NDS

I have NDS (2018) and 555DR with 252 / 300DR into SL2. Also a RP8 / Aria as my “other” source. The difference in musical involvement between RP8 and the NDS is significant. I’m trying to work out why the NDS isn’t doing it for me to the extent that I’m considering just running the RP8 and possibly buying a NAT01 instead of the NDS / 555. The only thing I can think of is the interconnect from NDS into the 252. It’s the standard Naim one but surely that was designed to have the NDS sounding as Naim intended without “needing” to buy another interconnect for goodness knows what cost? And yes I have removed all 4 transit bolts from the NDS.

Anyone else experienced similar?

Kind regards

David

Original Post

The upgrade path for the NDS was Hi-line and Powerline mains cable. Might be worth borrowing a set from a dealer? I am sure other owners like Nigelb can give you some pointers. Others on the forum have talked about the benefits of a full superlumina loom rather than a mix of cables you have at present. But that would be expensive. Your post and system details don,t mention any particular support....Fraim would be beneficial.

I must confess mine has always been magical-with and without DR'ing the 552.

I guess your situation makes me wonder about things like whether the PS needs a service, racks, connections and other things. Certainly I'd not suggest throwing money at it Your system 'should' sound fantastic.

Maybe you are looking for a 'vinyl' sound from the NDS and that is not really what it does? Try borrowing a good CD player (CDS3 if you can) and see how that compares to the NDS perhaps?

Bruce

This may sound an odd question, but how did you feel when you had the 272 as streaming source alongside the RP8? I certainly don’t recall you saying that the difference in musical involvement was significant. The CDS3 should be quite a bit better, without needing to spend even more. 

I agree with Bruce. I have the same source/amplification as you but have a 250DR on the end. I did find SuperLumina interconnect gave a great uplift, having perviously used stock, HiLine and Chord Sarum Tuned Aray I/Cs. If you can borrow a SL interconnect you will be able to establish if this gets you towards that analogue signature you seem to be searching for.

I suspect however that there is something else causing the SQ to not be doing it for you, but borrowing the interconnect won't cost you anything. I have a SL full loom but it was the IC I changed to SL first and it gave me the biggest uplift.

Your profile does not mention what rack you use but I found full fat Fraim made a significant positive improvement to SQ. Your system really warrants the best rack you can accommodate.

I agree that the first step should be to borrow a superior interconnect. The hiline did raise the bar on my NDS but the real step change came with the SL interconnect. A good dealer should lend you one. Whatever the oucome of trying that it should give some food for thought on the other suggestions made.

It may be significant that those that have posted in support of the NDS don't run vinyl players in their system. Does SuperLumina play a part too when an NDS is the source? It would have been developed with the NDS I suppose as the ND555 was a few years off (though I could see it, or at least an NDS replacement coming from around 2016). Now that player has me wondering if life without LPs could be tolerable, even without the SL cables (for me the cost of the ND555 precludes SL cabling even if it were to work with my speaker placement).

Thanks all.

HH - With the 272 there was no significant difference between RP8 and the streamer but I view that as more a consequence of the quality of the 252/SC and what it brings to the RP8/Aria replay in comparison to the preamp in the 272.

This is how it's set up (rack wise). Oak supports (akin to HiFi racks) with fraim style glass and naim cups / balls.

IMG_0073

 

That does indeed look very well set up. The only thing I would point out is that HiFi Racks type racking is not the best for Naim gear and SQ, and the level of gear you have is very sensitive to placement and racking.

But I am in no way advocating you changee it all over to Fraim and I am not claiming that this is the source of your disappointment with the NDS. Just an observation to mull over.

S3 posted:

Thanks all.

HH - With the 272 there was no significant difference between RP8 and the streamer but I view that as more a consequence of the quality of the 252/SC and what it brings to the RP8/Aria replay in comparison to the preamp in the 272.

This is how it's set up (rack wise). Oak supports (akin to HiFi racks) with fraim style glass and naim cups / balls.

IMG_0073

 

That set-up looks superb. All the matching wood sets it off a treat. 

They may look good but they have to sound good too. I tried a Hifi Racks stand once and it was crap. I certainly wouldn’t use it with a CDS3, but again it’s not necessarily the root of the issue. Maybe the OP just prefers the sound of vinyl and that it’s as simple as that. 

hungryhalibut posted:

This may sound an odd question, but how did you feel when you had the 272 as streaming source alongside the RP8? I certainly don’t recall you saying that the difference in musical involvement was significant. The CDS3 should be quite a bit better, without needing to spend even more. 

When you say the CDS3 is quite a bit better,  do you mean more anlogue sounding to the RP8 or better than a NDS? Only asking as I’m looking at future streaming options.

