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Offline ashandger  
#21 Posted : 02 February 2019 22:45:01(UTC)
ashandger


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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: ashandger Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: phil page Go to Quoted Post
Yeah, and other people have heard the same here, SImon. What if anything am I doing wrong with the ripped network replay, I wonder.


With a carefully tuned wired network, working with the NAIM ND555 for review in the next issue, I am finding that the network performance is so good that it is fairly hard to distinguish Tidal on line from a local rip of the same CD.

It is clear to me that there are significant improvements inherent in the new web streaming digital acquisition technologies from NAIM.

If at this elevated price level top quality on line streaming is becoming credible, who needs to buy, load , store and backup a personal music collection?

Even if there is a small shortfall, perhaps spend a little more on the stand, frame, or cables?

Martin Colloms


Very interesting. Looking forward to your review in next issue. Would it be possible for you to share some details about your "tuned wired network"?


MC see HFC Issue 12/2 pp 40-41


Hi Martin, many thanks for feedback....somehow missed your response and only saw it today. Cheers.
Offline Martin Colloms  
#22 Posted : 07 February 2019 11:47:43(UTC)
Martin Colloms


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NAIM ND555 reviews complete , we are setting HIFICRITIC VOL 13 no1 January-March 2019 now

But we will continue to report on the ND555 as it continues to run in. We have three reviewers who have experienced it well, and have contributed to the report. Many aspects were brought up and scrutinised, including the optimisation of NAIM system grounding while using a form of starred Powerline mains cables.

Operationally the ND555 differs from the NDS in that most settings are under software control via the NAIM APP.

With minor quality impairment it may be wirelessly controlled with the user optional WiFi aerial system making for simple set up.

For the enthusiast, like the NDS before it, it may be further optimised by eschewing wireless feed and then linking to a carefully designed and installed wired network which has local music storage on linked hard drives and a management system which housekeeps backups.

I will disclose one important finding, prepublication:

that for this design the network data handling is so good, it cannot be reliably differentiated either from USB drive input direct, nor the BNC S/PDIF input on the back. In the past the last named input was often the better sounding.

Martin Colloms
Offline phil page  
#23 Posted : 09 February 2019 23:38:12(UTC)
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With my NDS streamer, as I have written here previously, I much preferred SP/DIF CD replay (using a transport and the DAC in the NDS) over streamed replay of a ripped CD from my server (direct into the network port of the NDS).

With the ND555, it’s a much closer run thing, although I still think that CD replay edges it for clarity, dynamics, and timing.

Also, with the NDS, I slightly preferred the BNC input of the NDS to RCA. With the new streamer, it’s pretty marginal.
Phil
Offline Martin Colloms  
#24 Posted : 10 February 2019 10:55:02(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: phil page Go to Quoted Post
With my NDS streamer, as I have written here previously, I much preferred SP/DIF CD replay (using a transport and the DAC in the NDS) over streamed replay of a ripped CD from my server (direct into the network port of the NDS).

With the ND555, it’s a much closer run thing, although I still think that CD replay edges it for clarity, dynamics, and timing.

Also, with the NDS, I slightly preferred the BNC input of the NDS to RCA. With the new streamer, it’s pretty marginal.




MC : I agree save for one point : with my current network set up, and fine tuning, the sound quality difference between the streamed drive and SP/DIF drive for the ND555 is quite marginal, indeed when you power down and disconnect the CD transport the ND555 streamed sound quality lifts, offsetting any minor shortfall.

Conversely in CD drive mode there is little improvement for the 555 when the network is powered down.

We will elaborate on the network optimisation in a future issue, maybe try reprogramming the Cisco settings?

Martin
Offline phil page  
#25 Posted : 10 February 2019 17:14:10(UTC)
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OK Martin thanks - I will try disconnecting the CD transport
Phil
Offline Christopher Bell  
#26 Posted : 18 February 2019 15:53:58(UTC)
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Martin (and company)

I just finished reading the ND555 review (courtesy of Naim). Since adding a Chord Music ethernet cable I too find the line between CD rips and streaming to be very small... so small that I have decided to no longer purchase new CDs. Streaming is how I will consume digital music and sites like Tidal and Qobuz have introduced me to music I would not have ever considered purchasing. Perhaps it's cliche to say, but we're living in amazing times.

John Honeyball's comments about the 552 being the limiting factor, has he heard a current spec 552 DR? I had my 552 upgraded to DR spec a year ago and it is a much more revealing preamp than the original version. Same goes for the NAP500 which I had upgraded to DR as well. It's a very different amp and significantly better sounding.

