I need your educated input please.
I have a Supernait2. I love the sound. (All Naim system with Harbeth speakers).
1- When the balance control is centered the central image is always to the left. To center the image the balance control must be at around 1:30. This bothers me…but I could learn to live with it. However;
2- When I try to center the image by bringing the balance control to 1:30 the tonal balance changes.
When the balance control is on 12:00 the sound is smoother and fuller. (the center image however is to the left).
When the balance control is on 1:30 (with a good central image) the tonal balance is uplifted. As if the upper midrange is slightly tilted up and the sound is somewhat less full and less smooth.
I prefer the tonal balance when the balance control is at 12:00 BUT then I lose the central image.
I hope some experienced Naim listeners can shed some light into this. Has anyone else experiences issues 1 and 2 mentioned above?
I thank you in advance.
I need your educated input please.
This could be down to a few things; firstly, the most common cause is due to your room acoustics (its one reason why the balance control is there in the first place). This can also affect tonal balance too. Re-siting the speakers is probably the best course of action here. Secondly, if it’s only on certain music, it could be down to the source. Best way to check these things is to use a mono music source.
Another possible cause is that you have one or both speakers out of phase. Check your speaker cable connections carefully. Note that in a few rare instances, it has been found that one of the speakers itself has been accidentally wired out of phase internally.
Apart from that, if you are still having this issue then get the SN2 checked out by your dealer. If they have a demo unit, ask if you can try that in its place - that will soon indicate whether it’s an issue with amp or elsewhere.
I thank you for your prompt reply.
It is not the speaker wire connections as I just checked again.
It is not a speaker issue as it does so on both of the Harbeth pairs (7’s and 3’s) I have at home.
It is a symmetrical room and the speakers are positioned in the center away from walls for nearfield listening. So I doubt it is the room.
Currently I live in Kuwait where unfortunately there is no Naim dealership. (I purchased the unit from UHES in UK - who couriered to me - before they went out of business) so I can not send it to the dealer. (Although I suppose I can send it to Naim Service department.)
I have previously heard - in this forum - of channel imbalance issues with Naim volume pots before. I understand unfortunately that many Naim volume pots have this issue. However I have not heard anyone mention that they have noticed a change in tonal balance when the balance control is away from 12:00 o’clock.
Has anyone else experienced this?
Does it centre up when you increase volume?
OK, so you’ve had this SN2 for a number of years, so I take it that it has been fine up until recently.
The ALPS volume pot can have some imbalance at the very beginning of its working range, but after that should be very even, and certainly wouldn’t explain a tonal change.
It could be a interconnect problem. Try another one to see whether the situation improves.
Does it do this with all sources? (what are your sources?)
Otherwise, it will probably need to be looked at by a Naim service technician. You could email Naim service to ask them about how to go about this.
It’s very likely being due to Alps volume pot unbalance. The same recently occured me with a new Nait XS 3. Even at 9 'o clock level, the image was to the left speaker (n Sat).
Once returned at service centre for a check, it showed 1 db of unbalance.
For this and not of my taste presentation, i already ditched this for a unused ’ 13 Nait XS which is absolutely perfect even at whispering levels.
Do the limits of the balance knobs travel match? If not it could be a spline out of place. This doesn’t address the tone issue but what is right anyway, Is it still the case in mono? (I’d guess Naim skimped on a mono button on the supernait 2 along with the second row but a mono recording would do as well if you don’t have one.)
I have had the same problem with my system and room. Initially thought is was my SN2 or speakers but having changed both I now accept it’s a combination of room accoustics and my hearing and I have learned to live with it
I have never had a good stable central image with different systems in different rooms and put it down to the same things, asymmetrical room dimensions and my hearing. The image always skews the the right. Interestingly if I pull my left ear slightly out from my head the image stabilises centrally. Does anyone know of any form of ear splint which I can use for serious listening sessions!?
Balance problem now resolved
Maybe it’s not me or the room?
No. Increasing the volume does not make a difference.
True, I have had the unit for a number of years.
However during this time I have also had a Lavardin IT and LFD NCSE competing for the right to stay if you will.
So finally having parted with one of the 3 I have been able to concentrate on the SN2 more.
Also, this problem is less noticable with the less precise Harbeth 7’s than the 3’s -with pin point imaging - I have been listening to exclusively lately.
I am alsmost sure the issue existed before.
One other observation I have made is that everytime the Naim system is re-installed it takes 1-2 weeks to wean itself of all fat (so to speak) into its Naim’ness. During the time of Naim metamorphosis there are changes to the central image as well so one can be fooled during this period.
My source is a Naim CDX2.2.
I also do have a Bryston BCD-1 player. Since you mentioned sources I will try to see if the same issue remains with the Bryston CD player. Thank you.
Were they able to fix the issue of channel (1 db) imbalance during servicing?
Since I have read your post I have given this some thought.
You are right regarding “which is right anyway”.
It could be that the tonal balance with a centered image - while less pleasing - could be the accurate one.
Perhaps the left of center image is picking up “proximety of room boundary” related base boost?
Not sure, just guessing.
Yes, the limits of the balance knobs travel do in fact match to the naked eye.
I will try a mono recording as sson as I find one. Thanks.
I am understanding that you changed to another Naim amplifier and the same issue remained.
Is this correct?
Swopping speaker connectors at rear will let you know if it’s room acoustics or the amp/source
Yes from SN 2 to 282/259dr
Yes, Italian Naim service centre (LASA) promptly replaced the Alps pot, then he said that difference is reduced with new one, probably not perfect yet. BTW as i said the amp is now returning tothe dealer since i ditched this in favour of an original Nait XS i sourced from previous Naim distributor. Problem is that it was already fully payed. I will use the credit for another Fraim stack.
I suspect your NAC A5 cables are not precisely soldered and matched and are more likely to be ‘out of sync’ than anything else that has been mentioned in this thread.