CD5x with and without Flatcap 2x

This weekend I've tried my CD5x without being connected to the Flatcap 2x.  

Having played through a number of cd's there's a noticeable difference once the Flatcap 2x removed. The sound is presented with a greater richness to the tone and noticeably more heft in the bass, with kick drum and bass a little more evident.  Reconnecting the Flatcap made the sound appear a little brighter and leaner sounding but also lost the nice richness that I was getting without the Flatcap. 

Im going to spend a bit more time listening without the CD5x connected to the Flatcap 2X, just to be sure of my findings. 

Just wondered what differences other users may have heard having tried with and without an external power supply connected to their CD player. 

Original Post

I had the FCXS on my CD5X with HiLine and found it preferable for redbook CDs but a bit too much bass on HDCDs. I listen to a lot of HDCDs so on balance went for the bare 5X, still with HiLine. I've since gone to a non-Naim integrated and now use my 5X with a HCDR via Chord Chameleon RCAs. Better tonal balance and clarity top to bottom with a reduced noise-floor. Really shows what the 5X can do; it's quite a capable player, worthy of a HCDR, and my present set up works equally well with redbook and HDCDs. Goes to show that there is no "correct" combination with PSUs. These things are all system, room, and listener dependent.

I had the CD5X with a Nait-XS. Used the FC2X on both. With the Nait-XS I felt it made a noticeable improvement. With the CD5X I felt it was "meh" - I didn't feel like it hurt it as seems to be your experience, but it didn't seem to do anything exceptional either.

I think the CD5X is a really nice player - wish I could have afforded to keep mine when I upgraded.

I have only ever used my FC2X connected to both  my CD5X and 122X which are used alongside my 150X and Totem Dreamcatchers.

I think I may try removing the FC2X from the CD5X as you yourself have  and see if I also prefer the sound. I connected the FC2X to both CD5X and 122X originally because I honestly thought that was the whole idea.

Anyway I'll give it a try,

Regards,

Alan.

I have almost always consistently found the addition of a power supply on a CD player to be beneficial to the performance. It's not a question of tone, but of overall engagement.  The only exceptions have been where the SNAIC was the wrong way around on a CD5x/FC2x, or the power supply was in need of a service.

Regarding the opening post - I am a little bit surprised that the addition of a Flatcap 2x resulted in an apparent reduction in the quality of the bass. I would expect the opposite, albeit it should be a bit tighter, go lower, better defined, and in more control.  It may indicate that something is not right somewhere.

Are you sharing your FC2x across both the CD player and the pre-amp?  Or do you have one FC2x on each unit?

Well as I mentioned in my comment above I have disconnected my FC2X from my CD5X earlier today and have noticed an immediate change in the sound. The detail and sharpness I was getting before has now been replaced by a more muffled presentation. The bass seems woolly compared to how it sounded before and for example the guitars of the Gypsy Kings have lost their sharpness and twang. Everything just seems so muted and dull. I was interested to find out what the effect of removing the FC2X would be and now I know. First job in the morning.. put it back on.

Regards,

Alan.

 

 

ink04 posted:
Christopher_M posted:

How old is the FC2x?

The FC2x and the CD5x is now approximately 10 years old, I've owned them from new.

Might be worth emailing Naim to ask what the recommended service interval is on the FC2x. As Richard hints, it's possible that a lack of a service explains your findings.

Richard Dane posted:

I have almost always consistently found the addition of a power supply on a CD player to be beneficial to the performance. It's not a question of tone, but of overall engagement.  The only exceptions have been where the SNAIC was the wrong way around on a CD5x/FC2x, or the power supply was in need of a service.

Regarding the opening post - I am a little bit surprised that the addition of a Flatcap 2x resulted in an apparent reduction in the quality of the bass. I would expect the opposite, albeit it should be a bit tighter, go lower, better defined, and in more control.  It may indicate that something is not right somewhere.

Are you sharing your FC2x across both the CD player and the pre-amp?  Or do you have one FC2x on each unit?

The FC2x is indeed shared between the CD5x and 122x.    

I'm going to do a little more listening and will reconnect the Flactcap to the CD5x for a couple of days, pick a few familiar CDs and listen once again. I will then disconnect the FC2x and play the same CDs.

  I made some notes on my initial findings and yes there was definately a change of presentation to my ears without the Flatcap connected.  One of the main observation I noted was a richer warmth to the tone. There appeared to be greater heft in the bass but will be more specific with my cd collection to choose tracks to test the bass to be sure that leading edge of notes are as detailed and overall grip and control of bass lines. 

Note Richard asked if your flatcap was shared or not - the flatcap can power two sources but not without compromise.  I stumbled on this by accident as I bought a 2x just after they were discontinued and could not afford the 2nd snaic at the time.  I hooked up the CD5x only and loved the cd player for the first time.  The bare cd5x was slow, bloated, and boring.  With flatcap the timing was tighter across the frequency range; bass was now was deeper and faster.  There was far more detail to the music.  

It was a complete shock when the 2nd snaic was purchased a few months later - the flatcap was now shared with the 122 - and the system actually sounded worse.  There was obviously less detail to the music now, and the timing was mechanical.  I also tried hooking up the flatcap to the 122 only - this only showed up the limitations of the bare cd5x.  

