Various issues with NDX 2

Which cinch/rca cable did you listen to? I have a new SN3 / NDX 2 combo that is a little over a week old (replaced a Nova). I have been demoing different interconnect cables between the SN3 and NDX2 as well. I am auditioning both Nordost and Audioquest RCA cables (as recommended by my dealer). Surprisingly, both sound better than the included Naim Din cable. Both sound more ’open’, provide a bit more detail as well as a bigger soundstage.

I don’t plan to commit to an interconnect cable for a while to give the SN3 time to settle down after a reasonable break-in period. Struggling with ‘booming bass’ at the moment.

FWIW: I home auditioned Nordost Red Dawn and Heimdall II RCA cables for my NDX2. The Red Dawn sounded about the same as the Naim lavender DIN. The Heimdall II was clearly better, but then I got a used HiLine DIN for significantly less than a Heimdall II and it sounded even better, so I am still using the HiLine.

@frenchrooster

The combination of DIN and RCA/ Cinch was used on the NDX 2/ SN3 combo at my dealer. He wanted to show me the difference between the standard DIN and some self-made high quality Cinch cables.
Even though he is selling quite a lot of premium brands (Naim, T & A, Marantz, Focal, Unison research, Lab 12 and the like) he is somewhat skeptical if a pair of speaker cables is getting above 2000,-€/ 3m.
His workshop makes own cables for a very affordable price. They also change a lot of german “Schuko” plugs for the flat 3-pin hexagon Swiss-style variant.
The 1m Cinch cable made in his shop, serving between the NDX 2 and Revox receiver at my home is real value for money at 180,-€ even if we talk about a no-name product.

The good news is that the radio plays again. It seems they have solved the problems around vtuner.

I still wonder why you can search for albums on the Core, but not for titles.
In fact this should be possible as well if we talk about computing power on an Ipad or Core. Same thing for moving Radio stations in the favourite list. I would like to see a function as on an Iphone were radio stations start to “dance” before being put into the right order.
Generally our way of listening to the radio has heavily changed during the last 10 months. Before we listened to some FM stations, located in a radius of let’s say 200 to 300km. A bit of a bore and not that much choice. Now we are trying stations from all over the world, with some 40 favourites between Brazil and Japan. So for every mood you get the right music. This is a feature we wouldn’t like to loose.

Meccanoman

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When I started using my my NDX2 last March I felt the sound improved over my NDX from day one and noticed continued improvements over a few months as I played a lot of music. At the six month mark added a XPS DR power supply and the sound improved immediately and once again have felt some improvement over the past couple months. My point, if I have one, is that I feel it is better to spread out changes over time to evaluate each change.

Some folks above mention buying a new system and begin swapping out components and looking for improvements before the system has settled in. I really believe you need to know and be confident you know the baseline sound of your system in your room before looking for improvements.

JMHO - YMMV

btw… No issues reported with my NDX 2. Usage is streaming from my NAS or TIDAL 98% of the time with a little radio thrown in on occasion. System automation has worked flawlessly as well as the remote, although I do not use it too often and control everything through the iPad.

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Yeah, I see nothing wrong with what you opine against doing. Isn’t that really just a matter of choice and perspective, and goals? I added a 252 last week and have a 300DR coming tomorrow. I see no reason to wait. Last year I had my 282, HiCap2 and 250-2 all serviced and DR upgraded at the same time. There was no reason for me to do any of that one piece at a time. MMDV :wink:

I added the XPS-DR to my NDX2 before it was even fully broken in. The improvement was obvious and immediate. That’s not going away because the system settles in later.

That’s my perspective. Do what makes you happy and provides enjoyment of the system.

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I agree with your view. My frustration when spreading out the upgrades is that it seems like I am in a perpetual state of anticipating and waiting for the upgrade/change to settle in, instead of ‘biting the bullet’ and letting everything optimize simultaneously. Admittedly, when I think I have reached the ‘end-game’, I seem to start the upgrade process over again. Never done.

