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  1. #1201
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    I struggle to see how either the Cyrus or Quad amps look nice. The best thing is that you can fit and hide.

    I can see why Quad has this pipe and slippers, 'old fogey' image. It takes most people a lifetime of box swapping to realise that they should buy Quad. When they do, they'll keep it and it'll probably outlive them

    Bach? I love Bach, especially the arias.

  2. #1202
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    argghhh! Stereo brainwashing from two Quad users who both do Bach. Isn't that warning enough to avoid this brand?!! Iggy, I am appalled. I saw a handsome young man on your WHF avatar, but your fresh declaration of loving support for Quad confirms there is a wrinkled old git living inside of you. I just saw what the 405 looks like. It's a museum piece from the Jane Fonda-Barbarella era where she and it must have been considered sexy then.




    Anyway... Tones, meet Rob. Rob, meet Tones. The main reason for Tones' wam existence is to evangelize Bach's music, so feel free to PM him for more suggestions on how you can mire yourself deeper in J.S.'s musical drool.


    As for me, I have bigger Wagnerian fish to fry.


    The 909 and X Power will turn out to be just passing fancies imo. The circle will be complete when the Arcam FMJ A38 and Naim Nait XS are both heard and chosen from.


    cheerSS


    [line]ps: agree about Horlicks. It's a drink made of malt, milk and powdered bone.



    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3, ET3SE & CLASSIC SIXTY SE, ICON AUDIO LA4 MKIII > NAIM NAP 100
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  3. #1203
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    Rub some of this on the Quad and I'm sure you'll like it...





  4. #1204
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    Post imported post

    A Tale of Two DACs
    (the contrasting musical abilities of Musical Fidelity's V-DAC and Cambridge Audio's DacMagic)

    A couple of wammers wanted my thoughts on how the DacMagic and the V-DAC stacked up against each other. Well, here it is.

    Except, this isn't the original write-up. This is a revision.

    When I bought my second V-DAC unit at the start of August I began jotting a few lines every other day comparing its reproduction of selected music tracks against the DacMagic's. By Wednesday I had a full article that just needed some finishing touches. My conclusion was that the DacMagic is a better all-round music-maker.

    Then yesterday I added an electrical tweak to the V-DAC and the resultant change in sound quality meant many paragraphs from the preceding week's comparisons were rendered void. I can only salvage the ones that still hold true after the V-DAC's tweak:-


    "The DacMagic throws a wider soundstage than the V-DAC. Instruments that are panned to either the left or the right stretch out further away from the speakers than the V-DAC can muster. If through the V-DAC a sound effect appears 30cm from the right side of the right speaker, the DacMagic almost doubles the distance. On the other hand, the V-DAC carves out a much deeper soundstage as to make the DacMagic's quite neutral balance seem upfront by comparison. This spatial depth is a trait of the many MF components I have used and creates enveloping soundscapes that cocoon the listener. These differences in presentation make for striking contrasts between the two DACs with various music. With some music, the DacMagic has an invigorating openness that makes the V-DAC seem a tad cosy. With other music, the DacMagic is flat and pungent compared to the gorgeously textured soundscapes the V-DAC can conjure."


    "The V-DAC is consistently superior to the DacMagic at reproducing the rosiny woodiness of stringed instruments. In Puccini's Tosca, the wonderful string passage preceding Tosca's first appearance was so rich and sonorous with the V-DAC you'd be forgiven for thinking it came with a high-end price tag. In comparison the DacMagic's reproduction thinned out the orchestra. It wasn't sumptuous enough to evoke the lush echoed tones rising up from an opera house's orchestra pit as well as the V-DAC."


    "With chanteuse albums like Madeleine Peyroux's 'Careless Love' , Joss Stone's "Soul Sessions" and Diana Krall's 'Quiet Nights', both DACs shone. The DacMagic highlighted the delicate clicks and tinkles of piano keys, wire brushes and Ms Krall licking her moist lips - offering the more seductive listen. The richer V-DAC captured the breathy quality of the singers' voices better. The DacMagic was more atmospheric, the V-DAC more tactile and earthy."



