The benefits of being a dinosaur

The one that Michael traded in for his ND555 went to a dealer in China for the £3 k- ish price, though when mentioned there could be others available.......he wanted to pay even less, apparently. So the London dealer, well, good luck to him with that price.

J.N. posted:

I note that a London Naim dealer has a nice looking example on a familiar online auction site. 

Optimistic price?

john. 

The unit that a Michael traded in was a head unit only, the London dealer has power supply as well, so that’s probably a good deal.

Gazza posted:
J.N. posted:

I note that a London Naim dealer has a nice looking example on a familiar online auction site. 

Optimistic price?

john. 

The unit that a Michael traded in was a head unit only, the London dealer has power supply as well, so that’s probably a good deal.

Greetings Gazza. If we're talking about the same item; only a head unit is listed and pictured - it comes with Burndy cables (as it should), but not with a 555PS.

John.

J.N. posted:
Gazza posted:
J.N. posted:

I note that a London Naim dealer has a nice looking example on a familiar online auction site. 

Optimistic price?

john. 

The unit that a Michael traded in was a head unit only, the London dealer has power supply as well, so that’s probably a good deal.

Greetings Gazza. If we're talking about the same item; only a head unit is listed and pictured - it comes with Burndy cables (as it should), but not with a 555PS.

John.

Sorry John, similar price......but dealer in Scotland with a non Dr power supply for £5990. But not a bad deal.

MDS posted:

I'll have a go, Mr U.

I'm still acclimatising myself to the different presentation.  As you know, my previous source, on certain types of music, presented a 'big' picture, and rather forward.  The CD555 seems smaller and steps back a bit, in comparison.  But within that, the portrayal is more detailed and intricate.  Vocals and background instruments are easier to follow and have their own 'space'.  The presentation is probably a bit drier too.  

I have found myself nudging up the volume control several times on familiar material, perhaps unconsciously looking to push the picture up to the scale of my previous source, then I realise I'm getting carried away with the impressive speed and impact of the dynamics I'm hearing and dial back down a bit.  Our mutual friend has suggested this is in part the much lower noise floor with the CD555 - it can get loud quite effortlessly and there's less edge at the top-end and wobble at the bottom end which with my previous system would have prompted me to rein-in the volume.  To use a car analogy, the CD555 seems to be able to cruise at higher speed but it doesn't feel like you're travelling that fast.  The CD555 seems more coherent and relaxed if that makes any sense.   

Must arrange for you to gain your own impressions soon.

Mike  

 

Thx Mike, looking forward to hearing it.

I do think that greater relaxation in yourself and an ability to push up the volume without hitting edge can be great indicators that you have done something good to your system.

Will you be swapping things back to confirm the changes?

M

Mr Underhill posted:
MDS posted:

 

Thx Mike, looking forward to hearing it.

I do think that greater relaxation in yourself and an ability to push up the volume without hitting edge can be great indicators that you have done something good to your system.

Will you be swapping things back to confirm the changes?

M

No, Mr U.  I've p'xd the CDX2.2 against the CD555 head unit but in any event a direct A/B comparison would be practically very difficult because of the necessary re-ordering of the some of the other black boxes. To accommodate the CD555 optimally, both brain and brawn stacks have been fully rebuilt.

I shall look forward to your impressions but in the meantime I had a friend visit over the weekend who shares our interest in this hobby.  He was very, very surprised at the difference he heard. Not so much the detail but the difference in presentation.  He said that previously the presentation and sound-stage was forward and on some music grabbed you; now everything had stepped back, relaxed and everything just flowed. He thought someone could listen to it for hours on end and never get tired.  

In summary, I think I've sacrificed a bit of 'grab-you-by-the collar' excitement for a significant lift in detail and laid-back refinement. There's always some element of trade-off in these things. For example, I was always a fan of the 'exuberance' of the 282 and 250.2 but I'm in no doubt that the different qualities that the 552 and 300 bring to the party are overall 'better'.

