Interconnect choice

Hungryhalibut posted:

If you need to add goodness knows how many funny little boxes from here today, gone tomorrow companies in order to make the mighty Hugo vaguely usable, it's not that bloody wonderful after all, is it? At least with a manky old Naim streamer you can just plug it in and it works, but of course that's too boring. 

Not sure what's biting you about people recommending Hugo, which I think you said you hadn't heard?

BTW the OP's issue isn't with a Hugo,. And if its box count that is the issue, Iseem to recall that the odd Naim streamer ends up with the odd separate DAC to improve it (Naim or otherwise)' and the odd power sUpply, all rather bigger boxes... :-) 

The above meant in good humour - all is fair in DAC and other hifi  wars, as everyone's ears and how they appreciate music are different, as indeed are many other factors including depths of pocket, willingness/desire or otherwise to tweak, upgrade, fiddle etc.

 

My guess the source and speakers are weak link here

Time wasted, trying mega expensive snob cables, there' some people in here continuing to promote their own gear telling us its much better than X or Y, someone not that blind, are more realistic telling us the shortcomings

I was just amused by Elouise's wonderful post. If a regen or a jitterbug won't fix the problem, try a Beaglebone. As she rightly says, some people love this stuff, but would you want to meet them at a party? I'm happy to promote what I have because I know it works and sounds ok without the need to replace it with parts of a domestic pet. 

i too have a 2qute and felt the same about the high end.

i use foobar > 2qute >chord chorus> nait 5si> odyssey > pmc 21's

i used naca5 5m pair originally 

once i changed to oddy the harsh highs toned down.

the naca was too aggressive in my system

Hungryhalibut posted:

If you need to add goodness knows how many funny little boxes from here today, gone tomorrow companies in order to make the mighty Hugo vaguely usable, it's not that bloody wonderful after all, is it? At least with a manky old Naim streamer you can just plug it in and it works, but of course that's too boring. 

But you don't (need goodness knows how many boxes to make the Hugo 'vaguely usable) and it certainly is (bloody wonderful)!

Of course you could plug in a Naim streamer and it would work. But the Naim philosophy would have it that you then need a better separate power supply and possibly Naim DAC to make it sound really good. Of course, you then need the appropriate connecter types to allow these components to work optimally, and of course you need appropriate cabling (Super Lumina) to add the final touch.

I don't find that boring at all! It sounds to me like quite a journey, and a complicated one at that. 

It's quite simple really for most people. I had invested in a Naim ND5XS streamer for use in my second system. Unfortunately, I found that in comparison with the Klimax streamer in my other system the sound was just too unrefined to allow me to enjoy the system for any length of time. I added a Chord Hugo DAC  which greatly improved the sound quality. I have since replaced my ND5XS with a Sonore microRendu renderer which has further significantly enhanced  the sound quality to the extent that it now exceeds (in my opinion) that of my Klimax DS.

So, my streaming components comprise a microRendu (with power supply) into Chord Hugo. Nothing complicated about that, and the best value for money streaming source I have heard.

Maybe an NDS with top of the range power supply would sound better? I haven't heard this combination. But I do know that it would be a damn sight more expensive.  

The Chord Hugo is certainly pretty good, and many people on this forum appear to agree.     

Hungryhalibut posted:

I was just amused by Elouise's wonderful post. If a regen or a jitterbug won't fix the problem, try a Beaglebone. As she rightly says, some people love this stuff, but would you want to meet them at a party? I'm happy to promote what I have because I know it works and sounds ok without the need to replace it with parts of a domestic pet. 

Unfortunately HH,

I suspect that very few party-goers would want to engage any of we hi-fi enthusiasts and extreme music devotees in a conversation about audio systems. I suspect this applies equally to Naim Audio enthusiasts as much as to the tweakers who are partial to a bit of experimentation with jitterbugs and the like.  

Unfortunately for me, I am also a motorcycle enthusiast, and normally like to build my own PCs, so I am in particular on a hiding to nothing when it comes to parties. Fewer and fewer party invitations seem to be winging their way to me these days. I don't really blame them. I probably wouldn't invite myself to a party either.     

Hungryhalibut posted:

I was just amused by Elouise's wonderful post. If a regen or a jitterbug won't fix the problem, try a Beaglebone. As she rightly says, some people love this stuff, but would you want to meet them at a party? I'm happy to promote what I have because I know it works and sounds ok without the need to replace it with parts of a domestic pet. 

Adding things like a Jitterbug or a Regen are just tweaks to optimise as far as I'm aware. Surely this is only the same as adding powerlines etc to optimise a Naim set up?