    This next one was true until yesterday:

    "Disco music is the best barometer with which to compare these two DACs' timing abilities. The chorus of Lady Gaga's 'Just Dance' is set to a typical Allegro moderato in 4/4 time. The DacMagic plays it at a zesty tempo of 120BPM, inducing much toe-tapping and leaving no doubt this is how the Lady would like her signature song to be enjoyed. The V-DAC's timing is about 108BPM which is audible as being more measured and less peppy. The reason for this slower pace is the extra richness in tone the V-DAC has over the DacMagic. The slower pace doesn't mean the V-DAC drags its feet with dance music. The difference boils down to the DacMagic managing to squeeze 2 quarter-note beats into one second while the V-DAC does 1.8 The V-DAC does not pull rhythms out of shape, although it is a touch slower in direct comparison. That said, the DacMagic is a nose ahead when it comes to disco music. Its ability to project synthesiser effects out at the extreme ends of the speakers' boundaries make it a thrilling conduit for the tunes of Lady Gaga, Pet Shop Boys, Madonna, Chemical Brothers et al."

    So WHF was telling the truth when its own review criticised the V-DAC as "not for fans of pumping beats"! (Is this a first?) The V-DAC's pacing is noticeably slower.


    But ever since yesterday, the DacMagic isn't a nose ahead anymore for timing ability. I had been reading other V-DAC owners' comments over at Head-Fi: some who had upgraded the V-DAC's stock power adaptor were griping that the V-DAC's lack of PRaT was caused by this very adaptor. It is rated at 12Vdc/500mA, unregulated and caused both itself and the V-DAC to heat up like hot potatoes during operation. The V-DAC needed a better adaptor with higher rated current. they said. I was sceptical about this until I went to the DIY store and bought a switched-mode regulated AC/DC adaptor rated at 1800mA. And plugged it in...

    Wow. Everything snapped into focus. The V-DAC didn't change its sonic signature but all the flaws I'd noted before when it was powered by that horrid 500mA PSU disappeared. Timing and pace in dance music reached parity with the DacMagic, the midrange became even richer (singers' voices are so breathy now) and deep bass took on a powerful and growly quality. It worked the lower regions of my ATC SCM11s to produce the best bass I've ever had in this hobby to date. I am going to build a new system around the ATCs with the V-DAC at the head of the signal chain. The little bugger can hold its own in the glare of the ATC's exacting resolution.

    I'd say the V-DAC was showing just 60% of its potential with the supplied 500mA adaptor. The first thing any future V-DAC owner needs to do is: THROW AWAY that accursed thing and buy a regulated one with rated current at least thrice that of 500mA. I'm looking for a 3000mA one already. The V-DAC breathes fire and dynamism when you offer it a more powerful ac/dc adaptor. Some of the other V-DAC owners who measured are saying it actually draws more than 500mA.

    The September issue of HFW where the V-DAC pipped the DacMagic for the full five globes hasn't arrived in Tipoca yet, but I'll be laughing if it achieved that result tested with its lousy freebie adaptor. (MF boss A.M. ought to be chastised for stripping down the V-DAC's anciliaries so much that the PSU adaptor compromised sonic performance and then insisting in the manual that other adaptors should not be used.)


    With the V-DAC given a mighty shot up the arm with a better power adaptor, some of my earlier observations that the DacMagic beat the V-DAC in certain music genres are nullified. Previously, against the V-DAC and its standard adaptor, I found the DacMagic to be superior with Salsa/Cuban and Baroque music (thanks to its pacier timing) and violin and piano concertos (thanks to its stronger presence). Without sufficient power, the V-DAC sounded distant with concerto recordings and the recessed soloists' playing lacked dynamic force. Now, it performs better with this music than the DacMagic. It always had the tonal richness, only now the new power adaptor has put a lot of 'shove' behind the MF's lush sound.

    [line]
    I did not originally intend for this report to slight the DacMagic. HFN quipped that it sets the benchmark for all DACs below £1k and I agree. In essence it is the £500 740C cdp I had in 2007 minus the transport mechanism and higher upsampling spec. The 740C compares comfortably with any sub £1k cdp, and so the DacMagic has already revolutionalized consumer expectations of the quality of digital sound they can get at its ridiculous price level.

    I'm quite enamoured of the V-DAC at this moment, though. It sounds so dynamic and unburstable.

    I'd wanted to leave any mention of my ex-fourth DAC (the Stello DA-100) out, but a quick summary is needed now. The DA-100 outperformed the V-DAC in many departments except the high treble where the V-DAC is more natural and less fatiguing. This region is where my favourite sopranos roam so it is of utmost importance. That was why I let the DA-100 go and bought the V-DAC a second time despite some performance compromises. However, with the new power adaptor upgrade now, I can say with unequivocal delight that I totally prefer this souped-up V-DAC. It holds its own with some current £750ish spinners I've heard. iirc its dac chip is similar to the one used in a discontinued, fully-loaded £1k MF DAC.

