Tuesday, 10 September 2019

New PSU has arrived ..

.. and what a fantastic addition to the system it is!

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1BF1HgQiiVqCqEfWrM23mOLDty1t7syds

I bought the Dualcap from Teddy Pardo (Manufacturer and Naim member). It basically performs the role of 2 x Hicaps and 1 x NAPSC in one box (so out came my one Hicap and NAPSC and in went the Dualcap).

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=10JNZ0Z63XrB-A95Q1se_9zE34cFmFI19

To say the difference was night and day is about right. It’s only been in my system for about a day (definitely not burned-in yet) and the separation and soundstage is incredible. Plus I can tell the difference between a kick-drum and a bass guitar now.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1RznQVDLPWqd7bSGFE9JkqALU4wWnPflY

The one niggle I have with it has nothing to do with it’s performance and all to do with the currency conversion and VAT. Customers have to pay in U.S. Dollars and as the Pound is in the toilet at the moment, my wallet took a hammering. That’s the only grumble I have.

It even came complete with all the necessary cables ..

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1EFcOQctZ6el3XH9eatDe-3ovu5MQf1Sshttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1tb9TS5DTobBvGbo-uaECjR7SQ9Vhd1CJhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1kC2yQ56ZOctlsZNYYjaAxuT-smRF2uKD

The product is superb and highly recommended for Naim users.

*All pics courtesy of Teddy Pardo’s Website.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Digital Cables ..

Hmmm ... not sure whether to wipe the egg off my face, or pat myself on the back! 

The Meridian 563 DAC .. LIVES!!!!!!

It seems that either my IXOS Coax cable has bitten the dust, or ... the internal Coax input is kaput! 

I found out the problem was the £80 Coax, as I plugged in my under £5 Optical and the Digital signal was shown as ‘Locked’ (as it should be when the DAC senses a live connection).

Sound quality difference between the two? None. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

Which brings me along to the thorny issue of: Why spend £80 on a Coax cable when a £3.50p Optical cable delivers EXACTLY the same goods?

Very good question! 

The answer? Don’t. 

If there’s no perceivable benefits to be had, then you’d be a fool to spend the extra on something that isn’t an audible upgrade.

.. and that’s shocking to me, as that IXOS cable was the bees-knees. Or so I thought.

Everyday is still a schoolday.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

R.I.P. Meridian 563 DAC ..

R.I.P. Meridian 563 DAC. You served me (and my music) well for nigh-on 30 years. Rest in Peace, ol’ chum. You’ll be missed (especially as my music in the living room is being routed through the internal Sonos DAC, which quite frankly sucks donkey balls compared to the 30 year old Meridian). Fear not! Behind every cloud, there is a silver lining, as the hunt steps-up for a Hi Def DAC that will outperform the Meridian ✅

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Finally! A new Pre Amp ..

I took the plunge and upgraded my Naim NAC 102 pre amp for a (cue drum roll) .. NAC 82 .. plus NAPSC. What a difference!! 

I’ve had it plumbed into the system (amp-wise: NAP 140 / Hicap) for just over 4 hours as I write this. The sense of detail is amazing! Where there are passages of silence .. there’s no noise. The noise floor is so incredibly low .. it’s non-existent.

There’s a sense of ease (for want of a better term) and the stereo separation is pin-point.

Next up to purchase is a NAP 250 power amp .. and my wallet’s itching to be emptied. Meanwhile, here’s the 82 ..

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1QCZB8NehfyVUNmyEdSFTNvEEGMcW6xra


Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Upgrade? Yes, Please! ..

Tentatively .. providing ‘it’ doesn’t fall through .. I have the chance to upgrade either my turntable, or digital front end, or amps.

If it’s going to be the turntable, I’m looking at a Rega arm and an Ortofon 2M P&P Black (definitely keeping my SL1210 Mk.2) ..

If it’s going to be a new digital front end, I’m strongly thinking about going the Auralic Vega G1 Network Streamer route (which will retire my olde Meridian DAC) and with the help of Roon .. will stream lovely Hi Res files to my Sonos.

