2nd system … also for digital piano? Quite some questions …

This may be a more exotic desire, but I am seeking advice on a potential 2nd NAIM-based system. Having upgraded from SN1 to SN3 for the main system (see other post) I am considering three options for the 2008 SN1. The first option is connecting it to a Kawai MP11SE stage piano (no speakers so only headphones at the moment), which is used for practicing during unholy hours and to explore different pianos using Modartt instruments on a Mac laptop. But I have no idea if this would be a good idea at all or whether I need an audio interface that would make it SN1-compatible or even safe to use. Option 2 would be using it for near-field audio nirvana when working from the home office on either private iMac or Windows work laptop with 27’’ display (placed on some desktop) using IsoAcoustic desktop stands. For options 1 and 2 iFi audio micro iDSD Black Label would be available. Option 3 would be to build a bedroom system that would allow Mu-so Qb to be the work room audio source (instead of desktop or digital piano option). Any thoughts???

And to add to exotic options … I am thinking about the FALCON Q7 “Complete@Home” option, may be even with the Gold Badge cross-over option. This might be a fun and cost-effective close-to LS3/5a option for option 1, 2 or 3.

Option 2

I use my system with an electronic keyboard, including as a full piano with sampled sounds. For a realistic presentation sounding sufficiently like a real acoustic piano I think the speakers are critical, needing to be full range and with as near neutral character as possible (ditto associated amplification, but that is less of a challenge). For me that os exactly the same demand as music playing, as, amongst other things, recorded acoustic piano should sound as close as possible to live sound. Headphones I guess have the same demand, but cheaper to achieve. However if the desired sound is as an electric piano (Rhodes or whatever), I guess the gear is less demanding as it don’t have to sound like a real piano.

Regarding option 1, do you have a Mac laptop with an optical out?

I’m using midi keyboards into a Mac Pro which optically feed my SN1 and I have no latency issues.

It would save you a Dac and simplify the setup.

Interesting as I do own a 2014 MacBook Pro with optical out (mini Toslink). But at the moment using a modern M1 processor MacBook Pro with Arcam rPac USC dac. But the crucial question might be solved … no need for audio interfaces if I would connect let’s say ProAc Tablette to SN1? Just slightly afraid of blowing up electronics and then learning it wasn’t a good idea after all.

Just move step by step and nothing can go wrong. Volume dial on 0 and slightly turning it up.

I’m very happy using my SN1 for my own music purposes. It’s Dac / optical implementation is low latency - this did surprise me positively.

This seems like my SN1 is ready for it’s 2nd life span. What speaker options would you suggest for near field close against a wall, considering that I play classical piano and I love the low end of big grand pianos? And how to position them? Sub needed?

Impossible! I have a Schimmel 130T and it’s simply impossible to replicate.

1 Like

Echo Ardbeg. I have a Steinway model C concert grand and no stereo in the world could get close. My full on top Naim system with B&W 800s is great, but nothing is like a real grand piano.
Having said that, I used a Yamaha stage piano through a MuSo with terrific results! Enjoy the experiments!

1 Like

I guess the OP probably knows an electric piano is not going to sound exactly like the real thing, just a passable enough impression as close as practicably achievable (but presumably with a budgetory limitation)!

Might be time to look into some SBLs while you can still get the tweeters.

Connecting an Mac to an amplifier is simple. Connecting a keyboard to an amplifier is also, fairly simple. There is more than one way to achieve both.

But presumably you want to connect both and play piano in real time while the Mac is generating other instrumentation. So either you go from Keyboard to Mac and have some software that has a virtual mixer and from Mac to SN1, or you buy a low cost mixer such as a Tascam or Pioneer and have both the Mac and Kawai go into that and then into the amplifier.

For nearfield listening, PMC do several monitors. DB1 Golds can be had second hand for not much. A bit overpriced new though. As well as a few active offerings. If you want to keep things low cost-wise I have to say I would get a pair of these JBLs 4312MII. I heard them recently and they are FUN! They are already discontinued to remaining stocks are like gold dust.

They are tiny.

Hi @Jarl1977

If the LS3/5a are in your thoughts then Wilmslow Audio make their own LS3, it is not a BBC licence product so cheaper.
I have a pair on my desk on IsoAcoustic desktop stands and a Wilmslow Audio passive Microsubwoofer, this has two 8 inch drivers, under my desk.
Anyway, just a thought.
Cheers
Roger.