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Nickel Amp reviewed and now available via pre-order

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by DanWiggins, Oct 27, 2018.
  1. DanWiggins
    AudioPhilia.com reviewed the Nickel amp - it's the first "pilot production" unit, so new it doesn't even have final packaging on it (that arrives in a about 12 days). But it is 100% complete - tooled, built, approved. I'm heading to the PCBA fab house in 10 days to oversee the complete build of the entire first production batch.

    For those who want to geek out about measurements, here are all the AP measurements of a production unit. ALL measurements are made a 90 mV input; with the ~6 dB of gain we have, that is ~180 mV output - about 1 mW into 32 Ohms, so not a "rigged/you'll never use it at that level" type output. Note the full AP report is there, so you can see all the setup criteria we use.

    The SNR @ 180 mV output is 91 dB; at full output (3 Vrms) that would be an SNR of 115 dB. THD is quite low at less than 0.004% broadband.

    Oh - and all these measurements are made while sitting directly in the middle of the screen of a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, running Google's Speed Test via 4G on Verizon's network - so this is worst-case, including all RF saturation issues you might encounter.

    Cables were bone-stock SONOS (I have some extras, from my time working there) RCA-to-3.5mm cables (1 meter long) that they include for free with Connects and such. Those go to RCA-to-BNC adapters then the input of the AP 525. So nothing exotic, nothing fancy, about as unbiased and "typical" as you can find.

    Pre-orders are open now, we'll have shipments rolling out around the end of the month!

    FYI, the Nickel is based around the Texas Instruments INA1620, which even distributors do not have in stock today. But when your team members all have more than 2 decades of deep experience working with TI, you get the inside track on lots of great things, and the ability to secure large production batches of chips before the big boys do...:wink:

    I'll do a full 3-4 minute video about the Nickel architecture one of these days, to explain what we did in making this portable powerhouse!
  2. PaganDL
    Thanks @DanWiggins,

    Look forward to getting the Nickel either from PA directly (if & when the exchange is favourable for me) or my local distributor when they finally have it in stock.

    Hope you have a great day !
  3. Richsvt
    This looks like a neat package. Can't wait to see more about it.

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