ND5XS2 new hum problem

Hello,
Shameless lurker here with an ND5XS2 less than 1 year old. Has been functioning normally until 10 days ago when suddenly I am gratified with an enormously LOUD transformer hum which is ruining the listening experience at 3 meters away. Have done this:

  • Read the various threads here on this topic and remedies.
  • Have changed power cables, interconnects, plugged unit on different sockets around the house, checked for new devices plugged in elsewhere, looked for faulty SMPS or LEDs in the house, etc…to no avail.
  • Contacted dealer who basically said this is not Naim’s fault but mine…at my house.

My simple question is: has anyone experienced this turning into a service requirement with repair and resolution by Naim?

As it stands, I am fully inclined to sell this like-new unit which is producing more hum than music (in the case someone would actually buy it).

Incidentally, I find it somewhat perplexing that Naim is getting away with producing boxes that hum as a matter of principle and that users are accepting this. Normally, as audiophiles, we are on a constant witch hunt to identify sources of unwanted noise and to eliminate them.

So, yes, quite frustrated and unhappy with this product. SN2 is not humming and nothing else in the house is humming either. Both are plugged into dedicated mains installed by certified electrician for use with hifi only.

Any comments/direction would be appreciated.
Brgds,
Magnolia

I assume it is the transformer that hums, and that is not heard through the speaker?
You haven’t given details of all your components, or which transformer hums

When you say you have read all the threads, have you read the one below as it covers most areas:

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Firstly, if thats the reaction of your dealer they don’t deserve your business get a new one. Sounds like there is a fault and your streamer needs to go back to Naim. Others may comment on the technical side of things. Richard Dane and others may wish to comment on your dealer’s stupidity and poor service.

Did you try it at your dealer? I would let them know you’re sending it over for them to check out for themselves. (I would normally recommend taking it over yourself, or asking them to come and visit, but with Covid, that’s no so straightforward right now).

If it’s quiet there then, as it has only just started it may well be the toroidal transformer reacting to a faulty bit of kit elsewhere on your mains. Is it constant or does it come and go at similar times each day? Does it hum when plugged in on other circuits in the house?

Hello @GadgetMan, thanks for reply. Yes, I read your epic post which was interesting. No hum through speakers (I have already resolved ground loop problems). Only the ND5XS2 is humming and my assumption is that the transformer is humming. Very convinced that my assumption is accurate.

Cannot explain why this appears suddenly for no apparent reason, while all was functioning as could be reasonably expected for many months.

As for the innumerable investigation paths and various extra BPS, DC offset or other PLC purchases, I will not go that route. I’ll change the machine first.

A dedicated mains, properly installed for the hifi exclusively, allowed things to run quietly and correctly for many months hence my bewilderment at a sudden anomaly appearing.

I cannot determine if the Electric Company has changed voltage supply for Winter or something else. However, the SN2 does not hum and is plugged into same dedicated mains. Only the ND5XS2 is humming terribly, including when I plug it in at different points/sockets around the house.

Not having a generally warm and fuzzy feeling about this.
Brgds.

Hello @Richard.Dane,
Yes, 1st reaction was to contact dealer, who I cannot visit, and who basically said the problem was not with the streamer but with me and my house. This is why I was curious to seek more user experience/feedback here.

The humming is cyclical, meaning that it loops from nearly quiet to ungodly LOUD every 2-3 minutes in a regular and recurring “loud/quiet cycle”.

This may be heretical for a Naimist but I removed the unit and temporarily installed a spare Squeezbox Touch and external DAC to feed the SN2 as a test. Obviously no hum and sounds great but looks silly…like going back in time about 10 years.

Worse yet is that I generally listen at very low levels so the intermittent hum is quite audible. Not finding any logic to the diagnosis from level of competence as of yet.
Brgds.

This does sound very strange, especially as you have dedicated mains. I’d suggest you do two things. Firstly, turn every single other item of electrical equipment in the house off - heating, fridge, everything. Then see if the hum stops. If it does, turn things on one at a time until it starts again - you will have found the culprit.

