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Avondale NCC220 vs Witch Hat Phoenix

Discussion in 'audio' started by gidders, Apr 13, 2022.

  1. OzBrit Audio

    OzBrit Audio Well-Known Member

    I have ordered a pair so I will let people know how they sound once I receive
    tpetsch likes this.
  2. OzBrit Audio

    OzBrit Audio Well-Known Member

    Yes the Witchat use the smaller spades to keep comparability with the older NAPs

    architecturally they are different though as discussed previously
  3. say it as it is

    say it as it is pfm Member

    Have your boards arrived yet like to hear how they compare to ncc220s and apart from the size of the spades how interchangeable they are
  4. Seochris

    Seochris Well-Known Member

    Not sure when you ordered them but I’ve been told a 4 week delivery….
  5. gidders

    gidders hifi enthusiast, golfer & photographer

    I find it difficult to describe how the sound is better but to me it's more musical, a bit less hifi, retaining the PRaT that early Naim gear is famed for. There is certainly better placement of the musicians within the sound stage. As for the 220s giving a wider sound stage, I wouldn't say that's the case. With the Phoenix the sound stage seems to extend beyond the width of the speakers & has better depth.

    If you're anywhere near the West Midlands, you are very welcome to come for a listen
    martin dawson likes this.
  6. gidders

    gidders hifi enthusiast, golfer & photographer

    It doesn't
  7. OzBrit Audio

    OzBrit Audio Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply. I ended up putting in an order for the Phoenixes so I'll be able to hear for myself when I get them. It will be a while yet though, they are waiting for on parts so they can build a new set of boards. Small company and their easter sale did well I think. But looking forward to getting them along with some Phantom cables.

    I am a DIYER and will audition against the NCC220's which I find are very good, especially if your prepared to update them with the enhancements found in the NCC300 (I am playing around with this at the moment). I am planning two builds here, one using the updated NCC220's and a second using the hopefully very good Phoenix boards.

    Here in my installation the NCC220s give me a very wide sound stage extending beyond the speaker width (they disaster quite nicely), lots of detail and taught bass. When the sound mix gets complex however sometimes I feel I can't properly differentiate between the players, maybe, so a comparison with the Phoenixes will be interesting here as this is supposed to be one of their strengths. Lets see anyways

    I would love to take you up on your offer of an audition thank you but I'm in Melbourne Australia at the moment. I am planning a trip back to the UK later this year so you never know

    gidders likes this.
  8. OzBrit Audio

    OzBrit Audio Well-Known Member

    Yes ditto
  9. Chops54

    Chops54 pfm Member

    If you like a wide soundstage build a pair of monos :)
    Gervais Cote likes this.
  10. gidders

    gidders hifi enthusiast, golfer & photographer

    I hope that's an autocorrect & they don't disaster at all

    If you do come over, message me - it would be great to catch up & share experiences
  11. OzBrit Audio

    OzBrit Audio Well-Known Member

    Will do

    And when I get the Phoenixes I'll post my thoughts on here
    gidders likes this.
  12. Seochris

    Seochris Well-Known Member

    So has anybody received their Newts or anything from Which Hat yet?
  13. mcleanmuir

    mcleanmuir pfm Member

    Yes I received my Dragon Newts a few weeks ago. Pretty dam good if I may say so from the off.
    gidders likes this.
  14. say it as it is

    say it as it is pfm Member

    still not received phoenix boards yet
  15. OldSkool

    OldSkool pfm Member

    I just checked and the BUV21G transistor used on the Phoenix boards are darlington transistors, so another variation compared to the Avondales. I noticed recently that Rega use darlingtons in their amplifiers.
  16. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    The datasheet lies on the front page. They're definitely not darlington transistors. The Vbe curve later in the same sheet is consistent with a single device.
  17. Richard Lines

    Richard Lines pfm Member

    Good Morning All,


    Front page of data sheet............


  18. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    A darlington with a hFE of 20+ o_O

    Seemingly every picture is not worth a 1000 words.
  19. martin dawson

    martin dawson pfm Member


    Now you’ve lived with the Phoenix boards for a few weeks how are you finding them ?


  20. Stew B

    Stew B Doh !

    I got my Phoenix boards a few weeks ago and fitted them into my standard serviced NAP 180 (very easy to do) and I agree with the comments above, better separation, more detail, more shimmer on cymbals, more resonance to piano and most notable is the bass. More of it, deeper, better control, more defined. I didn't really expect it to be that much better for the money. I ordered them in the Easter sale so got the 15% discount. I am very pleased with them and they are not going back. I also ordered the Dragon Newt board for my Hi-Cap but still waiting for that. At least the Phoenix board will have settled in so I can see what difference the Newt board makes on top.

    VFM wise I am very pleased, in the world of HiFi this much improvement for £340 is good, the Newt was £148 on top, so again not breaking the bank.

    I am running a 102/NAPSC/Hi-Cap/180 (all serviced last year) into Neat Iota Alphas, not super hi end but I am more than happy with it using either my Innuos Zen Mini Mk3, Naim CD5/APX4 and my LP12.

    The 2003 Avondale APX4 power supply, gives a different sound to the system when tried on the NAC 102 against the Hi Cap, not necessarily better, so be good to compare this against the WH Dragon Newt board.
    Gervais Cote and Mynamemynaim like this.

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