Upgrades Inspired by Forum Posts

With the usual caveat of “my system, my room, my ears” and on the understanding that these are my opinions and not facts…

I’ve made a few upgrades recently which have been inspired by reading these pages so I thought I’d share them back again in the hope of inspiring others to do the same or similar. In the order I did them and with a mention of the key changes brought about (see caveat):

  1. I snipped off the cable ties that fastened my NAC A5 concertina run to the straight through run under the sofa and lifted the cable off the floor with short lengths of pipe insulation. Key result: the top end harshness that had made AC/DC’ vocals almost unlistenable, disappeared.

  2. I replaced the supplied spikes under my Neats with IsoAcoustics Gaia feet. Key result: much more spacious soundstage, deeper and (somewhat counter-intuitively) punchier bass, more clarity. I have a wood floor laid onto a concrete base and the Gaias work really well, giving me more protection from accidental movement (the spikes were sitting in Naim Fraim Chips so were prone to slip when knocked).

  3. I added a NAPSC. Key result: more bass “heft”, better texture and subtlety across the range but at the cost of a bit of the previously experienced bass punch. Will that come back as the NAPSC beds in? Indeed, does a NAPSC need time to bed in, it’s just a power supply after all?

  4. I discovered how to mute the Tape Out circuits and switch off the display LEDs on the 202. Key result: I can’t hear any difference to be perfectly honest but it makes me feel better!

So all in all, some happy fettling and each time the quality of the underlying system has been able to shine through even more. It just shows you there’s plenty to be gained by some careful and not too expensive tweaks, it’s not always necessary to buy more and more expensive boxes! I’m pretty sure the NDX/202/200 have more to give yet :grinning:

Thank you, previous posters and thank you Naim for all the fun and happy listening.


Hi Julian,

Well done - especially the free upgrades. Another free fix you might like to try is to unlock both plugs at the end of the 5pin din cable between the pre-amp and the NDX (DONT TOUCH THE OTHER CABLES) and pull them out just a millimetre or two of they are free(er) from potential microphony issues.

Your next upgrade, should you be looking, might be to look for a pre-loved HiCap DR. Or at least try and demo one. It was a big upgrade when I had something similar to you.

I generally ignore all the tweaking that goes on here now, I just plug my stuff in and listen, don’t stress about improving it or worry about cables , power, switches any of it any more. It’s all a fools errand from my experience which is counter to most experiences on here I know. I am happy to let my kit just do what it does and choose stuff that works for me Naim system or with all my other music listening systems warts and all. In the end the music is the most important thing and fussing about the kit I find doesn’t improve this it distracts from it. Keep it simple.


I’d agree that a lot of the tweaks fall into the different but probably not better camp, but some, such as dedicated mains, equipment separation and good supports, are fundamental to getting the best from your investment. I will admit to discovering my ethernet cables (Blue Jeans 6A), switch (EE) and speaker cables (Witch Hat Phantom) as a result of Forum discussion but as to the rest the Forum has played no part.

It’s interesting how much notice people do take of posts on here and people have, for good or ill, chosen whole systems on the basis of my posts, which is why it behoves us all to be considered in our posts. I get emails now and again from people asking for advice; someone called me a ‘forum influencer’ once, which almost made me feel young!


Who’s jeans and trainers do you wear?

Your experience with the Gaias matches mine very closely. A really cost effective upgrade in my opinion.

But now your experience with getting the NAC A5 off the floor is sounding intriguing to me. In a recent interview on the Part-Time Audiophile site I heard Steve Sells explain why he thought that had merit, at least on concrete floors: because of the rebar or steel mesh in the flooring. The rest I didn’t really understand, partly because of the audio quality, partly because of my own ignorance.

Anyway, thanks for posting.

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Bought a Primare NP5 as a result of being made aware of it by a forum member. Didn’t need a DAC at the time, so the Bluesound seemed a bit of a silly buy. It’s a good little box.

You give good advice on balancing a system with the right components which is by far the best way to get a good system so no surprises people thank you. Some added things make common sense such as isolation for speakers etc other stuff I am yet to be convinced of and isn’t as important as getting the main components right.

I have a couple of pairs of Dubarry Chelsea boots, but I’m not sure they will catch on. I’d never wear trainers, other than for exercise.

Well now the cats out of the bag, on your next festival you will look across the crowd and see a sea of Dubarry Chelsea boots wearers

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I have been on an upgrade process since I joined the old forum a few years ago, guided by…so many here.

The incisive mind of ChrisSU - a man who once walked the entire length of the Himalaya from Darjeeling to Pakistan.

The extraordinary helpfulness of Richard Dane.

The Bilbo Baggins and Capt. Mainwaring of Naim, HH.

The inventiveness of Xanthe, the skills of Darran, the boundless knowledge of jazz and hifi that wells up here.

For less than the cost of an ND555, I have cobbled together an audio system that makes music sound amazingly real. :grinning:

Here’s to the genius of JV and the nutters and nerds of Naim (even in New Zealand!)


Funny, the OP didn’t mentioned the Isoblue, neither the dedicated mains…


Or a Fraim, or a 272/555PS/NAP300…




When I downsized my system - I also had to change the Chord Epic to Chord Shawline (for length reasons) The power amp had been on the bottom of the rack , but the Nova sits on the top - so an extra half metre of speaker cable was needed

Now have Witch Hat on order thanks to the Forum, how are yours going ?



They seem fine. As others have written, they are not something you really notice; they just sound right. I’ve ordered some jumpers, which should appear in a few weeks. Whether I’ll hear a difference I don’t know, but somehow it seems the right thing to do.


Just upgrade those boots to RM Williams …… they are the pinnacle of Chelsea Boots.


No good for me - mine have thick rubber soles and a Gore-Tex lining. Who in the U.K. wants Australian boots? Think of the air miles. Anyway, back on topic I think.

I’m a big fan of R M Williams boots. Expensive yes, but well worth the money (and the air miles - although, 3 pairs of mine I picked up while travelling through Australia on business trips). I gave an old pair of my suede RMWs to my nephew many years back and he’s still wearing them.


I also discovered Witch Hat via this forum. I got the WitchHat Phantom cables & jumpers too and found that they did sound better, well compared to the old Ecosse cables they replaced! Yeah I could have simply used a set of homemade jumpers but the WH ones, as you say, just seemed the right thing to do! More than happy with them.

Again from the forum I am considering Iso Acoustic Gaias for my speakers, but I’m not sure if they will be the right option. I wonder will they work effectively under speaker stands? I have Acoustic Energy AE1s on their dedicated stands on a carpeted wooden sub floor. I experimented with a set of small Atacama feet between the speakers and stands and found a big improvement, but there is still resonance when the volume goes up. Don’t know what to do, take a chance and spend the money on the Gaias or look for a more economical option.