Resurrecting the system, finally!

Hi everybody,

I used to post on the older version of the Naim forum fairly often, but have been away from the forum (and hi-fi!) for almost a decade.

(Feel free to ignore all this self-indulgent rambling)

I began my hi-fi journey in New York in 2005, right after I finished university, where I spent several months exploring all that Manhattan’s audio dealers had to offer, and then ended up (without really knowing what I was getting into) a Naim CD5XS/Nait 5i/B&W 804S system.

I then discovered the Naim forum (and the other, pink colored one), and got a case of upgraditis. By 2008, I had worked my way up to a CDX2/Non-Naim PSU202/Napsc/Hicap2/250.2 system, still with the same B&Ws.

In 2009, I moved back home to India, taking my entire system with me, which meant having the voltage converted. After all that, 2011 unexpectedly saw me move right back to the US – but this was only meant to be for two years, so I didn’t want to bother with having to ship everything back to the US, get the voltage converted again (and then back again), etc.

So I packed up my electronics for what I thought would be a couple of years. I also figured that the days of CDs were behind me, so I used this opportunity to trade my CDX2 and 202 in for a nice 282 from a large UK-based Naim dealer, which would waiting in storage for me with the rest of my system. I got rid of my speakers as well (big mistake, looking at how speaker prices have shot up in recent years!), since I’d been thinking about upgrading them anyway.

As fate would have it, the two years away became four. Then, when I finally moved back to India in 2015, I moved into a nice flat, expect that it had a very awkwardly “L” shaped living room, which made buying a nice new set of speakers and setting up the big system a bit of waste. By then, I had also acquired the expensive trappings of adulthood: a wife, a dog, and most recently, a baby. All of this put setting up the big system on the back burner.

So I settled for a first-gen Naim Muso, which to its credit, really sounds wonderful for what it is. 5 years on, I still enjoy it, despite the slightly flaky volume control knob.

But finally, FINALLY, after all these years, it’s time to get going with the big system. In the next few months, we are moving to newer, blessedly rectangular, flat, and I have carte blanche (ish) from the wife to get a decent pair of speakers. Yay!

So the plan of action is as follows:

  • As soon as the Covid lockdown in Bombay ends, get my old electronics (282/hicap/250.2) serviced by the local Naim distributor
  • Once it’s a little safer to be out and about, go audition speakers
  • Get a decent a streaming source

After years and years of headphones, the Muso, etc, I’m so incredibly excited to get the big system going again!

Now to the point of this whole post:

Question 1: Cable longevity

  • Given my system has been in storage for 9 years, one Naim dealer told me that all my cables will need to be replaced, as they will have gone bad – this is many meters of Naca5, a stack of Powerlines, and a Highline interconnect.
  • Is this correct?? Do cables actually go bad? Or at worst will only need to be re-terminated? This sounded very odd to me.

Question 2: Streamer

  • Given the types of speakers I have my eye on, I may not have a large budget left for a streaming source right now, though my ‘toy’ budget should replenish itself next year – so I would rather splurge on the speakers right now, and work my way up to a better source next year, rather than get stuck with a pair of speakers that I won’t want in a few months from now (very poor second-hand market in India unfortunately)
  • So as a stopgap, I was thinking of getting something like a Bluesound Node 2i for now. All of my music is in a lossless ALAC iTunes library, plus Spotify/Qobuz/Tidal; Airplay is important for my wife
  • Then early next year, I was thinking of getting nice DAC (perhaps a pre-loved Naim DAC from the UK , especially since I have a non-Naim PSU lying around) to attach to the back of the Bluesound, as a long-term solution – I’m fine with just using high-res Qobuz and giving up on Tidal MQA stuff
  • Any thoughts / alternatives on both the immediate and follow-up plans on the streamer / DAC / etc?

Sorry for the very long ramble, just very excited at the prospect of getting my hi-fi back!

Hope everybody is staying safe. Thanks for reading.



Hi Kartik,

Welcome back. Hope you and yours remain safe.

Cable rot! Yea, right. My reaction to this would be to get the cables out of storage, check them and if all looks OK just carry on using them.

Streamer: There are a couple of currently running threads that will be of interest. Such as:

A friend of mine is currently reviewing a Melco D100 > Qutest DAC …and he is enjoying them mightily. He is finding they are getting UNCOMFORTABLY close to his dCS Network Bridge > Audio Note 4.1 Balanced DAC; but he hasn’t finished that journey yet.

Speakers: Hope you can home demo gear, but ESPECIALLY the speakers in a less than ideal room. You may choose to take a left turn and look at something like the KEF LS50W where you will be able to apply DSP to overcome some room issues.

The only cable issue i could see would be the naca5 tarnishing at the plugs where the insulation had need stripped soldering . Fresh set of plugs and resolder

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I had a Bluesound Node 2 and it was a great piece of kit… I used it on it’s own and with an Audiolab M-Dac+. It was a very capable combination although I’ve found I prefer the Chord Qutest as an external DAC over the Audiolab and internal DAC of the ND5 XS2.

The app for Bluesound works well with Qobuz and you have the option to use Roon with Bluesound as well.

Cable rot in PowerLine and HiLines… cough yeah right :joy:… I seriously can’t believe that would be true!

It never ceases to amaze me, some of the utter tosh that’s sprouted in connection with Hifi.

Speaker cable, interconnects and power cables are virtually all OFC copper or a plated version of it. Does anyone ever see BT or network providers etc, digging up cable every 9 years because it’s “Gone Off!” ?

As suggested, if needed cut off the ends, clean and re-terminate. It will be as good as new. Don’t forget to run it in again though as there will be flat spots from where it’s been sat :rofl:

The Bluesound Node is a good budget solution as it stands and is also an adequate transport into a Rega DAC or nDAC.

In addition, we find the user interface and convenience allows it to be used by all family members with ease. The Bluesound app on Apple devices is very intuitive. Combined with small Bluesound speakers, we can synchronise streams or internet radio in the bathroom, kitchen, living room and study. Local radio with news, weather and traffic reports are useful in the morning and Radio Paradise is my wife’s default station for background music.

Enjoy your resurrected system and stay safe.


Thank you all

Appreciate the welcome back, and confirming that speaker rot is indeed BS

Certainly clears up which dealer to avoid!

Looking forward to the speaker hunt, once the Covid situation normalizes a bit


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