Upgrade - dealer demo day

Just spent 7 hours at Cornwall's finest Naim dealer, where I've been treated to a stunning lineup of Naim and ProAc! Starting with a 4 box (max) requirement, I've listened to a NAC N272 (powered by XPSDR, then 555PS) feeding NAP 250DR then NAP 300DR. Speakers were ProAc D48s and K6. Speaker cables were Superlumina and Chord Epic Reference, interconnects were Chord Saruman and Superlumina.

Final choice for home demo: N272 (obviously!), 555PS,  NAP 300DR, ProAc K6. First preference is for the Chord Epic Reference, but will try the SL as well. Interconnects will be Superlumina (Sarum nice but not nice enough to justify cost).

The grip and control provided by the 300DR was stunning. The 250DR was good, but ultimately no contest. The XPSDR made a significant difference to the 272's performance, but the 555 just took it to a higher level. The K6s are just simply stunning. I've thoroughly enjoyed my D20Rs for two years, but these really are something else - bass extension quite astounding, incredibly accurate imaging, a mid range to make angels weep (with pleasure!). Almost every track played revealed detail I had never heard before. To cap it all they are, to me, aesthetically satisfying, oozing quality - a nice bonus when added to exquisite sound.

Roll on the home demo - I could be significantly poorer, but for sound like I heard today I'd happily consider selling the furniture!!

Tim

Original Post
Timmo1341 posted:
MDS posted:

Sounds like you're going to have great fun, Tim.  I trust your dealer is going to set-up your home demo to ensure you hear the kit at its best.

Absolutely - the service he provides is absolutely second to none!

Excellent. Do keep up all updated. 

wenger2015 posted:

I suspect your wallet is going to be somewhat lighter, but if the angels are weeping, that does come at a price..... Enjoy the dem

Ps   where is your dealer based?

Almost as far West as you can get, just outside Penzance. 

(Re-reading my original post I've just noticed I was apparently listening to interconnects from Isengard!!)

Timmo1341 posted:
wenger2015 posted:

I suspect your wallet is going to be somewhat lighter, but if the angels are weeping, that does come at a price..... Enjoy the dem

Ps   where is your dealer based?

Almost as far West as you can get, just outside Penzance. 

(Re-reading my original post I've just noticed I was apparently listening to interconnects from Isengard!!)

I visited a dealer in Truro, whilst on holiday last year, I might well head for Penzance when I'm next in Cornwall. 

Interesting about the noticeable difference the 555 made......as others have mentioned, keep us updated. 

Ps  you don't need furniture, I'm sure your wife won't mind you selling it....

Timmo1341 posted:
wenger2015 posted:

I suspect your wallet is going to be somewhat lighter, but if the angels are weeping, that does come at a price..... Enjoy the dem

Ps   where is your dealer based?

Almost as far West as you can get, just outside Penzance. 

(Re-reading my original post I've just noticed I was apparently listening to interconnects from Isengard!!)

Aaagh! interconnects from Isengard and Weeping Angels.

Look out for Orcs and don't blink!

Timmo1341 posted:

Just spent 7 hours at Cornwall's finest Naim dealer, where I've been treated to a stunning lineup of Naim and ProAc! Starting with a 4 box (max) requirement, I've listened to a NAC N272 (powered by XPSDR, then 555PS) feeding NAP 250DR then NAP 300DR. Speakers were ProAc D48s and K6. Speaker cables were Superlumina and Chord Epic Reference, interconnects were Chord Saruman and Superlumina.

Final choice for home demo: N272 (obviously!), 555PS,  NAP 300DR, ProAc K6. First preference is for the Chord Epic Reference, but will try the SL as well. Interconnects will be Superlumina (Sarum nice but not nice enough to justify cost).

I thought Sarum and Sl interconnects was almost the same in terms of price. Did you hear the new Sarum T version?

Claus

Timmo1341 posted:
MDS posted:

Sounds like you're going to have great fun, Tim.  I trust your dealer is going to set-up your home demo to ensure you hear the kit at its best.

