Embarrasing moments

Lost week I experienced one of my most embarrasing hifi moments. And altough there is always good reason not to share moments like that, I chose to do so. Maybe I am not alone in making stupid mistakes.

Since a moved 3-4 years ago I kept complaining about the lost Naim sound. Bad acoustics in my new home I thought. I blamed the modern environment of glass, concrete en stone tiles. My music was tranferred in something else: harse, fatiguing, rough edges and lack of prat. The 200-202-cdx2-ndxs-naps-hicap-sonus faber combo was ultimately often left to listen to my 2d set in the study with quad33/303/creekcd53/Elipson and above all Dual, Thorens and Lenco turntables. That was still fun.

I invited some one to give me a offer for an acoustic ceiling, but decided to waite, since there is enough to be done in a new home.

A week ago I decided to bring of of those tt’s to the naim set. First the Dual 721 through the stageline. Result:awful and dull. Then de Lenco with stageline: better, almost nice. Then the Thorens, but this has a mc cartridge so I had to connnect the Graham Slee fanfare pre.

Then it happened. I disconnect some more plugs, decided to give the manual a brief look, and froze. I could’t believe but it was true: the 200-202 was wrongly connnected to naps and hicap! 200 and 202 were still connected to each other and there was only one cable from hicap to 202. And nothing from 200 to hicap.

To make a long story short: the sound is back. My wife recognized it as well. Nothing wrong with home acoustics. Prat is back, enormous soundstage suddenly, bass is audible and no ‘plumb’ sound anymore, mid and ending high are trademark Sonus Faber again.

Luckily I never spend 5k on an acoustic ceiling.


This demonstrates the importance of star earthing.

Enjoy your “new” revitalised system!


A good one to share - silly things can happen so easily, and the more cables and connections there are the greater the chance. I have wrongly connected things in the past despite, I thought, taking care, though realised almost immediately. I suppose that in your case with the move there were those other factors providing obvious blame.

I now tri-amp my speakers, which have no internal crossovers so wrong connection could destroy expensive drivers. I have therefore colour-coded it all: I bought multiple rolls of insulating tape, 6 rainbow colours plus black and white, 8 colours to mark 2 connections into the active crossover and 6 connections between that and power amps. Speaker cconnections coded with corresponding colours. Where I have XLR connectors on home-made cables I used colour-coded plugs on both ends. Speaker cables I have wrapped each end with the said insulating tape. I have also cut lengths of the insulating tapes and stuck beside the corresponding sockets (on the active crossover actually stuck on the top of casing just above the connectors), where I have written with marker pen on all (white on the black tape) indicating what it is (e.g. L mid).

Incidentally, if you have a lot of hard surfaces there is a very good chance that the sound is not as good as it could be, and treatment could well improve it further. Whethe an acoustic ceiling is worth it for £5k is another matter - more cost effective might be absorbers at the first reflection points ceiling, floor and sides (the places where, if a mirror were flat on the surface, you would see the speaker drivers from the listening position). Also behind you unless you are a good way away from the rear wall, and possibly behind tge speakers. (Not all are always practicable, but even some could clean up the sound to some extent.)

Incidentally, why do you have 3 TTs?

I have your system bar the speakers. I had similar issues thanks to someone mosconnecting my system. In my case the 200 required a service.

Why 3 tt’s?
More or less coincidence.
First I encountered someone who upgraded old Lenco’s, and I bought a L76/s just for fun. Before that I owned a clearaudio which was ok with Arcam but not impressed me with Naim. Good fun this Lenco. Then I encountered a very nicely refurbished Thorens 160 with mc cartridge and decided to by. Beauty versus fun. I realized I had a idler wheel and an belt, but no direct drive. But let my before I inherited a Dual 721 which I … dumped. So to get all the systems together, I looked and found a 721 - and got it all together.

Was afraid of that. But so far so good.
Everything sounds great again.
Like I bought something new or had a huge upgrade.

How you can be fooled after moving to a new home and think it is th acoustic environment. Never ever thought about the wires.

I’ve played my system to visitors with the mono button on and it took me a couple of albums to realise, embarrassing but harmless and something of a flat-earth classic. I also fell foul of speaker polarity in the early days but my worst, I think, was when the Burndy arrived to connect my recently freed up supercap to my superline. I’d been running it off the powered preamp socket as I didn’t like the sound powering off the supercap via a Snaic. With the burndy installed I lowered the stylus with anticipation and, no sound. I’d waited a couple of minutes since powering up I thought so lifted the needle as a precaution and waited a bit longer but in the meantime looked round the back to see I’d plugged the output from the supercap back into the superline via a loading socket. I feared for my Proteus but it was working fine once I plugged the output into the pre. I think when I checked the pin connections they’re arranged so that I was feeding channel 1 and 2 high across one channel of the cartridge and that channels load in the superline, the proteus has a 1 Ohm resistance so if there was a difference signal I assume that’s where it was going but I got away with it.

After 5 years with the UQ2 and NAP100, discovered there was a speaking setting you had to change on the UQ2 when using a power amp…


…been there… done that :grin:. Great minds think alike!

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Left the transport bolts in my NDS for a month when it came back from service. Sounded OK, but better when removed.


For a moment i thought you where going to say you went to a streaming roadshow, raved about the NDX2 and then the host says actually it was the ND5 :rofl:

Back to the topic, i found the more boxes i had (in the past) the more TLC maintenance was required, from a bi annual unplug, re plug to re leveling stands. Definitely worth having a system and labels where required, especially speaker polarity and direction.

Yes, but I have a 200/202 with all the bits you have plus a Stageline. It is a nightmare of the first order at the back , and I would never, ever go down that route again.

It would be a 272 as the PreAmp and a 200, a Supernait plus HiCap or the series below that, but never , ever would I go down the route of five boxes for amplification

I still fall prey to the ‘its on mute’ issue with my UnitiQute2 sometimes. It’s rare enough, that when it won’t play I usually assume it’s something…until I remember to touch the logo.

Glad you feel the prat is back, but possibly a harsh description.

We all make mistakes!:wink:

Had a Hi-Line plugged in from CD player to amp - something not quite right here (or at least I thought so) - swapped out for lavender/grey instead and plugged that in the wrong way around (intoxicated), amazing!!! Woke up the next day, realised lavender/grey is in wrong orientation - took deep breath, slight sweating too, panicked!! - then swapped the H-Line back in - been superb ever since!! PHEW!!

On that final point, I’m gradually introducing GiK room acoustics panels into my rotten cube-shaped music room and confirm these are definately bringing some improvements. I have front corner wall bass traps thus far and they have brought about a more controlled and firmer bass, sufficiently for me to proceed with side panels for first relection points that should arrive next week. Cost is reasonable too in the context of Naim components. Worth enquiring of the company I’d suggest.

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