Garage system

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YNWaN
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Re: Garage system

Post by YNWaN »

No prob - I look forward to hearing your thoughts :). You’ll find it very easy to fit - I did.
Mark
hifiaf
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Re: Garage system

Post by hifiaf »

Naturally the two of you would start talking about mods to the NAC 72 and HiCap — the natural next step beyond a Nait 2 — just as soon as I got the Nait 2 sorted :). I must say, as usual, my thoughts are twofold: (a) wow, Naim amplification really is as good as I've heard; (b) if a Nait 2 can sound this good, imagine a 72/HC/135 or 250!
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Re: Garage system

Post by hifiaf »

A new friend for the Nait has arrived in the mail today (from Italy!). Soon the Schiit will be outnumbered -- three more of these cases are currently held up in customs (purgatory?).

One quarter of the way to Paradise...

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Nobeone
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Re: Garage system

Post by Nobeone »

Mark's fault, he started it ;)

Hopefully I wrote the correct stuff on the customs label and the feet will get to you next week ...
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Re: Garage system

Post by hifiaf »

Looking forward to the feet! Apparently the three cases coming from England had "personal effects" written on the customs label, nothing more -- that vague a description sends them straight to purgatory! Could be weeks under current conditions. Luckily I'm not in a rush...

So now I have a short but big (possibly dumb) question. I have heard the Nait and how special it is; apparently this is the "Naim sound." Is there a compact description of why it sounds like this? Is it a particular thing that is different in Naim amps -- or a bunch of little things -- or do other amps also sound like this? From the perspective of someone like me who is naive about electronics, it seems almost too perfect that something that LOOKS unusual and unique should also sound that way. But form and function seem to follow here...
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YNWaN
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Re: Garage system

Post by YNWaN »

Nobeone wrote: Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:17 pm Mark's fault, he started it ;)

Hopefully I wrote the correct stuff on the customs label and the feet will get to you next week ...
Yep, hands up, I’m sorry - quite inappropriate content for this thread.
Mark
TomB
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Re: Garage system

Post by TomB »

Wow so much has happened on this thread! I have been a bit distracted by the goings on in the USA, all the things that happen on a farm in the spring and a table full projects... several of them Naim related. So I am just catching up on this thread. I want to read through everything I have missed, carefully, before tackling my Nait 1. Congratulations Adam, on getting your Nait 2 done. It sounds like it is really singing :) Like you, I love the Naim sound.
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Re: Garage system

Post by hifiaf »

Thanks, Tom! Yes, it's definitely singing...

After my last meeting at 5pm, the weekend officially began, and I started working on the Naim 2 service blog post. Just a matter of reading through this thread and picking out the relevant contributions from Will. It's coming into shape -- should get a decent draft done tomorrow...

Then I did some more listening tests, repeating the tracks from the other night (Low, Little Scream, Andrew Hill, Kraftwerk,) listening first on the Schiit Mjolnir/Vidar setup and then on the recapped Nait 2.

I was mostly looking for differences in my perceptions of the Nait 2 before and after service. I definitely liked it a lot before service, finding it presented a coherent and well defined soundstage, with everything in its right place and nicely in focus. I did sound a little "chalky" or foggy in places, though, especially with vocals.

Things weren't utterly different tonight -- the basic character was the same -- but that chalkiness was gone or much reduced. The Nait does still lose out in a few ways to the Vidar: cymbals in jazz don't quite have the same piercing, zingy impact, and there isn't quite the same quantity of bass. But things are SO much better in focus that I definitely prefer the Nait. This is especially so with bass: with the Vidar it's there, but it all disappears into a mush. The Nait can reproduce bass amazingly well, but also so that you can still make out what instrument is producing it and where it's coming from. I'm not sure there was much more bass after the recap, but a few layers of glaze were definitely taken off the presentation...

Sadly the above does mean that I can probably imagine what a fully RSL'ed 72/HC/250 or 135 would sound like: all that coherence, but with a little more zing and impact...

By the way, I never got the volume knob on the Nait beyond about 8 o'clock, which was deafening. So a bit more control on the volume pot would be nice.


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Anyway, Kraftwerk's "Comet Melody 2" was again the star of the session, massively better on the Nait, totally earth-shaking in its bass, with three dimensional synths and a sense of being propelled through space, like the starship Enterprise into a wormhole. I love Autobahn as a record and am realizing more and more what a masterpiece it is in terms of production, too. If you haven't listened in a while, check it out, especially side 2.