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I don’t need to evaluate each change on it’s own. To my mind, that more of an audiophile thing…playing music to listen to your system. I care more about more about what gets me to playing my system to listen to music.

If two changes at once get me there faster/better, then I’m good with that. For example, if I buy a NDX2 and I love the sound, and I immediately add a XPS, and then a HiLine, and hear it sound even better all in one sitting, then win-win for me.

End game is nigh for me. The 300DR completes my path to the top of the Classic range, which is where I want to be.

Yes I can’t say much here, but do make sure you run the latest firmwares as they become available… and new firmware will be appearing before too long.

After replacing the existing Revox integrated amplifier which served well for 29 years by a long awaited SN 3 together with a Lab 12 Gordian power conditioner and Focal Clear headphones there is some news regarding the „Clicks“ whenever changing a title with the remote control or IPad.
While the clicks still sometimes occur when songs are played one-by-one from a CD or Spotify playlist, they are clearly audible when zapping through the collection.
So replacing the amplifier has improved the sound quality, but the annoying title changes remain!
The combination of NDX 2, SN3, power conditioner and Focal Clear should provide an excellent combo, but it is somewhat messed up by a problem which is hard to solve.
So what to do? Waiting for the next software update, replacing the NDX 2 or other components?
My dealer has put together the same system in his shop, but there…yes, no clicks!
Any ideas (except replacing all that stuff for Linn)?

Have you tried to connect elsewhere than the power conditioner ?

I agree. Take the power conditioner out of the mix. My experience is Naim gear sounds and works better without one, and I believe they aren’t recommended for Naim electronics anyway. I just use a AV Options Wiremold.

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It’s certainly worth comparing the system with and without a conditioner I think, I use one (Isotek Sirius) with a SN2/NDX2 + PS’s with good results, as many on the forum do, but not all conditioners seem to go well with Naim.

As said before, my dealer has put together the same system and it doesn‘t produce clicks, even with the Gordian power conditioner connected. After reading the posts I have removed it from the existing chain and the clicks remain. While many would put a power condititioner into the esoteric corner, there seem to be some systems that actually work. Together with the NDX 2 and SN3 it worked pretty well at the dealer‘s test room. With the problem remaining the Lab 12 Power conditioner can‘t be blamed if it‘s not connected!

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Looking at this again… these clicks… do you have a feeling where they come from.
You mentioned zapping through CD and streaming content they persist… so if correct that suggests not linked to a particular source.

Out of interest, and it’s a long shot, have you adjusted the NDX2 ground switch to see if that changes things?

If you unplug the NDX2 from the SN3 audio inputs does the clicking stop?

@Simon-in-Suffolk
It took some time to answer as I was quite busy during the last weeks. The ground switch at the rear of the NDX 2 has no influence on the „click- issue“.
To try another approach, a TEAC DAC of a colleague was connected to the digital output of the NDX.
Then, the Focal Clear was connected to the TEAC and the result when zapping through Spotify, Core and internet radio was obvious. No clicks at all! So where to look for the source of this problem? For some reasons the speakers are suspects:
Scheme 1: NDX radio signal — TEAC DAC — Focal Clear: no clicks
Scheme 2: NDX radio signal — Revox or (!) Naim SN3 amplifier — speaker = click sound
Scheme 3: NDX radio signal — SN 3 — Focal Clear via SN 3‘s headphone jack: no click.
Strange thing though, as Focal Sopra 2 should work well on Naim gear.

Meccanoman

Why do you think that the speakers are suspect given that they work fine with the TEAC DAC in scheme 1?

Also, you cannot blame the SN2 if the problem shows up with the Revox as well in scheme 2!

The most plausible suspect would seem to be the NDX2. But then, you mentioned that the NDX2 works fine at the dealer’s place in a previous post, right?

Also, if the NDX2 was the source of the problem, one would expect to hear the click sounds also through the headphones but scheme 3 shows that this is not the case.

