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Thinking about replacing my Naim chrome 32.5/110/HiCap

Discussion in 'audio' started by b-lilja, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. b-lilja

    b-lilja pfm Member

    HiCap and Pre recently recapped. Perhaps I'm crazy, I honestly just haven't listened to much else. I am just curious to know what else is out there. I am also not crazy about the 24/7 power draw. I find it hard to compare audio stuff, with so many variable factors, especially other components. It seems impossible to really know short of home audition and that takes a lot of time and energy.

    If I made a move, I would want to sell my stuff and use the proceeds to buy the alternative, so I'd have around $2,000. My source is a nice LP12, speakers are Rega RS3's.

    Two that jump out to me are the Hegel and Croft integrateds. My impression is thought that perhaps qualitatively these would be about on par?

    Thoughts welcome.
     
  2. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    Nice combi, I doubt you'd get a big step up in SQ by changing amps here.
    In this case a new deck (NA or Well Tempered) or if you like the LP12, especially a new cart, MM Nagaoka MP500 or MC any better version Lyra Delos, DV XX2, Benz AceL would result in a much more obvious jump ahead.

    New cards for the 32.5 by Ryanlab will make a huge diff, check out for Ryanlab reports by search function here, remote control for 32.5 is possible & huge difference in SQ are reported.

    I don't leave my Naim amps running 24/7, leaving the pre powered is enough to me & easy to try.
     
  3. nirvanah

    nirvanah pfm Member

    Get out there and listen to something else, I love my C.B. kit but I am trying something new and whilst it's not the silver bullet or end game I am really enjoying it. Never heard croft or Hegal but would love a listen. Put Exposure on that list too the basic X sounds good, I would love to go up the chain a little.
     
  4. Gaius

    Gaius Trade: Stiletto by Tangerine

    This makes a lot of sense. :)
     
  5. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    I have a set of your amps but 2x mono 110s in a cupboard. Just bought a SH Nad M3 integrated which I find so much better. However my speakers do need a fair bit of welly which the Nad has and the 110s haven't.
     
  6. misterc6

    misterc6 Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did

    Yes, you are probably crazy.

    Keeping the system on 24/7 consumes negligible power; switching on and off stresses some of the components and could end up more costly.

    For me the weak point of your system is the speakers. Try some Linn Kans or Epos ES14s.
     
  7. Gaius

    Gaius Trade: Stiletto by Tangerine

    Indeed!

    Both Kans and 14s are superb, Kans especially.
     
  8. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC

    Go for Kan's versions I or II but on Kan II stands.
     
  9. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    I agree about the speakers but Kans are marmite so make sure you hear them. I have had several pairs of both the ES11 and 14s and really like them (still have 14s somewhere)
    Bought some Kans to see what the fuss was about and flogged them pronto! Also they only work with Steely Dan and I hate Steely Dan.
     
  10. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    1. I wouldn't say the speakers are weak at all, in fact I'd say they deserve a better amp.

    2. In the OP's position I'd be looking at a better amp too.

    Admittedly it wasn't using a 32.5, but a friend and I recently had a bake-off at my place between a CB Nait 2, my 42.5/Hi/110, Exposure XV and Sony 770ES. The results of which - after a full day's listening - were quite illuminating.

    In first place it was a toss-up between the Sony and the Exposure - the latter winning on drive, verve and having a greater sense of get-up & go. The Sony won back with better resolution of finer musical detail and grip of dynamics - it also had a much better handle on a broader range of music.

    2nd was the 42.5/Hi/110 - and I'd have to say this was some way behind the 2 above.

    3rd was the Nait 2 - nice to listen to, but without the musical detail I crave. It majors on 'beat' at the expense of other stuff. Also lacks power. To be frank (and both my friend and I agreed on this) we felt the Exposure was a lot better.

    4th was the 42.5/110 (ie without the HiCap). Ok on rock music - fun in small doses - but ultimately unrewarding.

    Bottom line though, is see if you can get hold of a couple of different amps to demo - remembering from the comments above, one man's meat etc. :)

    Good luck. :)
     
  11. Igloo Audio

    Igloo Audio Registered User

    I can highly recommend the Hegel H80.

    Also, it's really easy to upgrade to the H160 or the new H360 due next week for much more of the same transparency, speed and ultra-cleanliness.

    Peter
     
  12. b-lilja

    b-lilja pfm Member

    Thanks for all these thoughtful replies.

    I have definitely done the Naim upgrade path, going 42.5/90 > 42.5/110 > 32.5/110 > 32.5/110/HC and each step has been a significant one. Honestly the 42.5 and 32.5 are a fair ways apart - it is the latest iteration that brought the system into the big(ger) leagues - oh yes that and the cirkus bearing on the LP12. BTW I have an Ortofon 2M Blue on the LP12, along with a well sorted Grace 707.

