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Please explain the Naim mystique...

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by ghostofzuul, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. james

    james Forum Resident

    Location:
    Annapolis
    Never heard any Naim get but on this page I’ve read that it’s very bright and very dark.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  2. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    LOL. Good one.

    I moved from McIntosh to Naim around 1985 and never looked back, except getting sidetracked to Arcam for a while. I have home auditioned other things (Octave, Simaudio, T+A, etc), but none moved me. I came closest to getting Octave, but the business with biasing and babysitting tubes was not for me. However, it did sound damn good.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  3. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    I mostly listen to acoustic classical and jazz, and much prefer a neutral sound, with maybe a bit of warmth in the midrange if it doesn't mask detail. That's what my Naim is, in spades.
     
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  4. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    It's neither. I'm speaking mainly of my experience though, which is with 'black box' (modern, post-2000) Naim. My system simply sounds like whatever recording I play through it does.

    Some say that 'chrome bumper' ('80s) and 'olive' eras of Naim are a bit livelier -- that may be where the 'bright' idea originates.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
    james likes this.
  5. james

    james Forum Resident

    Location:
    Annapolis
    cool. I’d love to try a Nait or Supernait in place of my Yamaha. From what I’ve read, I feel like it would be a good pairing with my Vienna Acoustics.
     
    bhazen and Josquin des Prez like this.
  6. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    A Nait XS2 or XS3 is a great place to start, and will give you that great Naim sound. SuperNait even better.
     
    bhazen likes this.
  7. thekingpin

    thekingpin Forum Resident

    Location:
    sunny So-Cal
    Speaking from experience, a Nait is either a great place to start with Naim but also a great place to end. I started with a Nait 1, “progressed” on to Nait 2, Nait 3R, Nait 3R/Hicap, Nait 5, Nait 5i, while also indulging at the same time in the chrome bumper separates, then olive separates up to NAC 82/HC/NAP250 level....these were all after I had to get rid of tubes (SETs in particular) due to growing kids around the house, but little did I know was going to bring another boatload of “mystique” obsessions.

    In the end, I sold all of my Naim but then begin to miss it after several years, and that’s how I re-bought a now 5x more expensive Nait 1 on eBay. This baby I will never sell. It even drives my Snell Type A2 very well in a pinch.
     
    bhazen, jhenry and Josquin des Prez like this.
  8. jhenry

    jhenry Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    But you haven’t presented any objective facts...
     
  9. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    :righton:
     
    jhenry likes this.
  10. Pmds55889397

    Pmds55889397 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Scandinavian
    I'd say buying second hand is the place to start.
    Most of their amplifiers are supported, even those from mid 80'ies.
    Getting a decades old amp or pre/power is often win win.
    Get it serviced, recapped and use for years, resell value often high.
     
    david1111 and bhazen like this.
  11. xfilian

    xfilian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Sheesh, what a bizarre little series of rants. Its an audio product - calm down dear! Your passionate dislike of Naim is far more ardent than any so called fanboy’s approval of them.
     
    keef285, jhenry, bhazen and 1 other person like this.
  12. Alan2

    Alan2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Yes, they make one CD player, I think. The rest of their range seems to be discontinued. I've had 3 Naim CD players over the years and have always enjoyed them. I'm not so certain about their amplifiers.
     
    sound chaser likes this.
  13. zackwater

    zackwater Member

    I guess I qualify as a Naim fanboy. I own a 500 series with Focal speakers. It’s a nice system, and it better be. I don’t think for one minute that it’s the ONLY brand that makes a great system. I believe that I could have gone with other brands for the same money and would have just as nice as the one I own. There are lots of wonderful hifi brands out there, Naim is one of them but not the only one.
     
    DiggyGun and david1111 like this.
  14. xfilian

    xfilian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    I have no allegiance to any brand, never have done. I have a Rega turntable, Spendor speakers, Naim amp, Oppo CD player, Denon AV receiver, KEF centre and surround speakers, SVS sub and Panasonic TV. I had a Musical Fidelity amp up until a month ago, auditioned the Naim and after a week or so of running in it sounded fabulous and I much preferred it to the MF. When the time comes when I feel like a change again, I will once again shop around and my decision will be based purely on my preference regardless of brand. A brand has to earn my business, it is never automatically given to them.
     
