For Christmas....the dCS present!

Yep. Polarizing with that balanced mode driver, though over the years I think it fair to say that all of Roy George’s designs for Naim have caused polarised opinions. I do particularly recall his SBL design which although not a great performer from a traditional viewpoint ( imaging, soundstaging etc.) was a remarkably musical speaker - which is what really matters.

I guess there will be no more Naim speakers.


I used to listen through Ovator 800s. They were highly sensitive to setup. One inch at a time made a large difference. Otherwise, they felt like the much improved DBL which I owned and deeply enjoyed before that. Both were able to closely mimick PAs. I mostly cared for being able to relax or drift off into the music. Or feeling as directly involved as if the bass player plugged his cable not into his amp but directly into my belly button. That they delivered in spades.

Upgrading from the Ovator was the moment where I decided to give up speakers altogether. The large speakers from Verity or Avalon and so on felt like too much emphasis on the hobby.

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I just kinda plopped my speakers down and hooked them up to the amp. It’s been over eight years so maybe I should get around to dialing them in a bit. My friendly dcs dealer is going to stop by and help me with that. He wants to make sure I can hear the value in the clock. Which currently sounds nonexistent.

So you liste through headphones now?

I would just mention again ( see my past postings) that adding a clock will not produce some kind of knock you over change as if you pressed a button marked “bass enhancement” or " vocal exciter". It is subtle but ultimately profound. It just makes everything increasingly natural. Music flows better, things like soundstaging improve ( that would not be apparent listening on cans).

I am now being repetitive but when the first dCS wordclock was introduced (Verona) I was lent one for a few days and I too could not hear any difference. That was because I was listening out for the wrong things. Eventually I did buy one. Then another when I moved to Paganini. The Paganini clock had to be returned to the factory when it was upgraded from Clock 1 to Clock 2 ( that involved a new rear panel). So I went back to Paganini sans external wordclock. As I said it is profound in its effect and I was now so unhappy at my system without the clock that I turned all of the digital side off and listened only to vinyl until the clock was returned. A case of you don’t miss your water 'til your well runs dry.


My daughter can hear a difference during our blind testing. She also has filter preferences.

Ah, that sensitive subject of presbycusis. At my age you pretend that it hasn’t happened ( even though it has) :frowning_face:.

She didn’t want to do the blind test with me so I reminded her about the 17 kHz test tone I once played at high volume.

Hello @Katzky,

yes I listen through headphones exclusively nowadays. I find the compromises to make in terms of immersiveness, soundstage, and so on are significant. In the end, when I ask myself “Do I enjoy the music as much on cans?” The answer is “Yes.” The answer to the question “Do I like the music presentation as much?” is “Errr… No.” That’s what I gladly and purposefully live with in an effort to let the ‘hedonic treadmill’ run slower than before.

Various headphones came and went. Nowadays the choice is Focal Utopia. It’s adept enough with classical music, packs a punch where needed or plays intimately where called for. They are headphones which are sensitive to the music I’d say. There is a new contender though. The Dan Clark Audio Stealth has arrived at home:

I will report back in the other thread how they compare. Promising they are as they are already good right out of the box. The handling is nice too. It is obvious, that someone from the died in the wool headphone crowd designed this and not someone from a general hifi brand.


There is a lot of headphones to compare now with my Focal Utopia. The new Dan Clark Audio Stealth, the new Audeze LCD-5, and the known flagships from Abyss and Hifiman.

I look forward to your assessment of the Stealth!

The blessings of our consumer society.
Learn, work, consume, die.
Life in four words.

Hush now! Cynical hat off… It will be mid November when I report back. I want to give the Stealth enough time.

I tested the non TC Abyss. What made me choose the Diana Phi back then over the AB-1266 was the weight of the latter. I felt it too strongly on my head after maybe half an hour of listening. When I pruned my small headphone stable, only the Utopia remained.

The Audeze I have no idea about, the Hifiman Susvara during a short test at home felt like a cross between the Utopia and the Stax 009S. The choice was the Utopia again… I need to say though that I listened to the Susvara with the Bartók internal amp. That is probably not entirely fair as the Susvara is said to sparkle with powerful amps. Build and cable wise the Stealth is superior to the Susvara.

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Have you tried the SR 1a? Supposed to be close to speaker experience. You can even use them with a sub.

Not yet. Thank you for mentioning it. I should really try and hear. One prejudice I have is the product design of the SR 1a. I like things that are beautiful to behold - Apple gear, dCS, Italian or British sports cars, furniture by architects or great designers. My former Naim DBL speakers were probably the exception to that rule :upside_down_face:

I would just mention again ( see my past postings) that adding a clock will not produce some kind of knock you over change as if you pressed a button marked “bass enhancement” or " vocal exciter". It is subtle but ultimately profound. It just makes everything increasingly natural.

I guess this depends upon what kind of listener you are.

For me, if I shut off the clock, the entire sense of space in a performance becomes nebulous at best. Sinatra is singing in a studio, but how big is that studio? Do you hear echo from the walls? It’s nice, but, not that exciting.

Turn on the clock and the walls come back. Piano notes lose their hard transients that made them sound more metallic than felt hitting a string.

I’ve mentioned before that the Rossini without a clock was not as good as my Wadia S7i and I never would have purchased one.

A Rossini with the Rossini Clock finally exceeded the Wadia, which is why I made the change.

Meanwhile I’m still blown away by what a change clock cables can make; they shouldn’t affect “sound quality” but wow, do they ever.

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Yes indeed. I know people who have not even considered that there might be reflections from studio walls that have been recorded. In fact in general for listeners to pop and rock recordings made post the early 1970s the producer will have not recorded the room at all and will have made the recording in such a way that every element is recorded “dry” ( i.e minimising what is known as “bleed” from other instruments) in mono. This enables the producer to dedicate a recording track to each instrument/performer so that the result can then be manipulated at leisure to assemble the final mix.

When you listen to Sinatra recordings , for example the classic Capitol ones, you are hearing three practices that are now considered historic. The first is that the sound of the room is recorded ( in stereo ) to provide a basic stereo picture. Incidently as the studio is no longer part of the recorded sound , aside from classical music recording, it is not necessary to have large rooms to record in such as the once great RCA studio A in NYC. So the space that they once occupied are now office blocks. Secondly the Sinatra recording is a performance with all instruments playing simultaneously. Thirdly ( and this was unusual even at the time) Sinatra is singing in the same space as the band (not in a vocal booth). He said he had to sing like this as being a dance band vocalist he could not perform without hearing the band as if he was on stage with them.

So, for Christmas, a new release of Mosaic enabling Apple Music as a standard streaming service ?

Any one interested in that ?


It would be nice, but it will have little to do with quality sound. Although it was possible to get off easily (but I’m not sure if this is possible in a relationship with Apple)
I am in favor of more fundamental improvements

Producers may not intentionally capture reflections from studio walls, but the results can be startling when they do so accidentally. I can immediately think of two examples:

On “Raining In My Heart”, the second track from the first Stone The Crows album, the recording accidentally captures a reflection of the Hammond organ – so if your speakers can reproduce it accurately enough there’s a second organ playing along with the first, three or four feet to the left of your left shoulder.

Similarly, on “Straight Back” from Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage, the bass line appears to be coming from the far left corner of the room, which in my case means slightly behind me and about 20 feet to my left. This artefact is obvious in all hi-res versions, but I’m not so sure about the CD or vinyl.

Not really.