Bristol sound and vision 2018

If  you compare a 272/250 which is a few grand more than a Nova...it is much better. If you compare a 272/250 with a Nova/ 250.... it is still better, but not by much to my ears. It’s all about listening and making a choice on what is the best / cost effective stop gap? Until I asked my dealer to put a power amp on a Nova, they had not done that demo themselves, sure they are not alone.

I use the standard interconnect that I had from Nova to 250dr,which was din to the 3pin; which my dealer then reconfigured to din to the twin 3 pin needed for the NAp300. The 300 dr was a big step up, speakers seemed to grow in size, dynamics, pace and timing, and greater insight into recordings. It’s not the route your dealer or others will recommend, but I am having a lot of fun. The new Naim architecture works really well, and will with more firmware get better. Part of the reason I skipped the 272.

The Nova makes a lot of sense as a one box solution. Its blend of performance and facilities and coupled with a decent pair of speakers makes it a killer combination that should keep most happy for a long time. If you want more performance and are happy to continue up the tree then the 272 route seems the better choice.

The Strat (Fender) posted:

Nigel - completely outside of my field of expertise but surely the pace of Digital change makes an upgrade inevitable - sooner or later?

Regards,

Lindsay

The question is whether Naim make any more streaming preamps, or whether the 272 is eventually dropped, like its smaller sibling the 172. To me, streaming preamps are great, but the 272 has sure made the Naim range complicated and I get the feeling that they may be trying to simplify things. That’s why I think buying a Nova and power amp, on the assumption that the 272 will be replaced with a new platform descendent, is risky. 

There is a lot of discussion and, it seems, desire to have other products in the range adopt the Uniti “platform”. I guess the question I have is why? I get it if there is a material benefit / uplift in SQ and performance in doing so but if the upside is considered to be incorporating a more advanced screen / graphics and having access to “Roon” etc then I’m struggling to see to what extent products like the 272 could be improved by doing so. In my experience the thing sounds incredible for its price point, looks great and works almost flawlessly. If someone offered me an upgrade to incorporate a Uniti-like screen and the other gizmos those products have I think I’d pass.

Naim claim to have lowered the noise floor on this architecture to a level where an external power supply is deemed not necessary. So there is interest in what can be achieved without the inevitable compromises of fitting a streamer, dac, preamp and amplifier in a single box. Software fixes and updates are much easier for Naim to deliver and customers to implement. Guess we have to wait a little longer to finally listen to the end product.......but the word from dealer discussions with Naim is it’s very very good.

Hungryhalibut posted:
The Strat (Fender) posted:

Nigel - completely outside of my field of expertise but surely the pace of Digital change makes an upgrade inevitable - sooner or later?

Regards,

Lindsay

The question is whether Naim make any more streaming preamps, or whether the 272 is eventually dropped, like its smaller sibling the 172. To me, streaming preamps are great, but the 272 has sure made the Naim range complicated and I get the feeling that they may be trying to simplify things. That’s why I think buying a Nova and power amp, on the assumption that the 272 will be replaced with a new platform descendent, is risky. 

To me the idea of Nova with a power amp makes zero sense other than as a stepping stone to a more focussed 2 or 3 box system. Why buy a Nova and then effectively throw half of its capabilities away by circumventing its power amp section? A 272 may have the same componentry in its streaming and pre amp sections, but the engineering of the entire 272 box is focussed on making those 2 sections alone work to the best of their ability. I've no experience, but I'd take a punt that a 272 will sound better than a power amp bypassed Nova in the same role. Buy a 272 + power amp. If and when they stop making the 272, buy a used one instead. As HH points out, you could probably get a used XPS thrown in as well for the same cash outlay as a new Nova 

 

A slightly different argument but listening to the Nova at the Show driving the new stand-mount Kudos Titan 505s (with an Innuos Zenith server thingy) sounded….err…. entirely complete. Certainly no need to add any power amps, pre amps or power supplies. This one-box system (excluding speakers and server) was making some of the best sounds at the show, I kid you not.

That Nova is one superb bit of kit all by itself. If I was starting again and had limits on my budget, I'd just get a Nova. No doubt in my mind.

nigelb posted:

A slightly different argument but listening to the Nova at the Show driving the new stand-mount Kudos Titan 505s (with an Innuos Zenith server thingy) sounded….err…. entirely complete. Certainly no need to add any power amps, pre amps or power supplies. This one-box system (excluding speakers and server) was making some of the best sounds at the show, I kid you not.