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  15. david1111

    david1111 Forum Resident

    Location:
    toronto, ontario
    Yes exactly.
    I have all Naim gear now, because it does sound best when used together. But so did the Ayre, the Krell, and the CJ, I had. I had a CJ PV-5 pre, paired with an Ayre amp at one point, and it wasn't great. But individually, they are both very good pieces of gear.

    I started looking around for an Ayre pre, but picked up a deal on a piece of Naim instead, and just stuck with it.
    Sounds great, but the Ayre would have as well. Zero feedback, and all.

    There are Teddy Pardo power supplies that you can use instead of the Naim ones. But most Naim gear has onboard power supplies.
    The add-on power supplies just allow you to improve the SQ of the unit you own, without having to upgrade to the next level of gear.
    So they can save you some money that way, but there are many Naim'ers that don't add them, and the gear still sounds excellent.

    Dave
     
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  16. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan A man who dreams he is a butterfly?

    I think it's just a matter of people discovering a brand that sounds better than anything else, to them. That's how I am with Boulder Amplifiers.
     
    david1111 likes this.
  17. david1111

    david1111 Forum Resident

    Location:
    toronto, ontario
    Precisely.
     
    MonkeyMan likes this.
  18. james

    james Forum Resident

    Location:
    Annapolis
    Maybe the best thread for this:

    what’s a good sweet spot for a Naim separates or integrateds? Can you do better with separates on the used market than you can with say, a new Supernait 3?
     
    Alan2 likes this.
  19. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    A 5si for several hundred dollars if available is a very worthy introduction, IME. Indeed, could warrant keeping. It outputs more power than spec too, in fact, it's pretty similar output to an XS2/3. And easily passed on if it's not your thing.
     
    Zos93 and james like this.
  20. cporcp

    cporcp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kentucky
    When I picked up my Maggie’s in the mid 2000’s, the dealer was having me audition different amplification - including Naim. He was all about PRaT, but it was lost on me at the time - I needed juice so I went with a 200wpc Rotel ;)

    I did like their cdp’s of that time, but they were more than I could afford, then.
     
  21. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    You should be able to get a 282/200 used for about the price of a new SN3. That would be a sweet setup and you can improve it from there, starting with a HiCap DR.
     
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  22. david1111

    david1111 Forum Resident

    Location:
    toronto, ontario
    Hi James,
    I believe that the Naim separates that would better the SN3, would still cost as much as a new SN3. The SN2 has been discontinued, and is available for an excellent price, pre-owned; and there isn't a whole lot of difference between the SN2 and SN3. There is some tho.
    A great place to be with Naim separates, is the NAC282/NAP250dr combo, but even used, their fairly expensive I believe. Or like Josquin says, the NAP200 would do the trick with the NAC282.

    Their current lower-priced Streamer/Dac, the ND5 XS2 is and excellent unit from what I've read from owners, and it pairs nicely with the SN2.

    Hope this helps.

    Dave
     
    james likes this.
  23. Ctiger2

    Ctiger2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    I've never heard Naim before but I've heard enough different gear to come to the conclusion that some of it sounds great some of it sounds ok to terrible. All of it has varying degrees of difference and better subjective for the listener. I've only ever had brand matching pre + power amps together, never a complete system. There can be a synergy with like brand together but I've also experienced synergy with mixing brands. Seeing a rack with all matching gear brings the word pretention to mind and also blind obedience. When I see a rack with mix n match brands I think, how interesting I wonder why the listener has chosen to mate these together, it must sound great.
     
  24. Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Forum Resident

    As per forum guidelines, why don't you fill out your profile info with gear you have, if you are going to make prententious comments judging how others should or shouldn't build their systems, especially for ones you admittedly have no experience with?
     
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  25. david1111

    david1111 Forum Resident

    Location:
    toronto, ontario
    Pretentiousness has nothing to do with visually matching components.
    Pretension is putting one's gear rack between one's speakers, without moving the speakers well-forward. Even tho they know it inhibits the sound stage to a great extent, this allows them to gaze fondly on all their beautiful gear, and it's perfect setup, while they're listening to it.
    I personally don't give a sh** what the components or their arrangement looks like.
    But I do realize that I'm the 'odd man out' in this reference.

    It's funny, your post started out quite interesting and readable, but the last few lines got all judgmental and out of character for you.

    Dave
     
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