is impressive.

 

Even playing the super bass heavy Sonar track "Find" from "the new beginning" album, the little March units do not embarrass themselves in any way shape or form.

 

 

A mate who has both the March Audios and an NC400 Class D amp says the top end is better with the March amps but the NC400 has better bass.

 

Andy

 

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11 hours ago, andyr said:

 

A mate who has both the March Audios and an NC400 Class D amp says the top end is better with the March amps but the NC400 has better bass.

 

Andy

 

The NC400 are another product from Bruno Putzeys (he of Eigentakt fame)  from memory.

 

Last night I had a mate over for a look and a listen and mentioned to him the diminutive March Audio units. I said to him to “go feel the weight” in the mono-blocks - should have said “go feel the lack of weight” as he was expecting far heavier and near launched one of the units into the ceiling - said “near” as the power/speaker/input/trigger cables and mother gravity kept the unit below knee level.

 

I have started wondering to what extent Class D amplification will / may become “the default” amplification mode, much as Class A/B has been in the majority for so many years.


Personally I think Class D is starting to shed its “low fi” image and entering the realms of acceptability - the fact you have mentioned the difference between the NC400 and the Eigentakt methodologies shows people are starting to listen and compare the oft maligned Class D amongst variations of its implementation - this I think is a good thing.

 

For me, streaming and a new amplification mode have been the catalyst for getting my interest in audio back - this I think is also a good thing!!

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Posted (edited)

One thing I forgot was the unique looking March Audio thumb drive, with manuals etc onboard.

 

Being an Aussie male, the likelihood of me reading the destructions is about the same as me giving my most dire enemy next weeks tattslotto numbers…

 

IMG_0867.jpg

Edited by Pigpen
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4 minutes ago, Pigpen said:

... the likelihood of me reading the destructions...

Keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case ;) 

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4 minutes ago, lemarquis said:

Keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case ;) 

Wouldn’t be the first time me, nut, bolts, volts and amps got into an incendiary argument………

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I’m glad it arrived and you’re enjoying it. Sounds like a pretty nice little amp for the money. Do you have any pics of amp and system?

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Very simple system, makes me quite happy.

System.jpg

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12 minutes ago, Pops110 said:

I’m glad it arrived and you’re enjoying it. Sounds like a pretty nice little amp for the money. Do you have any pics of amp and system?

I have a Thor PS10 feeding a Bluesound Vault 21 into a NAD C658,  feeding March Audio P451s feeding VAF i93s.

 

Probably the simplest system I have had in years.

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1 minute ago, Pigpen said:

I have a Thor PS10 feeding a Bluesound Vault 21 into a NAD C658,  feeding March Audio P451s feeding VAF i93s.

 

Probably the simplest system I have had in years.

Very nice, the Vaults are very good I have been using one for a while now. Nice looking setup, congrats. 👍

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These use a Class D platform? This tech is really coming into it's own lately, was reading up on the PS Audio M1200's last night. Your system looks like an absolute ton of grins PP, thank you for sharing, try to keep it this way if you can :D 

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Just now, Darren69 said:

These use a Class D platform? This tech is really coming into it's own lately, was reading up on the PS Audio M1200's last night. Your system looks like an absolute ton of grins PP, thank you for sharing, try to keep it this way if you can :D 

Just finished reading about the PS Audio 1200 units this morning myself!!

 

The March Audio units use the latest Purifi version of Class D (Eigentakt) by Bruno Putzeys and friends - the amplifiers are made/assembled here in Australia from the imported Purifi modules. NAD is also using this technology as well in their M33/C298 etc, albeit a licensed version with their own take on it.

 

Simplicity is now becoming my priority in life, retiring and spending time enjoying a more basic lifestyle.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Darren69 said:

These use a Class D platform? This tech is really coming into it's own lately,

 

It has been, if I can use the term,  "viable" as a good hifi amplifier for a fair while now.   Funny where prejudices towards a technology come from.  I suspect it was partially the use of the incorrect "digital" amp terminology, and also the use of class D in guitar and PA applications, that held it back for a while in audiophile circles.   I have three class D amps in my house,  and two of them are in PA and guitar amps :)  the other is in use in a bi-amping setup.    I have listened to them all playing hifi music, and all sound good, even though the tech is older than the Purifi, or even Hypex - one is Icepower, one is Tripath and one is some successor of Tripath. 

