Better the system: an investment that payed out really well

Dear all,

I recently upgraded my system in small steps onto the NAC282/HiCApDr/NAPsc/NDX/250DR with Focal Kanta 2. I am very happy with it. Most of my music is on either NAS or through Tidal, and both deliver a quality that outperforms my expectations.

When the Focal Kanta 2's arrived, the dealer of course installed and placed them. The had a slight toe in with some 30cm from the back wall and both pass ports open without any adjustment. The Naim equipment was checked and some basic cable dressing was done. The set-up satisfied me yet, I thought I heart some bass-boom. I also had the feeling that such a significant investment was worth the money for a second opinion of an expert.

Yesterday I had Garmt over. He is a well-known expert & authority in BeNeLux and professionally engaged in High-End. He is also very familiar with Naim. Garmt spend 3(!) hours to re-place and align my loudspeakers. This went through very precise steps (with first and audition in Mono) and ended up in a very tiny toe-in that came to the last centimeter. A process that he explained (and I could follow), but something I would never been able to do myself. The result is stunning: every aspect (depth, 3D placement, bass control, positioning but - most important - musicality) bettered significantly. Most important changes:

  • close to no toe-in
  • distance to back wall increased to 60 cm
  • distance between speakers decrease some 15cm

As part of the assignment, I also got a full system-check. It appeared the order of the main-leads in the distribution block was wrong, and also some were power-plugs were 180° wrong. All the connections and connectors were checked and we did a comparison between my Nordost interconnect and the standard interconnect (and decided to stay with the Nordost).

In the end this resulted in a very significant improvement worth the time & investment.

On the short term the only investment we concluded was to replace the SupraLowRad distribution block with a PowerIgel which I will do.

Question: there was one we did not do. I have a hiss (not the traditional Naim hum) in my loudspeakers that almost certainly comes from the PowerPlugs. I have to use PowerPlugs to bring Internet to the Naim since fixed cabling causes to much breaking/damage/change to the house. So I use a PowerPlug next to the router where the Internet enters my house (basement). I use another powerplug in the living room next to the Naim. From that powerplug I go to a Netgear-swith which has the NAS, the NDX and a TVDigiBox. I was advised to look for a "filter" on the PowerPlugs. Can anybody recommend what I exactly should look for? PowerPlugs are Devolo.

Cheers

Iver

 

 

Iver van de Zand - Naim 282/250Dr - HiCapDr/NSC - NDX - Focal Kanta 2 - Naca 5 - Nordost Baldur interlink - Supra LoRad MD06 Powerblock - QNAP 219p

Original Post

Iver, I'm pleased the final setup worked out so well for you.  In my experience, in continental Europe, ensuring that the Shucko plugs are all correctly phased makes such a BIG difference to how well the system works. 

As for the Devolos, I know that Naim strongly advise against their use as they are so damaging to system performance.  I would be looking at an alternative to them rather than a band aid to try to patch up the harm they are doing.  If hard wiring is out of the question, I've used Apple APE bridges from an AP Extreme hub, with success.  Maybe you could try something similar?

Hello Richard,

Just that I understand your suggestion: I have an Apple Airport Extreme. Could I use that one? Am I correct I should set it up wired (correct?) to the Devolo (so it connects to the Internet) and place it next to the Naim. From the Airport Extreme I should hardwire connect to the swith which connects NAS/NDX/TVSetUp. Is that correct? 

No, get rid of the Devolos.  Remove them, bury them.

There are others on here who are more expert at computer network setup than I, but if you connect your Airport Extreme to your internet router, wherever that is, and then, assuming it's within useable range, use an Airport express as a wireless bridge near the Naim system, that should work and you remove the noise from the Devolos on the mains. It's just one suggestion, and a fairly easy and inexpensive one at that. I'm sure there are others too.

Thanks for the kind words Iver! It was a pleasure to finally meet you!

The Airport Express suggestion is a good one for low-bandwidth applications like yours Iver... You would plug in an Airport Express near your audio system and connect that AE wirelessly to your Airport Extreme. Then, you would use a cable to connect to your NDX.

I am not sure however, if the AE power supply is very 'clean'. It however beats having high frequency network traffic polluting the mains, as I could clearly hear the data through the speakers! This is obviously the high frequency network signals bleeding into the audio circuits through the power supplies.

Richard Dane posted:

No, get rid of the Devolos.  Remove them, bury them.

