New Network Players

kevin J Carden posted:

Rear panel ND5 XS2, the new entry level standalone streamer.

 

No power supply upgrade (there is no XP5 XS anyway anymore...), no screen.. There's your ND5 si! Wondering about the price-tag of this.

Looking at the range separation at the Naim website, we have 4 categories: All-in-one system (muso), All-in-one player (Uniti), Integrated Player (si+XS) and Marque separates. It becomes obvious that now that the Uniti is good enough, some rationalization is due in the "Integrated" range, with SI+XS merged at the "XS" brand, without DR and without power supply upgrade possibilities. In a similar way, -X and -S sources are merged into an -X "classic" level and 500 series becomes the new king. So it seems that the price (and performance?) gap for each upgrade step will become larger.

Let's see what the future brings!

I suppose you could look at it the other way, Gazza, in that Naim must still be happy with the 1704 performance to use it in their top players. They know how to work with it to get the best from the device and perhaps they still see more mileage in developments upstream of the DAC stage.

As you say though, stocks won't last for ever and i'm sure Naim will be evaluating other conversion solutions and will release when happy. 

Gazza posted:

Take your point Richard...but it is a bit sad that the likes of aTI and others have not surpassed the 1704k chip in the opinion of Naim or the FPGA approach does not fit. The supply is not never ending.

I had hoped for in-house, fully discrete, or at least something more 'interesting' than a third-party IC (again), but perhaps the (potential) Statement source 'elephant in the room' ruled that out?

Or, perhaps they don't think there's any musical benefit in such things; Naim have always maintained that the implementation, rather than the DAC itself, is the most important thing?

kevin J Carden posted:

Some shots from Bristol Show today. Apologies for dodgy iPhone ‘snatched’ images

 

 

Interesting that it has a digital output, unlike the cd555.   Could that possibly mean a new super dac is also in the pipeline - as an upgrade ? What other reasons could there be for its inclusion ?

TOBYJUG posted:
kevin J Carden posted:

Some shots from Bristol Show today. Apologies for dodgy iPhone ‘snatched’ images

 

 

Interesting that it has a digital output, unlike the cd555.   Could that possibly mean a new super dac is also in the pipeline - as an upgrade ? What other reasons could there be for its inclusion ?

Maybe for a Chord Hugo 2?  ;-)

 

Timo posted:
TOBYJUG posted:
kevin J Carden posted:

Some shots from Bristol Show today. Apologies for dodgy iPhone ‘snatched’ images

SNIP

Interesting that it has a digital output, unlike the cd555.   Could that possibly mean a new super dac is also in the pipeline - as an upgrade ? What other reasons could there be for its inclusion ?

Maybe for a Chord Hugo 2?  ;-)

Is there much demand for the option to downgrade performance?

TOBYJUG posted:
kevin J Carden posted:

Some shots from Bristol Show today. Apologies for dodgy iPhone ‘snatched’ images

 

 

Interesting that it has a digital output, unlike the cd555.   Could that possibly mean a new super dac is also in the pipeline - as an upgrade ? What other reasons could there be for its inclusion ?

the nds has also a digital out for a dac.....but no naim dac to connect....

TOBYJUG posted:
kevin J Carden posted:

Some shots from Bristol Show today. Apologies for dodgy iPhone ‘snatched’ images

 

 

Interesting that it has a digital output, unlike the cd555.   Could that possibly mean a new super dac is also in the pipeline - as an upgrade ? What other reasons could there be for its inclusion ?

Perhaps a Superclock working those BNC outputs and inputs ? 

Frank Yang posted:
SongStream posted:
J The Kop posted:

Any words for MQA compatible with New ND555??

Why do you care?

Why do you not care?

Given Naim's saga in getting certifications delaying product release, ND555 might not see the light of day for a long time. 

More of an NDS2 than of a 555 Series really as for the only new architecture and improvements on the floating board and the isolation box. Hence the discontinuation of the NDS. Indeed I would have imagined moving to a more recent chip or developing their own unless going FPGA or other discrete route. I am still assuming 32/384 and DSD128/256 marketing tricks are in. Two Toslinks but only one BNC and one USB in. That’s a pity . I always thought BNC 75 Ohm was the dig to go and stick to. 🤔

Chag -

I think the ND555 is good news.

It will sound better than the NDS - and now that there is no NDS - the second hand value of the NDS should go up rather than down. In effect Naim just protected the second hand market for owners of the NDS.

The ND555 is quite expensive now and for those who won't or can't afford the top source of Naim - (like me) I would seek out a second hand NDS.

I don't know how good the NDX2 sounds - but the NDS second hard value and NDX2 will be around the same price.

Grab an NDS while you can because those who have one will not be selling theirs. 

