My wife and I visited London yesterday to view the Tate Modern Museum. What a total waste of time. Lots of junk masquerading as art, bring back the old masters, thats what I say.
Anyway, after wasting two hours in that dump and then treating ourselves to a decent lunch at Rules, I suggested that we wander up the Tottenham Court Road, so as Sue could hear/see some decent hifi equipment.
We found a shop called HiFi experience ( I think thats what it was called)with several little demo rooms underground, each with different makes of kit.
We got an invite into the Naim demo room where the equipment was
We were both gob smacked by the sound, it made our system sound like a bag of poo. Sue admitted that the sound was brill and she has given me permission to go up to this standard.
This means that I need a 52, a Supercap and 2 135's. I cannot recall any of these being offered on the second hand market and hence "bargins" are likely to be thin on the ground, so its going to have to be via the new route ( which hurts).
I have reflected overnight and I will settle for the XPS and Supercap in the short term. I will buy these two over the next 6-9 months and will go for Supercap first and then XPS.
This now leads me to my question.
Rather than go for the 135's, would it be better to go for a CDS 11.
40% of my listening is CD.
The reason for asking is that I think that buying 2 x 135's and a CDS 11 is over doing it. It has to be one or the other.
Your advice is welcome.
Posted on: 08 August 2000 by Andy S
You'll be surprised at the 82/52 difference. It is huge - just ask Vuk. Don't discount this in the short term...
I think you should do the dem CDS2/135s at home. When I did it I compared CDS1/52/2x135/DBL vs CDS2/52/250/DBL the 135 route was superior to my ears (but then that may be because DBLs are a harder load and more revealing). 135s are MUCH better than a 250 (which was harsh, compressed and lacked bass in comparison).
If you thought that the SBL system made yours sound like poo, you should try replacing the SBLs with DBLs - that was the biggest upgrade I ever made....
Andy - e-mail me if you want more info.
PS. as has been said many times before, once you get to the top of the range with Naim, diminishing returns do NOT set in..
Posted on: 08 August 2000 by Andy S
I've watched quite a few people go through different versions of this (e.g. CDS to CDS II or 250 to 135s) and they all came up with choices that were utterly, obviously, the right way to go -- to them.
I was one. Joel was sure that the CDS2 would be better in the DBL dem. above but the 135s were, to me, a far better proposition (given that I could only afford 1 option...).
I'll second Joels advice - you really need to find a dealer who can show you all the permutations that you want. One thing to be wary of though is that at this level, the "next up" piece of equipment with Naim is significantly better than what you'll be listening to. It can get very expensive!
Posted on: 08 August 2000 by Chris Metcalfe
Your system shouldn't sound that bad, Mick, - either it's unbalanced (which it isn't,really), or something about the setup isn't right. Of course the CDS2/etc system will be better...Have you optimised your power sources/plugs/etc?
I'm visiting the Tate Modern in a few weeks, and hope it's not as bad as you say. The building was impressive, surely?
Posted on: 08 August 2000 by Willem van Gemert
I would buy a CDS II and NAC 52 new, but I think you are too pessimistic about second hand Supercaps and NAP 135s. I saw some used Supercaps lately, so I would just be patient and wait for a good opportunity, as you have done until now with succes. Don't forget many people are changing their 4- and 6-packs now for a NAP 500!
Posted on: 08 August 2000 by Tony L
Mick P said: My wife and I visited London yesterday to view the Tate Modern Museum. What a total waste of time. Lots of junk masquerading as art, bring back the old masters, thats what I say.
Chris M said: I'm visiting the Tate Modern in a few weeks, and hope it's not as bad as you say. The building was impressive, surely?
Well I went there about a month ago and loved it. I guess it basically depends if you like modern art or not because that is obviously what it does. The scale of the building is really impressive, and there is some great work in there including the six huge Rothko Segram commissions which would have been enough to make me happy if that was the sole exhibit.
