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Speaker upgrade for Naim system

CletePurcel

New member
Jul 21, 2015
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I have just upgraded my amplifier from a John Shearne Phase 2 to a Naim NAC62 with NAP180 power amplifier. My turntable is an upgraded Rega RP6 with Exact 2 cartridge. I'm now selling off the Shearne. I am contemplating various other upgrades over the next few weeks.

I currently have Dali Zensor 1 speakers which are pretty good for what they are. They perhaps lack a little bottom end and maybe are not big enough for the room which is about 5m x 4m with high ceiling, but they have served me well. The dealer near me has the following on offer in the £500-1000 range: Totem Dreamcatcher, B&W CMI s2, Focal Aria 906, Rega RX1. They also have some cut price Dynaudio X14s.

Does anyone think any of these are worth trying? As the Dalis I have are so good I have also been thinking of Dali Zensor 5 or 7 as an upgrade which I think Richer Sounds have.

Other upgrades I am thinking about are the Naim Hicap power supply, and a cartridge upgrade (maybe to MC such as an Ortofon Quintet Blue).

Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

NJB

New member
Nov 28, 2008
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CletePurcel said:
I have just upgraded my amplifier from a John Shearne Phase 2 to a Naim NAC62 with NAP180 power amplifier. My turntable is an upgraded Rega RP6 with Exact 2 cartridge. I'm now selling off the Shearne. I am contemplating various other upgrades over the next few weeks.

I currently have Dali Zensor 1 speakers which are pretty good for what they are. They perhaps lack a little bottom end and maybe are not big enough for the room which is about 5m x 4m with high ceiling, but they have served me well. The dealer near me has the following on offer in the £500-1000 range: Totem Dreamcatcher, B&W CMI s2, Focal Aria 906, Rega RX1. They also have some cut price Dynaudio X14s.

Does anyone think any of these are worth trying? As the Dalis I have are so good I have also been thinking of Dali Zensor 5 or 7 as an upgrade which I think Richer Sounds have.

Other upgrades I am thinking about are the Naim Hicap power supply, and a cartridge upgrade (maybe to MC such as an Ortofon Quintet Blue).

Any advice greatly appreciated.
I partnered Dreamcatchers with my Naim 62/90 combo, and they were musical but lacked bass. A very pleasant sound, nice looking, but not keepers. I had Excite X12s, really nice, but just seemed to lack a little refinement. By then I had upgraded to Naim 202/200. I auditioned the Aria 906s, very nearly pulled the trigger, they have a lot going for them in all departments. I now have a pair of Dynaudio Focus 160s, which I believe are now discontinued. They have the merits of the X12 but seem to have a bit more refinement, more bass control, deeper bass and they are very nice indeed. I am sure that others might have different views, but of the ones that you have listed, I would take the Arias. However, I would also look around for a deal on Focus 160s. I have some gorgeous Epos 14s in my cupboard, and they cannot compete with the 160s.
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
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19,070
CletePurcel said:
Other upgrades I am thinking about are the Naim Hicap power supply,
If it's bottom end you're after, then this has to be the first thing you do. Hopefully get one on demo. If not, buy one second hand, as they hold their prices very well. You will be amazed. You may not need to change your speakers.
 

CletePurcel

New member
Jul 21, 2015
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Thanks a lot for that advice.

I am definitely going to get the Hicap. There are several used on ebay for around £300.

Maybe I should wait until after that to do the speakers. I just thought the speakers were the weakest link at the moment. I can audition the Arias locally. My dealer is a Naim stockist so they might hook up the Hicap as well.
 

expat_mike

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2013
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10,595
The focal aria 906s, could suit you, but a pair of 926s or 936s would offer more bass, if you could find a good second hand deal.

"quite a lot of the final development of this range [focal 900] was done with Naim’s DAC-V1/NAP 100 DAC/preamp and power amp, and I’m sure the entry-level Aria 906s would make a pretty potent small-room system when used with the desktop Naim duo. Mind you, so would these 926s, based on the listening I did with both an original NaimUniti and the new NaimUniti2."

https://andreweverard.com/2013/08/31/review-focal-aria-926-loudspeakers/
 

The Mad One

New member
Mar 8, 2013
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Tannoy mercury 7.4 will totally amaze you £299 from Juno records (just ask for a better price) than they are offering for the walnut at £315.

garanteed next day delivery.

These beuties are really bloody good *yahoo*

Enjoy
 

NJB

New member
Nov 28, 2008
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jjbomber said:
CletePurcel said:
Other upgrades I am thinking about are the Naim Hicap power supply,
If it's bottom end you're after, then this has to be the first thing you do. Hopefully get one on demo. If not, buy one second hand, as they hold their prices very well. You will be amazed. You may not need to change your speakers.
I chose a TeddyCap, but agree. Huge difference all over, but the bass really came alive.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
jjbomber said:
CletePurcel said:
Other upgrades I am thinking about are the Naim Hicap power supply,
If it's bottom end you're after, then this has to be the first thing you do. Hopefully get one on demo. If not, buy one second hand, as they hold their prices very well. You will be amazed. You may not need to change your speakers.
As a cyrus user I can confirm what an upgrade a well designed external power supply can make so +1 for the Hicap.

