May 6 2010 High-End Show, MOC, Munich. Two, very successful — as evidenced by the recent Queen’s Award for Enterprise — years on from Naim’s launch of the standard-setting award-winning HDX hard disk player, Naim is launching UnitiServe a compact digital audio player and server.
Deliveries will begin July 2010.
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May 6 2010 High-End Show, MOC, Munich. Naim confirms, in an aggregate of abbreviations, that the multi-award-winning Naim HDX is to be offered with a 16GB Enterprise grade, Single Level Cell (SLC), Solid State Drive (SSD). This totally silent drive will contain the operating system and includes space for future upgrades. This and the performance upgrades are an upgrade option for existing HDX owners.
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I downloaded the demo package of Pure Music (the playback only version of Pure Vinyl) today. A quick listen using my TC Konnect 8 as a firewire to S/PDIF interface to my Naim DAC with 555 PS Power Supply was enough to make me take up the $79 limited time offer.
I need to have time to seriously listen to this combination and to also try the hiFace M2Tech I have had since before Christmas.
To summarise the listening results, the performance with Pure Music was significantly better than with iTunes alone. Cleaner and more interesting. Memory playback was even better. The sound didn’t have the shiny, chromium plated character so common in computer audio. It had solidity and grip.
My only concern in the short-term at least is in the rhythm. It might not have the true ‘drag me in’ character I find essential for long-term enjoyment.
Much more as soon as I have time.
In the meantime…
Naim has updated its CDX2 CD player to coincide with the forthcoming launch of the Naim DAC.
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This is the first major revision for this product in over 7 years. This takes the CDX2 into new markets delivering greater performance and far increased flexibility. The price remains the same.
The new version CDX2 adds a switchable S/PDIF output on a 75 Ohm BNC connector for the correct impedance match.
Over the past day I’ve had a chance to listen to the comparison in two systems, both this time, using the coax S/PDIF input. Overall I prefer the Cambridge DacMagic. The DM is a little more even handed: on first listen it sounds a little flatter than the V-DAC but after a while it’s obvious that vocals are a little more intelligible even though they are further back in the mix. The MF has a litte more LF energy, a slightly more forward vocal area and is a little better at the 3D stereo stuff : it recreates reverb tails with far more authority. What it doesn’t do it hang music together in such a strongly cohesive way as the DM.
OK, these differences are not huge and you may think that the extra hundred (ish) quid for the DM is just too much for the small differences. Have a listen for yourself then you can judge.
For those interested in upgrading the power supplies of the MF V-DAC I compared the supplied walwart supply with the Maplin and although there were differences with the Maplin having a touch more weight and grip, the differences were smaller than a change of digital cable might bring.
The Musical Fidelity V-DAC arrived early this morning so after about six hours running in impatience got the better of me and I tried my first comparisons. The Cambridge DacMagic was powered by the Maplin AC-AC converter, the snappily coded L54BR, and the V-Dac by a Maplin VN10L AC to DC adapter set to 12 Volts. The reason for using the Maplin PSs is that the MF looked as if it was a SMPS and they really affect my system. SMPS and Naim systems don’t really mix well.
The two DACs are pretty close; in fact I’ve not drawn a conclusion yet. The MF is initially very enticing, it has a very direct quality as if a veil has been removed from in front of the speakers but at the same time it wasn’t quite as cohesive. The DacMagic – set to my preferred Minimum phase setting – was a little more relaxed, laid back in presentation but the bass was together with the rest of the band. The MF, although it timed, somehow managed to sound a tad slow on bass lines.
Lots more listening to do with coax S/PDIF as today was with optical. More soon.