If that doesn’t work, take the unit to a neighbour’s house and ask them to plug it in and listen for humming. If it’s as loud as you say it will be very obvious. Clearly you’d need to trust their ears and take appropriate Covid precautions.

If it hums there it sounds very much as if the unit might be faulty.

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Hello @Inmynaim,
Well, the dealer is very well known and his identity would shock most of you. However, he shall remain nameless in my posts. I am not blaming him directly for the humming of an ND5XS2. Maybe he is just tired of dealing with Customers having all the quirks and peculiars related to owning Naim equipment.
Anyway, with the Covid ruining everything including my ability to finance a repair or a replacement, it looks like I may have to learn to read books again or maybe watch the grass grow, which is particularly time-consuming in Winter. Thanks for your comments, though.
Brgds.

I currently have a slight hum from my NAP140, not a sound from my new HCDR or ND5XS2. I had over voltage for a while, and it only effected the large transformer devices (NAP and HiCap). Your description sounds like a device issue to me, and as others have said, your dealer needs to support you more. You could email them this topic. They could arrange a courier to pick up the device

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Rather than a neighbour who could well be on the same Substation, you could try another house, for example if you are part of a support or childcare bubble

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Hello @hungryhalibut,
Yes, that could be done and will allow me to make further enemies within the household as I cut electrical supply to their devices and so on…but just temporarily! I have a so-called “smart home” and this therefore entails all kinds of rebooting, resetting and double-checking so it’s a bit of work but probably necessary to do. Thanks for your advice.
Brgds.

Good advice from quite a few as I expected. I do really think though that your dealer has been at best unhelpful. Naim gear is not cheap and dealers make a decent profit from it. If I were in your position I would be making my dissatisfaction known to a senior offical within the business. Just not an acceptable response in my view to someone seeking advice and assistance with a unit which cost over £2k and is less than a year old. Best of luck with your endeavours to find a solution. Let us know how you get on.

Andy

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I’m pleased I have a dumb home! I have my stuff on dedicated mains and it’s totally silent. The smart stuff does add complications unfortunately and it’s possible that something has changed, perhaps automatically and unknown to you, which is now messing things up.

Does your dedicated mains have its own separate consumer unit? That’s the ideal way to do it. If it’s just its own circuit on the main consumer unit, it’s that bit more exposed to stuff going on elsewhere in the house.

It’s well worth investigating this as the ND5XS2 is lovely and you want to get it working without humming like a swarm of bees. It’s a shame your dealer didn’t give you exactly the advice that I gave, as that’s the only sure way to get to the bottom of the problem and to know if it’s the unit or something else. While it’s 99% likely it’s something else, seemingly washing one’s hands of the problem is hardly going to ensure a happy customer.

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HH’s advice is very good here. Yes a small PITA, but really this is the best way to isolate whatever device may be causing the issue. And if it still hums then it’s time to get back on the phone with the dealer, tell them what you have done to diagnose and either ask them to uplift and check it out, or else make an arrangement to bring it in to them and get to the bottom of the issue once the Covid situation improves.

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@hungryhalibut @Richard.Dane
Thanks for your latest messages and advice. Will continue searching for culprits within my home network and also plug in unit at son’s home in another city not far away. If it hums there, then will be back on the phone with dealer. The ND5XS2 was a bit of an investment for my modest disposable income so it’s very unpleasant to have it making a monkey of me…
Brgds.

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I cannot tell you how much joy I have had from my ND5XS2 - it has brought me back in love with music, and a God Send over the last few months. Stick with it

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Yes, it’s a lot of money. I suppose, to look on the bright side, diagnosing the problem at least gives you something to do!! Please shout if you have any other questions. Good luck.

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Some great advice as usual but under the current circumstances please try to deal with your problem at home or with the dealer. These suggestions of going to other peoples houses to test your unit is just irresponsible.Hardly essential travel. Bubble member or not, this isn’t urgent enough to breach lockdown.

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That’s why I suggested a neighbour. I don’t see it as an issue handing over a box and not going in.

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Really?

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