Super Lumina trial

Bryce, rather than requoting your post I'd say that yes, I agree. There are frequently posts that say that X or Y cannot make a difference, when the posters haven't made the effort to try it.  I've been guilty myself, when another member bought expensive ethernet cables and said there was a positive difference, and I said there couldn't be. I'd never tried it but I just believed they couldn't make a difference. I quickly realised that and tried them for myself. Then I ended up buying them. Lesson learned.

One thing I have discovered is that it takes a while to really understand what some of these changes do - quick A/B switches simply leave me confused. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

Bryce, rather than requoting your post I'd say that yes, I agree. There are frequently posts that say that X or Y cannot make a difference, when the posters haven't made the effort to try it.  I've been guilty myself, when another member bought expensive ethernet cables and said there was a positive difference, and I said there couldn't be. I'd never tried it but I just believed they couldn't make a difference. I quickly realised that and tried them for myself. Then I ended up buying them. Lesson learned.

One thing I have discovered is that it takes a while to really understand what some of these changes do - quick A/B switches simply leave me confused. 

The thing that many non uk users dont have the opportunity of home demos and trust follow forum member  comments on purchase delusions, big and small..

This was the case for me for AQ diamonds and din/xlr SLs

I dont have any regrets 

I have the opportunity to test 555 and SL din/din with my cd2x and diş not bought them... there was an improvment but not for the cost involved...

Bryce Curdy posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

There really is only so much that can be discussed about hifi, so it's inevitable that there will be an element of repetition. Probably less than 5% of threads contain anything new. 

I'm a great believer in the benefits of SL cables and Powerlines and am something of a convert. But in my view the benefits need to be kept in proportion. I find Bruce's comments interesting. I've had an 82 and a 552, and have changed from the bog standard leads to the expensive ones. For me, the change from the preamps is an order of magnitude greater than that from the leads. It's possible that the Chord mains lead Bryce uses is a lot better than a Powerline, and Bryce of course hears what he hears, but for me the wires are the icing on the cake, rather than the cake itself. Which is based on what I have heard for myself and spent my own money on. 

Wise words. To clarify, not the cake, but more than the icing, and as important as many of the other ingredients. I read recently on the forum that having your equipment rack to the side rather than between your speakers allegedly makes a huge difference to sound quality. I'm deeply sceptical but have not commented because I've never done the comparison and others have and believe it to be so. In a similar theme 6m speaker cable lengths is meant to be ideal and while with Naim amps I understand that short lengths should be avoided I have doubts whether 6m sounds better than 3-4m but again I can't comment because I've never compared. There are threads obsessing about cable positioning and whether they touch the floor. Again, I can't comment. When I did the single Chord Sarum mains lead vs Naim kettle comparison on my 552DR I did it with a mindset that I was expecting it to make little or no difference but was astounded at the results. Anybody who's ever got a 552 is expecting it to trounce an 82 or whatever they've upgraded from, and their ears will be preconditioned. And if we're being honest we're all all a bit guilty of hearing what we want/expect to hear at times so when you notice something that you didn't want/expect it feels a lot more real. I didn't want that mains lead to make any significant difference but when it did I went the whole way with Chord Sarum which just illustrates that I'm as guilty as the next person of what I've suggested above, because I'd decided at that point that any other pricey Chord cable was what I needed!

What pisses me off is people who've never listened claiming it can't be so. If you've listened and thought that more expensive cables made little or no difference then I respect your opinion,but if you've not then with the greatest respect I think you should shut up because I don't comment on lots of things I intuitively don't believe but would not want to bore anybody with my intuition when I've not actually listened.

I've not compared the 82 to 552 but have compared the 252 to 552 directly in my system. Sorry but a mains cable is not going to provide anything but a very subtle difference. No cable I've ever tried will make any lesser amp in the Naim range match a 552. 

Shall we carry on this conversation over on pinkfish?

 

Astounded, massive, like a black box upgrade, you know how many people have stated this very same thing when talking about cables, and then when conducting blind listening testing these same individuals could not identify which cable was being used.