SL interconnect made quite a diffrence to my CDS3 it was very similar to a box upgrade that I wouldn’t have thought possible until I tried it. 

Andy

hungryhalibut posted:

They may look good but they have to sound good too. I tried a Hifi Racks stand once and it was crap. I certainly wouldn’t use it with a CDS3, but again it’s not necessarily the root of the issue. Maybe the OP just prefers the sound of vinyl and that it’s as simple as that. 

The system sounds very good indeed. I’m just curious as to why my RP8 sounds more involving than the NDS/555 which, until the ND555 came along, was supposed to be Naim’s top source. 

piggy posted:
hungryhalibut posted:

This may sound an odd question, but how did you feel when you had the 272 as streaming source alongside the RP8? I certainly don’t recall you saying that the difference in musical involvement was significant. The CDS3 should be quite a bit better, without needing to spend even more. 

When you say the CDS3 is quite a bit better,  do you mean more anlogue sounding to the RP8 or better than a NDS? Only asking as I’m looking at future streaming options.

SL interconnect made quite a diffrence to my CDS3 it was very similar to a box upgrade that I wouldn’t have thought possible until I tried it. 

Andy

Sorry, I meant to say NDS. The NDS should be better than the 272 was my point. In an early review of the 272 the reviewer said it was 85% of the NDS when used with a 555PS, so with the 252 in place the NDS should be well ahead of the RP8 I’d have thought. But digital and vinyl are different and it’s hard to say which is ‘better’. It’s more a preference than an absolute. 

Hi S3

Whilst playing with interconnects may change the presentation and bring some improvements it sounds as though there is something else fundamentally wrong.  Before spending more money I would check some basics.  I have an NDS and whilst it is a wonderful player, I have found it can be a little demanding of setup and what you feed it.  The Fraim is very good but you already have the isolation from the glass and balls, so I would look elsewhere first.

Firstly, whilst your setup looks neat and tidy, I would look at your Burndy cables.  Are they touching the wall, floor or maybe mains cables?  They need to hang freely and do some research about (and be careful what you type into the search function here!) massaging your burndies!😏

One big leap in performance for me came from feeding it via a Melco.  I understand that this will be system dependent, but I have used an HDX and more latterly a Synology NAS running minimserver where there was no discernible difference. I happened across borrowing a Melco one day (just the base model N1a) and this brought about a serious improvement.  I'm not going to suggest why it made so much difference, that's another topic, but it did and it was the best upgrade per £ that I have made in a long time.

This may or may not be as effective in your system, but my point is that the NDS needs to be fed a quality signal to reproduce it well; source first and all that!

 

 

 

 

Thanks Jason. I took great care with cable dressing (particularly with the NDS / 555 burndies which hang freely without touching anything). Not sure if I massaged them but I suppose I could!

IMG_0074

My NAS is a Naim UnitiServe. 

Best regards

David

Ok David,

It looks ok, but I suspect something is not quite right somewhere.  Do you have a dealer who can help you?

If not, I would turn everything off and disconnect the burndies, gently massage/manipulate them being careful not to twist them, and reinstall ensuring they are not twisted and hang freely/comfortably.  Take note of how they are connected when you take them out (the connectors have to be correctly rotated around 360 degrees, note the key ways on the plug and socket- they need to line up before you can replace them and twist lock them back on). When you replace them, ensure the cables are connected in the right direction (they are directional and the coloured collars under the braided layer should be towards the NDS end).

Also, are you running the latest software (4.6.00)?

All worth trying/checking and costs nothing... good luck!

 

Thanks Jason. Worth showing the the burndy connections (how they sit in their housings):

The NDS end:

IMG_0075

The 555 end:

 

IMG_0076

It has always slightly troubled me that they don't all sit in the same configuration as the left one at the 555 end. That has "burndy" written facing up whereas the others are all seated at different positions (upside down etc). I guess all must be correct as that was the only way to have the connect and lock properly but it does seem odd. Is that standard?

Best

David

Hi David,

Ive checked mine and (as we look at them as photographed) the left Burndy is positioned slightly differently with the word Burndy rotated around 90 degrees clockwise and on the left side of the plug as we look at it.  That's not to say that one is right and the other is not, but I am aware that the actual cable can rotate within the plug if the cable retention clamp is loose. This can affect sound quality, so be careful not to twist the cable as it enters the plug if it is loose.

This difference I am seeing could merely be a difference in manufacturing anyway, so I wouldn't get too concerned over it, I am just aware that the Burndy setup, or a faulty Burndy, can quite dramatically affect the sound quality, so thought it worth a check.  It simply wouldn't work if you had plugged it in wrong, which I don't think you would be able to do anyway.