    The blurb on the box packaging says: "the thinking man's high-end." For once, this may not be hype. Thanks MF, for this very rare bargain.


    Sometimes in this hobby the oddest twists happen. Anyway X-Ray, V-DAC and DacMagic... I'm all set on the digital front for the next twelve months.



    SS

    [line]


    The DacMagic is detailed, immediate, crisp and rhythmic with agile mid-bass

    The V-DAC (with adaptor upgrade) is spacious and dynamic, with a rich and breathy midrange, sweet treble and rumbling deep bass


    Listening equipment: MF X-T100/Triple-X170PSU (85W hybrid amp, with new russian tubes) into ATC SCM11


    [line]
    Last edited by SSM; 08-10-2011 at 04:02 AM.
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  5. #1205
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    Post imported post

    I have had the V-DAC for two weeks now with a better-spec'd aftermarket AC/DC adaptor. Some PMs came in asking what are the benefits of upgrading from the stock 500mA psu provided by MF. It is impractical for me to keep repeating the points individually, so I'll post this - my final wrap-up on the V-DAC.


    The benefits gained from using a switched-mode regulated AC/DC power adaptor on the Musical Fidelity V-DAC

    First the disclaimers:

    (i) the sonic effects of using a regulated PSU may vary depending on the brand of adaptor you bought. Mine is a Vanson 1800mA that is not marketed in Western Europe. Other V-DAC users on Head-Fi have sourced different brands from Maplins, etc...

    (ii) the rest of your system may also affect how you will appreciate the changes. Particularly your speakers. You'd want their treble output to be clean.


    and an advisory:

    (i) make sure the aftermarket PSU you buy provides for a positive center-pin connection! If otherwise(negative pin), the V-DAC may go kaboom.


    Two conditions are immediately discernible after plugging in my switched-mode PSU

    (i) the V-DAC now runs mildly warm to the touch. Previously with that unregulated stock psu, it ran hot enough to fry an egg on. I seriously doubt it can last a year with all that heat, if left connected 24/7 to that horrid PSU. Something's got to give.

    (ii) the analogue output becomes louder. Previously, I doubted it got anywhere near 1.9V max even though its specsheet claimed 2.2V. The DacMagic's is 2.1V max and is audibly louder with the same volume setting on my amps. With the new PSU connected, the V-DAC's signal strength overtook the DacMagic's. Strong and confident now.


    Aural Improvements

    (i) The bass had a slight warmth previously but that disappears now and is replaced with a new-found agility which matches the DacMagic's for spot-on timing in dance music. The V-DAC's bass has better articulation though and digs deeper than the DacMagic. Orchestral timpani are presented with more resonance and scale than on the DacMagic: the extended showpiece for the timpani in the last movement of Nielsen's Fifth Symphony is stunning! With the stock psu, the V-DAC's bass was sometimes there, sometimes AWOL or reticent (especially after playing demanding music) like the DAC was out of breath. With the regulated PSU, the bass is clearer and deeper.


    (ii) The soundstage is no longer laid-back and high-frequency sounds gain power.

    Here is an extract from my vetoed original draft comparing the DacMagic with the V-DAC on its stock psu:

    "This distanced perspective (on concerto recordings) has much to do with how the V-DAC deals with high-frequency sounds IMO. Struck cymbals and triangles are very fine-grained, almost ethereal, whereas the DacMagic's are consistently stronger and more forthright. Depending on the music, I vary between regarding the V-DAC's reproduction of leading edges as either super-refined or bordering on fragile, but there's no doubt the V-DAC's treble is more well-controlled."

    Distanced and ethereal, no more. With the uprated PSU, the V-DAC's treble becomes more incisive and there is immense attack offered on orchestral strings. I can really discern the bows biting into the gut-strings. Some V-DAC owners on Head-Fi who upgraded their PSUs heard the same effect, and a few did not like the treble's new assertiveness as it was a change from the previous warmth and laidbackness. Whether you will appreciate this change depends on how well your speakers' tweeters handle this volatility. As far as I'm concerned, this change in the treble is a sonic improvement for it comes close to reproducing how some instruments sound like in real life.

