ndac upgrade

nathan_klassen posted:
Ardbeg10y posted:

Would an nDac + PS (to decide which one) on a Supernait 1 be overkill?

I don't think so at all.

I had the pleasure of demoing the nDAC with my SuperNAIT 1. It sounded glorious. Incredibly engaging, wonderful drive and tons of fun. I wish I had the cash to buy it :/

I've never heard the NDS in my home system, but I've heard it a few times in the local dealer's setup - even with dual 555s into Statement.

I think the NDAC is more fun and the NDS more Hifi, but again - never done the A->B... just not impressed with the NDS. 

 

Perhaps the Statement would  show up the nDAC's deficiencies even more than it shows up the deficiencies in the NDS?

 

Adam Zielinski posted:
nathan_klassen posted:

 

I've never heard the NDS in my home system, but I've heard it a few times in the local dealer's setup - even with dual 555s into Statement.

I think the NDAC is more fun and the NDS more Hifi, but again - never done the A->B... just not impressed with the NDS. 

 

Well.... I think you should demo NDS in your system for some time. It would make your statement a bit more qualified.

Hi Adam,

I think I was pretty clear about the context in which I listened in and the limitations of that type of audition.  I don't feel that makes my opinion 'less qualified' but perhaps more limited.  As Harry responded later, and other's have said, everyone really perceives these things differently.  Some people found the NDS more fun. 

While I would love to hear an NDS in my own system someday, it is just too far out of my price range to consider.  So I don't feel it is fair of me to request an in home audition from my dealer.  The NDAC is 'just' out of reach for now, but not forever.  I'm grateful I have a dealer that facilitates these types of demos so I can set my next target   

I think what both of us can agree on is that the most important thing is to audition with your own setup whenever one can.

 

Hmack posted:

Perhaps the Statement would  show up the nDAC's deficiencies even more than it shows up the deficiencies in the NDS?

Perhaps.  I wonder if anyone has heard that pairing? 

nathan_klassen posted:
  The NDAC is 'just' out of reach for now, but not forever. 

nDAC has been around for a while now. If you start searching a second-hand market some appear every now and then. That's how I picked up mine - at 40% of a new price and it was not even 3 years old. My 555PS that powers it is also a pre-loved one, bought from a reputable UK dealer.

Adam Zielinski posted:
nathan_klassen posted:
  The NDAC is 'just' out of reach for now, but not forever. 

nDAC has been around for a while now. If you start searching a second-hand market some appear every now and then. That's how I picked up mine - at 40% of a new price and it was not even 3 years old. My 555PS that powers it is also a pre-loved one, bought from a reputable UK dealer.

It is a  good suggestion, but hard to find these in Canada at a reasonable second hand price.  Ideally I'd like to buy from my dealer to get the warranty / support, but money first.

jon honeyball posted:

having fun playing with bnc to bnc cables from hdx and other sources...

Naim DC1 is flat and boring

lab grade bncbnc cable is lifelike bouncy and fun

HD-SDI 12G cable is wow

Jon,

Thanks for your post.  

I took a punt on the HD-SDI 12G cable.  It is still early days but for me it has a cleaner, clearer presentation over the DC1.  Good improvement for not much cash.  Alvinscables made it with a phono at one end and to the length I wanted too!

Thanks

  Paul

 

Harry interesting observations.

Over the years after many experiments and many thousands of hours of listening, I went from speaker first (I knew very little then about Naim back in 2010) to now source first.

To me now it is the source that actaully plays music, i.e that is the musician, not the amplifier or the speakers.

The better the source, the better the musician, is my experience. Nowadays there are many digital sources, yes they can almost all render the file from 20 HZ to 20,000 HZ, but how they play music is the key. There are many factors that need to be considered such as noise floor modulation, digital filters, power supply. distortion, but in the end, much of the burden falls on the source to play music in a way that is engaging, and faithful to the spirit of the original performance.

I now believe there is little point spending lots of money on amps and speakers, if the source is not good enough, which means the musicians on the recording could sound tired and not interested.

You mentioned people used to have fully loaded Lp12 with average amps and speakers (I now think I understand why they built their system this way), could you please tell us more about this, and also if you heard such a rig?

analogmusic posted:

Harry interesting observations.

