Tellurium Q Black Nait XS2

Goodsounds posted:
AndyL posted:
Goodsounds posted:
ThatsNotMyNaim posted:

After about 30 munites I noticed I started to get a bit brain foggy listening to Sting. Brain was going mad. I didn't get that before so I took the TQ Black RCA out and put my Chord Chameleon VEE3 back in. Sounds better. Less fatiguing. 

With the TQ Black, as good as it sounded tonally, everything sounded like it was rushing to get finished. Hurried. Really hurried. Couldn't relax. Too much going on. 

But putting the Chamelon back in has calmed it all down again. Albeit it not as detailed and defined. 

The Chord is sharper though on voices. Can't win. Might try Chord Chorus or Anthem. 

It's so tricky this stuff.

A bit off topic, but this reminds me once I tested various TQ USB cables.

TQ Black USB (more detail than the standard Chord USB cable)
TQ Silver USB (I could really relax with this cable, less "nervous" than TQ Black USB)
TQ Black Diamond USB (getting much more detail + totally relaxed listening experience)

Goodsounds would you share which DAC you connected to?    I'd like to understand whether you experience those TQ USB cable differences with async/galvanic isolation DAC.   I connect Mac Mini to Chord Hugo TT via the USB cable which came with the TT, but considering demoing TQ.  Thanks.

I have Mac Mini to Hugo TT setup (into SN2). I got a previously used cable (TQ Black USB) and complete new ones (TQ Silver USB / TQ Black Diamond) for testing and did use the TQ burn-in CD. The Black Diamond is now on order...

What speakers are you using? 

ThatsNotMyNaim posted:
Goodsounds posted:
AndyL posted:
Goodsounds posted:
ThatsNotMyNaim posted:

After about 30 munites I noticed I started to get a bit brain foggy listening to Sting. Brain was going mad. I didn't get that before so I took the TQ Black RCA out and put my Chord Chameleon VEE3 back in. Sounds better. Less fatiguing. 

With the TQ Black, as good as it sounded tonally, everything sounded like it was rushing to get finished. Hurried. Really hurried. Couldn't relax. Too much going on. 

But putting the Chamelon back in has calmed it all down again. Albeit it not as detailed and defined. 

The Chord is sharper though on voices. Can't win. Might try Chord Chorus or Anthem. 

It's so tricky this stuff.

A bit off topic, but this reminds me once I tested various TQ USB cables.

TQ Black USB (more detail than the standard Chord USB cable)
TQ Silver USB (I could really relax with this cable, less "nervous" than TQ Black USB)
TQ Black Diamond USB (getting much more detail + totally relaxed listening experience)

Goodsounds would you share which DAC you connected to?    I'd like to understand whether you experience those TQ USB cable differences with async/galvanic isolation DAC.   I connect Mac Mini to Chord Hugo TT via the USB cable which came with the TT, but considering demoing TQ.  Thanks.

I have Mac Mini to Hugo TT setup (into SN2). I got a previously used cable (TQ Black USB) and complete new ones (TQ Silver USB / TQ Black Diamond) for testing and did use the TQ burn-in CD. The Black Diamond is now on order...

What speakers are you using? 

Kudos Super 20

GraemeH posted:

I'll say it again - The 2Qute is the core of the problem...ime. 

Replace it with a Hugo and normal service will be resumed - regardless of cable preferences.

G

I'm listening. I'll work through some tests starting with DAC.

People said it sounded analogue, so I'm surprised it's harsh. Don't believe all that you read. I did audition too. But with basement cables so it was all.masked.

 

I know the dealer tricks now! Ha

I'm starting to get reading fatigue, foggy Sting brain, harsh and tinny eyeballs and am starting to feel like a badly matched pair of Proac 188's 'rubbed up the wrong way' all from reading this thread perhaps some prescription medication washed down with copius amounts of scotch might even it all out a bit! 

I borrowed some B&W CM6 s2 tonight. Awful with my system. Super bright, super tinny, nasty, restricted sound. Made me appreciate what the Proacs do. 

