Newbie Questions

New to Naim, living in Vienna, coming from direkt heated tubes and horns DIY made to cost no object but wanted something less complex and more pragmatic setup for daily and easy listening. I´ve bought a set of Chrome Bumper NAC-62, Hi-Cap and NAP 140 to give it a try.

Now awaiting their arrival and/ but wondering about some topics.

Naim manual says their cables are directional but having the DIN pinout in mind I´m wondering why and how they made it? Is there a shield attached on one side to the connector?

There are many references to tonal differences between the preamps 32.5, 42.5 or 62 and 72, although so far I found one circuit used in all of them but with an expanded earthening star. In addition, the only big difference seems to be the time alignment boards in NAC-42.5 and 72 as well as the plug-in modules vs. the single board design (with only beeing the phono module or variable input board an option on 42.5 and 62). The circuit of the buffer stages, however, probably seems untouched and won´t justify a real tonal difference. The NA-729 time alignment boards are also rated very differently. So what´s the real stuff here? Can someone please put me on there?

What else do I have to consider if I want to operate devices from other manufacturers on the NAC-62? In particular, I would like to continue using external phono stages (LCR tube designs) with various turntables (Linn LP12, Technics SP-10 MK II and SP-15, Denon DP-80 and DP-7000, EMT-930, Garrad 401) and my Micromega Trio CD combo?

Many thanks in advance

Don_Camillo

Hi Don, I have no real idea how to answer your questions. But i am interested in the answers.
I have a friend like you that has a number of TT’s. The sp10 mk11 is my favourite. He’s running a 10’ wand tone arm with a Hana sl cart and wand phono stage, the Sp mk11 is set into a beechwood plinth. The other end has a Pereaux audio pre amp with a bridged amp setup (think around 400 watts) with some B&W 801 nautilus speakers. He had the ex owner Peter Pereaux turbo change them, they’re class A and are totally stunning. While not the be all and end all of tonal neutrality or refinement at lower volumes, when given some curry they’re total jaw dropping, it’s kinda like a concert with a very very good amplification system (PA), the sound pressure is absolutely plan old fun! I would even go to say they make Me smile more than a Naim 500 system at higher levels.
Sorry not on topic but I very much like the sp10 mk11.
I hope somebody can answer your question as I know the forum has the intellectual capacity to do so.

Again I’ve no real answer to the first half of your question but if correct it has answered a question of my own and that is, is there something wrong with my hearing? Because most other Naim users report moments of slack jawed amazement when moving upward through the Nacs and report night and day differences between them when I hear only very, very subtle differences but my experience goes no further than 32.5, 82 an 282. I’ve heard sometimes quite a large improvement of sound when adding a PSU and sometimes again more subtle improvements.

To answer your second question impedance can be an issue with non Naim sources so as long as they match you should be fine that and the correct cable of course and just to add that though Naim phono boards are excellent value with the level of record players you have you are correct a separate phono stage is essential.

I suspect you’ll find the sound of the Naim quite different to your valves they’ll produce a very narrow and direct soundstage the Naim sound is all about the fun factor of music and can be very, very enjoyable especially with the early gear that you have.
Speaker matching is also very important when it comes getting the best out of Naim unfortunately I’ve found that specs do not really help here it’s a listen and find out process.

I’m very interested to hear your experiences.

Got my Chrome Bumpers last week and I´ve played around a bit.

What comes to mind:

  • The sound could also come from a push pull tube amplifier. The NAP 140 can play subtle but also snotty cheeky. That really turns on.

  • At first I thought the small adjustment range on the volume pot was due to my horns with over 100dB efficiency and the NAP 140 giving too much power. But even with Celestion Ditton 15 with its 90dB efficiency, I took up from the basement, I ´m reaching high room volume level at about 8 a.m., which makes setting the right volume quite rough. However, this also coincides with reports on high amplification and a limited adjustment range of their level controls of the NAC preamplifiers.

Has anyone ever started here and changed the adjustment range with another potentiometer?

I kind of do like my SP-15 better. It´s the more modern concept with a smoother and more tempting sound. But anyways Denon DP-7000 or DP-80 do not stand behind those Technics. Litterally the same applies to a properly maintained LP12 with Circus and Valhalla.

In this (higher) class we are talking about nuances only with many of these small nuances and aspects beeing related more likely to the cartridge, its termination or the SUT used and the tonearm.

When the first zest for action is gone, I will measure the cables. Then it should show how the plugs are assigned and whetheror not and why the cables are directional .

Since hardly no internet user is measuring his components or any of the changes on cables or components those reports should be handled as an experience report with the reported experience beeing situative and litterally not for everyone since those reports are based on very indivudual preferences for sound, details, music, furniture and so on.

From a technical point of view, some of the changes recognized as tremendously are just peanuts, And changes that the listener hardly notices are almost milestones that change the world from a technical point of view.

That´s why these experience reports need a little more information than just the statement “I heard it”.

Much also depends on the music itself. Music mostly to completely electronically generated is simply not suitable for such an evaluation. Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and others are actually categorical pastime. The piece of music must rather have been played with natural instruments and microphoned in the classic way. So even in the genre classic, the modern multi-microphone recordings will fail when used for these kind of ratings.

Recordings before 1970, small jazz line-ups, chamber music or small orchestral line-ups without much frills are best suited.

Decca SXL recordings from the Royal Albert Hall come to mind to be e.g. very suitable. If you hear the slowdown of the tube every 2 minutes in the background, the system and its set-up is at a sufficiently high level. If you don’t hear that, then there is a lack of resolution, does it smear into the bass, then there is a lack of resolution. But be patient: The station was omitted in the middle of the sixties; the recording needs to be made earlier.

Hugh, I need to investigate in this. The Chrome Bumpers got complete maintenance at LASA in Italy and Line level amplification is working as expected and fine. But Phono performance actually doesn´t fit my taste. This performance lags behind e.g. an EAR 834p and is far away from an LCR phono stages performance.

Think you will find the era of crome bumper is best suited to vinyl replay . My nac 52 with CD input is so much louder than the MC phono stage. I guess you are aware of vinyl versus CD input levels

Of course I´m familiar with input levels. That´s the reason why I was asking.

It might be worth acquainting yourself with the Forum rules, which preclude the discussion of modifications to equipment.

The volume pot is carefully chosen for best sound quality and you’d be wise to leave it alone. The knob range can be limited but it’s something owners have lived with for many years. You’ll get used to it.

Sorry, missed that by occasion. Won´t ask for mods again.

I have to revise it after all. Just some hours ago I connected my Sondek LP12, Cirkus, Valhalla, Akito, Fidelity Research MC-44 cartridge and Ortofon STM-72 SUT to the internal NA-322 MM phono boards. Listening to some mid 50s pressing on Jazztone. Jazztone was the world’s first audiophile re-issue (as some interpret it) and/ or mailorder (as others see it) label, beeing active between 1955 and 1957 - long before MFSL, Chesky, Classic Records, Analogue Productions and others saw the light of day.

I even listen to those records quite impressed; that’s really okay. Chapeau.

PS.:
Have to investigate what went wrong with the other setup (Schick 12" on Technics SP-15 paired with SPU Meister and Lundhal SUT).

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