Tidal on my NAIM app doesn't work properly...

Mike1951 posted:

Great, so.... The Aries Mini sits between the router and the ND5XS. Am I now using the Aries to access Tidal and Radio, or the ND5XS still?

...

You would use the Aries Mini. In this setup, the ND5XS would act as a passive DAC, fed by the SPDIF output of the Aries. Please, keep in mind that you would not be able to use the Naim app to control the Aries. You would have to use a UPnP control point to control the Aries and the Naim app to control the ND5XS. Of course, you could also disconnect the ND5XS from you network and just use the Aries to send both Tidal and local streams to the DAC section of the ND5XS. I have never used an Aries Mini or a ND5XS. Thus, take my remarks with a grain of salt. Best, nbpf  

Jack From Adelaide posted:

As I understand it Naim recommends a CAT6 connection. I went to the trouble of getting an electrician in to put in a proper CAT6 cable and nice connections at both ends. Another tip is that every cable that you use, from the cables at the Modem end and the cables in your music room have to all be CAT6 or "bad things" will happen. I wish an actual Naim person would weigh in and tell us what is actually going on instead of having to guess at it ourselves.

Hi Jack,

We recommend using a wired Ethernet connection wherever possible - using either a wireless Ethernet connection or Ethernet over Mains wiring is always a compromise and cannot be guaranteed to be consistently reliable. From our perspective there is no specific advantage to using a CAT6 (or CAT7) cable over a CAT5e as even a CAT5 (as opposed to CAT5e) is capable of supporting more than enough bandwidth for streaming 24/192 audio. For any diagnosis of issues with either breaking up of streaming audio or connectivity we would always ask the customer to temporarily connect their streamer(s) to their network via a wired ethernet connnection rather than via WiFi or Ethernet Over Mains to remove that variable from the equation...

As far as "what is going on" ... we are not aware of any specific issues relating to the implementation of TIDAL streaming that are affecting users overall. Issues affecting individuals do seem to be related to excessive latency between them and the source servers - of course the awaited 4.5 update does have some additional buffering tweaks (these are already in the Mu-so and Qb 1.5 firmware) which should make the streamers more forgiving of higher latency connections but it isn't a cure-all and for anyone anyone who is having TIDAL streaming and who contacts us then we do make that Beta firmware available to them as an option that they can try, however, as it isn't yet signed off for final sound quality then we won't just blanket release it. That firmware is applicable to Uniti / Uniti2 / UnitiLite / SuperUniti / NAC-N172 / NAC-N272 / ND5XS / NDX / NDS and as a Beta is available in English only.

Best

Phil

That is good news. I will corral the ducats and await 4.5 in eager anticipation.

It's good to hear that NAIM are applying themselves to the problem. I suppose these things are a bit like trying to turn around a tanker at sea when the passengers expect a catamaran maneuvre.

At least I've got a fall-back position of calling in the mercenaries if the heavy brigade still get stuck in the swamp...

 

Mike1951 posted:

I think I'm almost decided on a "passive Aries" and "active" ND5XS. 

I'd like hear from anybody who's gone this route first,  though...

Does Tidal streaming via your mobile phone work flawlessly in your wireless? If so, you could simply connect your phone to the ND5XS and use the Tidal app on the phone to stream Tidal contents. I do not know whether the ND5XS has a USB input you can connect your phone to. But you could always connect the phone to the ND5XS via a Meridian Explorer. This is much cheaper than an Aries Mini and is a small, portable device. It can be used as a headphone amplifier but also as a USB to SPDIF interface. It has both electrical and optical SPDIF outputs. 

When I was over at Wenger2015s place the other week I was flicking through the Tidal app and it said it detected his Qb. I could stream directly from there. I this only available on the Muso and newer models or would it work for Mike on his ND5XS if he switched to a wireless connection? 

Ive not tried this out on my 272 as it’s hard wired and so I haven’t put the Ariel on. I could try in the morning though. 

Finkfan posted:

When I was over at Wenger2015s place the other week I was flicking through the Tidal app and it said it detected his Qb. I could stream directly from there. I this only available on the Muso and newer models or would it work for Mike on his ND5XS if he switched to a wireless connection? 

I'm guessing that it was connecting via Airplay, which the Musos have, but not the other Naim streamers.

Just had a look at the manual.  It says that the USB port on the front panel should not be used for anything other than a USB stick.