Absolutely - the service he provides is absolutely second to none!

Seconded, Mick is a great guy to deal with. 7 hours that was some session, hope you did not eat all the biscuits, got to pop in and return some cables I have had on dem on Saturday.

Enjoy the home demo

Graham

Latest update, two days into home demo. Yesterday very mixed, real high and lows, upshot was I decided I couldn't live with the overblown, resonating bass the system was giving me on at least 50% of tracks played. I had more or less decided that my room couldn't handle the ProAc K6s, and went up to bed quite despondent!

Emailed Mick this morning with my findings, and within minutes got a reply stating he'd probably identified the problem, and a solution!

4 hours later, with me undergoing more of the same, Mick arrived with..... NAP 250DR!! Out went the 300DR, in went the 250 (connected to 272 via SL DIN to XLR). As if by magic the bloated, unmanageable bass disappeared, long loved tracks reappeared from the fog into which they had previosly disappeared!

I'm now settling down for a weekend of intensive listening, but am pretty confident this is going to be my long term system. The N272 and 555PS are a combo made in heaven, and the NAP 250DR looks to be the perfect partner for both those and the K6s.

Mick had detailed conversations with both ProAc and Naim, and apparently it is not uncommon to meet this incompatibility between the 300 and some speakers in many domestic settings. 

So, Tim's a happy bunny, hearing my music as I've never heard it before. Happy Days!!

Claus-Thoegersen posted:
Timmo1341 posted:

Just spent 7 hours at Cornwall's finest Naim dealer, where I've been treated to a stunning lineup of Naim and ProAc! Starting with a 4 box (max) requirement, I've listened to a NAC N272 (powered by XPSDR, then 555PS) feeding NAP 250DR then NAP 300DR. Speakers were ProAc D48s and K6. Speaker cables were Superlumina and Chord Epic Reference, interconnects were Chord Saruman and Superlumina.

Final choice for home demo: N272 (obviously!), 555PS,  NAP 300DR, ProAc K6. First preference is for the Chord Epic Reference, but will try the SL as well. Interconnects will be Superlumina (Sarum nice but not nice enough to justify cost).

I thought Sarum and Sl interconnects was almost the same in terms of price. Did you hear the new Sarum T version?

Claus

Sorry Claus, missed this! I believe the Sarum Super Aray is around £2k, about £350 more than the Sl. In any event, I prefer the sound of the Sl, regardless of cost! No, I haven't tried the Sarum T - have you?

Tim

Same set up as me black box wise and the 272/555 combination is something special. Due to the limitations of my room in still hunting for speakers to replace my Iotas. I have a demo booked tomorrow at Oranges and Lemons to audition ATC SCM 11s, PMC Twenty5 21s and Twenty5 23s

Have you heard / considered ProAc D20r speakers? They are well spoken of by quite a few on this forum teamed with a variety of sources. My current system as per my profile is a SuperUniti feeding the 20s, and they really are a tremendous speaker for the price.

 

So you have listened to the Tablette 10. That was my concern as well as my previous experience with the Tablette 50 Signature was also the same, lightweight bass. Ultimately they are small monitors though a fuller bass would be useful. 

I was actually tempted to try the Tablette 10 as the new sealed design with BBC proportions are refreshing. Coupled by the signature house sound of the Proacs (fine imaging and detail) they look promising. The ATC SCM11 and 19 are also great speakers. I don't think anyone can go wrong with any of these speakers. Just a matter of preference.

Well, the weekend's home demo is drawing to a close. I know it's been said many times before (I've read many, many posts with a significant degree of cynicism verging on disbelief) but I'm going to have to say it - this hi-fi thing really can be rather special! I honestly didn't see how what I was going to hear could be a significant improvement over my SuperUniti system, which I have enjoyed progressively more and more over the last two years. How wrong is it possible to be?!