It looks ok, but you have invested a good deal of your hard earned and it should be outperforming your RP8 and giving you a performance you won't want to stop listening to.  Mine does that for me and my amplifier is somewhat less than that in your system, so I would really recommend speaking with a good dealer and discussing this.

One other thought; if you put a decent quality file on a USB stick, plug it into the NDS and play from the stick, does it sound any different?

 

 

Thanks Jason. That’s reassuring. I’ll probably disconnect in the next few days to give the whole thing a clean and will take that opportunity to massage my Burndies😂

I’m not convinced that there is anything fundamentally wrong with the NDS or it’s set up. I think it’s more the staggering uplift in the RP8’s performance as a result of pairing it with the 252 that has made me question it. With the 272 the RP8 was ok but nothing like it is now. I guess that proves how critical the preamp is to overall performance. That said your observations on the Melco are interesting and I think I’ll probably need to invest in a better interconnect for the NDS at some point 😧

Regards

David

 

S3,
A switch off, disconnect and reconnect of the NDS cables may be all that is required.  I once had a similar experience when the 52/135s sounded flat and lifeless for no reason.  A switch off, disconnect and reconnect did the trick.  Why?  No idea but it did.

Another option may be that the sonic signature of the NDS doesn't connect with you emotionally as well as vinyl does on a good turntable.  I looked to replace the CDS3 with an NDS (with middle Melco server feeding it).  The NDS sounded fine but I couldn't connect with the music properly, so the CDS3 has stayed.

Best regards, FT

I found that a few upgrades to the system feeding the nds made a huge difference. I upgraded the nas from synology ds213j to synology ds218play, the switch from a trendnet gigabyte one to a cisco 2960g, and the ethernet cables from nas to switch and nds from belkin cat 6 to audioquest vodka, also from switch to router I now use audioquest cinnamon.

Each of these upgrades made a difference but collectively they have had a significant positive impact on the nds performance.

Hi David,

Ok, hopefully you'll get to the bottom of it eventually, working through things as you are. 

As Foot Tapper has already said, it may be that you just prefer the vinyl sound signature.  However, I really do think that you should have experienced a similar uplift in performance with the NDS when you opened the window upgrading the preamp.

If you do decide to try a Melco, do ensure it is one of the later versions that have improved network isolation; I was told it was a significant improvement over the earlier models when using it in a network.

As Mr Happy has also found, some improvements to the source of the music before it reaches the NDS has reaped benefits for him too.  I'm not suggesting that an NDS should need all of this attention to perform properly, but it does seem to be affected by how it is fed and this may answer whether the issue lies with the quality of the feed it is getting from your network.  Clearly in my case mine was getting a poor feed and so the Melco resolved that.  Just a thought.

Have you heard the NDS in any other systems and found it perform differently? If you are anywhere around Essex/Suffolk area, you would be welcome to come and hear the difference in my system and see if it connects with you just like your RP8 does?

yeti42 posted:

You cant see the Bundys' direction bands under the braid in the photos, they are at the NDS end I trust.

Yes the braids are at NDS end.

Thank you all for such useful and constructive contributions. I’m extremely grateful and there is plenty of food for thought.

Kind regards

David

I have made a similar move myself to the OP

Replaced the 272 with NDS and 252 (and core) ...only I have sold the LP12 in an effort to go all digital

The reason for this was that tidal and the core sounded so good through the 272 ...a match for my high spec LP12...that I thought if I went up a level in digital I could loose records altogether

Time will tell if I get rid of the albums...but very pleased with the NDS / 252 combo 

So I powered down, removed the NDS burndies, gave them their massage, cleaned the glass shelves etc and reconnected.

It’s different. Much smoother presentation, more analogue without the slightly grating / harsh top end that I was hearing before.

This is what I was expecting the NDS to deliver.

Thank you all again.

David

The original concern was stated as a lack of musical involvement. Tweaking the burndies etc has made it smoother and resolved issues around a grating top end, which weren’t reported as an issue before. So while the smoothness is what was expected, no mention has been made of the musical involvement. Has that improved too?

Don't want to open another can of worms ...but 

Found my (new to me) NDS was still on 4.4.   Wasn't sure if I should "upgrade" to 4.6 as I've read it's 50/50 if there is an improvement or not ..but decided on balance to do it as I could always go back.

Well the NDS seems to have lost a degree of its punch and slam since the change...a factory reset seems to have helped a little bit to restore it's vigour...but still sounds a little off.  Think I will give it a few more days and then change back...and see if that sounds better to my ears ..

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