4.6 update and upgrade sound quality ?

Bonjour M Rooster.   Yes it does bring a change to SQ, this was established in the beta testing.  With my NDX in my system & room & to my ear/brain interface,  the presentation is more dynamic & punchy,  bass is firmer, treble has detail,  sound stage has width & depth.   Instrument & voices are natural & I find it easier to follow & position individuals.     I read the same with NDS & 272 colleagues .    See other threads on this same subject

Mike-B posted:

Bonjour M Rooster.   Yes it does bring a change to SQ, this was established in the beta testing.  With my NDX in my system & room & to my ear/brain interface,  the presentation is more dynamic & punchy,  bass is firmer, treble has detail,  sound stage has width & depth.   Instrument & voices are natural & I find it easier to follow & position individuals.     I read the same with NDS & 272 colleagues .    See other threads on this same subject

hello Mike, i hope you are right. But how can you be certain, sure at 100%, because this update is not yet available.  Naim have told you that ?

French Rooster posted:

You have already installed the 4.6 update?

French Rooster posted:

How to do the update?   install the update on a pc first?   windows 7 will work?  then connect the usb to mini usb cable between pc and nds, and after?

YES  .........  pre 4.6 beta & todays 4.6

Follow the instructions:  Naim seem to have released only english language today.  But in meantime go to release v4.4 to read French instructions & download the USB driver.  Then go to release v4.6 & download 4.6 Western Europe

Mike-B posted:
French Rooster posted:

You have already installed the 4.6 update?

French Rooster posted:

How to do the update?   install the update on a pc first?   windows 7 will work?  then connect the usb to mini usb cable between pc and nds, and after?

YES  .........  pre 4.6 beta & todays 4.6

Follow the instructions:  Naim seem to have released only english language today.  But in meantime go to release v4.4 to read French instructions & download the USB driver.  Then go to release v4.6 & download 4.6 Western Europe

i had installed the 4.4 version more than 1 year ago with the help of one dealer.  I didn’t remember exactly how i did it.   Do i need to download the usb driver also before the 4.6 update?

The original rationale for the upgrade (about 2 1/2 years ago) was, in large part, to address dropouts on Tidal. The multi-room requirement came later (Autumn 2016). Since then, I think (correct if I’m wrong please) Tidal have improved their infrastructure and a lot us have improved our own network performance, so perhaps it’s a less pressing issue.

Keith

Just updated to the new firmware on my N272 and Unitlite - I noticed that for the N272, there was an update to the DSP and Streamer - but on the Unitlite, there was no DSP update.... so do I assume that any sound quality improvement will only be on the N272?

I don't think you should assume that the UL and UQ DSPs are unchanged. They use a different DSP to the more expensive units, so the way the firmware is bundled is probably different. I today updated my UQ, UL, SU and 272. I'm listening to the UQ at the moment and I may be imagining it, but it sounds wonderful to me.

best

David

Mike-B posted:

If you upgraded your ND using your current computer, the driver is already installed.      

As Mike says. I did the update today with the same Windows 7 PC that I did the 4.4 update two years ago or so and I didn't have to reinstall the drivers.

best

David

Finkfan posted:

I’ve not had chance to update my 272 yet, but I’d be interested to hear of any improvement from others who have. 

I have definitely perceived SQ benefits. Bass is firmer and slightly more extended. Mids are clearer without anything being unduly accented, as if some distortion has been removed. They are also what might be described as firmer or tighter, with a bit more body in the mid-mid (ie as opposed to upper mid or lower mid). Treble appears to have less sibilance.

I wouldn't say the changes were massive, but the sound is more satisfying to me now.

Naturally I might just be imagining it, but I'm pretty sure I'm not.

PS, I should add, good work, beta testers and DSP team. Gold stars all round.

Finkfan posted:

I’ve not had chance to update my 272 yet, but I’d be interested to hear of any improvement from others who have. 

272 updated yesterday, but spent last night checking all inputs were working, so didn’t stream upnp properly until I came in today. It does sound different in a better way. Just listening to Tori Amos native invader, and I have no desire to stop listening. Very immersive sound. More open and bass is better than before. Certainly worth the effort!

Like others, I also perceive the firmware to bring some SQ benefits with tighter and more pronounced bass and able to play at lower listening levels.  I normally turn the 272 to about 35 and closer to 40 if I want to turn it up. Since the update, leaving it at 35 is more than enough volume to get immersed. 

docmark posted:

 How do I download the drivers using a Mac?  When I open Naim Streamer Updater, the only item I see on the drop down menu is Bluetooth Incoming Port.