If it’s going to be an upgrade to the amp end, it’ll be a NAC 82 (to replace my NAC 102) and a NAP 250 (to replace my NAP 140).

I’ll let you know if any of these are workable .. ‘if’ everything pans out.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Mishaps and Lost Treasures from The Attic (Part.1) ..

Back in the dim mists of time (early 90's), I had an AV system that was splendiferous! The main amp was Denon's AVR-3200. An absolute humongous best of an integrated amplifier ..





Time moved on and my AV system's components got either put to one side or sold as hard economic times bit-in. The AVR-3200 got put up in the various attics of houses we moved to. It collected dust and occasionally I thought to myself .. what if .. what if .. I put it to use someday again? Indeed, what if?

So, nigh-on 30 years after last turning it on, I took it down from the attic and gave it a good inspection. Surprisingly, the actual body had nary a mark on it, but peeping into it from the top .. it looked like I'd finally discovered the resting place of my hair from decades ago .. I could have knitted a new jumper out of it, if only I had the skills.

There was only one thing for it: take it my workplace and give it a damn good (but gently applied) blow-out from the compressed air blower that we used for cleaning out the inside of old, dusty, musky desktop pc's.

With that job done, it was back home .. plug it in .. and hope it didn't blow up.

The big bang didn't happen as a resounding 'click' from the solenoids and relays kicking back in to action .. no burning smell (that was a good sign, surely?) .. no overheating .. hmmm! .. after all this time .. good I be still on to a winner???

Leaving it to settle in, I went back up into the attic and plugged in my same-period-as-the-amp Sony DVP-NS92V SACD/CD/DVD Multi Player and loaded-up Bowie's awesome 'Ziggy ..' SACD (using toslink for connection) ..

I almost passed-out when the flippin' thing played! .. however .. not flawlessly. There was some distortion at peak level on certain songs.

Not to be deterred, I switched out the Optical connection and replaced with a darn good IXOS stereo interconnect. Bliss! The analog section of the amp was 100% flawless. After nearly 30 years in various attics, through cold winter's and scorching summers, I'm surprised it even turned on.

As I'm now using Naim amplification, the trusty Denon will not be going back into the 'system, nor will it be heading back up into the attic .. Nay! .. of to eBay she will shortly go.

Part.2 of this particular stream of consciousness will be coming soon.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Gravity and Jolly-Japes in the Man-Cave ..

.. don't go there. Really.

I'm a big believer in Backup! Backup! Backup! That's why I generally use 2 x 2TB Ext HDD and 2 x 1TB Ext HDD's to save a mixture of Music, Film and TV on to.

Every boy likes a change to his Man-Cave, so when organizing 'a bit of a clean-out', I needed some help from our Nik to hold one part of a divided (but pushed-up-hard to the other) worktop. I needed it moved to the left .. I thought she'd follow me .. so, on my command: " .. NOW! .. " .. I figured she'd push, so the worktop could be inched to the left (it did have a Sonos Play:5, the aforementioned HDD's, 1 x Laptop, 1 x TV, 1 x Tablelamp on it) .. she pulled right .. the worktop did the 'el collapso' .. all HDD's fell to the floor including the Play:5 😭

AAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

After much changing of the colour of the air, I surveyed the damage. On inspection (trying to fire the damn thing up) .. 1 x 1TB HDD was completely totaled .. luckily, everything else hadn't met its respective maker.

Please note: I'm a huge music lover and my 1TB HDD main drive had just bit the dust! The backup drive was fine, but what to do???

With Roon entering my life (with no music storage cap) .. like the man in the film when faced with a massive shark said .. " .. we're going to need a bigger boat .. ".

It was time to start moving things around. Things were moved between the 2 x 2TB and the remaining 1TB and my laptop's 'C' drive. After several days, my music now was stored on the two larger drives and my transient TV progs and Films were shared on the 1TB drive and a good quality 500GB drive that I had knocking-around.

I honestly don't know why I hadn't done this before. Music has always been more to the forefront of my life than Film or TV ever was.

Out of bad things, come change and good things. From a broken egg, a superior omelette was made.

The moral of the story is: If you want to make a change .. struggle .. and do it yourself!*

*Sorry, Nik.