- May 7, 2012
The problem with the Naim, as traditionally with a lot of British Hi-Fi, is that it doesn't really truly understand music. From my perspective (as a Brit BTW), music is something you feel rather than hear, but a lot of British manufactures go for detail for detail's sake. Very annoyingly British manufacturers are also very snobbish; I've been into Hi-Fi since the mid-70's and overseas Hi-Fi, particularly American, was then viewed (by the British Hi-Fi press and manufacturers) as being overly coloured and just not accurate (I believe that view still exists, although now it is not expressed). My own experience is just the opposite: I think British Hi-Fi sound's overly analytical and just doesn't seem to capture the essence of the music. I Have a Dac V1 and whilst seemingly it conveys the detail of the music and superficially the emotion, in reality it doesn't convey the performance at all. I much prefer the CI Audio kit I have which, in my opinion, genuinely conveys the musical performance. Just my 2 cents worth.
It all depends on what type of item it is. Quite a few British DACs have gone for overly clinical sounding DAC chips. But DACs like the Rega have struck a good balance between detail and musicality with its Wolfson chip. And that chip itself is British.
But when it comes to turntables, the coloured sounding LP12 has been all the rage for many in the British press. I had to get rid of mine within a month of buying it. I just couldn't play any of my reggae, House, or Drum&Bass on it. The bass was devoid of force.
I had a quick listen to the Naim at a recent meet. I tried some of my own test tracks and I have to say that I won't be saving up for one. The Benchmark makes a better effort in trying to be clinical if that is your thing. But neither perform well in the bass stakes as far as my own taste is concerned.