Chord DACs

Nina, the DC1 is not a universally loved cable, so I would listen carefully to it, and maybe some alternatives, before you commit to it, especially at £300 for a new one. Either ask a dealer for a demo one to try, or look for a used one you can sell on. 

Having said that, I haven’t heard it into an NDAC myself, so maybe you will like it. I believe some forum members have found good results from some quite inexpensive alternative SPDIF cables. 

Nina posted:

Is there anyone using the Naim DC1 cable ?  if so is it any good ?  Thinking about it from CD5XS to Dac, so a BNC to RCA version

some prefer dc1 and other prefer chord bnc to bnc cables.....the chord gave more “analog” sound, with more fluidity and true tone colors.  ( chord epic). or chord indigo on used market.

Personally i prefer chord cables sound.  

I recently swapped out a n-DAC and 555PS for a CH2 and have been enjoying music much more and saved some money I know that the Hugo is designed as a portable unit but find the small footprint with an Auralic Aries mini, LPS and iFi USB 3.0 on a single shelf works well for me. Using either the Lightning server or Roon I have been having a lot more musical fun. The reduction in box space and increase in foot-tapping is a bonus and when I need an extra DAC input (the admitted weakness of the Hugo over the n-DAC) then I can always press a Hugo 1 or Mojo into service.

 

Nina posted:

I now have a better idea on the Naim Dac soundwise

The Hugo sounds different depending on which cd I play, what I mean is on some cd's it sounds very good but on others not so good, I can't quite explain it but I don't find the Hugo universally 'good' with all cd's.  The sound is very variable

The Naim Dac seems more even-handed and by that I mean it sounds good with more cd's and not so variable

Does that make any sense at all to anyone ? 

Yes.

I use a Mojo, I find, when I initially start listening to it, I think, this sounds great, very smooth detailed but by the third or fourth track I’m only thinking, this sounds good. It handles simple music fine, but struggles when the rhythms get a bit complex.

I’ve owned a Ndac, this has plenty of prat, wide soundstage and is rhythmic. Sounded excellent on most CD’s I used it with, but a bit forward and bright with others.

I also owned a CDS2, this is a combination of the mojo and Ndac. Smooth, detailed and analogue sounding, but with the prat and rhythmic qualities. I spent 9 months comparing the CDS2/XPS with the Ndac/XPS, I and everybody who heard them said they preferred the CDS2. Every CD I played in it sounded superb.

If you’re not planning on using a transport with the DAC and only using CD, why not try a CDS3/XPS.

I can guarantee you’ll selling the Dacs and CD transport.

Hi Nina

I have followed a few of your threads with great interest because your journey has been very similar to mine. Last year I bought an ex-dem SN2 and knew I could do better than pairing it with my aging Arcam cd player. Like you, I enjoy the act of putting on a cd and losing myself in the music.

Fatcat's suggestion of secondhand CDS3/XPS is seriously worth thinking about as someone who loves cds.

After getting my SN2 I tried using my Arcam cd player as a transport adding a Chord 2Qute and I also tried a SimAudio Moon Neo 260 transport/DAC amongst others. It is very good and the soundstage and separation was amazing but something wasn't quite right. A smaller number of well produced tracks sounded just incredible but other tracks didn't sound as good as the Arcam and SN2.  I played about with various cables and DACs and was aware that the cost of these alternatives was taking me towards Naim cd player prices.

Out of curiosity I asked my dealer if I could borrow a CDX2... In comparison, the CDX2 could not match the soundstage (not as big) and the detail was not quite as clear but it just sounded better, more musical, you weren't listening to admire the hifi system, you were drawn into the music. (And that's coming from someone who loves to hear all the subtle detail in a song). There is a definite synergy that the CDX2 and the SN2 have together which makes me want to  listen and listen and listen.  Making me late for work, late going to bed because I can't stop listening to it.

In 2017 buying an integrated amp and cd player seems like madness to most people now everyone is streaming and with the advent of the new Naim one-box solutions. But I just love putting on and listening to a cd and I want a system that will do me for the next 20+ years at least, if not the rest of my life.  I am sure the SN2 will outlast me but cd players fail after time - someone on here called a CDP dinosaur technology... BUT I deliberately decided to buy a CDX2 because it sounds wonderful with the SN2 and I hope that it can be serviced long in the future. I am absolutely convinced that there will be a cd revival in 10,15,20 years by the way.

So reading about each trial and change you make just makes me want to encourage you to keep it simple and try out the CDX2 with your SN2. You've got the TQ cables which are also great with this combination.  

I just want 2 boxes (and cannot afford any more!!).  If you are ok with more boxes I'm guessing that Fatcat's suggestion of a CDS3/XPS would give you more enjoyment than trying to improve things with transports and DACs. Failing that, give a CDX2 a shot because your SN2 deserves it.

Whatever choice you go for, I hope it brings you a loads of enjoyment.