There are others on here who are more expert at computer network setup than I, but if you connect your Airport Extreme to your internet router, wherever that is, and then, assuming it's within useable range, use an Airport express as a wireless bridge near the Naim system, that should work and you remove the noise from the Devolos on the mains. It's just one suggestion, and a fairly easy and inexpensive one at that. I'm sure there are others too.

got it ... wil go with the AE approach as described above ... Devolo will be sent as present to the neighbors :-)

Iver van de Zand posted:
Richard Dane posted:

No, get rid of the Devolos.  Remove them, bury them.

There are others on here who are more expert at computer network setup than I, but if you connect your Airport Extreme to your internet router, wherever that is, and then, assuming it's within useable range, use an Airport express as a wireless bridge near the Naim system, that should work and you remove the noise from the Devolos on the mains. It's just one suggestion, and a fairly easy and inexpensive one at that. I'm sure there are others too.

got it ... wil go with the AE approach as described above ... Devolo will be sent as present to the neighbors :-)

Nooooo... you don't want your neighbours using them either! 

That's great news Iver.  As Garmt mentions above, the AE supply itself is not the cleanest, but it's miles better than than Devolos.  Ideally you could try having the AE and switch plugged into a separate mains circuit to that of the main system, but enjoy the system for now.

Hi Iver,

Would it not be possible to run an ethernet cable either externally or through the roof space, to allow you to dispense with the Devolos?

I was using them to provide a network and also a wi-fi signal to my iPad, which runs the Naim control app, and had been putting off running a cable directly from my router to a switch in my music room, which is at the rear of the house.

I finally decided to run an ethernet cable through the roof space, which was something of a task, and the setup now consists of an AirPort Extreme base station plugged into the router, with the ethernet cable running through to the switch.

Also plugged into the switch is an AirPort Express, which picks up the wi-fi signal from the Extreme, and provides a solid wi-fi final throughout the house, something which the Devolos couldn't consistently achieve.

I did put it off for ages, because of the work involved, but it was well worth it, as I've now not only cleaned up the mains, but also provided a solid wi-fi signal.

Thanks for the tips and insight.

I purchased Focal 1008be2, the run in was an interesting emotional experience (rollercoaster), but to be honest the setup i kept as per the Focal instructions, as far out as possible (in my case not very) and a good toe in (more than i usually like) and eventually the bass bungs i removed.

Now my system is stable, i may turn back the tweaking the Focal positioning.

PS. I found Supra cables muffle the sound and went back to Naim and now a mix of Naim/Chord, but for the streaming parts (Router, Swtich, etc...) i recently added a Wireworld Matrix power block and that was very neutral.

dave marshall posted:

Hi Iver,

Would it not be possible to run an ethernet cable either externally or through the roof space, to allow you to dispense with the Devolos?

I was using them to provide a network and also a wi-fi signal to my iPad, which runs the Naim control app, and had been putting off running a cable directly from my router to a switch in my music room, which is at the rear of the house.

I finally decided to run an ethernet cable through the roof space, which was something of a task, and the setup now consists of an AirPort Extreme base station plugged into the router, with the ethernet cable running through to the switch.

Also plugged into the switch is an AirPort Express, which picks up the wi-fi signal from the Extreme, and provides a solid wi-fi final throughout the house, something which the Devolos couldn't consistently achieve.

I did put it off for ages, because of the work involved, but it was well worth it, as I've now not only cleaned up the mains, but also provided a solid wi-fi signal.

Hi Dave,

Using a physical/wired Internet cable is not possible, but the current bridge between 2 Apple Airports works out perfectly fine. I was slightly afraid of drop outs when using Tidal, but nothing of that. The hiss (sounds like little "scratches", very limited and only to be heart when I keep my ear nearby the tweeter) is gone now. Sound quality is stunning.

I do have some acoustic panels available but I don't need them where I live right now. The living room is quite spacious and speakers and system have sufficient space to "breathe". I have been considering an Isotek Aquarius but after a few discussions will probably opt for a PowerIgel before going the tricky route of filters. Another idea is to look into the AqVox SE switch which is specifically designed for High End audio. I prefer to focus on these kind of smaller tweaks instead of other investments. My system is surpassing my expectations all the time, and I really want to enjoy the music as much as I can.

In terms of functionality, I am also ok and not necessarily eager for the likes Roon etc.

Cheers

Iver

 

Add Reply

×
×
×
×