    Through my Leema Xeros whose Tymphany tweeters have a talent for playing cymbals and wire drum brushes, these instruments sound very vivid.


    (iii) a rich midrange

    With fine detail and leading edges gaining more projection from the better PSU, the sophisticated quality of the V-DAC's midrange is enhanced further. The foremost trait you'll notice is the time taken by reverberations from sounds to decay. It's very luxuriant and highly noticeable when I run dialogues from movie DVDs - there is more resonance surrounding the actors' voices and hall acoustics. In music, it gives a truly deluxe portrayal of jazz singers and acoustic instruments. They are presented lovingly with flattering spotlights on their every enunciation.

    This deliciously dewy quality to the midrange doesn't work optimally with some music though. In rock music where electric guitars are thrashing wildly non-stop, the V-DAC can sound rather 'busy' and echo-ey with all those lingering reverberations from the rapid guitar chords. Here, the strait-laced DacMagic sounds more damped and clearer by comparison. Once again, Musical Fidelity has produced a component that has a preference for human voices, acoustic instruments and more refined music genres.


    So that is my experience of the aural benefits from using a switched-mode regulated PSU on the V-DAC.


    Now I can work on my ATC report.






    cheerSS



    [line]Other V-DAC admirers:

    wammers

    AVGuide

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    Last edited by SSM; 07-01-2011 at 03:08 PM.
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  6. #1206
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Naim Nait XS integrated amplifier
    (This is a summary of a demo done last week. I pen it now after calming down.)

    Finally, I got to hear this. What can I say but, wow! This sleek little bugger is a real flag bearer for Naim's take on PRaT. Timing and pacing are so on-the-ball it was impossible to not wiggle my toes secretly in my shoes in time to the music. I did wonder if this PRaT is a little bit sped up ahead of true neutrality in timing but there's no denying the infectious way it plays upbeat music. Pop and rock were marvellous and jazz drummers had a very 'live' feel. The XS also has an ability to reveal complex musical textures in the midrange, something which is beyond the Cyrus 8XPd IMO. I do not want to embarrass the Cyrus with further comments: it suffices to say that anyone interested in the pallid, waspish 8XPd had better hear the Nait XS before signing on the dotted line!

    I have one vital problem with the Nait XS though. Its handling of the midband and bass is wonderful but its treble is rather ordinary. No offence to NAD owners, but the XS's treble comes off just like the one you'd hear from NAD's Classic C*** amps. Clean and clear, yes, but there's no special illuminance and openness that should be on a £1.3k amp IMO. Sugden's A21, for example, plays in the same price category and its treble is exquisite, although it lacks the XS's PRaT. I don't listen to pulsating dance music as much as opera where soprano voices assume immense importance. The XS sounds shut-in here.

    I voiced my concern aloud to the dealer, who responded without missing a beat. "Oh, you need the Flatcap." () A quick shuffle behind the Naims' rears and re-wiring later, I heard the XS plus the Flatcap. Oh yes, the treble performance picked up. My favourable memory of the Sugden fades off, and the XS sounds everything like a £1.3k amp should.

    Except it costs £1.9k now.

    And I can't shake off the feeling that I'm being ripped off if I buy the whole caboodle.

    Y.M.M.V.

    If I were to voice these misgivings on the Salisbury forum, I'm going to get ripostes like "there is no such thing as a free lunch" or "you get what you pay for". Taking into consideration the performances of other brands, I reckon I should be getting this XS+Flatcap performance for the price of a bog-standard XS. IMO the standard XS alone is like Naim saying "Here is the XS from the neck down. The rest of its treble performance is to be had in the Flatcap". Seriously, when I (or most of us) think 'integrated amp' we visualize one box, not two, right? Even if I'm happy to fork out the £1.9k I would like the final product in ONE BOX. If I wanted two, I would have gone the pre-power route already.

    And what happens next if I do buy this XS? A gradual mental conditioning into the complete acceptance of DIN connectors? Purchase of Naim's manual drawer cdps? And the evolution of my entire system into stacks of black Naim with gleaming green centre logos? (They look good, mind.) The XS is good, very good, but I knew I was at the cusp of an irreversible paradigm shift if I bought it - a shift that will constrict my future purchasing freedom outside of the Naim brand. And for that reason I'm saying good-bye to the XS and to Naim.