    The power from a 24/7 system may seem small but it adds up. The 110 runs at 15 watts just plugged, no music, as I believe does the Hi Cap. 30 watts continuous for a year is 262 kwh, about half what a refrigerator will run. We have a 16 panel solar array and 262 kwh is about the load of one panel's annual production. If thinking about it in terms of offset, that's quite a bit relative to the whole house load -- over time we would like to get to net zero energy usage. One panel costs $1,000 installed with inverter, so basically to run my Naim set and offset it adds $1,000 to the cost.
     
  13. nirvanah

    nirvanah pfm Member

    Good write up there, and as posted earlier a Nad M3 may just float your boat. Above all go and listen to some other gear.
     
  14. andyr

    andyr Registered User

    You don't seem to have set your priorities straight?

    Which your #1 priority - SQ ... or lower power usage?

    If minimising power usage is #1 then nothing is stopping you switching off your current system after each listen. ;) But your SQ will suffer.

    I suggest just about any gear benefits by being on for hours before play ... the only gear you could replace the Naim set with which would promote switching off (and saving electricity) ... is valve gear. (Owners of valve gear do this because tubes have a finite life - and they can be expensive to replace. But I'm sure many of them would agree that best SQ comes from leaving them on.)

    The G707 is a great choice for an LP12 - but I suggest you could do a lot better than the O Blue.


    Andy
     
  15. b-lilja

    b-lilja pfm Member

    Yes, fair thoughts. One reason I've thought about the Croft gear. Apparently Mr. Croft suggests turning off when not in use.

    I actually really like the Blue - any suggestions? I've been thinking about the Dynavector 10x5.
     
  16. andyr

    andyr Registered User

    Cart suggestions - not really, sorry. I am wedded to my Benz LP (which I've had for ~10 years, re-tipped twice, so far) and my Stanton WOS CS100 (kinda like a 981 but better!) - so I don't do much cartridge swapping. But DVs have a big following! :)


    Regards,

    Andy
     
  17. misterc6

    misterc6 Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did

    I note that you have had the HiCap and preamplifier serviced but not the NAP110; I'd be quite concerned that it's drawing as much as 15W 'just plugged'. In this state the consumption is determined by the quiescent current draw of each amplifier board (~10mA @ ~78V (2 x 39v)) and the efficiency of the transformer and power supply. I have a recently recapped NAP140 and it uses just 6.6W under quiescent conditions.

    My preamplifier is a NAC12 powered by a SNAPS fitted with an Avondale TPR regulator module and that uses 6.4W quiescent, making a total of 13W.

    As another member has noted you seem overly concerned about the expense of running this system 24/7. As I said previously, powering the system up and down imposes stress on some key components to the extent that more frequent servicing may be required. You need to factor that into your costing analysis.
     
  18. Mr Tibbs

    Mr Tibbs Infinitely Baffled Member

    What's been 'sorted' with the Grace arm? I trundled (happily) along with the classic LP12/Grace/Supex combo for many years, but a change to a top arm (RB1000) showed just how average the 707 is. I now run LP12/RB1000/2M bronze and really like how it can pull so much more info from the grooves compared to the 'classic' combo. Lost some of the 'warmth' of the classic combo though so that's the price paid for lifting the veil.

    As for leaving Naim gear powered 24/7 -- no need IME/IMO. It takes no more than one LP side to get its act properly together from cold. A few sides more will get you another few % of performance but that's about it.

    Mr Tibbs
     
  19. b-lilja

    b-lilja pfm Member

    I was on vacation when I did the original post and now that I'm home I've re-measured the wattage of the 110 and 32.5/HC combo. Each pulls about 9 watts, not 16 as reported. I am measuring the draw with a Kill-a-watt meter, which may not be the most accurate at low levels.

    Honestly I think I had fully drunk the 24/7 power-on mantra - I hadn't really tried listening to it from cold in a long time - it is sounding great after a day on, and did indeed come together pretty quickly last night. Perhaps I will just turn it off when not using. What is impacted by regularly turning the set on and off? Also, leaving the preamp only on was mentioned above - how is this done since the power runs through a n amp or HC?

    Re having a sorted Grace, I guess I just mean one that is in good shape bearing wise and well set up.
     
  20. Mr Tibbs

    Mr Tibbs Infinitely Baffled Member

    Nothing worth worrying about.

    You simply switch off the power amp and leave the Hicap on, which keeps the preamp ticking over. How it's wired is not relevant.

    Yes, those bearings are not the most robust of things to say the least. My 707 had to go back to have its bearings replaced soon after I got it - presumably damaged when the arm was originally installed by the dealer! This is definitely an arm which MUST be removed from the deck prior to tightening the cart fixings.

    Mr Tibbs
     

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