I left Naim... and I can't work out whether I'm happy.

Although I haven't heard Devialet, I know I can't live without Naim. My solution which works for me personally, was to run two systems - a Naim system into Epos ES14 speakers in one room, and a boutique, hand made valve/vinyl system with point to point wiring into Harbeth SHL5 speakers in the other room. Whenever I might feel that something is missing with one system, I put on the other. I don't recommend it for others, but this particular solution works for me, and I feel less of the upgraditis itch I had previously (although a 52/Supercap is my ultimate goal for the Naim system). I get all the warmth and detail I want with the valve system, and all the boogie I need with the Naim system.

I recently had the pleasure of hearing both the Statement amps and the Uniti Atom and both sounded fantastic to me. I think that Naim is just getting better and better, and has something unique to offer that no other audio company does.

sjw98 posted:

Hi all

ive had many Naim systems in the past including, at best cds2 into 82/250. More recently I had an NDX / Supernait combo and loved it. Having moved house and needing the money I sold my set up including Muso and was left bare for 12 months or so. 

Having been extremely impressed with Devialet I recently bought a Devialet 120. It sounds fantastic. BUT I think I may be addicted to that Naim sound. I'm just not 100% happy. 

Has anyone directly compared a D120 with a Superuniti? I do want to stay one box, and I know there is a previous forum topic seemingly comparing the two but it rapidly went off topic! Any direct comparison would be appreciated. 

Plus any mocking for me moving away would be graciously received

steve 

 

you can checkout but you can never leave!

Claus

sjw98 posted:

Hi all

ive had many Naim systems in the past including, at best cds2 into 82/250. More recently I had an NDX / Supernait combo and loved it. Having moved house and needing the money I sold my set up including Muso and was left bare for 12 months or so. 

Having been extremely impressed with Devialet I recently bought a Devialet 120. It sounds fantastic. BUT I think I may be addicted to that Naim sound. I'm just not 100% happy. 

Has anyone directly compared a D120 with a Superuniti? I do want to stay one box, and I know there is a previous forum topic seemingly comparing the two but it rapidly went off topic! Any direct comparison would be appreciated. 

Plus any mocking for me moving away would be graciously received

steve 

Steve, I have heard Devialet quite a number of times and a friend also had a Devialet based system. I think the difference is that the Devialet wow's in the beginning and has some impressive aspects as detail and overall mass out of one box. My feeling is that you don't get some of these aspects out of one box at Naim, while you do get of course with any box of Naim the musical connection. I have the feeling that you could become happy with a two box solution 272 with 250. But it's of course a different level of budget.

The superuniti at first might give you the emotional aspect, but you might still be going back and forth in your mind.

 

Finally be aware of the emotional aspect, not being totally happy with what you have right now, might make you open to quick switches which again don't make you happy. So take your time in the process.

 

Good luck.

Hungryhalibut posted:

Steve, you don't mention whether you have changed speakers as well as the room. If so, there are too many changes in play. I've used Naim for over thirty years and am acclimatised to the sound, so other things sound wrong, even though they are simply different. I don't believe Naim is the only way, or the only make that can get you close to the music. Devialet might be even better, I just don't know. 

If you are listening to less music it's a sign that something is not quite right, whether it's the Devialet, the speakers, the room, or even something else entirely in your life. My only suggestion is to borrow a Naim setup and see if that gives you what you want. As well as the SU it would be worth trying the NDX/SN2 again, or maybe a 272 based system. Both of the two box options are much, much better than the SU, and I'd say are worth a try. 

I agree with Nigel, although my Naim experience is only about twelve to thirteen years. There are many hifi manufacturers that are similar to Naim for enjoyment... and yes they can do the emotion connection, and PRaT thing. (At an audio engineering level those are attributes that I recognize as being relayed through accurate low distortion audio reproduction). So if there is something not quite right and you are listening to less music then it's worth exploring.. it can be room balance, system synergy etc.. it could be your new system has a different audio response that is exciting reflections or resonances in your room.. In my experience Naim can be more room friendly than some other manufacturers as frequency extremes appear slightly curtailed on many Naim components.