Emre posted:
dayjay posted:
Emre posted:
feeling_zen posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

Here's another thought: sell the Qute, 202, Hicap and napsc and get a 272. That will get you a much better preamp as well as a source that doesn't frighten cats. It's a thought at least. I've never found using cables as tone controls to be in any way effective. 

"Much better preamp" eh? That's pretty subjective when talking about a nicely maxed out 202.

here we go again  

i think we should organise a jury of 5 and make blind test 202/272/282 naked and powered by reasonable matched PSs

A large and good dealer can organise this somewhere in UK, i might fly from Istanbul just to watch it, i don't consider my self a jury member status.... but i can bring Turkish delight and Raki! 

 but then what are we going to argue about here

My " not counted " vote is for 272!

If you are bringing Raki can I come and watch too please?

if naked.....  

After enough Raki I often am, at which point everyone else is driven to it!  I find it very amusing to see the desire to tweak the Hugo for better performance being questioned on a forum that frequently talks about rearranging which shelf their kit sits on, how to massage their cables and about how necessary it is to keep their £4K speaker cables from touching the floor in case it sulks and spoils the sound.  At the end of the day we are all slightly mad to be in this hobby and one man's fine tuning is another man's strange and unnecessary weird addition. 

Mayor West posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

I was just amused by Elouise's wonderful post. If a regen or a jitterbug won't fix the problem, try a Beaglebone. As she rightly says, some people love this stuff, but would you want to meet them at a party? I'm happy to promote what I have because I know it works and sounds ok without the need to replace it with parts of a domestic pet. 

Adding things like a Jitterbug or a Regen are just tweaks to optimise as far as I'm aware. Surely this is only the same as adding powerlines etc to optimise a Naim set up?

According to its makers, the Regen is designed to correct errors. A Powerline simply improves something that works quite happily anyway. That sounds different to me. 

I'm not going to argue with you Nigel, the Hugo works perfectly well without a regen just as my SN2 works perfectly well without a Hicap DR - I prefer both with their tweaks though - the regen improves the power supply and USB signal into the Hugo.  I prefered a naked Hugo to a naked Ndac after listening to them for a week.  If others prefer something else then that's fine and it they want to massage their cables, add power supplies, unplug and plug in all their cables once per year and add extra devices to allow Tidal to stream properly that's up to them - I certainly won't judge them for it and I'm sure it's fun.  It would be really boring it is all just plugged and played, we'd just all buy a Sono woouldn't we.

Hmack posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

I was just amused by Elouise's wonderful post. If a regen or a jitterbug won't fix the problem, try a Beaglebone. As she rightly says, some people love this stuff, but would you want to meet them at a party? I'm happy to promote what I have because I know it works and sounds ok without the need to replace it with parts of a domestic pet. 

Unfortunately HH,

I suspect that very few party-goers would want to engage any of we hi-fi enthusiasts and extreme music devotees in a conversation about audio systems. I suspect this applies equally to Naim Audio enthusiasts as much as to the tweakers who are partial to a bit of experimentation with jitterbugs and the like.  

Unfortunately for me, I am also a motorcycle enthusiast, and normally like to build my own PCs, so I am in particular on a hiding to nothing when it comes to parties. Fewer and fewer party invitations seem to be winging their way to me these days. I don't really blame them. I probably wouldn't invite myself to a party either.     

Reminds me of a Will Self short story about an Amazonian tribe, largely unknown to western civilisation, whose name for themselves translated roughly to 'the people whom you wouldn't want to get stuck in the kitchen at a party with'

Like I said, it was Eloise's post that amused me, and hifi is too boring to argue or get cross about. Because of my fractured skull my right ear won't work so the stereo sounds like crap. If there was an ear regen or a cerebrospinal fluid discharge inhibitor that I could plug into my 272 I'd buy it like a shot! Even The Smiths cannot cheer me up. 

I knew you were in I a bad way HH but hadn't realised that you were quite so ill that the Smiths wouldn't cheer you up!  If only we could get a regen for our ears we could save a fortune on kit.  Have they said how long you can expect your ears to be affected at all?  Not too long I hope?

The consultant very helpfully said that it might be a few weeks, but also that I may never regain my hearing. I'm going back in three or four weeks for another hearing test and check. I may need to have grommets! It's bloomin' annoying - I'm signed off work, have all the time in the world, but cannot enjoy listening to music, which is my greatest pleasure in life. And because I cannot concentrate, reading books is not the comfort I'd hoped for. Still, let's look on the bright side, at least I'm not dead. Which is something people keep saying to me.....

Anecdotal story.   Just started working in Central London in 1979 and these guys invited me to a "private gig" in Camden.  Got there and it turned out to be the Throbbing Gristle.  But the venue  turned out to be a squat!!! Inevitably the good officers of the Met arrived - I paid my respects and headed to Camden Town tube!!