That Nova is one superb bit of kit all by itself. If I was starting again and had limits on my budget, I'd just get a Nova. No doubt in my mind.

Nigel

I 100% agree, I was sat in that room listening to the 505 thinking, such sounds for such simplicity. Two boxes, integrated Ripping, Roon support, not even sat on Fraim etc etc. Made me question all the Fraim, burndy, cable dressing that goes into separates.

 

Rob

 

nigelb posted:

A slightly different argument but listening to the Nova at the Show driving the new stand-mount Kudos Titan 505s (with an Innuos Zenith server thingy) sounded….err…. entirely complete. Certainly no need to add any power amps, pre amps or power supplies. This one-box system (excluding speakers and server) was making some of the best sounds at the show, I kid you not.

That Nova is one superb bit of kit all by itself. If I was starting again and had limits on my budget, I'd just get a Nova. No doubt in my mind.

sure sounded pretty good, but based on what i heard elsewhere at the show for me if were starting again id be very severely tempted by either PMC Cor or the Rega Osiris. Both sounded stupidly good for the money to me..

kevin J Carden posted:
nigelb posted:

A slightly different argument but listening to the Nova at the Show driving the new stand-mount Kudos Titan 505s (with an Innuos Zenith server thingy) sounded….err…. entirely complete. Certainly no need to add any power amps, pre amps or power supplies. This one-box system (excluding speakers and server) was making some of the best sounds at the show, I kid you not.

That Nova is one superb bit of kit all by itself. If I was starting again and had limits on my budget, I'd just get a Nova. No doubt in my mind.

sure sounded pretty good, but based on what i heard elsewhere at the show for me if were starting again id be very severely tempted by either PMC Cor or the Rega Osiris. Both sounded stupidly good for the money to me..

I visited the PMC room a couple of times. The first time a pair of Twenty5 26s powered by the AVM pre a dual monos was sounding nice if a little soft. I made the effort to revisit later when I knew the Fact 12s would be demoing. What I didn't realise is that the PMC Cor integrated would be driving the Fact 12s. This sounded the polar opposite to the earlier demo, sounding rather harsh and clinical to these ears. I think the Cor must have been struggling or a mismatch to the Fact 12s. I was rather disappointed as the Cor driving a Twenty5 range speaker (26s I think) at the Audio East Show a few weeks ago sounded rather good.

I have also heard various PMCs sounding wonderful at previous Bristol shows being driven by Bryston amps.

When I was in the Dynaudio room they had the Special 40s on demo with a full Naim rig driving them and they sounded superb. The Dynaudio room I have found over the years has been one of the best sounding, but they always seem to have Naim kit so I am probably preconditioned to the kind of SQ emanating from that room.

The Special 40s are rather…err….special though.

nigelb posted:

When I was in the Dynaudio room they had the Special 40s on demo with a full Naim rig driving them and they sounded superb. The Dynaudio room I have found over the years has been one of the best sounding, but they always seem to have Naim kit so I am probably preconditioned to the kind of SQ emanating from that room.

The Special 40s are rather…err….special though.

Good to hear,I use Core/272/XpSDR//250DR with my special 40s,and love what I am hearing,just curious what was the full Naim rig they were using at the show?

No quarter posted:
nigelb posted:

When I was in the Dynaudio room they had the Special 40s on demo with a full Naim rig driving them and they sounded superb. The Dynaudio room I have found over the years has been one of the best sounding, but they always seem to have Naim kit so I am probably preconditioned to the kind of SQ emanating from that room.

The Special 40s are rather…err….special though.

Good to hear,I use Core/272/XpSDR//250DR with my special 40s,and love what I am hearing,just curious what was the full Naim rig they were using at the show?

Not sure exactly what the Naim rig was but it was above 202/200 because the pre had a double row of buttons with either NDX or NDS with a decent power supply. I only glanced at it but it looked a pretty serious set up.

nigelb posted:
No quarter posted:
nigelb posted:

When I was in the Dynaudio room they had the Special 40s on demo with a full Naim rig driving them and they sounded superb. The Dynaudio room I have found over the years has been one of the best sounding, but they always seem to have Naim kit so I am probably preconditioned to the kind of SQ emanating from that room.