Mike  

This morning I popped over to listen to Mike's system. As soon as I heard it I was immediately struck by how much I liked what I was hearing. On  the positive: Resolution; timbre; and, imaging. Was it all good news? Well, no. The imaging was far more three dimensional with the image being cast behind the speakers in a way I enjoyed, but the soundfield was a bit more tied to the speakers in way I didn't remember from before.

Overall Mikes system is doing EXACTLY the sort of things I love about my system, but slightly better and slightly bigger. Now this causes me an issue. It used to be that Mike's system had a larger image and was more dynamic, but I could console myself that mine did various aspects in a way I preferred - well, no longer. All I can do is console myself that Mike's system costs a lot more, and that is NO consolation AT ALL!

Damnation!!

Mike, love what the CD555 has done to your setup, and I hate to say it but I suspect that a second PS555 will return the aspects that you also loved but have been a tad lessened.

Now, back to my similar system, on a smaller scale, sniff.

It was great to see you this morning, Mr U. Always interesting to get some else's opinion on changes and I think we found ourselves in much agreement.  The characteristics on imaging seems to vary by genre. To my ears the most noticeable is on heavy rock.  

As to the idea of trying a second PSU, well.........as coincidence would have it, our mutual friend got in touch during this afternoon on another matter and the opportunity was too good to miss.   Suffice to say arrangements are being made for a 555PS demo unit to pay a visit for a few days   

I shall report back, of course.

Mike

MDS posted:

It was great to see you this morning, Mr U. Always interesting to get some else's opinion on changes and I think we found ourselves in much agreement.  The characteristics on imaging seems to vary by genre. To my ears the most noticeable is on heavy rock.  

As to the idea of trying a second PSU, well.........as coincidence would have it, our mutual friend got in touch during this afternoon on another matter and the opportunity was too good to miss.   Suffice to say arrangements are being made for a 555PS demo unit to pay a visit for a few days   

I shall report back, of course.

Mike

You just know..... it’s going to sound superb....

wenger2015 posted:
MDS posted:

It was great to see you this morning, Mr U. Always interesting to get some else's opinion on changes and I think we found ourselves in much agreement.  The characteristics on imaging seems to vary by genre. To my ears the most noticeable is on heavy rock.  

As to the idea of trying a second PSU, well.........as coincidence would have it, our mutual friend got in touch during this afternoon on another matter and the opportunity was too good to miss.   Suffice to say arrangements are being made for a 555PS demo unit to pay a visit for a few days   

I shall report back, of course.

Mike

You just know..... it’s going to sound superb....

And be expensive 

Rattlesnaic posted:
wenger2015 posted:
MDS posted:

It was great to see you this morning, Mr U. Always interesting to get some else's opinion on changes and I think we found ourselves in much agreement.  The characteristics on imaging seems to vary by genre. To my ears the most noticeable is on heavy rock.  

As to the idea of trying a second PSU, well.........as coincidence would have it, our mutual friend got in touch during this afternoon on another matter and the opportunity was too good to miss.   Suffice to say arrangements are being made for a 555PS demo unit to pay a visit for a few days   

I shall report back, of course.

Mike

You just know..... it’s going to sound superb....

And expensive 

Err, yes. 

The second 555PSDR was plumbed in this morning having been warming up overnight.  Early impressions are positive.  Even more detail coming through.  Bass lines easier to follow and to 'feel'. Soundstage and sense of scale has grown.  My Focal 1028be speakers seem to have got bigger! Demo unit is on loan to me for the week ahead so lots of time to acclimatise myself to the 'changes' so that I can then more objectively judge whether what it does is qualitatively better and, most important, more enjoyable.         

I had been thinking for a while about getting hold of a 555PS to replace the XPS (non DR) powering my CDS3. This thread got me thinking and last week a CD555 arrived, immediately followed by a 2017 555PS. Thanks are due to Gazza for pointing me towards the CD player after I asked him about the one he had seen in Scotland - already sold. 

