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chelmi's picture
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Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18
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Hi
I need some advice to make the most logical changes to improve my listening sessions
I have now the following :
Nait XS - Naim CD5i-2 - Proac Studio 140 - Supra Ply 3.4
Room : 24 m2 in L shape , not very well prepared acoustically ( large lateral bay-window )
Distance : 2,3 m. between floorstanders, and 2,5 m. to listening area
I mostly listen to classical music and I´m not very satisfied with the result when I listen to big orchestras ( music too compressed and not very clean )
I´m thinking of the following changes :
Naim CD5XS instead of CD5i-2
Proac Response D18 instead of Studio 140
Naca 5 instead of Supra Ply 3.4
Naim HiLine ?
Unfortunately, I don´t have the opportunity to test these configurations, as I live now in north-west of Spain
So I would be very grateful if you could make me any recommendations :
¿ What would be the right order of changes to get the best result , in order to make a satisfying investment ?

David@FrankHarvey's picture
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Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

From what you've said, I'd change your speakers, as it's quite a large room, and the D18's are in a different league to the 140's.


Adding a power amplifier like the NAP200 to the XS may also be beneficial - it could be that you need a bit more current in backup.


And the CD5xs will make a great improvement - the amp and speakers aren't going to make up for what's not there in the first place.


Keep the Highline for a future upgrade (after the CD, or maybe even put that £500 towards a CDX2) - get the speakers and electronics right first.


Which order you do these in really depends if you want to improve quality or power - if the compression isn't due to the CD's themselves, then I'd look at the speakers and to add a power amplifier first. From that point, any change in your source will be a more noticable difference.


 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

chelmi's picture
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Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

Hi David,

First of all, thank you for your prompt and professional recommendations.
I spoke with both shops , where I bought CD and Speaker ( unfortunately they donït distribute both trades ) and they made me the following proposals:
Substitution of Proac Studio 140 ( 3 years ) for Response D18 : + 1200 ?
Substitution of CD 5i-2 ( 1,5 year ) for CD 5XS : + 1590 ?

¨ which first change would bring me more satisfaction and be best investment if quality , not power , is the most important for me , as I enjoy listening classical music at low or intermediate level , being able to follow any group of instruments without difficulty ( which of the two substituted is the main responsable of the compression I feel ) ?

¨ As I donït intend to make any change to my amplification , do you think the Nait XS alone will be able to move satisfactorily Proac D18 ?

¨ which interconnect ampli-speaker of the following available trades would you recommend : Naim Naca5 , Chord Odyssey 2 , YBA ? as I think a change may be beneficial

Best regards ,

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Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

For most people, changing the speakers usually brings the most noticable change, but whether this is a good idea usually depends on the price points in question.


The speakers will show you an obvious difference. They're much more refined than the Studio range, and you'll appreciate the extra bass depth immediately. Changing the CD player is one of those debatable upgrades where some people hear a big difference and others hear none. Source components need a longer audition, as quick A/B's don't always show up differences immedately. You can only get out of the system what you put in.


The Nait XS will be enough for the D18's, and I think most people would be happy with that sort of combination for a long time, but the D18's will definitely benefit from an upgrade at some point - whether that be an extra power amplifier, or a move to the SuperNait. I'm not remmending these for extra power you say you don't need it, more for reasons of current capability to give them the punch and snap they need even at low volume (same for any speaker). Bass is always the biggest problem if the amps not good enough. A recent demo of SCM11's found the bass a little uncontrolled on the Nait 5i, but replacing it with the XS you could tell straight away that basslines were far better controlled, and more open in the upper frequencies.


I like Naim's speaker cable, but I think most people would find the Odyssey a much easier listen.


 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

Anonymous
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Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

Hello, Naimee!


Great system, by the way! Future one will be much more better!


I vote for new speakers, since I had a listen to D28 and was very satisfied with the bass. As for high frequency, it was pritty much the same. (compared to my Studio 110).


For two weeks I had CD5XS and was very satisfied. The first difference I noticed was in bass area (compared to CD5x). Much more detailed sound. Great CDP. But I decided to trade it for HDX which is in the CDX range and it is amazing, soo convenient.


I also tried Flat Cap with my XS amp and noticed huge difference! Especially in mid range. The sound is more thick, more detailed, like it makes all the sounds be at one level. But I liked the sound of bare XS more!  Smile Why? Because I like to hear high frequencies more than hearing all the sound equal. Maybe I am wrong, many would disagree with me but that is how I felt about it. But since you are classic music lover, maybe you should try it!!  Maybe it will suit your preferences.


Hi line is IMHO just something you should add at the end of configuring new system. I expect most from D18 (they are on my wish list too) and not that much difference from CDP. I say that because when I compared my old Technics CDP (200eur, 15years old) to CD5x, there wasn't that much of a difference. Digital is digital, again IMO. Maybe I don't have 1.000.000.000 $ ears but I simply couldn't make any difference between these two when I made A/B test.


As for Supernait, I don't think there will be any difference since XS is 'baby' Supernait. (without DAC and 60w instead 90w).


Maybe some pre/power amp combo would make some difference.


Speakers are No 1 when you want any big change in music. I had a listen to Naim Ovators a month ago and was moooore than delightful.


Naim speaker cables for sure!


Anyway, try to seek some more advice at Naim forum.


