Naim Powerline

Very interesting. You are the first to use the Nds/555 dr with an Ndx2 transport. Did you found a worthwhile improvement vs the Nds/555 ps? Even on local streaming ?

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Yes that is interesting.

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Taking into consideration that you have always had this issue (even with your previous setup), it leads me to believe that it is not necessarily due to the influence of the Powerlines. I presume that your previous setup was devoid of any Powerlines but you are still succumbing to the same fate? Think about it carefully, you’ve always had this issue and as others have mentioned it could be down to your room. Have you tried analysing your room with Room Acoustic Software (REW)? It may shed some light as to why you’re still experiencing this discontent. You have a wonderful system and I really hope that you’re able to resolve this issue without the need to selectively choose where the Powerlines or even other brands of mains cable are positioned :relaxed:

I think these type of effects can be very hard to isolate. I could not, for the life of me, get a Powerline to work on my CDX2. They worked great on everything else but on the CDX2 a Powerline just sounded a bit harsh and unnatural against a stock Naim lead. And yes, I did swap the Powerlines around just to make sure it wasn’t faulty.

It’s been suggested that they may be highlighting a problem else where and this could be a distinct possibility, so I’d hang on to them for a while. You have a great system and it doesn’t take much to throw it out of kilter, be it room acoustics, mains related, cable dressing, equipment location or supports etc?

The best test I’ve found for tuning the system is the louder I can play music, before it starts feeling uncomfortable, the better. This usually shows how well the system can cope with dynamics and general noise. I regularly listen with the volume between 10-11 o’clock on a 500 system (fully Powerlined), so that’s pretty loud but what I get is a terrific representation of true live dynamics. When a drum is hit you feel it in your chest but can still hear the delicate shimmer of a cymbal at the same time. Non of this sounds at all uncomfortable just very life-like, which makes me think what you are experiencing is solvable. You just need to find the source of the problem but I’m not sure it’s a Powerline issue?

Funny how we hear things differently, the exact opposite of what I found when I had a CDX2.

I’ve come to realise that good audio systems can be very quirky and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work on another. I think the great Ethernet debate has helped prove this. One man’s revelation is another man’s damnation! The balance of a system can be so fine that the slightest thing can upset it. I was recently reminded of this with a Naim High-line interconnect. I’ve had a spare for ages but always preferred the standard Naim Lavender from my DAC to Pre. Then the other day I tried it reversed with the grey end to the Pre and black end to source and loved it. Now I’m not sure if Naim had got its direction wrong as it’s been back to the factory several times for broken rings but using it the wrong way round has definitely transformed the sound. Go figure!

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I would not presume to tell you that you are in any way wrong. You know your system and you know the sort of sound you prefer. It’s interesting though that you mention a friend had noticed something was ‘wrong’ rather than yourself…

Powerlines sound very different to the stock cables. To my ears, amongst other things, the most noticeable effects are enhanced dynamics, bass weight and ‘slam’. This however is achieved in a natural way, without any sense of there being a false emphasis or anything being overblown. It all just seems integral to the music, and the music flows so much better.

In short - it sounds more real, more like real instruments playing in front of you.

It may seem a strange thing to say about a hi-fi system, but perhaps you don’t want it to be more real? Real instruments are not always comfortable to listen to. Try standing in front of someone blowing into a trumpet at full force, or someone knocking seven-bells out of a drum kit. Impressive yes. Comfortable - definitely not!

I would suggest, as some others have, that the stock power cords are supressing this dynamism, immediacy and impact. But that is how you prefer it. And why not? It’s your system.

No problem. Sell the Powerlines and keep the stock cables.

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I experienced problems with PowerLines in my early days. Since then I added Naim style glass on Fraim Cups and Balls. My unDRed 552/500 is brilliant with all PowerLines.

Just a thought.

Phil

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Hi all,

an update on the issue.
As my 252 had some crackling noise with the bal. knob, I sent to repair and now it seems the issue has improved quite a bit after 2 days run-in.

