ND555 - have pulled the trigger

Bert Schurink posted:
analogmusic posted:

There is no NDS555 to purchase at the moment.

I'm not in the market for one, but if I were, I cannot put a deposit down for a product that is not available for purchase.

I would normally say congratulations, but again that would be for a product that is ready to ship or a product that has a confirmed shipping day in the future.

 

I am not putting a deposit in, just placed the pre-order. So as soon the dealer has it I will get it.

for all the others I will definitely publish a detailed report of my experiences...

i am waiting for your report Bert, and i am a bit jealous too.... Another subject :  you post the link for the jazz lounge live site.  Do you know if there are other than mp4 formats?  i tried 2 downloads but they are on mp4 and impossible to open or listen to them....

French Rooster posted:
Bert Schurink posted:
analogmusic posted:

There is no NDS555 to purchase at the moment.

I'm not in the market for one, but if I were, I cannot put a deposit down for a product that is not available for purchase.

I would normally say congratulations, but again that would be for a product that is ready to ship or a product that has a confirmed shipping day in the future.

 

I am not putting a deposit in, just placed the pre-order. So as soon the dealer has it I will get it.

for all the others I will definitely publish a detailed report of my experiences...

i am waiting for your report Bert, and i am a bit jealous too.... Another subject :  you post the link for the jazz lounge live site.  Do you know if there are other than mp4 formats?  i tried 2 downloads but they are on mp4 and impossible to open or listen to them....

Hi French Rooster,

 

It’s relatively simple. You download it in the offered MP4 and use a freeware program or powerdb to convert it to flac. It’s really a small effort. And so far the audio quality very often surprises me.

rjstaines posted:
Clive B posted:

I will need to decide whether to trade in my NDS for an ND555 and keep my NAP500 non-DR or keep my NDS and have the DR mod done on my NAP500. That will be an interesting two-way demo! I just need to wait until my dealer can get hold of an ND555 - I don't think I'd be willing to make that sort of investment without a serious demo.

Just as you're considering forgoing a NAP500 DR upgrade to help finance an ND555, I'm considering whether or not I want an ND555 more than I want to keep my recently aquired and even more recently serviced CD555, a 'life long' desired CD player.

Life can be difficult at times, can't it?    

(It's at times like this that I regret the lifestyle that led to the loss of my first wife... and half of my estate   )

 

 

Don’t be to hard on yourself. Also had my hard times, but it’s all a learning process and we tend to get to get out of it with rich experiences. Quite a number on the forum like me have to realize that most of our lives is already behind us, we better make the best out of it....

French Rooster posted:..

i am waiting for your report Bert, and i am a bit jealous too.... Another subject :  you post the link for the jazz lounge live site.  Do you know if there are other than mp4 formats?  i tried 2 downloads but they are on mp4 and impossible to open or listen to them....

Lot of confusion with MP4, it’s not actually a format or series of formats, it’s a multimedia file container structure. So if your MP4 is containing AAC lossy or ALAC lossless (which are common music audio formats wrapped within mp4), you may well find simply changing the file extension from .mp4 to .m4a allows your media server or streamer to correctly interpret the wrapper and extract the formats from within. This way no chance of  transcoding errors or metadata errors are introduced and requires no conversion software to do.  Apple introduced the .m4a extension to help reduce this confusion for mp4 wrapped audio formats.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
French Rooster posted:..

i am waiting for your report Bert, and i am a bit jealous too.... Another subject :  you post the link for the jazz lounge live site.  Do you know if there are other than mp4 formats?  i tried 2 downloads but they are on mp4 and impossible to open or listen to them....

Lot of confusion with MP4, it’s not actually a format or series of formats, it’s a multimedia file container structure. So if your MP4 is containing AAC lossy or ALAC lossless (which are common music audio formats wrapped within mp4), you may well find simply changing the file extension from .mp4 to .m4a allows your media server or streamer to correctly interpret the wrapper and extract the formats from within. This way no chance of  transcoding errors or metadata errors are introduced and requires no conversion software to do.  Apple introduced the .m4a extension to help reduce this confusion for mp4 wrapped audio formats.

Even better, thanks for the tip Simon. As always your technical insights help us a lot.

