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Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX

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fr0g's picture
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A serious question as you have actually listened to one...

Where does its performance lie in comparison to some of the best CD players? I was and still am pretty sceptical, but if it has performace levels of a £4000+ CD player, then I could and probably would change my mind. I still think it sounds rather under-specced, but does it really have this level of performance?

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX

I have only heard the unit in demonstrations, where it sounded impressive. But I have yet to do some serious comparative listening in a known system/environment, and until then I'm not in a position to consider how it compares to conventional CD players - if indeed that isn't a .case of comparing apples and oranges.

 

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX
Andrew Everard:

I have only heard the unit in demonstrations, where it sounded impressive. But I have yet to do some serious comparative listening in a known system/environment, and until then I'm not in a position to consider how it compares to conventional CD players - if indeed that isn't a .case of comparing apples and oranges.

 



Fair enoough. I dont know why Apples and Oranges though... It essentially utilises the inherrent advantage of reading the contents of a CD from a HDD rather than a CD platter. So it ought to sound at least as good as a CDX2, and hopefully better.

I'd love to listen to one in any case.
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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX

Agreed about apples and oranges - surely the point is that it's a music source, and should be judged as such (irrespective of the medium), therefore comparison with other music sources is valid and important (especially given the huge cost).

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX
JohnDuncan:
Agreed about apples and oranges - surely the point is that it's a music source, and should be judged as such (irrespective of the medium), therefore comparison with other music sources is valid and important (especially given the huge cost).



The point I was making though, is it is the same medium... Digital playback of the contents of a CD.
Ultimately HDD playback is potentially far better than CD transport playback. It just depends on the implementation.

So if they (Naim) have done it correctly, then I would hope the HDD playback was at least on a par with their nearest priced CD player, and preferrably better (obviously allowing for the extra cost of parts, and development)
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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX


Yeah, agreed, the music is the same whatever format, so how good a job does it do at getting the music to you, irrespective of how it does it (vinyl/CD/HDD/8-track).

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX

Yeah but no but - there's rather more to the HDX than just a CD player, so it might be unfair to suggest a direct price comparison is in order.

 

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX


At this level, I'd be inclined to say that price is irrelevant, since I'd hope for however many grand it is that it's pretty much "reference implementation". Of course, if it sounds like a CD6002, then that's an issue......Big Smile. Not that I'll ever buy one, since I could do it cheaper with a Mac, a DAC and unlimited storage, RAID-configured however I like.



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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX
JohnDuncan:
At this level, I'd be inclined to say that price is irrelevant, since I'd hope for however many grand it is that it's pretty much "reference implementation". Of course, if it sounds like a CD6002, then that's an issue......Big Smile. Not that I'll ever buy one, since I could do it cheaper with a Mac, a DAC and unlimited storage, RAID-configured however I like.

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX
JohnDuncan:
At this level, I'd be inclined to say that price is irrelevant, since I'd hope for however many grand it is that it's pretty much "reference implementation". Of course, if it sounds like a CD6002, then that's an issue......Big Smile. Not that I'll ever buy one, since I could do it cheaper with a Mac, a DAC and unlimited storage, RAID-configured however I like.



It would be an issue if it sounded any worse than their £3000 CD player (on HDD format) for me, given that the hard drives will have cost under £100. I would take into account the extra development, screen etc, but IMO it needs to be outperforming the CD2X on HDD playback, to be worth consideration.

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX

HDX -vs- CDP. Isn't it like comparing a DVD recorder to a DVD player at the same price? i.e. different functionality

HDX -vs- Macbook/Dac/etc. Isn't that like comparing a Arcam solo to seperates? i.e. convinience factor

jules.

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX
jules153:
HDX -vs- CDP. Isn't it like comparing a DVD recorder to a DVD player at the same price? i.e. different functionality

HDX -vs- Macbook/Dac/etc. Isn't that like comparing a Arcam solo to seperates? i.e. convinience factor

jules.



No. The HDD should be there in order to playback at a higher fidelity, as it is a far better playback mech than a CD transport.

I imagine thats what the idea is. £4500 is hardly 'convenience' territory...
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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX

I think it's a mistake to assume more than tiny audible differences between HDD and CD. It's agreed that CD isn't as good technically, but with everything in good order, differences will be difficult to hear.

The DAC determines the sound quality and all modern ones are relatively inexpensive and 24 Bit playing 16 Bit in the case of CD, so they easily exceed the requirement and are virtually indistinguishable from one and other if their Manufacturers' evaluation Boards are compared.

Basically you have to do what they tell you and if you don't the sound will be worse. Therefore there should be no audible differences between any of these devices and if there are it suggests mistakes in interpreting instructions, corners cut because of space constraints and or price point targets.

Ashley

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX
Ashley James:
I think it's a mistake to assume more than tiny audible differences between HDD and CD. It's agreed that CD isn't as good technically, but with everything in good order, differences will be difficult to hear.

The DAC determines the sound quality and all modern ones are relatively inexpensive and 24 Bit playing 16 Bit in the case of CD, so they easily exceed the requirement and are virtually indistinguishable from one and other if their Manufacturers' evaluation Boards are compared.

Basically you have to do what they tell you and if you don't the sound will be worse. Therefore there should be no audible differences between any of these devices and if there are it suggests mistakes in interpreting instructions, corners cut because of space constraints and or price point targets.

Ashley



Totally appreciate that... My point is that the HDD playback should be at least on a par, if not better. And taking the price of the unit into consideration, it ought to be on a par with their nearest priced CD player.
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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX
fr0g:


Totally appreciate that... My point is that the HDD playback should be at least on a par, if not better. And taking the price of the unit into consideration, it ought to be on a par with their nearest priced CD player.

And after all, all the company's done is sling in a hard drive. And how much is one of those...?

 

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Re: Serious question, for Andrew regarding the Naim HDX

Andrew - I suspect that much of the cost is for software Licences.

Ashley