I’m new to the forum, although I have been reading quite a bit here during the last year. Since about two years I started my Naim journey. Before I had a Cambridge amplifier and CD-player, Thorens TDK 166 MkIV and some Accoustic Energy 109 speakers since almost twenty years. I got my first taste of Naim with the Nait XS and a Stageline RIAA. In short my current system is the following (mostly bought second hand during 2019 and 2020). I would love to have some advice for the future development.
Dr Feickert Woodpecker, Abis SA-1.2 Tonearm, Hana ML, Chord Shawline Tuned ARAY from TT
Audiovector K3 Signature speakers, NACA5 cables,
Otherwise standard Naim power cables and DIN interconnects
For the upcoming year I have been looking at new speakers to match and possibly stay with for some time, throgh other changes/upgrades. (Listning room i s quite small, about 4,5m x 4,5m.) So far thinking of the new Dynaudio Contour 30i but also very intrigued by Harbeth and the mighty 40.2… which happens to be available at a reduced price from one dealer at the moment.
I’m also looking for a Hicap DR for the Superline or Supernait, wherever it would perform the best.
Where do I hope to end up? Not sure, but looking at a streamer in the future, and I think a NAC 282 and NAP 250 DR would be max count with separate boxes, but that would have to wait some time.
Any thoughts are much appriciated! Regards
Harbeths can be tricky to get the best from , especially the P3ESR , with a SN2 I think you may find ProAcs or Neat have a lot of friends on this forum
i think these two companies use Naim gear in there development so unsurprising they sound good together
PS I have Harbeths -so I am not on a ‘downer’ with this brand, like Naim and every other manufacturer they come with plus and minuses
Thanks for the input!
I did listen to a pair of Neat speakers some time ago. NEAT Acoustics Momentum SX5i, and comparing them with ATC SCM40, running a Naim amplifier. The Neat speaker sounded a bit more lively, and the ATC seemed very controlled and tidy, so to speak. The dealer seemed keen on advicing the ATC speakers and had some customers with Naim that had chosen that path. My preferance was a bit more for the ATC speakers, although the grills were a letdown from the aesthetic point of view…
Also had a quick listen to Harbeth SHL5+ Anniversery, but with other amplifier. Didn’t have much time for listening as these were packed up for a customer. Certainly sounded very nice. Unfortunatley Harbeths are not avaiable more time to listen to them, as the dealer only had these as second hand.
I find speakers quite difficult, there are so many options… my main focus is to find something which certainly is a clear improvement from the Audivector K3 Signatures.
How about the Dynaudios, have you listened to those? If you like their character, a tad warmer and perhaps less controlled / analytical than the SCM40’s, you could also look at some of the Spendor lineup, which have a similar character.
I did listen to the Dynaudio Special Forty some time ago when a friend was looking for speakers (He ended up with a pair second hand Harbeth 30.1). The Dynaudio sure sounded nice and looked nice! But I find it hard to recall their character. I should be able to listen to the Contour 30i as well. This shop also have Spendor speakers, so it seems like a plan to visit again after Christmas.
I’m also very curious about the Superline + Hicap DR. Anyone have experience with this Hicap upgrade, compared to running the Superline directly from the Supernait 2?
You need to be careful here, and not get speakers that you cannot adequately feed. Many people have made this fundamental error. I’d say that the 40.1 is way above what you should be looking at unless a full 500 system for over £60,000 is on the table. You also need to look at your sources and if you are serious about CD then the player will need improving. You mention a streamer and something like an NDX2 with XPSDR or PS555DR, 282, Hicap, 250 would be a nicely balanced system. The Dynaudios should be ok with that, but the big Harbeth is too much.
I run a Superline with HicapDR and, to me, it was a decent uplift over the 552 Aux2. So I’d expect it to be even more pronounced in comparison to powering it off a SN2.
ATC SCM 40s are superb speakers (OK, I’m prejudiced) but I suspect they’ll be too much for a Supernait. Personally I’d be looking at a 250 at minimum and a 300 would be even better. ATC’s own power amps start at 150 wpc and the amp packs on my active 40s are 240 watts. Power isn’t everything, but it does give you an indication. With your not-so-large room, you’d need to be sure they would work and I would insist on a lengthy home trial before spending money. I wonder if ATC’s SCM 19s might be better suited to your room and electronics.