Over the years after many experiments and many thousands of hours of listening, I went from speaker first (I knew very little then about Naim back in 2010) to now source first.

To me now it is the source that actaully plays music, i.e that is the musician, not the amplifier or the speakers.

The better the source, the better the musician, is my experience. Nowadays there are many digital sources, yes they can almost all render the file from 20 HZ to 20,000 HZ, but how they play music is the key. There are many factors that need to be considered such as noise floor modulation, digital filters, power supply. distortion, but in the end, much of the burden falls on the source to play music in a way that is engaging, and faithful to the spirit of the original performance.

I now believe there is little point spending lots of money on amps and speakers, if the source is not good enough, which means the musicians on the recording could sound tired and not interested.

Interesting view, and good to get away from the "you don't get out what you don't put in" source-first fallacy.

However I struggle with the idea of the source being the musician, as the musician has already done his/her job, as packaged by the recording, and the job of the source is simply (sic!) to get it out of the package and pass into the rest of the system. (Here I'm considering the reconstruction of an analogue signal to be part of that unpacking, as well as converting a file or series of pits to a bitstream, or modulated groove to an electrical signal)

I in no way challenge the importance of that unpacking task, but to my mind it should not be imposing anything on the music, as a musician does, but should be thorough, accurate and entirely neutral, passing on exactly what is in the recording, no more, no less. Perfect source or source components will do that, others will compromise somewhere, and how good or bad a source sounds depends on what is compromised and by how much, with degrees of 'betterness' of sound depending on the subjective response of the listener to the differences in the combined compromises that occur in different sources.

And 'better' does not always or necessarily dictate more expensive, especially given progress in digital processing, complicated further by the subjectivity meaning people don't always agree on which sounds best, there being no measure for what constitutes closeness to perfection.

But, importantly, although the difference might be heard through the system, throwing money at getting the best possible source for which you can stretch to financially does not necessarily relate in absolute terms to greatest enjoyment and satisfaction, which I contend is also dependent on the rest of the system, and indeed on what each individual wants from the music, possibly even on musical taste. Speaking for myself, I have serious doubts that I would find Dave through cheapo speakers anywhere near as satisfying as Hugo through much better speakers - yes, I might hear that Dave brings extra clarity etc, but, for example, that wouldn't make either flabby or absent bass sound good, whereas although Hugo doesn't sound as good as Dave, it is still presents music in an excellent manner and I know from experience with both that I would still be happy and satisfied if I hadn't been able to buy Dave and stayed with Hugo, whereas I have yet to hear low budget speakers that would leave me feeling the same.

But maybe the key point is actually a phrase at the end of Analogmusic's post above: if the source Is not 'good enough', then the system will be limited and so might enjoyment and satisfaction - the challenge for the individual is, what is good enough?

Lucky for us, Naim, Linn have spent years and years doing R&D on this "problem", and have the answers in terms of their products. NDAC/XPS is a very fine source, and so are LP12 and Linn DS streamers. CD555 is magical.

So I would now in hindsight much rather have a Naim/Linn source into an average amplifier (as Harry said) than an average musical source (it doesn't do anything wrong, but doesn't do anything right either) into a Naim amplifier.

The musical damage at source (musicians sounding bored and tired) cannot never be fixed by an amplifier, even if that preamp is a NAC 552.

As for Dave into cheapo speakers, Rob Watts won't say which speakers he uses on his travels, but they will be pretty small and portable, and he says he can still hear what Dave does on those portable speakers. 

I remember having a pretty modest hi-fi system to play cassettes, and it sounded ok, one lucky weekend my friend lent me his Vinyl rig (30 years ago) and about a dozen Vinyls.

My Jaw hit the floor, same amp, same speakers, but what a transformation hearing the Vinyl rig....

For DACs, Chord, from the humble Mojo upwards.

Some even suggest the Audioquest Dragonfly as being respectable enough for serious use  which if true takes cost remarkably low (I haven't heard myself so can't comment)

 

re Rob Watts, I thought he uses headphones when on his travels - though as I said, it is down to the individual!s preferences, and I for one do not like the bottom octaves to be missing, curtailed, or flabby - others don't even like to hear or feel bass, or are content for curtailment or just hearing the harmonics.

analogmusic posted:

The musical damage at source (musicians sounding bored and tired) cannot never be fixed by an amplifier, even if that preamp is a NAC 552.