I have some criticism about the poor lighting or location of certain exhibits, the Rothkos included, though I realise they were meant for low light, the worst example was Picasso’s Weeping Woman which was hiding away in a really dull and dingy grey room, shame as it is a fabulous work. The Rothko “room” is more of a corridor which spoils the feel – you need to sit in the quiet for these to hit you properly. The exhibition of new stuff that costs three quid on the middle floor (everything else is free) is well worth seeing.
The choice to mix various styles and movements of art in many of the rooms sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t – and as such some rooms work far better to my mind than others. They took some risks, and on the whole it has paid off. In spite of its huge scale, The Tate Modern gets really busy, I suggest not going at a weekend, and getting there early to beat the rush – this stuff just doesn’t work with parents dragging irritating children around (no offence to anyone with irritating children intended).
Posted on: 09 August 2000 by Mick P
To Chris Metcalfe
I plead quilty to an exageration regarding the sound of my present system. It sound good and is getting better as the CDX runs itself in. The point that I was trying to make was that the full blown system that I heard in the shop sounded much better than I expected and I just want it for myself.
I appear to be regarded as a bit of a philistine (or in other words a bit of uncultured rough)regarding my visit to the Tate modern.
The building is very impressivw and the entrance hall houses a giant metal fabricated spider which is unique, it can be viewed from below and above, so initial impressions are good.
However, the rest of the stuff is IMHO just plain prentious junk masqerading as art. The daftest thing was a continuous video loop of a man dressed up as a gnome jumping up and down in a rage........who on earth can describe that as art. I think someone is having a good laugh somewhere. Also a man dancing in the nude....does that really deserve a place in the newest museum in London........who ever decided to put that on display ought to be sued for wasting the tax payers money.
Anyway, do not take any notice of my ramblings, go see for yourself.
To the rest of you.
The main trouble with demo room is that they sound nothing like your own room and I know that buying better stuff in the form of a supercap, XPS or CDS 11 will improve the sound. I am just less certain that 135's are cost effective when using SBL's. My room configuration prevents me from going up to NBL's or DBL's, so the SBL's will remain with me.
Posted on: 09 August 2000 by Andy S
The main trouble with demo room is that they sound nothing like your own room and I know that buying better stuff in the form of a supercap, XPS or CDS 11 will improve the sound. I am just less certain that 135's are cost effective when using SBL's.
Do the dems Mick, do the dems... I thought that 135s would be a waste of money (after all, they are basically the same amp as a 250, just wiuth one power supply) but I was proved wrong...
Only YOU (and your wife!) can tell..
Posted on: 10 August 2000 by Frank Abela
I was suggesting the CDS2 (rather than the CDX) to you last year! Now you've heard one of the best systems (as Joel said one of the killer systems), which proved to be a real experience. I'm glad, but I also feel vindicated.
As to the queston of whether the 135s make sense above a 250, the answer is unequivocally yes. However, the preamp certainly comes first. I note that only 40% of your listening is on CD which probably means that the rest is done on your Garrard/Rega/17D2 (if memory serves). Therefore, I think you should seriously consider upgrading the preamp first. Like the others here say, you need to listen to the difference of course. That way, you can evaluate the effects of the changes more easily.
Posted on: 11 August 2000 by Frank Abela
The SBL is an easy to drive speaker, which means that it can cope with low-powered amps reasonably well.
However, we have noticed that when you put a more powerful amp behind it, the SBL's performance increases dramatically. I guess this is a function of the fact that the SBL is really a very small speaker with very little colour of its own.
Behind any speaker the 135s are faster, more transparent, and have better timing than the 250. I have always been a passive-135-first (rather than active-250-first) guy. There are others who feel it's better to passive biamped with 250s first and then active with a snaxo, but I feel the significant gains made through the SNAXO are lost via the 250s. The Naim sound is about pace and rhythm. The 135s are lots faster and so connect really well. Given they have so much more drive (if not punch), they free up the SBLs as if a much bigger amplifier is behind them too, so the benefits work both ways...in my opinion of course.:)
PS HEY I've made member status!