ER, EE, LPS, silver cable, masterclock...Is there still one "Naim sound" when streaming?

Ok then, we have a Naim “system” because we love the “Naim sound”.
I do only remote Qobuz streaming.
For the many of us who are convinced that ER (or EE by the matter), materially improve the sound extracted from our Naim setup, most find that additional material improvements occur by adding linear power supplies to these switches, even better with a silver dc cable,. And then again further improvements with either a master clock or a cat 8 ethernet cable (myself). Now all of these “add-on devices” are “non Naim”.
So I wonder if we can still speak of “Naim sound” when streaming since what we hear is so strongly influenced by all these non-naim “add-ons” which each carry another manufacturer’s perception of “ideal sound”?
And I also wonder if it is a good thing for Naim to be giving up somehow control of the “Naim sound” by leaving such a big piece of the “sound supply chain” to other manufacturers?
This is why I believe that naim should be coming up with some sort of device that “completes” its ND555 source, in a way that optimally delivers a “trademarked” real naim sound because it will be “certified” by Naim and by the passionate folks there. This would also simplify my life as all these “add-ons” interact with each other and I do not have infinite time, so to have all these “arbitrations” to be done “upstream” by naim professionals would help us dedicate more time to music and less to do our own R&D? Which is fun too, but that is another subject.


Firstly, are you sure that you can hear the SQ differences between an audiophile switch vs a cheap, consumer switch such as a Netgear switch? :slight_smile:

I personally did many extensive listening tests with & without an audiophile switch, I was never able to perceive any differences in tonality, transient reproduction, or sound staging. Indeed, to me, the streams, regardless whether it is from Qobuz or my local library, sounded indistinguishable from each other on all albums ranging from classical, jazz, folks, rock, instrumentals, and vocals.

I hear that some of you, the believers in the audiophile switches, may say that my ears or my system is not good enough to benefit them?


I’d challenge that very strongly. The devices you mention are not in the signal path. Their benefit, if any, is in reducing noise and thus polluting the “Naim sound” less. They fall into the same category as Naim’s recommendation to have dedicated mains installed if you can. i.e. feed our gear with quality input and we’ll take it from there.


I thought the “Naim Sound” arose through the character of the amps, especially the preamp, and maybe more so in the lesser models in the range, or older ranges, rather than the source?

It has probably been done to death previously, but what is the Naim sound?
I have a good digital source, 2i plus Qutest, and both provide a clarity over lesser components. The Naim sound for me is provided by the ps, pre amp, amp combination. The speakers then displays that Naim sound, well or not so well depending on speaker and room.

The Naim sound for me is a clarity without losing body and warmth.

I agree, the devices that are mentioned can be associated with the reduction of common mode conducted and coupled electrical noise, this can be similar to the effects of dedicated mains wiring, changing from PME to TT domestic mains earthing, removal of certain types of noisy electronic lighting etc…
These all can affect how well an audio component works in specific environments, but specifically it will vary from environment to environment… and so one users experience may well vary to another.

I did try and still use an EtherRegen switch… I heard no meaningful difference or preference to my audio system, but perhaps I have focussed on actually omptimizing my LAN already, and I have low ground noise as I have converted to TT earthing… it was laziness that stopped me returning it.

So to the OP, I believe Naim is in control of its products’s performances, but are some of its customers in control of their domestic electrical noise environments… believe me Naim is far more robust here than some devices…
Would you pour old rusty petrol into your tank of your shiny new performance car?.. no matter what additive you put in the old petrol to make it work better?


Sorry but completely disagree. No network device has changed my sq. So what exactly are Naim supposed to do. This stuff is purely in tweaking and is not necessary or the defacto way to have the the true Naim sound in your system amps are what define the sound of Naim not the digital end, its job is to provide an unmolested as possible signal to the amp.

There really is no real proper evidence that suggests that any supposed audio grade network component here helps with this other than heresay and marketing that everyone laps up. Yes noise can exist but does really affect anything at all when it is all most definitely below any level the human can hear at.