As for Dave into cheapo speakers, Rob Watts won't say which speakers he uses on his travels, but they will be pretty small and portable, and he says he can still hear what Dave does on those portable speakers. 

I remember having a pretty modest hi-fi system to play cassettes, and it sounded ok, one lucky weekend my friend lent me his Vinyl rig (30 years ago) and about a dozen Vinyls.

My Jaw hit the floor, same amp, same speakers, but what a transformation hearing the Vinyl rig....

That a better source can be heard to be better, even jaw-droppingly better, through even a very modest system is not surprising, but doesn't necessarily mean it will sound good, just that it sounds better than with the lesser source, though this clearly depends on the system and what the listener would consider to be good.

That brings me to the argument about not getting out what you don't put in, which is trotted out perenially as if by rote by those arguing 'source first' but is a meaningless statement as you also cannot get out what any component doesn't pass through, which includes amp and speakers, the weakest links in the system limiting what you hear, whichever components they may be. Against that the primary argument for a major focus on the speakers is because they most influence the character of the sound - but that is not blindly saying 'speakers first' not least because of course the very behaviour of speakers can be adversely affected by an amp not up to the job. Overall considerations need to take into account the effect of all components, though at any point of choice that may be moderated by any upgrade intent, especially in the short term when limitations might be more acceptable in the promise of realisation of the full potential soon.

Curiously the one valid argument for strong consideration to be had for the source is rarely mentioned, though alluded to by you when you said that musical damage at source can never be fixed by an amplifier, and it relates directly to the description of what a source should do in my earlier post: If any system component modifies the signal in any way rather than simply doing its job of unpacking or amplifying etc., e.g.limiting, enhancing colouring or distorting (whether spectral range, dynamics or timing etc), that modification is carried through by the subsequent components, each then superimposing its own 'signature', however more or less significant that might be: so a bad source will sound bad however good the speakers are.

However, with modern digital sources it seems that even quite low down the cost spectrum sources may not be bad as such, just not as good as others, while as with everything the law of diminishing returns comes into play, and available budget, especially If limited, presents a challenge as to where most benefit arises to the intended listener in choosing how to apportion expenditure.

analogmusic posted:

"The musical damage at source (musicians sounding bored and tired) cannot never be fixed by an amplifier, even if that preamp is a NAC 552."

Now that's interesting. And true. And here's some food for thought:

I always used to think Bill Burford was patchy. There were some tracks where he appeared to be half asleep or distracted.  After going back through a lot of his catalogue with a 552 my assessment has been proved fundamentally wrong. He's clever. And very talented.  Now that I can hear how he did stuff as well as what he did, I realise what a philistine I've been. 

Time and time again, the care that has been put into composition, arrangement, recording and producing, as well as the sheer virtuosity of the musicians and vocalists astounds me. Al;though evidence of this was convincing at CDX2/XPS2 252/300 level, where we started listening less to the HiFi and more to our music, the 552 has been the biggest key to unlocking this shift in perception and new found admiration for hard work and skill. Even or poor recordings. I think a 552 actually "lets off" many  dodgy recordings because you can feel the passion and commitment. 

Of course, a turd, even covered in glitter will always be a turd. Utterly crap recordings and musical efforts sound more crap than ever. Although they might be OK on a Muso or in the car. Which is why, even if I agreed with the rip off model, I wouldn't bother putting something streamed off the internet through anything decent.  

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. With digital sources, if a source isn't bad, it falls into that description of doesn't do anything wrong, but it doesn't do anything right.

As Rob Watts said, to get digital sounding musical, you need complexity. 

Linn also use FPGA with the streamers, and Naim (and Linn) disable the filter of the DAC Chip, and use their own. Naim uses a  very fast DSP for the digital filter.

There is too much musical information loss with lesser digital sources, and that it the weak link I keep hearing.