    Another factor is my going up the ATC ladder next year and however well-buffed the XS's 60 watts are, it's still not a comfortable margin for ATC's insensitive power-guzzlers. For the same price as the XS-Flatcap, Musical Fidelity's A5.5 at over four times the wattage comes into play now and it's looking delicious. And it comes in one box, with no strings attached, for goodness sake.

    The XS is a great product, but it doesn't chime perfectly with my fiscal values and speaker upgrade plans.


    SS


    [line]Naim Nait XS

    a party animal that latches on to the beat in any music and never lets go
    revels in opening up textures in complex music
    sleek minimalist looks and design
    its performance is complete only when you add the Flatcap (poor value for money, by then IMO)
    its PRaT may not be absolutely neutral and accurate to the actual performance; limited power
    [line]


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  7. #1207
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    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    Naim Nait XS integrated amplifier

    And I can't shake off the feeling that I'm being ripped off if I buy the whole caboodle.
    Rest assured, you are. Naim equipment is fine, but the upgrade path is (IMHO) sheer con-artistry. I once tried a Naim CD player. The dealer also supplied a Flatcap, assuring me of dramatic differences. Were there? There were - there were twice as many pretty illuminated green logos as there had been previously. And that was all.

    Personally, I think Naim should fit a decent power supply in the first place and have done. It works for everyone else.
    The man with the golden ear trumpet

  8. #1208
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    Post imported post

    So Tones hasn't left the building? Some people think Tones has left the building (forum). Clearly not the case.

    In Naim-land, I think you measure success by the number of Naim boxes you have. Thus learning you can add another box to your one-box amp should be cause for celebration.

    Disappointment should only creep in when you learn that you can't add a third box. So you sell your two boxes and buy three. Then you enquire about box number four...

    The Naim XS is a nice, clean, stylish looking amp. I'm afraid, the same cannot be said for the A5.5. Not bad but not very stylish.
    New signature coming soon...



  9. #1209
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    Post imported post

    tones wrote:
    SSM wrote:
    Naim Nait XS integrated amplifier

    And I can't shake off the feeling that I'm being ripped off if I buy the whole caboodle.
    Rest assured, you are. Naim equipment is fine, but the upgrade path is (IMHO) sheer con-artistry. I once tried a Naim CD player. The dealer also supplied a Flatcap, assuring me of dramatic differences. Were there? There were - there were twice as many pretty illuminated green logos as there had been previously. And that was all.

    Personally, I think Naim should fit a decent power supply in the first place and have done. It works for everyone else.
    I agree about the power supply. Is it so difficult to fit an adequate one into the XS? A high-end integrated whose preamp needs an external power boost?!! The innards of Cambridge Audio's 'budget' 840A v2 ought be a lesson in design for the woollen engineers at Salisbury.

    I am surprised you didn't buy that Naim cdp, though. Its manual drawer complements your hard-working, down-to-earth, earn-by-the-sweat-of-your-brow personage.

    So we finally have one thing in common now. There may be another. My previous 'lunchbox' pisstake on the Quad 909 belies my actual high opinion of it. At 32 cm wide, it is a nicely compact amp with loads of power. Plus, it has no ventilation slots which means all dust is kept out. If I'm not going for the MF, I can see myself opting for the 909 and spending the remaining half of the budget on a blingy pre-amp.

    Be fun to see how many years of service I can get out of it!

    cheerSS



    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3, ET3SE & CLASSIC SIXTY SE, ICON AUDIO LA4 MKIII > NAIM NAP 100
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  10. #1210
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    Post imported post

    NAC, Tones can never fully leave. My ever-radiating luv-vibes keep him in orbit.

    :green:

    As for your A5.5 comments, STFU


    SS
    CONRAD-JOHNSON HD3, ET3SE & CLASSIC SIXTY SE, ICON AUDIO LA4 MKIII > NAIM NAP 100
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    REGA RP1, DAC & ELICIT, ARCAM rDAC & FMJ A38, MF X-T100 & X-A2, SONY TA-F246E

    TANNOY PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, DM 2/6, XERO, Q 2020i

  11. #1211
    Super Wammer Brown Bottle's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    I was showing Mrs BB a picture of the XS the other day and a couple of other would be contenders. When she asked how much it was I said about £1350...."Oh yes, I know what you are like, when you say £1350 I bet you mean more like £2000."

    It would appear she is right.

