Just looking through the ‘System Pics’ thread and it’s evident that many have a large collection of ‘boxes’ … whether or not of the Naim variety.
But is it all really necessary and does it really enhance the appearance of your home or indeed completely satisfy that search for musical heaven.
Not sure, but trying to fit all those boxes into homes and dust around them, is a complete nightmare. Furthermore, the pictures often show speakers squashed into corners because the large equipment frames are dominating the available space.
Surely the speaker is what produces the sound and its location shouldn’t be compromised - if it is to deliver its best.
Interestingly, some years ago it was always deemed necessary to have a separate DAC from the CD Player for ultimate performance (not Naim of course, they had a separate PSU).,… and yet with developments, the DAC found its way back into the same box and the shorter signal paths were hailed as an upgrade in performance! At lease it was one less box to accommodate and dust.
I once owned a top end Linn Aktiv system consisting of 7 boxes, just for CD replay alone (CD Player, DAC, Pre-amp and four power amps). Cables everywhere!!! Ridiculous really.
At the time, I thought it looked amazing with all the boxes … but actually it didn’t … as visitors would often subtly remark
I later swapped the lot for active ATC’s and the sound quality was unbelievably better. No more silly cables and boxes and the sound was actually far better!
The top flight Naim Statement doesn’t need separate power supplies … so surely, a power supply can be incorporated within the same box, without a compromise in audio performance.
Even the top flight fully loaded LP12 now has the PSU built into the turntable, rather than separate.
So why on earth do we need so many boxes? Is it really because that is the only way to produce the best sound or is it simply to provide a modular upgrade path?
I guess if you like lots of boxes, hifi racks and cables everywhere … resembling an IT Server room, then great … but not everyone wants to see all this kit spread out in the lounge.
The new range of products from Naim, seem to recognise that one box solutions are now sort after and there doesn’t seem to be a compromise in performance. For what it is, my MuSo sounds awesome.
So what’s the point of this rant?
I currently have the ND5XS (without an external PSU!) and prefer the sound through my Chord Hugo. I’ve had that set up for many years and hopefully digital improvements mean that there will now be something far better to replace it … or is there?
The NDX2 springs to mind and would be a great ‘one box’ replacement for my two boxes (ND5XS and Hugo).
It seems, however, that some users prefer the NDX2 with the Hugo - two boxes again! Even the ND555 needs another box (PSU).
I am no longer a lover of Linn equipment, but at least their streamers have built in DAC’s and a pre-amp and don’t have an external PSU. With their balanced outputs, they can readily drive active ATC’s.
The nearest equivalent seems to be the Naim 272, but it doesn’t have balanced outputs … though cables can be made to work.
Many others have sought a replacement for the 272 and let’s hope that Naim will incorporate balanced outputs and a high quality DAC and PSU, so no other boxes are needed
Unfortunately, Naim don’t make loudspeakers anymore … so we have to shop around. Why just provide standard speaker connectors? The provision of balanced outputs on pre-amps and the 272 replacement, would only enhance their products.