As I mentioned earlier, I have listened to my Hugo (you go) all over place, from my car, on a Yamaha HT system (pretty modest), all the way to 500 series Naim with top Sonus Faber speakers. the weak link is the digital source.

When I added DAC V1 to my Yamaha HT amp, I could instantly hear the uplift of movies and music on Yamaha. What changed? only the source. There is little point in spending more money of a better yamaha amp or better KEF speakers for me when DAC V1 gave such an improvement. The powerful KEF subwoofer finally had some bass to work with, and came to life, and music on movie soundtracks sounded beautiful and melodic. 

I also owned Nait XS, 202/200, 282/250 and tried all kinds of speakers from B&W to PMC, Sonus Faber, Dynaudio, and the same applies, the digital source is key and the weak link.

Common sense also applies, anyone who buys a Chord Dave or NDS/555 isn't going to be daft enough to use 100 GBP speakers or a broken sounding amplifier with them.

Also sorry to ask this question, but why did you then upgrade from Hugo to Dave, instead of upgrading the speakers?

 

 

Harry thanks for posting, we all have our own experiences, but after many tests with my friends 552/500, I can't hear 552 adding any musical information. To my ears it lowers the noise floor to allow more detail of the music to come through, but I can easily hear on a 552/500 what CD/555 does, compared to Chord Dave compared to Linn KDS/1 and they all sound different to me, and play music differently. 

Haven't heard a Dave, just a Hugo. But I have spent some hours sitting in front of various Linn stuff and I still do. I agree, they do sound different. In some ways very different. And they're all good.  That's the thing innit? Choice. Got to have choice. 

Here is a post from Richard Dane many years ago. 

"... this evening I decided to try a little experiment. I thought I would try some pieces of music played back from my iPod 80GB through the NAC552 + NAP250 against the same pieces from CD (Meridian 200/DAC/XPS) played back through a cheap(er) amp. So, out of the cupboard I dragged my Ion Obelisk 3x/x-pak, mainly because it was the first piece at hand, but also because I thought it would be interesting to see how it would get on with the SL2s. For those who don't know what the Ion is (are?), it's a little integrated amp in shoe-box style but in this version the power supply has been removed and replaced with a much larger one in a separate shoe-box case. It's a great little amp, with excellent timing and a smooth expansive sound. It's a little soft by Naim standards and against the big Naim combo it lacks a sense of space and adds a layer of fuzz to everything, but it's never anything less than a great listen. It is of course getting on for 20 years old and is much, much cheaper to buy.


So, to the test at hand; Could the brilliance of the NAC552 + NAP250 allow the iPod (playing ALAC files) to match or even exceed CD played back via a superb source into an amplifier costing 1/50th of the price?

Err.... no.

Now, don't get me wrong, the iPod was actually not too bad. Quite listenable in fact. It had a bit of a boost in the upper bass that seemed to make everything sound quite meaty. It was very far from the sort of excrable cacophony that many would have you believe, however it was obvious that the system had taken quite a big step backwards from what I was used to hearing.

Changing over to the Naim front end into the cheapie amp brought instant relief. At last the music became exciting and involving again. No, it wasn't as good as the source into the Naim amps, but the quality of the source still shone through. If ever a test could show the importance of the source this was it.

Anyway, no great shocks I guess, but an interesting and diverting little experiment. Source-first still applies."

Paul Quigley ie posted:
jon honeyball posted:

having fun playing with bnc to bnc cables from hdx and other sources...

Naim DC1 is flat and boring

lab grade bncbnc cable is lifelike bouncy and fun

HD-SDI 12G cable is wow

Jon,

Thanks for your post.  

I took a punt on the HD-SDI 12G cable.  It is still early days but for me it has a cleaner, clearer presentation over the DC1.  Good improvement for not much cash.  Alvinscables made it with a phono at one end and to the length I wanted too!

Thanks

  Paul

 

Interesting findings here. I've actually never compared DC1 to any other BNC-BNC cable. I just found one used years ago and it's been there between my USB bridge and Naim DAC ever since. I checked out the HD-SDI 12G cable in google and found out that BlueaJeansCable sells the new Belden 4794R cable terminated with Belden BNC connectors and the price is extremely affordable compared to DC1. I ordered one in 3ft length to try it out against DC1. I'll report about my findings when it arrives, might take a while from US to Finland. 

analogmusic posted:

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. With digital sources, if a source isn't bad, it falls into that description of doesn't do anything wrong, but it doesn't do anything right.