Bye


 

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Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

Hi David,

Following your recommendations, I decided, after comparing both speakers, with different electronics, in a HiFi shop , first :
to substitute my 3 years old Studio 140 for Response D18 ( operation which cost me 1200 ? ). Iïll receive the new D18 next Monday.

Now, next step, Iïd like to improve the interconnect speaker-ampli
( I have now Supra Ply 3.4 ), so :
¨ Which one, of the following available in my area, would you recommend ?
¨ Should they be both of the same length ?
( I donït expect a too brilliantïone, and canït test them at home ):
. Naim Naca 5 ( rigid and ugly )
. Chord Odyssey 2 or other
. Nordost Flat 2 or Flatline Gold MKII
. YBA Glass ( which can be both of different length )

Later, when I can afford, Iïll focus on CD5 XS - Flatcap XS - HiLine

Best Regards ,

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Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

Wise choice Sir!


I think from your preferences you'd be better off with the Odyssey, as compared to the Supra, it'll tighten things up. I think the Nordost will be a little too far in the opposite direction for you - too tight and lean. I'm not familiar with the YBA.


I'd keep them as close to the same length as possible.


 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

Don't get me wrong, Naim's XS and matching player was one of the systems that I liked so much, I contemplated buying it. There are few I can say this about and I heard a fair share.

However, when I used the above one thing became obvious immediately, it does'nt do 'sound stage' well. Well, it does'nt do it as well as some others and it was largely down to the amplifier as when we switched to arcam's A38, things opened up though at cost to other benefits the Naim had. It's a contained stage largely between the speakers (not entirely but you probably get my drift) whereas others project well beyond and behind and it would also be fair to say that it sounded like high frequencies where deliberately limited, even compared to a lowly Denon amplifier, also used. That did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for it as suits my listening style and is for a large part, relatively neutral.

I don't listen to classical a great deal but I could imagine that, to re-create the grandeur of certain venues/recordings and to emphasize frequency extremes, as is probably necesseray with your chosen genre, this system and Naim's in general, may not be the best choice.

I agree that you can better the Studio range (I had studios in my last system) but if it was me, I'd consider a change of amplifier at the same time or even before if only for the reasons I've mentioned earlier. Personally, I thing the XS is better than Supernait but probably not for a mostly classical orientated listener.

 

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Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

I hope i did'nt kill this thread off. Just a person's opinion, no less or more and I'm sure, changing speakers will make some difference.

chelmi's picture
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RE: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

Hi David ,

After having spent some years with my  Nait XS  and  Proac d18  , in my 24 m2 room , I need again some advice about upgrading to a better integrated amplifier ; as I find, nowadays, my listening classical music a bit bright, fatiguing and with a lack of openess.

Which of the following amplifiers  I can get in my north-west spanish area ) would you recommend me :

Supernait 2 ( more expensive )

Rega Elicit R

Primare I 32

Creek destiny

I would be very pleased if you could advise me soon,

I´ve got an offer, just now, for a discounted supernait 2, which I can¨t listen to before buying

I appeal to your expertise , as you already gave me some very good advice years ago

Best regards ,

 

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RE: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

Definitely change speakers. Proacs have never sounded brilliant to me. Neat are usually a good match with Naim, but there are others - Totem go well, Harbeth are superb, and also (apparently, not heard) Spendor.

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RE: Re: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

David@FrankHarvey wrote:

From what you've said, I'd change your speakers, as it's quite a large room, and the D18's are in a different league to the 140's.

 

Adding a power amplifier like the NAP200 to the XS may also be beneficial - it could be that you need a bit more current in backup.

 

And the CD5xs will make a great improvement - the amp and speakers aren't going to make up for what's not there in the first place.

 

Keep the Highline for a future upgrade (after the CD, or maybe even put that £500 towards a CDX2) - get the speakers and electronics right first.

 

Which order you do these in really depends if you want to improve quality or power - if the compression isn't due to the CD's themselves, then I'd look at the speakers and to add a power amplifier first. From that point, any change in your source will be a more noticable difference.

 

 

I would also throw PMC Twenty 23 into the ring. Heard them on the end of a Rega Elicit-R and Yamaha receiver (not at the same time) and sounded fabulous.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

chelmi wrote:

Hi David ,

After having spent some years with my  Nait XS  and  Proac d18  , in my 24 m2 room , I need again some advice about upgrading to a better integrated amplifier ; as I find, nowadays, my listening classical music a bit bright, fatiguing and with a lack of openess.

Which of the following amplifiers  I can get in my north-west spanish area ) would you recommend me :

Supernait 2 ( more expensive )

Rega Elicit R

Primare I 32

Creek destiny

I would be very pleased if you could advise me soon,

I´ve got an offer, just now, for a discounted supernait 2, which I can¨t listen to before buying

I appeal to your expertise , as you already gave me some very good advice years ago

Best regards ,

I don't know if they are available with you, but for Classical music, I'd be looking at Pathos, Sugden, Unison Research, Audio Analogue and Electrocompaniet.

Out of the amps you've listed, which are all good, it's impossible to know which you'd prefer. FWIW. I would probably go for the Rega.

 

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Change Naim CD5XS - Proac D18

The problem seems to me to be not with the amp but the speakers. Try some other speakers first, and you'll probably find the problem will go away.

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