New Nait System sounding rather bright and Harsh

emptage

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I now have the system I decided upon when carrying out extensive auditions. Unfortunately it sounds rather bright and harsh, much different to how it sounded in the demo rooms. I am using carnival silverscreen cable with standard power leads and interconnects. Would a different cable give a warmer sound or is the problem in the components. I auditioned the system in two different dealers. The amp and the CD were s/h but the speakers are new. The system is Naim Nait 5i-2 and Naim CD 5i-2 with KEFQ300 speakers
 

chebby

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Give the new speakers at least a few days of use to loosen up a bit. Most Naim owners leave their system switched on 24x7 so give that a while too.

Your speaker cable is fine. (Despite the misleading name it has all copper conductors. Only the screening is silver coloured foil.)

Use the DIN cable that Naim supplied and toggle the input to DIN only. (Instructions in another thread.)
 

Frank Harvey

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The products in the demo room would've been well run in, but if you've only just taken them home and unboxed them, they'll need time to settle down. I would allow about 20-40 hours use, and by then you should notice a difference, although things will still continue to settle down after that period of time.

We've used the Q300's many times with the Nait 5i and found it to be an excellent combination, which has a nice warmth and certainly isn't harsh. As long as your room isn't excessively large and it's not too bare and reflective, things should be fine :)
 

altruistic.lemon

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You have connected the speakers properly? Remember Naim for some odd reason reverse what's the norm for most speaker outs, so what is left for the rest of the world is right for Naim etc. It's all in the manual, and yes, I made the same mistake.

Frankly, if the sound continues to be harsh, then look at the speakers. Have you connected them with NACA5? It's what the dealer told me you had to use with Naim, so I made him give me some!
 

oldric_naubhoff

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altruistic.lemon said:
Have you connected them with NACA5? It's what the dealer told me you had to use with Naim, so I made him give me some!

brilliant advice. Naim needs their own cables because it doesn't use Zobel network in the output, hence uncomfortable sound with 3rd party cables. if you use this Naca cable it has differrent characteristics than average cable and will compensate for harsh sound. I know it sounds vague but it's better not to get into too much details... :)
 

oldric_naubhoff

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
The products in the demo room would've been well run in, but if you've only just taken them home and unboxed them, they'll need time to settle down. I would allow about 20-40 hours use, and by then you should notice a difference, although things will still continue to settle down after that period of time.

I'd award top marks in category "hi-fi salesman nonsense of the year" for this advice. mayby the OP should lay their gear on pillows for even better results too?

:rofl:
 

emptage

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Apologies for the duplicate posting, not sure what happened there.

Thanks for the replies

I checked the LH / RH issue and found they were not corrected correctly. I changed them around, I assume that LH / RH is when you are looking at the speaker grilles ?

I am not sure why this would make a difference, the black / red were connected correctly.
 

Frank Harvey

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oldric_naubhoff said:
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
The products in the demo room would've been well run in, but if you've only just taken them home and unboxed them, they'll need time to settle down. I would allow about 20-40 hours use, and by then you should notice a difference, although things will still continue to settle down after that period of time.

I'd award top marks in category "hi-fi salesman nonsense of the year" for this advice. mayby the OP should lay their gear on pillows for even better results too?

:rofl:

I'm sorry, we've not been introduced before - and you are?
Am I trying to sell the OP anything? Have I sold the OP anything? So where is the benefit for me? I'm merely trying to help the OP get the most from his system (something that generally happens on forums). Something is wrong because we've heard the exact same system many times, and we've not experienced his problem. Neither product is harsh sounding, and the Chord Carnival Silver Screen exhibits a warm nature too.

Emptage - I notice from your reply of the duplicte thread, you dpsaid the speakers were about 12" away from e side walls. The KEF's are a wider dispersion than most hi-fi speakers, so it might be worth trying to move them a little further away, or at least toe them in a bit to reduce the HF reflection from the side walls.
 
emptage said:
I now have the system I decided upon when carrying out extensive auditions. Unfortunately it sounds rather bright and harsh, much different to how it sounded in the demo rooms. I am using carnival silverscreen cable with standard power leads and interconnects. Would a different cable give a warmer sound or is the problem in the components. I auditioned the system in two different dealers. The amp and the CD were s/h but the speakers are new. The system is Naim Nait 5i-2 and Naim CD 5i-2 with KEFQ300 speakers

Hi emptage

Did you listen to any other speakers? If so, what were these speakers?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 
Apart from the suggestion to leave the electronics on, which I would second (understanding why some find it bizarre), I think David may have a point about the speakers. I would look at how they are positioned and mounted (what stands?) before worrying too much about the Naim pairing.