I finally disconnected the 2nd snaic - the flatcap again powered only the cd5x - and the hunt was on for another flatcap for the 122.  This was far superior to any single flatcap config and is where my system stands today.

For those sharing a single flatcap in a 122/150/cd5x system I'll reiterate my strong preference for keeping the flatcap on the cd5x only.  Give it a try at least.

 

When I had a flatcap it ended up powering a CD5x and a 282 which in turn powered a superline before I got round to a hicap. I remember thinking the flatcap was better just powering the CD5x but by then the second item must have been the superline with a hicap on the pre so probably not that relevant nor surprising.

There are some interesting views here, which show how differently people perceive changes from adding the flatcap and the sort of sound they like. I had a CD5x for a few years and tried it with a flatcap and hicap, and with neither. With a hicap is sounded mad, while bare it was too soft. With the flatcap it sounded just right to me - easy to listen to yet with an element of drive that was missing without the power supply. It also powered the 122x. I already had the flatcap on the CD5x and then swapped a Nait 5i for the 122/150. I found that the flatcap made a very significant improvement to the 122, despite powering the CD player as well, and over three years never once thought that the sound was in any way lacking. Of course, a second flatcap may have improved things and there are logical reasons why it would. 

Christopher_M posted:
ink04 posted:
Christopher_M posted:

How old is the FC2x?

The FC2x and the CD5x is now approximately 10 years old, I've owned them from new.

Might be worth emailing Naim to ask what the recommended service interval is on the FC2x. As Richard hints, it's possible that a lack of a service explains your findings.

I checked with Naim today and it's 10-12 years for a FC recap.

When I used to have the nait 5 the very first impression I got the sooner I matched the flatcap 2 was quite similar to the one the OP is referring. Now back to the Cd player ,first impression does definitely come from a very vast array of CDs one can play and can be quite deceiving. Some may benefit from a midbass push  but usually the trick is revealed the more you listen to more music as I believe what may be perceived as better tone at first is ,instead , weaker unbalanced tone. Leaner approach may help more appreciate the difference in timbre and spaciousness too.  

Christopher_M posted:
Christopher_M posted:
ink04 posted:
Christopher_M posted:

How old is the FC2x?

The FC2x and the CD5x is now approximately 10 years old, I've owned them from new.

Might be worth emailing Naim to ask what the recommended service interval is on the FC2x. As Richard hints, it's possible that a lack of a service explains your findings.

I checked with Naim today and it's 10-12 years for a FC recap.

I have no idea what service of a FC cost but I would think twice before putting big money in it

The box is allmost empty inside  (I know its the sound that count) but theres a higher/newer version and other options as well, for certain get a quote firstly

 

 

We listened to a bare CD5X and didn't think it sounded sufficiently better than our CD5 to justify the change. But the CD5X/Hi sounded considerably ahead of our CD5/Hi. We didn't detect more brightness and less weight. More fleet of foot and communicative maybe, but not lean. The HiCap on the 5X was as transformative as it was on the 5. Twice the bass with half the lead. Then we auditioned a CDX2. Turned out to be an expensive afternoon. I've never rated the FC all that much for CDP use. Purely personal of course.

 

I'm sharing a FC2X between the CD5X and the 122X and reading this post with great interest.

If I bought another power supply should I go for another FC2X or a Hicap?

Can the Hicap be a good alternative to the Flatcap2X on a CD5X? Or will be better on the 122X end?

The safest bet is the flatcap 2x if you can find one.  Parsing older threads you'll find most (but not all) thought the cd5x + (old) hicap combo resulted in a hyped up presentation that felt unnatural.  The new flatcap xs sounds different;  it gives a more etched presentation which suits some recordings but hurts others.

When I had a CD5XS and Nait XS I found the Flatcap XS improved the sound however I used it whereas a HiCap on the CD player tipped the sound over the edge and gave it a forced and unrealistic presentation.  But this thread shows that views of the benefit of power supplies varies widely.  So much so that by far the best recommendation is to go hear one for yourself, or if this is not possible, find a pre-loved PS at a sufficiently low price that you can sell it on with little loss if it doesn't work out for you.  Or perhaps even better, forget about it and spend the money on more music.

Roger

Perol posted:
Christopher_M posted:
Christopher_M posted:
ink04 posted:
Christopher_M posted:

How old is the FC2x?

The FC2x and the CD5x is now approximately 10 years old, I've owned them from new.

Might be worth emailing Naim to ask what the recommended service interval is on the FC2x. As Richard hints, it's possible that a lack of a service explains your findings.

I checked with Naim today and it's 10-12 years for a FC recap.

I have no idea what service of a FC cost .....

Class A in Sheffield (great service) quote £199 on their site for a HiCap. I can't see a Flatcap being more, if the OP is still interested.

For me it was bass tunefulness. I heard the bass actually being played, as opposed to the player plodding along. It didn't get heavier or flabby.  It lifted off the ground and played tunes. HiCap on CD5 here, and auditioned on CD5X (which we liked but didn't buy).

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of it came down to the room and partnering equipment. You never truly hear how your HiFi system plays, so much as how the room plays it. We spent years looking for more bass. Something which tended to cement our Naim loyalty is that better bass quality didn't overpower the presentation. Then we got to CDX2/XPS2 and the bass was too much, despite extensive speaker repositioning. It took an amp with more control to snap it back in.

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×