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Naim delivers Triple Hard Disk Player/Server Update

Naim’s HDX, UnitiServe and NaimNet Servers have all received double the storage (2TB), new software 1.6C and a new and significantly improved n-Serve control app Version 2.3.

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Two new iPad apps from Naim

Two newly updated Naim apps are available as free of charge downloads from the App Store from the 1st April 2011. The new apps include native iPad support delivering a much richer experience. This along with the improvements detailed below ensures Naim owners continue to get the maximum flexibility of control of their systems along with Naim’s class-leading audio performance.

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Multi-award-winning Naim HDX gets SLC SSD

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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Squeezebox Touch – a week later

What an interesting beast this is. The lispy addition to voices that I was complaining about in my original post has gone. The sound quality is really rather good using the digital out. I prefer the optical output to the coax into the Naim DAC. The optical has a more refined presentation and just sounds right, the coax is a little courser.

If sound quality was the only criteria the SB Touch would be stunning value for money but unfortunately usability and fit for purpose must be included in the equation.

The display is rather pleasant if a little slow; but only works well within a narrow vertical viewing angle. That angle is often wrong unless one is standing, and who stands to listen to music? It needs an adjustable rear stand.

So far 24/96 is far too unreliable. It might play it, might stutter. Not good enough. The Squeezebox forums are full of the problem and possible solutions but none has worked 100% for me.

Connecting up an external 500GB portable drive with a power supply has so far been an unrewarding experience. I’m struggling to get it to scan the drive fully and so far I’ve only managed to play about a tenth of one track.

So if the decision was based on the sound quality of CD rips from the digital output it would be a clear winner. Overall it needs more work or I need to understand more about how to get the best from it.

More in another week or so.

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Initial thoughts on the Squeezebox Touch

After one of the worst examples of corporate communications ineptitude I’ve ever come across, my Logitech Squeezebox Touch arrived yesterday.

I ordered my Touch on the 26th October 2009 to take advantage of the 20% off for early orders offer. Delivery was expected imminently. Only one email since then – on 4th March – to warn of a delay until April-May. Another 20% offer “as a small gift” but no apology. A simple ‘sorry for the delay we are working on getting it right before launch’ would have gone a mighty long way.

I know there is a Squeezebox forum and maybe Logitech thought that was a reason not to keep me up to date – but it’s not. A few emails would have made me feel much happier with Logitech. If I hadn’t known friends with beta units, who were pleased with the performance, I would have cancelled my order months ago.

Anyway it’s arrived and very nice it is too. It’s been running overnight using the standard supplied PS and I’ve recently changed over to the Maplin linear PS as much for my piece of mind as any sonic reason. There is a small difference but not enough to rush to the shops.

What does it sound like? OK, I suppose, is all I can report so far. I’ve only tried the optical and coaxial digital outputs running into a Naim DAC with 555 PS. It has an edge to the sound that sneaks its way on to every song. It’s a slight hard lispiness to vocals that accentuates the lips and teeth sounds. Coax digital sounds substantially different from Optical – surprisingly different in fact.

It’s way too early to form any sensible conclusions. It’s certainly excellent value; just don’t know how excellent yet. More in a week or so when it has run in.

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New iPhone app for Naim HDX

Naim today confirmed that the HDX app to control the Naim HDX Hard Disk Player is available from the Apple iTunes app store.

The HDX app, was designed and coded in-house by Naim’s software team.

The HDX app, which also controls the primary output of NaimNet Music Servers, was developed following customer feedback provided via Naim’s long-running and influential forum.

Naim’s HDX App allows you to control your HDX hard disk player remotely. With your music library at your fingertips, you can now sit back and take control. Browse and play any of the music stored on your HDX with the easy-to-use app.

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Naim HDX gets major software update

Naim Audio today confirmed that the new update — Version 1.5 — for the Naim HDX Hard Disk Player is available for retailers to download. In addition, thousands of CDs are in the post to Naim retailers to enable them to update their customers’ HDXs.

Version 1.5 brings a major improvement in convenience with rip to NAS and far more flexible networking. Shares are scanned or ignored by selection thus reducing scanning time and improving speed of music availability. This part of the update alone will bring massive benefits to many Naim customers who have large collections of music waiting further ripping.

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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.