If the 552 DR is so good, why desire the Statement?

I need to challenge people here as if one looks through older posts, the 52 was once the bees knees.  Of course its updated model is better, but then the praise and words said for the 552 make one think THAT was the pinnacle.

No post says the 552 is lacking. None. So why desire the Statement?

(And how is the 52 now viewed?!)

Human fickleness is perplexing. Maybe that's the wrong word, but when the 'Statement 2' comes out, how will the Statement be commented on... e.g. "I was listening to superb hifi but now the band is properly in the room".

Curious, don't you think?

Don't spoil what you have with what you wish for!

Original Post

Money... Its a Gas  - Gear Acquisition Syndrome

Part of Human nature...? Need a better/longer, whatever - spear, chariot, etc. In modern days its cars, hifi, cameras, mobile phones - almost endless - oh - guitars too...  Whenever Version n+1 arrives, or is announced, some people just 'have to have it'. Others take much longer - some wait until version n is no longer supported or simply won't work - to go to n+1 - by which time the current version is n+ ??  whatever.

I see it as a way of feeding the used/pre-loved market.... Yes, please - you Early Adopters - upgrade now - so I can buy your old stuff for a lot less....

In Naim Hifi, I would accept a 52 going cheap - as an 82 user. But I need a cheap Super Cap first....!  In phones, my next phone will be an iPhone 7, as/when my iPhone 6 is no longer whatever. 

This urge can be resisted - often the lack of funds forces this. But you can see on this Forum, how the 'well provided for' can get carried away...

Consciousmess posted:

when the 'Statement 2' comes out, how will the Statement be commented on

I wouldn't hold my breath on that happening. If Naim are dedicating resources to a son of Statement they've got some misplaced priorities, at least in the near term.

Don't know for sure but I like to think Naim built the statement because they wanted to build the best amp possible, to push the boundaries and see what is possible regardless of r&d costs. The fact a British company like Naim are doing this is fantastic.

Of course spending that kind of money does seem obscene when people are starving, but that's a debate for another day, in the meantime I think we should celebrate Naim built the best they could. 

Gary

Adam Meredith posted:

I thought this question  was the pinnacle of enquiry - and wonder why you would desire to ask, yet, another one.

I suppose it makes a change from 'how do I connect my hicap' at least. Ian's response above sums it up rather well, I thought. There will always be something better, the issue is whether one feels the need to have it. Why buy a Rolex for £5,000 when a Casio for £30 does the same thing and is more accurate? Getting a Statement when you already have a 552 is no different really. 

The 552DR is very, very good indeed. Head and shoulders above the 282/SCDR and 252/SCDR.  But then it should be given its cost.  I've also heard the S1. I wasn't sure what to expect but, my goodness, it revealed stuff in very familiar recordings that just had me laughing out loud. But then it cost 2.5 times the 552DR.  

I think there's a couple of factors to weigh here. First how much do you want to spend (and can afford) on your hi-fi relative to the performance that's going to give you the enjoyment you seek? Second, system balance. Even if I was tempted to replace my 552DR with an S1, it really wouldn't make sense unless I was prepared to upgrade other components to enable the S1 to release the level of performance that I know it is capable of.  For example, in Darke Bear's system it makes sense. In mine I don't think it would.

Does having heard the S1 mean I enjoy my system any less? Not a one bit. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

I suppose it makes a change from 'how do I connect my hicap' at least. Ian's response above sums it up rather well, I thought. There will always be something better, the issue is whether one feels the need to have it. Why buy a Rolex for £5,000 when a Casio for £30 does the same thing and is more accurate? Getting a Statement when you already have a 552 is no different really. 

@hungryhalibut - Eye Thang Yew...  

Building on the Casio vs Rolex comparison - how about a Seiko...? Much closer to the Rolex - looks similar, works similarly - probably as accurate as a Rolex, too. But more cost effective - IMO (I have one - an SKX007). 

The other danger is to forget how good the previous model was. So, the 52 was not slouch - but the 552 is a bit better - and the Statement more so again. Try cameras instead - I will argue than any decent DSLR with about 10Mp (or more) is good enough - you do not need 36Mp (in fact, such a camera will likely strain your computer, due to the sheer size of files it can generate). So, my Nikon D700 is again the Seiko equivalent - IMO. 

Personally, with limited resources, I would rather have the older model (used, cheaper), originally higher up the food chain, that the shiny new one lower down. So, back to NaimFi - I would only aspire to, say, a used 52-SC, from my used 82-HC. I am pretty sure that would be good enough for me.

