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Naim XS vs Densen DM10


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Hi guys,

 

I need some help here. I would appreciate if anybody who listened to both Naim XS and Densen DM10 would care to share how do they compare in terms of speed, macrodynamics, high-frequency extension, bass depth and layering, resolution, overall coherency and musicality.

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interesting comparison.

i've not heard the two side by side before, nor the DM10 before, but my impression of naim is quite different than densen. potentially naim may be able to suit harbeth better just cos of the characteristics.

 

think there is 1 harbeth user in the naim thread. maybe can ask him on the benefits. :)

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I find that the Naim still lacks the macrodynamics and high-frequency extension compared to a few select amps.

How can you attribute this to just the Naim when everything before and after including power/speaker cables, interconnects, not forgetting the room can all influence what you hear.

What speakers do you own now and what amp are you using to drive them?

Many people buy integrateds because of cost. Take a pre-power from the same brand of any integrated and you will realize you can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

 

I listen at only one volume and although there are recordings where I have to adjust the volume, my remote to control the volume is 95% of the time not used.

Since you do have to get up to change the CD/Vinyl, why is changing the volume so difficult?

An amp not having a remote is really not a good enough reason to dismiss it.

 

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Many people buy integrateds because of cost. Take a pre-power from the same brand of any integrated and you will realize you can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

 

Hi RabPaul,

 

I have moved from pre/power to integrateds because of the efficiency and relatively easy load of the speakers. I am using the Harbeth SHL5. For your information the LFD Zero LEIII shot my ARC LS16/Plinius SA100Mk3 separates into pieces. Also some other high-end pre-power had lost flat out to good integrateds. Matching is more important than the integrated vs pre/power debate RabPaul. I am currently using the Rega Elicit to drive the SHL5 and looking forward to setting up a 2nd system, hence the consideration of another integrated for the SHL5 relegating the Rega to the bedroom system.

 

Yes, agreed that the remote is not a must have as sound quality is predominantly the deciding factor. That is the reason I may be considering an amp without a remote. However, I still loathe the idea of getting up from my listening chair everytime I want to change the volume. The convenience of a remote is always desirable.

 

 

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I own the Nait XS and I like it alot. I am sure the LFD is a good amp, but I would never consider it because it lacks the remote facility. Perhaps I am not hard core enough.

In my case, because I use a music streamer (SB3) instead of vinyl or CD, I need to adjust the volume depending on the material.

 

If you yearn for the Naim sound but wants the additional dynamics, details and prat, adding the power supply to the Nait may do it for you.

Naims are highly upgradeable depending on your budget. the 3rd party solutions are very good and cheap.

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Hi kmchow98,

 

The Naim XS is indeed a fine amp. I liked it better than the Rega Elicit driving the SHL5 but the degree of differences does not warrant a change. The warm and recessed nature of the SHL5 demands an upfront and dynamic amp in order to sound more lively and exciting. The Naim XS is only marginally better than the Rega Elicit with better PRAT. The LFD possesses the extra energy in the mids and better high-end frequency extension compared to the Naim XS. As usual, matching plays a part as different results will be obtained when different speakers are matched to the amps.

 

Heard of the additional power supply to the Naim amps. Will need to think about this if I want to go the Naim route.

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this is probably a side point, but have u considered redwineaudio integrated?

i personally felt it had better dynamics than LFD, compared on a friend's harbeth setup awhile ago.

but of course, there could be other variables that influenced the result. plus the cost is probably higher.

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Matching is more important than the integrated vs pre/power.

Agreed but don't compare integrated and pre/power of different brands, that's a whole different ballgame.

I would not even consider the ARC and Plinius you mentioned a match for each other let alone a match for the SHL5.

Your SHL5 deserves a Naim pre/power.

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this is probably a side point, but have u considered redwineaudio integrated?

i personally felt it had better dynamics than LFD, compared on a friend's harbeth setup awhile ago.

but of course, there could be other variables that influenced the result. plus the cost is probably higher.

 

Hmm that's very strange...i had a chance to pit the RedWine Audio Signature 30 integrated against my LFD LE III & i felt that the LE III had the RWA totally massacred as far as transparency, soundstage width, depth, control, tonal purity & especially dynamics are concerned. Both amps were driving my then WLM La Scala floorstanders. The RWA was supposed to be a superb match for the WLMs as mentioned on numerous web reviews but to our ears, the owner of the RWA included, the LE III is a much better proposition. Simply no comparison!

