What next

Apologies firstly to everyone who has already answered these questions but just need a couple of nuggets/steers.

1 got naim kit...cds2 52 and 250 with big kefs...it's good and I have done nothing for years except enjoy it.

2Now find myself with a muso cube in the kitchen since yesterday. .the free tidal is yeah

3 what next...I know I should get a server nas thingy and more but what and which

4 should I also integrate some streaming with the master hifi kit ...,it would be great to sit there with a glass and spend a couple of months listening to music without having to pluck about with pucks 

5 thank you 

 

 

 

Original Post

I would sugget a visit to your Naim dealer to discuss various options to integrate within your existing system. I'm currently using an 82/Supercap/250 with a NDX I purchased last year listening to more music than ever before.

All Cds stored in a NAS just sit there with a tablet/phone selecting music to listen to without leaving the armchair. The CDI is hardly ever used since the NDX was installed.

Unfortunatly the glass has had to go as I'm diabetic !!!.

 

............... or you could try Roon ...........

download it to your PC and trial it via AirPlay to your Muso. 

Then if you fall in love with it  - a simple unit like a Raspberry Pi with a hifiberry card will allow you to connect to your 52. 

Here is my £50 box connected to my UniQute.

 

I love Naim, but IMHO there are much better, forward looking ways to stream than through a NDX etc.

These little boxes are disrupters in the streaming arena married to Roon.

 

SJB

 

 

Thank you SJB

This is why I turned to the forum...the wealth of experience and considered opinion is music to my ears...happy to go with an unorthodox adventure if it is low cost but still hifi. ..the naim solid solution will always bail me out if other solutions doesn't satisfy. ..for a while I am planning to experiment, listen, imbibe, decide and then sit back and enjoy...ie plug in tune up and turn on, or sentiments to that effect.

Any other thoughts are very welcome ��

Look up some of the mention of Mac Mini, Audirvana, Isolator, Hugo DAC on these forums. It is very cost effective compared to what you might more naturally be drawn to as a Naim user, simple because a network isn't essential (though needed if you want to download music or use online music streaming services like Tidal on your main system), doesn't need a NAS (the MM can have uPnP software and act as a NAS so the same music stored on it could be available to your Qb, and sound quality is up there with the best, most of those that have heard it reporting it better than Naim sources. 

Whilst you can retain your CDs and player when you have a streamer, an alternative is to 'rip' the CDs to and store on your hard disk (in Mac Mini, otherwise a NAS), using a computer and Dbpoweramp software (lossless compressed .flac format), which could liberate the space occupied by the CD collection, allow armchair selection of music with a remote app, and many people report that the sound can improve (the mechanical element is removed, ditto error-correction which is no longer needed), though others retain CDs, all or some, because they like the physical medium, and with a few recordings they feel the CD sounds better.

Doc,

you may have noticed I have been on almost the same journey over the past couple of weeks. After years of listening via a CDS2/52/135/SL2 system I suddenly woke up to the possibility of streaming.

I trekked off to my local Naim store to check out the ND5 XS and the NDX. I could not live with the ND5 XS and whilst the NDX sounded good it was not quite there.

I then bought a fully up to date ex-main dealer-dem nDAC from eBay at a very good price. I had not auditioned it, however thought that at the price I was buying it at, I could easily re-ebay it for much what I paid if I did not like it.

Initially trying it with USB sticks I since taken the plunge to get a Mac Mini (eBay was my friend again - a shrink wrapped, BNIB 8gb current model at a fantastic price), Audirvana Plus and a connection to the nDAC.

BTW it does work brilliantly with the XPS however I am not sure the Olive XPS will work (I have an XPS2) it is worth checking.

The sound is superb and I do not miss the CDS2 at all. It is such a lovely, sweet seductive player and yet this set up, as yet not optimised is simply more musical. It is also WAAAAAY more convenient. No more plucking about!

I may also try the Hugo which is getting rave reviews, on the same basis, but at present there is so much potential in this system it is great.

David

 

Thanks David

I didn't think that getting the Muso Qb would reignite my love of music and hifi to such an extent. I will have a close look at your thread and draw up a short list. I wish that there was a local group to talk through some of the issues over a  beer. 