 

 

Richard Dane posted:

Crikey Nigel, I'm not sure about your analogy - the NAC552 is a Casio to the Statement's Rolex?  

This is actually a very interesting hifi analogy - not specifically 552 and Statement vs Casio and Rolex, though that may indeed be valid, but rather in its generality: is any individual's purpose of having a watch to tell the time, accurately and reliably, or is it, instead or also, something else? And of course it depends on what the something else is (e.g I haven't yet seen a Rolex I would deign to put on my arm even if given one, though there are certainly watches  I prefer to Casios I've seen and would be happy to wear, some of which may be considerably cheaper, or more expensive, than Rolexes - but that is choosing for looks: useless (to me)  if not reliable and [sufficiently] accurate).

Much the same for a particular hifi component or system - is it there for its accuracy (ability to reproduce the original signal perfectly), or as close as that can be achieved in practice, and reliably, or is it there to make the sound in some way different, presumabltpy more how the individual likes it to sound, whether that be emphasising some aspect the listener likes or de-emphasising something not liked, or is it there for its appearance or some statement it makes, etc.

Whichever it is is not right or wrong, though it is useful to know what is someone's intent for a music reproduction system if considering recommendations they might make, but that is digressing from the theme of this thread.

MDS posted:

Does having heard the S1 mean I enjoy my system any less? Not a one bit. 

I was thinking, I enjoy my 52 even more. 

Question:   Do Naim have a front end that can do the S1 justice? NDS, CD555. I don't think so.

Leeds me to think Naim MUST have something in the works. If they haven't maybe vitus do

 

I wasn't aligning the Casio watch with the 552, for the benefit of the more literal minded. The point was that if you have a Casio and it tells the time, why do you want a Rolex? It's like one's hifi - it plays music quite happily, so why do you want something better? There are many reasons of course and that's down to the individual. It's about deciding what's 'good enough', and that's different for different people. 

There is another question that the OP might like to ask - what's your hifi to house price ratio? What's you hifi to car price ratio? The list is endless, and all it reveals is that different people have different priorities. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

There is another question that the OP might like to ask - what's your hifi to house price ratio? What's you hifi to car price ratio? The list is endless, and all it reveals is that different people have different priorities. 

@hungryhalibut - Lols. Like it...!  Perhaps that should be a key question...? Dear OP - What Car do you own/drive....?  Might give a better insight. Although I am sure some may have 500 series with DBL's, but drive a 20 year old Volvo....  Or have a just a Muso or Unity - yet have a Porsche 911, an Aston Martin DB7, a BMW 7 series and a Bentley....

Groundhog Day...!

Pcd posted:

Only ever one Casio watch it was accurate twice a day as it was stopped more that it was going despite being repaired by Casio 

My 40 year old Seiko is still going strong.

 

My Seiko died in 7 years, my 25+ yo Casio is still going fine!

Both are anecdotal experiences!


I hope my 272 / 555DR & 300DR are still all going fine in 25years - more to the point, I hope I'M still going fine in 25 years!

MDS posted:

The 552DR is very, very good indeed. Head and shoulders above the 282/SCDR and 252/SCDR.  But then it should be given its cost.  I've also heard the S1. I wasn't sure what to expect but, my goodness, it revealed stuff in very familiar recordings that just had me laughing out loud. But then it cost 2.5 times the 552DR.  

I think there's a couple of factors to weigh here. First how much do you want to spend (and can afford) on your hi-fi relative to the performance that's going to give you the enjoyment you seek? Second, system balance. Even if I was tempted to replace my 552DR with an S1, it really wouldn't make sense unless I was prepared to upgrade other components to enable the S1 to release the level of performance that I know it is capable of.  For example, in Darke Bear's system it makes sense. In mine I don't think it would.

Does having heard the S1 mean I enjoy my system any less? Not a one bit. 

The S1 just does a better job than the 552 - it was significantly better in the context of the rest of my system that it made sense, if anything at this price-point can be said to make sense.

When I first had my home-demo of the 552 it was clear it was in a different league of performance to the 252 I'd just home-demoed, in terms of clarity, timing and retrieval and rendering of fine musical details. It just sounded 'right' and it was a no-brainer purchase. I'd previously found that Naim Power Amps obviously excelled but I'd not quite got on with the Pre Amps in the same way - they seemed a mix of strengths and (to me) some weaknesses; the 552 cleared all problems and was obviously superior in ways I liked and was a relief to hear.

