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Naim DAC

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 

(Naim first ever DAC)

Naim DAC is coming out this Sept. Prototype is currently demoing around shops in the UK. It has some interesting features like asychronic for all digital inputs whether it is USB, optical, BNC, coaxial. It uses memory buffering and also has 10 clock boards inside to remove jitter (one for each sampling frequency). In addition, it even can do what Wadia iTransport can do with ipod*, i.e. go direct into ipod's harddisk bypassing ipod's internal DAC! Thus making this a very handy device. For output it has RCA and DIN (Naim doesn't like XLR). You could upgrade performance further by adding a power supply as is the norm in Naim products. Price wise is just under £2000.

*Sound from using ipod will not be as good as from CD transport though according to Naim. The prototype DAC failed to work with ipod that day so we did not get to hear it unfortunately.

In term of sound, from my brief listening to the demo session (condition not perfect, limited by amps/speaker setup), it is better than CDX2 which lacks depth in soundstage. Also it is more detail, better quality of sound and has better beat than HDX (their new harddisk player). However HDX seems a bit more coherent though (not certain though due to non idea setup).

It would be very interesting if one could properly compare the Naim DAC to Stello DA220mkII (or similar product) and Linn Majik DS using quality headphone amp setup. This way one will be able to tell which is best and by how much.

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post #2 of 60
Interesting, can't wait for an in depth review.

post #3 of 60
Thread Starter 
Probably there will be no in depth reviews (except maybe magazines) till Sept when it will be available in the shops.
post #4 of 60
Item list #987987: something to consider buying if I ever have more money than I know what to do with

*crosses out a donation to a starving third world county*
post #5 of 60
No XLR output, no purchase consideration. Stupid move on their part. Is that how all their products are?
post #6 of 60
Thread Starter 
According to Naim rep at the demo, only their pro-equiment use XLR. Otherwise for donkey years they use DIN only which has same type of benefit as XLR - the catch being that mainly only Naim gear use DIN.... RCA is actually relatively new for Naim, after years of request from people. Thus now their equiments still mainly use DIN but does has some RCA inputs as well.
post #7 of 60
for 2k theres should be balanced outs :|
post #8 of 60
Thread Starter 
Linn Majik DS too only has RCA.
post #9 of 60
If one takes a critical look inside most XLR-equipped sources, there are surprises to be had...
Many of them are not 'truly' balanced: you can do better with, say, a transformer in the input of your amp if balanced power for hp is what are you looking for. IMO.
post #10 of 60
Thread Starter 
Picture of the prototype DAC (the unit on top). The bottom unit is HDX, their harddisk player.



post #11 of 60
I have had the Naim CD5X for several years and enjoy its sound. However, in North America, Naim products are overpriced in my opinion.
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by auee View Post
I have had the Naim CD5X for several years and enjoy its sound. However, in North America, Naim products are overpriced in my opinion.
I heard the Naim CD5x with Flat Cap Supply tonight ($3900), in my own home and compared it with my RAM DL3 ($695 + $725 mods). The DL3 was more spatial and detailed. Of course, I also have a very good power cord on it.
post #13 of 60
Thread Starter 
Don't think naim is known for their 3D but rather for their rhyme and pace. From what I briefly heard CDX2 too lacks depth spatially. The DAC is definately better though. I would loved to compare Naim, Stello, Linn properly with my Rudistor RPX33 when it appears in shops in Sept, then things will be much clearer.
post #14 of 60
after the ikemi, linn's sources went in a different direction to cater to the 'laid back hifi' crowd (it's like they went from hard bop to smooth jazz, lol). the stello sounds like molasses. the three have vastly polar presentations.

if you care about balanced connections, chances are pretty high that naim isn't for you anyway. looks elsewhere.

sleepyone - you mentioned network use, but i don't see an ethernet connection on the back of the dac? perhaps you were only referring to the hdx? if affordable, i would never want another source besides the hdx, but this new dac priced under 2k sterling that is doable if bought used. can't wait to hear it. what was the setup that you heard this dac in?
post #15 of 60
Thread Starter 
I thought it had ethernet but could be wrong (probably), best check with Naim - those photos are not mine so not sure is it the same. All I remember is that it definately has USB in the front and back. The unit I heard was a prototype too. In term of equiment, they use all naim gear, I think NAC 252 pre, NAP 300 power and new Naim Ovator S-600 speaker* (£6k). Also on demo are CDX2 and HDX as well and those are double up as transport for the DAC. There are also power supplies (larger one) there but no idea what is connected to what. All power by their new £400 Power-line power cord. I wasn't particularly impressed by the amps/speaker setup though. There is even some mention that they might do a separete harddrive unit given the strength of their DAC (it seems to be better than HDX on very brief listening).

*Naim intends to replace their current speaker line with the new Ovator line.
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