Not off to the best start

During lock down my son introduced me to streaming, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the vast assortment of music so readily available and being able to track hop suited me down to the ground.
So my journey started, I made the decision to get back into music after many years with an a/v based system and to cut a long story short(maybe not!, please read on) my son brought his XS2 over to run with my main stereo pair, which I used for awhile and was pleasantly surprised how much I had missed music. So I decided a Naim based system would be my choice and after lots of browsing on the forum I had decided to get a demo from a Naim dealer. I started with the new XS3 which was very nice followed by the Supernait 3 which was definitely a step up and ended up listening to a 202/200DR which to my ears had the edge, only slightly but the edge all the same plus I thought it would be a little more flexible being a pre/power combination.
So I duly purchased an ex-display 202/200 combo, (the impending price increase also had a major part in my purchase) got it home, ordered a new phono to din cable to connect my streamer (Bluesound Node2i) waited for a few days, cable arrived, connected everything together and nothing! not a squeak! No lights on the 202,nothing happening at all !
People who are still reading are probably already aware of the reason, after checking everything, which to be fare, is not much, I realised something was missing! One connecting plug which plugs into the back of the 202,without which the 202 will not power up, which is no big surprise( now)
An email to the dealer was followed by a very quick apologetic reply," So sorry, I hadn’t realised it was missing" duly posted but due to the current climate took for ever to get here but eventually it did. On arrival we fitted the bridge plug and happy days we had music.
After a few days of playing all types of music, some sounding really good some not so good just generally tracks seem to vary quiet a lot but generally I knew I wasn’t happy. So I started to check over the simple things, cables etc during this I decided to check the connections on the left hand speaker, as I bent down to see if all was well, I was greeted by a ear piercing sound from the tweeter only noticeable really close up, within a few minutes of the discovery and varies track changing and varying degrees of volume all was not well.
After further investigation and play more music the left hand speakers tweeter has cried enough, not happy, is anything else going to happen!
Finally the question(I apologise for taking so long to get to the point) the speakers are 2014 vintage PMC Twenty 26’s my main worry is has time taken it toll and do I have more damage than just a faulty/blown tweeter hence the varied replay performance.
Could there be damage or heavy wear to any of the other drive units or even the cross overs?
Is this why the replay performance seems to vary so much, the 202/200 did not sound like this when I had the demo but the dealer was obviously using a difference source and speakers setup.
So I fear adding the Naim combo has very quickly highlighted problems in my system, mainly the speakers.
I have been in contact with PMC to order a pair of replacement tweeters but the more I think about it I do wonder if I may have more than just tweeter problems.
I don’t know but the speakers are preloved and as such I guess there will be no warranty if there are any further issues? Probably should of asked this at the time of ordering the replacement tweeters but at no point did they mention warranty so it skipped my mind to ask, I was so relieved that they still sold the units and had them in stock.
Any thoughts on my concerns, not the best start to my Naim journey but trying to stay positive, perhaps the new tweeters will have the desired affect.
Many thanks in advance to people taking the time to read this thread, guess you are so pleased this was the short version!


What speaker cable are you using and is the 200 getting hot?


An ear piercing screech through the speakers usually occurs when a SNAIC is accidentally disconnected while the electronics are powered up. I can also come from a faulty SNAIC. It can easily take out a tweeter.


HI, I haven’t noticed any heat issues with the 200, in fact I think I was surprised at the seemingly lack of heat from the 200, the speaker cables are Chord super epic twin but I did for a short time run with QED 79 strand .Not sure why this would cause an issue,what are you thinking?

Setting aside the shriek, and suspecting that Richard is correct and that the Snaic is either faulty or was not corrected properly, the issue with this system is that the PMC 26 is far too much for a 200, and the Node is far too little for the 202/200. The system balance is all wrong. You don’t say who advised you, but you need a much better source and I’d suggest more modest speakers, such as PMC 21, or 23 at a push.


Some Naim power amplifiers can go unstable when used with unsuitable speaker leads, but this also causes the amp to run hot. In this particular case Richard’s explanation sounds more plausible.

That could be an issue, I noticed reading a few posts that a lot of people tighten the SNAIC then when fully home unscrew the locking ring back to allow the cable to relax, I did do this but during final positioning it was apparent the cable could very easily become dislodged, so I retightened the ring and left it that way, I’m pretty sure the system was not powered up this way but I couldn’t swear to it, so it could be a possibility, thanks for the reply Richard.