The DR upgrade to the 552 took it further along, but I'd not say it was as big an upgrade to the basic musical performance of the 552 as the DR upgrade was to the 500 Amp, which was staggering to me.

Then the S1 Pre entered the field and in the context of my Active system with three NAP500 Amps I wanted to hear if the 552 could be really bettered that significantly lifted the musical performance of my system. I had the home-demo and it was obvious the S1 was in its own league of performance and the comparisons with the 552 showed obvious gains. It had an overall confident unflappable delivery of music with an ease that puts the listener at ease which once you experience it you understand; you are deeper into the music and not hearing any HiFi aspects as much - it is neutral in a very positive way.

It also had far better bass delivery, going very deep and powerful with ease - I think the ladder volume control with lack of coupling caps is easy to hear with the improved low-frequence phase performance. The mid-band is more revealing and neutral, allowing you to hear details unheard before - and and the high-frequency end had far greater range and lower distortion, having an airy 'valve-like' quality without any compromises that can also come with valves. It was obvious it was not just 'better' but transformational to my system, so I purchased. The only reason I don't have a set of Statement Power Amps too is that they would break the remaining piggy-bank if I want to remain Active - and having compared, I do want to remain Active!  The S1 Pre made my Active system sound 'happy' and better balanced and I'm more deeply content with it than I ever remember being before, so it was worth it - for me.

So that is why I changed to Statement S1 Pre. It is not that the 552 is poor, far from it, but that the S1 Pre is so much better, but at a price.

DB.

I think these financial and watch comparisons are a bit meaningless.

It's all about the performance. The 552 performs better than a 282, and there is no doubt about that.

I'm sure the S1 has even a bigger performance gap to the 552 than 552 to 282.

 

how else can Naim ask for 2.5 the price of 552 for an S1? 

ok I see DB has already clarified before I posted.

having said all this, after many many tests and experiments, I think we need to remember that no - preamp can actually improve on a source, it can only do increasingly less damage to the signal which originates from the source.

This weekend I had the luck to test again, Linn KDS/1 vs CD555 and a Chord Dave on a 552/500 system.

There are clear differences between all 3 sources, and I'm not sure that for example, a Naim S1 preamp upgrade from 552 can turn a KDS/1 streamer into a CD555. These have quite different voicing, and the brands of all 3 companies are easily identifiable.

All 3 sources play music quite differently and this is quite easily heard through a 552. I find it a big puzzling when preamps are referred to as having a character of their own, when in fact the very best preamps are not supposed to have any character at all.

I think based on what I can hear, more gains are to be had by choosing the very best source and, and then buy the preamp that one can afford, but only after maxing out the source.

That's what I did anyway, and I'm happy with my decision.

analogmusic posted:

well, it is after all, a matter of money.

It is a bit like saying I love my BMW 750, so why desire a Bentley

Or better still if you have a 430 Scuderia, a LA Ferrari, 918 or MC P1 blow the former into the weeds

Btw Mr answer should dispel any doubt.

Regards

Roberto

analogmusic posted:

well, it is after all, a matter of money.

It is a bit like saying I love my BMW 750, so why desire a Bentley

Welcome back, Conscious Mess!

4 hours, and over 20 replies, I asked for an opinion from the Active Club 4 Days ago, zero!

But Analog has summed it up, in one word, Money!

But allow me to share, a brief episode, of how Money affected my disposition! 

Way back in 1995, I thought, what the heck a sports car!

Three choices came to mind!

Chrysler's Viper

Mercedes Benz 500 SL

Cadillac Allante

You guessed it, the last year they were produced, 1993!

Hence

Of course, I didn't fork out 65 K USD in 1993, but 45K in 1995 was no small potatoes!

Similar to an, 2015 open box 250.2, 4K full warranty kind of deal!

But it always felt nice, to sport top of the line Technology, at its best!

Especially when other sport car owners, complemented me and my car!

But the most fun, was when 2nd tier car owners, challenged me!

Of course, I was always on the look out, cruising 3 miles above the minium speed limit!

Those were the days, for the most part, The Brand New 32 value 295 HP North Star done it's job, even when I came across, the 325 HP Corvette!

When it's all said and done, your money may be long, but life is short!

Enjoy your Pre-Amp!

S1>552>252>282

Naim's Marque Separate Pre-Amps!

Allante93!

PS. S1 Active 500's with 800s!

Wow!

Darke Bear posted:
MDS posted:

 

The S1 just does a better job than the 552 - it was significantly better in the context of the rest of my system that it made sense, if anything at this price-point can be said to make sense.