Sending the Tellurium Qs back tomorrow. Too sharp, empty sounding at the moment in this system. As good as they are. Shame.

I put Odyssey back in. Got some warmth, fullness and easy going engagement back.

Going to take Graeme's advice and try a source change. Then Supernait or Hi-Cap.

Still would recommend the TQ Black if you have your system sorted though. Though if you like warming music. Chord is more suitable.

Shame the TQs are working for you now. Something to explore again in the future maybe. I'm using Black speaker cable on my SN and they sound great. Borrowed Wenger2015s ultra blacks and they are stunning. A much smoother sound. More detail. Bigger and better in every way. Didn't want to give them back! 

Finkfan posted:

Shame the TQs are working for you now. Something to explore again in the future maybe. I'm using Black speaker cable on my SN and they sound great. Borrowed Wenger2015s ultra blacks and they are stunning. A much smoother sound. More detail. Bigger and better in every way. Didn't want to give them back! 

 

At least I know what they do.

What source are you using Finkfan?

joerand posted:
Iconoclast posted:

You want a warm sounding DAC get a Rega. Everything will sound nice and smooth zzzzz.

My main quibble with the XS 2 has been the mid bass hump and definition some smear.

Iconoclast,

I don't see your gear in your profile but if you are using a Rega DAC in your set up that would be the mid bass culprit to me, not the XS2. Barring TTs and carts, the Rega gear I've demo'd (integrateds, CDPs & phono stages) has had a pronounced mid bass bump. I find the comparable Naim gear generally has a flatter bottom end with a deeper grip on the lowest bass. To my ears Rega's pronounced mid bass bounce can add to musicality if you listen to rock music, as it more emphasizes the kick drum. In the long term, however, this becomes an artificial distraction to me.

Sorry Joe I somehow missed your reply. No I don't own a Rega DAC but I did borrow one a while ago and found it to be too smooth for my tastes. Mind you on a very bright system it might help balance things out but I found another solution. 

I agree that the Rega (Rega DAC, Brio-R) generally needs to be matched with lively, agile speakers or else thinks can get a bit too round in the bottom end. I demoed some Proacs on the end of a Brio-R and it took me about 30 seconds before I told the salesperson to bring on the next contender.

GraemeH posted:

I'll say it again - The 2Qute is the core of the problem...ime. 

Replace it with a Hugo and normal service will be resumed - regardless of cable preferences.

G

I've also said this before.

Thatsnotmynaim, I had a pretty similar experience to what you're having at the moment. My suspicion is that the TQ interconnect is revealing more of the 2Qute, and you don't like what you're hearing.

I intitally went for the 2Qute whilst using a Chord Chameleon RCA-RCA which was a mindblowing upgrade for me at the time. However, I felt that the Chameleon was now probably the bottle neck, so I moved to a Chord Chorus Reference RCA-DIN which was a further improvement. After a while though I just couldn't shake a nagging feeling of brightness/forwardness/fatigue I was getting from the set up, which I think was masked by the previous Chord Chameleon. Cue the experiences of GraemeH and others, so I took a punt on a Hugo... This was the perfect remedy for me as it ensured I didn't lose anything I liked about the 2Qute but I gained the sumptuous, insightful, non-fatiguing sound of the Hugo. I'm sure these differences may be system dependant but I think it may well be worth borrowing a Hugo if you have the chance.  

Also, FWIW, I've previously run a Nait XS myself with and without FCXS and I wouldn't say that it is bright in the slightest.  

hmm. i agree with the foregoing advice that the OP should try another DAC. perhaps one by Naim or further up the Chord ladder. (even if it's only to erase any nagging doubts.)

however, i bought a 2Qute a few weeks ago and while it sounds more detailed and punchy than my Supernait's built-in DAC, i wouldn't say that it's bright. i'm fairly sensitive to brightness in hifi.

(also, FWIW, Chord's designer says that the 2Qute is a Hugo without the headphone amp and preamp capability...)

Mayor West posted:
GraemeH posted:

I'll say it again - The 2Qute is the core of the problem...ime. 