As Rob Watts said, to get digital sounding musical, you need complexity. 

Linn also use FPGA with the streamers, and Naim (and Linn) disable the filter of the DAC Chip, and use their own. Naim uses a  very fast DSP for the digital filter.

There is too much musical information loss with lesser digital sources, and that it the weak link I keep hearing.

As I mentioned earlier, I have listened to my Hugo (you go) all over place, from my car, on a Yamaha HT system (pretty modest), all the way to 500 series Naim with top Sonus Faber speakers. the weak link is the digital source.

When I added DAC V1 to my Yamaha HT amp, I could instantly hear the uplift of movies and music on Yamaha. What changed? only the source. There is little point in spending more money of a better yamaha amp or better KEF speakers for me when DAC V1 gave such an improvement. The powerful KEF subwoofer finally had some bass to work with, and came to life, and music on movie soundtracks sounded beautiful and melodic. 

I also owned Nait XS, 202/200, 282/250 and tried all kinds of speakers from B&W to PMC, Sonus Faber, Dynaudio, and the same applies, the digital source is key and the weak link.

Common sense also applies, anyone who buys a Chord Dave or NDS/555 isn't going to be daft enough to use 100 GBP speakers or a broken sounding amplifier with them.

Also sorry to ask this question, but why did you then upgrade from Hugo to Dave, instead of upgrading the speakers?

 

 

Well, it would be boring if we all agreed on everything!

I upgraded from Hugo to Dave because it sounded better - and that doesn't mean I thought Hugo was anything other than excellent. But I already had decent speakers, in particular having a character I like - have had for decades (and present ones have new value more than Dave). I wouldn't have bought Dave if I was suffering on the speaker front, but would have fixed that instead before contemplating Dave.

By the way, when I had said I thought I'd prefer Hugo into my speakers against Dave into low budget speakers I wasn't thinking as low as £100, but maybe 10x that!)

Patu posted:
Paul Quigley ie posted:
jon honeyball posted:

having fun playing with bnc to bnc cables from hdx and other sources...

Naim DC1 is flat and boring

lab grade bncbnc cable is lifelike bouncy and fun

HD-SDI 12G cable is wow

Jon,

Thanks for your post.  

I took a punt on the HD-SDI 12G cable.  It is still early days but for me it has a cleaner, clearer presentation over the DC1.  Good improvement for not much cash.  Alvinscables made it with a phono at one end and to the length I wanted too!

Thanks

  Paul

 

Interesting findings here. I've actually never compared DC1 to any other BNC-BNC cable. I just found one used years ago and it's been there between my USB bridge and Naim DAC ever since. I checked out the HD-SDI 12G cable in google and found out that BlueaJeansCable sells the new Belden 4794R cable terminated with Belden BNC connectors and the price is extremely affordable compared to DC1. I ordered one in 3ft length to try it out against DC1. I'll report about my findings when it arrives, might take a while from US to Finland. 

I've reported my delight with the £22 Canare BNC-BNC on other threads so may as well chip in here too.

G

Patu posted:
Paul Quigley ie posted:
jon honeyball posted:

having fun playing with bnc to bnc cables from hdx and other sources...

Naim DC1 is flat and boring

lab grade bncbnc cable is lifelike bouncy and fun

HD-SDI 12G cable is wow

Jon,

Thanks for your post.  

I took a punt on the HD-SDI 12G cable.  It is still early days but for me it has a cleaner, clearer presentation over the DC1.  Good improvement for not much cash.  Alvinscables made it with a phono at one end and to the length I wanted too!

Thanks

  Paul

 

Interesting findings here. I've actually never compared DC1 to any other BNC-BNC cable. I just found one used years ago and it's been there between my USB bridge and Naim DAC ever since. I checked out the HD-SDI 12G cable in google and found out that BlueaJeansCable sells the new Belden 4794R cable terminated with Belden BNC connectors and the price is extremely affordable compared to DC1. I ordered one in 3ft length to try it out against DC1. I'll report about my findings when it arrives, might take a while from US to Finland. 