As my CD player also came from an owner going to the ND555, I thought about starting a new thread called ‘Trickle down economics?’, but concluded it would be redundant given this one where several people had already commented, and that I was anyhow happy being a dinosaur.

My intention was to add the PS to the CDS3 first and then progress to the CD555, but having fitted a 555 burndy to the CDS3 and finding it was only partially powered, I realised that the XPS wiring configuration was different and skipped that step initially. 

I did subsequently briefly listen to the CDS3 with the 555PS which seemed broadly to be more of the same but a bigger, bolder presentation. The CD555 is something quite different though. My description of the presentation of the music would very much echo Mike’s in his various posts. It is my first experience of the fifth level of Naim and there is a real sense of quiet authority in the sound. The quietness is literal and makes the player seem a little laidback while paradoxically more detail is clearly apparent. Authority comes in the control of lower frequencies. I’m sure there will be more to come as I have inherited the new ND555 burndies and they will need burn time - I hope their newness explains a mild graininess occasionally on higher frequencies.

Being a true dinosaur I also have lots of LPs and an LP12. I’ve not done any direct comparison between the same music on CD and LP (not necessarily illuminating because of mastering differences), but my sense is that the player doesn’t make CD become analogue but that the music does sound more organic. All very subjective of course, and more so as I begin to wonder about emotional expressiveness.

Clive

 

I've never heard a CDS3, Clive, but have had its characteristics described for me by someone who knows it well and, as they also know my tastes, suggested its presentation wasn't for me.  The CD555 is a tad laid back compared to what I'm used to but boy it brings so much more to the party. I like your expression of  'quiet authority'. It brought to mind that expression by President Roosevelt "speak softly and carry a big stick". The CD555 had that alright.

I'll look forward to learning how you get on with yours.     

Clive....must have been fate. You sent an email just as my dealer turned up to do the ND555 install. Quick confirmation that they had the CD555 coming in and ......everyone happy. Great that it’s the result you were looking for.....keep us posted.

Yes, we’ve come to the 555 from rather different directions - I have never heard any other Naim CD players apart from the CDS3, which I think is very refined and subtle but I know others were not necessarily convinced and preferred earlier CD players.

i will watch with alarm as you try a second PS! My priority is to complete the change to Fraim from Hutter - I currently have a stack of each. And my 252 is probably due a service.

Happy Listener posted:

MDS - FYI, a couple of links where the addition of & plug-in order of 555PSs has been discussed - I suspect you may already be aware of these?

BTW, I like what a 2nd 555PS does.

https://forums.naimaudio.com/t...15#48028103597372915

https://forums.naimaudio.com/t...-2-with-cd555?page=1

Thanks for the links, Happy Listener. I found it interesting to read the characteristics described, both of those who liked a second PSU and those that prefer one. What comes across to me is that the distinction between the two camps seems to be about how we like our music presented to us: one camp preferring it rather laid back, the other more forward. It reminded me of the often-repeated 282 v 252 debate.  I think I'm in the camp that prefers 'more forward', as I did with the 282.   

Gazza posted:

Clive....must have been fate. You sent an email just as my dealer turned up to do the ND555 install. Quick confirmation that they had the CD555 coming in and ......everyone happy. Great that it’s the result you were looking for.....keep us posted.

Another benefit of this place: connections made that otherwise wouldn't be. 

Gazza posted:

Clive....must have been fate. You sent an email just as my dealer turned up to do the ND555 install. Quick confirmation that they had the CD555 coming in and ......everyone happy. Great that it’s the result you were looking for.....keep us posted.

Serendipity! I’m glad I sent that email when I did!

MDS posted:
What comes across to me is that the distinction between the two camps seems to be about how we like our music presented to us: one camp preferring it rather laid back, the other more forward. It reminded me of the often-repeated 282 v 252 debate.  I think I'm in the camp that prefers 'more forward', as I did with the 282.   

