Win a Naim ND5 XS network player worth £1950!

Here's your chance to win a Naim ND5 XS network player. To celebrate the release of the new 24-bit/192kHz version of the Naim Label album Meet Me In London, one lucky person who downloads the album will win a £1950 Naim ND5 XS (above).

To download the Super Hi Definition edition, click here. It's available as 24-bit/192kHz WAV or FLAC files, both costing £17.99 (or you can download a single track from £1.99). Closing date for the prize draw is March 31st, 2012.

You can also watch the Meet Me In London – Reborn in 192kHz video here.

The new high-resolution version of Meet Me in London, by world-renowned guitarist Antonio Forcione and singer Sabina Sciubba (shown below), is being released 14 years after it was first produced as a Naim Label CD.

Naim says the new Super Hi Definiiton version is a major investment for its record label. It is based on the original 24-track master, remixed and remastered by Tony Platt at Strongroom Studios with final mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering in Hampstead, London.

Naim Audio has recently updated its network players and all-in-one streamers to have 24-bit/192kHz capability.

The original album was recorded on 24-track Ampex tape in analogue and without any Dolby sound reduction at September Sound in Twickenham.

Fortunately, the master tapes were found to be in good condition and did not need any oven baking to consolidate the oxide layer – a problem that can plague old masters.

The process of capturing the digital WAV files in 24-bit resolution at 192kHz in Pro-Tools began by playing the original masters on a Studer A800 MkII analogue tape machine.

The playback feed from the Studer was then routed into a Digidesign analogue-to-digital converter and monitored via the DIgidesign D-Control ES mixing console. The captured 24-bit/192kHz WAV files were then saved to hard disk.

The next step of the process was to convert the digital files back into analogue to enable them to be mixed on a Neve analogue mixing console.

Why not just use the original analogue master on the Neve and avoid all the A-D and D-A conversion? Naim says that given their 14-year age it was considered that the tapes wouldn’t have survived the repeated playback required during mixing.

Making a duplicate analogue master and mixing from that would have introduced additional tape noise, which would have been obvious on 24-bit/192kHz playback.

Alternatively mixing on the Digidesign console entirely in the digital domain would have meant using certain plug-ins that only operate at 16- or 24-bit/44.1 or 48kHz and would have necessitated down-conversion of the digital signal. None of these other options were considered desirable from a sound quality point of view.

Listening tests determined that staying in digital was the obvious choice, a decision made easier by the availability of the excellent Sonnox plug-ins that can support 24-bit/192kHz, says Naim.

Antonio Forcione adds: "Remixing Meet Me in London was a very rewarding experience. Listening back to it now is like observing a starry night through a very powerful telescopic lens – suddenly you see things that you didn't realise were there in the first place... amazing."

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.