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Setting up a (S)naxo?

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by ahof, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. ahof

    ahof pfm Member

    Hi folks,

    I hope this is the right place to ask.

    I searched up and down the net to find some instructions / guidelines to set up a naxo correctly - I'm not asking about the cablework (which is a rather straightforward job), I'm asking about the little plastic screws inside of it. I figured out what they do but are there any documents how to set them up from scratch? Are there any "zero-positions" for different speakers in the naim range (credo, sbl,..). I'd really like to know, just to get the very best out of my system.

    Regards & Thanks!
  2. Jo Sharp

    Jo Sharp Pulls on doors marked push

    very much trial and error I'm afraid. You can search on here or the Naim forum for suggestions. There are no specific settings for different naim speakers. Most people end up setting the treble level in mid-range of the adjustment, then adjusting the bass levels until it 'sounds right' for their room.
  3. erik_bjorge@hot

    erik_bjorge@hot pfm Member

  4. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    (S)NAXOs were very much set up for different speakers. Those little pots inside only change the gain of each frequency band. They do not affect the crossover frequencies themselves - that was changed by hard component values on-board. There are no zero positions because they're all factory set for the speaker range they're being sold for.

  5. ahof

    ahof pfm Member

    Thank you very much! Helps a lot!

  6. Jo Sharp

    Jo Sharp Pulls on doors marked push

    Yes and no....I think you will find that the SNAXO 2-4 is the same for all naim 2-way speakers..i.e. IBL, SBL, Credo, SL2. The cross-over frequency and filter slopes were the same. But you do need different versions for DBL, NBL and Isobariks.
  7. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    Yes, sorry about that. The two ways were the same for all Naim speakers. The output levels were set differently but were expected to be tweaked by the dealer to match the room once installed anyway.

  8. bivalve

    bivalve pfm Member

    The local Naim dealer got this reply to a similar query in 2007


    The SNAXO 2-4 was made for SBLs but is also suitable for Allaes, SL2 etc. There are a few Chrome Bumper versions around that were modified for Linn Sara and Kan; unfortunately we cannot tell from serial number what you have but if you are unsure send me a digital photo.

    You have the amplifiers the wrong way round. It is always the case that you put the best amplifier on the treble. You can also adjust the pots in the SNAXO to adjust for the room.

    The later SNAXO 362 would work with later Isobariks and DBLs, but earlier
    Isobariks had a different version of the 362.

    Steven Hopkins
    Customer Relations Manager
    Naim Audio"

    Not relevant to a NAXO but adds to the history (but is a Chrome bumper SNAXO a NAXO?). Always interested to hear about an active system.

  9. doctorf

    doctorf left footed right winger

    I've a modded IXO which, IMHO, sounds brilliant but I do find it remarkable that Naim have never had tone controls for well stated reasons yet they put the 2 knobs on the back of the IXO for HF and LF gain which surely defeats the object??!

    Simon F
  10. Bosh

    Bosh pfm Member

    I seem to recall the SNAXO replaced the NAXO c. 1993 making them all olive versions. I recall the SNAXO upgrade was to enable it to be powered by the Supercap

    All the 4 SNAXOs I have owned have had pencil marks put on the pots by Naim at the "flat" setting and despite having a bass boom in my room they have always sounded best (tighter, faster) at the flat setting

    The latest 242 version is a significant improvement.

    I had mine further improved by Les who modded it so I could run the signal direct from the pre-amp to the SNAXO rather than routing it through the power supply

    I have spoken to Adam, Richard and Steve Hopkins and personally found Steve's knowledge very weak on Naims products, unlike Richard and Adam
  11. flashgo

    flashgo DIY Practitioner

    From a DIYer's perspective, I want to note that the spectral response of a system depends on every component in the chain. For example, many have noted that the addition of local regulation yields "thunderous bass". So every time we swap caps, shouldn't we also be adjusting the X-over?

    As a result, I'm thinking that I need to be systematic about tuning my NAXO. With so many variables in play, I do not relish the Naim forum approach of jumping back and forth from the master's seat to the trimpots in the NAXO while adjusting by ear.

    I'd like something more systematic, like using an SPL meter and test sources (sine waves and noise) on vinyl and CD. I have an old Rat Shack SPL meter, but I worry that its spectral response is far from flat. Are there semi-pro techniques that we can use for measuring and tuning X-overs? For example, is it possible to build an SPL meter with flat frequency response?
  12. PigletsDad

    PigletsDad pfm Member

    An SPL meter measures the wrong thing. The frequency response is probably pretty flat - the small electret mic capsules that they use are intrinsically pretty broadband.

    The problem is that the ear, on typical music signals, distinguishes between direct and reflected sound, and weights the direct sound (which arrives first) more strongly, while an SPL meter just measures the amplitude at the point where it is placed. Things are further complicated by distortion; the ear uses this as a hint for loudness, so it alters the perception of levels.

    In general, changes to say power supplies will not alter measured frequency response at all; what you are doing is retuning the subjective perception of music, and sadly that makes an automated setup method almost useless.
  13. flashgo

    flashgo DIY Practitioner

    Thanks, PD. Well, I'll enlist my son to twiddle the pots while I use the devices on the sides of my head.

    What should I use as a source, then? I can't imagine adjusting the X-over by ear with white noise. It seems like a recording's needed that alternates concert A with amplitude matched pitches across the spectrum.
  14. stackowax

    stackowax pfm Member

    Flashgo, if your son won't cooperate you can always get something like this so that you can properly twiddle the pots from the listening position. ;)
  15. timH

    timH pfm Member

    Please don't get too mashed up on this. Set all pots to full, if the treble's a bit recessed wind the bass back a bit, if the treble's a bit forward wind that back a bit. The more you get worried about levels and measurement the further you get from listening to the music and having a meaningful (or relaxing, or inspiring) experience

  16. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    i remember setting a customers naxo by ear , it took about five hours adjusting speaker position and then the crossover.

    we left feeling pretty amazed at the job we had done , leaving the system sounding spot on.

    he rang the next day to say he had played with the pots himself after we had gone and was sure he had further improved on our endeavors.

    which just goes to show two things:

    naxos are hard to set up.

    customers are frustratingly annoying!
  17. flashgo

    flashgo DIY Practitioner

    At least I've got a StarFish. Ever notice how 'Fish owners are reluctant to change anything because it sounds so great already? And that's independent of configuration and caps. :D

    Now to find 5+ hours to spend fiddling trimpots in the NAXO....

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