Other good streaming devices that could front a Naim preamp?

DrMark posted:

The reason I am contemplating a change is because I am sick and tired of not being able to listen to music reliably. When I first got it (the 272), it was fine, but it has gotten worse and worse, and listening for 10-20 seconds at a time with drop outs of 5-10 seconds just isn't enjoyable. (I guess I need to reset my expectations.) Not to mention the crummy app that loses its mind and can't find its way. So I add a CD Player using digital coax, and it can't handle that either - that was covered on another thread a while back...horrible static noise after a few minutes. Does the same if I try to play/watch a DVD - so I now watch movies with TV sound only, or in my bedroom on the other system. Gee, what's not to love?

"No Network" (well everything else in the house seems to be able to find it). "Stopped" (Well then "go" for crissakes). Reboot. Close the app and reopen: "Another device has connected". (What other device; there are no other bloody devices.) This is not what I expect from a $7K list price product.

When it works, it is the best sound I have ever had. Unfortunately a 20-25% success rate is not good enough for me. I was better off with my SBT and the SN...at least it played music every time I wanted it to. Now even when it works it is reboot the 272, futz with the app, try again, and then instead of relaxing to some music, I am angry and feel stupid for spending that kind of money on something that gets its ass handed to it by a $300 device that is no longer even supported.

As a person who struggles to even make it into bed by midnight - 1:00 AM because of 3 jobs, I have precious little time for music and relaxing, and this unit is stealing that from me. Sometimes I only want to listen to one tune before bed, and by the time I get done with the 272 I am so angry I cannot even sleep.

I was trying to avoid bringing all this up because it will result in me being character assassinated for having trouble with a Naim product, or blamed for the sub-par performance of a very expensive piece of gear, that is so awesome when it works, but that is far too small a percentage of the time. I just want to be able to enjoy quality musical reproduction on demand in the year 2018.

In this case I suggest that you first buy a 35$ chromecast audio (CA) and connect its output to the analog input of your 272. If the CA works flawlessly (apart from the possible lack of gapless replay) for a couple of days in your current wireless infrastructure and using Bubble UPnP (Android) or Linn Kazoo (iOS and Android) as control points, then you know for sure that there is a problem either with the streaming card of your 272 or with the Naim app (or with both). On the other hand, if the CA also has troubles, then you know that something in your LAN infrastructure is fishy. At this point you will have spent 35$ and about 10 minutes to setup the CA but you will be in a much better position than now. No matter whether you then decide to talk to your dealer, to an electrician, to buy a DAC and a network player or something else, you will be able to make choices that you likely will not to regret. In contrast, deciding to move away from the 272 without having understood the reasons of the troubles that you are experiencing is a bad idea, in my view. I wish you manage to sort out the mess very soon!

Lately, an Apple firmware release waiting to be installed seemed to make my network more unreliable than usual.  Installing the firmware updates there, and a similar update on my main Asus router restored typical reliability, which isn’t ever perfect, for me.  

I do find wiring network devices like computers and streamers to a router that connects wirelessly to the network is far more reliable than using the Wi-Fi radios in those computers and streamers.

Nick

 

You need a repair guy not a dac/streamer, maybe it is network issue maybe  the unit got a problem

altough I have some disconnects with tidal and the app is sometimes gets crazy, the problem is not same level as yours

there been times that I was very happy to have a turntable and CD player but streaming has its benefits

NickSeattle posted:

Lately, an Apple firmware release waiting to be installed [on my Apple AirPort Extreme and Expresses] seemed to make my network more unreliable than usual.  Installing the firmware updates there, and a similar update on my main Asus router restored typical reliability, which isn’t ever perfect, for me.  

I do find wiring network devices like computers and streamers to a router that connects wirelessly to the network is far more reliable than using the Wi-Fi radios in those computers and streamers.

Nick

HiFiman posted: 

Max, if you read through the posts from the top the suggestion of the PSU was before DrMark stated he had streaming issues.

Personally I think the Naim app is clunky at times and the amount of time resetting the app is about 50% using it but I have just got accustom to it.

Hi,

you were not the only one suggesting a move to XPSDR... I wasn't necessarily addressing you.

I too have issues with my Consolette's app (and its general relationship with telematic lines), but in the end you pay €650 for it and it has BMRs...

