I’ve posted before about my ProAc speakers, but in the last fortnight I’ve brought in the SN3 and Naim DAC, and things have changed.

My initial thoughts were positive - and generally still are - but I’m increasingly aware of an annoying hint of treble harshness at mid to high volumes (varies with recordings of course, but usually around “10o’clock” on the vol pot).

The culprit recordings may well have been the same or worse with the Nova (I still have it but can’t be bothered to compare just yet) but I’m surprised by the conspicuous glare in the upper range.

Amp & speakers?
Source? (Seems mostly when streaming from Bluesound Vault2i).

This sounds like possibly warmup/burn in. If any of the kit is brand new then its probably burn in. However 10 o’clock is rather loud so won’t be helping the issue.


Yes, the SN3 is new. I do play mostly between 9 & 10o’clock on the dial.

Would like to alleviate this upper range harshness; so I’ll allow for some burn-in time to elapse, if that’s one of the potential issues here, and take it from there.

I agree with Mrhappy, let it burn in some. Wow 9 o’clock is loud for me. I can’t imagine 10. Also I’d double check you have all connections nice and snug. I use NACA5 speaker cables and jumpers.


Charles is this limited to digital source only perhaps that’s where the problem lies. If using standard Naim din cable I’d be surprised if it sounded bright but clearly it’s not doing it for you.

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Yes, will await some elapsed burn in time.

For digital playback I listen at around 80db on average, which seems to be around the 9 to 10o’clock position.
For vinyl it’s 10o’clock and beyond for similar dB.

Yes, I’ve double checked all connections. I don’t have NAC cable, I’ve just switched out some Tellurium Silver II (to another house/system), so I’m currently using some cheaper QED.



Yes, it is limited to digital. Everything goes through the Naim DAC now. I’m not using DIN, just RCA.

I’ve also been mulling over a Hi-line cable to run between DAC and amp.

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To my ears and in my system the Hi-Line brings mids and highs forward in presentation but in a good way - adds air/sparkle/clarity.
Anyway another word of caution I do my listening at “8” rather than “10 o’clock” - that can’t be good for your ears surely - god I’ve turned into my parents!!!

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I would not qualify my DAC V1/SN2/D2R bright at all. What I did notice though, anything silver as a connection will make the treble glare a bit. Maybe that TQ speaker cable is the cause or even worse the cheap QED. If your dealer has some spare A5s and can borrow them, might be a good idea to try them and see if things calm down.


Ha! We all do eventually. Ask my teenage sons.

I must have wax filled ears, then. 8 o’clock is no fun for me. My preferred range for a proper listening session is 75-80db.


Definitely worth a try. Thanks.

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Seems odd you have to turn it up so much, I wonder is something amiss and that’s the source of the problem

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That thought has occurred to me, too.

However, I’ve just reverted to CD for an album, and 9o’clock is where I have it. The CD player isn’t going though the Naim DAC.

My Bluesound Vault does go into my DAC, and that does require a bit more on the volume pot, so could this mean the culprit is Vault or DAC or connection betwixt the two?

Interesting. Guess I should try a sound meter and find out where my preferred range is. I do tend to use Roon’s volume leveling when listening to random tracks which is wonderful as some modern tracks are loud by default. My dial is firmly locked at the say 8:50 position (almost 9) for what it’s worth.

I’m with @realdpg and others, I surely don’t find my D2R bright at all especially compared with my old harsh Bowers and Wilken speakers. My ears still burn thinking about them lol


As an aside, I do really miss Roon’s interface. I switched to Innuos when I bought a Zenith, but have moved it on now. It enabled me to try out both at the time.

The Bluesound’s app is quite poor compared to Roon, Innuos and Naim’s own in my view.

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I had the same problem with QED Silver Anniversary XT cable a year or so back. Sounded good with my previous non-Naim system but was a terrible match with Naim. Much too bright.

I switched to Witchhat N2 and it was transformational

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That’s rather interesting.

The N2 looks like a pretty affordable option. Excellent.

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How old is the DAC? Has it been serviced?
I had my DAC recapped over the summer, which was a great improvement.

Do you use a power supply upgrade for either the SN3 or DAC?
I think that would be a worth while upgrade as well.

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I’d definitely do the comparison before switching or buying new stuff - this will enable you to rule out SN3 burn in, source issue with the Bluesound or possible weakness in interconnects/cables.


Here’s my opinion. Bluesound Vault as a streamer is not a great choice. I once tried a Node 2i and was rather disappointed. You should consider Auralic Aries G1, Auralic has recently released G1.1 so you might find a good deal on the G1. ProAc speakers like Copper speaker cables. ProAc uses ProAc speaker cable to wire internally. I’d put the BS Vault on your network and stream from it to the Auralic. Oh and try to stick with good cables commensurate with the price of your other gear

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