ND555 Impressions

Paul Stephenson posted:

Make sure you have the ground switch in the correct postion- default or floating makes a huge difference in my system 

It is in 'Default' and not floating.

It is a single-source system so I assume this is correct position - not touched it as installed by my Dealer for home demo.

The other things I have changed as discussed.

DB.

I'm letting the new presentation come to me with different music. The fact there is any difference is surprising to an extent and in a weird way reassuring. To be very fair to my Dealer - I auditioned the Ethernet cable in their Dealer Statement system against another more expensive one and we both preferred the one I was fitted with for the home demo.

What this reveals is that home demo results may differ!

I'm not saying this is the best Ethernet cable - but it gave a reference pointing toward a different ultimate cable being the eventual best result. This gives an easy-going if possibly a bit looser sound - certainly less edgy which I prefer.

Hopefully this conversation is useful to others - it has been for me.

I want to assess and make the right choice for me and I don't please easy. It will be good if all the people already with ND555 any happy - stay happy! For me finding out there may be more to come is better than being told you have it all and be quiet!

Another music - related report later. It takes me time to get used to big changes.

DB.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Darke Bear posted

It is in 'Default' and not floating.

It is a single-source system so I assume this is correct position - not touched it as installed by my Dealer for home demo.

Correct it is. 

Are you having a Yoda moment Simon?

Sloop John B posted:
David O'Higgins posted:
Sloop John B posted:
David O'Higgins posted:

I’ve just heard The Byrds ‘eight miles high’ as though for the first time (from the cd box set There Is A Season). What would it be like in 24bit?

Congratulations David, Naim have come up trumps to make sure your early days of retirement are spent revisiting your collection. 

Enjoy. 

.sjb

Thanks John. Will you risk coming over to hear it....?

David

Sure if you're willing to risk listening to HQP upsampling to DSD512 via ultraRendu/LPS1 in to the HoloAudio Spring DAC Level 3 it would be churlish of me not to reciprocate. My listening room is nearly cleared of boxes 9 months after the renovation!

.sjb

That’s a double date, once the day job is dispensed with!

Darke Bear posted:

I'm letting the new presentation come to me with different music. The fact there is any difference is surprising to an extent and in a weird way reassuring. To be very fair to my Dealer - I auditioned the Ethernet cable in their Dealer Statement system against another more expensive one and we both preferred the one I was fitted with for the home demo.

What this reveals is that home demo results may differ!

I'm not saying this is the best Ethernet cable - but it gave a reference pointing toward a different ultimate cable being the eventual best result. This gives an easy-going if possibly a bit looser sound - certainly less edgy which I prefer.

Hopefully this conversation is useful to others - it has been for me.

I want to assess and make the right choice for me and I don't please easy. It will be good if all the people already with ND555 any happy - stay happy! For me finding out there may be more to come is better than being told you have it all and be quiet!

Another music - related report later. It takes me time to get used to big changes.

DB.

Is it the True Signals Ethernet cable you have been using DB or perhaps a QED one? Signals used the QED one for my home dem which sounded great in isolation. Interesting comparing a more expensive cable to a bog standard cheap one and the differences they bring.

For now, Dark Bear, the nd555 and cd555 seem to be very close with cds format. So i imagine that with hirez the nd555 must be well ahead ( ?).

I would like to suggest, if i may suggest, to try some other ethernet cables like chord indigo or audioquest diamond.  Perhaps it can change something.

A new and recent model of cisco 2960 switch can perhaps lift a bit the sound too. It lifted for me a little bit, vs an old refurbished cisco 2960 model.

Anyway this thread is perhaps the most interesting i had the pleasure to read.

A hiatus in my demo and music listening.

So more successful today - as you don't know what you don't know until you know it.

The Ethernet cable thing tells me there is an optimization ahead there, but for now it has let the cat out of the bag and I have fulsome music in a way I like to hear. The Ethernet in non-screened really cheap stuff I've had decades as patch-cables.

Sometimes screening is bad as the Ethernet itself does not need to be screened but rather the screen is meant to prevent RF or general HF fields coupling - but it is very hard to make a screen work at all frequencies and sometimes it actually makes it worse exactly where you don't want it.

The effect was as if the ND555 has been lifted from a burden of handling high-frequencies it did not need to see. With Ethernet it is best if it is just 'good enough' at the receive end that there is a valid open data-eye to get the data correct and no more energy than that.

Anyway my assessment so far:

I'm now very impressed with the ND555 capabilities. Perhaps I really need one - or at least I want one!