The cable is here and the first impressions are very positive. Somehow more relaxed presentation with slightly deeper reaching bass. Also maybe just a bit livelier presentation than with DC1. It's just first impression after an hour of listening. I'll do some more comparisons on Sunday but for now, I'm very positively surprised. I expected overly detailed and harsh sound but no, it's complete opposite of that. ~30 USD (including shipping from US) compared to the retail price of DC1, which is over 400 euros in Finland nowadays. I might just end up selling the DC1, let's see. 

james n posted:
GraemeH posted:

I've reported my delight with the £22 Canare BNC-BNC on other threads so may as well chip in here too.

G

I'm not surprised - I'm not sure why you need anything more fancy than this to carry a S/PDIF signal. 

£20 for the connectors and £2 for the cable.

Any tips on directionality? I currently have it running the same way as the cable writing. Only been on for a few minutes but sounds very clean - almost lazy, so I can understand the 'relaxed' comment. A few things are leaping out at me, which are quite surprising. Just need to see how long it takes to burn in?

Geko posted:

Any tips on directionality? I currently have it running the same way as the cable writing. Only been on for a few minutes but sounds very clean - almost lazy, so I can understand the 'relaxed' comment. A few things are leaping out at me, which are quite surprising. Just need to see how long it takes to burn in?

If manufacturer gives no advice about directionality, I wouldn't be worried about it. In those cases I always plug it just like you said, same way as the writing goes. 

Please keep us updated about the sound quality. I think it digged deeper in the recording than DC1 but did it in clean and sophistocated way.  

After the first evening I'm finding it lacks a little bit of drive and 'liveness'. It's very good in many other respects, bass does go a little deeper and has plenty of shape. Higher frequency stuff is very natural, maybe loosing a little bit of bite/edge? I think it's definitely less coloured than DC1, which I always think exhibits that typical 'Naim' sound! Certainly for the money it's a very interesting option. If your system leans towards the 'hot' side of nuetral it could be just the ticket to restore the balance?

let's see what it sounds like in a week!

Long thread and I didn't read all, though I would agree with the importance of the source. I used to skimp on the source for many years. After getting the Chord QBD 76 DAC into the system (and not forgetting the Chord Signature TA RCA to DIN), I believe I am now getting extremely close to the full potential of the system.

It is useful to pay a little attention to the source (and perhaps the cables around the source and DAC as well) .

Geko posted:

After the first evening I'm finding it lacks a little bit of drive and 'liveness'. It's very good in many other respects, bass does go a little deeper and has plenty of shape. Higher frequency stuff is very natural, maybe loosing a little bit of bite/edge? I think it's definitely less coloured than DC1, which I always think exhibits that typical 'Naim' sound! Certainly for the money it's a very interesting option. If your system leans towards the 'hot' side of nuetral it could be just the ticket to restore the balance?

let's see what it sounds like in a week!

I know you went with a different cable but for me I found more drive, liveness, bite and edge - a clearer more detailed focuses sound.

Paul Quigley ie posted:
Geko posted:

After the first evening I'm finding it lacks a little bit of drive and 'liveness'. It's very good in many other respects, bass does go a little deeper and has plenty of shape. Higher frequency stuff is very natural, maybe loosing a little bit of bite/edge? I think it's definitely less coloured than DC1, which I always think exhibits that typical 'Naim' sound! Certainly for the money it's a very interesting option. If your system leans towards the 'hot' side of nuetral it could be just the ticket to restore the balance?

let's see what it sounds like in a week!

I know you went with a different cable but for me I found more drive, liveness, bite and edge - a clearer more detailed focuses sound.

Which cable are you using? 

I've done some more testing with DC1 vs Belden 4794R now. Did some quick cable swapping also. It's pretty much like Geko wrote earlier. Belden is very clean sounding cable with some naturalness and easiness that's difficult to describe. But it definitely lacks balls compared to DC1. DC1 has the typical Naim character sound. Vocalist comes closer to you in soundstage, there's that Naim "bass oomph", it has slightly better PRaT and sound just rolls like there's no tomorrow. I'm trying to figure out how bass actually hits lower in certain songs with Belden but then when you play fast paced rock like the new AFI or Jimmy Eat World album, the bass line is still more difficult to follow and blurrier than with DC1. Still on midrange and high frequencies, I think Belden is slightly more detailed and natural, in a good way. Very difficult to choose, both of them are awesome. I need some more time and will now leave the Belden plugged in slightly longer. 

