ND555 Impressions


#61

I once heard a comparison between Naim active it’s 500and statement passive, I preferred the passive statement. I found the active set too much on the edge… might also have been because off the Naim 800 Speakers which they used…


#62

To taste - mine is not edgy. The Statement Passive is a great sound and offers musical insight and I’m not going to rubbish it as I like it a lot.

But swapping to that from what I have is not an upgrade for me but going sideways.

Active systems are more revealing and easy to get wrong in their tune-up so can sound edgy when not set-up right. I’d not recommend Active to anyone not prepared for the set-up process needed to get them to sing. Once they do though they blow-away Passive - even Statement Passive in many musical areas important to me.

DB.


#63

I just listened to Mahler’s 6th symphony.
It sounds amazing with ND555/NAC552/Lumina combo.
Can’t wait to add the NAP500DR and complete the system :smiley:


#64

@BertBird

Here is review of the NAP500DR

It might be of some interest.

I tried to read it in dutch, but my German wasn’t sufficient :sweat_smile: I had to google translate it.


#65

Hi-Fi News and HiFi Critic have published very interesting reviews of the 500 DR as well.

Chag -


#66

Thanks very interesting review, which I shouldn’t have read… Now I need it, assuming I would get the funds…


#67

Ooops, sorry for that :confused:


#68

The 500DR is a different and far better Amp than the 500, as good as the latter was. Probably one of the larger upgrades I’ve made was the 500DR which was far more of an upgrade than the DR to the 552, as good as even that was. For me the 500DR elevated its performance to a level where it sat between the equivalent in Preamps of the 552DR and Statement S1 - it is that large a change IMO.

A thread about ND555 Impressions - this is a diversion onto what system components make it really sing. Of course it does not require any ultra high-end to delight but put it into the top-end Reference or Statement systems - or even the Active ‘hybrid’ of the two I use - and you realise it is a very capable source from which a lot can be drawn and a great device to anchor your system to in the digital source world.

DB.


#69

Hi Thomas,
I agree on the Currentzis Maher 6. it’s frightening in places via ND 555/552/250full SL/PMC Fact 8, shakes the soul up.
From your avatar I guess you are a cycling person. Good to see another Naim cycling here.


#70

Ah, or is it a mountain you are on and not a bike?


#71

That would be some biking!


#72

@blackdogbarking

I’m more into mountaineering (high altitude climbing). Summer and winter mountaineering.
My avatar is part of a photo taken on the Cosmiques ridge. I guided my wife there after a nice gulley in the Mont Blanc massif.

As far as biking is concerned it’s more like my day-to-day means of transport. As I’m always late, I use to be quite swifty which in the end keeps in shape :joy:


#73

And another ( though recovering from a bump)


#74

Sitting and listening is the best recovery for a cycle bump.


#75

I could not agree more.
It’s a real pleasure to sit and listen to a nice string quartet, in my case, after a hard climb


#76

It was this one that I partially remembered!


#77

To post here what I posted elsewhere:

I just found and tried CAT5e cable about the same length (just over 1m) and first impressions are good, in that it has not lost focus (like the CAT6 did) or gained an overlay of glare (like the CAT7) of previous Ethernet cables I tied into the ND555.

It still surprised me there are any differences but they are there and easy to hear. The CAT5e shares the homogeneous ‘togetherness’ quality of the CAT5 but seems a bit clearer without losing anything. These tests sometimes take a day or two when there are extra gains to decide if over time there are also losses. We tend (or more specifically I tend) to immediately hear any positive changes but omissions of music rendering at low-level sometimes takes time to realise - usually I find I’m not enjoying the music as much - replace the ‘upgrade’ and immediately hear what was wrong.

But so far so good - hopefully CAT5e is not so far from CAT5 in spec that there should be negative differences.
The music is presented in a full nothing held-back way that I personally prefer and that sits well with the Active system which can handle that.
Some of the other cables - in fact all so far - seems to ‘constrain’ the music as if it has to behave itself and I find that tiresome over time - like a band that is playing too up-tight until they relax and let things flow.