Replace it with a Hugo and normal service will be resumed - regardless of cable preferences.

G

I've also said this before.

Thatsnotmynaim, I had a pretty similar experience to what you're having at the moment. My suspicion is that the TQ interconnect is revealing more of the 2Qute, and you don't like what you're hearing.

I intitally went for the 2Qute whilst using a Chord Chameleon RCA-RCA which was a mindblowing upgrade for me at the time. However, I felt that the Chameleon was now probably the bottle neck, so I moved to a Chord Chorus Reference RCA-DIN which was a further improvement. After a while though I just couldn't shake a nagging feeling of brightness/forwardness/fatigue I was getting from the set up, which I think was masked by the previous Chord Chameleon. Cue the experiences of GraemeH and others, so I took a punt on a Hugo... This was the perfect remedy for me as it ensured I didn't lose anything I liked about the 2Qute but I gained the sumptuous, insightful, non-fatiguing sound of the Hugo. I'm sure these differences may be system dependant but I think it may well be worth borrowing a Hugo if you have the chance.  

Also, FWIW, I've previously run a Nait XS myself with and without FCXS and I wouldn't say that it is bright in the slightest.  

Thanks for this detail. How did you get on with Flat Cap? Did it fill the sound or lesn it out? Smooth on sharpen? 

joe9407 posted:

hmm. i agree with the foregoing advice that the OP should try another DAC. perhaps one by Naim or further up the Chord ladder. (even if it's only to erase any nagging doubts.)

however, i bought a 2Qute a few weeks ago and while it sounds more detailed and punchy than my Supernait's built-in DAC, i wouldn't say that it's bright. i'm fairly sensitive to brightness in hifi.

(also, FWIW, Chord's designer says that the 2Qute is a Hugo without the headphone amp and preamp capability...)

Your Supernait (DR) is.probably chilling it all out.. Seems.to be a theme. Where there is a Supernait, there is bliss. :-l

What speakers are you using? 

The Strat (Fender) posted:

So what is wrong with the Odyssey?  

I actually prefer the Odyssey sound. Warming. Like having a hug. Ha. But i still have shrill highs. Very slighty sound. They jump at you a bit. The TQ exacerbated/exposed this. The Chord dims it slightly. 

DAC, then PSU (DR) then failing that, Supernait is the plan. Will report back once I've tried those. 

joe9407 posted:

hmm. i agree with the foregoing advice that the OP should try another DAC. perhaps one by Naim or further up the Chord ladder. (even if it's only to erase any nagging doubts.)

however, i bought a 2Qute a few weeks ago and while it sounds more detailed and punchy than my Supernait's built-in DAC, i wouldn't say that it's bright. i'm fairly sensitive to brightness in hifi.

(also, FWIW, Chord's designer says that the 2Qute is a Hugo without the headphone amp and preamp capability...)

I think the two are similar - Hugo SPdif = 2Qute USB.  The 2Qute SPdif (BNC) not so good ime.

G

I've been following this thread for a while now.

And like The Strat I'm starting to think that the fundamental problem, exposed by transparent TQ cables is with a room acoustics.

What lead me to that conclision? TQ Black are very good cables, and I've heard them in a variety of systems - Naim and non-Naim. They certainly enhance system's performance, but can also expose it's weaker parts or how it interacts with a room. But they never made music sound harsh or tiring to my ears. Of course everyone hears music differently...

Adam

ThatsNotMyNaim posted:

My room is 3m.x 4.5m.

Speakers are 2ft from rear wall. Sound basslight if i bring them out. They are around 2.5ft from side walls.

Walls are bare.

I looked into acoustic treatment panels but didn't think this would be a complete cure. Maybe I should reconsider. 

We may be close to a solution...

What's is the floor made of and are there any carpets?

Adam Zielinski posted:
ThatsNotMyNaim posted:

My room is 3m.x 4.5m.

Speakers are 2ft from rear wall. Sound basslight if i bring them out. They are around 2.5ft from side walls.

Walls are bare.

I looked into acoustic treatment panels but didn't think this would be a complete cure. Maybe I should reconsider. 