The best thing about buying something so expensive unheard on a punt is that regardless of performance, most people's brains just won't let them hear anything other than a fantastic upgrade. 

Not at all suggesting this will befall the OP and I have just as much faith in Naim to deliver. But in this hobby, I've heard so many dire systems that the owner just could not hear the reality of because to do so would be to admit chucking money down the drain. 

Buying on a punt is fine (even unavoidable for many of us depending on location). But there is a cost threshold for every person after which their subjectivity regarding the purchase falls off a cliff.

feeling_zen posted:

The best thing about buying something so expensive unheard on a punt is that regardless of performance, most people's brains just won't let them hear anything other than a fantastic upgrade. 

Not at all suggesting this will befall the OP and I have just as much faith in Naim to deliver. But in this hobby, I've heard so many dire systems that the owner just could not hear the reality of because to do so would be to admit chucking money down the drain. 

Buying on a punt is fine (even unavoidable for many of us depending on location). But there is a cost threshold for every person after which their subjectivity regarding the purchase falls off a cliff.

You have a point. I based my decision on trust that it will be much better. I am realistic enough to realize when it didn’t bring significant benefit. But we also need to remember that most comparing scenarios are a bit challenging to really compare. And even in those situations we tend to be psychologically influenced by the higher priced item.

There's also the question of value. As we climb the audio tree, the incremental benefit of each subsequent upgrade delivers relatively less improvement per dollar (it must be an asymptotic curve). What seems good value to one person might appear outrageously costly to another. Then we also need to consider the opportunity cost and not just in terms of alternative upgrade paths, but other uses for our disposable income. 

I've got a $200 Allo Digiplayer running into a bare ndac at the moment. There's interesting enough not that much of a difference between it and the ndac fed by a NDS/555DR.

At the moment, I'm comparing the NDS/555DR against NDS/555DR into bare ndac. Totally unexpected, but I'm preferring the latter. 

Either there's something seriously wrong elsewhere in the system - or my hearing ... Or...

I need to borrow  xps Dr cable - to finslly compare the Allo into ndac/555 against the NDS/555.

But yeah, the nd555 isnt happening here - I don't trust naims abilities on the source side post CD anymore. 

A bunch of folks I know are now running uniticore into NDS via spdif. 

I expect a solid PSU on the Allo to take it to the nds level in terms of streaming.

Having said that, the proofs in the pudding - let's see whether it's the NDS of the ndac that gets sold off in a month. Who knows - I might even be among the first  owners of the nd555, throwing good money after bad..

Although - I hate the flashy color screen - and the aesthetics of the new range - so I'll sit this generation out..

It is interesting to me per Mangomonkey:

"I've got a $200 Allo Digiplayer running into a bare ndac at the moment. There's interesting enough not that much of a difference between it and the ndac fed by a NDS/555DR.

At the moment, I'm comparing the NDS/555DR against NDS/555DR into bare ndac. Totally unexpected, but I'm preferring the latter."

I had a NDS/555DR for a couple of years and replaced it with a bare nDAC and I'm very happy with it.  Don't miss the NDS at all.  

Like Mangomonkey, "I don't trust naims abilities on the source side post CD anymore." 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
French Rooster posted:..

i am waiting for your report Bert, and i am a bit jealous too.... Another subject :  you post the link for the jazz lounge live site.  Do you know if there are other than mp4 formats?  i tried 2 downloads but they are on mp4 and impossible to open or listen to them....

Lot of confusion with MP4, it’s not actually a format or series of formats, it’s a multimedia file container structure. So if your MP4 is containing AAC lossy or ALAC lossless (which are common music audio formats wrapped within mp4), you may well find simply changing the file extension from .mp4 to .m4a allows your media server or streamer to correctly interpret the wrapper and extract the formats from within. This way no chance of  transcoding errors or metadata errors are introduced and requires no conversion software to do.  Apple introduced the .m4a extension to help reduce this confusion for mp4 wrapped audio formats.

i finally succeeded in downloading some live albums in the aac (?) format.  But poor sound quality.  A bit disappointing because very interesting live concerts , impossible to find elsewhere.   Probably the same format as in youtube.