This seems to preclude the "Tidal app on a mobile " solution? 

Should I use one of the connections on the back panel? 

I assume the M. Explorer would be plugged into my preamp, rather than the nd5xs.

Phil Harris posted:
Jack From Adelaide posted:

As I understand it Naim recommends a CAT6 connection. I went to the trouble of getting an electrician in to put in a proper CAT6 cable and nice connections at both ends. Another tip is that every cable that you use, from the cables at the Modem end and the cables in your music room have to all be CAT6 or "bad things" will happen. I wish an actual Naim person would weigh in and tell us what is actually going on instead of having to guess at it ourselves.

Hi Jack,

We recommend using a wired Ethernet connection wherever possible - using either a wireless Ethernet connection or Ethernet over Mains wiring is always a compromise and cannot be guaranteed to be consistently reliable. From our perspective there is no specific advantage to using a CAT6 (or CAT7) cable over a CAT5e as even a CAT5 (as opposed to CAT5e) is capable of supporting more than enough bandwidth for streaming 24/192 audio. For any diagnosis of issues with either breaking up of streaming audio or connectivity we would always ask the customer to temporarily connect their streamer(s) to their network via a wired ethernet connnection rather than via WiFi or Ethernet Over Mains to remove that variable from the equation...

As far as "what is going on" ... we are not aware of any specific issues relating to the implementation of TIDAL streaming that are affecting users overall. Issues affecting individuals do seem to be related to excessive latency between them and the source servers - of course the awaited 4.5 update does have some additional buffering tweaks (these are already in the Mu-so and Qb 1.5 firmware) which should make the streamers more forgiving of higher latency connections but it isn't a cure-all and for anyone anyone who is having TIDAL streaming and who contacts us then we do make that Beta firmware available to them as an option that they can try, however, as it isn't yet signed off for final sound quality then we won't just blanket release it. That firmware is applicable to Uniti / Uniti2 / UnitiLite / SuperUniti / NAC-N172 / NAC-N272 / ND5XS / NDX / NDS and as a Beta is available in English only.

Best

Phil

Hi..  

It does seem that Naim is not particularly strong with software applications.

Maybe a contract with a cutting-edge software company may be the way forward ?? A company that can keep NAIM  more in touch with new innovation within software design. I noticed Felsic Capacitors being used in Hi Cap units recently. I believe they are made in China ?? So some outsourcing is happening... 

Mike1951 posted:

That is good news. I will corral the ducats and await 4.5 in eager anticipation.

It's good to hear that NAIM are applying themselves to the problem. I suppose these things are a bit like trying to turn around a tanker at sea when the passengers expect a catamaran maneuvre.

At least I've got a fall-back position of calling in the mercenaries if the heavy brigade still get stuck in the swamp...

 

I like the Analogy Mike .. Software problems seem to be the meat and two Veg of Naim Forum space.

Mike1951 posted:

Just had a look at the manual.  It says that the USB port on the front panel should not be used for anything other than a USB stick.

This seems to preclude the "Tidal app on a mobile " solution? 

Should I use one of the connections on the back panel? 

I assume the M. Explorer would be plugged into my preamp, rather than the nd5xs.

The chain would be: mobile phone (with OTG support) => Meridian Explorer => Electrical or optical SPDIF cable => ND5XS electrical or optical SPDIF input.

@Jack From Adelaide - thanks for taking the time and trouble to post your fix for Tidal woes - specifically eliminating non-alphanumeric characters from one's Tidal password. I tried it and it seems to have worked to some extent with my SuperUniti. I feel for the Naim support guys trying to fix issues like this - there are just so many potential factors to eliminate when fault finding. I found myself blaming recent updates to iOS11 and assumed that the Naim app hadn't been updated to ensure compatibility - I note that it's just been updated today to version 5.8, to "ensure seamless integration with iOS11." That didn't fix the problem however - whereby the Tidal stream stops within a few seconds of starting.

I was then planning to investigate the ISP/network latency issue flagged up by many users, but that made relatively little sense given that my wireless MuSo was having relatively few issues, using the same login. I believe therefore that there's a combination of factors going on here, and Phil's recent post re beta firmware for older generation Naim streamers may be part of the answer. It seems that the latest generation Uniti products may have been designed from the outset with much bigger buffers to work around lately issues. 

