4.6 update and upgrade sound quality ?

Seth posted:

Ken, are you using Windows? It looks like the user account you have logged in with (could be automatic) doesn’t have the security permissions required to run the updater?

Windows 10 and running std user (not Admin). As i said before, the error occurred just before you are asked to connect the USB cable etc. I simply closed the error message window and ran the 'Naim Streamer Updater 4.4.3' directly from its icon on the desktop .  Normally this step happens automatically. I don't believe there is a security issue here...

enjoy

ken

Hey all - just posting this to add a +1 to the 4.4 camp. I know my system (172xs + 200) is considered modest compared to the NDX-ers and the NDS-ers around here, but hey. I lived with 4.6 for 2-3 weeks now, and I did sense the changes everyone is talking about, but weren't bothersome enough to make me roll back in a hurry. I'm home auditioning a Densen integrated (with the intention of using an ND5XS 2 in the future as a source), because I wanna get rid of that niggling feeling that I can always upgrade by adding "just one more box". I loved the Densen in the shop, but at home it was a disaster. It amplified the 4.6 shortcommings (in my view) - great with hi-fi, bad with music. After a day of clenching my teeth, I wondered if the firmware was to blame - it sure was. Have 4.4 back on and I'm smiling again. Joy is back in the music.

As much as I’m enjoying 4.6 on my 272 I feel the more I listen to it the more something might be missing. I don’t get much time to listen to music so it’s taken some time to realise. I Just can’t put my finger on it. I’ve found that I’m playing around with speaker positioning quite a bit a the moment and just can’t get it right. I may switch back to 4.4 this week and listen again for a month or two. 

Funny that I don’t hear any difference getting from 4.4 to 4.6 on either my old UnitiLite and my recent NAC-N 272. 

The streams from Tidal and iRadio as well as the sound from series and movies are with 4.6 just as great as with 4.4. Still enjoying the sound of my system every day.

Revoliño posted:

Funny that I don’t hear any difference getting from 4.4 to 4.6 on either my old UnitiLite and my recent NAC-N 272. 

The streams from Tidal and iRadio as well as the sound from series and movies are with 4.6 just as great as with 4.4. Still enjoying the sound of my system every day.

Forgot to mention that I only used locally stored flac and wav, no streaming services. The Densen is back to my dealer now, and my system is running on 4.4. So much better.

@Finkfan yes, it's hard to put a finger on it, but something certainly is lacking in the 4.6 imo.

@rainsoothe I had a brief listen last night to Miles Davis - So What via my CDX2.1 (analogue output) and then via Nas and Tidal. Through the CDX2 Miles is the star of the show, performing front a centre being marginally louder in the mix than the rest of the musicians around him. However when streaming from Nas and Tidal Miles is pushed back on the stage. He’s now standing a few feet behind everyone else. The drummer on the right is now the main star being closer and louder than everyone else. 

I do like the slightly smoother sound of 4.6 but this shift of where sounds are in the music may just be what I’m struggling with. I’ll revert to 4.4 on the weekend and hear what happens. 

Hi Finkfan,

I've no CDX2 at my disposal but have arranged to try a friend's unit someday in my system. I've compared my post 4.6 ND5XS I seldom use now to the old fruit box when playing So What. If anything it's on the deck the drummer's performance gets a more vivid and forceful representation, I find it definitely more real and putting considerably more air between it and Adderley's phrasing and more forward (?) in the mix getting quite a bit flattened on digital.

Other than that ,front to back in my room no notably differences occur to the personnel's placement though in the much airier and distinct soundstage the deck provides, it's just Davis' trumpet gets more forceful and dynamic and real and all which may give the impression you point at.

Anyway two more points consider: 1-The piano I think I like more on the streamer 2- yes, a bit smoother,  but that was quite the same when I used to compare both, pre 4.4. Anyway I think the new firmware has much improved he unit especially on treble and mids.