Anyway im very keen to hear the NDX 2 and the new naim Dac 

Chag... posted:

More of an NDS2 than of a 555 Series really as for the only new architecture and improvements on the floating board and the isolation box. Hence the discontinuation of the NDS. Indeed I would have imagined moving to a more recent chip or developing their own unless going FPGA or other discrete route. I am still assuming 32/384 and DSD128/256 marketing tricks are in. Two Toslinks but only one BNC and one USB in. That’s a pity . I always thought BNC 75 Ohm was the dig to go and stick to. 🤔

Chag -

Remember Naim already use technology equivalent to FPGA DSP processors with the use of the Analog devices SHARC processors.

Yes SPDIF (which is specified as a CI of 75 ohms) is still the optimal and lowest noise (compared to async USB) digital audio interface.

Singlespeed posted:

As & when they update the 272, no screen (a la ND5 XS2) to match the other Pre's would be fine with me, They've spoiled the Triptych look using those big ugly screens imo... 

I imagine the lack of a screen on the ND5 is because the slim XS boxes are too small for them. My guess is that a revamped 272 would have one. 

Richard Dane posted:

Gazza, the Burr Brown PCM1704K DAC chips have been long out of production.  However, they are one of the finest, if not the finest DAC chip ever made and over the years Naim have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in getting the best from them, so not a surprise that they continue to use them ( I assume that like Naim's preferred relays, they have bought up plenty of lifetime stocks).  Naim have traditionally used fine selection to determine which end up at what level (the best for 555).  Naim's DSP development doubtless improves the performance attainable from the PCM1704K even further. 

Richard, the point about being possibly the finest DAC chip ever made is extremely debatable.. because on many levels to me it isn’t .. they are sonically  limited, use old technology and the world, including TI, has moved on in terms of accuracy, reliability and potential sonic performance.. but true there is a lot of implementation knowledge know-how in Naim, and changing that for more capable devices is probably risky and too expensive .. so best keep with what you have for the stable sound... it might also account for the digital out on the ND555.

So to me saying the 1704K is one of the finest, if not the finest DAC chips ever made, is a bit like saying the Supermarine Spitfire is one of the, if not finest, war planes ever made... indeed some might agree with this but it’s clearly a very specific view and perhaps linked with emotion and a time and a place rather than anything else.

Id prefer to say that Naim implement  the 1704K technology to provide its components with its distinctive quality and overall world class performance... and to me that is fair enough.  

BTW the DSP is the similar, Naim use rather syandard reconstruction filtering algorithms using highly regarded Analog Drvices DSP processors (kind of like FPGA devices)... albeit Naim use modern processors, the skill is the implementation and balancing act  of implementing this technology so as to reduce side effects and artefacts. 

Chag... posted:

Two Toslinks but only one BNC and one USB in. That’s a pity . I always thought BNC 75 Ohm was the dig to go and stick to. 🤔

I suspect it’s not so much what’s optimal for performance but what’s useful.  Arguably TOSLink offers better sisolation as well as being more universal on things like TVs and MediaBoxes which people are most likely to attach - convenience devices rather than additional high quality sources.

Adding a CD transport is the probable exception where a BNC is worthwhile.

ND5 looks the best aesthetically; to my eye the screen proportions of the NDS2 / 555 are too big for the casework and for most of the time a pointless addition IMHO.  I agree with Richard about the DAC. There is a danger playing top trumps with the spec sheets even before anyone hears what they sound like and nobody could cause Naim of producing gear that doesn’t sound good. 

Alba1320 posted:
Gazza posted:

Take your point Richard...but it is a bit sad that the likes of aTI and others have not surpassed the 1704k chip in the opinion of Naim or the FPGA approach does not fit. The supply is not never ending.

I had hoped for in-house, fully discrete, or at least something more 'interesting' than a third-party IC (again), but perhaps the (potential) Statement source 'elephant in the room' ruled that out?

Or, perhaps they don't think there's any musical benefit in such things; Naim have always maintained that the implementation, rather than the DAC itself, is the most important thing?

If it ain't broke don't fix it. 

With the current streamers, the sound quality is already superb and whether you like how they sound or not is more your preference in sound than the chips inside. Some areas do age more than others. Streaming platform and user interface being a couple. Naim don't need to rewrite the book on streamers to have a hit product. They just need to tweak things and make evolutionary changes. Which is what they seem to have done. 

For those that pour over each spec and component inside, I'd say Naim is not, and has never been, the brand for you.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
Richard Dane posted:

Gazza, the Burr Brown PCM1704K DAC chips have been long out of production.  However, they are one of the finest, if not the finest DAC chip ever made and over the years Naim have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience in getting the best from them, so not a surprise that they continue to use them ( I assume that like Naim's preferred relays, they have bought up plenty of lifetime stocks).  Naim have traditionally used fine selection to determine which end up at what level (the best for 555).  Naim's DSP development doubtless improves the performance attainable from the PCM1704K even further. 