This is the direct link to the USB driver for Mac. The link was included in the PDF named "Naim Streaming Products_Firmware Update Guide (MAC)" contained in the download folder of the 4.4 Software Update from the Naim website.

Thanks Rightcoastants - everything worked smoothly, my 272 rebooted and just after doing some listening, I must say that I'm impressed.  Soundstage is wider, bass seems more controlled and not at all sloppy.  I don't know that it's a black box upgrade, but something sure sounds better.

Finkfan posted:

I’m having issues installing the USB driver on my laptop. I just get the message...

Cannot complete the device driver installation wizard

Errors were encountered etc. 

Ive tried a few time. Same every time. 

Any ideas?? 

Are you running one of the recent Mac OS? 

Eoink posted:
Mike-B posted:

........  we need @hungryhalibut to chip in (or should that be swim in)    he wrote up a good & positive description of the 272 sound with the new DSP in the beta test thread.  

Halibut and chips Mike?

More lyrical, engaging and natural was my conclusion. It seems easier to follow the musical strands, but without being overs analytical. It was slightly different in beta with the 272: with the other streamers Naim found a DSP version they were all happy with, but with the 272 it was felt that more performance could be squeezed out, which thankfully came to fruition. One interesting test I did was with a Gang if Four album, Return the Gift, where the new DSP was throwing vocal effects six feet to the left of the left speaker, which I didn’t recall happening previously. It takes a few days to get used to the new sound and assess changes - it cannot be done as quick A/B comparisons. It’s where the beta becomes interesting, it’s easy to identify if X or Y works or doesn’t (often hard to fix for Naim’s tech team thought) but much more challenging to identify which version of DSP is best, bearing in mind that everyone’s setup is different and that what is initially impressive can be annoying long term. I think, with the 272 at least, that Naim have done a fantastic job on this, and have squeezed more performance from the humble streaming preamp than I thought possible. It’s very reassuring that, so far, others are pleased with the changes. 

Adam Zielinski posted:
Finkfan posted:

I’m having issues installing the USB driver on my laptop. I just get the message...

Cannot complete the device driver installation wizard

Errors were encountered etc. 

Ive tried a few time. Same every time. 

Any ideas?? 

Are you running one of the recent Mac OS? 

Hi Adam

No, I’m running Windows 7 or 8, can’t remember which now, on a Sony viao laptop 

Will the upgrade help me as well, having ND5XS with nDAC ?

If the upgrade for the ND5XS only has improved on the things that the nDAC takes care of (when paired together) then there will be no reason for me to upgrade the firmware. 

Or ???

Claus

It can be done over wireless,  some laptops have no ethernet connection.   Personally, although I've tried wireless (once) I always use ethernet:    I have to run the USB cable,   the extra time needed to run the ethernet to my router or net-switch positions is nothing.

@Finkfan Unfortunately you need to have the USB connection and as well both the unit and the PC have to be connected to the internet (I suspect the latter is actually on the same Lan with IP addresses allocated, but it boils down to the same thing). It won't work without both and the reason is that some of the update is delivered over the USB connection and some of it is delivered over the Ethernet connection.

best

David

fernar posted:

When I did my upgrade on both the N272 and Unitlite - both hardware were connected to the internet via a wired connection, but my laptop was connected via wifi.... in both cases the update worked without any issues.

I’ve always used WiFi, without problems. 

Finkfan posted:

Useful info guys. If I can’t get the driver to work I’ll try and update via Ethernet. 

Do you have access to another laptop? I successfully installed the USB driver on my Dell laptop  (if I can trust the Device Manager), but the update software didn't recognise/find my streamer. Tried again and again -- without success. I then tried the same with our rather ancient Samsung laptop -- I did exactly the same, but this time the update went through without any problem. No clue why a new Dell could deliver what they old Samsung did... Just relieved that I didn't need to bother Phil...

I read in a much earlier post a day or two back that the USB drivers come in two flavours. Generic Windows and Windows 7, 8 and 10 version. The poster had to delete the generic Windows driver he had installed which didn't work and install the later one, which then did work. No doubt this post can be found if someone wants to look for it.

best

David

David Hendon posted:

I read in a much earlier post a day or two back that the USB drivers come in two flavours. Generic Windows and Windows 7, 8 and 10 version. The poster had to delete the generic Windows driver he had installed which didn't work and install the later one, which then did work. No doubt this post can be found if someone wants to look for it.

best

David

I used the same driver with both the Dell and Samsung laptops -- so that "variable" is stable and can't explain why the Dell did not work...

