New Network Players

I spent some time with a Hugo and didn't like it at all. A brief listen to a Dave suggested more of essentially the same. If that kind of presentation is what I was after I would be well satisfied. And if I didn't like the presentation of the NDS it's one of several quality candidates to consider as an alternative or an add on. Happily, I don't need to.

French Rooster posted:

i am regularly reading today that sound via ethernet is considered as better vs usb or spdif: It is perhaps one of the reasons why naim is not putting a new separate dac on the mmarket. The other reason is the absence of cd transports in the catalogue.

 There  are opposite opinions on ethernet vs usb or spdif but the main reviewers on streaming audio, in computer audiophile, audiostream, hifi advice...find the upnp mode as best sounding mode.  Roon is also the preference, but not for sound quality side but convenience and integration.

 

Interesting point.  Worth noting that the Network Players that Naim are intending on launching (which is in part based on tech used in the latest Uniti series) allows for 'streaming' of music from USB, Bluetooth and Airplay, and the internet, too. 

Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:

i am regularly reading today that sound via ethernet is considered as better vs usb or spdif: It is perhaps one of the reasons why naim is not putting a new separate dac on the mmarket. The other reason is the absence of cd transports in the catalogue.

 There  are opposite opinions on ethernet vs usb or spdif but the main reviewers on streaming audio, in computer audiophile, audiostream, hifi advice...find the upnp mode as best sounding mode.  Roon is also the preference, but not for sound quality side but convenience and integration.

 

Interesting point.  Worth noting that the Network Players that Naim are intending on launching (which is in part based on tech used in the latest Uniti series) allows for 'streaming' of music from USB, Bluetooth and Airplay, and the internet, too. 

the usb is usb port for memory stick or external usb drives.  Bluetooth and airplay are more for convenience and to respond to the fashion....

northpole posted:

Sorry folks, I often run an old mantra past myself - conditions for success - which I try to apply when approaching clients or when new things come along.  Unfortunately here's what I see with the ND555 right now:

- same old casing as NDS, albeit new details inside the box;

- use of components which are no longer manufactured.  They may be tip top, but this seems a very odd thing to the outside world (me!);

- people investing £13.5k plus power supply ie £20k may expect some degree of future proofing at product launch?;

- 50% plus price rise on NDS;

- a product on which there has been speculation for ages ie how much longer before NDS is replaced;

- Naim admit they have not managed to optimise the sound quality to an acceptable standard, hence it sits silently on display yet they have proclaimed a performance level it will exceed (CD555).

It is because of each of the above that I would suggest a much more sensible approach would be to hold off the baying crowds demands to see the NDS replacement until it is optimised and in a position to demonstrate that it sounds wonderful - if it can do this, most of the above points would probably not arise.  The problem for me is that Naim have left a gap into which doubts will backfill, such as the ones I have listed.  These create an unfortunate and IMO unnecessary barrier to success.   I will remain hopeful that the ND555 blows my socks off and proves to be a fantastic product, just wish for Naim's sake that the proverbial cart hadn't been put so far in front of the horse.

Peter

A valid opinion. I would counter:

Re: casing. I think a redesign was unlikely. Aesthetics are a matter of personal preference, but I feel the current design holds up well. A redesign for the entire classic series would require a significant investment, there would be a risk that owners of existing kit would be alienated, and the branding message would be less succinct. Uniti is clearly a critical component (perhaps 'the' critical component) of Naim's strategy in today's market. The new design for this series was perfectly logical and I believe will serve them well. Personally, I would prefer Naim invest on what is inside the black boxes, they look good enough as-is.

Re: components. I would hazard a guess that the majority of Naim buyers care not about the individual components inside the products, and so it should be. I think a Naim buyer trusts them to build the best audio components at a given price. They let their ears decide and if buyer's disagree, rest assured Naim will soon find out when they look at their bottom-line. "Latest and greatest" does not always equal better performance. "Tried and true" is a phrase that comes to mind. And here we are speaking to an individual component - the digital-to-analog converter - that I would think is one of the least important components when it comes to "future proofing".

Re: pricing. I'm not sure why this is a surprise. The price seems in line with previous (and current) 500 series products.

Re: static display. I think this is clearly owing to the botched announcement. I also have a lot of respect for a company that refuses to demo a product they feel is not yet up to audible standards.