One would think that designing apps for a given network appliance isn't rocket science: I have downloaded a free app for my Soundbridge which was free, was developed by a guy for the simple pleasure of being useful to the owners of something discontinued since years, and works perfectly, with a number of features that were unthinkable on the ultra basic display of the unit at the time it came out. There's people who regularly cares to update the SqueezeServer even though all Squeezeboxes are also discontinued. But it seems you can't have a Naim app that works at the level of its unit's price from out of the box. This is why I have got accustomed to think of three Naim: the first one, until JV's death; the second one, until the release of the Uniti. And the present time's. I keep myself safely within the boundaries of the 2002 – 2010 or so era.

Best

Max

DrMark,

If you want something that just works, have a look at a Linn KDS Renew.

They’re widely available, sound great, are totally reliable and easy to set up (the software is a doddle, too) and they work beautifully with Naim gear. What’s more, they can be tailored to the most difficult of rooms and, probably, your specific speakers.  And it’s a one box solution!

No probs Max, I too when the app needs restarting think that it's time to move away from a Naim streaming platform and opt for something else.

Currently I use a 272/XP5xs and a CB250 with olive fascia, 250 just recently serviced sounds superb when it all works but when the app crashes I think about returning to a NAC82/HiCap with none Naim outboard DAC and streamer.

French Rooster posted:

I remember now that the op, Drmark, opened already a topic called »i am so sick of streaming « , on 29/07/2017.   Drmark don’t use the 272 on ethernet cable but wirelessly.  He has a big house and said he can’t have lan cables.   The problem is most certainly there.

What do you mean by "there"? Of course I remember the original thread. But I do not remember that in that thread a conclusion was reached on where the problem lies. There might be problems in the OP's wireless setup, in the streaming section of his 272, in the device running his Naim app, in the Naim app itself or somewhere else!

My first streamer a Naim UQ suffered similar drop outs used wirelessly this got better using power line Ethernet but that is apparently a no no

However as soon as I took the time to install 45m of Ethernet cabling from one side of and from one floor to another the drop outs almost ceased. 

nbpf posted:
French Rooster posted:

I remember now that the op, Drmark, opened already a topic called »i am so sick of streaming « , on 29/07/2017.   Drmark don’t use the 272 on ethernet cable but wirelessly.  He has a big house and said he can’t have lan cables.   The problem is most certainly there.

What do you mean by "there"? Of course I remember the original thread. But I do not remember that in that thread a conclusion was reached on where the problem lies. There might be problems in the OP's wireless setup, in the streaming section of his 272, in the device running his Naim app, in the Naim app itself or somewhere else!

Yes nbff, there was no conclusion in this past thread, and maybe the problem is with a faulty 272.  But in general streaming wirelessly with naim is not the best way.  Anyway i give just my main idea, but don’t say i am 100% right.

Why the op doesn’t try lan, just to verify with very cheap lans to verify if the drop outs will still be there?    

French Rooster posted:
nbpf posted:
French Rooster posted:

I remember now that the op, Drmark, opened already a topic called »i am so sick of streaming « , on 29/07/2017.   Drmark don’t use the 272 on ethernet cable but wirelessly.  He has a big house and said he can’t have lan cables.   The problem is most certainly there.

What do you mean by "there"? Of course I remember the original thread. But I do not remember that in that thread a conclusion was reached on where the problem lies. There might be problems in the OP's wireless setup, in the streaming section of his 272, in the device running his Naim app, in the Naim app itself or somewhere else!

Yes nbff, there was no conclusion in this past thread, and maybe the problem is with a faulty 272.  But in general streaming wirelessly with naim is not the best way.  Anyway i give just my main idea, but don’t say i am 100% right.

Why the op doesn’t try lan, just to verify with very cheap lans to verify if the drop outs will still be there?    

I indeed do expect the OP to have tried a wired connection and verified that it works properly! Still, such a result does not help solving the problems with the wireless connection which is what the OP aims at using. A test with a Chromecast Audio, on the other hand, would cost him very little time and money and allow him to nail down the causes of the problems that he is experiencing more precisely. He could then make an informed choice, no matter what this will be.

the problem is also that if the Op wants only to use any streamer only wirelessly, the problem may be the same with other brands.  It is important to test first the 272 with lan cable:  if there are no drop outs anymore, it is not worse to find another streamer perhaps. Or find a streamer which works much better wirelessly, but is there such a component ?

