Streaming sanity

The ND555 impressions thread has many responses concerning many if not all aspects of streaming and relevant cables.

While understandable with Naim kit of that calibre I am hoping that the same is not true at my NDX2/SN2 level.

I am hoping that the people discussing on that thread are all more discerning than myself and capable of hearing what I hope are relatively subtle changes. I read the thread because it exposes me to a lot of information, some of which I may understand.

Any way, to the point, I am keen to hear views on what is an appropriate level of ‘pursuit of excellence’ at different price points. Top down I am thinking:-

  1. Statement - anything goes as this is highly specialist
  2. 500 series - anything goes as it too is very specialist
  3. Classic series separate pre/power with PSUs - these people are very keen and may be on journeys to 500 series or beyond so some restraint required to ensure a sustainable upgrade path
  4. Classic series with integrated amps with/without PSUs - people wishing to maximise the potential with limited funds/desires to over elaborate their systems
  5. All in ones - upgrades may be limited in scope.

The categories are very broad and just for an idea - there is no intent to offend - I appreciate that some people will have hearing abilities way beyond their budgets but may be able to upgrade in a more savvy way.

Anyway, my own situation is that I purposely chose the NDX2 and SN2 with Neat SX1 speakers mainly for SSD playing and streaming tidal. I made the conscious decision that I will not tread the PSU or separate pre/power path.

I really enjoy my system and appreciate that some attention to Ethernet/WiFi as opposed to Power-Line sockets may pay dividends for tidal but how much? It is already very stable (no drop outs, quick and easy connection etc.) but also has to share a house with Sky Q, mobile phones etc. so there is a limit to what can be done.

How much of my full potential am I missing out on with my 57 year old but still good ears?

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There are plenty of people using upgraded cables such as various Chords, Hiline or even Super Lumina with lower end Classic boxes. Good dealers always offer home demos of these cables, so you can always try them with no commitment. I would suggest that such analogue cables offer much greater upgrade potential than you’ll get from expensive digital cables such as Ethernet and SPDIF, at least in my experience.

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Yes, you may be right but my current system does sound very good and I don’t want to have to upgrade unnecessarily. If for example a hiline or superlumina only gives a marginal difference then I am not missing out and would consider the upgrade unnecessary.

However if it made a massive difference then it would mean that I am necessarily missing out on potential.

I don’t want to instigate a home trial unnecessarily because that could put me on the slippery slope.

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Hello Bjm–you may not realize it, but I think you have ventured on to the slippery slope turf by asking this question:grinning:

Its fun to add or replace or upgrade simple things–to get the biggest bang for the buck. It may be more desirable to consider some room acoustics treatment or a Fraim rack to hold your present equipment–depending upon your present situation.

And most of all, which its sounds like your are doing, “Enjoy the Music”–HB

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Ha ha, thanks! I do just enjoy the music and would rather pay money for more music :joy:

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I once bought a HiLine and it was just awful. I spent 6 months trying to understand how to use it. Then I just gave up, buried it in the attic and went back to standard lavender cable which played some serious music.

It was between a CDX2 and a 52. Since then I have improved cables. But strictly DIY. It is a world of surprises.

I wouldnt worry about cables. Just use what you got with the boxes, you know they fit the purpose of the high quality units you have. Even if it was a HiLine :slight_smile:

I think streaming today is at a surprisingly immature level. I dont understanda why. Digital audio is mathematics - not science. Right now I am trying to find the right software for my purpose - for curating and tagging my own collection. The best I’ve found so-far is Minim + SongKong for Minim. Anyone know any better?

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Hello Jan
I agree with you that streaming is at an immature level. While it is mathematics, which is correct, the implementation of the proper mathematics is hard. Some manufacturers have investments in designs that they want to recoup. Change is hard. First they have to admit that there might be a better way. Some just want to manufacture what they always have. Some want to Pioneer new things–Re Robb Watts and Bob Stuart. They usually take quite a beating by the status quo. Thank goodness they have the will to put forth new ideas. I am sure we will see more of this going forward. It can’t happen soon enough for me, as I turn 75 this year. Been an audiophile for nearly 60 years.

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Indeed @jan, Lavendar between NDX2 and SN2 and that’s the way I want to keep it

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My every day system in the home office is based around a SN2, It has a HiCap DR on it and also an ND5 XS2 source. I’ve used a mix of Naim and Chord interconnects in that setup and Naim speaker cable, mostly sticking to Naim manufactured cables as my logic being there that the cables were by definition a part of the system and would be well matched.
Over the years and having listened to all of the systems you outline, I can still happily come back to mine and find it very rewarding and enjoyable regardless of the monetary value. It mostly comes down to disposable income, if I had the funds and could spare it I would own a Statement system, would I enjoy it any more? Maybe a little but then I’d probably have less time to actually stop, listen and relax I suppose.
You can actually make a big difference by doing simple things like speaker positioning and making sure the equipment is on a well designed rack.

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It seems an opportunity to remind ourselves that most Naim owners are actually unaware this Forum exists and are very happy system owners just getting on with listening to the music. While the OP may enjoy the requested feedback from Forum members, take a moment to reflect on all the system owners that have chosen with care according to their budget, enjoyed expert installation from a knowledgeable dealer and just get on with enjoying their music. Believe it or not they are the majority of Naim owners. This is not to say we Forum members are not doing the same!

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I’m in the same camp with a NDX2 and SN2. I tend to fantasise a bit over adding power supplies but am really happy with what I have and the quality of sound. Stepping up is a big cost, maybe one day…

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Excellent point @cdboy. It is easy to get wrapped up in discussions - I guess it is because for me at least, this was a large investment and I want to make sure I am not missing anything fundamental.

I am spending a bit too much time reading these forums but I do really enjoy the SQ of my system.

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The moment you try to store a digital signal it is no longer mathematics, it is physics. Turning the stored information into electrical signals is physics. Turning digital electrical signals into analogue signals is also physics.

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This reminds me of a T-Shirt I once saw.
Rocket Science is Easy - F=MA
Rocket Engineering - Pictures of several complex pieces of metal with fine tolerances against them, and a couple of complex engineering equations.

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I started a thread recently “In the land of the blind the one eyed man in king”, to me if your happy (like i am) then ignorance is bliss, so don’t fret and enjoy.

I subscribed in the past the the box stack and was never ever happy, always looking to the next step up, this time around i’m keeping it simple, steady and enjoying the music.

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Could someone stream some sanity in my direction please? I could do with some extra.

:laughing:

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Hi @obsydian, great to hear that you have been on the journey and your comments reinforce the fact that the pursuit of perfection is not necessary.

The only problem that I actually have is with Tidal - so much selection of new music (to me anyhow) that I don’t know what to listen to next :laughing:

Sometimes I spend more time searching than listening!

Well, you could always listen to music whilst searching… :crazy_face:

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I must admit I find the same with Tidal, though with Roon is auto plays something similar after your selection is finished, so far I like the Roon suggestions as new music, but spent a while at first trying to switch it off.

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Yes, that’s exactly what I do. I am trying to discipline myself to select an album and play it all the way through!