As a basic first question - the Mac is presumably for storing the ripped music: Audirvana Plus is the software running the show.

I will look up your thread and research further. ..I am commencing this streaming journey from base camp.

Hi DayJay

I'll be round in half an hour ☺

Seriously, I live in S Shropshire and travel to Liverpool regularly during the footy season. The profile pic was taken in Basel a few weeks ago. 

I really would like to listen to your set up and get some advice before spending any lolly.

Let me know what would be a convenient way to meet up.

Cheers 

Doc,

another thought. I ripped my whole CD collection which I store on a hard disk attached to why network. I then got Tidal and am exploring Qobuz.

Looking back I probably would not go through the laborious process of ripping them all as most of them are available on Tidal at least at the same if not better quality.

I am no expert so there may be better options - however I used dbpoweramp to rip my CDs. It can also usefully convert between formats.

David

Dayjay, in answer:

Mac Mini Is a neat device, easily dedicated to audio without even needing (or wanting) a monitor or keyboard once set up. It'll take 2 hard disks  - I use SSDs, so it is virtually silent. It stores the music, and runs Audirvana a 'rendering' software. You can take the optical out straight to a DAC, or better quality via usb, but unless the DAC has galvanic and RF isolation - the sonically excellent Hugo doesn't - it will need an in-line isolator (I use a Gustard U12 that costs about £120).

That all gives you an excellent quality source, and Audirvana features online streaming capability with Tidal and a couple of others if you connect the MM to the Internet.

if you want your music on the MM to be available to other players like the Qb, install uPnP server software on the MM. I found the free Serviio works well, but there are others.

with Audirvana you can use iTunes, but better sound quality avoiding that and using their own library. Theydo a remote app for smartphones and tablets, to control their library. Otherwise any control of the itself is best (and easy) using remote access software: I use VNC Player which works on virtually  any platform , computer, tablet or smartphone (thou latter is rather a small screen!)

hope this helps - there's a fair bit of detail in other threads.

 

Shortlist shaping up:-


Dbpoweramp for ripping CDS
Mac Mini + SSIDS to run Audirvana Plus and to store music
Serviio on the MM to stream to the Qb
Chord Hugo DAC
Gustav U12 to connect the MM to the Hugo using USB
[something to connect the Hugo to the 52].

I honestly find fiddling around with a full computer to be a complete hassle.  My recommendation would be to drop the Mac Mini and check out a Auralic Aries mini.  It is a dedicated component.  You can add a SS for local storage.  You can  output digital to Hugo if you want.  Just check out the option.  

Brubacca posted:

I honestly find fiddling around with a full computer to be a complete hassle.  My recommendation would be to drop the Mac Mini and check out a Auralic Aries mini.  It is a dedicated component.  You can add a SS for local storage.  You can  output digital to Hugo if you want.  Just check out the option.  

The MM, if it has the drives and RAM desired, requires no effort setting up: Mac OS just works, Audirvana just has a very clear manual, with not much effort to set up, Serviio just installs.

In terms of MM spec, the recommendation is to have as much RAM as possible because AUdirvana loads each 'song' into memory before playing (I have 16GB which proved adequate). The only effort setting up is if you want to install SSD or RAM yourself, rather than buy fully spec'd version, as doing these is more fiddly than a full size computer - excellent instrucions, and a kit of tools, available from iFixit if that's the path you choose (and can rad the instructions online first to confirm it is for you). Most recommended MM for DIY things has been the late 2012 version, because apparently Apple has 'fixed' it to make some mods impossible, including increasing RAM. iFixit has info on what is possible with different MM versions.

As for the Aurilac Aries, I've no idea how it compares in setting up, nor whether it can run Mac OS needed for Audirvana, and if not I haven't seen any sound quality comparisons with whatever it does run, compared to either MM/Av/isolator/Hugo, or compared with any of the Naim streamers either straight or through Hugo. This information would be appropriate before considering one.

 

Brubacca posted:

The Aries Mini runs a dedicated operating system based on Linux.  It is an appliance much like a CD player where you do not fiddle with the OS.  