If you do go with ATC, please bear in mind that they are very revealing of source quality and upstream equipment so as others suggest I’d be looking for something better than a CD5X. If you plan to get into streaming a NDX2 or Streaming Bridge + nDAC would be appropriate.
Enjoy the journey
That’s a try it snd see.
To the OP
On a 282/supercap I found a hicap made the superline more detailed but it didn’t boogie as well/wasn’t as coherent as when powered via AUX2. When I got the 552 I tried the superline on AUX power and on the supercap via a Snaic while I waited for the right Burndy, AUX won that one for me until the Burndy turned up. A hicap on the supernait will stand you in good stead to replace the pre section with a 282 when the time comes, which if your speakers aren’t too demanding should preceded the 250. If you get speaker that ask a bit too much of the supernait than that reverses.
You’ll get a wider choice of speakers if you wait until after the 250 but I don’t know your current ones, try a hicap before deciding to go through the long audition process to replace them.
Given your arm and deck can I suggest you give an SPU a go when cartridge time comes around, I got an SPU Royal N a year ago and with an adjustment of arm effective mass to somewhere around 18g it’s wonderful if a trifle demanding of fine adjustment due to the stylus profile, load with 220Ω. The SPU followed a Transfiguration Proteus.
I use a pair of harbeth M30.1 on a 282/250 dr and find it a good match in a moderately sized room. Not sure if you have ever seen the m40 (I had only seen pictures til recently) and was amazed by how much larger they are than the 30’s - it made the substantial price difference more understandable. I don’t think they would be suitable for a relatively small listening room.The 30 should work or the p3. If going for a small stand-mount, I would definitely consider the special 40, as to dynaudios larger speaker, I’ve always found rear ported designs to be more difficult to site properly. Again a home demo is best or at least some consideration as to how flexible you can be with room set-up. Either way - enjoy
If you are getting a good deal on Harbeth 40.1 that’s hard to pass up but ya, not sure the supernait 2 is up to that challenge. You have a small room. If you are upgrading electronics in a year I’d say go for it. If not maybe dynaudios are a better match. As for source that can be addressed. I’m a fan of a cheap dedicated computer like a mac mini using qobuz or ripped files. You can get a nice DAC now-a-days for not a lot. Chord. Mytek. Schitt
You need to try the Harbeths in situ no matter how good a deal it is it won’t compensate for a poor room match.
This advise is the single best piece of advice I ever read on this forum. I made this mistake TWICE. If you get one thing out of this thread, this is it.
Thanks for advice concerning speakers. It looks like I will do some more research and demos. It certainly is easy to get a bit carried away whith a specific model or brand. I have closed floorstanding speakers with no bass port that are easy to drive at the moment (91db).
The cd is obviously a thing to improve. It was picked up in waiting for a streamer. It felt a bit stupid to have a bunch of cds that I couldn’t play. But if a cdx2 should show up that would be my choice.
I have focused on improving the vinyl source so far and with a hicap and new speakers I aimed at making the best of the current system for vinyl playback, which I enjoy. It seems a Hicap is quite a flexibel thing to have when improving and changing part of a system.
Next move after speakers and hicap dr is probably streaming. I had some simple bluetooth solution, but it really was bad compared to the current vinyl playback. It’s not even hooked up now. I feel no hurry to get into streaming though.
Thinking of the 286 and 250 DR is tempting, but I understand the supernait 2 will allow me to get these one at a time, when I get the chance.
Thanks Yeti, som good advice and food for thoughts. I guess when I finally decidec on speakers it is time to fret about a new cartridge! Will look into SPU:s.
Currently spotted a used 250 DR. By looking in manuals etc. it seems to be a 3 pin XLR from the 250 and the Supernait 2 seems to have a 4 pin Din. What would be the correct connector to use between a 250 DR and a Supernait 2?
You are correct, it’s a 4 pin DIN to 3 pin XLR that you need. It would be supplied in the box with the 250, so you should check with the seller that they have included it.
It’s good to know this interconnect should come with the 250 DR. I thought I would need some obscure variant to get the connection right.
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