The Special 40s are rather…err….special though.

Good to hear,I use Core/272/XpSDR//250DR with my special 40s,and love what I am hearing,just curious what was the full Naim rig they were using at the show?

Not sure exactly what the Naim rig was but it was above 202/200 because the pre had a double row of buttons with either NDX or NDS with a decent power supply. I only glanced at it but it looked a pretty serious set up.

It was Core, NDS/555, 552/552PS, NAP300DR with full SL loom.

No wonder it sounded sublime. Nothing ever comes close to it at Bristol for me!

Regards

David

I am never impressed with the large Focal speakers that Naim use for demonstrating at shows. To me the Dynaudio Special 40s sounded better, although it could have been due to music I heard and my view of the aesthetic appeal of the Focals - each to his own! Give me Kudos, PMC, Neat, Dynaudio any day!

S3 posted:
nigelb posted:
No quarter posted:
nigelb posted:

When I was in the Dynaudio room they had the Special 40s on demo with a full Naim rig driving them and they sounded superb. The Dynaudio room I have found over the years has been one of the best sounding, but they always seem to have Naim kit so I am probably preconditioned to the kind of SQ emanating from that room.

The Special 40s are rather…err….special though.

Good to hear,I use Core/272/XpSDR//250DR with my special 40s,and love what I am hearing,just curious what was the full Naim rig they were using at the show?

Not sure exactly what the Naim rig was but it was above 202/200 because the pre had a double row of buttons with either NDX or NDS with a decent power supply. I only glanced at it but it looked a pretty serious set up.

It was Core, NDS/555, 552/552PS, NAP300DR with full SL loom.

No wonder it sounded sublime. Nothing ever comes close to it at Bristol for me!

Regards

David

Well there you go. No wonder it sounded good. However, the Dynaudio Special 40s must be very capable to convey the qualities of a Naim 500 rig!

I have heard from Dynaudio's Bill Livingston who, while in accordance with forum rules cannot post on this here himself, has clarified what Naim kit was being used with the Special 40s;

The demonstration system used with the Special Forty at The Bristol Show was as follows:

Naim NDS Streamer
Naim 555 PS DR Power Supply
Naim NAC 252 Preamp
Naim SuperCap DR Power Supply
Naim NAP 300 Power Amplifier
Naim 300 PS DR Power Supply
Naim Uniti Core Server
Naim Fraim

Naim Super Lumina Speaker Cables
Naim Super Lumina Interconnect Cables
Naim Powerline Mains Cables

Richard Dane posted:

I have heard from Dynaudio's Bill Livingston who, while in accordance with forum rules cannot post on this here himself, has clarified what Naim kit was being used with the Special 40s;

The demonstration system used with the Special Forty at The Bristol Show was as follows:

Naim NDS Streamer
Naim 555 PS DR Power Supply
Naim NAC 252 Preamp
Naim SuperCap DR Power Supply
Naim NAP 300 Power Amplifier
Naim 300 PS DR Power Supply
Naim Uniti Core Server
Naim Fraim

Naim Super Lumina Speaker Cables
Naim Super Lumina Interconnect Cables
Naim Powerline Mains Cables

Pretty hard for the Special 40s not to sound good ...

Used 272's are difficult to find...and for good reason...they are very good. With an xps power supply they are exceptional. Try and find an ex dem model and save a bit of money and then when naim launch the new upgraded model/models then trade in. At least then you will have enjoyed the use of a 272/250dr (or 300dr) for a couple of years

I was speaking to my local dealer and he mentioned that it is possible that naim will bring out better models of the 272 (using possibly a 282 or 252 pre-amp!) using the new/upgraded chipset platforms used in the Nova etc but it is some way off.

Kudos Titan 505 - for those wanting a bit more info as to how they sound, its worth checking out the AV Forums podcast. 

I was listening today as they were specifically discussing the highlights of Bristol S&V and the 505’s were Ed Selley’s ‘sound of the show’ as it were. He seemed impressed (esp bass response) and gave them a brief, if enthusiastic mini review.

If you don't want to listen to the whole thing its 21minutes in!

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