New member with limited computer experience hoping for some practical advice please.
I have a Naim Core on order and am looking at getting a Samsung 2 TB 860 EVO Sata SSD to install in it. I plan to use the core initially rip my Cd’s then to play them directly via cable to my bi-amped Cyrus system through a Cyrus DAC XP pre-amp. I am also looking to add a NDX 2 or ND5 XS2 in a month or so.
My initial problem is that I have no way of directly connecting the Core to a router via a ethernet cable in my music room due to the configuration, build, and age of my home. My router has to live in a first-floor room at the opposite end of the house. I currently rely on 3 BT home hub Mesh WIFI discs for my home network due to very thick walls. I could look at power lines but the house was rewired 10 yrs ago, and the mains sockets for music room and router location are on separate trip circuits. I am also aware of possible RFI issues with power lines. My internet broadband speed is only about 3MB.
I believe Naim states I need to plug my Core directly into a router via an ethernet cable. Am I able to use an ethernet cable directly from the core into a BT Mesh WIFI disc instead of a router? Once set up do I have to leave the internet connection to the Core on if not streaming to end points in the house?
For initial set up I could plug the Core in the router directly, then once loaded with CD’s, move it back to the music room for connection to my pre-amp assuming the core does not need router access full time.
Secondly If I add a Naim streamer later, am I correct in assuming I could them move the Core away from my music room and not have it directly linked to the streamer, (I cold then put it in the router room). Firstly I am not sure if this is possible, and secondly the Music quality may fall as opposed to a direct linkage to the streamer.
Hi, the important thing is that you need a robust network in all areas of your house that use it. You can then connect your devices to any part of it, and they will find each other. Your Core and streamer really need an internet connection, even though they can communicate with each other without that.
If there are wireless legs in your network, they can work well. A simple, inexpensive Ethernet cable is a safer bet for reliability wherever possible, but WiFi can also work well. The direct connection from Core to streamer is an alternative to a network connection using SPDIF. This can work well, but both devices still need network connections in order to use all of their functions, so there is no need to have both.
The Core needs to be on your home network to control it using the Naim App, even if it’s fully loaded with music and connected directly to your preamp.
You certainly can put it onto your home network by connecting it via a cat 5 cable to one of the wifi discs. Whether you’ll get the throughput needed to control it reliably – unknown. You’ll just have to try. But it should be less demanding to simply control it via the Naim App than to stream do it as I describe below:
When you get an NDX2, you could keep the Core connected to a disc, and connect the NDX2 to a disc. Again – whether the connection will be robust enough is going to be determined by trying.
Just adding to those two responses, in principle the sound quality connecting a Core to a streamer over the network using upnp is as good as or better than a direct connection. So it’s going to be down to whether your network is robust enough as Bart says.
If in doubt then you can connect the Core and the streamer to an ethernet switch with cable and connect that back to your mesh disc. That way the control from the Naim app and the metadata lookup etc for the Core will go via the mesh system but once the Core and the streamer have IP addresses, the traffic will be routed over cable via the switch and that will work well.
A suitable switch to try is a Netgear GS105. They cost relatively little (about £25) from the usual places and although some people prefer the sound of secondhand Cisco switches, they bring extra complexities in setup which you can leave for now.
A big thank you for the helpful info from ChrisSU, Bart, and davidhendon.
I now see I need a permanent router connection for the core which I can hopefully achieve via a Wi-Fi mesh disc. I will look at David’s suggestion of a ethernet switch.
Would I be correct in assuming that as the NDX2 or the ND5 VS2 have their own Wi-Fi aerials, and given a good network connection that should suffice for the streamer network connection at least?
I only ask as I may move the Core to a permanent cable ethernet link to the router by moving it once I have the streamer. I assume I can then play music from the core over my network to the streamer, itself directly linked to my hi-fi.
Apologies if some of these issues sound simple but I have do not have a tec background and the only streaming I have done involves a lot of water !
Yes they do have their own WiFi aerials and if the system is stable enough they should work well. And you can put the Core anywhere if you are feeding over the network. It doesn’t need to be near the streamer.
That should be the FUN part! I hope that the home network situation does not rob you of the fun. If the BT thingys can’t get a good enough wi fi network running in your particular home, you may need a more robust solution. There is a thread I started about home wifi a couple of weeks ago; you can surely find it here! (I have the luxury of being able to have had a cat 5 cable run within my walls to reach my ND555 many many meters away from my network switch.)
If you can afford it without too much pain, the NDX2 is fantastic and can be taken further in the future with a power supply upgrade. But if you really think the ND5 XS2 is more what you want to pay, then that is also good but doesn’t have that upgrade capability, which might be an advantage or a disadvantage!
I’m having the builders in early 2020 but laying a Cat 5 or similar cable is not really an option I would have to go through very 2.5ft thick stone walls and a fully fitted library etc to get to the hi-fi location from my router which has no choice in having to be on a separate floor. I don’t think my wife would be happy……
I can get an NDX2, but it will be a difficult decision if there is not some clear blue water so to speak between it and the ND5. The Good/Bad aspect of upgradeability via an added power supply is certainly a consideration as I have done this previously with my Cyrus psx -r’s !
The other consideration is that I have always tried not to be an “early adopter” and just like Moore’s law with computer CPU’s it can be daunting to spend a lot on tec when a new better one may be already out by the time your ordered gizmo arrives! I guess I’m thinking about future hardware changes to cope with developments in WI Fi protocols, Qobuuz compatibility etc etc. If I have spent half as much on an ND5 it’s a little less painful to upgrade later !
These are both new state of the art streamers so they aren’t going to be outdated any time soon. To my ears the NDX2 is a long way ahead of the ND5 XS, but you should listen and make your own decision. My only advice would be don’t get yourself into the position where you buy the lower priced one and a few weeks later have to pay to upgrade to the better one!
Time Machine needs extra space for all those historical backups it keeps, allowing you to ‘travel back in time’. With a regular music store, a backup drive the same size as the main drive should be fine.
Remember that the main drive always needs some spare space on it - filling it up completely causes problems.
After the first backup, the backups are only of changes to the original backup. So a backup disc of the same size would probably be ok, but speaking personally I always like a bit more space than that, so I would probably go up a size, especially as it can be an ordinary HDD for backup and they are cheap.
Edit: Chris makes a good point about not completely filling the internal drive. Specifically the UnitiCore starts to behave weirdly as you get close to full and it can be a faff to back out of that situation.
Couldn’t you go through the (I assume wooden) door frame instead and run the cables to and from the door frame through “half round” (i.e. D shaped cross section) trunking attached to the top of the skirting board (assuming you have one) - paint the skirting and trunking and it’ll look like moulded, or routed (that’s" rowted", with a power tool, not routed with a switch), skirting board. That’s what I did (though I have plasterboard walls). My wife was surprised at how it blends in and has no problem with it (she had with the idea of cables before I did it).
Thanks for the suggestion ,but house built in 1880 and has very distinctive mouldings on door frames and skirting. I would not want to try and mess with this this. I’d drill walls but I’d rather wait and see if I can achieve what I need via Wi-fi mesh