…and more extended listening is showing this CAT5e has far better deep bass focus. The timing in the bass is better than the other CAT5 I had been using and has been my ‘reference’ with ND555 Ethernet connection so far.

This new CAT5e is a thinner diameter cable with a thinner slightly harder sheath than the more thick and squishy CAT5 - not sure that matters but I’m suspecting the smaller the cross-sectional area subtended by the overall cable the better the performance if what I think is happening is happening.

This is the ‘free’ Ethernet cable that came with my ‘BT Homehub’ router. The Router itself feeds by a 10m CAT5 cable a Cisco 2940 switch which can only do 100 Meg out - that in turn feeds by a 3m CAT5 the Melco Music Server, which in turn, via the cable above mentioned, feeds the ND555. Just for context. The Cisco switch is just used for the HiFi and nothing else to segment-off all other house Ethernet traffic from the HiFi as much as possible.

DB.


#79

Hi DB, yes these days we shouldn’t really be using Cat5… Cat5e has become the effective baseline standard and has quite a performance lift over Cat5 in terms of crosstalk and resultant noise.
Cat5 also can not support anything faster than 100Mbps, where as Cat5e is fine to 1Gbps, obviously not a constraint on Naim streamers currently but could be in the future.
So I’d be surprised if RF related coupling to the ND555 was less with the Cat5 cable than the Cat5e cable and I think that is what your listening evaluations reveal.

Be interested to know if your Cat5 cable was two pair as opposed to four pair. 100 Mbps only requires two pair cabling for duplex operation…


#80

I’m using in all cases, so far, fully-populated RJ45 connectors, so 4-pair. I’m aware you can get partial-populated cables of lower-spec, but I had none to hand to try so far. I used to work for BT and am familiar with all this stuff as far as data-comms is concerned, but I’m thinking the sonic differences are probably beyond the normal specific measured signal-transmission capabilities.

It seems more to do with the whole electrical connection beyond the integrity of the digital data-eye received at the ND555. As I’ve tried experimenting with different cables I’m forming a view on what character is brought by each and I think if only the integrity of the digital domain signal is considered in the cable design then it will not necessarily provide the best result in this case.

I’m bridging 0.5m gap with 1m cable so the characteristics that compound over long distance runs should be having minor differences - probably by pure digital measurement they are all identical.

I’m thinking more towards things like the Naim Powerline cable which is obviously just a mains lead but sounds different and I’m sure it delivers power the same as other cheap cables, but there is more to it - and the Ethernet seems to have similar issues.

The wiring-loom type and overall geometry cross-section and dielectrics used will have a larger impact - together with the cable length and interaction with the source and destination devices as far as the wide-band electrical coupling of stuff outside of the purely digital signal produced by sending volts of digital wave-forms along a cable to mediate the Ethernet connection.

…ND555 impressions thread topic - just try some different cables to find what you prefer, especially if you feel things are not to your taste.

The ND555 is such a revealing source into a good system that attention to all these aspects is important.

DB.


#81

…on some further investigation into what the grade of Ethernet cable I was actually using between swapping from what I thought was CAT5 to the present CAT5e I will humbly eat some small crow and say careful examination shows my previous cable was also CAT5e - just a different kind of insulation and look.

So essentially I’ve found I prefer two different kinds of CAT5e over the CAT6 and CAT7 and a couple of ‘HiFi’ Ethernets I’ve tried. Essentially I’m finding out what CAT5e version sounds best in my system for now.

I only purchased myself the CAT6 and CAT7 cables for experiment to try so know what I bought, whereas the other two were ‘free’ cables - one I inherited from my old job and the other from the free cable with the home hub. These two cables look and sound different but are both - according to the feint marking on the cable - CAT5e.

DB.