I've spent hours listening to many of my albums as if for the first time. I am hearing instruments, melodies and voices on some tracks I genuinely did not realise were there! Wow, wow and thrice wow! I was seriously concerned about the amount of cash outlay I was thinking of committing to - not any more. My only concern now, for the future, is whether or not this will prove to be the pinnacle. When I read HH's comments about how happy he is with his 3 box system (from a man who seems to have pretty much sampled most of the high end hifi exotica) I really hope that will prove to be the position I have reached by this summer. Physically my room cannot take anymore in terms of box numbers or speaker size, so any thoughts of seperate streamers and preamps, with associated power supplies, are non-starters. My chosen speakers have demonstrated emphatically their incompatibility with the 300DR (in my listening environment at any rate). I guess that leaves just things like speaker cables, interconnects and power cables to experiment with in the future - I've been reading about Wenger's Tellurium Q journey with fascination/horror (given the outlays involved!). I think I'll stick to the Chord Epic Reference which sounds terrific to these ears, for now at any rate.

Its been a fascinating few days, with a roller coaster of emotions ending in real satisfaction that I've found the system that can deliver the sort of sound I've been dreaming of since my first introduction to Naim. Back to the music - I've got a lot of listening to do!

As you have discovered, the 272/250 is a whole new world compared to the SU, as I found out nearly two years ago. I have maxed out my system with mains, Powerlines, posh Ethernet and SL cables, and a good stand, which is something you might like to think about in due course. These days I just play whatever music comes to mind and it sounds fine and I don't think about the system at all, other than to dust it one or twice a week. Let's hope it all works out well for you - those speakers look super too. 

Testing, schmesting. I just listen and decide if they sound better than a bog standard cheap cable. We use AudioQuest Vodka between the nas and the switch, and the switch and the streamer, and the cheaper, smaller AudioQuest Cinnamon between the switch and the AirPort Extreme. Coupled with a Cisco Catalyst switch it works really well. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

As you have discovered, the 272/250 is a whole new world compared to the SU, as I found out nearly two years ago. I have maxed out my system with mains, Powerlines, posh Ethernet and SL cables, and a good stand, which is something you might like to think about in due course. These days I just play whatever music comes to mind and it sounds fine and I don't think about the system at all, other than to dust it one or twice a week. Let's hope it all works out well for you - those speakers look super too. 

Cheers Nigel 

Just out of curiosity, where would I need fancy Ethernet cables to gain the sort of effect you have described? My system will consist of the 3 boxes in lounge, with the 272 attached to a £25 TP- Link switch. The server (UnitiServe, which I like and will keep) is in study, attached to another TP-Link switch. Both switches are attached, via standard Cat 6 patch leads, to wall plates fed by hidden Cat 6 cable. Would I need 4 Audioquest leads to gain best effect, along with sourcing 2 of your Cisco switches? As for the others, a stand is a non-starter due to cosmetics and intransigent wife(!), mains are sorted, interconnect will be S/L DIN - XLR, and Powerlines will be used! I just need to make sure this Ethernet issue is sorted to gain max. effect, so your advice would be appreciated.

Tim

A good stand will make a lot more difference than the fanciest Ethernet cables in the world, and very likely more than a Powerline or Super Lumina cables. That's what needs sorting out first. The cables are the jelly diamonds and smarties on the cake. If the icing isn't properly supported then the smarties will slide off. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

A good stand will make a lot more difference than the fanciest Ethernet cables in the world, and very likely more than a Powerline or Super Lumina cables. That's what needs sorting out first. The cables are the jelly diamonds and smarties on the cake. If the icing isn't properly supported then the smarties will slide off. 

Sorry, I meant no Fraim!! I've gone for basic Isoblue, which sounds terrific!

Well, as a relative newcomer to the world of Naim, I 'm now beginning to appreciate just how good this equipment really is. After having my proposed purchases on home demo fot the last 2 weeks, my dealer arrived this morning to take them away ! Another prospective customer wants to listen to the 272/555PS/252DR combo, and ProAc want their K6s back.