Richard, the point about being possibly the finest DAC chip ever made is extremely debatable.. because on many levels to me it isn’t .. they are sonically  limited, use old technology and the world, including TI, has moved on in terms of accuracy, reliability and potential sonic performance.. but true there is a lot of implementation knowledge know-how in Naim, and changing that for more capable devices is probably risky and too expensive .. so best keep with what you have for the stable sound... it might also account for the digital out on the ND555.

So to me saying the 1704K is one of the finest, if not the finest DAC chips ever made, is a bit like saying the Supermarine Spitfire is one of the, if not finest, war planes ever made... indeed some might agree with this but it’s clearly a very specific view and perhaps linked with emotion and a time and a place rather than anything else.

Id prefer to say that Naim implement  the 1704K technology to provide its components with its distinctive quality and overall world class performance... and to me that is fair enough.  

BTW the DSP is the similar, Naim use rather syandard reconstruction filtering algorithms using highly regarded Analog Drvices DSP processors (kind of like FPGA devices)... albeit Naim use modern processors, the skill is the implementation and balancing act  of implementing this technology so as to reduce side effects and artefacts. 

Mind you, that’s one advantage of not being so techy - I just trust my ears and don’t worry about what I don’t understand. On a good day my B77 can blow everything else into the weeds - no noise reduction, no vanishingly low distortion and 21khz on 7ips. Not a DAC chip in sight either. I think we can all get just a little carried away with specs - for me it’s always been about the music.

I just hope Naim have advanced th,e sound quality with these chips. There are a significant number of forum members using non Naim DACs. When I was trying a DAC into my Nova this week, I asked about the Naim DAC, no demand for it, not been stocked for over 2 years. So it was Chord and more Chord.......which is my concern if these are just marginally better than outgoing product. I really hope they are brilliant though. Not too long to wait, we hope.

Ravenswood10 posted:

Mind you, that’s one advantage of not being so techy - I just trust my ears and don’t worry about what I don’t understand. On a good day my B77 can blow everything else into the weeds - no noise reduction, no vanishingly low distortion and 21khz on 7ips. Not a DAC chip in sight either. I think we can all get just a little carried away with specs - for me it’s always been about the music.

For me it’s about the experience... there is more than just the music, that’s too limiting and to be honest you don’t need state of the art Hi-Fi to enjoy music... so developing my point further the potential that exists by developing Naim’s implementation skills on newer more capable devices is most likely significant ... but alas I suspect for a relatively small company like Naim too much of a risk and investment in product development...  The anecdote I heard was the one of the requirements of the ND555 was to surpass the performance of the CD555, and perhaps this initial step necessarily requires using the 1704K...to make the point...

So it’s not about just the technology, but then again I don’t believe in alchemy either....

Gazza posted:

I just hope Naim have advanced th,e sound quality with these chips. There are a significant number of forum members using non Naim DACs. When I was trying a DAC into my Nova this week, I asked about the Naim DAC, no demand for it, not been stocked for over 2 years. So it was Chord and more Chord.......which is my concern if these are just marginally better than outgoing product. I really hope they are brilliant though. Not too long to wait, we hope.

I suspect the main improvements will be in consistency and immunity... it looks like the max potential performance envelope is not hugely changed.. just hopefully consistently a lot higher.. and after all that is a very worthwhile aim..

thinking about it, the ND555 has to necessarily sound as good as the CD555 or better, and there's no way to keep the distinctive Cd555 sound if Naim used another DAC than the 1704.

I understand their reasons, and it is entirely rational.

Plus the review of CD555 on stereophile also reveals that the TI 1704  does not have the rapidly increasing amount of noise at ultrasonic frequencies that results from the extreme amount of noiseshaping used in contemporary DAC chips.

I have the good fortune to compare a Chord top spec Blu2/Dave with a Cd555 side by side, and despite using a 1704 DAC, the Cd555 hold it's ground very well indeed 

I read old interview of the founder of Naim JV, and he went on the record on stereophile magazine, and said the DAC chip is the least important issue in designing digital sources.

Naim has never really been the brand which values soundstage, imaging, and hi-fi qualities, it was always down to the enjoyment of music like Simon-i-S mentioned.

Which is why I'm not that motivated to move from my 282/250 system to 500 series components, as I am looking for enjoyment first and foremost from my music.

 

sjbabbey posted:

Now that the NDS has been discontinued and the new streamers were not being demo'ed which Classic/500 series sources did Naim demonstrate at the Bristol show yesterday or were they only demo'ing the uniti range?

The NDS was in use in the main Naim room with the Utopias (and lots of empty seats) and in the Dynaudii room at least.  Lots of Novas about.

There are a few show reports on various forums n stuff now.

analogmusic posted:

 

Naim has never really been the brand which values soundstage, imaging, and hi-fi qualities, 

Hi Ali, I used to think that until I got my 552, and then the Naim style is mixed with imaging and soundstage  in a wonderful way such that the whole listening experience and enjoyment takes a big step forward...

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