What impresses me is the big picture it opens on the music without favoring anything - things are just there and happen and retain their own character. There is no feeling of being held-back or that there is a constraint on the music possibilities - for Active system use this is very good.

I play a lot of older recordings from 70s where they can be very dynamic and untamed in that the performance does not sit within a narrow volume range like most modern recordings do.  For example an early copy of Renaissance 'A Song for all Seasons' of the Album of the same name ranges all over the place and can be a challenge - but the ND555 in this config did it spectacularly well. Lots of ability to convey emotion.

I seem to be trying the top Melco box as well tomorrow to finish-off the home demo before it all goes back at some point in a day - will report if that makes a difference.

Decisions.

DB.

I did inform my wife I wanted to buy a $20,000 Streamer today ! She says we can discuss it and said I am not saying no. But I would like to know how much we can get for the NDS.

if any you previous NDS owners who now own ND555 streamer can write a list of the sonic benefits of ND555 over NDS that would be very nice of you . Just something I can show her . Be enthusiastic!

Michael posted:

Is it the True Signals Ethernet cable you have been using DB or perhaps a QED one? Signals used the QED one for my home dem which sounded great in isolation. Interesting comparing a more expensive cable to a bog standard cheap one and the differences they bring.

This area intrigues me... as some with a ND555 can hear no effect of the network and cables.. ie when the cable is physically disconnected, the music plays out identically, which I understand was a design objective... Now given how it works with the new streamers, data only flows and handshakes for a period of time and then stops.. and no one is reporting a shift in sq as a track play out or at the end of albums or play lists etc.

Therefore I suspect the effects some might hear with cables etc is not network related at all, but possibly more about circulating common mode currents... otherwise known as earth loops.. or common mode RFI from physical conductive connections.. and that suggests inappropriately shielded Ethernet cables or non optimal / or electrically noisy switches etc, or coupled common mode noise. In such circumstances it might be Wifi yields a better result if you are plagued by things, or at least non shielded cable...but I would suggest the effects one hears aren’t actually network related but more a side effect of physical connections and coupled RF noise from other sources as well as earth loops, and DB’s post hints at that. Ie the Ethernet itself is irrelevant !... and actually less is more.... sorry bling merchants 

Michael_B. posted:

Are you not inspired by the stubborn yearning of the ND555 for a Core to try that as well?

I agree,why does nobody use the Core,with a DC1 cable directly into the ND555? Surely this would eliminate Ethernet problems,as it appears to do for me with my lowly N272.Besides that,it is Naim’s own server,new technology and all that.

No quarter posted:
Michael_B. posted:

Are you not inspired by the stubborn yearning of the ND555 for a Core to try that as well?

I agree,why does nobody use the Core,with a DC1 cable directly into the ND555? Surely this would eliminate Ethernet problems,as it appears to do for me with my lowly N272.Besides that,it is Naim’s own server,new technology and all that.

Snap here. I use a Core to Nova, though connected through a wired Cat 6 home network. It’s works well. One promoted benefit of the Core is that it’s a dedicate Hi-Fi To Hi-Fi system, whereas any other system involves some sort of non Hi-Fi computer type arrangement with the potential for noise pollution for whatever reason. Whether  a direct connection would be better would be interesting, I haven’t tested that as my Core and Nova are in separate rooms and I don’t have the cable.

Yes,my Core is on my Fraim,with the DC1 connected to the 272.It also has an Ethernet connection to my router,but that only allows for metadata,and allows me to operate it from my iPad.Shortest distance is usually best,unless they have optimized the ND555 to work better using Ethernet...when all the switches,cables etc. are in order.

Or am I missing something here?

No quarter posted:
Michael_B. posted:

Are you not inspired by the stubborn yearning of the ND555 for a Core to try that as well?

I agree,why does nobody use the Core,with a DC1 cable directly into the ND555? Surely this would eliminate Ethernet problems,as it appears to do for me with my lowly N272.Besides that,it is Naim’s own server,new technology and all that.

As I don’t believe there are Ethernet problems, but more a case of cabling circulating currents and earth loops from user setups and wiring, as long as the SPDIF was glavanically isolated at both ends, which I believe is what Naim do, it should work as effectively as unshielded Ethernet cable(all Ethernet links are galvanivally isolated at both ends), effectively SPDIF is the equivalent of single unbalanced serial link, where as 100 BaseT uses two balanced serial links, one for the  send and the receive direction.

