That sounds like one of my responses. I like it. Read the manual? Understand what you’ve got? That’s for fools.
Usually demo equipment can be borrowed from the Naim distributor. Certainly the case in Germany
I have listened to sonus Faber in a system with cds3 plus 552 plus 300 chez Edouard and it was amazing… for sure what you are doing with Naim amps for the source and speakers that you have does not make sense. Although at the risk if talking rubbish here it possibly gives you some idea. For sure I would not go for those amps but I guess you have no intention there.
Give the very nice chaps in musicline Germany a call to see if they can suggest something
@S.L I’m sorry I was so curt.
I use the RCA preamp out sockets on the back of my NAC152XS to connect with a Rega Ear headphone amplifier. Such a connection would allow you to follow @Simon-in-Suffolk’s excellent suggestion of trying both the McIntosh and Naim amplifier with headphones.
I have had a few Naim sets.
SN2 + HiCap DR + nDAC-PS555-DR
252 DR + 300DR + nDAC-PS555-DR
552 DR + 300 DR + ND555
552 DR + 500 DR + ND555 (2x 555PS)
Full Super Lumina.
I agree with @Simon-in-Suffolk . It is unlikely that the source of the harsh sound is the amplifier. Unless, of course, there is something wrong with it.
Whether it’s Naim, or any other high-end brand, the higher up the range you go, the larger and better defined your top and bottom end will be.
Therefore, the higher you go in the brand’s offering, the more apparent the acoustic problems will be (take that with a grain of salt, going up the range also solves some issues)
A first step would be to reposition the speakers and your listening chair. Then, some acoustic treatment.
As mentioned above, treating the first reflection points gives magical results.
Don’t do it by halves if you decide to follow the treatment path because you risk creating an imbalance without solving the problem and could make things worse.
A bit of acoustic treatment, cleverly placed, is cheap, not ugly and gives impressive results. It’s much more interesting than spending a fortune on cables.
I’ve done both: spent a fortune on cables/boxes, and installed acoustic treatment…
Just a bit of acoustic treatment won’t solve your low-end issues but trust me: it’ll transform the stereo image, clear voices and get you rid of that room related distortion in the top end (harshness).
If the OP does not get fatigue from his current system then the only thing that has changed is the amplification, not the room.
Why would you put resources in to improving the room when you have an inefficient amp for your system? Go back to your happy McIntosh, or change the comparison amp. Don’t try and make a silk room out of a pigs amp.
yes - but you might have missed some of the above posts - better amplification - or different amplification can expose underlying issues with rooms, reflections and speaker matching more through greater bandwidth response - or different relative bandwidth response -
Too many people seem to focus on the electronics or cabling and seem unwilling to address the elephant in the room - the acoustic response of your listening room and speaker matching.
Sure you can try and find an amp that desert excite your room too much or speakers too much - but that is skirting around the root cause - and will most likely always get in the way of high fidelity performance.
Yes Simon I understand that and all of the advice re rooms is appropriate. The one thing that the OP has asked is why does it sound so bad compared to his current set up. It really isn’t the room as the primary reason, just in my humble opinion.
Edit. I will add that I am one of those that go against convention on here and believe that speaker room matching comes before source or amp.
well we will find out - it could be the speaker / amp matching. The NAP 200 is a relatively modest amp - and I don’t know what the minimum power input for the OP’s speakers is - even so that is more likely to create a reduced bandwidth frequency response and less dynamics / relatively dull sound.
Edit - I totally agree with your edit
This is so true.
Plus it’s something straightforward to check. A calibrated microphone costs $60 and the software is free.
The test takes 10 minutes and is easier than connecting 5 Naim components together.
And the smaller the room, the more space the elephant takes up…
I guess the fact that so many audiophiles give little importance to the acoustics of their room is a good thing for the equipment manufacturers. Chasing the cable or box that’ll solve acoustic problems is a never-ending process.
But, in the end, the only thing that matters is that everyone finds pleasure in the music.
The Mac, in the OP’s system which includes room has a lack of clarity. An Atom HE into headphones is different. My question way back in this thread focussed upon this, and suggested that the room may be the issue. And the OP’s response, clarifying that is is a very reflective room, supports that hypothesis. There is no reason to suspect any amp issue, but there is good reason to suspect a room issue - and any playing with amps is simply ignoring the likely problem.
Yes I saw that he is happy with the headphones. He does go on to say, in response to yourself
“from my ND555 + Mcinotsh tube+solid state + amati
The Pros is I can listen to my system for 10 hours a day without getting fatigued if I want to, because this system is in my multi purposes room ( home office + home gym + listening room)
I usually spend most of my days in this room if I don’t go out.
The sound i got is very musical , engaging , warm, never get tired from listening. I listen to many type of musics, which is classical, all kinds of strings, pianos. Jazz, vocals, house , deep house etc…
I want a system is available to offer me like my current system , super long hours of listing without getting fatigued , very musical for all types of musics. but plus more details.”
ie. He would like what he has (no fatigue) plus additional detail.
It is not so much speaker-room matching that is needed, as room suitability. And many domestic living rooms are far from perfect, especially in parts of the world where soft furnishings are not common - and the modern apparent trend to minimalist (and often hard) furnishing.
thanks for sharing. I will check what I can do
Thanking for sharing, I’m trying to move the speakers a bit by a bit, I think it helped a little. kinda less harsh now, but I still get tired after a while. maybe I need room treatments.
I realized naim is way more sensitive then mcintosh.
yes, if I can’t get it right, I will probably stick with stay with mcinotsh for now and mix mcintosh with ND555, it’s a good match.
If there’s chance to do better demos in future, I will consider a full setups later on, because the price already increased 17%.
To the OP
Having made the jump from entry level separates (122x/150x) to NAC282/NAP300 combo I would say the biggest difference is added smoothness, body and extension. My previous system sounded harsh and mechanical while the upgraded components sound full and lush.
Thanks for sharing!
Very nice picture, reminds me my problem with harsh sound with Naim and horns, I just decided to only listen to classic and jazz and than it works perfectly. Time for rock and metal is in another room. Good luck
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