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Upgrade recommendations please

Discussion in 'audio' started by unit, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. unit

    unit pfm Member

    Hi all

    I've got the upgrade bug again. Your opinions on where I could best spend up to a couple of grand (€) would be welcome.

    Current setup:
    - Lenco L75 with PTP and corian plinth & platter, Tecnoarm, Ortofon 2M Bronze
    - Outboard phono stage with Naim 522 boards and SuperTeddyRegs
    - Naim Unitiqute 2 (streaming from NAS and Spotify)
    - Van Damme Black speaker cables
    - Rega RS3

    My room measures around 5x6x4m. Not too live but there are some bass humps.
    I'm looking for clarity, punch and bass extension.

    Because my listening is split between analogue and digital, my current thinking is that I should upgrade the amp or speakers (NAP200? RS7?, go active?) but I'm happy to hear contrary opinions...
  2. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    That is a fair size room - could probably take some larger speakers to get more bass extension. Many options there but you might want fairly sensitive speakers or your little Naim will run out of steam and you end up changing that as well, which would probably be a shame what with so many features in one box. So bigger speakers, but efficient ones.
  3. Ponty

    Ponty pfm Member

    Agree with the speakers. A room dependant thing, but listen to some Neats if you can, such a good match with Naim electronics. If you need more horsepower, pick up a non-DR NAP 200 for the UQ (no point having DR if you’re not powering a pre amp with it). I’m currently running Neat Motive 2’s with a 150X and it’s got bags of power (could also be an option if you prefer the slimline casework and spending less).
  4. mattgbell

    mattgbell Help the elderly and unwell!

    Agree re. the speakers, but speakers with better LF extension are likely to cause your bass humps to become more of an issue. The only practicable way to solve that is by digital room correction, and that means putting a DRC box with ADC/DAC into the chain, which you may not want to do. Still, I'd be minded to try this out -- maybe see if you can get a suitable DRC unit on loan and find out what it does to your existing system (e.g. something like a DSPeaker anti-mode 2.0 or a miniDSP SHD; these are great from an ease-of-use POV, though cheaper options also exist).

    An alternative would be to add one or two subs and use the DRC box only on the subs. You would then have the (theoretical) peace of mind that any putative degradation introduced by the extra ADC/DAC stages would be confined to low frequencies, where it'd be less noticeable. But then subs might also be an unacceptable solution for reasons of aesthetics etc.
  5. Moppit

    Moppit pfm Member

    I agree your qute's power amp is the weak link here. I notice a lot more punch and crispness to my setup after upgrading the power amp section on my XS which has a lot more welly than the Qute. Less boom and overhang too.

    Your room is a decent size, and agree with Matt above. Bigger speakers will just make the issue worse without the necessary control.

    Perhaps consider also Nord class D or a Quad QMP/909 as alternatives to the Nap 200 and you'll have spare dosh for room correction.
    unit and mattgbell like this.
  6. unit

    unit pfm Member

    @Moppit, Happy to try outside of naim land. Will check them out.

    i thought I could cover all those bases by moving to active speakers, but I’ve found nothing in my price range that I like so far.
  7. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    Here is a contrary opinion : if possible, borrow a NAP 250.2 for a weekend. This would give you the bass extension and control you need, will fit very well with both digital and analog sources and will easily fill the room. On top of that, the snare drum will punch like never before.
    This also might become your last amp.
  8. unit

    unit pfm Member

    @Gervais Cote I remember very well, trying out my NAP180 (many years ago) on Wire's pink flag. Backbeats were like a punch in the face.
  9. unit

    unit pfm Member

    Update. I found some active speakers I like. Focal Trio 6Be studio monitors. Around €5k … bugger …
  10. Alan Brown

    Alan Brown Registered LUser

    I really recommend the Revel Performa 3 line of loudspeakers having bought the F-208. Given your room dimensions I would suggest the F-206 which is a very slim floorstanding model with exemplary engineering and measurements. The excellent off axis response will be very kind to your room, and they are utterly neutral, even-handed loudspeakers with real dynamic ability.

    They'll certainly work well enough with your amp, but will respond to any upgrades you later make in that area. The F-208 are the most transparent loudspeakers I've heard.
    unit likes this.
  11. unit

    unit pfm Member

    Has anyone here tried a Nord power amp with Naim pre and Rega speakers? It looks like a lot of bang for buck but my concern is the sound might end up a little too hard edged
  12. Moppit

    Moppit pfm Member

    I think your concerns would be well founded. I tried the pre section of my XS with my Quad and the results were really full on dynamically and exciting but ultimately fatuguing after an hour or so. It's possible that a better Naim pre would fix this but I was not prepared to spend loads if there was a cheaper solution.

    A passive pre gave me the results I was looking for. Much more detail and separation, non-fatuguing. You can listen for hours.

    Are you able to try a Nord with your Qute? Is there a pre out?
  13. unit

    unit pfm Member

    There is a pre out. Not sure if Nord offer a trial period or not.

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