I tried many permutations of Ethernet cables inc AQ Vodka and direct cables such as DC1, true signal audio and blue jean cable spdif......luckily all on loan. The true signal audio cable was the best for me.....then I got a Cisco 2960 and a standard Melco was then as good as the AQ Vodka and sounded the same as the direct True signal spdif.

The spdif route from Core to Nova or ND555...... means you select and play the album from the Core, not as a server from the streamer. This means you will lose the artwork on the screen, if that is an issue for you.

Yes,that is what I do Gazza,in the Naim app I choose the Core,not 272...go to albums,select one,and hit play.The only other drawback is that you lose the volume slider bar when using it this way.I prefer using the remote for volume,so no issue here....and no screen.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Michael posted:

Is it the True Signals Ethernet cable you have been using DB or perhaps a QED one? Signals used the QED one for my home dem which sounded great in isolation. Interesting comparing a more expensive cable to a bog standard cheap one and the differences they bring.

This area intrigues me... as some with a ND555 can hear no effect of the network and cables.. ie when the cable is physically disconnected, the music plays out identically, which I understand was a design objective... Now given how it works with the new streamers, data only flows and handshakes for a period of time and then stops.. and no one is reporting a shift in sq as a track play out or at the end of albums or play lists etc.

Therefore I suspect the effects some might hear with cables etc is not network related at all, but possibly more about circulating common mode currents... otherwise known as earth loops.. or common mode RFI from physical conductive connections.. and that suggests inappropriately shielded Ethernet cables or non optimal / or electrically noisy switches etc, or coupled common mode noise. In such circumstances it might be Wifi yields a better result if you are plagued by things, or at least non shielded cable...but I would suggest the effects one hears aren’t actually network related but more a side effect of physical connections and coupled RF noise from other sources as well as earth loops, and DB’s post hints at that. Ie the Ethernet itself is irrelevant !... and actually less is more.... sorry bling merchants 

Now that really does make sense Simon.

Michael_B. posted:

Are you not inspired by the stubborn yearning of the ND555 for a Core to try that as well?

Why should a ND555 be yearning for a Core? Melcos, Antipodes CX, Innuos Zenith all offer isolated, direct LAN outputs, far better UPnP servers, standard metadata file formats, better interoperability ... 

No quarter posted:
Michael_B. posted:

Are you not inspired by the stubborn yearning of the ND555 for a Core to try that as well?

I agree,why does nobody use the Core,with a DC1 cable directly into the ND555? Surely this would eliminate Ethernet problems,as it appears to do for me with my lowly N272.Besides that,it is Naim’s own server,new technology and all that.

I guess because a significant part of the costs of the ND555 is justified by the effort at implementing a very good Ethernet input. If one was interested in using the ND555 as a SPDIF DAC, then perhaps a Naim DAC or a Chord DAC with SPDIF input would be more natural and much cheaper options?

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Michael posted:

Is it the True Signals Ethernet cable you have been using DB or perhaps a QED one? Signals used the QED one for my home dem which sounded great in isolation. Interesting comparing a more expensive cable to a bog standard cheap one and the differences they bring.

...
...but I would suggest the effects one hears aren’t actually network related but more a side effect of physical connections and coupled RF noise from other sources as well as earth loops, and DB’s post hints at that. Ie the Ethernet itself is irrelevant !... and actually less is more.... sorry bling merchants 

Yes, everything else would make little sense or, indeed, be very disappointing. Still, I find it worrying that swapping a cable has such an effect. Hopefully the Ethernet input of the ND555 is not that sensitive and it turns out that something was particularly bad with the original cable or with DB's physical network.

No quarter posted:

Ok thanks Simon,good to hear I am not going crazy...you could also add ferrites to the DC1,for an experiment,it jut seems so much simpler to me.I did check the website,and it does have a BNC digital input.

Sure, all Naim DACs have SPDIF inputs, the streamers also have Ethernet inputs, of course.

If one plans to use the ND555 as a SPDIF DAC (e.g., fed by a Naim Core) than the most natural terms of comparison would probably be a Naim DAC and a Naim NDS, the latter also connected via SPDIF.

I guess when the ND555 is used as a SPDIF DAC adding a second PSU makes no difference and the comparison would be between ND555+555PS, NDS+555PS and DAC+555PS? 

No quarter posted:
Michael_B. posted:

Are you not inspired by the stubborn yearning of the ND555 for a Core to try that as well?

I agree,why does nobody use the Core,with a DC1 cable directly into the ND555? Surely this would eliminate Ethernet problems,as it appears to do for me with my lowly N272.Besides that,it is Naim’s own server,new technology and all that.

