I don’t think connecting the sub to the speakers terminals will be a suitable solution that would look weird and be too inconvenient. What’s the difference if I connect only through the RCA sub/pre out connection?
Also out of curiosity, why isn’t it “ok” to connect at the amp terminals on Naim amps?
I’ve read this thread thoroughly (I think) but can’t find anywhere where the reasoning to this advice is provided - can you help me understand why this type of connection is a bad idea?
I have a REL T5 connected to an Atom with REL’s own Neutrik high-level cable at the amplifer-end speaker terminals (the cables are very thin so easy to squeeze in to the socket with the speaker cable’s banana plug.
It sounds great (better than previous sub that used the low-level pre-amp out terminals) and this seems to be the method of choice for many Naim+REL users on a well-known social media site.
My understanding is that the reason for connecting to the speakers rather than the amp is that it doesn’t alter the effect of the speaker cables on the power amp, which is an important consideration with the Classic range Naim amps. For that reason, I have connected my N-Sub to the speakers, and it has worked well.
Having said that, I have raised this issue with my dealer on a couple of occasions, and he insists that connecting to the amp output terminals is fine. He is a long standing Naim and REL dealer, and always instals REL subs in this way, so I guess he should know.
[Correction to my previous response as I later realized that a thread I quoted was not making the point that I intended. It is too late to edit, so I deleted it]
From REL: “When using the High Level input, your REL is fed the same signal that your main speakers are receiving. When connecting to the High Level input on the REL from the amplifier, you capture the sonic signature of your main system, including the tonal balance and timing cues of the entire electronics chain.” and “The Low level input is rarely recommended over the High Level input, however this connection method still produces amazing low end and seamless integration.”
So I’m not really sure if it’s in the realm of splitting hairs or not, but I try to follow REL’s advice when practical.
However I, and many others, still get perfectly fine results connecting through the low-level inputs. I do that myself in cases where it’s not feasible to connect through the high-level inputs.
Then as far as where to tap the signal when using the high-level inputs, this is from the (old forum archive) FAQ:
Very interesting thread. I have heard a Boenicke on the High End Munich 2019 and was blown away by it’s sound. It was the W11 I guess - but reviews for the W5 are also very good. I am considering hearing these soon.
I currently own Sonus Faber Olympica II. Also quite nice speakers. My main system is a SN2, NDX, XPS DR. I like it a lot, but I am missing some features that currently only the Uniti Series have (Airplay 2, ability to set max volume so kids can’t break anything, HDMI, changing volume via a slider and not those stupid + and - buttons).
I recently bought an Atom second hand to play around and had it running instead of my main gear. It is a nice kit, no question. But sound was so much inferior to my main kit. I was wondering what is the main bottleneck (dac, preamp, or amp) so I decided to order RCA to DIN cables so I can connect the Atom preamp-out to my SN2 functioning as amp only.
I had a first listen yesterday night and I was surprised. The sound is SO much better with the SN2 as amp. Much more detailed, voices so much more pleasant, the soundstage is back, has depth again. Certainly the NDX is still better, but quality is now back at a level, where I can say I can live with it - so good it is for my ears. So, at least for my speakers, the Atom’s amp seems to be by far the biggest bottleneck. I am considering selling the main kit and just get a really good amp to match with the Atom. And I am not sure it will be a NAIM. I heard some LINN kit recently and I was amazed by how much more tuneful the bass was. Maybe the more expensive NAIM amps can give me that too. Something to look into.
Back to the Boenicke. It is said to be extremely power hungry. Boenicke once recommended 400W amps on some forum IIRC.
So my recommendation: definitely take a look at other amps with the Atom. It might unleash the W5’s potential - at least worth a try.
PS: AND please keep us informed. Really. Super interesting to hear what you found out.
Sure? I thought is has no AP2 yet. Has no max volume on the preamp side, and enabling the volume of the NDX (however it is called - hybrid or so) you actually end up having 2 separate volumes right. One on the preamp and one slider for the NDX 2.
Yes, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. You set the volume at a fixed level on the SN2, and then control the variable volume on the NDX2. The NDX2 and app then work just like the Nova. I didn’t like it, so use system automation, the app and the NDX2 remote (which adjusts the volume on the SN2.
I don’t use AP2, even though I’m on Apple devices. The NDX2 (or NDX) will multiroom with the Atom.
Anyway, the NDX2 would be a nice fit with your system.
I use also a pair of Boenicke W5 (SE version with Naim Atom. I have had many speakers with elaborate and expensive amplification - many boxes. Before Boenicke W5 I used for a few years PMC twenty26 (excellent speakers). I use SME 10 with SME V and and a Nagra phono stage. The Atom is half the price of the other components. I have never been as satisfied with a system. In short, I see no issue with using Atom with more expensive speakers. It is also a great partner with my other small speaker, a Franco Selbrin Piega.
It’s been a while since I visited this forum, so sorry for the late response.
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. I think I’ll keep the W5s and go for a sub or subs instead of the W5 SE.
Regarding the Atom, I’ve actually moved on since switching to Devialet 220 Pro and I’m very happy. I was curious about adding more power to the W5s but what made me switch was the Atoms awful software. Too many bugs for me and Naim kept pushing the date for new SW. I know it’s released now and hopefully it’s all fixed.
I was considering Devialet before Atom crossed my path. On paper it seems ideal while Atom is not. I have the most recent SW of Atom, but it seems buggy. As a recording artist I have listened to two concerto recordings I did with orchestra. One at the famous concert hall of the Tchaikowsky Conservatory in Moscow and the other with Swedish Radio Orchestra at the Berwald Hall. The resolution I get from Atom and W5 is simply stunning and very near the sound I heard in the control room. So, I am impressed. It shows, to me, that bigger and more expensive is not always needed.
Hi and welcome Sounside great system you have there.
Unfortunately there are many ‘armchair drivers’ on this forum who love looking up the specs of other members systems and without any direct experience then tell them that they do not work together.
I have never heard an Atom but have owned it’s predecessor the UnitiQute 2 on two separate occasions and found that it drove several sets of speakers that it had no business driving with ease and sounded fantastic with bookshelf speakers and a sub connected to it’s pre out.
There is no substitute for listening to a system because on many occasions the specs do not add up and components that shouldn’t work do.