We will make a decision when we've heard one in the lounge for a few days. We have the funds set aside but they can just as easily go towards something else if we prefer our NDS. How likely would that be? Probably more unlikely than likely, but nothing will be certain until we get ears on experience. I admire the CD555 greatly for its technical performance. Resolving more detail, clarity, extension, staging, etc. There's little it doesn't excel at - apart from making me want to dig into my pockets for one. For some reason, the presentation just doesn't click for me. I prefer (and am willing to accept the relative limitations of) the presentation of the CDS3, which to me sounds more organic and life like, if a little diffuse at the edges. If the ND555 is to streamers what the CD555 is to CDPs, I'm not betting on it just yet. 

Clive B posted:

There's also the question of value. As we climb the audio tree, the incremental benefit of each subsequent upgrade delivers relatively less improvement per dollar (it must be an asymptotic curve). What seems good value to one person might appear outrageously costly to another.

I have not experienced this with Naim, although admittedly, I haven't been through the entire range, one upgrade at a time. And your second point is the defining one. We've all got our tipping points. No two are the same.

Something like a 252/300 compared to a 282/250, or 552/500 compared to 252/300, is a gigantic leap to my ears. Not more of the same, or the same but different. Not remotely comparable. Not at all the same. The ND5 versus NDX is like listening to different recordings of the same track. Same again with NDX versus NDS, although the difference is narrower. This tends towards agreeing with your first point, and to a degree, it succeeds. But the difference, although full of subtleties and nuance, is fundamental. 

Harry posted:

Something like a 252/300 compared to a 282/250, or 552/500 compared to 252/300, is a gigantic leap to my ears. Not more of the same, or the same but different. Not remotely comparable. Not at all the same. The ND5 versus NDX is like listening to different recordings of the same track. Same again with NDX versus NDS, although the difference is narrower. This tends towards agreeing with your first point, and to a degree, it succeeds. But the difference, although full of subtleties and nuance, is fundamental. 

That used to be true in the pre-DR, post - olive era. In the DR range, comparing 250DR and the 500DR, it really feels like more of the same. 

Harry posted:

I have been fortunate enough to try out a 250DR at home for a month while my 500 was having the mod. My view is that the "not remotely the same" description stands. But that's just my view. 

You would hope that the 250DR and 500DR are not remotely the same due to the disparity in price alone! I doubt many 500DRs would be sold if they were just more of the same compared to a 250DR.

analogmusic posted:

Mango very interesting 

can you elaborate more ?

Well, in the post olive, pre dr era, the 200, 250, 300, 500 really all had different voicings.

The 200 was lean and fast.

The 250.2 fleshed things out, was big and bold, but sometimes felt bloated and slow in comparison to the 200 too -  but had a beguiling addictive, authoritative quality - hard to describe - and was engaging in it's own way.

At the 300 level things got sweeter, more powerful than the 250 but that 'addictive boldness' was gone. That quality would return in the 500, which wasn't as sweet sounding anymore.

Even forum posts from those days talk of folks who preferred the 200 over the 250, and the 200/300 being one camp and the 250/500 being in a different camp etc.

Now - in the DR world, for better or worse, these amps have lost their individual character. They get more powerful, but it's ultimately more, (and at the 500 level a lot more) but of the same.

The DR amps sound different enough from the pre-dr that it would have made more sense to give the range a new name. Or even to allow Pre-DR amps to be ordered.

Same is also true at the 5i-2, xs, supernait vs. 5si, xs-2 and sn2. Speaking to the designer of the amps (steve sells?) he mentioned that the former integrated were all made at different times. However, the latter range was all designed at the same time so is more of the same too.

nigelb posted:

You would hope that the 250DR and 500DR are not remotely the same due to the disparity in price alone! I doubt many 500DRs would be sold if they were just more of the same compared to a 250DR.

I'd probably be a happy 250 owner if that was the case.

Again MM, it's only my subjective view, based on a sample of one - but here goes:

My dislike of the presentation of the pre DR 250 was many faceted, the big take home question marks being around over saturation (as if a loudness button was pushed in and glued there), an overall lack of fine focus and a chopped off top and bottom end. It didn't sound bad as such, but I thought it wasn't particularly musical, wasn't peerless and could be beaten for less. I continued to audition candidates at home and at our ever helpful dealer, including combinations of 202, 282, 200, 250 and 300. We ended up with an integrated costing about 60% of our 282/250 budget.