When I first had my home-demo of the 552 it was clear it was in a different league of performance to the 252 ........

DB.

S1>552>252>282

Naim's Marque Separates

Didn't know you had posted DB, but as you can see I was point on!

Funny thing, one will never know unless they pull the trigger!

I'm not talking, test driving a Ferrari, but owning a Ferrari!

Allante93!

PS. Reply was delayed, my Cousin just pulled up in his Brand new 2 Seater Mercedes Benz!

SL5502017

$110,800* MSRP

  • Engine4.7L V8 biturbo
  • Horsepower449
  • Acceleration4.3 sec0 to 60 †
 

Nice! Of course, I didn't ask him, how much!

S1 ~ 90K

 

I've had my 552 for just over four months now. I've now recovered from the financial hit, it's sounding very very good now (nearly as good as the demo one o borrowed) and I'm really happy with my system. I do a manual job and have to physically work to pay for anything, I'm not prepared to suffer endless hours on the tools to afford an S1. I'd like to work slightly less and enjoy my 552. That's my situation.

I've had the chance to compare the 552 vs S1.  The shop owner asked me bluntly, "Are you sure you want to do this....it's hard to go back".  He was right, the S1 was in another world compared to the 552.  It didn't take more than a few seconds of listening to hear the difference.  With a significantly lowered noise floor, everything sounded more natural and real.  It's a remarkable achievement.  I only wish they'd build an Statement-integrated with a built-in streamer.  I'd be first in line to buy such a product.   

Consciousmess posted:

I need to challenge people here as if one looks through older posts, the 52 was once the bees knees.  Of course its updated model is better, but then the praise and words said for the 552 make one think THAT was the pinnacle.

No post says the 552 is lacking. None. So why desire the Statement?

(And how is the 52 now viewed?!)

Human fickleness is perplexing. Maybe that's the wrong word, but when the 'Statement 2' comes out, how will the Statement be commented on... e.g. "I was listening to superb hifi but now the band is properly in the room".

Curious, don't you think?

More detail, more space between the instruments, more body in the sound, 3d space, more slam in the bass etc this never ending detail in the recordings is my favorite 

Or because you can...

Or pride of ownership..

Or no drugs no girls no gambling this iş the only thing i can spend my money on...

But also budget wise some people's statement is some people's muso

If i had the funda i would buy it looks cool!

Can i use statement pre with 300dr? mono blocks are expensive

Frank F posted:

Going back to the watch analogy, I have a Seiko divers automatic, underwater you can't change a battery but you are always moving your arm.  More reliability, enjoyment and sufficient accuracy.

You can always relate this theme to analogue vs digital.

FF

Frank F , when my Casio packed up as mentioned I purchased a Citizen Eco Drive Titanium very light and no arm waving not sure whether this would be analogue , digital or a Hybrid ? either way a nice watch.  

I have recently changed over to a 552dr and it is fabulous ... the tonality and punchyness is pure Naim indulgence.... the gentleman I bought the 552dr from said..... 'the 272 opens the door a little the 552 is wide open.... and the S1 is the door wide open and the patio doors fully open!!!' 

Richieroo posted:

I have recently changed over to a 552dr and it is fabulous ... the tonality and punchyness is pure Naim indulgence.... the gentleman I bought the 552dr from said..... 'the 272 opens the door a little the 552 is wide open.... and the S1 is the door wide open and the patio doors fully open!!!' 

@ Richieroo

Excuse me OP, for going off topic, but Rich how is that DD 10 +, its been on my wish list for a long time!

2nd System:

Primare Pre 30

Arcam P 1 Mono Blocks

Arcam P35 Three Channel 

Emotiva surround sound processor

Vienna Acoustics Baby Grands> P1 monos

vienna Acoustics Grand Waltz> P35

Sold my Linn Sizmick 5 years ago, and never replaced it!

Thinking about an OLED!

Hence, DD 10 +

Allante93!

Hi the DD10+ has been one of the best things I have ever purchased ..... it is so tuneful tight and responsive .... you don't know it's there its like your speakers have grown in size 10 fold. The key is the excellent room sampling and equalisation so it ties in with your other speakers. I think the another important aspect is to have a small speaker with good fast bass control down to around 60hz and then cross over and integrate. Also have a look at the SVS 13 ultra sealed much cheaper but very impressive. My personal preference is for a sealed sub I think they are faster. The DD10+ will go down to 20hz easily .... and will work into moderate size rooms. Don't expect massive spls from a small sub....in hi fi terms it's perfect. 

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