    Cheers BB

  12. #1212
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Brown Bottle wrote:
    I was showing Mrs BB a picture of the XS the other day and a couple of other would be contenders. When she asked how much it was I said about £1350...."Oh yes, I know what you are like, when you say £1350 I bet you mean more like £2000."

    It would appear she is right.

    Cheers BB
    LOL, BB!

    You can always sneak the Flatcap in from the backyard during the second week. Seriously, if you are keeping your ProAcs, the XS could be the perfect tool to kick some PRaT up their behinds. You won't miss the Epos M5 anymore.


    cheerSS


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  13. #1213
    Wammer tones's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    notaclue wrote:
    So Tones hasn't left the building? Some people think Tones has left the building (forum). Clearly not the case.
    Me? Did once (was more-or-less told I wasn't wanted when I became too sceptical), but we kissed and made up.
    The man with the golden ear trumpet

  14. #1214
    Wammer tones's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    NAC, Tones can never fully leave. My ever-radiating luv-vibes keep him in orbit.
    Really more like the morbid fascination of watching a train wreck that never ends.
    The man with the golden ear trumpet

  15. #1215
    Wammer tones's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    tones wrote:
    SSM wrote:
    Naim Nait XS integrated amplifier

    And I can't shake off the feeling that I'm being ripped off if I buy the whole caboodle.
    Rest assured, you are. Naim equipment is fine, but the upgrade path is (IMHO) sheer con-artistry. I once tried a Naim CD player. The dealer also supplied a Flatcap, assuring me of dramatic differences. Were there? There were - there were twice as many pretty illuminated green logos as there had been previously. And that was all.

    Personally, I think Naim should fit a decent power supply in the first place and have done. It works for everyone else.
    I am surprised you didn't buy that Naim cdp, though. Its manual drawer complements your hard-working, down-to-earth, earn-by-the-sweat-of-your-brow personage.
    It was a nice machine and the price was good, but it simply didn't sound any better than (or indeed any different from) the Mimik or the Meridian. I had them all rigged up to play through the same amplifier and speakers and I would switch from one to the other. "B'gosh!" I would think, "it's true, that Naim really does this PRaT business well!" - and then find that I had forgotten the switch positions and was actually listening to the Meridian...
    So we finally have one thing in common now. There may be another. My previous 'lunchbox' pisstake on the Quad 909 belies my actual high opinion of it. At 32 cm wide, it is a nicely compact amp with loads of power. Plus, it has no ventilation slots which means all dust is kept out. If I'm not going for the MF, I can see myself opting for the 909 and spending the remaining half of the budget on a blingy pre-amp.

    You really can't go wrong with Quad power amps - good price and they last nearly forever.
    The man with the golden ear trumpet

  16. #1216
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    tones wrote:
    SSM wrote:
    NAC, Tones can never fully leave. My ever-radiating luv-vibes keep him in orbit.
    Really more like the morbid fascination of watching a train wreck that never ends.
    You've been following my daring culinary exploits! I am fast becoming the Jean-Paul Gaultier of haute cuisine.


    SS



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    TANNOY PRECISION 6.2, ELAC BS244, ATC SCM11, S3/5R, DM 2/6, XERO, Q 2020i

  17. #1217
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    tones wrote:
    SSM wrote:
    I am surprised you didn't buy that Naim cdp, though. Its manual drawer complements your hard-working, down-to-earth, earn-by-the-sweat-of-your-brow personage.
    It was a nice machine and the price was good, but it simply didn't sound any better than (or indeed any different from) the Mimik or the Meridian. I had them all rigged up to play through the same amplifier and speakers and I would switch from one to the other. "B'gosh!" I would think, "it's true, that Naim really does this PRaT business well!" - and then find that I had forgotten the switch positions and was actually listening to the Meridian...
    Now really... That's a bit exaggerated.

    But you are right. This whole PRaT business is really very subtle indeed IMO, even for those marques that are specialists in making equipment which paces better than the competition. A tune on an amp considered neutral could go at a tempo of 120BPM while the snappy Nait XS will bang out 128BPM (my estimate). The difference is very slight when you reduce the ratio to per second but the human hearing is sensitive enough to pick up and appreciate the extra bounce offered by the XS.

    Any amp, however PRaTty though, can never offer radical hikes on speed. That would be temporal distortion.