I had high expectations of the 250DR. Whilst it is impossible to compare the two versions from musical memory, which is unreliable, I was struck by how familiar my reaction was to the 250DR. How much I couldn't make friends with it. And how long it took me to stop listening to music because I either didn't feel like it or I somehow always found something else I needed to do. This took about 10 days.

I've briefly heard a 300DR and I have a 500DR at home. I think that while all sounding somehow "cleaner" and more detailed, they pretty much remain in pecking order for the same reasons, although the bar is higher. I've heard the 500DR described as more like a NAP750. I understand this. I get it. 

MangoMonkey posted:
analogmusic posted:

Mango very interesting 

can you elaborate more ?

Well, in the post olive, pre dr era, the 200, 250, 300, 500 really all had different voicings.

The 200 was lean and fast.

The 250.2 fleshed things out, was big and bold, but sometimes felt bloated and slow in comparison to the 200 too -  but had a beguiling addictive, authoritative quality - hard to describe - and was engaging in it's own way.

At the 300 level things got sweeter, more powerful than the 250 but that 'addictive boldness' was gone. That quality would return in the 500, which wasn't as sweet sounding anymore.

Even forum posts from those days talk of folks who preferred the 200 over the 250, and the 200/300 being one camp and the 250/500 being in a different camp etc.

Now - in the DR world, for better or worse, these amps have lost their individual character. They get more powerful, but it's ultimately more, (and at the 500 level a lot more) but of the same.

The DR amps sound different enough from the pre-dr that it would have made more sense to give the range a new name. Or even to allow Pre-DR amps to be ordered.

Same is also true at the 5i-2, xs, supernait vs. 5si, xs-2 and sn2. Speaking to the designer of the amps (steve sells?) he mentioned that the former integrated were all made at different times. However, the latter range was all designed at the same time so is more of the same too.

Disagree.... here the 250dr sounds nothing like the 500dr ..... when substituting the 500 for the 250 on my 272 there was a huge difference...the 250dr sounds leaner and almost confused in comparison.... the 500dr is fast powerful sophisticated with great spatial layering.....it has to be heard at home in a familiar system to be believed...period.

.

Harry, that's just stating the obvious. You can't compare a 250DR to a 500DR.  Of course they sound different.  They'd better, given the price difference.  But you can't write the 250DR off as uninteresting and nonmusical, something you couldn't make friends with.  Some of us, I guess, will just have to slum it & try to make peace with our 250DRs while we wonder what the truly privileged listen to.

Chag... posted:

Bert; I am just curious. When were you told the lovely box would be delivered? I am considering to take the plunge. 😝

Chag -

There is not a committed or indicated date given. There is a hope of August. I would suggest if you want to have the benefit of timeliness that you do it now, I guess you will get in a row after the Munich show. That’s the row I intended to avoid.

I had a 250dr and I loved it ... it is a great amp...and I thought how can it really get much better than this .... then I plugged in a second hand 15 year old nap500 (non dr and this was on a 272) and I was blown away ... the difference for me could be heard in the 1st 15 seconds. The dr 500 is better again ..... the 250dr is very very good..... but for me the 500 was omg.

analogmusic posted:

I’m happy enjoying music with my 250dr

Both Richard Dane and Steve Sells use 250dr at home but with Naim speakers 

 not the washing machine B&w Harry uses

 

The fact that they both at one point worked for Naim Audio might have as much to do with that choice as might the synergy of the 250DR with those particular Naim speakers as might their preference for that sound.

But I personally tried 250DR and a non DR 300 on both Dynaudio Excite X32's and Contours 3.4's and both times the 300 was better,  it did need a change back to NACA 5 to sound it's best though.

Bob - again, big surprise.  Stating the obvious - no @!#& Sherlock, you prefer the 300 over the 250.  Last time I checked, the 300 was a model up from the 250.  It's also twice the price of a 250.  Gosh - are you telling me it might just be a step up from the 250?  Really?

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