I have a super duper fast and up-to-date laptop on Win10 that won't work no matter what drivers I try to install on it. I also have a wheezing, clunky old laptop on Win7 that will get Com3 and run the update without a hitch. Unfortunately, the link posted further up the thread didn't help. But I do appreciate people trying to help. Maybe Naim can weigh in?

Timo posted:
David Hendon posted:

I read in a much earlier post a day or two back that the USB drivers come in two flavours. Generic Windows and Windows 7, 8 and 10 version. The poster had to delete the generic Windows driver he had installed which didn't work and install the later one, which then did work. No doubt this post can be found if someone wants to look for it.

best

David

I used the same driver with both the Dell and Samsung laptops -- so that "variable" is stable and can't explain why the Dell did not work...

Well it could explain it, if the driver is ok for your "rather ancient" Samsung but not for your newer Dell. But anyway I'm just saying this worked for someone else.

best

David

I installed the latest version for Win-10 & now have this & the old generic multi-Win version also installed.    When I connected up the USB cable it connected OK,  no idea which driver its selecting but who cares.    The point is you can load both.    With Win-10 it installs in OS>Programs>DIFX

marcobb posted:

According to the upgrade process, there mention the PC need connect to the network use wired, anybody try to use the wireless instead of wired ?

Is it wireless connect to the network also work ?

yes I have updated use a wireless connection otherwise I would have to move the SU near the modem.
everything was simple and it worked.
I did not understand why  need to update with devices connected to the network if the update is installed on the PC

Anto68 posted:
marcobb posted:

According to the upgrade process, there mention the PC need connect to the network use wired, anybody try to use the wireless instead of wired ?

Is it wireless connect to the network also work ?

yes I have updated use a wireless connection otherwise I would have to move the SU near the modem.
everything was simple and it worked.
I did not understand why  need to update with devices connected to the network if the update is installed on the PC

It's because some of the update is delivered over the USB connection and some of it is delivered over the ethernet/wifi connection. You need both.

best

David

ChrisR_EPL posted:

My ND5XS seems to have lost a bit of ooomph unless it's turned up a lot more. Anyone else noticed it?

Absolutely, couldn't believe my ears (just ike a psu).

Always a good sign, in fact voices and details are more real and highs more airy and less shrilling, no mid bass omph.

When turned up a whole new musical experience. 

Hmm. I'm not convinced by the DSP update. On my system there's now a bass bloom and the classically 'Naim' midrange hump has gone. I watched a film through it last night and it was noticeably harder to hear the voices due to midrange recess. The bass was like pushing a loudness button.  I hope it's an adjustment period. I'll listen again later at reasonable levels. I imagine it'll sound better through NACA5 than Tellurium Q. This is, in no way, a criticism of our esteemed Beta testers, simply a reaction to how my own system sounds. 

I've just done my 272 and I find a significant improvement to SQ... By no means the equivalent to a 'black box' upgrade, more like the effect of upgrading interconnect cables.

I find vocals clearer and instrumental timbres a bit better differentiated, I also think the microdynamics have been sharpened a little giving a sense of it being a little louder at any given actual volume level.  As others have found, I think the bass seems stronger and more controlled, I don't believe that the volume of the bass has increased, just that it seems more defined and the low bass and mid bass are better integrated both between themselves and to the midrange so that it stays clearer and fades less into the general mix

 

Looking at the posts here while there are differences to peoples perception of vocals and mid-range performance consistent between the different streamers (most notably between devices with the Analogue Devices DSP chip and those without), the perception of stronger bass does seem to be consistent across all the platforms.

Thank-you for the free upgrade to my N272, it now sounds fresher, cleaner especially on male vocals and piano.   I can hear a slightly bloom to some bass notes, but that was quickly fixed by bringing the speakers 5cm from the back wall, which in turn opens the top end out.

easy upgrade once I'd updated the 64bit drivers , used a very short 10cm USB cable, which can reach to my laptop


Mu-so OBlong updated via the app smoothly...again seems cleaner and Mu-so QB is awaiting it's new f/w

Huge posted:

I've just done my 272 and I find a significant improvement to SQ... By no means the equivalent to a 'black box' upgrade, more like the effect of upgrading interconnect cables.

