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.


Why 45rpm is essential

Elbow’s award winning album The Seldom Seen Kid is available on vinyl.  It’s heavy, split onto two records, and is 45rpm.  None of the reviews I read on Amazon mention that it’s 45rpm and neither does the album sleeve or even the Amazon details page.

Don’t get caught out like me wondering why the beginning sounded so odd.  Luckily my Funked LP12 with its DC motor and clever power supply can be switched to 45.

The album is truly stunning.  It has been mastered with care, it’s not compressed to hell, and its quiet.  What’s really wonderful though is the music.  It’s true poetry set to to music.  Maybe it’s not the most uplifting album in the world but it’s definitely the best album I’ve bought in the last couple of years.

Worth playing very often and very loud.

The Thorens 25th anniversary triple album is in the same class, but I didn’t have to buy that one, I’m glad to say.  More on that another day.


Behringer SRC2496

The Behringer SRC2496 has got to be the best value DAC around.  Mine cost £99 delivered.  Not only is it a good value DAC that upsamples (if you wish it to) it is also an 24/96 Analog to Digital converter.

I’ve started to experiment with digitally recording vinyl.  Absolutely fascinating. I’d always assumed that digitally recording vinyl would bring the worst of both worlds but it works. And it works well.

The sound quality is absolutely remarkable for the price.  Well worth shoping around on this.  It’s going to be very difficult to get a demo before purchase so you may have to take a chance.

Behringer Website


The old AudioPlus website is no more

I moved the old AudioPlus site – a mainly image resource site –  away from to here at yesterday.  I’ve left a few links for visitors clicking on or reading older press releases but effectively the old site is now closed.

The images can now be accessed via the link to the old site in the links section.

There are product and people images for Audica, Chord, Castle Naim, The Naim Label and Naimnet.

If you are looking for a particular image to support a magazine or newspaper piece or a blog and you can’t find it just let me know.


The LP12 is Funked

Friday was a busy day and my back is only just recovering. My older LP12 now has the Origin Live larger motor and power supply together with a comprehensive resetup.

The newer LP12 is now fully Funk Vectored complete with K Drive.

Both, after setup by my friend, bounce in a much more regular and controlled manner.

The huge difference though is in the music. They just deliver far more music and far less thickness and confusion. Stone Fox Chase the theme to The Old Grey Whistle Test had so much more interest and detail in the rhythm section on the old Linn compared to before the mods.

The Funky LP12 showed signs of the pre run-in forwardness I had expected but even so the control, dynamics and grip were so far of what the TT was delivering before.  Playing tracks from the new Thorens triple LP was a revelation.  The Staple Singers sounded amazing with fantastic out of blackness projection and Rickie Lee Jones’ nasal twang was as true as it was live at the Palladium.

More after the running in has completed.


Record Cleaning Shocker

Last night I visited a friend who was borrowing a Keith Monks Classic Record Cleaning Machine. I arrived to find a large pile of cleaned LPs and a man excitedly playing a track from a record, cleaning it and then playing it again.
I know KM is a client and I’m therefore biased, but the results were shocking.
The sound quality improvement wasn’t subtle at all. It wasn’t just a case of less noise: less clicks and pops. The shocking change was in detail and the ability to hear sounds low in the mix that were just inaudible before or in the case of voices unintelligible before.
It was the sort of improvements to sound quality that a significant upgrade in cartridge might bring.
As I said, shocking. Good shocking though.