I suppose the one oddity is the NDS itself. It seems a bit of a lone duck now that it has been discontinued. There could be a number of reasons for this. Simplifying the streamer line in the classic series certainly makes a lot of sense. Let's be honest, in this market I don't know that there is room for four streamers in Naim's classic series. I wonder if development of the NDS didn't start as a 500-series level product and, when it didn't quite get there but yielded excellent results, the decided to release it as a separate product. If NDX2 approaches NDS performance and ND555 is truly a 500-series level product, then the new range makes perfect sense.

And let us not forget that NDS still sounds as good as it did the day before it was discontinued.

Best,

JDK.

French Rooster posted:
Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:

i am regularly reading today that sound via ethernet is considered as better vs usb or spdif: It is perhaps one of the reasons why naim is not putting a new separate dac on the mmarket. The other reason is the absence of cd transports in the catalogue.

 There  are opposite opinions on ethernet vs usb or spdif but the main reviewers on streaming audio, in computer audiophile, audiostream, hifi advice...find the upnp mode as best sounding mode.  Roon is also the preference, but not for sound quality side but convenience and integration.

 

Interesting point.  Worth noting that the Network Players that Naim are intending on launching (which is in part based on tech used in the latest Uniti series) allows for 'streaming' of music from USB, Bluetooth and Airplay, and the internet, too. 

the usb is usb port for memory stick or external usb drives.  Bluetooth and airplay are more for convenience and to respond to the fashion....

Same ha e reported that on the Naim DAC sounds better with the USB memory stick.

The fact that formats other than UPNP being on Naim’s to be flagship streamer, to me, suggests that it’s a lot more than fashion.

 

Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:
Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:

i am regularly reading today that sound via ethernet is considered as better vs usb or spdif: It is perhaps one of the reasons why naim is not putting a new separate dac on the mmarket. The other reason is the absence of cd transports in the catalogue.

 There  are opposite opinions on ethernet vs usb or spdif but the main reviewers on streaming audio, in computer audiophile, audiostream, hifi advice...find the upnp mode as best sounding mode.  Roon is also the preference, but not for sound quality side but convenience and integration.

 

Interesting point.  Worth noting that the Network Players that Naim are intending on launching (which is in part based on tech used in the latest Uniti series) allows for 'streaming' of music from USB, Bluetooth and Airplay, and the internet, too. 

the usb is usb port for memory stick or external usb drives.  Bluetooth and airplay are more for convenience and to respond to the fashion....

Same ha e reported that on the Naim DAC sounds better with the USB memory stick.

The fact that formats other than UPNP being on Naim’s to be flagship streamer, to me, suggests that it’s a lot more than fashion.

 

The nDAC usb interface is asynchronous and therefore there is no possibility of timing jitter. With a memory stick there is complete isolation, although this port can connect to Apple devices such the iPad. There is no control over the playing of music from the memory stick, somewhat limiting its usefulness.

Phil

Filipe posted:
Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:
Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:

i am regularly reading today that sound via ethernet is considered as better vs usb or spdif: It is perhaps one of the reasons why naim is not putting a new separate dac on the mmarket. The other reason is the absence of cd transports in the catalogue.

 There  are opposite opinions on ethernet vs usb or spdif but the main reviewers on streaming audio, in computer audiophile, audiostream, hifi advice...find the upnp mode as best sounding mode.  Roon is also the preference, but not for sound quality side but convenience and integration.

 

Interesting point.  Worth noting that the Network Players that Naim are intending on launching (which is in part based on tech used in the latest Uniti series) allows for 'streaming' of music from USB, Bluetooth and Airplay, and the internet, too. 

the usb is usb port for memory stick or external usb drives.  Bluetooth and airplay are more for convenience and to respond to the fashion....

Same ha e reported that on the Naim DAC sounds better with the USB memory stick.

The fact that formats other than UPNP being on Naim’s to be flagship streamer, to me, suggests that it’s a lot more than fashion.

 

The nDAC usb interface is asynchronous and therefore there is no possibility of timing jitter. With a memory stick there is complete isolation, although this port can connect to Apple devices such the iPad. There is no control over the playing of music from the memory stick, somewhat limiting its usefulness.

Phil

The nDAC USB is not async and am aware of how USB sticks work on the NDAC and other Naim products that have them. 