I find vocals clearer and instrumental timbres a bit better differentiated, I also think the microdynamics have been sharpened a little giving a sense of it being a little louder at any given actual volume level.  As others have found, I think the bass seems stronger and more controlled, I don't believe that the volume of the bass has increased, just that it seems more defined and the low bass and mid bass are better integrated both between themselves and to the midrange so that it stays clearer and fades less into the general mix

 

Looking at the posts here while there are differences to peoples perception of vocals and mid-range performance consistent between the different streamers, the perception of stronger bass does seem to be consistent across all the platforms.

I wish I could report on whether my 272 sounds different after the 4.6 upgrade but my left ear is completely blocked so I can’t really hear anything!! I’m booked in for the syringe treatment on Tuesday morning. I anticipate that will be - by far - the biggest upgrade of the week for my system...

S3 posted:

I wish I could report on whether my 272 sounds different after the 4.6 upgrade but my left ear is completely blocked so I can’t really hear anything!! I’m booked in for the syringe treatment on Tuesday morning. I anticipate that will be - by far - the biggest upgrade of the week for my system...

Na...  Just buy a 555PSDR for the 272 - it's a much bigger upgrade!

Hungryhalibut posted:
Eoink posted:
Mike-B posted:

........  we need @hungryhalibut to chip in (or should that be swim in)    he wrote up a good & positive description of the 272 sound with the new DSP in the beta test thread.  

Halibut and chips Mike?

More lyrical, engaging and natural was my conclusion. It seems easier to follow the musical strands, but without being overs analytical. It was slightly different in beta with the 272: with the other streamers Naim found a DSP version they were all happy with, but with the 272 it was felt that more performance could be squeezed out, which thankfully came to fruition. One interesting test I did was with a Gang if Four album, Return the Gift, where the new DSP was throwing vocal effects six feet to the left of the left speaker, which I didn’t recall happening previously. It takes a few days to get used to the new sound and assess changes - it cannot be done as quick A/B comparisons. It’s where the beta becomes interesting, it’s easy to identify if X or Y works or doesn’t (often hard to fix for Naim’s tech team thought) but much more challenging to identify which version of DSP is best, bearing in mind that everyone’s setup is different and that what is initially impressive can be annoying long term. I think, with the 272 at least, that Naim have done a fantastic job on this, and have squeezed more performance from the humble streaming preamp than I thought possible. It’s very reassuring that, so far, others are pleased with the changes. 

Not to hijack the thread but I had to question the use of a Gang of Four album in terms of Hi Fi testing until I fired up the track 'Return the Gift' from the only album I have of theirs, the compilation 'A Brief History of the Twentieth Century' and wow what incredible production, how did this sit in the collection so long without me appreciating it's sonic wonders.

Checking out the producers, I was amazed to see and now understand why: Jimmy Douglass, Mike Howlett and The Albert Brothers.

Anyway thanks HH for this. Now back to main topic of the thread......

 

Just updated my first version Unitiqute from 3.22 to 4.6 at long last. Tried years ago but could never get the update to stick. Had to update the driver for my RS232 cable and used my Mac Pro desktop. Sounds better for sure - I'm able to play at higher volumes with less fatigue - individual instruments seem to stick out more and easier to follow. Couldn't be more pleased. 

Updated the Mu-so in the bedroom as well but no chance to listen to yet - it's really mostly for TV duty anyway. Really, really wish the mu-so had a way to play via headphones - didn't realize that wasn't the case when I purchased it. Bad design on Naim's part but that's getting OT. 

I did the upgrade yesterday.  After listening for a couple of hours my impression is a more natural sound.  Timbre is better and the presentation more tamed.  Easier to listen.  My previous system was rather in the warm side and I always found the 272 a bit forward in the presentation.  That is gone for better.  Much, much natural though I cannot ping point what they did.  

I feel that the upgrade lower the noise floor.  You can play it louder while maintaining clarity.  Keeping the the volume at 43, where I normally listen CDs that not overcooked, give me the impression of a lower SPL.  I am going to check the SPL tonight.  I am intrigued whether is a perception or real.

Great job, Naim!

 

AndyP19 posted:

Not to hijack the thread but I had to question the use of a Gang of Four album in terms of Hi Fi testing until I fired up the track 'Return the Gift' from the only album I have of theirs, the compilation 'A Brief History of the Twentieth Century' and wow what incredible production, how did this sit in the collection so long without me appreciating it's sonic wonders.

