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What's wrong with Naim..? - Page 2

post #16 of 80
The CD5i* is reviewed in this month's What HiFi? and got a five star rating. This magazine does have a bias towards British/Scottish brands though.

* improved version of CD5i and apparently has "an improved circuit layout with better quality components, a change of DAC, and some tweaking of the power supply filtering."
post #17 of 80
Naim requires you to use proprietary cables. That annoys me almost as much as Microsoft & Apple's tactics. Not quite, but almost. Sound-wise? Fantastic! The new SuperNait w/ onboard DAC seems like a killer, although I believe it's a bit over-priced. For the same price (actually, I think it's lower) I'd go for the Bryston's integrated amp w/ onboard DAC.
post #18 of 80
Naim have had RCA connections on their equipment for at least the past few years!
post #19 of 80
Thread Starter 
So there is some Naim love at Head-fi after all.
My regular dealer doesn't carry Naim, but luckily I there's another one nearby who does and also happens to carry Stax. That new CD5i sure looks tempting...
post #20 of 80
"although I believe it's a bit over-priced."

The dollar is down 30% in the last few years.

I've seen some nice used Naim at very reasonable prices. I'd like to get a used CDX2.


Mitch
post #21 of 80
How much does a used CDX2 cost in the US? The HK Naim dealer is asking $5k+ for a new one...

I'll answer my own question Audiogon: 2.8k! A deal!

Iirc, the CDX2 is one of the premium Naim products that has the characteristic suspended solid metal top which rings when you hit it. According to the dealer, it means that you can stack products with little impact on the sound. Of course, the conversation naturally led to the Fraim
post #22 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
Naim have had RCA connections on their equipment for at least the past few years!
Do they have balanced output??
post #23 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
Iirc, the CDX2 is one of the premium Naim products that has the characteristic suspended solid metal top which rings when you hit it. According to the dealer, it means that you can stack products with little impact on the sound.
!!! That is a deadly sin in the hardcore Naim camp over at their forum! You HAVE to have at least two Fraims, the correct stacking order with empty shelves between cdp and psu and amp etc etc!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cankin View Post
Do they have balanced output??
Nope.

I have a Naim system which I am very pleased with. Did some demoing before the purchase and the naim system was the most fun and engaging system of the ones I listened to. They might lack in 'hifi' compared to some other high end manufacturers but I also think that this to some degree is a myth based on the characteristics of the older gear which I think were more flat earth oriented.

Speaking of the naim forum it is a great place where you can get good advice on buying and setting up a system. BUT it is also a very dogmatic place which tend to leave a bitter taste after a while. Using non-naim gear in your system is frowned upon (unless it's a LP12 or if it's gear that Naim doesn't manufacture, eg DAC). After hanging around at the naim forum for a while you learn the dogmatic do's and don'ts....
post #24 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdivider View Post
Naim requires you to use proprietary cables. That annoys me almost as much as Microsoft & Apple's tactics.
No they don't. Naim use DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung : Startseite DE which are a European standard as opposed to RCA ( Radio Corportation of America ) although the later are now owned by Thompson, a French company just to confuse matters further.
Until recently most European equipment used DIN but today only a handful of companies like Naim and Bang and Olufsen do. In many ways they are superior to RCA having a separate earth, more like a Canon XLR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snejk View Post
!!! That is a deadly sin in the hardcore Naim camp over at their forum! You HAVE to have at least two Fraims, the correct stacking order with empty shelves between cdp and psu and amp etc etc!
Actually that has more to do with the electro magnetic interference from the oversized powersupplies
Naim's hum terribly if you stack them in wrong way.
post #25 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by snejk View Post
!!! That is a deadly sin in the hardcore Naim camp over at their forum! You HAVE to have at least two Fraims, the correct stacking order with empty shelves between cdp and psu and amp etc etc!
Haha. Yes. I seem to remember reading something like that before. The Fraim are so damn expensive but to be honest, if you're going to be spending 25-30k+ on a stereo system, you might as well get the Fraim as well.

The solid aluminium frame for the Chord Blu and DAC64 is also another one of those impressively expensive factory frames, retailing for around $2.5k, bumping up the total transport/DAC/frame price to just over $10k. I would hate to know how much the multi-level racks cost.


Quote:
Nope.
Naim maintains that the DIN connection is the best. The dealer in Hong Kong is tremendously confident about it and use stock Naim cables for everything. As a dealer for Audioquest, QED and PS Audio, you'd think that they would at least use basic aftermarket cables. I do believe that they use aftermarket cables for the other brands which they also carry (eg Vitus Audio, dCS, PS Audio, Oracle, BAT, Focus Audio, etc)

Quote:
I have a Naim system which I am very pleased with. Did some demoing before the purchase and the naim system was the most fun and engaging system of the ones I listened to. They might lack in 'hifi' compared to some other high end manufacturers but I also think that this to some degree is a myth based on the characteristics of the older gear which I think were more flat earth oriented.
Well Naim gear does not have the most neutral, uncoloured sound. I demoed a bunch of dCS sources and the hyper analytical dCS sound was very apparent. It was almost like I was listening to a different recording.