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Hmm that's very strange...i had a chance to pit the RedWine Audio Signature 30 integrated against my LFD LE III & i felt that the LE III had the RWA totally massacred as far as transparency, soundstage width, depth, control, tonal purity & especially dynamics are concerned. Both amps were driving my then WLM La Scala floorstanders. The RWA was supposed to be a superb match for the WLMs as mentioned on numerous web reviews but to our ears, the owner of the RWA included, the LE III is a much better proposition. Simply no comparison!

 

At whose place was this comparison done.

I would say many forget the important fact that, many a times how a room sounds poses a pretty strong bearing on the outcome.

Regurgitated limited cliche audiophilic vocab doesn't paint a clear picture

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The comparison was done at my place. Not trying to bad mouth RWA but a friend of mine heard the RWA compared directly against Almarro 205 at Aural Designs & didn't have anything good to say about em as well. Anyway, the guy who brought the RWA to my place has since sold his amp. 

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The comparison was done at my place. Not trying to bad mouth RWA but a friend of mine heard the RWA compared directly against Almarro 205 at Aural Designs & didn't have anything good to say about em as well. Anyway, the guy who brought the RWA to my place has since sold his amp.  

 

Ex-Echoloft readers will very well know that SHL-5 has been bad-mouthing Plinius for donkey years over at Echoloft, so nothing new if SHL-5 now has a new target to attack ;D

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well, it does not matter. the thing is, we all have different listening preferences + different listening environments and cabling as well. i did bring over some cabling which probably helped the RWA sound good in that instance. nonetheless, my impression of the RWA still stayed. :) then again.. i use plinius... :P

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  • 3 years later...

Referring exclusively to the title of the thread:

 

The XS2 Naim is not under any circumstances comparable to the DM-10.

The XS2 is essential to have it on, unstructured sounds cold, hard. Although never ever dynamic musical terms in the initial conditions.

Acquired without undeniable value once started for 10 hours (the architecture used is intended to have it on without fear of significant degradation)

 

Once prepared the sound mutates absolutely. This is where the Naim makes sense and is located within the range of his philosophy with pace.

The middle of the spectrum sounds dense, serious and slightly stuck articulated, homogeneous scene where light appears and second planes. Sound is both relaxed and better black background on which projects the image ......

 

However, by direct comparison, the DM-10 is much faster, more care timbres, more organic (the XS sounds hifi), channel separation, feeling of lack of effort,  fluidity lack of  mechanical factor, surround domain all of the emphasis on the music, the better microdynamics, perfect black on which the image is projected, big sound at low volume and lots of aspects that could name it that make the DM-10 amplifier light years ahead of XS.

 

Essentially important to have perfectly maintained the power of the DM-10. This amp so I have 13 years continuously on and I changed a few months ago:

 

8 x 10.000uf/63V caps

4 x 470 caps uf/63V

4 x 100 uf / 25V caps

2 x 150 uf / 6.3 caps

 

I have the Naim XS2 two months ago and clearly no room for comparison. They play in many different leagues. The DM-10 is superb.

 

regards

dmxplosion

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  • 2 weeks later...

i am also a DM 10 user and constantly wonder if i shd try out the nait XS or Supernait, cos i like very much the naim cd5xs. thanks for the comparison. have u tried the DM 20/30 vs DM 10?

 

Referring exclusively to the title of the thread:

 

The XS2 Naim is not under any circumstances comparable to the DM-10.

The XS2 is essential to have it on, unstructured sounds cold, hard. Although never ever dynamic musical terms in the initial conditions.

Acquired without undeniable value once started for 10 hours (the architecture used is intended to have it on without fear of significant degradation)

 

Once prepared the sound mutates absolutely. This is where the Naim makes sense and is located within the range of his philosophy with pace.

The middle of the spectrum sounds dense, serious and slightly stuck articulated, homogeneous scene where light appears and second planes. Sound is both relaxed and better black background on which projects the image ......

 

However, by direct comparison, the DM-10 is much faster, more care timbres, more organic (the XS sounds hifi), channel separation, feeling of lack of effort,  fluidity lack of  mechanical factor, surround domain all of the emphasis on the music, the better microdynamics, perfect black on which the image is projected, big sound at low volume and lots of aspects that could name it that make the DM-10 amplifier light years ahead of XS.