Or it may be the cable dress issues as I am using a Fraim Lite (with custom glass/ball bearings) to mimic the Fraim. But there was very little space at the back so all the cables just got tangled up.

Because of the repair I had to re-address the cables so it may be an contributing factor.
I used to find Naim, (this setup or my old set-up with 52/135) , the performance did change from time to time and one day you mess around the cable a bit and it jump back up to a much better performance (imaging/separation…etc)

Just a thought but not sure how sensitive it is for my setup.
Anyone welcome to share.

Rgds,
Ken

With the serviced 252 back, after 2 days run-in, the powerline can be used again!
But strange the same issue also happend to me with my old set-up, perhaps cable dressing make a huge difference for my setup?

Thanks for everyone’s suggestion and advise!

Rgds,
Ken

Frenchrooster,

The reason I bought a seems like redundant NDX2 is due to my NDS streaming has issue and can’t connect to internet sometimes, also I am using Qobuz which is not support by NDS.

But FYI, the separate NDX2 as streaming source “DID” made a rather surprising performance lift comparing the SQ of Tidal/Spotify between NDS alone / NDS+NDX2.
I think it may contribute to the new streaming board in the NDX2 vs the NDS.

As the ND555 is just way above my budget, so this setup is the best I can get so far.

Welcome any thoughts and exchange.

PS. I am still using BJC BNC/BNC cable at the momen, I just ordered the Naim DC1, hope this may give me somehting more for my setup.

Rgds,
Ken

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Glad you enjoy. So no local streaming comparison ?

Cable dressing have an effect on whether there’s an edginess to the sound. The less stress in the cables the better, Burndys shouldn’t rest on each other or the floor but as they naturally stick out different amounts this can usually be arranged even with them crossing. The pre amp’s Snaic and Burndy should’t have another cable passing between them but I prefer that they don’t touch either. Hilines should hang in free air but I can’t stop mine touching a Fraim leg, at least it’s with very little pressure and it touches nothing else. Speaker cables are a tricky one snd often need to run along the floor and cross power cables, one thing to avoid is letting them touch the wall too near the speaker. Solo piano is a good test, if the high notes have an unnatural ring to them it’s often down to a cable. I could tell when the hoover had pushed the speaker cable against the wall by this and when I first got a CDX2 I just couldn’t get rid of it until I arranged for its power cable not to touch the shelf (and got rid of the steel framed rack).

If using a mains block, plug order is worth playing with, the effects should be easily audible with a 252 level system, they’re obvious with a 552, less so but still there with a 282 and will depend on how the block is wired, linear, ring with star earth, paired doubles will all give different results except possibly star everything like the heretic audio block (which I’ve mot heard).

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Your ATC speakers are extremely revealing. Their primary market is as nearfield monitors in studios, which are likely to have been given significant acoustic treatment. If there is any harshness in the recording or partnering equipment, they will show it up. Wide dynamic range is also a main design objective of ATC. The founder and head of the company Billy Woodman is a jazz pianist and regards accurate reproduction of the extreme dynamic swings a piano can produce as an important test of their speakers.

Short of extensive room treatment, I can’t help but think a change of speakers might be in order. If you want to stay with ATC, perhaps you could try a pair of speakers from the entry range, which tend to be a little more forgiving. Or perhaps you might look for another brand?

Roger

as I just bought the ATC , so changing speaker may not be the option for the time being.
I may upgrade to SCM20A or SCM40A after I got tired with this setup, but will be years later.

Another option could be to introduce a sub, I just added a Rel and amazed what it has done. I’m no bass head but it really gives a great platform for my ATC’s to perform on.

Gary

I am afraid you will have to focus on other things than the electrical wires. First your suspect was the wires in the wall, now it’s the PowerLines. What you described in the other thread and here does not present itself as a likely wire issue at all.

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