You don't fiddle with the OS on MM either - nothing like Windows. And what renderer software works on Linux, and how does SQ compare to the very highly rated Audirvana?

I run a Mac Mini with 8Gb of ram. Its a 2012 model so ram can be added. I added a second 640Gb conventional drive (which is a bit of a faff if I'm honest) and replaced the original drive with a 60Gb ssd which is used to boot the unit up. The beauty of the Mac is it has a boot rom which means you can restore the operating system by downloading it from Apple or if you have a Time Machine device available you can back the drive up to that and restore from there. Having fought with Linux and Windows devices for years I am deeply impressed with this.

I run Asset UPnP on the MM and have a Unitiqute on the network. For me 8Gb is more than enough. According to the command line program top I have 3Gb currently in use and 5Gb free. The only drawback with the older MM is that since Apple has removed the ability to add ram in the new MM. The price of second-hand 2012 spec devices is going up. I picked mine up for £380 but I have seen them going for anywhere between £320 and £500+ depending on spec. If I were to buy a new one I would definitely get it with 8Gb of ram.

I can't really comment on the Hugo connection I would imagine it uses a 3.5mm to Toslink fibre optic connection. The Apple specs page for the MM notes the following "The headphone/line out port accommodates digital optical audio output, analog audio output with a 24-bit, 44.1-192 kHz D/A converter, digital audio output up to 24-bit stereo and 44.1-192 kHz sampling rate and supporting encoded digital audio output (AC3 and DTS). "

As I say I use mine to stream the audio via the network currently, but the Audirvana option looks interesting.

Docv posted:

Is 8 GB RAM enough for the MM

How would the Hugo connect to the 52?

Thank you

If running Audirvana, their recommendation is a minimum of 4GB, so the answer is yes. I put 16 in mine because it just made sense while doing it myself, RAM not being expensive and that gives me least chance of ever being short.

The Hugo has RCA output sockets, so just like most non-Naim sources (i.e not DIN).

Doc,

I have posted this in another thread - but in case you did not see it you may appreciate my recent experience of taking the steps you describe.

I have now spent a couple of weeks using the nDAC with XPS-2 being fed by a Mac Mini with Audirvana.

Not once in the time that I have had it up and running have I had any desire to go back to my CDS2. I just want to listen to more and more music. So I regard my first foray into streaming as a success. There is not a single album where I am not hearing more and experiencing more than I did before.

Having got this far, and read an awful lot in these forums over the past few weeks, I have two more options to add into the mix.

I have ordered a Gustard to connect the MM to the nDAC to see if it is an improvement over the optical link (recommended by Naim, but not by Audirvana).

I have also acquired (it is in the post) a Chord Hugo. I want to see what all the noise is about (excuse the terrible pun). I was speaking to a Naim and Chord dealer and although he could not demonstrate it to me that day, he was unequivocal and unhesitant that Chord were way ahead of Naim in terms of DAC sound and technology.

Thanks for this update. I have just auditioned a MM/Audirvana/Gustard/Hugo combo with Naim amplification courtesy of DayJay who kindly gave me the chance to learn more about streaming and listen to his set up.

It was great and worked brilliantly with a good variety of music including Miles Davis, Dylan, 10CC, K West and more. To my ears it was superbly detailed, separated the instruments well, integrated the dynamic ranges in a natural manner and drew you in to simply enjoy the music. 

 

I will be very interested to hear your comments on the nDAC/Hugo comparison. You are probably aware that Audirvana now has an upstreaming function which is a further development which should be fun to explore.

I am itching to start collecting and connecting the kit - will post when it's up and running.

 

 

 

 

Docv posted:

Thanks for this update. I have just auditioned a MM/Audirvana/Gustard/Hugo combo with Naim amplification courtesy of DayJay who kindly gave me the chance to learn more about streaming and listen to his set up.

It was great and worked brilliantly with a good variety of music including Miles Davis, Dylan, 10CC, K West and more. To my ears it was superbly detailed, separated the instruments well, integrated the dynamic ranges in a natural manner and drew you in to simply enjoy the music. 