Quote:
Speaking of the naim forum it is a great place where you can get good advice on buying and setting up a system. BUT it is also a very dogmatic place which tend to leave a bitter taste after a while. Using non-naim gear in your system is frowned upon (unless it's a LP12 or if it's gear that Naim doesn't manufacture, eg DAC). After hanging around at the naim forum for a while you learn the dogmatic do's and don'ts....
It's a great forum if you like Naim and have Naim gear in your system, or something British
post #26 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
Naim maintains that the DIN connection is the best. The dealer in Hong Kong is tremendously confident about it and use stock Naim cables for everything. As a dealer for Audioquest, QED and PS Audio, you'd think that they would at least use basic aftermarket cables. I do believe that they use aftermarket cables for the other brands which they also carry (eg Vitus Audio, dCS, PS Audio, Oracle, BAT, Focus Audio, etc)
DIN cables do seem more impervious tweakery than RCA probably because they are designed to be. If you want to spend a lot of money trying out cable tweaks for your Naim kit check out Chord Company: cables for hifi, custom install and home cinema systems

I've tried a lot of 3rd party cables including pretty expensive Chord Signature, Russ Andrews and Nordost and the differences are fairly minimal in the context of interconnects to Naim amps.
Speaker cables are another matter although the basic Naim ones are very good.
post #27 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
Actually that has more to do with the electro magnetic interference from the oversized powersupplies
Naim's hum terribly if you stack them in wrong way.
Yes the interference was very apparent when I put my turntable straight above my NAPSC2 PSU...
post #28 of 80
I've heard a lot of Naim gear at the dealer and always been amazed by the PRaT. Great toe-tapping stuff that does extremely well with rock music. Unfortunately, it's very expensive and doesn't play well with other gear.

I spent several days demoing a CD5i and and CD5x with my headphone rig (RS1s and a MPX3 slam). The 5i was good, but not great. The 5x really blew my skirt over my head--fantastic sound and incredibly involving.

Unfortunately, the RCA outputs were a little noisy. I tried several different cables and internal settings, but nothing resolved the problem. At that price point, I just wasn't willing to accept that.

Ah well, at least I discovered Chord cables during the process--good stuff.
post #29 of 80
Dear Colleagues,

As a long-time NAIMy, I feel obliged to chip in my 2 cents worth.......

The old generations of NAIM gear (NATO Olive type) was sort of the "secret HIFI tip of the time" mainly in Europe: kind of ugly, but with top sound.
Nowadays, the new look stuff is more "mainstream", and their top range Reference Line (pre-amp 552 , and the CD 555, etc. ) are also in the cyber-price region.

Naim still has the DIN interconnects, with some RCA supplements on the new units.
However, some gear indeed need special BURNDY cables, but these are mainly between dedicated (external) power supplies and the units itself; these Burndies don't usually need connect to other gear.


Does it sound good ? YOU BET ! Highly recommended !!

For instance, connected to an "adequate head phone" (Stax Omega fits the bill perfectly !! ) I doubt , you can get a better reproduction of music.

Regards

Urs
post #30 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by snejk View Post
Yes the interference was very apparent when I put my turntable straight above my NAPSC2 PSU...
Does the NAPSC2 come with the Headline2 or is it an extra? How much difference does it make? Have you tried the HiCap with your Naim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool View Post
DIN cables do seem more impervious tweakery than RCA probably because they are designed to be. If you want to spend a lot of money trying out cable tweaks for your Naim kit check out Chord Company: cables for hifi, custom install and home cinema systems

I've tried a lot of 3rd party cables including pretty expensive Chord Signature, Russ Andrews and Nordost and the differences are fairly minimal in the context of interconnects to Naim amps.
Speaker cables are another matter although the basic Naim ones are very good.
I do know about Chord cables but have never tried anything more expensive than the middle-of-the-road Silver Chameleons. The Signatures are too expensive for my wallet to bear and I just don't see the point spending as much on interconnects as I spend on my source, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpr703 View Post
I've heard a lot of Naim gear at the dealer and always been amazed by the PRaT. Great toe-tapping stuff that does extremely well with rock music. Unfortunately, it's very expensive and doesn't play well with other gear.
Oh yes! The PRaT is amazing. Very dynamic, fast and detailed. Apart from rock music, percussion also sounds great and so do vocals. My first Naim experience was with the CD5i/202/200/Allaes and I was amazed at how coherent and lively well-recorded music sounded like. The left to right imaging is spot on and combines well defined attack with realistic decay. That said, Naim's speakers aren't the best (IMO!).

Quote:
I spent several days demoing a CD5i and and CD5x with my headphone rig (RS1s and a MPX3 slam). The 5i was good, but not great. The 5x really blew my skirt over my head--fantastic sound and incredibly involving.
The great thing about Naim is that each upgrade up the product line makes a very audible difference. Going from a "basic" CD5i to the CDX2 is a large-ish step and so is going from a 202/200 to 282/250. What I'm still largely unconvinced about is the upgraded power supplies. While they certainly offer audible improvements (adding XPS2 to CDX2 or HiCaps to the preamps), they are also pretty expensive.
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