I have experienced this phenomenon over and over through the years, when I finally run into one, just one individual that can actually pick the correct cable 100% of the time, (it has never happened yet) It really should be quite easy based on some of these replies, I will become a believer, until then, I stand by my comments. The most cables make in a system, to these ears, and to others who have actually participated in such tests, has never been anything more than very subtle.

If I had an extra eight thousand dollars to spend, it sure as hell wouldn't be on speaker cables, regardless of what kind of icing it is. If the difference is worth it to the individual, more power to ya, but to ME, the cost to sound difference is down right ridiculous!

Just my opinion.

Anyway with regards to NACA5, well it was the reference speaker cable used to develop even NAP 500 and it wasn't until the statement amp that we got the Superlumina speaker cable.

However NACA5 has some weaknesses, but I suppose you need to hear the superlumina cable to know what those weaknesses are.

NACA5 is a very good cable until you hear a better one.

Same with the expensive Vertere speaker cables (Pulse X), it just opens up the soundstage and detail (in a night and day way), and then it is very difficult to go back to NACA 5.

 These better cables just get more out of the way- just let more music through, and allow to hear more of the electronics you paid for.

It may be difficult to accept this - but according to Vertere, electronics are as good as they can possibly be now, and the weaknesses are the cables.... and for what I hear in their cables, they got a very convincing and compelling product.

 

northpole posted:

Simple question for Drewy and Badlands - have you tried either a Naim Powerline or Chord Sarum power cable swapped over with a standard Naim power cable to a Naim pre or power amp in your system at home?

Peter

Yes. I have 3 powerlines, two bought second hand at a much reduced price (one came with my 552). There is a difference but I can't describe it as it's very subtle.

There is no way a power cord of any make will make a lesser Naim pre amp match a 552. 

Please don't wrongly assume I'm anti upgrading cables because I'm not.

Any other questions?

analogmusic posted:

Anyway with regards to NACA5, well it was the reference speaker cable used to develop even NAP 500 and it wasn't until the statement amp that we got the Superlumina speaker cable.

However NACA5 has some weaknesses, but I suppose you need to hear the superlumina cable to know what those weaknesses are.

NACA5 is a very good cable until you hear a better one.

Same with the expensive Vertere speaker cables (Pulse X), it just opens up the soundstage and detail (in a night and day way), and then it is very difficult to go back to NACA 5.

 These better cables just get more out of the way- just let more music through, and allow to hear more of the electronics you paid for.

It may be difficult to accept this - but according to Vertere, electronics are as good as they can possibly be now, and the weaknesses are the cables.... and for what I hear in their cables, they got a very convincing and compelling product.

 

Which is the sort of nonsense you might expect to hear from a cable manufacturer. Electronics cannot possibly be as good as they can possibly be, it's simply not possible. 

A friend and I listened to the effect of changing a standard power lead for a Chord Sarum T power cable on an Akurate Radikal today - it was just completely insane that a cable could make that big a difference.

But then again we were listening through a 552, and I doubt that it would have been as apparent through an 82  

Drewy

Maybe it's just me!!  And perhaps it's as much to do with interpreting what Bryce was communicating when he said:

"I replaced a Naim kettle lead with a single Chord Sarum power lead (the original version which I think was called Tuned Aray and has since been upgraded twice) with a more than healthy degree of scepticism. The improvement was of a similar magnitude to Linn Karin/Numerik to CDX2/XPS, NAP180 to NAP300 and not that far off NAC82 to NAC552 and CDX2/XPS to CD555/555PS". 

You have picked out the 82 -> 552 example and responded that a cable swap can't improve one to the same level as the other.  I could just as handily challenged the accuracy of moving from 180 to 300 (which I have done some time back and the change was huge!).  But I don't think Bryce should be pummeled for a bit of enthusiastic feedback!  My interpretation was of someone who was more than a little surprised at the significant impact a power cable could have on their system - something they were not expecting at all.  And something which from your experience, you have not enjoyed to anything like the same extent using power lines.

I have no idea if a sarum cable has more impact than a power line, but the sarum seems to have had an impact on Bryce, and indeed on Chris who has just posted.