HiFiman posted:

No probs Max, I too when the app needs restarting think that it's time to move away from a Naim streaming platform and opt for something else.

Currently I use a 272/XP5xs and a CB250 with olive fascia, 250 just recently serviced sounds superb when it all works but when the app crashes I think about returning to a NAC82/HiCap with none Naim outboard DAC and streamer.

I have recently had my 15 years old CDX2 completely rebuilt and brought to current specs. Plus, winning a decennial resistance, I have added a decent turntable to the system. For me, music is still round things spinning. I say this without a iota of self-complacency, but just because one has the right to choose the environment (human, urban, technologic) in which he feels at ease.

Best

Max

French Rooster posted:

the problem is also that if the Op wants only to use any streamer only wirelessly, the problem may be the same with other brands.  It is important to test first the 272 with lan cable:  if there are no drop outs anymore, it is not worse to find another streamer perhaps. Or find a streamer which works much better wirelessly, but is there such a component ?

Thus, DrMark, have you checked whether:

1) your current system works flawlessly when NAS and 272 are wired to the router and the naim app runs on a mobile device which is located not far away from one of your wireless entry points?

2) A cheap wireless network streamer (a chromecast audio, for instance) works flawlessly when connected to the (analog input of the) 272 under the same conditions under which the 272 appears to fail?

What have been your findings?

Not answering for Dr Mark, but on the other thread he had problems with CD as well, which is why I had suggested earlier in this thread that the 272 sounds like it may be faulty. Of course there may be other explanations (e.g. serious mains or RF problems), but it is a bit much of a coincidence to have problems with CD and with wireless streaming. That of course doen’t meaning the wireless streaming isn’t a problem.

Max_B posted:
HiFiman posted:

No probs Max, I too when the app needs restarting think that it's time to move away from a Naim streaming platform and opt for something else.

Currently I use a 272/XP5xs and a CB250 with olive fascia, 250 just recently serviced sounds superb when it all works but when the app crashes I think about returning to a NAC82/HiCap with none Naim outboard DAC and streamer.

I have recently had my 15 years old CDX2 completely rebuilt and brought to current specs. Plus, winning a decennial resistance, I have added a decent turntable to the system. For me, music is still round things spinning. I say this without a iota of self-complacency, but just because one has the right to choose the environment (human, urban, technologic) in which he feels at ease.

Best

Max

Today the only two audio items I own that spin occasionally is my Mitchell GyroDec and the Naim app spinning wheel when it's looking for the 272.

Thanks to all for the many suggestions and diagnoses - I have been unable to do anything as I have been tied up each evening until almost 10 PM before I get home (CE credits and other work things), but I will answer back on  the limitations and make lists of gear suggestions to investigate.

 And I will say that the optimal solution would be for the 272 to work. That would be my preference. Although the idea of separating the streaming/tech/network piece from the preamp does mean more flexibility down the road as technology changes, and replacement would not mean having to change the whole front end.

I just wanted to make a quick post so those offering help wouldn't think I wasn't paying attention.

Expectations determine reactions to outcomes.  I operate with the expectation that Wi-Fi does not actually work with anything critical, the same way “perfectly-good” zip-wire fails to function adequately as primary speaker wire.  When either succeeds, it is something to celebrate, but not to depend on.

Especially as time is short, making due on the edges of workability becomes intolerable, and uneconomic.

Making fussy stuff unfussy often requires trowel-loads of time, and/or expertise and money to make it actually “good”.

Some wise folks chuck all of the fussy stuff, and live a life I could envy.

Balance is, as ever, the key.

Sorry, Dr Mark; I sincerely mean to help.

Nick

Hi Nick - my SBT works wirelessly, and has for years, pretty much every time. I had no reason to not expect a vastly higher level piece of gear sited in the exact same spot would be able to do the same. But as you point out, apparently my expectation was unfounded.

Fair enough.  I am a fan of the SBT myself.  Maybe its size affords it a positioning advantage?  Inches can matter.  I don’t know.  I confess I never tried the wireless feature, being a bit of a defeatist on the subject.  On any day, my neighbors might add a new phone or router that changes the Wi-Fi landscape.  I have 13 cordless phones in my house, often two in a room — they are so inexpensive and good these days, why not?