Naim isn't perfect but I like the way you can tweak it, upgrade it and even downgrade it. I know it's expensive but all us Naim fans get a bit excited when they bring out a new product we can upgrade to. With one of these shiny things it's all kind of final, the sound you get is the sound you get. It's not for me and I don't care what it sounds like. It's not hifi to me. 

Christopher_M posted:

+1 to what Bert said. Take your time by all means but please don't get caught up in the agonising analysis-paralysis that seems to afflict so many.

Chris

Exactly so. You should just be able to sling something on, put your feet up, have a cup of tea, and enjoy the music without even thinking about it. 

Drewy posted:

Naim isn't perfect but I like the way you can tweak it, upgrade it and even downgrade it. I know it's expensive but all us Naim fans get a bit excited when they bring out a new product we can upgrade to. With one of these shiny things it's all kind of final, the sound you get is the sound you get. It's not for me and I don't care what it sounds like. It's not hifi to me. 

Welll that's funny - it's certainly not perfect but I don't necessarily see it as expensive either compared with say Kondo.  

Regards,

Lindsay

The Strat (Fender) posted:
Drewy posted:

Naim isn't perfect but I like the way you can tweak it, upgrade it and even downgrade it. I know it's expensive but all us Naim fans get a bit excited when they bring out a new product we can upgrade to. With one of these shiny things it's all kind of final, the sound you get is the sound you get. It's not for me and I don't care what it sounds like. It's not hifi to me. 

Welll that's funny - it's certainly not perfect but I don't necessarily see it as expensive either compared with say Kondo.  

Regards,

Lindsay

We all have different ideas when I comes to expense. I have worked out this morning I need £24k to buy myself the naim pre amp and streamer I'd like (inc power supplies) to complete my system.  Whether or not I can afford it that is expensive. 

Drewy posted:
The Strat (Fender) posted:
Drewy posted:

Naim isn't perfect but I like the way you can tweak it, upgrade it and even downgrade it. I know it's expensive but all us Naim fans get a bit excited when they bring out a new product we can upgrade to. With one of these shiny things it's all kind of final, the sound you get is the sound you get. It's not for me and I don't care what it sounds like. It's not hifi to me. 

Welll that's funny - it's certainly not perfect but I don't necessarily see it as expensive either compared with say Kondo.  

Regards,

Lindsay

We all have different ideas when I comes to expense. I have worked out this morning I need £24k to buy myself the naim pre amp and streamer I'd like (inc power supplies) to complete my system.  Whether or not I can afford it that is expensive. 

Well yes if I told my work colleagues the cost new of my system there would be quite a few raised eyebrows but the only issue is if it worth it to me.  

But the issue for me is how Naim stacks against the likes of Vitas and Kondo. 

Regards,

Lindsay

Drewy posted:
The Strat (Fender) posted:
Drewy posted:

Naim isn't perfect but I like the way you can tweak it, upgrade it and even downgrade it. I know it's expensive but all us Naim fans get a bit excited when they bring out a new product we can upgrade to. With one of these shiny things it's all kind of final, the sound you get is the sound you get. It's not for me and I don't care what it sounds like. It's not hifi to me. 

Welll that's funny - it's certainly not perfect but I don't necessarily see it as expensive either compared with say Kondo.  

Regards,

Lindsay

We all have different ideas when I comes to expense. I have worked out this morning I need £24k to buy myself the naim pre amp and streamer I'd like (inc power supplies) to complete my system.  Whether or not I can afford it that is expensive. 

That is approximately the value of my system, which I consider to be a huge amount of money to spend on what is essentially a record player - but every penny I spent (which was quite a bit less) justified for the sound quality and the pleasure I get from listening to music through it. 

