See what we did there?
With the arrival this week of the XLR to DIN leads required to connect Naim NAP 300 or 500 power amplifiers to the preamplifier, we finally have the entire Super Lumina Cable ‘loom’ on our demo NDS / 552 / 500 / PMC Fact 12 or Kudos T88 system.
Having raved about first the interconnect (even the subsequently discovered to be pre-production one) and the speaker cable, enthusiasm for the pre-power cables is inevitable.
There have been some unexpected twists and turns to this, however. These cables need several days, and ideally weeks, of burn-in. Logic would suggest that the interconnect closest to the source would be the most sensitive yet it actually seems the least ‘difficult’. Maybe it’s the veiling effects of the standard cables that hide this issue. Certainly our customer with probably the most revealing active system was the one to report the most pronounced running in ‘journey’. Once through these difficult periods, the customer reaction to these over priced pieces of wire has been extraordinary.
The speaker cables were released next and they have certainly exhibited a very marked bedding in process, albeit a moderately speedy one. Play it loud, get it over-with! Even with the standard pre-power cables in place, the speaker cables are genuinely transformative. The clarity comes with a staggering lack of sonic trade-offs. Refinement comes from the lack of additional artefacts rather by way of additional smoothing or sweetening. Deep down, though, you can still sense the wiry signature of the final ‘old school’ Naim link cable in the heart of the mix.
That the new SuperLuminal XLR to DIN leads deal with this resolutely is hardly a surprise. It’s staggering when you first connect it but the euphoria / misery trajectory of running it in is not newsworthy either. I’ll spare you the gory details but running the system 24/7 with the speakers disconnected when the noise would be an issue has moved us along yet another path. Even just three days after arrival we have a deeply compelling version of an otherwise familiar Naim system. It offers air, scale, image depth, resolution and realism at a level we would have regarded as unthinkable. The silly thing is, it’s probably going to get better over the next few weeks.
I spent several happy hours one evening having the sitting room visited by a whole host of talented musicians. Quite a lot of them were dead, as it happens, but their musical talents were utterly breathtaking. And they were THERE. It was spine tingling.
It turns out that the NDS is even better than we thought. This is something Doug Graham at Naim said when presenting the Statement amps.
Talking of Statement, early June (it’s running late) our demo S1 preamplifier is due. How much better can this stuff get?
Alastair @ signals