This thread has provided me with a rather confused impression of what these relatively new power cables can bring to the party; ranging from very little in your case to a huge amount in Bryce's.  Where I am clear is that, when funds permit, I ought to pop along to my dealer and borrow a power line and a sarum power lead for a weekend of auditioning.  I hadn't given power cables two thoughts before reading this.  Then I may be in a better place to contribute to this thread....

Peter

northpole posted:

Simple question for Drewy and Badlands - have you tried either a Naim Powerline or Chord Sarum power cable swapped over with a standard Naim power cable to a Naim pre or power amp in your system at home?

Peter

Tried, Atlas, Transparent, Kimber, Vovox, PS Audio, Nordost, Synergistic Research, Audioquest, Van Den Hul, and the Naim power cables to name a few. For whatever reason Chord does not sell power cables in the US.

So my comments don't include Chord power cords, but as far as every other type of cables, interconnect, speaker, and power cables, I can't 100% of the time identify which one I'm listening to.

Like I stated, if there are individuals that can ID the different cables, more power to you, personally I never met anybody that could. Your money, your choice.

I really don't want to tell you about the Naim owner who stated unequivocally that he knows that the locking collars on his Chord interconnects should not be tightened because the sound degrades, or do you?

i have nothing substantial to add to this learned banter -- only to say that so called 'subtle' changes can make quite a significant impact on enjoyment of music on our systems. or example, when i am listening to a vocal piece, its often the almost hidden, very subtle musical lines that when revealed, add to system enjoyment, engagement, x-factor,  etc...

i guess my point is that often (not always) 'night and day' differences are not necessary better...

enjoy

ken

ken c posted:

i have nothing substantial to add to this learned banter -- only to say that so called 'subtle' changes can make quite a significant impact on enjoyment of music on our systems. or example, when i am listening to a vocal piece, its often the almost hidden, very subtle musical lines that when revealed, add to system enjoyment, engagement, x-factor,  etc...

i guess my point is that often (not always) 'night and day' differences are not necessary better...

enjoy

ken

I agree. I have recently, over the last 6 or so months, installed 3 second hand PL's onto my SCDR, XPSDR and 250DR - replacing standard cables. I was an open minded sceptic. I cannot put my finger on, let alone describe, the changes but I do know that listening to music is now more enjoyable. It just sounds more realistic and dynamic. You also get those odd 'I don't remember hearing that before' moments - the added rasp of a plucked double bass, the realisation there is another voice in the backing vocals, etc. That indicates to me that something has changed for the better.

northpole posted:

I have no idea if a sarum cable has more impact than a power line, but the sarum seems to have had an impact on Bryce, and indeed on Chris who has just posted.

Peter - I would Just add that we had previously tried a Naim Powerline on my friend's Akurate Radikal, and while it was better it had not given an improvement to take it into no-brainer category - and in that system the Powerline actually gave a better improvement on the Naim NAP200 - imho of course. 

I currently have Powerlines on my pre-amp and power amp power supplies.

Simply astounded ! After using a AV Options Tibia plus power cord for about 10 days I purchased a used powerline. I am truly shocked at the level of improvement to my ears . More air and open nuance of lyrics  musical presence shone through as never before. To me nothing less than a rather significant improvement in sound quality. Some years  ago I would have scoffed I am now a believer . After all these are just wires right- No there is magic here.

zoot posted:

Simply astounded ! After using a AV Options Tibia plus power cord for about 10 days I purchased a used powerline. I am truly shocked at the level of improvement to my ears . More air and open nuance of lyrics  musical presence shone through as never before. To me nothing less than a rather significant improvement in sound quality. Some years  ago I would have scoffed I am now a believer . After all these are just wires right- No there is magic here.

yeti42 posted:

Powerline is for Naim boxes, not necessarily for others. One made a Rega dac sound horrible, did wonders for a Core though replacing the Lite one.

 

Since the Core is fairly new,I don't imagine too many have experimented with cables on it yet.I own a Core,but use the power line lite that came with it,so I may try to borrow a proper power line to see if I hear anything better.I do wonder if anyone has tried Superlumina between the Core and pre,in my case a 272.Right now I am using a Nordost Heimdall 2 digital cable,which sounds really good to me,but I have not compared it to anything.

Speaker cables, power cables, and interconnects are basic electronic filters and have definite effects on sonic output.