As to the shearne phase 2, I had one many a moon ago. Lovely amplifier, very ballsy sounding for the power if a little diffuse and lacking focus. I traded mine in for a valve amplifier at the time as I couldn't find a solid state amplifier I liked and was able to afford. - Oh, sweet memories.
 

CletePurcel

New member
Jul 21, 2015
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Several people have recommended to me to get the Hicap. I wouldn't have thought the external PSU would make all that much difference, but it obviously does.
 

Al ears

Moderator
CletePurcel said:
Several people have recommended to me to get the Hicap. I wouldn't have thought the external PSU would make all that much difference, but it obviously does.
This is probably why they sell so many of them. Also in a room that size, and you want more bottom end, I'd definitely be looking at floorstanders as have been suggested by some.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
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Hello Clete.

I will probably say something very different that the other users here, as usual.

But if you want us to recommend you a speaker for your tastes, you are doing something wrong. The speakers are one of the essential components in hifi. Every speaker sound different and behave different in a given room. So only you and your experience alone should go on what pleases you the most. It's like I would go on this forum, and ask peoples if I should marry Marc or Nicolas... I would probably receive responses, but none of any use.

All speakers you quoted have different behavior. And I don't seeing me recommending you one of this list because my music taste is probably miles away from yours, so it wouldn't make sense. And everybody that replied before me are in the same situation. My only recommandation, go, try out every single one of them and you will be fixed with the best recommandation of all : yours.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
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CletePurcel said:
Several people have recommended to me to get the Hicap. I wouldn't have thought the external PSU would make all that much difference, but it obviously does.
It depend how serious your equipment is made. I would have thought that the 62 and 180 are from a more serious era in the naim history. If including some external psu makes it sound better, it's the proof you should refrain from Naim in the future and that a serious design flaw is running under the bonnet of your gear.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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NSA_watch_my_toilet said:
CletePurcel said:
Several people have recommended to me to get the Hicap. I wouldn't have thought the external PSU would make all that much difference, but it obviously does.
It depend how serious your equipment is made. I would have thought that the 62 and 180 are from a more serious era in the naim history. If including some external psu makes it sound better, it's the proof you should refrain from Naim in the future and that a serious design flaw is running under the bonnet of your gear.
Thats perhaps the pessimist's version.

Another way of looking at it is that it can make an already good product better.

Still, you're probably not entirely wrong and its as always a question of how far you want to take it.

These Hicaps, Flatcaps, PSX-R's etc have a dangerous habit of multiplying very quickly, rabbit like.

At some stage you may well end up with an unneccesseraly complicated and expensive system. Other, more simple (but probably equally or even more expensive) options may be more practical or even better.

Keep it reasonably simple though and they really can make a difference whilst still keeping in sane money territory.
 

CletePurcel

New member
Jul 21, 2015
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drummerman said:
NSA_watch_my_toilet said:
CletePurcel said:
Several people have recommended to me to get the Hicap. I wouldn't have thought the external PSU would make all that much difference, but it obviously does.
It depend how serious your equipment is made. I would have thought that the 62 and 180 are from a more serious era in the naim history. If including some external psu makes it sound better, it's the proof you should refrain from Naim in the future and that a serious design flaw is running under the bonnet of your gear.
Thats perhaps the pessimist's version.

Another way of looking at it is that it can make an already good product better.

Still, you're probably not entirely wrong and its as always a question of how far you want to take it.

These Hicaps, Flatcaps, PSX-R's etc have a dangerous habit of multiplying very quickly, rabbit like.

At some stage you may well end up with an unneccesseraly complicated and expensive system. Other, more simple (but probably equally or even more expensive) options may be more practical or even better.

Keep it reasonably simple though and they really can make a difference whilst still keeping in sane money territory.
I agree to an extent that needing a PSU is something that should already be factored in, but most Naimites already do this. I was told by the seller that he had already tried a Hicap with the unit and noticed a difference so I had already factored in probable purchase of one. The amp does sound great already though. Yesterday I was trying some vinyl and CDs using the new setup and my wife came in to the room and said how amazing it sounded compared to the old system (and the John Shearne was no slouch). And she was right so I am happy with it (it wasn't that expensive either) and if the Hicap can make it even better then it's all good.
 

CletePurcel

New member
Jul 21, 2015
5
0
0
NSA_watch_my_toilet said:
Hello Clete.

I will probably say something very different that the other users here, as usual.

But if you want us to recommend you a speaker for your tastes, you are doing something wrong. The speakers are one of the essential components in hifi. Every speaker sound different and behave different in a given room. So only you and your experience alone should go on what pleases you the most. It's like I would go on this forum, and ask peoples if I should marry Marc or Nicolas... I would probably receive responses, but none of any use.

All speakers you quoted have different behavior. And I don't seeing me recommending you one of this list because my music taste is probably miles away from yours, so it wouldn't make sense. And everybody that replied before me are in the same situation. My only recommandation, go, try out every single one of them and you will be fixed with the best recommandation of all : yours.
Thanks for your comments. I agree that one has to try speakers out. I am merely trying to narrow down what is a very large field. I have limited time to go testing every different brand of speaker out there. There are some consistent opinions of some speakers that can be helpful (for example most Naim fans don't seem to like MA so I might just avoid those etc.) I don't like bright speakers so if most peope say a particular speaker is on the bright side I might just not waste time on it etc... But people's opinions are ultimately no substitute for actually listening yourself as you say.
 

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