Hungryhalibut posted:

Even The Smiths cannot cheer me up. 

The Smiths, .............cheer one up? ............................you're 'aving a larf, surely? 

Seriously, though, keep taking the medication, and get better soon, as we all miss the cutting edge of your observations on an otherwise largely boring forum.

Aw ra best,

Dave.

Not as urban as that but my friend is a sales manager for Mercedes and was staying at a hotel for a sales conference.  The hotel manager had a chat to him and his colleagues and said that they had a band who were practising and to be aware there would be a bit of noise.  Would you like to watch them , he asked?  My friend is not a big music fan and he sat through an hour set thinking that he vaguely recognised them.  At the end of the set the singer thanked them for watching and signed off with, "I'm Dave Grohl and we've been the Foo Fighters".  How jammy is that!

dave marshall posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

Even The Smiths cannot cheer me up. 

The Smiths, .............cheer one up? ............................you're 'aving a larf, surely? 

Seriously, though, keep taking the medication, and get better soon, as we all miss the cutting edge of your observations on an otherwise largely boring forum.

Aw ra best,

Dave.

Thanks Dave, you are very kind. 

dayjay posted:

Not as urban as that but my friend is a sales manager for Mercedes and was staying at a hotel for a sales conference.  The hotel manager had a chat to him and his colleagues and said that they had a band who were practising and to be aware there would be a bit of noise.  Would you like to watch them , he asked?  My friend is not a big music fan and he sat through an hour set thinking that he vaguely recognised them.  At the end of the set the singer thanked them for watching and signed off with, "I'm Dave Grohl and we've been the Foo Fighters".  How jammy is that!

Fantastic!!!

Hungryhalibut posted:
dave marshall posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

Even The Smiths cannot cheer me up. 

The Smiths, .............cheer one up? ............................you're 'aving a larf, surely? 

Seriously, though, keep taking the medication, and get better soon, as we all miss the cutting edge of your observations on an otherwise largely boring forum.

Aw ra best,

Dave.

Thanks Dave, you are very kind. 

Mind you, not sure how the "Peckish Flatfish" designation went down, on a different thread............thought it was quite clever wordplay myself.

Made I larf.......................hopefully, you had a chuckle too.

Get well soon,

Dave. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

Like I said, it was Eloise's post that amused me, and hifi is too boring to argue or get cross about. Because of my fractured skull my right ear won't work so the stereo sounds like crap. If there was an ear regen or a cerebrospinal fluid discharge inhibitor that I could plug into my 272 I'd buy it like a shot! Even The Smiths cannot cheer me up. 

I wouldn't expect The Smiths to be capable of cheering anyone up. Try Marillion instead...

Seriously, though, whatever the exchanges and banter here, hifi is but a pleasant diversion from the more serious aspects of life, and your experience is a reminder to us all how fragile that life, and enjoyment of something our hearing that we all take for granted can be. We all wish you a speedy and full recovery, with a return of good hearing, and many years of repartee on this forum to come.

The Strat (Fender) posted:
Adam Zielinski posted:

I would suggest you actually work on your source first. As Chris wrote - you can start with a Naim DAC or even a NAIM streamer.

Absolutely.  Changing cables may improve and no doubt optimise your system but you've identified the problem and it's not the cable. 

2 options:

- Stick with the laptop and try a Naim DAC preferably with a XPS. 

-  or rip your music to a NAS and try a Naim streamer. 

Good luck,

Lindsay

Again 100% agree. THe problem described by the OP is of course a matter of degrees. If this is something that is barely even perceptable then, sure by all means try some cables to see if they resolve it. But the way the problem is described makes me think that there is a findamental mismatch in the system that needs to be addressed first. Cables make a great difference in making something that already sounds fundamentally right sound better. Never had them actually fix a problem for me though.

FWIW, I used to sell Credos back in the day. I would point the finger there to start with.

If you can test inbterconnects, then do. I'd love to hear I was wrong and that a cable fixed everything and the music was flowing. But I am firmly with Strat and Adam on this one.

the comments about the Credos make me wonder if the QuteEX might have been a bit subdued in the treble end, perhaps above the audible range,  a fuller response now triggering limitations with the tweeters. Purely speculation, but if true it would be absolutely crucial to audition any component in your system - and whether a Hugo or a Naim solution would be better is anyone's guess. Are you wedded to the Credos? The trouble is, of course, if you otherwise love their character it is a significant task to find a replacement.

isolate the laptop so you have nothing connected to it (not even an ethernet cable) and run it on batteries. the 2qute has galvanic isolation on usb input so connect laptop to this using usb cable. make sure all your cables do not touch each other and keep laptop away from your gear. any noise (that you maybe be perceiving as harsh top end) from your laptop is now completely eliminated. play a track using a bit perfect player such as audirvana. if the harshness is still there then the problem does not occur with your source\laptop.