    That said, I doubt I will ever hear Lady Gaga played to more exhilarating effect elsewhere. Every beat pulsated and those signature synthesizer effects on Pokerface shot like comets from the extreme right of the speakers to the left.

    Accordion was amazing too. The sheer physicality in the reproduction of Mohsen Allam's playing was frightening, and the force he exerted on his squeezebox... so very palpable. I think the dealer was stunned into silence too. This must be the first time he's ever heard arabic folk tunes played on the accordion through the Naims.


    SS




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  18. #1218
    Wammer tones's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    SSM wrote:
    tones wrote:
    SSM wrote:
    I am surprised you didn't buy that Naim cdp, though. Its manual drawer complements your hard-working, down-to-earth, earn-by-the-sweat-of-your-brow personage.
    It was a nice machine and the price was good, but it simply didn't sound any better than (or indeed any different from) the Mimik or the Meridian. I had them all rigged up to play through the same amplifier and speakers and I would switch from one to the other. "B'gosh!" I would think, "it's true, that Naim really does this PRaT business well!" - and then find that I had forgotten the switch positions and was actually listening to the Meridian...
    Now really... That's a bit exaggerated.
    Not even slightly, ol' hoss. No difference whatsoever. Now admittedly we're talking CD players here, and not amps. However, I have an old NAIT 2 integrated, which I'm currently using to drive the ESL 57s. I bought it on eBay Deutschland as a cheap way to see whether there was a difference in the Naim sound. In short, no. I'm personally convinced that PRaT is people hearing what they want to hear and the Naim marketing department doing the rest to build on this belief and people's egos in perceiving themselves as somehow more golden-eared and perceptive than the common herd (been there, done that...) - a modern-day version of "the king with no clothes".I'm personally of Peter Walker's school of thought that all amplifiers driven within their limits will sound essentially the same, unless some odd artefacts have been deliberately added to make them sound different.

    Naim makes excellent equipment, but in my opinion it soundsno better or no worse than (or even in any way different from)anyone else's, which makes it ridiculously overpriced.

    Now the alternative explanation is that my aural acuity is not as good as those individuals who can hear these differences. If so, this deficiencysaves me a lot of money and still lets me enjoy my music, so I can live with it quitecomfortably.
    The man with the golden ear trumpet

  19. #1219
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    Ah! Keep that 'truth' about amps sounding alike to yourself, or else there'll be a horde of demonstrators at my doorstep soon.

    Congrats. You are part of a historic landmark in my life. I've got a pocket USB-modem from my ISP that I can use on my Netbook outdoors and I'm telecommuting live from a cafe in a shopping mall.

    Oh wow. This could be the start of 24/7 wamming from me.


    [line]
    I'm not sure I wholly agree about the amps sounding alike bit. Just sat down from some shopping for cooking equipment at a Japanese-owned mega electrical store. It has four glass-window cordoned off rooms for Pioneer, Onkyo, Yamaha and harman kardon to demonstrate their AV and hifi components. (Now why can't the British audio brands strike a deal with this megastore and lease some floor-space to show their wares? They could get more sales thanks to this store's centralised location.)

    Anyway, I'd stood outside the door of the HK one and shared in another customer's audition of the 990 amp. Even on just three songs, I can tell you it sounds nothing like the Naim Nait XS! The XS is taut and highly-defined from the mids down to the deep bass. The 990 is big and blowsy, not unlike Yammy's A-S1000 amp two doors away, and doesn't texturise the music like the Naim can. There's no way anyone can gift me the 990 saying it sounds the same as a Naim. And I don't even consider myself a golden-eared audiophool...


    Maybe you should use some Audiclean in your ears.



    cheerSS...reporting live!




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  20. #1220
    Super Wammer Sheva's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    tones wrote:

    Not even slightly, ol' hoss. No difference whatsoever. Now admittedly we're talking CD players here, and not amps. However, I have an old NAIT 2 integrated, which I'm currently using to drive the ESL 57s. I bought it on eBay Deutschland as a cheap way to see whether there was a difference in the Naim sound. In short, no. I'm personally convinced that PRaT is people hearing what they want to hear and the Naim marketing department doing the rest to build on this belief and people's egos in perceiving themselves as somehow more golden-eared and perceptive than the common herd (been there, done that...) - a modern-day version of "the king with no clothes".
    But it's not just Naim; there's no such marketing ploy for Exposure, Densen and other, yet people still use the same phrase to describe their presentation.



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