I have a number of walls that are surprisingly effetive Wi-Fi blockers, such that I need four access points to get coverage the family and I require.

Your lack of resilience due to your demanding schedule resonates with me.  I simply cannot afford the time to troubleshoot Wi-Fi issues endlessly, considering all of the changing variables.  This is how I manage my stress.

Best,

Nick

DrMark posted:

Hi Nick - my SBT works wirelessly, and has for years, pretty much every time. I had no reason to not expect a vastly higher level piece of gear sited in the exact same spot would be able to do the same. But as you point out, apparently my expectation was unfounded.

Owned various squeeze boxes over the years great kit and value, always remember my touch into Lavry DA10 what a sound sometimes wonder why I sold them on. 

The app always worked and a nice feature after adding a rip it displayed new albums added.

DrMark posted:

The reason I am contemplating a change is because I am sick and tired of not being able to listen to music reliably. When I first got it (the 272), it was fine, but it has gotten worse and worse, and listening for 10-20 seconds at a time with drop outs of 5-10 seconds just isn't enjoyable. (I guess I need to reset my expectations.) Not to mention the crummy app that loses its mind and can't find its way. So I add a CD Player using digital coax, and it can't handle that either - that was covered on another thread a while back...horrible static noise after a few minutes. Does the same if I try to play/watch a DVD - so I now watch movies with TV sound only, or in my bedroom on the other system. Gee, what's not to love?

"No Network" (well everything else in the house seems to be able to find it). "Stopped" (Well then "go" for crissakes). Reboot. Close the app and reopen: "Another device has connected". (What other device; there are no other bloody devices.) This is not what I expect from a $7K list price product.

When it works, it is the best sound I have ever had. Unfortunately a 20-25% success rate is not good enough for me. I was better off with my SBT and the SN...at least it played music every time I wanted it to. Now even when it works it is reboot the 272, futz with the app, try again, and then instead of relaxing to some music, I am angry and feel stupid for spending that kind of money on something that gets its ass handed to it by a $300 device that is no longer even supported.

As a person who struggles to even make it into bed by midnight - 1:00 AM because of 3 jobs, I have precious little time for music and relaxing, and this unit is stealing that from me. Sometimes I only want to listen to one tune before bed, and by the time I get done with the 272 I am so angry I cannot even sleep.

I was trying to avoid bringing all this up because it will result in me being character assassinated for having trouble with a Naim product, or blamed for the sub-par performance of a very expensive piece of gear, that is so awesome when it works, but that is far too small a percentage of the time. I just want to be able to enjoy quality musical reproduction on demand in the year 2018.

I totally get it. My Uniti 2 had the same issue. The new Uniti Star doesn’t seem to have this issue. However Auralic might be a nice unit to check into. 

HiFiman posted:
DrMark posted:

Hi Nick - my SBT works wirelessly, and has for years, pretty much every time. I had no reason to not expect a vastly higher level piece of gear sited in the exact same spot would be able to do the same. But as you point out, apparently my expectation was unfounded.

Owned various squeeze boxes over the years great kit and value, always remember my touch into Lavry DA10 what a sound sometimes wonder why I sold them on. 

The app always worked and a nice feature after adding a rip it displayed new albums added.

This is nice to know should be picking up my sotm sms 100 streamer today and that uses the same platform - Squeezelite as the SBT to stream Tidal and TuneIn my two favourite streaming sites.  I never really warmed to the Naim app for some reason but the buffering all but disappeared with a wired connection but of course with a streamer/pre costing almost £4,000 you would expect it to have to the same wireless performance in the same house, on the same network and in the same spot as a streamer costing a couple of hundred pounds.

I have attempted to contact Naim Support - all you do is rot on hold for 20+ minutes listening to the same recorded message repeatedly, and then I end up having to get off because I am at work and cannot stay on the phone ad infinitum.

 Dave4Jazz - I had the SBT with a SN1 (using the SN1 DAC) - it was quite good. The 272 is definitely better re SQ, but inasmuch as mine can almost never play, a $20 clock radio provides more musical enjoyment at present.

DrMark posted:

Dave4Jazz - I had the SBT with a SN1 (using the SN1 DAC) - it was quite good. The 272 is definitely better re SQ, but inasmuch as mine can almost never play, a $20 clock radio provides more musical enjoyment at present.

Is your Vortexbox still serviceable?

