New upgrade - Streamer or speakers

Posted by: angelodipa on 27 December 2018

Hello everyone

I recently updated my nac 202 with a 282 ... it was a great update ... very happy of course ... I have kept more details, a more three-dimensional SQ, more controlled bass ... but I have like the impression that the mid / high frequencies are more ringing, more "banged in the face" ... certainly this is due to the fact that by now I was used to the performance of my old 202 that surely was flatter and quieter ...

My current configuration is now:

MacMini (Audirvana)> DacV1> 282 (1 HCDR + NapSC only)> 200> Ariva

I am evaluating my next upgrade and I would like to know which one would be the best to enhance my new 282:

1 - Replace the MM (Audirvana) and DacV1 with an NDX (MK1)
I thought that this upgrade may perhaps give a little more value to the 282 because now the DacV1 is working partially as a pre-amp.
2 - Replace the Ariva with the Ovator S400
I have the impression that the Ariva can no longer do and return what is best done on 282.

NB: I can only evaluate the two updates mentioned above for budget reasons. At the moment I can not buy a SupercapDR (too expensive) and I think that a second HCDR does not give a sigificant improvement (I prefer to wait and go directly to the SCDR). Then I will think about replacing the 200 with a 250.2 (at the moment the 200 is too new and I would lose too many money in sell it)

Thx in advance

Cheers

Angelo

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by cdboy

I'd definitely go with the source first. There are currently some bargains to be had with the new sreamers being traded in. The Arivas will enjoy your new system just fine, as they did with the change in pre-amp.

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by trickydickie

An NDX would be my choice, I had one until very recently (last week!) into a 282/HicapDR/250dr (NAP 200 before that) and it works very well and is well balanced.  There are plenty of used ones around given the new range has tempted people to upgrade.  It can be improved with an XPS DR.

The caveat is that I don't know the Ariva's but it feels to me that the DACV1 is out of place in your system.   You can always repurpose the MacMini to be a UPNP server if you don't have a suitable NAS to host Minim or Asset.

I suspect others will suggest a Chord Dac using your Mac as a source and this may give you sufficient leeway to upgrade the speakers as well.  I considered a Chord Dac with my last upgrade but preferred to stay with a Naim source, reliability issues of the Hugo put me off.

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by Innocent Bystander

If Audirvana is set up fully optimised as recommended in it manual (dedicated USB bus, direct mode etc) I doubt the NDX1 would give you an upgrade in sound quality, so make sure you hear first. DAC may give a much bigger improvement - a Chord has already been mentioned, and it could well be worth auditioning a Hugo to find outbif it suits your ears, as iT does many who have heard one. Other than a period in production where its batteries seemed to have limited life I donít think its has greater reliability issues than anything else. Hugo 2 is said to be better, while Hugo TT, the better featured, slighly better sounding model above the Hugo is presently very good value indeed -  week I saw it advertised from a major hifi dealerat just under £2k new, a knock-down price presumably tomshift the last of stock now the TT2 has been released.

 

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by Simon-in-Suffolk

Congrats on your upgrade, the 282 is a more detailed NAC thatís for sure... it has a slightly forward exhuberent performance... itís this that adds to its excitement. However because of this I very much recommend you focus first on speakers coupling with your room to harness that forward sound, and not add to it with added resonances from your speakers/room.

Once you have the 282 tamed, THEN focus on other things like sources, otherwise you will almost certainly be chasing your tail and end up being disappointed.. So speakers/room first, then sources/streamers...

FWIW I was exactly where you were severeal years ago... and the above was ultimately the path I followed after a false start fiddling with sources etc...

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by yeti42

That ringing effect, particularly noticable on high piano notes can be addressed via the system setup, at least it could where the source was a CDX2, I donít know about the mac n dac. Things like cable dressing (not touching the wall, or the rack if you can manage it), box and plug order, type of rack (avoid lots of steel) are all worth looking into. For a new box my vote is for the NDX given the budget, though, if you can compare with the ND5xs2 it could be interesting.

The SMPS in the mac or anything else should be plugged into a different circuit if possible, at least temporarily to check if it has a detrimental effect on the sound and particularly on the musical aspects of it.

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by angelodipa

Thanks to everyone for the precious advices...

I had already read threads on this forum about the comparison between NDX and DacV1 and it seems that there is not an overall winner in general.