 

Essentially important to have perfectly maintained the power of the DM-10. This amp so I have 13 years continuously on and I changed a few months ago:

 

8 x 10.000uf/63V caps

4 x 470 caps uf/63V

4 x 100 uf / 25V caps

2 x 150 uf / 6.3 caps

 

I have the Naim XS2 two months ago and clearly no room for comparison. They play in many different leagues. The DM-10 is superb.

 

regards

dmxplosion

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Guest james46

I have used a couple of Densen gears before and each time I am not happy with them. Once I had a full system which was bought from Nick before he went to Dynaudio. Its a full set of Densen comprising of the Beat cd player,  a preamp and 2 pcs of mono bloc power amp. They look real nice and I really want to keep them nust for the look alone. However the sound leave me cold. It is sterile, dry and boring. There were lots of details but it never sounded right to me. Very similar to the Densen cd. Every time you use the Densen cd the sound become very disorganise and dry. It need another few days for the sound to get back to normal again. So to me using the Densen cd spoilt the sound instead of improving it.

My experience with Naim is opposite on the other hand. Naim uses din cable and the cable that come with it is cheap. The first Naim I use is their lowest price preamp and their lower range power amp. It doesn't look nice just industrial looking and it is cheaper in my case than the Densen. However sound wise the moment I power it up and listen to the first note, I am in agreement with the sound. The detail pop out of the speakers with power and control. The tonal balance was just about right.

So to sum up my experience with Naim was good and with Densen it was not so good.

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Hi James, you never once mentioned what equipment you matched it with. I would not go about and rant how terrible naim sounds to me. I believe constructive comments goes a long way. If newbie comes along telling us he bought a equipment and it down right sounds bad without sharing whatever items he using, most would question err what's the problem? Ego?

 

I agree everyone treats positive and negative comments differently. If it did not sound good to you in the showroom would you have bought it? That's a lot of $$$$ spent to find out it does not work for you. Densen is really not for everyone, but it holds the brand itself well.

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Guest james46

I got so many equipment I cannot remember what gear I was using at that time. I may be different from you and many other people I don't need to listen and ask a lot of questions before buying. I just buy first and if I don't like them sell it. Any way that was my experience and I never need people to agree with me nor will I blindly follow the general consensus. Any way that I'd what I felt about when I own those stuff. No need for anyone to agree no disagree.  Take it with a pinch of salt if you like.

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Understand then. To each his own.  :)

Sorry that you felt that way. But I know you really have more experience with various equipment to know what's best for you. Not many got the juice to go in blindly. Still damn shoik to be able to buy whenever u feel its right.

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I wonder if u got the newer Densen gear instead of the classic DM series. I had bought the pre-power of 200/300 and like u mention was sterile and cold and was very disappointed. i even preferred the much cheaper classic beat 100 amp. the DM series is totally different from the newer gear i feel..

 

I have used a couple of Densen gears before and each time I am not happy with them. Once I had a full system which was bought from Nick before he went to Dynaudio. Its a full set of Densen comprising of the Beat cd player,  a preamp and 2 pcs of mono bloc power amp. They look real nice and I really want to keep them nust for the look alone. However the sound leave me cold. It is sterile, dry and boring. There were lots of details but it never sounded right to me. Very similar to the Densen cd. Every time you use the Densen cd the sound become very disorganise and dry. It need another few days for the sound to get back to normal again. So to me using the Densen cd spoilt the sound instead of improving it.

My experience with Naim is opposite on the other hand. Naim uses din cable and the cable that come with it is cheap. The first Naim I use is their lowest price preamp and their lower range power amp. It doesn't look nice just industrial looking and it is cheaper in my case than the Densen. However sound wise the moment I power it up and listen to the first note, I am in agreement with the sound. The detail pop out of the speakers with power and control. The tonal balance was just about right.

So to sum up my experience with Naim was good and with Densen it was not so good.

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Never like Densen at all. Listened to them when they was demoed by Electrade or even Dynaudio showroom. Same finding as James cold,clinical and harsh. Certainly not a gear worth considering, for Naim it is more musical and correct to my ear and yes i used to own and full set or Naim last time and get out of it to go to tube.

 

Wanted to move up the ladder but find them overprice. If they would revise their price i don't mind going back.

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