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Mains

Naim introduces Power-Line Lite

Naim today announced that its newly designed mains plug, has now replaced the MK mains plug that was fitted by Naim to all its standard mains cables.

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Another DacMagic power supply trial

Decided to use Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, but slightly more unusually, the DVD-A rip so the source is 24/96. Unlike quite a few DVD-As, this one appears to have some content above 22k. Amazing though, that given the total available dynamic range they still needed to ‘clip’ the recording.  Still sounds rather good though.
To start I compared the standard power supply with the Maplin L54BR.  Pleasant surprise, the Maplin delivers a subtlety of delivery that doesn’t emphasise any particular instruments. The original PS, in comparison, seems to make the bass line and the hi-hat a little more obvious in the mix of Dreams and decreases the importance of Stevie Nick’s voice.

Using track 7 , The Chain, showed the original as having a slightly ‘sharper’ delivery, more detail perhaps but certainly less music. The main difference was in the low end but this changed the overall presentation. The Maplin just delivered more music but in a controlled and balanced manner.

I then dug out the 500VA transformer I’d tried before – now in an aluminium box and with a ferrite on the output – in common with the original Dacmagic’s supply.  This PS delivered more power to the presentation, more extension apparently  but was slightly slower. It had better separation of instruments, but not really more music.

The more comparisons of power supplies I do with the Dacmagic the more impressed I am of the overall balance of the design.

I will carry on using the Maplin PS.  It is easier to hide away, as it isn’t a walwart, and more importantly it improves the performance making it just that little more balanced and even handed.

The music playback system was a HP2133 netbook running Foobar and ASIO drivers connected by USB2 to a M-Audio Transit sound card which was connected with a  Chord Optichord to the Cambridge.

Back to first principles – system setup

I’ve owned a Naim system for somewehere around 15 years and have learnt a lot about set up mainly over the past five or so handling Naim’s PR. Jason, Naim’s Southern Area manager has taught me that there is no such thing as too much attention to detail.
Yesterday I learnt that, the problem in one’s own system is that, it’s easy to forget the basics.
Normally I don’t change my main system as I have another in a differnt room to evaluate products and to run things in.
After HDX was launched I decided to put it into my main system along with a PS555 – the PS555 coming along later.
What I forgot was, that in my haste to get the PS555 into the system, I put it onto the only spare Fraim level which was directly under the HDX and next to the NAC 552.
Yesterday, I decided to move the PS555 to a newly created spare level around 40cm lower. Unbelievable: the upper bass thickness that I had been trying to sort for a couple of months went away, the system opened up and became a real joy to listen to. But the change wasn’t just on playing from HDX it was on vinyl, FM and CD.

To quote quite a few forums posts that I have read over the years I have been playing all sorts of music and it’s like it’s all new stuff.  What an amazing change for so little work.

So now all I have to do is find the time to take the whole system apart, tighten up all the Fraim bolts, redo all the Mains wiring so that I can try Power-Line, give it all the clean and reassemble in perhaops a slightly different order.  After the High End show in Munich perhaps.  More then.

Chord SuperScreen Mains Cable

As designers will often say, designing a product with a strict budget in mind is very often far harder than designing something state of the art.

Chord set out to achieve superb performance at a very affordable price.  The SuperScreen mains cable delivers wonderful value for money at £65 for a one metre cable.

SuperScreen Mains