Gazza posted:

I am sure this sounds like Deja Vu to the dealers whose living depends on this.......Naim being a big part of their business which they have invested to support. It would sound like they will be lucky to sell a streamer(except perhaps272) until June or July. This is exactly what happened with the Uniti series. I did not get a warm feeling from the feedback that the dates were firm, personally I expect this to be another end of year arrival of these products.

Care to speculate on which year, Gazza ?

Jude2012 posted:
Filipe posted:
Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:
Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:

i am regularly reading today that sound via ethernet is considered as better vs usb or spdif: It is perhaps one of the reasons why naim is not putting a new separate dac on the mmarket. The other reason is the absence of cd transports in the catalogue.

 There  are opposite opinions on ethernet vs usb or spdif but the main reviewers on streaming audio, in computer audiophile, audiostream, hifi advice...find the upnp mode as best sounding mode.  Roon is also the preference, but not for sound quality side but convenience and integration.

 

Interesting point.  Worth noting that the Network Players that Naim are intending on launching (which is in part based on tech used in the latest Uniti series) allows for 'streaming' of music from USB, Bluetooth and Airplay, and the internet, too. 

the usb is usb port for memory stick or external usb drives.  Bluetooth and airplay are more for convenience and to respond to the fashion....

Same ha e reported that on the Naim DAC sounds better with the USB memory stick.

The fact that formats other than UPNP being on Naim’s to be flagship streamer, to me, suggests that it’s a lot more than fashion.

 

The nDAC usb interface is asynchronous and therefore there is no possibility of timing jitter. With a memory stick there is complete isolation, although this port can connect to Apple devices such the iPad. There is no control over the playing of music from the memory stick, somewhat limiting its usefulness.

Phil

The nDAC USB is not async and am aware of how USB sticks work on the NDAC and other Naim products that have them. 

As far as I am aware usb uses a packet protocol as opposed to a synchronous data stream that depends on accurate clock synchronisation at both ends. I have the impression the new range makes more intelligent use of the USB port than the nDAC.

Phil

Jude2012 posted:
Filipe posted:
Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:
Jude2012 posted:
French Rooster posted:

i am regularly reading today that sound via ethernet is considered as better vs usb or spdif: It is perhaps one of the reasons why naim is not putting a new separate dac on the mmarket. The other reason is the absence of cd transports in the catalogue.

 There  are opposite opinions on ethernet vs usb or spdif but the main reviewers on streaming audio, in computer audiophile, audiostream, hifi advice...find the upnp mode as best sounding mode.  Roon is also the preference, but not for sound quality side but convenience and integration.

 

Interesting point.  Worth noting that the Network Players that Naim are intending on launching (which is in part based on tech used in the latest Uniti series) allows for 'streaming' of music from USB, Bluetooth and Airplay, and the internet, too. 

the usb is usb port for memory stick or external usb drives.  Bluetooth and airplay are more for convenience and to respond to the fashion....

Same ha e reported that on the Naim DAC sounds better with the USB memory stick.

The fact that formats other than UPNP being on Naim’s to be flagship streamer, to me, suggests that it’s a lot more than fashion.

 

The nDAC usb interface is asynchronous and therefore there is no possibility of timing jitter. With a memory stick there is complete isolation, although this port can connect to Apple devices such the iPad. There is no control over the playing of music from the memory stick, somewhat limiting its usefulness.

Phil

The nDAC USB is not async and am aware of how USB sticks work on the NDAC and other Naim products that have them. 

i was not referring to usb imput for memory sticks. But i don’t say either that it doesn’t sound good on the naim dac.

I was referring to upnp mode , streaming via lan cables, vs playing music via a server connected by usb or spdif to an external dac.  For some specialists in audio, the upnp is more dynamic and better overall sounding. in most cases.  But there are exceptions....and also personal preferences.....

About "scheduled" release dates, I won't be selling anything until new product is actually shipped. Best enjoy what I have (and maybe lose a few dollars), but know the new ones will actually be available unlike the Atom when I sold my Qute. 

Gazza posted:

Probably 2018 with some slippage.....but I am not putting any money on it, especially the so called later launches...

From what I see / read, the big delays with the Uniti line was getting the streaming board / software and getting approval from third party entities.  This is probably not so much an issue with the new streamers as the actual streaming board is likely to be very close to the Uniti devices.