I should add that I have BT Infinity 2 with >60 Mbps. Appreciate that latency is a separate issue.  

Should I be looking to upgrade to a Nova? Seems like a costly sledgehammer to crack a nut, especially as my SuperUniti is perhaps 18 months old, and I suspect I'll have to pony up £2K in a trade-in scenario... 

 

 

 

  

Having had some problems with my Tidal service especially with dropouts and albums just stopping mid flow I have done much reading about the subject and when I came across this thread here I recognised many of the problems being experienced. I no longer have a Naim system and am now all Linn but things over on the dark side are not any different when it comes to using Tidal or any other like music source. As fas as I can make out the majority of problems seldom have anything to do with our equipment and are the generally the fault of your telephone company or the modem they have supplied you. Yes there are the odds and sods of an app problem or even an equipment fault, that is always possible of course but like it or not we in the UK are in the hands of BT or whoever for wherever you live and until they sort things out to be 100% perfect we always will be. 

Update: previous to above comments about appropriate "Cat" rated cabling, I had installed a Cat7 cable between the ND5XS and the router with immediately improved results.

Since then,  I have connected the LAN output of the modem to the LAN input of the router with an equally astonishing audio improvement over the bog standard Cat5 that the WISP had put in for me.

All the usual stuff - leading edge of bass drum beats more clearly defined, bass more coherent and musical, detail and staging plus all the other "hifi"  presentation tricks improved...

Following this, in my view going the extra mile and putting in top-grade ethernet cabling is not only preferable, it's mandatory!

Too early to tell yet if it's going to have an effect on Tidal dropout but I'll let you know.   

I very much doubt that the Cat7 spec of your new cable is of any importance. I won't dispute that different Ethernet cables can produce subtle differences in sound, but the higher performance of Cat7 itself is beyond what's required for optimum performance, as is Cat6. The general consensus is that Cat5e is sufficient.

It could be that your old cable was either very poor quality, or faulty. There could have been an invisible internal fault, a poor connection, or even just a tight bend. It's always worth checking the 'minimum bend radius' of an Ethernet cable and keeping to it.

Mike1951 posted:

Update: previous to above comments about appropriate "Cat" rated cabling, I had installed a Cat7 cable between the ND5XS and the router with immediately improved results.

Since then,  I have connected the LAN output of the modem to the LAN input of the router with an equally astonishing audio improvement over the bog standard Cat5 that the WISP had put in for me.

...

I think that the consensus is that a Naim streamer should be better connected to a router via a switch rather than through a direct connection. 

I am not arguing that ethernet cables cannot have an impact on sound quality but I would not expect "astonishing" improvements from replacing Cat5 with Cat7 cables. Such a result would indicate a rather poor (very sensitive to its feed) streamer and the ND5XS is a very good streamer indeed. Perhaps a broken cable in your previous setup?

nbpf posted:

I think that the consensus is that a Naim streamer should be better connected to a router via a switch rather than through a direct connection.

<<SNIP>>

Assuming that the router itself is working correctly then there is no valid networking requirement for this to be required - if the router is proving to be unreliable or a bottleneck (usually more of an issue with routers that implement switches in software) then routing unnecessary traffic away from them can obviously be an advantage.

Any "improvement in sound quality" discussions relating to using separate switches really should be regarded in the same vein as improvements in sound quality due to audiophile Ethernet cables.

nbpf posted:

<<SNIP>>

I am not arguing that ethernet cables cannot have an impact on sound quality but I would not expect "astonishing" improvements from replacing Cat5 with Cat7 cables. Such a result would indicate a rather poor (very sensitive to its feed) streamer and the ND5XS is a very good streamer indeed. Perhaps a broken cable in your previous setup?

I suspect that the "Audiophile Ethernet Cables" discussion is one that will run and run ... it's certainly one that gets brought up to me when I'm at dealer events and usually results in a lengthy discussion...

Phil

I don,t doubt there are sound differences, but if I am listening to Spotify or Tidal via virginmedia fibre, the signal may have travelled for hundreds of miles on industrial quality cabling. Can someone explain why it then has to be audiophile after my router? Is there a technical reason, just interested.

So, Phil...  If the new firmware update incorporating a change to the Tidal/NAIM interface is being "tested for sound quality", I suppose it's reasonable to assume that connectivity is AOK. 

Any idea how long it's going to take for the sound quality to be deemed acceptable and we can download it with a view to resolving this horrendous situation?