I was only wondering if the NDX could better match the 282 compared to the DacV1.

In my choice I would also like to maintain a "Full Naim" system ... nothing against the other brands but I feel like staying with Naim.

As you can see from the photos

https://photos.app.goo.gl/FbGgMWmjRXDJLmSi8

my living does not allow me to be able to arrange my system in any other way. I have followed all the advice read on this forum on the disposition of the electronics, I have used anti-resonance feet and shelves, the order of the electronics I think is the right one ... but more I can not do ...

I can not remove the cabinet from the center (and I know that damages the SQ) ... I can not place the speakers differently ... I can not treat the room ... I can not use other types of racks because my wife does not like. ..

I'm not lucky enough to have a dedicated room so I have to compromise with everyday life and especially with WAF :-)

But as always, every suggestion for me is always precious ... I learned a lot of things on this forum and I'm very happy with this ...

Posted on: 28 December 2018 by Bert Schurink

Go for your source next. You will get more out of your system with the NDX or better the NDX2 - which in a next step you could further refine by adding a XPS.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Richieroo

I reckon the source is pretty good ... I would get a nap250dr to replace the 200.....then the speakers.....

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Bob the Builder

Personally I'd upgrade the speakers and be looking at non Naim models but if you must then  active SBL, SL2 or DBLs although I would go for something from PMC, Dynaudio or something along those lines.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by boom

If considering the S400, I would demo for an extended period.  As lovely as the S400s are, to my ears  they always lacked in the base department, finally after three years I moved them on and with the replacement speakers my system is now complete where I donít feel the need to upgrade because I am lacking in a certain area.

 

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by hungryhalibut

Bass, itís bass. Not base. 

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by DrMark

Maybe he meant that they had a small footprint, and was afraid they'd topple over?

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by nigelb

My favourite fish.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Gazza
nigelb posted:

My favourite fish.

Bass, base or halibut?

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Suzy Wong
Gazza posted:
nigelb posted:

My favourite fish.

Bass, base or halibut?

Never been a great fish lover myself. Although earlier this month, I did have a very nice piece of Bass at the American Bar in old Portsmuff (and an even better G&T beforehand!).

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by nigelb

This thread has taken a strange turn. Looks a bit fishy to me.

OK, I'm going!

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by boom

I knew there was a reason why my father shouldnít have taken me out of school early.

i might get out in the boat the holiday and if lucky catch myself some Bass.

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by nigelb

Don't worry about it Boom, it appears from my post in the Music Room I can't spell the word 'thoroughly', but thankfully the spelling police didn't pick that one up.

Back to your topic, I would go with a better streaming source next if it were me. You have a great pre amp in the 282 and the 200 ain't too shabby either. I have been amazed how modest speakers can respond well to upgrades to source and amplification but I know others hold a different, and equally valid views, about 'source first'.

Here's a thought, what about a NDS, which are selling for silly prices at the moment as some are upgrading to the ND555. You will need a power supply however for the NDS. I went from a NDX to an NDS with a 282 and it was a great improvement.

Good luck and always try to get a home demo before you commit

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by hungryhalibut
Suzy Wong posted:
Gazza posted:
nigelb posted:

My favourite fish.

Bass, base or halibut?

Never been a great fish lover myself. Although earlier this month, I did have a very nice piece of Bass at the American Bar in old Portsmuff (and an even better G&T beforehand!).

Maybe we locals need to meet there for lunch one day. My wife tells me it is very nice. Not at all bassic. We may even go there tomorrow. 

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Suzy Wong
hungryhalibut posted:
Suzy Wong posted:
Gazza posted:
nigelb posted:

My favourite fish.

Bass, base or halibut?

Never been a great fish lover myself. Although earlier this month, I did have a very nice piece of Bass at the American Bar in old Portsmuff (and an even better G&T beforehand!).

Maybe we locals need to meet there for lunch one day. My wife tells me it is very nice. Not at all bassic. We may even go there tomorrow. 

A gentle (for us old folks) ten minute stroll* from/to Portsmuff Harbour station means one can get the train in, and enjoy a pre-meal G&T and a bottle of wine.

*And a d@mn sight quicker than driving across Portsea Island these days!

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by hungryhalibut

Are you buying?

Posted on: 29 December 2018 by Suzy Wong

Tempting, but tomorrow Iím taking Dau#2 back to her abode in Clapham....