I would imagine people wanting to go down that route might be waiting for NDAC2 rather than blowing £20k on a streamer and not streaming. 

I never knew that,that is why I asked if I am missing something.But do we know for sure that this is a worse way of doing it?Using the Core,you can try using Ethernet,thus “streaming”...,or BNC,which I still think is streaming.It would be nice if somebody at least gave it a try.Why did Naim design the Core this way then,if Ethernet is a supposed far better method,and to be clear,I prefer the sound from MY Core using BNC over Ethernet.To me,they are all just different digital inputs,or maybe I need to do some reading.

Bert Schurink posted:

The stories above also tell me to be cautious with the Ethernet connection. I have the feeling I have great results with my Vodka Cable between the Melco and the ND555, so will seriously consider in case I would get tempted to go to a Chord Music .....

4K Ethernet cable on a 13k streamer ?

blimey..... 

nbpf posted:
Michael_B. posted:

Are you not inspired by the stubborn yearning of the ND555 for a Core to try that as well?

Why should a ND555 be yearning for a Core? Melcos, Antipodes CX, Innuos Zenith all offer isolated, direct LAN outputs, far better UPnP servers, standard metadata file formats, better interoperability ... 

That was an attempt at humour: DB reported that the ND555 occasionally looks for a Core.... from which if nothing else (and more seriously) it looks as if the ND555 was designed to work with the Core. There might even be some synergy between the two.

No quarter posted:

You lost me NBPF...why is it not still a streamer?Insread of feeding the music from a NAS,you are feeding it from a Core,they both do the same thing...serve music that you have stored to the streamer (ND555).?

It does not really matter whether the ND555 is called a streamer, a network player or something else. What matters is that, as documented in https://www.naimaudio.com/site...Paper%20Final_0.pdf, the ND555 entails, among others, a DAC board and a digital board, see Figure 1 in the above white paper.

The digital board provides two inputs to the DAC board: ethernet (wired and wireless) and S/PDIF. This was also the case for the NDS whereas the old Naim  DAC only comes with S/PDIF inputs. As an aside, the ND555's digital board also provides a S/PDIF output. Thus, the ND555 can also be connected to an external DAC. Hence it indeed is, among others, a network player!

Now the Core is both a UPnP server and a S/PDIF player. As a S/PDIF player, it can be directly connected to the ND555's S/PDIF input (or to the S/PDIF inputs of a Naim DAC or of a NDS). As a UPnP server, it can provide files to the ethernet inputs of the ND555, again via cable or wireless. In contrast to similar devices by Melco, Antipodes, etc., however, the Core does not come with a second RJ45 port for direct, isolated connection to devices like the ND555. This means that you will need a good switch (and its PSU) if you decide to use the Core (or, in fact, any NAS or other computer) as a UPnP server for the ND555. This fact together with other limitations of the Core's UPnP server makes it a less interesting proposition as a UPnP server, in my view. It is an interesting S/PDIF player, however. But then, as CHRISSU points out above, one probably would not buy a ND555 only to feed it via S/PDIF. Although I think that it would be interesting to know how it compares to the old Naim DAC: the whitepaper suggests that the coupling between the DAC board and the S/PDIF inputs has been improved. The question is, of course, by how much.

Anyway, I think that the ND555 (and the upcoming NDX2) are very interesting devices. I would have much preferred to see Naim offering both the ND55 and the NDX2 in versions with and without screen and with the streaming board as an optional add-on, but still they are interesting devices.  

No quarter posted:

I never knew that, that is why I asked if I am missing something. But do we know for sure that this is a worse way of doing it?

...

We do not know of course and your question is absolutely at place! On the other hand, if I planned not to use the streaming section of a streamer I would probably not buy a streamer in the first place. What I actually would like to see is more manufacturers offering DACs with optional and upgreadable boards. For inputs like ethernet, USB, S/PDIF, etc. but also for DAC sections. Anyway, hopefully we will soon have a better picture of what the ND555 and the NDX2 bring to the table. I think that meaningful comparisons would be at least

- ND555 (NDX2) vs. NDS, both directly connected via cable to the same server with dedicated ethernet output or to the same switch.

- ND555 (NDX2) vs. DAC, both directly connected to the same S/PDIF source.

For current and perspective users of Naim streamers it might also be interesting to keep in mind that both UpTone Audio and Sonore are about to come out with new network switches which are meant to improve over the Cisco, SoTM, etc. switches, see various threads in the CA forums.

 

Add Reply

Likes (7)
AndrewGAlan McGoverngroxMinh NguyenLifesabreezeKlydeEmre
×
×
×
×