Are they beaming straight at you, or crossing in front, or behind your listening position? Are the electronics on their own stand or table, and not somewhere silly, like stacked on the telly? Does it make any difference if you unplug the Sonos items? (these three are in decreasing likelihood of causing anything unwanted)

Lastly, what did you have before, if anything?
 
A

Anonymous

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Shot in the dark here. You aren't sitting further away at home are you, and cranking it up a little more? Average sensitivity speakers and modest power?

Or have you maybe got wooden floors / lots of glass, with no coverings? On a previous system I had to put a big rug down to calm the reflections down (which had the effect you mention), and pictures/wall coverings can also help.

Personally (other than my current system) I've always tried to get a home demo...Listening rooms, especially at a good dealer will always present the system in its best light (proper acoustic treatment).

Other than that, I would phone and ask the dealer you used for advice.
 

emptage

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I tried many amp / speaker combinations. The other speakers I tried with the naim amp / cd combination were Proac 115 and GX50. They were both good but not £600 / £700 better. I have now positioned the speakers 18" from the back wall and 21" from the side wall with little or no change.

I previously had a NAD 3020 amp with AR18 speakers which were good but are now defunct as they need refoaming.

The interconect I am using is the standard din cable which came with the cd player
 

oldric_naubhoff

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
I'm sorry, we've not been introduced before - and you are?

is this an internet forum or a country club?

I can't remember we ever met. and I don't think we ever will. that should suffice for an introduction.

FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Am I trying to sell the OP anything? Have I sold the OP anything? So where is the benefit for me?

this is not the point here and you know it. it's obvious that you're not benefiting financialy from this advice in any way. but there certainly are dozens of other people visitng your store every month with similar or different problems looking for an expert opinion (because people like you are seen as experts in the eyes of clueless about electronics customers) and the only answer you're likely to give is to wait and everything will turn out to be allright in 20 or so hours... and those people believe but what happens if the problem persists? let me put it in other words. if you went to see a doctor with pain in your chest seeking expert opinion and the only answer you got was to wait patiently and it would dissapear after some time, what would you think about competences of such a doctor?

don't get me wrong. I believe you are capable of putting together some decent hi-fi's if asked to. in the end you're exposed to different kits of hi-fi on a daily basis. but I think if the problem is beyond one's knowledge it's best to apply this golden rule that speach is silver but silence is gold. especially if one has nothing meaningful to say.
 
emptage said:
I tried many amp / speaker combinations. The other speakers I tried with the naim amp / cd combination were Proac 115 and GX50. They were both good but not £600 / £700 better. I have now positioned the speakers 18" from the back wall and 21" from the side wall with little or no change.

I previously had a NAD 3020 amp with AR18 speakers which were good but are now defunct as they need refoaming.

The interconect I am using is the standard din cable which came with the cd player

I'm afriad all I can add is that the NAD and AR18s would have been quite mellow compared with your new system. Inclined to sugest telling your dealer, in case you need to exchange something. But do reserve judgement until the end of this week (and leave it all switched on!).

I hope it works out for you, as it's a super system.
 

matthewpiano

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I agree with nopiano. Your old system is a pretty soft and warm sounding combination and it's going to take you a while to get used to pretty much any modern gear. Also, Naim gear does work best when its left on all the time and I'd second the earlier suggestions of NAC-A5 speaker cable.

As nopiano suggests I would discuss your current concerns with your dealer so that they are aware there might be the need to change something in the system. A good dealer should help you get things sorted if this doesn't work out. Give it some time.
 

Frank Harvey

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oldric_naubhoff said:
...if you went to see a doctor with pain in your chest seeking expert opinion and the only answer you got was to wait patiently and it would dissapear after some time, what would you think about competences of such a doctor?
We're talking hi-fi here, not human lives. A Doctor should know what he's talking about, so we would generally trust them, but I think we'll leave the competency of Doctors out of this for now :)

don't get me wrong. I believe you are capable of putting together some decent hi-fi's if asked to. in the end you're exposed to different kits of hi-fi on a daily basis. but I think if the problem is beyond one's knowledge it's best to apply this golden rule that speach is silver but silence is gold. especially if one has nothing meaningful to say.
A few people have, since my posts, recommended similar action. Would you also like to tell them that there talking nonsense too?
 

JamesOK

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nopiano certainly speaks sense here! I went through exactly the same thing with Naim. I'd previously had an Arcam system which was so warm and fluffy I'd got really bored of it. Decided I needed something a little more lively, and shortlisted some Naim to demo. Went to the dealer, and had the demo. In the demo the volume was turned up a fair whack and the system sounded really pacy and exiting. Problem I found was that once I'd got it home and was listening at normal levels it was just to harsh (less exciting more tiring!).