Why anyone ought to prefer yours over another is akin to describing the color of the paint on your room walls, the lighting in the room, and why you chose it over alternative hues. What are the chances your chosen paint color will satisfy someone else in their own home environment and what would they call it? One person's cranberry is another's merlot, another's claret. Someone else will simply call it red. In the end no one really cares if you spent $10 or $50 a gallon on your wall paint or what you call it, just that it works in your room.

analogmusic posted:

Badlands - you are are a cable denier and unbeliever - nothing new.

Most/all of us were - as I said nobody likes to spend money on cables, but I would concede at SN2 level, I think Hi-Line or Naim standard interconnect does a great job.

Same goes for a 250 level based system such as yours.

Not a denier, as you put it, just a realist!

analogmusic posted:

It may be difficult to accept this - but according to Vertere, electronics are as good as they can possibly be now, and the weaknesses are the cables.... and for what I hear in their cables, they got a very convincing and compelling product.

 

Really analogmusic? I have something for you.

LOL.

That's funny, and I understand where you are coming from, after all you didn't find much difference between SN2 and 282/HCDR/250DR.

It's ok - I was one of those people who thought that the standard cables are all that is needed. 

And truly the are, that is the Naim sound.

But then I read reports of Sarum cables, (on this forum... Last man standing - there is a thread) - and got curious about the DIN/XLR cable for the NAP 250, and how it is a weak link in the system.

And tried the Vertere one, and WOW, massive jump in sound quality.

Yes I want more of the Verteres..... I got 3 of the cables (RCA/DIN - DIN/XLR and USB) and will be buying more of them!

 I'm not drinking the cool-aid Badlands, I'm enjoying my music a LOT more.... 

I've had the good luck to compare Hi-Line vs Superlumina on a very hi end system : Chord Dave (playing DSD file) - 552DR/300DR, Sonus Faber Fatura speakers.

The hi-line sounds broken compared to the Superlumina Interconnect.

Not true about the 250 based system, after all I had a 250 based system for years, what I stated was that the difference in price didn't justify the difference in sound quality.

I wish I had your golden ears, but I just don't hear it, just an FYI, some of the comparisons between the SL and Naca5 were done on a 500 based system, among other systems ranging from Rogue Audio, to Spectral, Mark Levinson, and lesser Naim systems.

Mine was not included in listening tests, just my own comparisons are done on my system.

badlands posted:

Not true about the 250 based system, after all I had a 250 based system for years, what I stated was that the difference in price didn't justify the difference in sound quality.

I wish I had your golden ears, but I just don't hear it, just an FYI, some of the comparisons between the SL and Naca5 were done on a 500 based system, among other systems ranging from Rogue Audio, to Spectral, Mark Levinson, and lesser Naim systems.

Mine was not included in listening tests, just my own comparisons are done on my system.

Well ok I see where you are coming from - one of my fellow Naimee friends who got a very hi-end system 552/500 with Sonus Faber Stradivari speakers heard my vertere DIN/XLR, and he thought the same as you, well there is a difference but not sure it was worth the money.

It is worth it to me, as I did many hours of A/B listening, and clearly to me, the vertere lets more music, and more importantly - more dynamics through. I got a much bigger soundstage also, and more 3D or depth.

These are important to me, but when I was using the standard Naim cable, I didn't think anything was missing.

I don't mean to invalidate your findings, but either showing off about my vertere cable, or liking it because it is shiny, or self-justification, isn't true.

I like it because it just is a better performer sonically than the Naim standard cable.

The suprise to me .... was that I was quite cable sceptical ..... and when I tried it the effects were not subtle ..... although expensive ...there are no pangs of trying to justify .... it was fab. Anyone who has an NDS into a good naim preamp should consider trying this....on loan from a dealer....

joerand posted:

Speaker cables, power cables, and interconnects are basic electronic filters and have definite effects on sonic output.

Why anyone ought to prefer yours over another is akin to describing the color of the paint on your room walls, the lighting in the room, and why you chose it over alternative hues. What are the chances your chosen paint color will satisfy someone else in their own home environment and what would they call it? One person's cranberry is another's merlot, another's claret. Someone else will simply call it red. In the end no one really cares if you spent $10 or $50 a gallon on your wall paint or what you call it, just that it works in your room.

