(Torben - A Dane living in Hamburg - Roon Lifer)
The BIG fight against noise in the audio setup
If you read through different audio communities, there seems to be a BIG fight/battle going on against noise in the audio setup. The less noise you have in your system the better it sounds – that is the main argument many use.
EMI and RFI noise etc. Noise from NUC, switch, power supply etc. The list is long.
In all fairness Graeme nailed it (and provided some evidence, more than all noise addicts have done thus far) with his tests very much. However - this will incite another flame war between team audiophilea nervosa and team reason with no value as the tribe members never use to switch sides.
A lot of this “noise chasing” is entirely bunk however…
I do find when people who “chase noise” do end-up with solutions that provide an overall “better” thing which solved a problem which was not noise.
Your ethernet switch is “noisy”. No, it’s just crap but the Cisco stuff and other recommendations are actually a good upgrade.
You need a linear power supply on everything! No, you need to get your analog stuff far away from the high frequency compute stuff… then give your analog stuff really stable supplies and if that means some kind of conditioner that can maintain a constant voltage great.
You need better cables. Are your cables deficient? Probably not… but if you want shiny cables to make the music “look” better get shiny cables. I have really nice shiny cables. I think they sound excellent. I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever told someone to solve an issue or improve their system with cables. Just get what your budget allows.
But the thing that really impresses me… How quiet is your room you’re hearing something influenced by “noise”? How much room treatment do you have? Have you measured the timing of your speaker placement to your listening position? Have you run a frequency sweep and listened for resonance or buzzing of things in your room (I did this recently) and corrected that?
It’s easy to “buy stuff” and chasing noise is an easy one to constantly “buy a solution” because there is a really good chance whatever problem you think you have isn’t noise… go solve that other problem. When you’ve exhausted everything you could do to improve sound quality… then go back and chase the noise.
I know it is easier to do small upgrades, it is cheaper for me. But I could save and Just do a big upgrade, like rebuild your room using professional audio treatments building business that after redoing your room can also build DSP
But I understand the urge, I now want I iFi power Elite instead of my iFi power x. Maybe there will be a benefit (not pretty sure) but why not
The upgrade your power supply thing has been around for ever. Manufacturers such as Naim have fed the beast, and profited mightily, over the years so it’s not surprising it rumbles along.
£8500 for the 555 power supply.
I’ll just stop listening to music and go back to my amateur radio hobby. Now that’s a hobby where you can really chase the noise!
I saw the latest from Naim… here’s where an upgraded power supply makes sense. Space constraints of the chassis limit how to build the PSU. There are probably some significant compromises there; as subtle as this may be to the listener. Instead of letting consumers hack-around these design constraints they just said… Here’s a big toroid linear in a matching box now give us your money. It will certainly give you that last little bit of performance from the compromise they made with the small chassis. They could have done a double height chassis for less than the upgrade but then would have shrunk the potential customer base with the added cost. And, again, this upgrade is going on a part of the system with analog signal paths.
I get the upgrades I used to have just above entry level naim pre amp. But they do charge a lot of money
All of my kit is 2nd hand or ex demo etc and I actually bought a 4th hand, 3rd party high cap equivalent, given how much it weighed it was certainly full of copper.
There’s a guy on the Naim forum where the description of his network setup (with IIRC three daisy-chained EtherRegen switches, and that’s the most harmless of it) is longer than your first post. He’s convinced by it though
Though if the flatcap had come in a form factor that did not fit any Naim rack, people would have gone ballistic. It’s just convenience really to put it into the same box as everything else (and probably cheaper for Naim overall, nothing wrong with that)