Four, or six wall sockets

I’m seriously looking into having dedicated radial circuits installed to replace the shared ring main (UK) that does cause some transformer hum. If I have six sockets then I’ll have enough for one each for all four Naim boxes, and could plug my wireworld matrix into another for everything else (Chord, REL Sub and chromecast audio). A problem with this arrangement however is that wall space is limited and six would be awkward to position and reach; four would be a lot easier. Any thoughts on whether I could expect to get musical benefits from using wall sockets for all four Naims, or would I get much the same by plugging one into the wireworld (HiCap for example) ?

I think you will get answers both ways on this, however my view based on my logic only, is that one socket would be better. My reason is that everyone agrees that a star earthing arrangement is best, and that what you get in good HiFi multi gang power strips. With multiple wall sockets it would be harder (but not impossible) to achieve that.

Whichever configuration you go for, try to avoid plugging anything with a switched mode power supply into it.

A Grahams Hydra might be worth considering… :thinking:

Mmm, not familiar with that. What hifi equipment might use that type of supply ?

Anything Mains powered - potentially. The other ‘type’ of power supply is a Linear Power Supply - which is what Naim use (mostly…).

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Ah, such a Chord DAC. That’s good to know.

Your advice would be to keep the dedicated radial circuits just for Naim boxes ?

Its no ‘my’ advice. I believe its general and/or Naim related advice - ‘Naim Lore’, if you will…

SMPS’s are not good news for a Linear PS, as I understand it. So - ideally - simply do not have any SMPS’s. But - such things are very commonly found, say in USB Charger Plugs and similar things.

(If something has a input Voltage Range of 100 to 240V AC, you can be pretty sure its got an SMPS inside it… :astonished: )

Separating SMPS’s from other things is the best we can do. This is where the separate circuits can help, for the Naim stuff.

PS. You might be surprised to know that Naim use SMPS’s, in some items - such as the new Soltice, I believe - but in a clever way, so as to not compromise sound quality.

Or a Musicline Power-igel.

I replaced a Graham’s Hydra with a Power-igel and prefer the latter.

Other solutions are available… :grin:

Got it, thanks

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Probably for the standby supply, switching over to a standard linear for normal operation. Also found in the Uniti devices, Network players with internal supplies, and the Statement amps.

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I believe you are correct. A small SMPS, for low power consumption on standby - which switches on the larger Linear PS for actual use. Not sure if the SMPS then shuts down…?

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Yep that’s right. It shuts down until you put the device in standby again. Top right hand side here in the NDX2 under the black cover.

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unless you have a USB drive inserted in the ND5 XS2 or NDX2 in which case the LPS stays on


Interesting and great to finally start to understand on this. I’ve not decided yet whether to have four or six on the new radials, but I will keep the two on the current ring main.

Are you getting a new separate Consumer Unit to run the new radials or running them from an existing CU with spare/new gangs?

If you are running from an existing CU, see if you can wire the radials from the first circuits on the bus bar (in the CU) - every little helps.

If you are having a new CU, I’d see if the sparks can arrange for the incoming supply to be split (using a Henley block), so it feeds the hi-fi CU first. Close attention to optimal earthing is what really helps too.

Usual rider applies of must be done by qualified sparks and to reg’s.

If your new radial(s) requires new MCB(s) too, I highly recommend these. This MCB from Gigawatt/Carling is a significant improvement over a common hardware store MCBs from the likes of ABB, Eaton, Hagar, etc. They are relatively inexpensive in audio terms too. A no brainer imo.

Just get them before the sparky starts and say ‘use these please’. And then “Yes, I know I’m crazy but please do.” :grin:

Yes, the SMPS is an irrelevance really as it is always switched off when the HiFi is in use. Unlike other brands, notably Linn and Chord, two of Naim’s major competitors, who make some excellent HiFi powered entirely by SMPS. Just because cheap wall wart switching supplies can spew electrical noise all over the place doesn’t mean all of them are bad.

Yep. Having owned Linn, Berning and Devialet products which all use switching supplies, I have no issue with them when done properly. A world away from some of the cheap wall warts with questionable EMC performance.