I don’t think you’re getting any support from your dealer here. Many dealers will expect to come and set up your system for you and check that it’s performing well. Yours apparently hasn’t done this, and as HH says above you have a very imbalanced setup with a weak source and a lot of speaker for the 200 to drive.
I would also add that Chord Epic Twin is a biwire cable, and if you are using it in that configuration it’s a poor match for a Naim amp. Again, your dealer should know this.

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I appreciate your reply, the PMC 26’s were originally driven by a Bryston when used in the av system and I did wonder to try just the 202 with the Bryston but I was concerned I would lose some of the distinctive Naim sound which was what originally attracted me to go this route.
The source will be upgraded, hopefully with a Naim streamer but at the moment funds are a little limited for further upgrades in that area but just while we mention source, what would you class as the next step.
The gentleman I purchased the 26’s from did use a 250DR and I do remember he mentioned he had no issues driving them to high levels, which did spring to mind when I found the issue but in fairness I have done the same with the Bryston and had no issues or have I?
All these things have gone through my mind making me think the speakers may be feeling their age and the Naim combo has highlighted the problem or not?

To be clear, leaving SNAIC rings unlocked is NOT recommended and I doubt many people do it, for the reason that Richard explained. The same goes for burndys.

What people do is unlock the rings on DIN interconnects (the cables for sources, i.e. not carrying DC power), where it is safe to do.

The point of this is trying to minimize mechanic coupling to minimize transmission of vibration between cables and units. This would in principle apply to SNAICs and burndys as well, but with grave danger of serious damage to units and speakers, so it’s best to limit it to DIN interconnects


Hi Chris in fairness to the dealer’s I have used, once I had the first demo I made it clear this was a building process, especially regarding the source but his lack of knowledge of the PMC 26’s could be a concern but due to current conditions and time of year I haven’t been in contact with either, for the moment I was quiet happy to attempt to gently move through possible steps to remedy this current issue.

PMC make fine speakers and a 2014 pair is positively youthful. They should be good for many more years. That’s assuming they haven’t been thrashed by the previous owner of course. The shriek is very likely caused by a poorly connected or faulty Snaic lead rather than any fault in the speakers.

As Chris says, your dealer doesn’t seem to be helping you as well as they might. You need to think about where you want to take the system and what you can afford. The minimum amplification for your speakers is really the 282, Hicap and 250DR, with an NDX2 being the minimum source. Is that feasible over time? If not, I’d suggest you think again.

The NDX2 is the appropriate source for the 202/200. Bear in mind that a Napsc and Hicap are both highly desirable with the 202/200, which I find only sounds right when they are in place. The 202/200 is currently not being made, and whether they are ever made again is questionable. That will be why the dealer was keen to sell them to you.

Depending on how you feel about the cost of putting together a nicely matched system, I can’t help thinking that either an ND5XS2/NaitXS3 or a NDX2/Supernait 3, with more appropriate speakers, might be a better way to go.

That makes total sense, I obviously got confused between the SNAIC and the DIN connections .The Naim world is all new to me seems I have some catching up to do but thank you for your advice will definitely take that on board for future reference. I just hope I haven’t inadvertently done some damage, I really hope not, listening to the system at the moment I don’t think so, fingers crossed.
Again many thanks.

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If this plug was missing is seems very likely that it’s because the dealer was using it with a Hicap which would make the system sound quite a bit better. Perhaps that’s why it didn’t sound so good when you got it home and used it without one?


Hi many thanks for your reply, totally understand your point with a balanced system, I had originally thought of an XS3/ND5XS2 but quickly realised that that would not do, I really like what the PMC’s do just need to work out a path to get to a more realistic target, maybe come down a size on the speakers could be an option, add a better source, definitely. A lot to take on board but I always thought this would be a longish process just need to work out the best route to achieve my goal, many thanks again.

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That sounds very sensible and I’m sure you’ll work it out. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

It is a complicated beast indeed. This may help a bit:

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Hi Suedkiez many thanks for forwarding the very comprehensive cable/connection link I certainly was not aware of the numerous different cable configurations that are available for Naim products, as I mentioned earlier this is a new world to me at the moment but I’m sure with some thought and helpful guidance I will get there in the end, sometimes the journey is the best part of the trip, again many thanks.

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Speakers (drivers and crossovers) generally do not ‘wear out’, and last for decades without deterioration except when damage is caused by, for example, using to low a power amp at maximum power (which may be maximum only on peaks), sending it into clipping, or a fault condition somewhere in the electronics causing oscillation at high power, or an unintended severe instantaneous pulse such as through in correct power-up/down sequence or changing connections whilst powered up. And if it sounds good with some music, not sounding good with other music is not a speaker fault as such.