My current System

Hi everyone, this is my first post on the Naim Forum.
I have always been interested in good music reproduction and have always had a Stereo System somewhat better than my peers at most stages of my life.
I am now retired and during the recent Covid pandemic I found I was listening to my Stereo system much more than I would have done otherwise.
One of the conclusions I came to (not just during the pandemic but certainly emphasised by it) was that I needed a GOOD system……
To cut a long story short I ended up buying a system that was WAY more expensive than I ever thought I would ever purchase.
My current system is the result of several upgrades that took place over the last six years, but recently was extremely influenced by my experiences during the lockdown.
How many of you guys went to the Naim Streamer demonstrations? I went to a few just prior to the Covid Crisis. Great fun they were too.
The initial impression was ‘wow that sounds good, but I’d never spend that much on a streamer’
However, Lockdown and plenty of spare hours listening to stereo and dreaming what could be, has had a profound effect on one’s perceptions.
So… I upgraded my system to the current level, mostly Naim components;
As a digital system;
Naim Uniti Core where all my CD’s and downloads currently reside
Naim ND555 streamer with the 555PS DR
Naim NAC552 preamp with the 552PS DR
Naim NAP300 power amp with the 300PS DR
Speakers are the Focal Sopra No.2 (Love or Hate them, I think they’re Great)
Naim Hi-Line interconnects and Naim Super Lumina Speaker Cables
My Analogue side is a VERY old Linn Sondek LP12 with a Linn Ittok arm and Koetsu 500 Black cartridge, which I have owned for many years, supported by the Naim Superline Phono Stage powered by the Naim Supercap DR PSU.
Blimey!
I never thought in my wildest dreams I would climb to this level.
I am now in the situation where so much money has been spent that no further changes can take place. You certainly don’t want to get here and think you’ve made a mistake!
I must say I’m very impressed with the sound I get from the Koetsu Black with this phono combination. I thought it would be the weak point in this system but side by side comparisons of CD’s (Ripped through the Uniti Core and played via the ND555) compare very well, with some vinyl LP’s sounding much more musical and more detailed than the CD counterparts.
On the whole I’m very pleased with the whole setup, I listen to it nearly every day and often for hours at a time.
A real investment. I’m glad I did it.
A system like this deserves an audience, and of course I invite trusted friends around from time to time. For those that have never heard the system before I have a detail play list for my ND555 which I call my ‘Famous Five’
I thought maybe some of you might be interested in my selection;
1; Snow Patrol Reworked Chocolate 44.1 KHz 24 Bit WAV
2; Billie Eilish When The Party’s Over 44.1 KHz 24 Bit WAV
3; Madonna The Power of Good Bye 44.1 KHz 16 Bit WAV
4; Dire Straits Why Worry 44.1 KHz 16 Bit WAV
5; The XX Infinity 44.1 KHz 16 Bit WAV
The really interesting thing about this as far as I am concerned is literally how good 16 Bit WAV can sound when properly recorded.
In the above selections I think the 16 Bit files sound at least as good as the 24 Bit files.
My 24 bit selections were purchased and downloaded from HDTRACKS which I believe to be a good outfit.
The others are my CD’s ripped onto the Uniti Core.
At the moment my favourite demo vinyl LP is Pink Floyd The Final Cut, EMI oc 064-65 042 which I have owned for many years, since I was a teenager in fact. Excellent reproduction. Puts the CD to shame.

14 Likes

Welcome to the forum Len!

That’s quite some system you’ve built up there. It’s good to read how happy you are with it and how much pleasure it brings you.

As a vinyl lover myself, it’s also good to read that the old Sondek and Ittok with Koetsu Black are still up there performance-wise. Of course, the Superline+Supercap is an awesome phono stage, so I’m sure that helps…

Enjoy the forum.

Blimey, great system and a serious investment! I am only a recent convert to streaming but I have been impressed way beyond expectations. Like you I just about prefer my LP12 but it’s closer than I thought it would be. I also agree that you are now invested in Naim, but it’s a great place to be!

Welcome to the forum Len. That’s quite some system you have built up there.
Good to see that you can enjoy the best from both streaming and vinyl!

Best regards, BF

Welcome aboard, Len.

You have a great setup there, with little future need to visit the wallet-emptying HI-Fi Corner ever again!

Spend your time over in the Music Room, in particular, the “What are you listening to” topic, where there is endless inspiration to try new, (to you), choons.

Welcome Len, great system.
You can post your system in the system pics 2021. It’s the tradition here.
One advice : hide your credit card when reading the forum.
Or you will be very tempted by all the suggestions.
If you want , I can make you a list of upgrades right now:

  • second 555 dr
  • nap 500 dr
  • Focal Utopia
  • full loom Superlumina
  • Townsend Podiums
  • Innuos PhoenixNet switch
  • Innuos Statement
  • Naim Fraim
  • Music Works G4 powerblock
  • Linn Keel , Karoussel, Linn Extatic cart.

Total : 120 k

I am more joking of course :grin:

3 Likes

This I like. I wonder if it is somewhere I can end up. :thinking:

Bloody Hell… :astonished:

I guess your LP12 could do with a bit of… attention… maybe…?? Due to its age - if it hasn’t been looked at recently… :thinking:

Welcome Len,

Great resume. As a matter of interest what did your learned friends think? I never make a point of specifically asking folks if they want to hear the system. Some who have a genuine interest in music ask to hear some stuff. Others I think it passes over them.

Regards,

Lindsay

Well welcome to the forum Len, that’s some set up

I am sure it will give you plenty of pleasure

Len, welcome to the Forum I have the much the same Black Boxes. I did ditch my LP12 and Naim CD player some time ago concentrating on a streaming system and never thought I would reach this level of system and like yourself most of the major upgrades have been since I retired due to various reasons.

My next door neighbour came round not long ago and asked what all the Black Boxes were for I handed him the Ipad and he sat in the listening chair to listen to some music of his choosing.

After about half an hour he said whatever the boxes are supposed to be doing they are making a bloody good job of it?

It appears that you are enjoying your system as much as I enjoy mine trust that continues for a long time.

Unlike others replying here, I am ignoring your eye-watering system but instead heap praise on you for your choice of The XX on your list.

I cherish the times the BBC repeat their Glastonbury set on iPlayer - did you catch them there first?

1 Like

Seconded, love that whole “Famous Five” track listing in fact!

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