Does it have coax SPDIF and/or optical TOSLink output?

If the answer is Yes you could connect the Vortexbox to your NAC-N272, using it just as a pre-amp.

My Vortexbox + Uptone USB Regen source was a significant step-up, sound quality wise, compared to previous NAS + SBT(EDO).

Dave

My VB is actively working - I cannot hardwire it due to locational limitations, although I was thinking of getting a 50-foot network cable to snake through the house as a test. (My house is not overly large, but the layout would require a longish cable to make the connection.) I would have to look at the connections for your suggestion, but sighting it would be an issue as a permanent solution.

 

Another option could be to obtain an unmanaged gigabit switch, e.g TP-LINK TL-S G105 or Netgear Prosafe GS105.

Move the Vortexbox to the same location as the 272.

Connect the existing 272 ethernet cable to the switch, together with ethernet cables from the 272 and Vortexbox.

Connect the Vortexbox to the 272 using coax SPDIF and/or optical TOSLink output.

Dave

OK - having gotten a hold of Naim support, and been instructed as to what info to collect for them, and having obtained a long enough network cable (CAT5) to traverse through the house, I have a couple of what are probably dumb questions.

The VortexBox is connected to the router - presumably, all I need do is connect the long cable to the router as well, and the other end to the network connection on the back of the 272?

Assuming that to be the case, can I also assume that once said connection is made, the UPnP selection will automatically choose the hard-wired connection over the wireless?

Of course, to make matters a tad more challenging, last night the 272 on wireless operated flawlessly (first time in weeks) for the 4 or 5 selections I made.

Of course, the CD/DVD digital coax issue is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

DrMark posted:

The VortexBox is connected to the router - presumably, all I need do is connect the long cable to the router as well, and the other end to the network connection on the back of the 272?

Assuming that to be the case, can I also assume that once said connection is made, the UPnP selection will automatically choose the hard-wired connection over the wireless?

 

Yes....and yes.

ChrisSU posted:
DrMark posted:

The VortexBox is connected to the router - presumably, all I need do is connect the long cable to the router as well, and the other end to the network connection on the back of the 272?

Assuming that to be the case, can I also assume that once said connection is made, the UPnP selection will automatically choose the hard-wired connection over the wireless?

 

Yes....and yes.

If the OP only wishes to use the Vortexbox as a media server.

But that wasn't the original question he was asking.

Dave

Dr Mark,

Now you have a reliable connection from the VortexBox to the streamer, to eliminate the Naim App as the primary cause of the issues, you could load BubbleUPnP onto your device and see if that makes the system reliable (there's a free to try version), it can even control the volume of the 272 using the devices hardware volume buttons!  If that works you can look around for a UPnP AV control point app that you like.

If the system still remains unreliable the problem is most likely located in the way your Wireless Access Point is configured - the manufacturers of these mostly haven't got to grips with AV use, and often optimise them primarily for computer / device to internet connection to the exclusion of all else.  We'll probably need to explore further if the problem is here or in another part of the network.

Don't give up:  We (together) almost certainly can solve this without abandoning your current audio set-up, or degrading the SQ.

Dr. Mark,

does the 272 cut out with all streaming? Just tidal?

I too have 272 and spent better part of 2017 troubleshooting tidal drop outs. A new router, fiber connection (220down, 15 up), and a beta firmware for the 272 has dramatically improved the reliability (lan cable). But I still get drops, and the last 2 days the 272 was unusable. Feel your pain!

Thanks to all for the encouragement and advice - I have yet to connect the network cable - trying to carve out the time.

And in the 272's ongoing effort to make me nuts, it has worked wirelessly exactly as one would hope the past 2 nights and even this morning (only one short drop out) but I am confident it will return to its evil ways. I'd like for it to be acting up when I connect via hardwire so emphasize the change that I assume will take place.

And Huge, I will definitely look into that app, because there is flakiness in the Naim app when I run it. (WIll not go into details at present.)

DrMark posted:

.

And in the 272's ongoing effort to make me nuts, it has worked wirelessly exactly as one would hope the past 2 nights and even this morning (only one short drop out) but I am confident it will return to its evil ways. I'd like for it to be acting up when I connect via hardwire so emphasize the change that I assume will take place.

You just know it knows what you’re doing and is going to behave until you go back to relying on it...

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