I'm now sitting listening to my reinstated SuperUniti and ProAc D20rs, and really can't believe how what sounded so good a couple of weeks ago can now sound so small, thin and two dimensional!

Dont get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the equipment or setup, it's just that it's been totally ruined for me by what I've been listening to for at least 5 hours a day for the past two weeks. I now understand the warnings given by the old sweats of not to listen unless you're prepared to buy!!

Still, the good news is that ProAc have scheduled in the build of my new speakers, and my dealer is about to place my order with Naim (to include Classic finish to my 555PS, as I don't intend ever parting with it, and even if I do I'm guessing there'll be more prospective 272 owning purchasers out there on the second hand market than 5 series owners). Happy Days will soon be here again!

Tim

Good to hear you have settled on the 555dr and 250dr,I am in week two of my home demo of the Xpsdr to go with my 272/250 dr.it sounds really terrific,but because of this thread,and a few others lately,I can't seem to get the 555 off my mind,I still use the din to xlr that came with my 250,did you order the Superlumina too?,and did you happen to compare it to the stock cable?I think I am leaning towards giving the Xps back,and ordering a 555dr,and a core.

No quarter posted:

Good to hear you have settled on the 555dr and 250dr,I am in week two of my home demo of the Xpsdr to go with my 272/250 dr.it sounds really terrific,but because of this thread,and a few others lately,I can't seem to get the 555 off my mind,I still use the din to xlr that came with my 250,did you order the Superlumina too?,and did you happen to compare it to the stock cable?I think I am leaning towards giving the Xps back,and ordering a 555dr,and a core.

Hi

Yes, Superlumina din/xlr has been stipulated! Compared to both stock I/c and Sarum Super ARAY, for me the SL was a clear winner. I honestly don't think you'll be disappointed with the 555 - it really does lift the 272 to another level. Good luck!

Tim

Tim - your point about the SU was interesting. It's a super machine, but like you, once I plugged it back in after using the 272/250 I found the difference was amazing, and that was without a separate power supply. 

Two things that are maybe worth mentioning, as you are getting the SL din to XLR: firstly it will sound very odd for the first few weeks, and secondly that it's important that it doesn't touch the floor or anything else. The same applies to the burndy lead. As you have the Isoblue, which is very low, this may be an issue. It's doubtless something your dealer has brought to your attention already and I'm sure you have plans to ensure that you get the best from the lead.

Thanks for that HH. Are you able to describe the effect upon the sound output of the cables you mentioned touching the floor or back wall? Space will be at a premium behind my system, and I'm not sure total isolation of the leads will be possible. I appreciate comparing myself is the only real way forward, but just how much of a compromise have you found it to be when the leads are less than ideally dressed? I do understand the search for perfection/ultimate optimisation, but are we talking about accepting perhaps just a 1% or 2% reduction in sound quality, or can it be a total auditory car crash?

If the cables - and I'm only referring to the Burndy and the SL wire here - do touch the wall or floor, you get a more muddled and confused sound, which is less relaxing to listen to. My take on all this tweakery is that if you are spending a lot of money on your boxes and speakers then it's totally logicical to eke the best from it. In my experience a smaller cheaper system set up to within an inch of its life can knock spots off a big flash setup that's slung together with no care and attention. To some people none of this matters, which is perfectly fine of course. You go as far as you feel comfortable - I'd never use cable risers for speaker leads - in fact my speaker cable runs through a conduit behind the fireplace, which I'm sure is not ideal. 

Is the Superlumina din to xlr the same length as the stock cable?The reason i ask,i have 4 levels of Fraim,which gives me 5 spaces for gear.On top is the 272,two spaces down is the 250 dr,and two spaces down from there is the xpsdr.In this configuration the Burndy hangs free,and does not touch anything,the din to xlr also hangs free,although it kind of grazes the back of the rack a bit.I just want to keep the same length  as the stock cable,if that is possible...if i end up getting the Superlumina.I guess the next question would be,am i better to get the din to xlr before Superlumina speaker cables,i use Naca5 right now,with the stock din to xlr?

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