Question Adding Sub to BS Node - is this viable?

painter24

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May 31, 2021
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Hi

I’m looking to add a Subwoofer in the near future, but as my Naim Nait 5si has no pre or sub-outs, I’m looking at ways to connect a sub to my system, and cut the lows to my mains.

So I’m looking at the option of using the sub-out on the Node; the only issue is, I believe the digital out isn’t affected by the cross-over settings in the Node with Sub turned on, and as I use an external DAC - > amp, I would still have full frequency range going in to my mains.

I’m just toying with solutions, and was wondering if this would work:

* Node sub-out to sub

* Node digital out to DAC

*RCA outs from DAC to the 3.5mm analogue In on the Node via 2xRCA to 3.5mm cable

* RCA analogue outs on Node to amp

In my thinking, which could be completely wrong, i would still be bypassing the Node DAC, but by feeding the analogue signal back in to the Node, and back out in to my amp, the feed would be affected by the sub crossover settings in the Node, minus low frequencies determined by Node crossover settings?

I would be most grateful if some kind soul could either show me the errors in my thinking, or confirm the above workaround is viable 🤔😊

Thanks very much for reading

Kind Regards and Seasons Greetings 😊

L
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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Hi

I’m looking to add a Subwoofer in the near future, but as my Naim Nait 5si has no pre or sub-outs, I’m looking at ways to connect a sub to my system, and cut the lows to my mains.

So I’m looking at the option of using the sub-out on the Node; the only issue is, I believe the digital out isn’t affected by the cross-over settings in the Node with Sub turned on, and as I use an external DAC - > amp, I would still have full frequency range going in to my mains.

I’m just toying with solutions, and was wondering if this would work:

* Node sub-out to sub

* Node digital out to DAC

*RCA outs from DAC to the 3.5mm analogue In on the Node via 2xRCA to 3.5mm cable

* RCA analogue outs on Node to amp

In my thinking, which could be completely wrong, i would still be bypassing the Node DAC, but by feeding the analogue signal back in to the Node, and back out in to my amp, the feed would be affected by the sub crossover settings in the Node, minus low frequencies determined by Node crossover settings?

I would be most grateful if some kind soul could either show me the errors in my thinking, or confirm the above workaround is viable 🤔😊

Thanks very much for reading

Kind Regards and Seasons Greetings 😊

L
You can connect any sub to the speaker terminals of an amplifier (in addition to your speakers) if the sub has high level inputs. It's a bit awkward with the Naim as it has those 'Naim' speaker outlets...so you would need to combine the wires into a banana plug. Alternatively you could run speaker wires from the amp to the sub high level inputs and then additional wires from those sub inputs to your speakers.
Both will work but by far the easiest is to use the sub out on the Node....
Sub outputs are usually mixed as mono anyway for low bass.
 
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painter24

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May 31, 2021
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You can connect any sub to the speaker terminals of an amplifier (in addition to your speakers) if the sub has high level inputs. It's a bit awkward with the Naim as it has those 'Naim' speaker outlets...so you would need to combine the wires into a banana plug. Alternatively you could run speaker wires from the amp to the sub high level inputs and then additional wires from those sub line inputs to your speakers.
Both will work but by far the easiest is to use the sub out on the Node....
Sub outputs are usually mixed as mono anyway for low bass.
Thanks Tinman

I think I'm going to have buy the sub, and see which connection method works best. I wanted to cut the lows to my mains and have the sub carry the load, but I'm not sure that's going to be possible.

I think your suggestion sounds good, or similarly, run speaker cable from the mains to feed the sub?

Not sure which would be the better option
 

Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Thanks Tinman

I think I'm going to have buy the sub, and see which connection method works best. I wanted to cut the lows to my mains and have the sub carry the load, but I'm not sure that's going to be possible.

I think your suggestion sounds good, or similarly, run speaker cable from the mains to feed the sub?

Not sure which would be the better option
Yep you could do that too if more practical. The sub has such a high input impedance that it presents no additional load to the amplifier 👍
 
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painter24

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The REL preferred method is to connect the sub to your amplifier from your amp speaker terminals. States it in their manuals.👍
I believe so, I would have to stack bananas or learn to solder 😊 withe the Nait 5si's lack of traditional binding posts. The folks over in the Naim forums tend to be divided on this method though. That's why I didn't consider this from the off.
 
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Tinman1952

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I believe so, I would have to stack bananas or learn to solder 😊 withe the Nait 5si's lack of traditional binding posts. The folks over in the Naim forums tend to be divided on this method though. That's why I didn't consider this from the off.
The Naim forum is always divided...😁 thankfully we are past the days when it was DIN plugs only and you had to have a minimum 3 metres of speaker cable to stabilise the amp!
 
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painter24

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The Naim forum is always divided...😁 thankfully we are past the days when it was DIN plugs only and you had to have a minimum 3 metres of speaker cable to stabilise the amp!
That's true 😁. I quickly got over the sense that I needed DIN terminated ICs, I seriously couldn't hear the benefit. Fortunately, the 3.5m minimum length speaker cables is a thing of the past for modern Naim amps, certainly the Nait 5si at any rate 😊
 
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painter24

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May 31, 2021
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OK, slightly off topic from OP, but consider me confused, and feeling a little stupid.

I've been thinking about which way to hook up a sub throughout the day, following advice and suggestions, so just out of curiosity, I re-connected the analogue outs of my Node in to a spare channel on my Nait 5si thereby utilising the Node's DAC.