 

 

Nina posted:

Is there anyone using the Naim DC1 cable ?  if so is it any good ?  Thinking about it from CD5XS to Dac, so a BNC to RCA version

If your using an all Naim cable set - speaker,power and interconnects and enjoy them - then the DC1 would be your best option.

some advocate that all cables should be thought of as a system, while others are happy to mix and match.  Since it's been mentioned that your using TQ cables, it could be worthwhile you trying the same level digital BNC to BNC cable that TQ have to offer.

there will no such thing as a CD revival in 15 to 20 years.

It's an old outdated technology which has no place in our lives just like VHS and Betamax.

Streaming is the present and the future with advances like MQA and high-resolution.

Since I got tidal, I haven't bought much CD or LP. Just the obligatory gift from my family. That's it.

 

 

 

 

analogmusic posted:

there will no such thing as a CD revival in 15 to 20 years.

It's an old outdated technology which has no place in our lives just like VHS and Betamax.

Streaming is the present and the future with advances like MQA and high-resolution.

Since I got tidal, I haven't bought much CD or LP. Just the obligatory gift from my family. That's it.

 

 

 

 

Some bold statements there!

Personally, i am inclined to agree with 1)

Even though streaming has the potential to sound better, at least when playing from a locally stored file, 2) is, and will be, incorrect for anyone with a CD collection  unless or until they discover the benefits of streaming and/or CD player reaches end of life and no e availble to replace, so CD will continue to have  a place in a lot of peoples lives probably for many years to come.

I agree wholeheartedly with most of 3), but not MQA: As a lossy process it is compromised, and to me has no place in hifi. (However, I note that apparently some people like the effect on the sound arising from the artefacts created by the reconstruction process, much as some people like the effect caused by RF ground plane modulation in some DACs. I have no personal experience of it so can't offer my own assessment). As bandwidths increase MQA might cease to have the benefit that it offers to some - which really is primarily to the streaminfpg service provider, as it will only make a significant difference (compared to non-lossy hi res online streaming) where the local bandwidth is a limiting factor.

Regarding Tidal, it suits some, but will only be relevant as a replacement for their own collection to those who live somewhere with adequate internet bandwidth and stability, and who like the model of not owning but being dependent on a service to always be available, uninterruptible, carry a stock of music they like (in perpetuity), and are happy to pay a subscription indefinitely or lose access to the music.

 

repeating myself somewhat but for a BNC to BNC on the cheap that's highly entertaining... get one of these, then you can compare some of the expensive cables.

" Belden 4974R, around £35 shipped from Blue Jeans cables in the states. This gives surprisingly good results, it even makes the 2qute a bit less clinical but not enough. The chord clearway and shawline were disappointingly dull, I haven't tried the DC1.

Mine took about a week to arrive using  fedex internationakl priority, that takes care of the VAT too.

I have a temporary REGA DAC-r connected to my Core with one, the soundstage is a bit flat but theres a good comunication of emotional content and the Rega can actually boogie with one of these feeding it, it couldn't with either of the Chord cables I tried.

 

Firstly I contacted Naim about whether BNC to BNC (CD5XS to Dac) would sound better than the BNC to RCA I am currently using and they said I wouldn't hear any difference so that's good enough for me to stick with what I am currently using

Secondly when trying to decide between the Hugo and the Naim Dac I said to myself "Which one would I miss the most?" and I have to say the Naim Dac won that argument quite convincingly

Yes the Hugo is very good and on some cd's it's excellent but I think the Naim Dac is more even-handed across the range of cd's I've thrown at it...  also the Naim Dac has a certain 'something' that's tricky to put my finger on sound wise but I love it to bits

I can't imagine that a CDX2 could sound any better than CD5XS into the Dac

Many many years ago I did buy a brand new CDX2 and I sold it shortly afterwards as I was not convinced by it, however that was not being used in a Naim set up 

So my source is sorted:  CD5XS into Naim Dac

The only thing I might try in the years to come would be the Chord Hugo TT but that can wait

Finally does anyone know if you can switch the lights off on the Naim Dac display?

Nina posted:

Finally does anyone know if you can switch the lights off on the Naim Dac display?

Yes, but as with other Naim boxes, you can't switch off the logo light. The 'lock' light also remains on.  The sequence using the 'display' button on your remote is in the manual. 

Nina posted:
Christopher_M posted:
Nina posted:

Many many years ago I did buy a brand new CDX2 ......

Let me guess, there's a NAC552 in a sealed box in the cupboard under the stairs just waiting for the right system   ;-)))

Actually no...

It’s in the wardrobe isn’t it?