Pretty much spot on with my findings so far Patu.

Interestingly, I'll find one track with the Beldan very good and then I'll try some rock or jazz and wonder what's happened to the PRAT. I'd say than in all instances DC1 seems to exhibit slightly better image depth - although I'm not sure how fair it is to be comparing  $20 cable to a £200 cable?

jon honeyball posted:

It's perfectly fair. You don't get higher quality electrons In a dc1

Yes, I don't think that price is such a relevant thing with cables. This comparison is pretty good example. I can't say which cable is better, they're just different. On some tracks I prefer Belden but for my type of music, DC1 has slight edge at the moment. But let's see what happens with longer audition. 

Patu posted:

I've done some more testing with DC1 vs Belden 4794R now. Did some quick cable swapping also. It's pretty much like Geko wrote earlier. Belden is very clean sounding cable with some naturalness and easiness that's difficult to describe. But it definitely lacks balls compared to DC1. DC1 has the typical Naim character sound. Vocalist comes closer to you in soundstage, there's that Naim "bass oomph", it has slightly better PRaT and sound just rolls like there's no tomorrow. I'm trying to figure out how bass actually hits lower in certain songs with Belden but then when you play fast paced rock like the new AFI or Jimmy Eat World album, the bass line is still more difficult to follow and blurrier than with DC1. Still on midrange and high frequencies, I think Belden is slightly more detailed and natural, in a good way. Very difficult to choose, both of them are awesome. I need some more time and will now leave the Belden plugged in slightly longer. 

Think I'll stick with the DC1 then. 

Patu posted:
Paul Quigley ie posted:
Geko posted:

After the first evening I'm finding it lacks a little bit of drive and 'liveness'. It's very good in many other respects, bass does go a little deeper and has plenty of shape. Higher frequency stuff is very natural, maybe loosing a little bit of bite/edge? I think it's definitely less coloured than DC1, which I always think exhibits that typical 'Naim' sound! Certainly for the money it's a very interesting option. If your system leans towards the 'hot' side of nuetral it could be just the ticket to restore the balance?

let's see what it sounds like in a week!

I know you went with a different cable but for me I found more drive, liveness, bite and edge - a clearer more detailed focuses sound.

Which cable are you using? 

I am using a HD-SDI 12G cable from  Alvins cables. He made it with a phono at one end and to the length I wanted too!

Some update about the HD-SDI 12G vs DC1. I had the Belden plugged in for over a week and then tried to switch again. Now I have different feelings about the change. I felt like I lost something when I switched back to DC1. Belden has definitely an airier sound with this easy going flow I described earlier. The bass extends deeper and with some tracks I even have resonations in my small apartment I've never had before. The sound is more open and it's easier to pick different instruments and details from the sound. It still never gets annoying or bright, which is something I'm very sensitive to. With DC1, the soundstage gets narrower and vocalist comes slightly more forward. Midbass is more prominent and sound has more attack. All the usual Naim qualities are there, but this time it's not necessary better this way, at least not always. Belden doesn't have all the attack but it's definitely not a slouch, PRaT is till there. I was surprised that I felt like I need to plug the Belden back in and now I have Belden in the system and DC1 sitting on the desk. I'm still not 100% sure about which one I want to keep, maybe both. Though it feels stupid to keep such an expensive cable as DC1 as a backup.

I had a Belden 4794R cable with Belden BNC plugs made by the Blue Jeans Cable Co. for a grand total of £40. £20 of that was for P&P. Only took 4 days to arrive from placement of order. I use it to connect my MacBPro/M2Tech/nDac.  It has more clarity/detail than my home spun Bandridge LC5509 cable. Good VFM if anyone is looking for a cheap I.C.

Still have the DC1 connecting my CDX2.2 to the nDac and that's how it will remain. Don't have to swap cables between the two sources.

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