Favourite/demo albums and upgrades
Posted by: Alley Cat on 09 September 2018
I suspect we all have favourite albums that we like to use for demos on vinyl, CD or other media.
Playing with various Naim components in recent days (different old/new, pre/power/streamer combos) I'm actually quite surprised by how these favourites fare differently when they're favourites on a current system for sound quality and personal taste.
A few examples:
Carol Kidd - Nice Work - Linn hi-res download and perennial favourite sounds better and better with any upgraded component in the chain.
Complex music - orchestral/rock - often sounds worse/thin when played on theoretically considerably better equipment (echoed by Mrs AC, and we've looked at each other when playing it thinking the same thing) .
Tori Amos - Unrepentant Geraldines - a favourite track, but just lacks mojo when I go from lower to higher end equipment.
Steven Wilson - Hand Cannot Erase - Nova via olive 250 vs 250DR/300DR - many tracks simply less powerful/involving - switch to NDX 2 and power returns in bucket loads.
Shelby Lynne - Just A Little Lovin - Nova (older firmware) vs Nova (current firmware) to any pre/power combo - exciting to uninspiring.
Shelby Lynne - Just A Little Lovin - Nova (older firmware) vs demo NDX 2 - bloody hell what an improvement.
Pink Floyd - The Division Bell - great on Nova to olive 250, 250DR, 300DR via NAC 72 or NAC 282. Frankly lifeless with NDX 2 as a source- opening track piano is completely devoid of timbre compared say to piano in Carol Kidd's Nice Work which really benefits from the NDX 2 - is it showing up a poor recording or poor quality piano synth?
Good or poor examples I'm not sure, but I'm constantly struck by the fact that albums you expect to be better sometimes are but often aren't even though they were held in equal esteem on an older configuration.