The term 'expensive' is of course relative: one could compare Naim (excluding Statement) with the small number of significantly more expensive hifi brands and it seems cheap, or compare with the average person in the street's music system and it seems incredibly expensive. What matters is value for money to the person paying that money, nothing else (except of course for people of lesser means who might crave the same thing but can't afford)

Innocent Bystander posted:
Drewy posted:

We all have different ideas when I comes to expense. I have worked out this morning I need £24k to buy myself the naim pre amp and streamer I'd like (inc power supplies) to complete my system.  Whether or not I can afford it that is expensive. 

That is approximately the value of my system, which I consider to be a huge amount of money to spend on what is essentially a record player - but every penny I spent (which was quite a bit less) justified for the sound quality and the pleasure I get from listening to music through it. 

The term 'expensive' is of course relative: one could compare Naim (excluding Statement) with the small number of significantly more expensive hifi brands and it seems cheap, or compare with the average person in the street's music system and it seems incredibly expensive. What matters is value for money to the person paying that money, nothing else (except of course for people of lesser means who might crave the same thing but can't afford)

It's horses for courses guys, some people will spend every spare penny they can afford on having the most 'upmarket' car they can afford which I'm sure they visualise as a status symbol or personal statement (no pun intended) to others. There is no way I could ever bring myself to spend £30k+ on a car but my current sound system is around £35k, built up over years and not purchased in one go I might add, and I don't regret a single penny of it. When I tell my friends they think I'm crazy but I don't care, what I do with my disposable income is my business. I've just paid £1800 to have my NAP300 DR'd and serviced at the same time, It's just brilliant and it's not fully 'run in' yet.

Last night I listened to 'Crawling King Snake' from The Doors 'L A Woman' album and I was totally blown away by the experience, fantastic.

Ken

sjw98 posted:

Hi all

ive had many Naim systems in the past including, at best cds2 into 82/250. More recently I had an NDX / Supernait combo and loved it. Having moved house and needing the money I sold my set up including Muso and was left bare for 12 months or so. 

Having been extremely impressed with Devialet I recently bought a Devialet 120. It sounds fantastic. BUT I think I may be addicted to that Naim sound. I'm just not 100% happy. 

Has anyone directly compared a D120 with a Superuniti? I do want to stay one box, and I know there is a previous forum topic seemingly comparing the two but it rapidly went off topic! Any direct comparison would be appreciated. 

Plus any mocking for me moving away would be graciously received

steve 

hi Steve , love the idea of being addicted to the Naim sound...I guess that we can be addicted to many things in life and music is one of the more positive addictions '  all the best I hope you find the sound you are looking for..

Southweststokie posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:
Drewy posted:

We all have different ideas when I comes to expense. I have worked out this morning I need £24k to buy myself the naim pre amp and streamer I'd like (inc power supplies) to complete my system.  Whether or not I can afford it that is expensive. 

That is approximately the value of my system, which I consider to be a huge amount of money to spend on what is essentially a record player - but every penny I spent (which was quite a bit less) justified for the sound quality and the pleasure I get from listening to music through it. 

The term 'expensive' is of course relative: one could compare Naim (excluding Statement) with the small number of significantly more expensive hifi brands and it seems cheap, or compare with the average person in the street's music system and it seems incredibly expensive. What matters is value for money to the person paying that money, nothing else (except of course for people of lesser means who might crave the same thing but can't afford)

It's horses for courses guys, some people will spend every spare penny they can afford on having the most 'upmarket' car they can afford which I'm sure they visualise as a status symbol or personal statement (no pun intended) to others. There is no way I could ever bring myself to spend £30k+ on a car but my current sound system is around £35k, built up over years and not purchased in one go I might add, and I don't regret a single penny of it. When I tell my friends they think I'm crazy but I don't care, what I do with my disposable income is my business. I've just paid £1800 to have my NAP300 DR'd and serviced at the same time, It's just brilliant and it's not fully 'run in' yet.

Last night I listened to 'Crawling King Snake' from The Doors 'L A Woman' album and I was totally blown away by the experience, fantastic.