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9 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

It has been, if I can use the term,  "viable" as a good hifi amplifier for a fair while now.   Funny where prejudices towards a technology come from.  I suspect it was partially the use of the incorrect "digital" amp terminology, and also the use of class D in guitar and PA applications, that held it back for a while in audiophile circles.   I have three class D amps in my house,  and two of them are in PA and guitar amps :)  the other is in use in a bi-amping setup.    I have listened to them all playing hifi music, and all sound good, even though the tech is older than the Purifi, or even Hypex - one is Icepower, one is Tripath and one is some successor of Tripath. 

 

I hear you. Nord acoustics. Utterly gorgeous. I keep a finger on the pulse as my beloved JC1's won't last forever. Or they will and I will be a happy chappy haha. But if they die I certainly wont be lining up for 30k JC1 + et al.

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9 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

It has been, if I can use the term,  "viable" as a good hifi amplifier for a fair while now.   Funny where prejudices towards a technology come from.  I suspect it was partially the use of the incorrect "digital" amp terminology, and also the use of class D in guitar and PA applications, that held it back for a while in audiophile circles.   I have three class D amps in my house,  and two of them are in PA and guitar amps :)  the other is in use in a bi-amping setup.    I have listened to them all playing hifi music, and all sound good, even though the tech is older than the Purifi, or even Hypex - one is Icepower, one is Tripath and one is some successor of Tripath. 

I am sitting here looking at the stereo (as opposed to listening to it) and discussing with a mate the March Audio amplifiers. My mate is somewhat incredulous at the size of the units, thinking they were power supplies for active speakers (like my SGR CX3 units).

 

We wondered that if we were to place the units into more standard size cases and add some ballast to bump up the weight to say 25 - 40kg each would people notice them as much - remove the possible “unconscious bias”?

 

My hearing is not the best - too long in noisy environments , however, wife’s is very good and she quite likes the new sounds coming from the system - or she may be placating me prior to a severe dose of credit card shock…..
 

Ultimately, the role of Pigpen’s system is to please Pigpen (and good wife as well just to be inclusive….) - and it is doing that quite well - I have become agnostic to amplifier topology, irrespective of what letter of the alphabet is tied to it.

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1 hour ago, Pigpen said:


 

Ultimately, the role of Pigpen’s system is to please Pigpen (and good wife as well just to be inclusive….) - and it is doing that quite well - I have become agnostic to amplifier topology, irrespective of what letter of the alphabet is tied to it.

Age makes us immune to a lot of peripheral noise.

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On 26/04/2021 at 8:42 AM, Pigpen said:

Well after Toll doing their very best to give me a stroke (and not the good kind mind you) with their alleged "delivery service" for the amplifiers, coupled with being temporarily trapped in WA due to COVID lockdown, I eventually escaped and returned to Canberra.

 

First off, the amps were well packed and in excellent cosmetic condition - they are also quite a compact and very neat unit.

 

Plugged the amps into my VAF i93 and my NAD C268 into the amps and used the trigger option - powered up on command straight away.

 

These amps have some serious grip, not the sort of amps you mix with alcohol where you confuse your speakers capabilities with your inability not to select 11 on the volume control.

 

There is stone cold silence where there needs to be - these are stunningly quiet units at the speaker end.

 

My neighbours and I listened to Jon Lord, Randy Bachman, Cowboy Junkies, Van Halen, Harry Connick Jnr, Jake E Lee, Shelby Lynne, Steely Dan, Boston, Nils Lofgren, Vanessa Fernandez and Amanda McBroom - all handled very easily with no fuss on behalf of the little mono blocks.

 

Do not let the lack of weight of the little machined aluminium boxes fool you - these little units bring a weight of their own, they had the i93s fairly belting out the sound - seriously impressed, will give them a few more weeks of listening before giving my final verdict.

 

 

@Pigpen  Thank you for the feedback, great to hear you are enjoying them 😀

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