Cambridge Audio Evo 150 Streaming DAC/Amplifier Lab Report

Lab Report

Rapidly becoming the Class D solution of choice, Hypex's Ncore module, and particularly the 150W variant, is delivering reliably high performance in a wide variety of audiophile separates [most recently the Mola-Mola Kula, HFN Oct '21]. The 'fingerprint' is becoming familiar – it offers the rated 2x150W/8ohm by the skin of its high speed transistors, and up to 2x280W/4ohm, while the technology allows for little or no dynamic headroom, realising 150W, 290W, 275W and 193W at <1% THD into 8, 4, 2 and 1ohm loads, respectively. Maximum current is limited to ~14A [see Graph 1]. Gain is a sensibly moderate +34dB (balanced input), but the 82dB A-wtd S/N (re. 0dBW) falls about 5-6dB short in the Evo 150 courtesy of two spurious idle tones at ~1kHz and ~2kHz. Bass/midrange distortion remains very low at 0.0006% up to 10W, increasing to just 0.004-0.007% at 100W, though THD does pick up above 10kHz to 0.025%/20kHz/10W, in line with the gently tailored response of –0.6dB/20kHz to –6.5dB/100kHz.

Also thoroughly tried-and-tested is the ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC, implemented here with its fixed linear phase digital filter. This trades pre- and post-ringing in the time domain for an 89dB stopband rejection and flat, extended responses that reach out to –0.12dB/20kHz, –0.9dB/45kHz and –2.4dB/90kHz with 48kHz, 96kHz and 192kHz media, respectively. Measured at a 2V (preamp) output, low-level resolution is true to within ±0.2dB over a 100dB range and the S/N is a wide 106.5dB (no idle tones here). Distortion, too, falls to a low 0.0002-0.001% (20Hz-20kHz) over the top 20dB of its range [see Graph 2, below] while jitter is very well suppressed at less than 25psec, across all sample rates and all digital inputs. PM


Dynamic power output versus distortion into 8ohm (black trace), 4ohm (red), 2ohm (blue) and 1ohm (green) speaker loads. Max. current is 13.9A


Distortion versus 24-bit digital signal level over a 120dB range (1kHz, black; 20kHz, blue)

Continuous power (<1% THD, 8/4ohm) 149W / 275W
Dynamic power (<1% THD, 8/4/2/1ohm) 150W / 290W / 275W / 193W
Output imp. (20Hz–20kHz, Pre/Amp) <1ohm / 0.031-0.032ohm
Freq. resp. (20Hz–20kHz/100kHz) +0.0 to –0.6dB/–6.5dB
Digital jitter (USB / S/PDIF) 25psec / 25psec
A-wtd S/N ratio (DAC/Amp) 106.5dB (0dBFs) / 81.8dB (0dBW)
Distortion (DAC, 0dBFs/Amp, 0dBW) 0.0015-0.025%/0.0005-0.018%
Power consumption (Idle/Rated o/p) 24W / 340W (1W standby)
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight 317x89x352mm / 5.3kg
Price £2249

Cambridge Audio Ltd
Supplied by: Audio Partnership PLC, London
0203 514 1521