 

I will be very interested to hear your comments on the nDAC/Hugo comparison. You are probably aware that Audirvana now has an upstreaming function which is a further development which should be fun to explore.

I am itching to start collecting and connecting the kit - will post when it's up and running.

 

 

 

 

Glad you enjoyed it Docv, and lovely to meet you.  Just a slight correction though in that I'm using an Uptone USB Regen rather than the Gustard

SpecCled Trout posted:

DayJay,

I am curious - what makes you use the Uptone rather than simply plug the USB from the MM into the USB of the Hugo?

I can understand on the nDAC as a converter is needed as it does not accept USB.

Thank you.

David

The UpTone isn't a converter, it cuts the power supply from the MM and replaces it with a 'clean' supply and reclocks the USB signal.  That, along with a Jitterbug provides an improvement over the bare MM for a relatively low cost and , to me, well worth doing. You are right, the MM/Huggo set up doesn't need a converter

SpecCled Trout posted:

DayJay,

I am curious - what makes you use the Uptone rather than simply plug the USB from the MM into the USB of the Hugo?

I can understand on the nDAC as a converter is needed as it does not accept USB.

Thank you.

David

See first para of my response timed at 6/11/16 4.59 pm.

There are various isolators, I use the Gustard U12: I don't know how it compares to the uptone, but it is newer than the UpTone and has had nothing but good reviews. Richard Dane is in the process of comparing it with Yellowtec PUC2, for use as USB convertor for nDAC.

dayjay posted:
SpecCled Trout posted:

DayJay,

I am curious - what makes you use the Uptone rather than simply plug the USB from the MM into the USB of the Hugo?

I can understand on the nDAC as a converter is needed as it does not accept USB.

Thank you.

David

The UpTone isn't a converter, it cuts the power supply from the MM and replaces it with a 'clean' supply and reclocks the USB signal.  That, along with a Jitterbug provides an improvement over the bare MM for a relatively low cost and , to me, well worth doing. You are right, the MM/Huggo set up doesn't need a converter

Technically the reclock is unnecessary, as Hugo does that when it receives the signal, and is claimed to be jitter-proof. What it is susceptible to are rf and other noise, so needs galvanic ant rf isolation. GUstard does that (I don't know enough aboutbthe UpTone to comment on whether as effective).

I don't really care what it does as long as it makes the music sound better, which is does to a degree way beyond its price.  The Jitterbug is even better value at only £40.  There are many many reviews on both all over the forums and on the net which is usually a good start point.

SpecCled Trout posted:

So the Gustard is equally as valid as part of the signal chain for the Hugo as it is for the nDAC.

What interconnects are recommended - MM to Gustard, Gustard to Hugo?

Thank you.

 

MM to Gus just has to transfer the data uncorrupted. Any reliable computer-quality USB cable will do, IMHO.

Gus to Hugo, by electrical SPDIF, wants to be a decent quality type (i.e. proper 75Ω connectors and well-shielded 75Ω cable). I use a Van Damme IIRC, but haven't compared others (no interest in exotic ones lubricated with snake oil).

Innocent Bystander posted:
SpecCled Trout posted:

So the Gustard is equally as valid as part of the signal chain for the Hugo as it is for the nDAC.

What interconnects are recommended - MM to Gustard, Gustard to Hugo?

Thank you.

 

MM to Gus just has to transfer the data uncorrupted. Any reliable computer-quality USB cable will do, IMHO.

Gus to Hugo, by electrical SPDIF, wants to be a decent quality type (i.e. proper 75Ω connectors and well-shielded 75Ω cable). I use a Van Damme IIRC, but haven't compared others (no interest in exotic ones lubricated with snake oil).

Do you have your MM in you listening room or another room? Do you have a NAS to store music or external HD connected to MM? Would you mind posting a pic of you setup? I currently have a Uniti 2 and am thinking of upgrading to SN2 and something other than s Naim streamer. I've used my MM to DAC to XS 2 on the past but only used iTunes with Amarra and controlled  it with Remote app. I'm thinking about Audirvana or Roon this time around. 

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