Ken

Ken, couldn't agree with you more....it sounds like your 300dr is already starting to sing......but if I could respectfully ask if you could turn it down a bit, I'm living about 20 miles away from you, and with a prevailing wind I can hear it......and I'm not so keen on the 'Doors'.....

Ps I quite like them really...

You know I think the state of mind of the individual comes into play a huge amount here. The question can be reversed - and in my case it was.

In the 90s I worked in the trade a bit and dealt with both Linn and Naim as the flagship brands of the particular place I worked. I never got on with the Naim sound (not to mention a few aspects of their design philosophy) and really loved what Linn did for me. Hence a source to speakers Linn system. I "left" Linn to go into a non hi-fi wilderness for over a decade (purely because I needed to lose any possessions that didn't fit in a suitacase). When I had settled down and was in a position to buy a proper system again, I listened to both Naim and Linn and what was clear was that although things had moved on a lot since their 1995 product line up, Linn still sounded very much like Linn and Naim very much like Naim.

So the decision should have been clear: go back to Linn. But it wasn't that simple. The 13 years of hi-fi less life I had spent, had changed me. I saw the world in a different way. Had a whole bunch of life experiences behind me; was older; valued different things. And for whatever reason, this does have an impact on audio preference. Naim still had the Naim sound I was not hugely fond of (this is comparative of course - I simply mean not fond of compared to Linn), except now I was very fond of it. It grooved and Jammed and I just "got it" now. I think the Linn still can be more refined and detailed (without being overly hi-fi) but whatever I loved in the sound just doesn't attract me anymore.

All this tells me is that there are a lot of things out there that can be your right hi-fi partner, not just one. But it is really going to depend on you as much as the gear itself and you can definately fall in and out of love with a sound. So Devialet isn't making you feel "sure" about the relationship? It could well be you as much as the Devialet that is responsible for that.

I am going through something similar with my office system. 

I started with my Nait 5 fed by a dragonfly from my desktop.  I wanted the ability to use headphones so over the course of a year I bought and sold on the used market hear in Canada and ended up with a Headline fed by a Hicap.  

I've always been tempted by Bryston amps.  They're built here in Canada about two hours from where I live, the Cdn dollar is weak these days, and so when I saw a demo unit B60 integrated I jumped at it.

The build quality of the Bryston is amazing.  It sounded great out of the box with a ton of detail and power (I'm using Totem Dreamcatchers and the placement in the room isn't ideal).  The built in headphone was the equal of the Headline with the Hicap, so there was significant appeal in a simple one-box solution for my office system.  

 The clarity of the Bryston is amazing, for example, I could hear cutlery on dishes on "The Ron Carter Trio, Live at the Cotton Club", that I hadn't heard before.  But somehow it got to be too much (It's sounds like a similar experience to the OP's experience with Devialet).  At one point last week I had to take my phones off during a Dylan harmonica solo that was just too sharp - too hifi.

Long story short, the Nait 5 sat in the corner for a month or so and then went back into service this morning.  I found a used NAPS that seems a better match with the Headline and I've had the music playing all morning.  

I don't know the technical audio terms for what I've experienced.  The Naim is less detailed but more musical.  We'll see where this ends up (I may keep swapping the amps out) but I do like the idea of a third system when I want what the Bryston has to offer - I just don't know where to put it ; ).

 

feeling_zen posted:

You know I think the state of mind of the individual comes into play a huge amount here.

Sometimes we are just faced with too much choice, too many what ifs?  That's why I attend very few hi-fi shows and when I do it's normally to drink coffee and chat things over with people and buy a bag of records.  Avoids audiophilia neurosis

Regards,

Lindsay 

You left Naim, what on earth were you thinking *head scratch*

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

 

A simple system that is amazing (in my experince) is Nait 2 CB, SBL's,  and UQ as source.  Awesome sound and modern functionality, win win.

Oh, and never leave Naim again!