I haven't done this for a while, but I just wanted see/hear what it sounded like by switching on the sub and crossover function. I set the crossover at max - 200hz and sure enough, all lows dropped down as you would expect, all good. But that isn't the point of this post.

I switched off the sub and crossover settings just to listen with Node's DAC, just out of curiosity. OK, well I don't know what to say; I A/B'd back and forth between the 2 channels on my Nait, between external and internal Node DAC, and if I am totally honest with myself, and anyone reading this, I was hard pushed to tell the difference.

I altered the Tone settings on the Node a touch to get a tad more air and highs to try and get a similar tonal character to my external DAC and hey presto. Difference = negligible or, well, next to nothing.

Maybe at my level/budget I'd have to spend a lot more on a DAC to see any significant difference/improvement over the Node's, I don't know?

I'm going to spend some dedicated time on this over the Christmas hols, but, I may just consider selling my DAC and reinvesting the £££ elsewhere in my system.

Some may rubbish my findings, but, it is what it is, maybe more so when I tell you my DAC is a Denafrips Ares II.

But, this is what I've heard/witnessed, I'm shocked 🤔😳 not to mention feeling a little daft.

I bought the Denafrips pre-owned so didn't pay RRP for it, but nonetheless 😕
 
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doifeellucky

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OK, slightly off topic from OP, but consider me confused, and feeling a little stupid.

I've been thinking about which way to hook up a sub throughout the day, following advice and suggestions, so just out of curiosity, I re-connected the analogue outs of my Node in to a spare channel on my Nait 5si thereby utilising the Node's DAC.

I haven't done this for a while, but I just wanted see/hear what it sounded like by switching on the sub and crossover function. I set the crossover at max - 200hz and sure enough, all lows dropped down as you would expect, all good. But that isn't the point of this post.

I switched off the sub and crossover settings just to listen with Node's DAC, just out of curiosity. OK, well I don't know what to say; I A/B'd back and forth between the 2 channels on my Nait, between external and internal Node DAC, and if I am totally honest with myself, and anyone reading this, I was hard pushed to tell the difference.

I altered the Tone settings on the Node a touch to get a tad more air and highs to try and get a similar tonal character to my external DAC and hey presto. Difference = negligible or, well, next to nothing.

Maybe at my level/budget I'd have to spend a lot more on a DAC to see any significant difference/improvement over the Node's, I don't know?

I'm going to spend some dedicated time on this over the Christmas hols, but, I may just consider selling my DAC and reinvesting the £££ elsewhere in my system.

Some may rubbish my findings, but, it is what it is, maybe more so when I tell you my DAC is a Denafrips Ares II.

But, this is what I've heard/witnessed, I'm shocked 🤔😳 not to mention feeling a little daft.

I bought the Denafrips pre-owned so didn't pay RRP for it, but nonetheless 😕
Thanks for this honest appraisal. I’ve yet to see/read a negative ‘review’ of the Ares II but I do wonder how much actual benefit most will get from it. Having grown up with my parents Vinyl (Rega 3) and recordings (Leak) and the very obvious shortcomings of technology like Dolby NR, I really question the use of terms like ‘night and day’ when describing the differences between DACs.
 
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painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
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Thanks for this honest appraisal. I’ve yet to see/read a negative ‘review’ of the Ares II but I do wonder how much actual benefit most will get from it. Having grown up with my parents Vinyl (Rega 3) and recordings (Leak) and the very obvious shortcomings of technology like Dolby NR, I really question the use of terms like ‘night and day’ when describing the differences between DACs.
The weird thing is, apart from the need for the sub, I'm really happy with my system, and I was/still am happy with the Areas II; the issue is, the Node DAC sounds its equal.

If, after some proper critical listening, I find I still think the same as I did yesterday, it would be difficult to not sell the Areas to fund the sub 🤔, or even upgrade the PSU on the Node. Seems a tad ironic really 😏

The only other thing it could be is my hearing is shot to bits and I'm not aware of it. I did used to be a live sound engineer.
 
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painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
108
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670
Update 😊

I'd settled on the REL T5i, as I'm not looking for spleen rupturing bass, just LF reinforcement for my little Quad S2s. The consensus seems to be REL subs are great for this purpose. Anyway, I found an open-box unit for £399, so that clinched it for me.

I'm going to go for Hi Level input from the Nait 5si speaker terminals, but just wondering the best connection method. I don't want to fork out for the REL/Naim cable at around £400+ 😳.

I've seen a copy cable on Designacable for a quarter of the price, with stackable bananas. This would be ideal; plug my speaker cables in to the appropriate REL cable stackable banana plugs, and the REL cable bananas in to the back of the amp.

Would appreciate any comments as to whether this will be ok?

Regards

L
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
1,423
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Update 😊

I'd settled on the REL T5i, as I'm not looking for spleen rupturing bass, just LF reinforcement for my little Quad S2s. The consensus seems to be REL subs are great for this purpose. Anyway, I found an open-box unit for £399, so that clinched it for me.

I'm going to go for Hi Level input from the Nait 5si speaker terminals, but just wondering the best connection method. I don't want to fork out for the REL/Naim cable at around £400+ 😳.

I've seen a copy cable on Designacable for a quarter of the price, with stackable bananas. This would be ideal; plug my speaker cables in to the appropriate REL cable stackable banana plugs, and the REL cable bananas in to the back of the amp.

Would appreciate any comments as to whether this will be ok?

Regards

L
Hi. I've seen that cable from Designacable and it should be perfectly fine. 👍
 
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