Thanks for the great review.
Offline jhoneyball  
#27 Posted : 18 February 2019 16:33:36(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Christopher Bell Go to Quoted Post
Martin (and company)

John Honeyball's comments about the 552 being the limiting factor, has he heard a current spec 552 DR? I had my 552 upgraded to DR spec a year ago and it is a much more revealing preamp than the original version. Same goes for the NAP500 which I had upgraded to DR as well. It's a very different amp and significantly better sounding.

Thanks for the great review.


Yes I have, and thats the basis for my view. 552 DR is definitely better than 552, in the same what the 300 DR is better than 300. The surprise one for me is 500DR which is truly transformative compared to the original 500, which i never liked.

Naim *could* have put volume control into ND555 but didnt. I wish they had because it would have made it a more complete product for 2019.

If you disagree, thats fine. But just try an Allegri+ compared to your 552DR. A good friend (not on here) has recently removed his Statement Pre from his system because of Allegri+

Best

jon
Offline Christopher Bell  
#28 Posted : 18 February 2019 20:09:26(UTC)
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Hi Jon,

Thanks for your reply and clarifying. I've never heard the Allergri+. If only it had DINs I'd make the effort to hear it!
Offline jhoneyball  
#29 Posted : 18 February 2019 20:20:02(UTC)
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I was introduced to it by Martin who uses it in his system between nds/nd555 and 500dr

Don’t let dins get in the way.

I have just bought one for my system. Feeding snaxo and six pack 135s into dbls

Offline Pete_w  
#30 Posted : 19 February 2019 11:18:57(UTC)
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(Off topic)

Oh good, a fellow convert to transformer-based pre-amps. (Mine's MFA but I think we're basically all on the same page...). If you don't *need* the gain, and your sources have a lowish source impedance, then it's definitely the way forward...
Offline Adiel  
#31 Posted : 20 February 2019 20:46:24(UTC)
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Great review Martin!

I'm concerned regarding the grounding switch...

This is what I wrote to Naim a few years ago:
"I own a NDS with 2x555 PS DR (rest of the system is 552/500), I also have LP12/Superline+Supercap DR/Armageddon connected to the 552.
I would like to know if in this case the NDS ground switch should be set to "floating" (is the Armageddon giving the earth?)."

The answer was:
"The Earth is normally supplied by a systems CD player and you should try the NDS in Chassis, you should not get hum

Regards
Steven"

Martin, if I understand correctly, you claim that if the Superline is connected to the 552, the ND555 ground switch should be set to "Floating" (in opposite to the above answer from Naim), am I right?

***

ND555 is much better than the NDS which I never really liked.
I do think that high quality CD Player might give a better result in terms of weight of the instruments, clarity and the ability to "touch" the musicians, which streamers, including the ND555 can't.
I have my ND555 running-in for two months and I hope I would change my mind.
(Using UnitiCore connected via Chord Sarum T and Chord Signature Ethernet cables to Netgear GS105/Cisco 2960 switchs that alter the sound).
Offline Steveh100  
#32 Posted : 21 February 2019 11:01:40(UTC)
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Adiel


Difficult to be definitive without checking how your LP12 is wired but I would expect floating to be ideal

Easy to check by listening: you will prefer one setting over the other. Go with your preference.
Offline Togil  
#33 Posted : 23 February 2019 13:42:02(UTC)
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I can't believe they couldn't provide a decent digital volume control and XLR outputs for use with active speakers.
Probably worried about affecting sales of the Statement preamp.
Hans
Offline Yeti  
#34 Posted : 26 February 2019 14:52:42(UTC)
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Try a bog standard CAT5e from switch to ND555. Then experiment with the ground switch and if you used a multiblock try different plug positions.
I have superline/supercap, ND555,552,500 all DR and also a DVD5 which has a signal earth connection. My power block is home made from chained MK single sockets, listening to the turntable the sound of the system is more musically coherent with the signal earth plugged into the first socket, however if this is the DVD5 and the ND is set to floating I lose a lot of the ND555’s sound quality, unplug the DVD’s interconnect and move the ND now set to chassis to the first socket and the sound from the ND555 gains substantially. This might be peculiar to my home made block perhaps but if you have a complete Naim grounding scheme in place maybe worth investigating. The Sarum can be returned at the end to try and prove its worth, something that maybe shouldn’t be taken for granted moving from NDS to ND555.
What does an allegri do to the Naim grounding scheme, does it somehow manage to maintain it or break it?
Offline Martin Colloms  
#35 Posted : 26 February 2019 15:15:08(UTC)
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Allegri ground line connects inputs and outputs, short path no loops
Offline phil page  
#36 Posted : 28 February 2019 01:06:39(UTC)
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Further to Martin’s point above about disconnection of the CD transport from the ND555 improving its streaming performance, I can report another finding. I have an RCA S/PDIF to toslink converter (no, don’t go ‘ugh,’ it works surprisingly well). I have tried using this between the RCA digital output of my transport and an optical input of the ND555 to remove the ‘galvanic’ connection from the transport to the ND555. My transport (a dCS Puccini) has two digital outputs. If I leave both connected to the ND555, one ‘galvanic’ and one using the RCA-optical converter, the SQ from CD when using the ‘galvanic’ connection seems largely unaffected, but the SQ when using the optical input is full of clicks, even dropouts, and is generally degraded. If I then disconnect the ‘galvanic’ connection, so using only the optical input, these degradations disappear and SQ is restored. This did not happen with my NDS.
Phil
Offline Martin Colloms  
#37 Posted : 01 March 2019 17:38:33(UTC)
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The ND555 has revised digital input switching and grounding which can give rise to unexpected results.