Anyway, thats just me. Whilst I wouldnt necessarily suggest leaving the kit on all the time, I certainly found it mellowed after it had been on for an hour or so. Still not enough to make me keep it though.

Good luck and hope you find a solution.
 

BenLaw

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snivilisationism said:
Or have you maybe got wooden floors / lots of glass, with no coverings? On a previous system I had to put a big rug down to calm the reflections down (which had the effect you mention), and pictures/wall coverings can also help.

I would say this may be important. Room acoustics are very important and will almost certainly not be the same as in the demo rooms (which can be heavily acoustically treated). Do you have many soft furnishings etc? If not, are there things you could move in (rugs, heavy curtains) temporarily to see if they have a positive taming effect?
 

oldric_naubhoff

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
We're talking hi-fi here, not human lives. A Doctor should know what he's talking about, so we would generally trust them,

so, you're saying that since you're not a doctor but a mere hi-fi salesman you can bable without reason all the time?

FrankHarveyHiFi said:
A few people have, since my posts, recommended similar action. Would you also like to tell them that there talking nonsense too?

so, you're actually admitting that your hi-fi knowledge doesn't surpass those of an average forum poster and it's ok like that?

saying fairy tales about miraculous transformation of hi-fi during "bedding in" period verges on charlatanry. but if you wish your knowledge was based on pure superstition that's fine. you only shouldn't run about and shout that it's true because some people may actually believe you.

that's all I have to say in this matter. besides our agument is not contributing the thread at all.
 
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oldric_naubhoff said:
if you went to see a doctor with pain in your chest seeking expert opinion and the only answer you got was to wait patiently and it would dissapear after some time, what would you think about competences of such a doctor?
I would hope that he knows what he's doing. It wouldn't be the first time a doctor sent someone home with a "keep under the covers for five days before returning" prescription.

don't get me wrong. I believe you are capable of putting together some decent hi-fi's if asked to. in the end you're exposed to different kits of hi-fi on a daily basis. but I think if the problem is beyond one's knowledge it's best to apply this golden rule that speach is silver but silence is gold. especially if one has nothing meaningful to say.
that goes both ways. Your comment actually detracted from the OP's question (and now, so does mine), so your net contribution to the OP's question is negative. On a more direct note, are you suggesting that we do not respond to forum messages before we've paid a visit the poster's house and have done our own measurements?

As for the OP: other people have already pointed out that there are two reasons why you should wait: 1) the speakers may not be fully run-in yet, and 2) your mind is still adjusting to the new sound. That means that even if the speakers don't change, your ears might. In the meantime, you could try some simple things. These changes don't have to be permanent, but they might give you a clue as to what's causing the harshness.

In order of priority for me:
- toe out your speakers. Direct the cones of your speakers away from your listening position. Do not have them fire directly at the wall behind you, but slightly off-axis. They're Kefs, they can handle it.
- place a heavy rug on the floor between you and the speakers. If there's a hard-top table there, place a rug both on and under the table.
- do not sit too close to the back wall (if any), preferably 3ft away
- if there's a window behind you, close the curtain. If it's a wall, place a curtain :)
- try different volumes; if the harshness disappears at low volume, the problem is in your source or amp (very unlikely).

I have not heard any Naim/Kef pairing so I'm reserving judgement. But it's not a combination that I would pick, especially because of what you're describing now. From my blissful state, I would have recommended Dynaudio or Quad speakers.
 
emptage said:
I tried many amp / speaker combinations. The other speakers I tried with the naim amp / cd combination were Proac 115 and GX50. They were both good but not £600 / £700 better. I have now positioned the speakers 18" from the back wall and 21" from the side wall with little or no change.

I previously had a NAD 3020 amp with AR18 speakers which were good but are now defunct as they need refoaming.

The interconect I am using is the standard din cable which came with the cd player

Hi emptage

Thanks for your reply.

If its not too late then at a similar price i'll recommend that you should audition Dynaudio's DM 2/6 or DM 2/7 speakers however on this occasion please only do so at home with the your Naim electronics. I think you'll find the Dynaudio speakers will readdress the overall balance and the Dynaudio's will also gel more effectively with your Naim electronics.

Btw, please carry on using the Naim supplied DIN - DIN cable as it is ideal. As for speaker cables i'll recommend that you should look at using standard 500 OFC type. Fwiw, i use standard speaker cables with all of our Naim amplification. These speaker cables work a treat with Naim amplifiers and also cost very little money.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

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