Checking out the producers, I was amazed to see and now understand why: Jimmy Douglass, Mike Howlett and The Albert Brothers.

Anyway thanks HH for this. Now back to main topic of the thread......

 

OK, so curiosity got the better of me and I tried this on Tidal. Interesting, but not my cup of tea! @hungryhalibut delights and surprises me with his eclectic tastes. Personally I think a better contemporary demo of 4.6 is Private Investigations/Dire straits. Stunning, dramatic sound.

One of my fondest teenage memories was dancing with my arm around Andy Gill, bopping in the dark, sharing a cheap bottle of "champagne," to a scratchy record of the Supremes, at a house party after their gig here in Seattle in 1981. Yes, The Supremes. Both confused and inspired the hell out of this impressionable punk rock seventeen year old. Good music is good music, as long as it's intention is right and it moves you. Damaged goods, not....

Ok, after extracting the files I finally got the driver to install, or so it says. I’ve run the Naim updater and on the connection check screen it asks to select a serial port...and it’s blank. Over one hurdle, straight on to the next.

Suggestions hugely appreciated!! 

FINKFAN,

I feel your pain.I have previously updated my ndx successfully before so thought it would be straight forward.I was of course mistaken.After over 3 hours and a lot of head scratching I got it to work.The problem is if I'm honest is that if I done it again I would still struggle as I think it was lucky I succeeded.Stick with it,I am sure you will get there and when you do the reward will be worth it.

Good luck

Mike-B posted:

Bonjour M Rooster.   Yes it does bring a change to SQ, this was established in the beta testing.  With my NDX in my system & room & to my ear/brain interface,  the presentation is more dynamic & punchy,  bass is firmer, treble has detail,  sound stage has width & depth.   Instrument & voices are natural & I find it easier to follow & position individuals.     I read the same with NDS & 272 colleagues .    See other threads on this same subject

Mike (or anyone else) , despite searching, I can’t find the other threads on the same subject. Can anyone steer me right please?

Also, there seems so far to be unanimous positive comment from 272 owners. I’d be interested to hear what NDS owners think. I did the update on mine yesterday and the jury is still out. Agree on improved Vocal intelligibility and other positives, but struggling a bit with the  upper/mid bass region which for want of a better term sounds slightly foggy and slow. The overall sound has also lost some air and the portrayal of the acoustic in which the recording was made seems to have suffered. Hmm.

Another key point as I mentioned a while back in the thread is that the USB lead needs to have the data connections as well as the power connections. If you are using a USB lead that basically came with a USB charger, the data connections may not be made. When I updated my streamers, the first lead I tried didn't connect but the second was fine.

kevin J Carden posted:
Mike-B posted:

Bonjour M Rooster.   Yes it does bring a change to SQ, this was established in the beta testing.  With my NDX in my system & room & to my ear/brain interface,  the presentation is more dynamic & punchy,  bass is firmer, treble has detail,  sound stage has width & depth.   Instrument & voices are natural & I find it easier to follow & position individuals.     I read the same with NDS & 272 colleagues .    See other threads on this same subject

Mike (or anyone else) , despite searching, I can’t find the other threads on the same subject. Can anyone steer me right please?

Also, there seems so far to be unanimous positive comment from 272 owners. I’d be interested to hear what NDS owners think. I did the update on mine yesterday and the jury is still out. Agree on improved Vocal intelligibility and other positives, but struggling a bit with the  upper/mid bass region which for want of a better term sounds slightly foggy and slow. The overall sound has also lost some air and the portrayal of the acoustic in which the recording was made seems to have suffered. Hmm.

It's the thread in Streaming Audio called "New firmware this week" . Start from the latest and work back I suggest.

I don't have an NDS but I have read all the posts here and in the beta forum during testing and lots of people reported on the NDS SQ. it was generally regarded as improved by this update. 

Best

David

I unanimously think it’s a significant improvement for the NDS, the same way as described by 272 owners. My caveat would be that I spent soooo long in beta land I can’t now remember what the production firmware sounded like. I do know that I very quickly felt this version was right. Tight, dynamic and natural.

Keith

The more I listen with the new firmware, the bigger the upgrade seems to be.  Not that it changes, just that I'm gradually realising how good it is.

Presumably different folks will hear different degrees of improvement based on their particular systems, rooms etc.  But in my case it is quite significant.  And especially considering that I didn't even know the new firmware would make any SQ difference until yesterday, I'm very pleased indeed with it.

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