I think I’m finally about to crack. Been on this forum a couple of times with loss of bass/mids and here we are again. Nothing has changed. It just sounds shocking. No PRaT and no mids. I’ve had enough. My dealer is 50 miles away. Local help is limited and the thing should just damn well play. I don’t care if it’s the speaker cables; the damn Hi-Line (again) or the Burndy. I have simply had enough. I cannot face once again having to methodically work my way through the possible issues. I fear Naim and I are at the end of the road.
At the start of this year I auditioned an NDX2 with an Innuos Zenith and was very impressed. It seemed the next step as my CDX2 likely nears its end. Sadly funds had to be diverted elsewhere as bathrooms failed etc. So, no money for repairs and absolute total deflation on my part.
Apologies for the rant but the past 8 years have been a constant battle against the system rather than enjoyment of the system. I know it can sing. I’ve heard it sing. Then it doesn’t. Enough already.
I know it’s no help to you Mike, but you have my sympathy, Given how important music can be for us, it’s really sad that you regularly lose access to enjoying it. (And that you can’t listen to music to get over the consequent frustration.)
Mike, please don’t give up, we can all try to help you here…it defo sounds like a connection issue to me. Is there anyway that you can borrow some new ‘made up by them’ NAC A5 cables from your dealer? Also, put the grey stock cable back in and send the Hiline back off to Naim for a checkup. With a very understanding dealer, both these things will cost nothing, maybe £10 postage…?
Sorry to hear, not sure of the background or aside from the cdx2 what your system is, aside from that being a classic Naim cd player.
You don’t have to spend loads to get a rewarding system, good setup takes so,e patience, so let’s start with your system, room setup description?
Dodgy local mains perhaps? Might be worth having it analysed
Sorry just saw your system in your profile
You have a very good balanced system, what is the Zu Soul?, Googled it American speakers …
Our hobby is supposed to be a pleasure. Plenty of decent hi-fi out there. It has to be Naim for me, possibly not for you.
My dealer is also 50 miles away over the pennines
A phone call and a visit isn’t too bad to arrange surely?
Thanks all. Just wanted to vent as much as anything. Not really in the mood to look for solutions right now. Done it all before. Have written before about how Mark Raggett and my dealer spent a day working through issues brilliantly and yet here we are again.
In the last 8 years I’ve
- quietly binned a dealer for wiring my system incorrectly (and for endless hard sells on various tweaks rather than addressing the issues below).
- sold a Headline 2.
- traded a faulty HC2 for a working HC2 DR.
- had a full repair on the 200.
- had a recap on the XPS2.
- swapped a poor sounding Burndy for one Mark had with him.
- had a free repair on the Hi-Line.
I’ve also checked the speaker connections at both ends blah blah blah.
Today I thought I’d take out the Hi-Line out and put in a din to phono (Chord I think) to see if, even with the loss of detail, I could get mids back. I know the cable is fine as it was in use when the Hi-Line was in for repair and I was operating without an XPS2 whilst it was recapped. Powered back up. Nothing from the CDX2 at all. I’d switched the inputs from Din to Phono but nothing.
There is literally nothing in this system that wants to do as it should and so I put the Hi-Line back in; got the crap sound back and just can’t face it again. Then I noticed all my green logos are about half as light as they were before the power downs. No idea why that should be. Past caring.
I could ring my dealer who has been great but he’s 50 miles away and it’s a day trip for which he not unreasonably wants petrol money. In the relatively brief time I’ve known him all he’s had out of me have been a traded up HC2 DR and a 1st gen Muso QB for my son. Everything else has just been day trips; petrol money and trying to figure out what the heck was going on. In the end he had to bring Mark in. That was an education in logic and professionalism and yet, as I say, here we are again…
Just sounds awful (no pun intended) - my sympathies…to have that for 8 years? You’re a trooper, sir.
Good luck with whatever changes you make
The Hiline in my view is a poor product, and can cause the system to go off with movement as it’s so fragile. I ditched mine and went back to the standard lavender interconnect, which to me is much more coherent musically if less detailed, but since when did more detail make music more engaging? The lavender also does not ‘go off’. Anyway, that’s my opinion for what it’s worth.
If it were my system the first thing I’d do would be go back to basics as much as possible. Remove the napsc and Hicap and refit the link plugs to get the amp whittled down to 2 boxes, and remove the XPS while you’re at it. Now space out the remaining 3 boxes as much as your rack will allow. Use only standard Naim interconnects and mains leads and switch the gear off when not in use - I’ve found I get more consistent performance that way (after the initial 20mins of warm up time).
This simplified setup should still give great results if the core boxes are working properly. If it’s still poor, borrow an integrated amp for a weekend to further simplify and isolate the issue.
… that’s why I went for Active ATC’s … no messing with cables and amps
Long shot - is there any way you could try your system in another location. Perhaps a visit to your dealer with your system and try to replicate the problems there. If you can’t replicate the problems, it could be your electrical system at home. If our can replicate the problems, then try as others have said by starting with bare bones system and add bits in until problem reappears. If done at the dealers he and others can be on hand.
Since the topic of the use of Zu Soul loudspeakers was raised, I’ll just mention my experience with Zu Druids, ten years ago. I had them for about a month, and had to return them, because they just sounded wrong with my Naim components. Here is the report I sent to Zu:
“[Here are the results of] my efforts to run a pair of Druids with a Naim Audio setup: currently, 252 preamp and 300 amp (with NACA5 speaker cable). The problems, as best I can describe them: 1) compressed dynamics (it will play loud, but the actual dynamic range between soft and loud is diminished); 2) tonal coloration, kind of a hollow sound in the upper midrange; 3) lack of bloom in the treble (although not a tube amp, the 300 does this very well with other speakers).”
My findings may not be related to the OP’s experience. However, it was clear that Zu had no experience with Naim. I think most owners use unconventional tube amps.
I presume Mike is just sick of this and does not really want advice on how to sort out a system as he’s tried most things already. He’s rightly having a big vent about how bloody frustrating and annoying (some) Naim systems can be and all the voodoo associated with getting them to work.
There are undoubtedly other roads to Nirvana Mike and it may be time to assess the residuals in your Naim setup and use them to get a system in which the tension of interconnects is unimportant. For whatever reason a Naim system is not working in your house.
Yes, I think that about sums it up.
One observation re: the speakers. Ideally I’d have had Druids having heard them demoed in my system and at a dealers with my system minus a NAPSC and HC. The Essence on demo produced exactly the effects @AHT described. Didn’t work at all.
For various reasons (including WAF) I ended up with the Soul Superfly and the only thing I’ve ever missed is the extra height of the image brought by the Druids and the fact the latter play nicely at low volume whereas the Superfly come to life with volume. When all was well the dynamics of my system were dramatic. Jump out of your seat stuff on films; a huge difference between loud and quiet and probably less compression than I’ve ever heard. Like all speakers they’re not to everyone’s taste but I’ve heard them work in my system. There’s no issue with synergy here. This system has periodically worked. Now, it just doesn’t.
Thanks for the suggestions re: stripping it down etc. All good sensible stuff, but how many times? I’ve genuinely lost the will to tackle it. If it weren’t for TV sound coming through it I’d just turn it off; dismantle it and put it up for sale. The Muso QB upstairs is 100x more satisfying.
I wonder if the dim lights might be an indication of a power supply issue, which could be of an intermittent nature and, the route of the issues you’ve been experiencing over the years?
If you haven’t done so, might it be worth having the mains supply to your system checked out? Or run an extension from elsewhere to try the system on a different circuit.
I think this is an excellent suggestion. Sorry to hear that the system is frustrating.