If the TEAC makes no problems in your system and the NDX2 does make problems in your system but not in the dealer’s system, there might be another component at your place that badly interacts with the NDX2.

Have you tried to move the NDX2 around? Or to change its setup? Or to connect only one speaker to your system? Or to mute/unmute the SN3 and turn its balance knob full left and full right? Do you have other devices connected to the NDX2 and to the SN2?

I think you have overseen something. The Focal Clear are headphones (!), while the Focal Sopra is a speaker. When the TEAC DAC was connected, the amplifier and Sopras were NOT part of the chain. Same for the Lab 12 Gordian power conditioner.
You are right that the amplifiers are probably not to blame as the clicks on the speakers occur, no matter which amp is connected. So that narrows it down to the speakers or the DAC section of the NDX. The latter was bypassed by the TEAC DAC when using the phones.
Unfortunately I have already sold my IQ Ted4 speakers which served well for 28 years. So changing the speakers wasn‘t possible.
The identical set-up consisting of NDX2 — SN3 — Clear/ Focal Kanta at the dealer showed no problems as that was his own equipment for sale! I have received a brand new system delivered by him in sealed cartons. Still need to try the single speaker/ mute/ balance hints. Will keep you informed!

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@Simon-in-Suffolk
After a busy period at work I found some time to dive into the “click-issue”.
After connecting some simple speakers which rested in some boxes in our cellar and getting again the TEAC DAC from my colleague, some testing took place again.
To make long things short, we can assume that the DAC-part of the NDX 2 might have a problem. Why that? Well, some connection schemes come to that conclusion.
The clicks occur during almost every zapping action between Radio channels, Spotify and Unity Core titles:
Scheme 1: NDX internet radio signal/ Spotify/ Unity Core >> TEAC DAC >> Revox or (!) Naim SN3 >> spare speakers or Sopra 2 : no clicks
Scheme 2: NDX internet radio signal/ Spotify/ Unity Core >> directly to Revox or (!) Naim SN3 amplifier — spare speakers or Sopra 2 = click sound
Scheme 3: NDX internet radio signal/ Spotify/ Unity Core >> TEAC DAC >> Focal Clear directly via TEAC DAC or SN 3‘s headphone jacks: no click.
Scheme 4: NDX internet radio signal/ Spotify/ Unity Core >> Focal Clear directly with SN 3‘s headphone jack: click sound.

After contacting my dealer, he replied that my NDX could be connected to his chain of identical devices and check it again. With plenty of warranty time to go, he suggested to send my NDX back to Naim for repair and checks. Meanwhile I could get an Atom as replacement till the NDX returns.
When asking my colleague if he ever had such issues, he replied that he was facing quite the same problem when listening to his PC-based server. It turned out that he some internet/ web problems?!

Sounds like you on top of this… yes it does sound like a fault with the NDX2 from your descriptions. Good luck getting it sorted.

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I am having a similar, though less severe problem with internet radio connections. The problem – persistent dropping of the radio station – started with my ND5 XS which we purchased over five or six years ago. At that time we were connecting the unit plus our iPAD controller via Wi-Fi . Four years ago we moved to a new house in which we were able to establish LAN-based connectivity to the ND5 XS, but problem continued. At the recommendation of the folks at Plurison (now Focal) – the North American distributor --we re-did the wi-fi network which is now generated from a commercial grade Ubiquiti access point. When the problem continued, we opted to trade in our ND5 XS and upgrade to the newly released NDX2. Audio was much improved, but radio connections continued to drop. As a last resort, we had a service call from our internet provider who upgraded our gateway modem so that we now have 350Mbps down on our LAN. I believe this has helped, but connections still intermittently drop. When the connection drops, I check the iPAD which displays “reconnect” which promptly reestablishes the connection. Since I think I’ve done all I can with the network (please advise otherwise), I am wondering if there are any settings on the NDX2 that might further address the issue? Many thanks.

Aaron