Exactly MDS now I just need to decide between the XS2 and the SN2 but as all my recent listening has been with the SN2 I can't imagine I will change it

I have no thoughts of any upgrades now, I'm very happy with the system as it sounds now 

I am so enjoying my toons 

Hey guys...and gal,today I tried using the Hugo 2 as a preamp,fed the digital signal from my Core,then analog out from the H2 directly into my amp.I do not have anything but RCA interconnects,so I could not use my Nap 250 DR,I used my Anthem MCA 50 amp.The sound is actually incredible,very detailed,but meaty full 3D sound...using Dynaudio special 40 Speakers.I know a few people have tried this before,but this is my first time,it really has me thinking Chord Dave directly into an amp may be in my future,of course I want to live with it for a few days before I make any decisions,but the H2 is the real deal as a pre,and has a remote.

No quarter posted:

,but this is my first time,it really has me thinking Chord Dave directly into an amp may be in my future,of course I want to live with it for a few days before I make any decisions,but the H2 is the real deal as a pre,and has a remote.

That's how I use Dave, however be aware that those who crave the 'Naim sound" suggest that a Naim preamp is necessary prerequisite.

No quarter posted:

Hey guys...and gal,today I tried using the Hugo 2 as a preamp,fed the digital signal from my Core,then analog out from the H2 directly into my amp.I do not have anything but RCA interconnects,so I could not use my Nap 250 DR,I used my Anthem MCA 50 amp.The sound is actually incredible,very detailed,but meaty full 3D sound...using Dynaudio special 40 Speakers.I know a few people have tried this before,but this is my first time,it really has me thinking Chord Dave directly into an amp may be in my future,of course I want to live with it for a few days before I make any decisions,but the H2 is the real deal as a pre,and has a remote.

Interesting. What is the preamp that's connected to the NAP 250 DR prior to running the Hugo 2 direct to the 250DR?

Mayor West posted:

NQ, I added the ferrites to the standard Hugo USB cable - pretty surprised at the improved microdetail and slight smoother sound. Can't decide whether it's strained the dynamics ever so slightly though. Have you had the same/similar experience?

I also had two jitterbugs in the Mac Mini... maybe this was overkill on the anti-noise agenda with the ferrites added. Anyway I've taken one of the jitterbugs out and left the ferrites on and I now have the best of both worlds

Mayor West posted:

NQ, I added the ferrites to the standard Hugo USB cable - pretty surprised at the improved microdetail and slight smoother sound. Can't decide whether it's strained the dynamics ever so slightly though. Have you had the same/similar experience?

I have not taken them off the USB cable yet to do a comparison.Right now I am using my Core as a source with the SPDIF cable,so I do not have any ferrites big enough to go around that cable yet,but ordered a box of them.What you describe sounds about right though,I was using headphones when I used the ferrites around the USB cable.There is an ongoing conversation about them on the Blu2 thread,one guy saying that Chord should include ferrites in the box,because they make such a difference,

No quarter posted:
Mayor West posted:

NQ, I added the ferrites to the standard Hugo USB cable - pretty surprised at the improved microdetail and slight smoother sound. Can't decide whether it's strained the dynamics ever so slightly though. Have you had the same/similar experience?

I have not taken them off the USB cable yet to do a comparison.Right now I am using my Core as a source with the SPDIF cable,so I do not have any ferrites big enough to go around that cable yet,but ordered a box of them.What you describe sounds about right though,I was using headphones when I used the ferrites around the USB cable.There is an ongoing conversation about them on the Blu2 thread,one guy saying that Chord should include ferrites in the box,because they make such a difference,

I've added both jitterbugs back in now, I think perhaps it was just a matter of re-adjusting to the different presentation at first with the ferrites in. But yeah it's pretty shocking how much difference they make... with a Hugo 1 anyway. Your help with this mini-upgrade has been much appreciated, thanks!

For the last week or so,I have been running my Naim Core digital out>Nordost Heimdall 11 (75 ohm) digital cable>Hugo 2 coax input>using the Hugo 2 as a pre amp>RCA analog outs,using 2 Nordost Heimdall 11 analog cables>directly to my Anthem MCA 50 amp>Dynaudio special 40s.This has been an eye opener,I have never heard instruments sound so real,and the soundstage so detailed and HUGE in width and depth.Today I changed it up a bit,and took the digital cable off the Core,put it back on the N272 digital out,used the same music in UPNP mode,so essentially ran it through the 272 as a streamer.Still using the Hugo 2 as the pre amp directly into the Anthem amp,to the special 40s.To cut to the chase,it lost its magic with the 272 in there,now I only have very standard modem,router,and Ethernet cables,no switch,so I think all of these factors are degrading the sound coming out of the 272.What I want to do next,is get a cable so I can use my 250 DR instead of the Anthem (RCA to XLR),but as it stands right now,The digital out of the Core,smokes the UPNP through the 272/XPSDR...directly into the Hugo 2.I know people say you need a Naim pre amp to get the Naim sound,but maybe that can be attained from the Core only,because I am loving what this simplified system does,and makes me question why I need the pre amp at all,especially since I was tempted to upgrade the XPSDR to a 555DR,after HHS recent thread...just thought I would share some of what I found,Core>DAC>AMP>Speakers>Heaven.

 

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