In addition, when optimised , the increased resolution and transparency gives an insight into every connection in the signal feed.
Differences which might have passed unnoticed are now rendered plain.

Such as the improved RFI and hence better sound of a late, slim APPLE iPad charger compared with an original lumpy type

You can hear a damping pad applied to a Cisco 2026 which is itself remoted by 15m of Cat6e and buffered by another 2026 local to the 555.

Powerline mains cable also improves that second , local 2026!

Martin Colloms
Offline frank23  
#38 Posted : 03 March 2019 18:11:28(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: phil page Go to Quoted Post
Further to Martin’s point above about disconnection of the CD transport from the ND555 improving its streaming performance, I can report another finding. I have an RCA S/PDIF to toslink converter (no, don’t go ‘ugh,’ it works surprisingly well). I have tried using this between the RCA digital output of my transport and an optical input of the ND555 to remove the ‘galvanic’ connection from the transport to the ND555. My transport (a dCS Puccini) has two digital outputs. If I leave both connected to the ND555, one ‘galvanic’ and one using the RCA-optical converter, the SQ from CD when using the ‘galvanic’ connection seems largely unaffected, but the SQ when using the optical input is full of clicks, even dropouts, and is generally degraded. If I then disconnect the ‘galvanic’ connection, so using only the optical input, these degradations disappear and SQ is restored. This did not happen with my NDS.


This is strange. Aren't all decent coax SPDIF in and outputs transformer decoupled?

But that said, I run a chassis ground wire from my CD transport to my MFA transformer preamp, and I think it sounds a little bit better than without this ground line. My transport is BNC connected to my dac, which runs XLR to the MFA, and XLR from the MFA to the power amps. No ND555 by the way...
Offline Pete_w  
#39 Posted : 05 March 2019 15:50:08(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Martin Colloms Go to Quoted Post
The ND555 has revised digital input switching and grounding which can give rise to unexpected results.

In addition, when optimised , the increased resolution and transparency gives an insight into every connection in the signal feed.
Differences which might have passed unnoticed are now rendered plain.

Such as the improved RFI and hence better sound of a late, slim APPLE iPad charger compared with an original lumpy type

You can hear a damping pad applied to a Cisco 2026 which is itself remoted by 15m of Cat6e and buffered by another 2026 local to the 555.

Powerline mains cable also improves that second , local 2026!

Martin Colloms


Hi Martin

Don't dispute your findings at all, but dispute your conclusions. If the D-to-A function is now good enough to resolve those things, then the isolation afforded to that D/A by the 555's digital "front end" is clearly not good enough. All those upstream things are working purely in the digital domain, if they're adding out-of-band noise to the digital signal on the way by then the 555 should be ignoring it. The fact that it's not doing so means that its isolation still isn't good enough. Full stop.

On related but more constructive note, this might well be the time for you to revisit Andrew Everard's optical isolation of Ethernet. You're guaranteed isolation from all electrical noise save that which is introduced by the "near" O/E converter itself.

Self-generated noise within the 555 caused by noise in the digital *timing* domain, however, will probably remain unaffected.

Cheers
Pete



thanks 1 user thanked Pete_w for this useful post.
frank23 on 06/03/2019(UTC)
Offline Martin Colloms  
#40 Posted : 06 March 2019 13:48:39(UTC)
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In some systems optical may help, but in mine, for several short and long run arrangements, it did not.
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