These are the other three I listened to:


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My mV-capable multimeter arrives tomorrow. Next step is to see how close I got the bias, if it's resettled, etc.
Nobeone
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Re: Garage system

Post by Nobeone »

The mod to get more control on the volume pot is, I think, quite simple, I'll look it up and mark it up, but basically lift a couple of resistors I believe.

You can get some improvements on the Nait with some gentle tuning:

A better LM317.

Remove power from the phono/CD input if you don't use it, in your case Adam have a listen first and check which you prefer, the straight into an additional buffer on the CD input may be preferable to the longer route into the preamp avoiding the additional buffer, sometimes more is less, but more circuit or more tracks before a buffer section, that I don't know! Your ears will tell you.

Some very low ESR power rail caps.

These would be of the style of mods of removing unused cards in a 72 and improving a Hicap, the same ideas: reduce PSU load, improve regulation, lower noise, lower impedance supply. These are some of the same things Kit does so well with his RSL power solutions and MagicPower cards. The mods I suggest are with the same aims, but light in touch, nothing that can't be reverted, equally you can't bring the magnitude of improvement Kit does! For that there is no option but a 12/32.5/72 and a NAP of your choice. I'm not here to spend your money though, and there is much joy in a Nait, and some more to come without butchering it if you do fancy a little gentle modding. It is a slippery slope though, a heavily modded Nait is a fine beast, but it isn't a Nait, and will never be one of the bigger systems either. I wouldn't personally go much further than my suggestions above. They are just component removals and swaps that can be reverted before sale to retain a genuine Nait.
Nobeone
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Re: Garage system

Post by Nobeone »

hifiaf wrote: Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:32 pm Looking forward to the feet! Apparently the three cases coming from England had "personal effects" written on the customs label, nothing more -- that vague a description sends them straight to purgatory! Could be weeks under current conditions. Luckily I'm not in a rush...

So now I have a short but big (possibly dumb) question. I have heard the Nait and how special it is; apparently this is the "Naim sound." Is there a compact description of why it sounds like this? Is it a particular thing that is different in Naim amps -- or a bunch of little things -- or do other amps also sound like this? From the perspective of someone like me who is naive about electronics, it seems almost too perfect that something that LOOKS unusual and unique should also sound that way. But form and function seem to follow here...
I wrote gift, rubber feet, £10 value, we will see if that was smart or stupid, it is the truth ...

Naim amps are based on application note for a semiconductor manufacturer many decades ago. Nothing special there, they are amongst the simplest implementation in discrete bipolar junction transistors (bjt) you can get.

The sound can clearly be influenced by the PSU. Some say this is a design flaw and the Naim circuit has no PSRR, the PSRR isn't a problem unless you tipped noise into them, no it is more that lower noise, lower impedance PSUs make simple circuits sound better. They typically over engineer the size of the transformer and PSU caps, use hand selected for noise LM317 regulators with a 27R/47uF PSU decoupling filter for each section which works sympathetically with the LM317 regulator. The Nait is no different just a bit more restricted in size.

Those who know better than me say much of the flavour comes from the preamp section, and indeed if you want to make a 72 sound different, Avondale do plug in cards that really do sound different, but then Kit's RSL MagicPower use a completely different preamp design and keeps the sound so ... it isn't like the Naim sound can only come from discrete bjt circuits either.

Naim hand selected components where they make an impact (matched long tail pair for minimum dc offset from a simple power amp implementation).

The power amps are quasi complementary class A/B designs (except Nait1!) that are slightly unusual in the 0R22 output resistors and a lack of output inductor coupled with bespoke output transistors undoubtedly giving some Naim flavour too. Much is made of the lack of output inductor. Those that say it is a stupid design that is not unconditionally stable, and those that accept Naim intended typical (at the time!) speaker cable of suitable length to form part of the circuit to ensure stability. Again the idea simpler circuits are better. It isn't the big deal people make of it if you typical figure of 8 speaker cable as opposed to various modern out there designs of speaker cable. Besides many of the designs people claim are unstable need a lot of provocation to become unstable, I think this was more an issue with early bolt down designs than anything else unless you go looking for trouble.

Naim also rely heavily on star earthing, best practice way back then. This may contribute to some Naim-ness too!

They were meticulously built, inspected, tested and listened too. Hand crafted not mass produced. They ran quality systems way ahead of any I encountered elsewhere in similar size manufacturers in the UK at the time in other industries. The sort of thing Toyota and TQM were doing, in Salisbury, in the 80s.
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