Brash Sounding Naim Set-up

I am after a bit of a steer on a problem I now have with my current naim system .

Ndx/Xps/282/250DR/HicapDR/Hiline/Unitiserve .

I recently dismantled the kit and moved it and on putting it all back together again I now have a sound which is very brash on vocals and with an overall harshness to the sound especially the more the volume is turned up although the system still has the same level of Instrument separation as before .

Any thoughts on which part of the system to check out first ? Cables or Hardware ?

The first thing I would look at is the cable dressing, especially the Burndy. The general rule is, as far as is possible, to have no cables touching other cables, the back of the shelf, or the floor.

Can that really make such a dramatic difference as the OP seems to experience? If yes then I need to spend more time on it.

You say ‘moved it’ but what exactly does that mean? New room? New speaker position? Hew house?

Yes, I think it can make quite a difference, odd though it may seem. When you’re faced with a horrendous mass of spaghetti behind the rack, it can seem impossible, but if you take it one step at a time, you can get there.
If it’s not possible to get it perfect, there are a few things that will be achievable, such as keeping interconnects, with their delicate low level signals, away from mains cables.

agree with @hungryhalibut if you have moved the speakers?

nothing wrong with the system, cable dressing and checking as ever can really help as well all know

how long as your system been up and running again?

Thanks I’ll recheck all the cables . Is it ok to bend the burndy at say 45 degrees or so ?

No. The Burndy needs to hang free.

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New House - so complete dismantlement.

Things will always sound different in a new room. Maybe it’s more sparsely furnished? Hard floors? Reflective surfaces? Have you tried various locations for your speakers?

All back together now and switched on for about 6 weeks .

Have you inadvertently wired your loudspeakers out of phase?

Hi - do you mean right and left channel-wise ?


For each speaker, ‘+’ on the back of the amp should go to ‘+’ on the back of the speaker. Likewise for the minuses.

Thank you. I will check that .

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Actually if you’ve dismantled everything and moved to new quarters and it all sounded the same I’d be worried :thinking:


If you have moved to a new room all bets are off.
The difference is probably nothing to do with the system and all to do with the new room.


If you were not sure that the + and - need to be in phase, then their is only a 50/50 chance that they are correct. Lack of bass and proper imaging are some of the problems that this can cause, so it’s definitely worth checking out. A new room, without as many “soft” surfaces (curtains, couches, etc.) or much more glass / hard surfaces then before may account for a dramatic change and also the speaker location/interaction with the new space.


Brash vocals and harshness are not issues I would have associated with speakers wired out of phase. Lack of bass would be the main symptom. Still a good idea to check, though.
I would be looking at the acoustics of the new room, and cable dressing. Maybe even a cable with a poor connection, possibly caused by a dodgy solder joint that’s been damaged in the move.

Cheers Chris for all your advice .

I’ll have a run through all my cabling in the coming days and hopefully find the problem .