I compare it to being at the front of the audience in say a jazz venue where you get the cut and thrust and bass tempo of the music straight at you (and you can feel it) as compared to the rear where, often, the music flow is smoother to the ear (well it often is to my ears). This was apparent when many years ago I went to a Kef speaker demo in a large room at a London hotel (St.John's Wood IIRC). The sound at the front was markedly different to the sound at the rear, given the energy absorption of so many bodies in between - and they were using some meaty amps.

I would encourage you to try out some of your bassier CD's as, to my ears, adding another PS can sometimes push things very slightly OTT - obviously a function of one's listening room in some cases.

Happy Listener posted:
MDS posted:
What comes across to me is that the distinction between the two camps seems to be about how we like our music presented to us: one camp preferring it rather laid back, the other more forward. It reminded me of the often-repeated 282 v 252 debate.  I think I'm in the camp that prefers 'more forward', as I did with the 282.   

I compare it to being at the front of the audience in say a jazz venue where you get the cut and thrust and bass tempo of the music straight at you (and you can feel it) as compared to the rear where, often, the music flow is smoother to the ear (well it often is to my ears). This was apparent when many years ago I went to a Kef speaker demo in a large room at a London hotel (St.John's Wood IIRC). The sound at the front was markedly different to the sound at the rear, given the energy absorption of so many bodies in between - and they were using some meaty amps.

I would encourage you to try out some of your bassier CD's as, to my ears, adding another PS can sometimes push things very slightly OTT - obviously a function of one's listening room in some cases.

A good comparison, Happy Listener.  I have in mind a few CDs with some testing bass eg Damien Rice's O and Melody Gardot's Currency of Man. In the past those have led to some readjustment in the position of my speakers so will tell me if the 2nd 555PS does too much to the bass.   

Dan.S posted:

MDS: Without even factoring in your amplification, you are way behind on the speakers department. I would have imagined something much more refined, to be honest.

I have toyed with trying Sopra 2s at home, which I've heard in store a few times.  I've also been tempted to demo Kudos 606 or 707s.  But I've been concentrating on 'source first' and to be honest my 1028be continue to please me and regularly surprise me with how they have stepped up every time I've made an improvement elsewhere.

I've heard Sopra 2 right before Kudos S20 and there is no comparison. In my opinion, the only way to tame that focal top end is to go tube amping, but even then you are left with a low end lagging.

You sir have at least a source to die for, most of us will only dream of. It deserves a matching front end.

MDS posted:
Dan.S posted:

MDS: Without even factoring in your amplification, you are way behind on the speakers department. I would have imagined something much more refined, to be honest.

I have toyed with trying Sopra 2s at home, which I've heard in store a few times.  I've also been tempted to demo Kudos 606 or 707s.  But I've been concentrating on 'source first' and to be honest my 1028be continue to please me and regularly surprise me with how they have stepped up every time I've made an improvement elsewhere.

I know exactly where you are coming from and my speakers could also be accused of 'lagging behind', but they continue to vividly and faithfully reveal the benefit in SQ from upgrades in source and amplification. Have always been a 'source first' bloke and that continues to give me the biggest bang for my buck.

I will of course have to attend to speakers at some point, but only when they struggle to reveal upgrades in other departments that I would reasonably expect to be apparent.

MDS posted:
Dan.S posted:

MDS: Without even factoring in your amplification, you are way behind on the speakers department. I would have imagined something much more refined, to be honest.

I have toyed with trying Sopra 2s at home, which I've heard in store a few times.  I've also been tempted to demo Kudos 606 or 707s.  But I've been concentrating on 'source first' and to be honest my 1028be continue to please me and regularly surprise me with how they have stepped up every time I've made an improvement elsewhere.

Mike,

Agree about your comments about your 1028 BE's.