We may be close to a solution...

What's is the floor made of and are there any carpets?

Ha, I know you'd all love a close to this thread! :-)

The floor is hardwood. However it is 95% covered length to length with a 2.5cm thick pile wool rug. Almost like having carpet. Completely covered width wise. It's pretty hefty. Cost me 600 quid!

That seems entirely consistent now: relatively small room, bare walls, heavy damping on the floor. Regardless of the equipment you'd be getting: muffled but controlled bass, ok midrange and overpronounced highs. 

If speakers are on spikes already not much more can be done here. You may have to look at either speaker positioning vs the entrance or some acoustic wall treatments to dampen those unrully reverbations. 

 

Adam Zielinski posted:

That seems entirely consistent now: relatively small room, bare walls, heavy damping on the floor. Regardless of the equipment you'd be getting: muffled but controlled bass, ok midrange and overpronounced highs. 

If speakers are on spikes already not much more can be done here. You may have to look at either speaker positioning vs the entrance or some acoustic wall treatments to dampen those unrully reverbations. 

 

I noticed that the more expensive and expansive sounding the speaker cable, the worse things get.

Bigger / wider soundstage + bare walls with more sound hitting them... recipe for disaster?

I think I see now why it all gets chaotic with better cables. Voices get overwhelming.

I think I have just faced that I have a room problem. Size wise it's not massive. I hope some acoustic panels will improve things. 

 

 

GraemeH posted:

I'll say it again - The 2Qute is the core of the problem...ime. 

Replace it with a Hugo and normal service will be resumed - regardless of cable preferences.

G

Hi Graeme,

For what reasons do you think the 2Qute is the issue? There are some other things I need to work out but curious on the DAC.

I did some reading, and spoke to Chord. They said it outputs 3V. And that is higher than your average CD / DAC. 2.2v so it might be a little "hot" for the amp.

The Hugo has output control on it? Do you make use of that function? Or is this twoddle? Reading back some have said the Qute can be shouty and metallic in the hi hats etc. Same as I experience.

 

Cheers

ThatsNotMyNaim posted:
GraemeH posted:

I'll say it again - The 2Qute is the core of the problem...ime. 

Replace it with a Hugo and normal service will be resumed - regardless of cable preferences.

G

Hi Graeme,

For what reasons do you think the 2Qute is the issue? There are some other things I need to work out but curious on the DAC.

I did some reading, and spoke to Chord. They said it outputs 3V. And that is higher than your average CD / DAC. 2.2v so it might be a little "hot" for the amp.

The Hugo has output control on it? Do you make use of that function? Or is this twoddle? Reading back some have said the Qute can be shouty and metallic in the hi hats etc. Same as I experience.

 

Cheers

I'm considering the Mojo and was asking myself that same question. My XS 2 has high gain and I was wondering if that paired with the 3V output of the Mojo might be a mismatch.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Yes if you use a Hugo with a Naim NAC many of us have found setting the output level to a 'turquoise' setting seems to sound best with the Naim NAC - it also has the advantage of allowing more of the NAC volume control range.

Simon

I'll need to check but I'm not sure if the volume can be adjusted in live level output mode on the Mojo.

ThatsNotMyNaim posted:
GraemeH posted:

I'll say it again - The 2Qute is the core of the problem...ime. 

Replace it with a Hugo and normal service will be resumed - regardless of cable preferences.

G

Hi Graeme,

For what reasons do you think the 2Qute is the issue? There are some other things I need to work out but curious on the DAC.

I did some reading, and spoke to Chord. They said it outputs 3V. And that is higher than your average CD / DAC. 2.2v so it might be a little "hot" for the amp.

The Hugo has output control on it? Do you make use of that function? Or is this twoddle? Reading back some have said the Qute can be shouty and metallic in the hi hats etc. Same as I experience.

 

Cheers

2Qute - A shade shouty and metallic, thin and edgy (through a SN2) is my experience with BNC-BNC DC1 cable. Folks say the USB interface is better with the 2Qute...I think the fact it runs direct from the mains plays a part too.