Yes, that is certainly a good idea! [sorry]

So if we bypass all the talk on this forum, anyone know what is Naims recommendation to a purchaser of a 272 or NDX2? Do Naim think that stuff is more important than an upgrade from XPSDR to 555DR?

Pas de chance Nestor. The firsts to reply think the network adds on doesn’t really change or improve the sound.
I think like you. But fear it will be another debate between pro ER/EE/ ethernet cables/ ps and other that don’t believe or didn’t experimented such improvements.

For me , the Nds strictly out of the box, without an audiophile switch and quality linear ps and quality Ethernet cables is sounding very average. My ex CDX2 was more musical and involving.
But with the network add ons, it can sound at the level of the CD555, just in a different way.
So Naim should produce a good switch, Superlumina Ethernet, and XPS dr linear ps for this switch.

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Those devices aren’t Naim specific in the least except for the fact that this forum is dedicated to Naim owners so therefore discussed here in the context of Naim gear. If you believe they change the house sound, then they would also change the house sound of (insert mfg name here). I don’t believe the inventors/mfgs of these products ever tested or heard them personally on Naim gear. There’s a big bad world of HiFi out there beyond the green light…

I have found that certain switches, servers, power supplies (LPSs to replace certain SMPSs) and ethernet cables make a (positive) difference in my set up. Others do not.

And there’s the rub. The impact these ‘peripherals’ have on SQ is very much system dependent. So for Naim to come up with say an ‘optimised’ switch and streaming cable for all Naim streaming installations would be a tall order, and might just open a can of worms. The offer of such peripherals would suggest to those contemplating ‘serious’ streaming that there is a black art involved, it is tricky and a degree of ‘tweakery’ is necessary to get the best out of streaming. The ‘need’ for Naim peripherals would also increase the cost of streaming.

Having said that, Naim do offer a range of optional ‘tweaks’ in the form of a range of cable upgrades (both power, signal and speaker cables), power supply upgrades and support upgrades (Fraim and Framlite). So why not offer a switch and streaming cable upgrade option, assuming Naim believes switch and ethernet cable design can positively influence SQ?

One could then try these options in one’s own system, just like one can try SuperLumina or a PS555DR, and if they don’t improve SQ, don’t buy.

Gets coat and dives for cover….


Makes sense.


Maybe they think we are all nuts and it’s a hint that there is a no Supernet :smiley:

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Personally, Yes as mentioned I have felt in improvement at every step. This is what I know. I do only remote streaming of Qobuz.

Since I am only streaming remotely, can we not consider the ER and the ethernet cable to be literally on the signal path?
And I wouldn’t care so much if the impact of these “add ons” would be marginal…So it is a question of proportion as I have been surprised at how big they are. Streaming brings in a lot of new variables to control (additional to the old ones we were used to deal with and where there is an experience bank available). So if there is such an impact is it reasonable to leave the customer to have to deal with it…could this not rather be taken over by the manufacturer who wants to ensure “the best possible use” of its product? Because indeed I’m convinced that many Naim users are hearing just a fraction of what their system is capable of…

Yes I guess certainly but the sound is ultimately what comes out of a “naim” system. And with streaming there are a lot of new and unexplored variables that come into play that may affect the sound customers hear vs what Naim “intends”?

My definition would be what you say with “prat”. But essentially it is how “Naim” and its founder perceive music reproduction should be, and it should be somehow consistent overtime, like all high end products and brands. I like to have a reference from which we can then agree or disagree, and many of us are or have grown into “naim exclusive” for this reason. My only exception are the speakers as I didn’t really have a choice at that time. And the pity is that I see streaming tempting a lot of these “naim exclusive” customers to “add in” in their systems a lot of “pieces” that are not naim…and hence moving away from the reference naim sound…

Hi Simon,
Of course my post is predicated on the fact that I experienced a strong improvement with each of the additions. I am only streaming remotely with Qobuz…

Im streaming Qobuz remotely only. I have felt a big improvement with each add on. Looking at the different theads many do too.