I have been useing Focal Profil 77's Floorstanders which are quite old models for the last 5 years. I don't think many where sold in the U.K. in my 2nd system with Bryston amplifiers.And like you I find there is something just so right about the sound to my ears.I brought them off a mate who was experimenting with a lot of speakers on the end of his Valve SET system.Before the Focal's he had some Living Voice OBX R2's and they stayed about a month and he then got the Focal Profil 77's.I remember hearing them for the first time and the Focals where way better.He then got some bigger older Focals off E Bay and sold me the Profil 77's.

I was expecting them to be really bright as I had always heard the reputation of Focal for this.I shouldn't have been as they worked a treat with my Bryston amps.I am lucky to run 2 systems at home and have swapped my Quad 2805 electrostatics with the Focals on the end of a Dartzeel NHB 108 poweramp and Nagra PLL valve preamp and the Focals where enchanting.So your comments about them responding with better source,amps rings true.

Following this thread with interest as I had a CD 555 years ago and like you did get a additional 555 PS.Loved what it did with my system the bass was much more textural and better slam.Imaging was brought into sharper focus.It was a fabulous player which I thoroughly enjoyed.Especially the seperation in the mix.It never got ruffled at all.

Unfortunately I had to free up some money and got a good deal from my local dealer.I down graded to a Nagra CDP which is no way as good as the CD 555 but it's got a very smooth sound with no digital harshness.Maybe it's the Nagra Valve preamp but the pair dovetail well.

Like you I have heard Sopra 2's at dealers and Naim events and did like them a lot.I would like to listen to the Kanta's at some point as they seem to offer a lot of speaker for the money.

Wishing you a good day

Cheers Ian  

Thanks for sharing that, Ian.  Your observations of the effects of a 2nd PSU on the CD555 I can relate to. 

Re speakers, I've heard Kanta 2s at my dealer's. I thought there were good but wasn't convinced that they would represent a step-up from my Electras.  The Kanta's had a wonderfully deep and articulate bottom end, possibly deeper than my Electras, but at the same time I felt their bottom-end had a little less punch that mine. My dealer thought this might be due to the Kanta's using flax mid and bass drivers whereas the Electras use the more expensive composite which also features in the Sopra range.  That's why, if I explore speakers, I shall start with the Sopra 2s. I'm not in any hurry though. My Electra 1028be are currently sounding sublime. Indeed my dealer remarked that it's the best he has heard them perform.  

Mike  

Mike,

Your in a really nice place with your 1028 BE's and your system as you have got it.I suppose at some point in the future you must borrow some nicely run in Sopra 2's just to satisfy your curiosity about how they will integrate at home.When I was at a Naim demo a NDS - 300 -552 - Superlumina loom sounded fabulous and to my ears the introduction of the 500 wasn't that marked.

I suppose the point I was making about my Focals's is you know there's better out there,but if they continue to respond with better sources amps.....why change a good thing. 

Spot on, Ian. 

The second 555PSDR goes back after tomorrow so I'll be interested to hear what the system does when it has just the one PSU again.  I've sometimes found that the judgement of a potential upgrade is easier to evaluate when the upgrade is withdrawn, rather than when first introduced.  The coming weekend will be interesting.    

MDS posted:

Spot on, Ian. 

The second 555PSDR goes back after tomorrow so I'll be interested to hear what the system does when it has just the one PSU again.  I've sometimes found that the judgement of a potential upgrade is easier to evaluate when the upgrade is withdrawn, rather than when first introduced.  The coming weekend will be interesting.    

Looking forward to an update.......

MDS posted:

Spot on, Ian. 

The second 555PSDR goes back after tomorrow so I'll be interested to hear what the system does when it has just the one PSU again.  I've sometimes found that the judgement of a potential upgrade is easier to evaluate when the upgrade is withdrawn, rather than when first introduced.  The coming weekend will be interesting.    

So, the PS555 went back yesterday .....and???

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