Ian Brown posted:

I am going through something similar with my office system. 

I started with my Nait 5 fed by a dragonfly from my desktop.  I wanted the ability to use headphones so over the course of a year I bought and sold on the used market hear in Canada and ended up with a Headline fed by a Hicap.  

I've always been tempted by Bryston amps.  They're built here in Canada about two hours from where I live, the Cdn dollar is weak these days, and so when I saw a demo unit B60 integrated I jumped at it.

The build quality of the Bryston is amazing.  It sounded great out of the box with a ton of detail and power (I'm using Totem Dreamcatchers and the placement in the room isn't ideal).  The built in headphone was the equal of the Headline with the Hicap, so there was significant appeal in a simple one-box solution for my office system.  

 The clarity of the Bryston is amazing, for example, I could hear cutlery on dishes on "The Ron Carter Trio, Live at the Cotton Club", that I hadn't heard before.  But somehow it got to be too much (It's sounds like a similar experience to the OP's experience with Devialet).  At one point last week I had to take my phones off during a Dylan harmonica solo that was just too sharp - too hifi.

Long story short, the Nait 5 sat in the corner for a month or so and then went back into service this morning.  I found a used NAPS that seems a better match with the Headline and I've had the music playing all morning.  

I don't know the technical audio terms for what I've experienced.  The Naim is less detailed but more musical.  We'll see where this ends up (I may keep swapping the amps out) but I do like the idea of a third system when I want what the Bryston has to offer - I just don't know where to put it ; ).

 

Thank you for the sharing. Your experience with the Bryston B60 had given me the clues to the appeal of the Naim amps and the reason they had remained as the mainstay of my system for the past seven years. I can still recall the days before I got into Naim. I had some new speakers and was not entirely satisfied with the sound of the system. I tried not less than half a dozen amps in an attempt to make the system work and at one point almost gave up hope and was on the verge of selling the speakers until the Naim came into the picture. The rest was history.

A disclaimer is the LFD Zero LEIII actually did the trick but the low build quality and lack of remote were the downers for me. The LFD paved the way for the Naim NAC 202 / NAP 200.

Similarly I find the Naims to be musical sounding amps. They may not reproduce all the details, or the details may be slightly softened in a way that the sharpness at the frequency extremes especially the treble is slightly subdued. It is actually a good thing to me, as the ears will not hurt too much when listening at higher volume levels. Analytical, detailed and lean sounding systems can sound impressive upon first listen but the higher listening fatigue will not help with prolonged listening sessions. I am not sure about the Nait 5 that you have but the NAC 282 and NAC 250 DR combination has rather good clarity and detail. The amps surely do not sound analytical like most mass market amps out there. Another trait of the Naim I have figured out is in their excellent rendition of transients and dynamics in music. The start and stop of notes in the transients are reproduced with more pin-point accuracy. With other amplifiers you get a bit of overhang at the end of the notes in dynamic passages which impedes the (accurate) portrayal of explosive transients, thus compromising on the thrill factor.

I believe it is important to have a good balance between detail and warmth for a system to sound musical. A system which sounds overly warm with rolled off treble will be dull or dead while a system with first-class clarity and detail will sound lean and analytical if it's all detail and no body or midrange.

I also like the idea of a third system based on some ATC SCM11 or SCM19 speakers and similarly do not have a space to accommodate another pair of speakers (and equipment). In your case, it's easier to have an additional integrated amp as you can swap the amps whenever you like it in the same system.  That is the major appeal or advantage of integrated amps, the flexibility and convenience of a one-box.

 

Mrs Strat and I were relaxing with Norah Jones last night and I told her about this thread.   Her comment was "okay if we could get the same with one box or just one rack that would be good but frankly anyone who didn't enjoy the music from something as good as this would surely have very high expectations!"

 

The Strat (Fender) posted:

Mrs Strat and I were relaxing with Norah Jones last night and I told her about this thread.   Her comment was "okay if we could get the same with one box or just one rack that would be good but frankly anyone who didn't enjoy the music from something as good as this would surely have very high expectations!"