 

I’ve been trying ‘So What’ to see if I can replicate what Finkfan is hearing. The answer is an emphatic no. The trumpet and sax are clearly forward and more dominant than the rhythm section. Everything is just right, and very realistic, with a nice rasp on the sax in particular: not smooth at all. One of the big benefits of 4.6 is its increased liveliness and engagement and this is very clear on this well recorded album. I wonder if you are trying a dodgy high res remaster, which are frequently worse on these older recordings than the original standard version. 

The thing is if I play the CD, which I have ripped lossles to my Nas, on my CDX2 Miles is front stage. Same disc played via Nas and Miles moves back and rhythm moves forward. Maybe it’s the Meicord cables? Or the only other thing I can think of is that the Nas and Cisco switch are plugged into a Tacima ‘mains conditioner’ extension lead? I will investigate further over the weekend 

Hi Finkfan,  I had the same when I changed CDX2 to NDX (both powered with T-XPS)      With CDX2 the soloist's can be very forward front of stage (on the carpet in front of you) if the recording mixing engineer intended it as so.  I have a few CD with that effect but when ripped to Synology NAS & played on NDX they do not have such a forward position,  still front of stage but not so forward,      

Re the Meicords,  I first noticed the less forward effect with a cheapo Cat5e when I had a temporary hook up during the first week or so,  same when I changed to Supra Cat7,  now the same with Meicord. 

French Rooster posted:

HH is using 272/555ps and Finfan 272 alone, Antonio nd5xs alone.  Perhaps the answer is here, 272<cdx2 but 272/555ps>cdx2 or nd5xs.

As recent Owner of 272/555/cd2 i agree with asesment

i had the change to having the second 555 as demo with cd2x it was better than 272/555 in my opinion ( with SL interconnect) 

now with 552 cd2x/555 shines... better than streaming

according to my old ears...

Finkfan posted:

The thing is if I play the CD, which I have ripped lossles to my Nas, on my CDX2 Miles is front stage. Same disc played via Nas and Miles moves back and rhythm moves forward. Maybe it’s the Meicord cables? Or the only other thing I can think of is that the Nas and Cisco switch are plugged into a Tacima ‘mains conditioner’ extension lead? I will investigate further over the weekend 

How strange. My system doesn’t really do much front to back depth, having SL2s so maybe I’m not noticing it. In my case the switch and Nas are connected to an uninterrupted power supply - you may want to investigate getting one. They are not very expensive and may save your Nas is the mains has a hiccup. 

Mad to th better:worse issues that one have raised, I’m not sure it’s relevant. 

Hi, my first post on this site.  I bought my ND5 XS back in January.

Sorry, late to the party on this one.  I'm actually quite disappointed that Naim did not notify me that an update was available.  I was bored one day at work and stumbled across this thread.

I did the upgrade this weekend on my ND5 XS.  I'm appalled at how ridiculous the process was.  I work in the computer industry so I found it pretty straight forward, but I can imagine how daunting it would be for the common person.  Especially if something goes wrong.  I mean, the device is on the network.  Let it update itself, like smart phones do.  I hope the newer models are like this, instead of carrying around a laptop and a USB cable.

So after reading the hundreds of posts in this thread of whether or not to do a Factory Reset after the process, I decided not to.  It did not sound right at all.   The soundstage was pushed to the right and the sound was just flat.  It had no life and a bit compressed.  I was quite disappointed.  I was seriously thinking about going back to 4.4.  Then I decided to try the Factory Reset.  I didn't really appreciate having to re-enter all my settings again after the reset.  Good thing I didn't have dozens of radio stations saved.  That should be addressed as well. 

But after the reset, everything was perfect again!  I can't really say 4.6 is better than 4.4 at this point, but have just started to listen.  I'm sure the changes are pretty subtle and would be hard to detect without A/B'ing them side by side.  It would be nice to know exactly what Naim tweaked with the DSP.

Oh well, back to listening...

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KlydeMinh Nguyen
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