Would You Consider my New System Balanced?

No, not at all, although this gets us back into the thorny territory of source first vs mullet! I do think there can be synergy issues, and the best (worst) example I can think of is 202/250, which just doesn’t seem to work well at all, whereas 282/200 is great with the right speakers.
That aside, I believe that buying systems that are well matched (balanced, if you like) is the most cost effective approach. Naim make this easy by diving their products into ranges such that if you buy components from within one range they are designed to work well together. Deviate from this by using a better upstream component and you are on safe ground, but it’s going to cost a lot. Spend loads on downstream components and you’ll run into trouble sooner or later. The trick is to find the middle ground if you want a nice system that is also good value.

I just don’t see a commonality on the balance theory, seems more like synergy to me, as it seems to be case by case and not a rule that can be applied with any real consistency. Thanks for your remarks.

There are always exceptions to this rule, and price can never be an entirely accurate guide to component quality. Still, the fact that objectively better components let a lot more information through means that they expose the limitations of lesser components, however good those may be.
For example, a cheap source can often tail off the high and low frequency extremes early, and generate background noise. A well matched amp and/or speakers will not highlight this as it will tend to be similarly limited in its abilities. On the other hand a top flight pair of speakers, properly driven, will reveal all of these limitations. The noise floor will be noticeable, as will the lack of bass from a full range speaker.

Synergy I suppose is a separate issue. Say as a rather primitive example you buy two components both have an uneven frequency response. If they both exaggerate the same frequencies, the issue is compounded and you’re more likely to notice it. Of course, you might like it, but it won’t be a true rendition of the recording. These things are never simple!

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A system that masks deficiencies is a less resolving system, never a good thing IMO. Balance is like a math equation that never adds up, I only see synergy here.

You have thought carefully about how to replace the system that you lost and seem to be very happy with the result, so I think you should just enjoy it. You will know yourself after some time whether there is some facility or aspect to the sound that you want to consider changing. Your question about balance can be considered from the perspective of fitting together the respective hifi ‘bits’, but I think balance also includes such elements as your practical requirements, your listening environment, the size of your property, your tastes and expectations, and of course the needs of anyone else who shares the space with you. Contributors here can be very experienced and are usually well-meaning but they can’t really take into account all those other elements of ‘balance’ that inform our decisions about how to enjoy music reproduction at home.


@CliveB great post and thank you.

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Something to consider which won’t mean another box is the power leads you are using in particular for your amplifier. I once used Isotek leads myself, nothing wrong with these are certainly better than out of the box leads but lots of companies seem to go on about RFI interference when the main thing to focus on here is a high current lead. I was once advised to plug your amplifier directly, into your mains and now a power block and to use a mains lead which draws high current, I use Titan Audio Leads which are not cheap but certainly carry a more realistic price compared to some of the crazy prices out there! Something to consider, maybe get a lead on loan to test, failing this, definitely consider plugging your amplifier direct to mains and not via any powerblock.

@broomy Thanks. I remember that advice. Naim is not the only manufacturer who suggests that. However because of my vision and coordination I cannot easily get behind the rack. When the dealer installed the system, they connected the Isotek power block to the wall outlet. All the power cords are then connected to the Isotek, which is on a shelf of the audio rack which I can reach with difficulty, but I still can.

Because of my disability, I took a break from music in the home for several years. Only now, have I resumed with my new system. I am focusing on what I can do, rather than trying to achieve optimal SQ and doing nothing. Thanks for your suggestions though.

No problem, all that is left for you to do then is sit back and enjoy the music, I am yet to find anything else that can just allow my brain to drift off and unplug itself if you will pardon the pun! Happy listening, that system will deliver as is. :wink:

@broomy So far, it is bringing a lot of JOY. Thanks.

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