 

I'd think my wife was on mind altering drugs if she said something like that...let's say it's not a passion (obsession to her) we share .

G

The Strat (Fender) posted:

Mrs Strat and I were relaxing with Norah Jones last night and I told her about this thread.   Her comment was "okay if we could get the same with one box or just one rack that would be good but frankly anyone who didn't enjoy the music from something as good as this would surely have very high expectations!"

 

What did Norah think of the sound?

Interesting thread.  I used to have a Naim system and it certainly had my foot tapping but on the other hand I found it slightly lacking in regard to classical music (lack of soundstage  and depth).  For me the effect of the 'Naim sound' is like drinking Coca Cola, it hype things up with nice sonic qualities thrown in and can understand the addictive nature of it.  Also I would imagine musicians liking this Naim sound as it would highlight the technique of the musicians playing their instruments on the recorded music.

The Strat (Fender) posted:

Mrs Strat and I were relaxing with Norah Jones last night and I told her about this thread.   Her comment was "okay if we could get the same with one box or just one rack that would be good but frankly anyone who didn't enjoy the music from something as good as this would surely have very high expectations!"

 

Mr & Mrs Strat, Norah Jones must be on tour as was in my lounge mid afternoon sounding rather good.

So... chaps...

I spent quite a few hours in my favourite hifi shop today demoing the devialet 120 (the cause of my consternation) against the Nac-n 272 + 250. 

The naim combo blew the devialet out of the water. I'm back with Naim

HOWEVER... there's a twist. 

The kind chaps at the shop also had me demo a devialet 220 (from their new expert pro range), and, I'm so sorry to say - it's was considerably better than the 272 250  

The only reason I didn't leave with one under my arm is because I couldn't afford it. (I already have a naim power amp and so the 272 was a straight swap for the d120). My intrigue now is whether adding an XPS onto the 272 will give the same sublime resolution that the d220 produced. 

I was genuinely blown away. 

(just as an aside whilst I was there I also listened to a pair of Martin Logan Electrostatics... Possibly the most engaging speaker I've ever heard. A real eye opener). 

Time to remortgage. 

sjw98 posted:

So... chaps...

I spent quite a few hours in my favourite hifi shop today demoing the devialet 120 (the cause of my consternation) against the Nac-n 272 + 250. 

The naim combo blew the devialet out of the water. I'm back with Naim

 

272 + 250 is double the cost of a devialet 120 then it should be so. For a honest  comparison a 120 should be compared to a SuperUniti. 

more convincing the test  between 220 and the 272/250 but considering the low volume listening, where the Devialet loses detail and warmth while Naim maintains a full and organic sound

I never listened Devialet so i can not comment about the sound ( no wait i listened Phantom just a single one - it is a glorified boombox that really rocks ) but i don't like the design, it looks like a fancy lifestyle product that will be so ugly in 10 years time, where the classics are always classic with their timeless industrial design my very, but very subjective opinion.... but i might consider a second hand 130 Devialet to my living room with my old speakers as a second system.... just to fancy the guests, or new uniti line... 

also looking at the list prices the Devialet 120 is about 6k€ vs 7k£,  is more like 5k£ vs 7k£... and you got a nice green screen as well. 

Appearance of boxes is a trivial consideration if they deliver the desired SQ, and to some, racks of industrial-looking black boes do not look attractive in a lounge.

The Devialets have the advantage of small occupied volume and sleekness, with a great remote. When next in the market for an amp (which might not be for decades!) I might be tempted to hear the 250 or 440 if secondhand prices are reasonable.

Innocent Bystander posted:

When next in the market for an amp (which might not be for decades!) I might be tempted to hear the 250 or 440 if secondhand prices are reasonable.

Looking at how Devialet have increased performance yet slashing prices - in decades " if still productive and successful" - you would be better off buying a new one.

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