Mike1951 posted:

Just had a look at the manual.  It says that the USB port on the front panel should not be used for anything other than a USB stick.

This seems to preclude the "Tidal app on a mobile " solution? 

One old-school workaround (pre-Tidal or Spotify activation in the Naim app) is to connect your iPhone to the front panel USB, start playing any local music file via the Naim app, then use the iPhone screen to change to the Tidal app and launch whatever album or playlist you'd like to hear. From here on, the Naim app is volume control and input select only (pause and resume might work, can't recall), while the Tidal app is for searching, selecting, and playing tracks of interest.

What would be cooler, of course, is for the Naim app to have access to all local iPhone content, not just stuff visible in the iPhone Music app... playing audiobooks (now in the Books app), or podcasts (now in the PodCast app) or library materials (in the Overdrive app) and downloaded Spotify or Tidal or RadioParadise or anything else you might get have each in their own app data store, well, that would be awesome! and would help turn iPhones into a much more useful source for Uniti equipment old and new. The sunk cost of having the Apple Approved USB input would reap a whole new set of rewards... I haven't seen any sort of reaction to this suggestion from Naim (either on the Beta forum or from @Phil Harris

Regards, alan

In the meantime whilst awaiting the 4.5...

I'm using Spotify's premium (320kbps) option. Two hours of play back and not a single dropout.

Sound quality is not tip top but hey! - I'm tapping my feet and I've stopped foaming at the mouth. 

I've also downgraded my Tidal account to their own 320 version and I'll do a comparison when that happens. I'm also mindful that Spotify are working on a lossless service which may fair better on the ND5XS than the Tidal lossless. 

I've also ordered a lead to see if I can hardwire my Tidal music straight into the ND5XS from my mobile device. 

I'm in the process of down-sizing my speakers that I bought with me for a smaller listening room when I moved and that should reap dividends with audio quality anyway.

One way or another,  it's got to be better than all the expense involved in hitting the upgrade trail again with NAS or another CD player or the like as wrangled about in the other thread.

Mike1951 posted:

So, Phil...  If the new firmware update incorporating a change to the Tidal/NAIM interface is being "tested for sound quality", I suppose it's reasonable to assume that connectivity is AOK. 

Any idea how long it's going to take for the sound quality to be deemed acceptable and we can download it with a view to resolving this horrendous situation?

Hi Mike,

Unfortunately I don't know that ...

Phil

Phil Harris posted:
Mike1951 posted:

So, Phil...  If the new firmware update incorporating a change to the Tidal/NAIM interface is being "tested for sound quality", I suppose it's reasonable to assume that connectivity is AOK. 

Any idea how long it's going to take for the sound quality to be deemed acceptable and we can download it with a view to resolving this horrendous situation?

Hi Mike,

Unfortunately I don't know that ...

Phil

Well, here's hoping the sound quality passes muster.

 

I had no problems - then tidal updated their app and dropouts start - so its shoddy work at tidal, which I swear sounds worse than Spotify now - I think they are transitioning to headphone style compression at this point in an attempt to make themselves more relevant to their intended listeners - the New Yorker subway riders - who certainly don’t own any HIFI

"Misery loves company".  I have more $ in my naim components than I have in both my cars, and they are new.  My music source is Tidal, and I have dropouts all the time. I am hard wired and have good internet.  My tv and everything else works great, never any dropouts. Also, the internet radio can play for days with no proplems.  The problem is always with Tidal using the Naim app with my playlist, no matter if my playlist consist of 1 song or 99.  I don't want lps or cds, if I would have known about these issues at the beginning of this quest, I would never have purchased the first piece.  At least I'm not alone in my suffering.  

On the point of dropping Tidal completely, lossless or not.

I rebuilt my Spotify account ("Premium") and re-jigged my Tidal account to their 320kbps equivalent to do a test of which might be better and to see if the Tidal one played without dropouts, as does Spotify.

When I go direct to Tidal, it tells me that I now have the cheaper service, but when I try and stream through the NAIM app, it tells me my account is inactive. 

This is just SO BORING! Time for NAIM to consider ditching it's partnership with this increasingly rubbish company and going for maybe Qobuz or even Deezer for it's lossless functionality.

Pfft! Eeeecchhh! Bleurgh! Etc...

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David Stewartmcn46
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