Innocent Bystander posted:

the comments about the Credos make me wonder if the QuteEX might have been a bit subdued in the treble end, perhaps above the audible range,  a fuller response now triggering limitations with the tweeters. Purely speculation, but if true it would be absolutely crucial to audition any component in your system - and whether a Hugo or a Naim solution would be better is anyone's guess. Are you wedded to the Credos? The trouble is, of course, if you otherwise love their character it is a significant task to find a replacement.

yes, i thought could be the speakers. could try firing them straight rather than toed in might help. buying a hugo is likely to make things worse not better when using usb as its not isolated.

Well I kind of discounted the Credo's because they sounded great with my old Qute Ex, Naim CD5x, CD3r, but that might be the cause...I do have my doubts pn that though.

Speakers are firing straight and the room has plenty of soft, I.e fully carpeted, fabric sofa & curtains etc.

i am surprised to hear so many here discounting the effect on cables actually, not to say that you're wrong, but I remember many years ago, with a Nad amp, I used some silver biwired speaker cable, I forget he brand...and the sound was awful. So bright and sibilant it was barely listenable. I then bought some copper QED stuff and the sibilance went away immediately. It was like an entirely different system, so I thought in this case that rather than changing a very good amp which the 202/200 is, a very good Dac which the Chord is, I might try cabling first as I've seen the effects before.

As I said I might be barking I the wrong tree though!

I also have heard the effects of bad cables. I heard some harshness on a couple of tracks in my system a while ago. Narrowed it down to the mains cables I had from Black Rhodium. Put the stock cables back and the harshness went. Turns out the BR cables were tinned copper. Sounded ok most of the time but on some of the high notes sounded awful. Since been replaced with TQ cables. Unbelievable performance! 

Word of warning avoid anything tinned!! 

Emre posted:


 

i think we should organise a jury of 5 and make blind test 202/272/282 naked and powered by reasonable matched PSs

A large and good dealer can organise this somewhere in UK, i might fly from Istanbul just to watch it, i don't consider my self a jury member status.... but i can bring Turkish delight and Raki! 

 but then what are we going to argue about here

My " not counted " vote is for 272!

An interesting idea... do you find that clothing can mask the sound?

BTW, which UK dealers are relaxed about running auditions with naked customers?   (or is it only dealers in more enlightened parts of our world that encourage this?)

In the late eighties and early nineties reading the hifi press to help me put together a budget system, it was common to read reviews of cables that gave nuggets like - can tame a brash system - good for putting some zip into timing - good for dulling down sibilant treble etc . Hifi has moved on since those days and cables are best thought of as being a system as much as the core components. 

You hear many going on about having a balanced system of front end ,amplification and speakers, well interconnects , power and speaker cables need to be of a balanced system.

the old way put former is great if your an experienced dealer to showcase the ability to put together differing components ,because you would have the sheer numbers of pieces available to choose from, not so great for the punter - hence the prevalence of these type of reviews that were tied in with said dealers to provide products to review.

if you think of cables as being a balanced system you look for say what has been recommending above from chord cables as a good interconnect, do a little research to find out what's its technology and where it sits in the companies product family and get the appropriate speaker cables and power cord, then you might hear the difference your looking for.

JamesN posted:
rather than changing a very good amp which the 202/200 is, a very good Dac which the Chord is, I might try cabling first as I've seen the effects before.

As I said I might be barking I the wrong tree though!

i'd be suprised if the pre, amp, or dac were the cause of your problem. room and speaker positioning seem okay too. might be cables.

it might be worth mentioning that i have just received a custom cable made by designacable. it sounds superb, excellent workmanship, and the best part is that it only cost over 30 quid.

the best sq from the hugo tt i have is out of the rca but the scm40a speakers only accept xlr (unbalanced or balanced wiring). so i wanted an rca to xlr cable but wired in such a way as to get the best out of both the tt and scm40a speakers (unbalanced to balanced). i decided on van damme xke tour grade classic as it has very low capacitance, low resistance, has a combination of pure copper and silver plated copper conductors, and it is widely used in the pro audio industry.

Cable:
Van-Damme Tour Grade Classic XKE mic cable

Connectors:
Rean NYS373
Neutrik 3 Pin NC3MXX-B Male XLR Connector

Wiring (best way to connect unbalanced to balanced):
RCA centre pin - cable red wire - to XLR pin 2
RCA outer ring - cable blue wire - to XLR pin 3
RCA outer ring - cable screen - to XLR pin 1
Silver solder

not yet compared with my chord rca-xlr shawline  (wired same which is all silver plated and also sounds superb but more expensive) to see which i prefer.

Likes (1)
Davie R
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