Cross posted to a couple of threads sorry but relevant here too so please forgive me...

Not sure if this is “news” people have picked up / commented on. But the Naim Connections email I just received said the ND555 will be demonstrated at HIGH END MUNICH with products available in-store Summer 2018.

FWIW, reviewer Martin Colloms has a bit about the new Network Players in his Hi-Fi Critic blog report on the "2018 Sound & Vision Show", and having had an 'informal discussion' with Steve Sells. there's a small amount of extra info. (as well as one or two glaring errors! ).

Alba1320 posted:

FWIW, reviewer Martin Colloms has a bit about the new Network Players in his Hi-Fi Critic blog report on the "2018 Sound & Vision Show", and having had an 'informal discussion' with Steve Sells. there's a small amount of extra info. (as well as one or two glaring errors! ).

Good find. I'll have a read

Yes I really am joking about the Hugo. In the exploded view you can see the parts of the DPU to the left and middle of the two Burndy cables. It looks like this carries the two PCB's managing all the external digital inputs, including network into a fully screened box, so you've got all the very noisy bits in their own box within the main player. The best approach for keeping noise away from the more sensitive parts and a step up on the NDS internal shielding.

Alba1320 posted:
james n posted:

Yes I really am joking about the Hugo. In the exploded view you can see the parts of the DPU to the left and middle of the two Burndy cables.

SNIP

Might that be one Burndy and a Hi-Line?

Or am I looking in the wrong place?

You're right Alba. The other Burndy is looped at the top left. Thanks for correcting.

aht posted:

Aside from the technical info, the Martin Colloms report indicates that the projected 20K GBP price includes the 555PS DR (as was the case with the 555 CD player). 

Various reports here have said 13K for the ND555; add 7K for 555PSDR, so 20K total.

CD555 was actually £15200 (head unit) when discontinued.

Alba1320 posted:
aht posted:

Aside from the technical info, the Martin Colloms report indicates that the projected 20K GBP price includes the 555PS DR (as was the case with the 555 CD player). 

Various reports here have said 13K for the ND555; add 7K for 555PSDR, so 20K total.

CD555 was actually £15200 (head unit) when discontinued.

Okay, fair enough, I haven't been following the price discussions.  But my concern is whether you can buy the ND555 without the PS.  You couldn't do that with the CD555.  But now, since there are so many 555PS out there in various configurations, the situation is different.  In the case of the NDS, there were power supply options, so naturally there was no bundling.  

aht posted:
Alba1320 posted:
aht posted:

Aside from the technical info, the Martin Colloms report indicates that the projected 20K GBP price includes the 555PS DR (as was the case with the 555 CD player). 

Various reports here have said 13K for the ND555; add 7K for 555PSDR, so 20K total.

CD555 was actually £15200 (head unit) when discontinued.

Okay, fair enough, I haven't been following the price discussions.  But my concern is whether you can buy the ND555 without the PS.  You couldn't do that with the CD555.  But now, since there are so many 555PS out there in various configurations, the situation is different.  In the case of the NDS, there were power supply options, so naturally there was no bundling.  

The CD555 was available separately, and was priced as such. This allowed an upgrade route from (some) other Naim CD players, by first adding the 555PS, then the CD555 if/when desired/funds allowed.

It will, presumably, be the same with ND555.

....and then some of us tried 2 x 555PSs with the 555 and liked it - a lot. I tried a 555PS (non-DR) with a CDSII and that was also a major improvement over an XPS.

Back on thread, it does strike me that ~£13k is rather a lot for a piece of the streaming chain and, unless I'm mistaken from recent experience, it could be relatively short-lived when compared to Naim's harder-ware offerings. I note from some vids which were made at the time the Statement was released, Steve Sells said he'd love to progress a Statement level streamer.

It'll need to beat the pants off a CD555 (with 2 x 555PS) to register interest from me.....and NDS hasn't to my ears.

Happy Listener posted:

Back on thread, it does strike me that ~£13k is rather a lot for a piece of the streaming chain and,

Is it? Fot the source first brigade, or those spending of the order of £20k on getting vinyl as close to perfect as they can, it is surely only to be expected

And if it wants to be able to match or beat, say, Chord Dave with a top level renderer (something Blu without CD when it is released?), it presumably has to do something special, and that costs.

 

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