I'm not going to 100% disagree with this. I think a lot of what we sometimes perceive as improvements can be more about different presentations that appeal more to our own ears. But the Chord Sarum vs Naim Kettle power lead head to head I did a few years ago wasn't in that category. I am absolutely confident that 100 out of 100 forum members would agree that there was a big change for the better. Maybe I had a problem with my electrical supply that the new power lead masked, but there was a change that was much more than a preference for a particular hue or grape.

Richieroo posted:

The suprise to me .... was that I was quite cable sceptical ..... and when I tried it the effects were not subtle ..... although expensive ...there are no pangs of trying to justify .... it was fab. Anyone who has an NDS into a good naim preamp should consider trying this....on loan from a dealer....

This aligns with my results from a few years ago when I tried the SL lead between CD 555 and 552 Pre and it was a revelation. A large part of the performance that was by comparison previously masked and murky was now there in resolved detail not previously present. Information from that source was not getting to the Pre before and now it was, so it is no surprise, to me, the same result obtains from the NDS.

Many years ago I was a cable-skeptic and considered all the claims over-blown and thought people must be talking about subtle things - then I listened to a demo at my Dealer, just to confirm my prejudice and was shocked at the differences. 

The quality of equipment does come first in making the largest difference, but the cables can ruin the performance or make it has been my experience. When you have got good HiFi equipment then finding out if money spent on cables makes more difference than an upgrade of equipment makes sense.

DB.

The difference between cables depends on a number of system specific variables, so its unlikely that 2 people will ever hear exactly the same differences when installing the same cables in 2 different systems. Variables include:

1. Level of contamination of plugs and sockets. If you substitute a Snaic that's been regularly cleaned and maintained the difference will a lot less than the same substitution of a Snaic that hasn't been unplugged or cleaned for a few years. Same goes for power cords

2. Level of RFI at the installation site. Substituting a regular power cord with a well screened power cord will have a far greater effect on a site with a substantial RFI problem vs. a site with few RFI issues

3. Quality of earth.  Substituting cables in a system with an optimum star earth will have far greater effect subjectively than the same substitution in a system where individual components are at different ground potentials due to poor earthing.

4. Component sensitivity to RFI.  A cable substitution that reduces RFI will have greater effect on a component that is highly sensitive to RFI. 

5. Socket quality. Substituting a standard power cable with a premium model will bring less benefit if the socket they're plugged into has poor contact with the pins.

6. Main's born noise.  The amount on noise, distortion and harmonics of the 50Hz sine wave feeding the hi-fi will affect how the SQ changes in response to the substitution of a mains cable.

7. Listener bias. Finally, if the listener has been plagued by a particular artefact of the sound, its elimination  will have a far greater impact subjectively than someone who's been pretty happy with what they've been hearing. While objectively one system may improve a little more than the other, the perception of the degree of change will be hugely different.

 

 

analogmusic posted:

Allante

you are 110 percent ... in need to drive to a dealer to hear some stuff for yourself. Otherwise indeed it's all then padded cell material 

theres only so much you can experience from reading about hi fi

like Sarum cables until you hear with your own ears, comments on them are a bit ill informed 

Analog, you are 110% correct, as usual!

Unfortunately, my funds will not allow me to partake in the final link, the Interconnect!

The Vertere Guy!

Allante93!

PS. Can't miss what you never heard!

Cdx2>282HCDR>Passive Tri- Amped Briks

Ain't Bad!

Primare Pre-30 > Arcam P1 Mono Blocks

2008 Speaker of the year Vienna Acoustics Rosewood Baby Grands Ain't Bad either!

Next upgrade Active Briks!

But if I hit the lotto, I will take your Advice!

 

badlands posted:
analogmusic posted:

It may be difficult to accept this - but according to Vertere, electronics are as good as they can possibly be now, and the weaknesses are the cables.... and for what I hear in their cables, they got a very convincing and compelling product.

 

Really analogmusic? I have something for you.

I thought this Thread was a wrap, wrong!

And this is 110% Funny!

Drink up Analog!

Allante93! LOL......

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