Yes, I used the volume control of the Hugo, much as Simon notes, and found it an altogether more natural sounding Dac.

See if you can borrow a Hugo to compare.

G

To put this thread to bed once and for all, two things happened today.

Firstly I spoke to Nigel Flynn at Chord. Smashing chap. Very helpful. Sent him some pics of the room. He asked met to switch my room around. So I did. The sound got fuller and much more engrossing.  He said firing cross ways across the room removes the side wall reflections (due to distance from speakers) and that I should notice a difference. I did. Music is much much more coherent, warm and enjoyable. Soundstage actually exists! Still not ideal as I am near field. But still much much better and sounds close to what I heard at the dealer. All the bass has come back too. Notes that I was "t hearing defined well. Not lean anymore either.

Secondly, I spoke to someone at Naim who recommended connecting a 3.5mm headphone jack lead from my iMac to the XS2 RCA input. Bypassing the 2Qute, to see if the 'harsheness / brightness' was reduced. It was/is. Actually although that I know that this sound without the Chord is not anywhere near as cohesive and musical, it's a lot easier to listen to. The grating is far reduced. From an iMac DAC!?! Why would Chord over egg the Qute? Coincides with Graeme's notes too. "Metallic" high hats for sure. Raspy.

I'll thus be investing in acoustic treatment panels with some professional advice and most certainly a different Dac. The 2Qute is REALLY forward. I want rounder. I believe I might get that with a Naim DAC. Though, will try the Hugo based on Graeme's advice too. Detail is lovely, but not ear bleeding. 

Thanks to everyone for their help and patience. Really appreciate it. 

Adam

Repsonse from Chord Electronic (Match your Chord Dacs and speakers carefully!)

Hi Adam

This is one of the biggest criticisms that we get from the hifi market, and there’s a reason we haven’t changed it.
 
Our frequency responses are flat, a lot of equipment out there, tails off at the top end and boosts in the lower end, this gives a perceived “warm” or “smooth” quality. We keep it flat right across the range right up to 24kHZ, which is what a lot of people perceive as too “harsh” or “crisp” and not enough bass. Frequency is a logarithmic element, so keeping everything the same gives this perception.  The reason for keeping it flat is it is what you would naturally hear as if it were live, we let the human ear adjust the frequency range to make it as natural as possible. 
 
This is the biggest reasons why all the major studios in the world use our equipment and the BBC set us as the standard in the UK for amplification. 
 
I’m not saying that you are wrong, and it is all personal opinion, we like to get feedback from as many people as possible. It’s a shame that you can’t get on with the sound, but at least you have found something to suit you! 
 
Happy listening!
 
Kind Regards
Chord employee (Removed name)
Pro-Audio & Manufacturing

Don't get me started on room position. Socket position. Router and TV cables. Power cables. Keeping stuff apart.

I hate that part of Hi-Fi.

The system is sounding absoutely lovely firing across though. Can easily lose myself in the music finally. I could do with some panels behind me and a couple of traps behind the speakers but it's really actually ok. Very full sounding. Crazy what a difference.

Near-ish field listening is quite fun! 

Even with the slightly bright sharp 2Qute I think I could live with this for a while. Very coherent and musical. Weighty. Not short of a detail or two either. 

Still going to try and Hugo and Naim Dac for good measure though.

 

 

 

ThatsNotMyNaim posted:

Don't get me started on room position. Socket position. Router and TV cables. Power cables. Keeping stuff apart.

I hate that part of Hi-Fi.

The system is sounding absoutely lovely firing across though. Can easily lose myself in the music finally. I could do with some panels behind me and a couple of traps behind the speakers but it's really actually ok. Very full sounding. Crazy what a difference.

Near-ish field listening is quite fun! 

Even with the slightly bright sharp 2Qute I think I could live with this for a while. Very coherent and musical. Weighty. Not short of a detail or two either. 

Still going to try and Hugo and Naim Dac for good measure though.

 

 

 

One thing - Do you have the 2Qute SMPS on the same socket as the Naim is drawing power from? If so, try moving it if you can.

G

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