Naim Nait 2

Hi, blown away by this little amplifier...

Has a bounce, an energy which is hugely infectious. Really makes me want to stay listening waaay beyond my bedtime 

Can forum advise closest sound to this in a more powerful amp with remote control facility for volume? This thing is amazing! Has a love of life/music I've not heard before 

Just wish it went louder., or is that the Naim upgrade spiral I've heard of.. ?

Original Post

The Nait 5SI is an obvious choice from Naim's current offerings. Has a remote, good energy and bounce, and at 60 W should go louder with better command. That said, there is a certain magic to the Nait 2 many here wouldn't trade for a modern Naim integrated. The Nait 3 had a remote option but the Nait 2 seems more beloved for its pure musicality and involvement.

When the NAIT5i was being developed at the factory one of the benchmarks for the final tuning was the NAIT2, a late Olive version being kept under lock and key for just such purposes. 

It was fascinating to compare the two. The 5i certainly had more muscle and could play louder before the sound started to fall apart, and did capture a good deal of the NAIT spirit, and it just got better with the development to italic status. But, within its power limits, the NAIT2 could engage in a way that was very rare and hard to match. 

Richard has nailed it. The original NAIT and the '2' have a unique sound which is replicated by no other later generation NAIT. If the '2' produces enough steam for your loudspeakers and requirements, think very carefully before changing it for a later model NAIT.

Service history? Is it working to spec?

John.

I've always had a fascination with the old Naits - there is something i still prize in a simple little half width box unsullied by the need for extra upgrades. I remember years ago the fine sounds being made by a friends system (Marantz CD52SE, Nait 2 (olive) and Rega Ela speakers). I went straight to a 42.5 / 140 my local dealer had for sale so passed on the Nait option at the time 

I'm not sure whether Photobucket will still allow it, but here's my CB NAIT 2 together with my early NAIT.  The NAIT 2 had a total rebuild at the factory a few years back and the NAIT has now also just returned from a service there.  The 2 does great service in the bedroom with a pair of n-Sats.

I also have held onto my Nait 2 which I bought new when I lived in Belfast in the late 1980's.  I still remember auditioning amps in Lyric Hi-Fi, others sounding more lively, with this and that, but the little Nait kept pulling me back with its pure musicality.  Mine now resides in the bedroom and note to self - I really must arrange for it to be returned to Naim for a very long overdue refresh.  It certainly doesn't have a lot of power, but well worth hunting down speakers which are easy to drive before looking to change the amp!

Peter

Daft Apeth posted:

Hi, blown away by this little amplifier...

Has a bounce, an energy which is hugely infectious. Really makes me want to stay listening waaay beyond my bedtime 

Can forum advise closest sound to this in a more powerful amp with remote control facility for volume? This thing is amazing! Has a love of life/music I've not heard before 

Just wish it went louder., or is that the Naim upgrade spiral I've heard of.. ?

Having had 3 Nait 2s (2 CBs) over the years I have recently sold my Nait 2. I previously had a UQ1 and then a SU and then a UQ2 (six was important) but was getting frustrated by the limited choices/problems I was having regarding streaming... And then came along AURALiC's Aries Mini and I returned to a Nait 2. I was very happy for a few years but I had niggles (as all people do in this hobby/pursuit). Wanted Naim to produce a clever shoebox amplifier sans streamer but with a little more power.

And so it was that I returned to my second make of amp after Quad, Exposure. The Exposure XM5. This is what I wanted from Naim. Nevermind.

 

Naimless.

 

Richard Dane posted:

When the NAIT5i was being developed at the factory one of the benchmarks for the final tuning was the NAIT2, a late Olive version being kept under lock and key for just such purposes. 

It was fascinating to compare the two. The 5i certainly had more muscle and could play louder before the sound started to fall apart, and did capture a good deal of the NAIT spirit, and it just got better with the development to italic status. But, within its power limits, the NAIT2 could engage in a way that was very rare and hard to match. 

Ok - so what did it take to beat a Nait 2 in terms of that engagement...... ? Hope the separates got there?

Analog, there are never absolutes or black and whites in this game and to say one amp "beats" another is just not possible outside of a particular context -  the separates are ahead of the NAITs in just about any quantifiable hifi way - bandwidth, dynamics, detail, scale, you name it.. - but engagement is slightly different than just your usual hifi stuff.  I'm useless at describing this kind of thing without taking notes and then, what's the point?  

All I can say is that the NAIT and NAIT 2 are lovely things and really enjoyable to listen to within their limits.  They look really cool too, they can still be serviced and repaired by their maker, and they're built to last a lifetime.  It is no wonder that they are desirable and perhaps covetable, even after 40+ years.  You should try one.  You might rather like it.

Richard Dane posted:

All I can say is that the NAIT and NAIT 2 are lovely things and really enjoyable to listen to within their limits.  They look really cool too, they can still be serviced and repaired by their maker, and they're built to last a lifetime.  It is no wonder that they are desirable and perhaps covetable, even after 40+ years.  You should try one.  You might rather like it.

Didn't really need one but always wanted one. A mint, serviced example came up recently so here she is...

cat345 posted:

I take my little Nait out for a snif of fresh air every year at harvest time  

This reminds me of some of the early Naim advertisement posters.

Where do Naits come from? They are grown in a magic garden, and hand picked by Druids when perfectly ripe!

Alrighty... not just me, then. Good to hear! This thing just sounds so "right" somehow. Hard to explain but everything I chuck at it just sounds so enjoyable and compelling. Maybe Naim's finest moment?

ps.. not a novice. Heard many Naim systems but few carry a groove like this little dynamo. Good times ��

Daft Apeth posted:

Alrighty... not just me, then. Good to hear! This thing just sounds so "right" somehow. Hard to explain but everything I chuck at it just sounds so enjoyable and compelling. Maybe Naim's finest moment?

ps.. not a novice. Heard many Naim systems but few carry a groove like this little dynamo. Good times ��

Oh dear wish I hadn't read that.

i really must try one asap

I succumbed to the urge and bought a CB Nait 2 for a study system a few years ago, and had it serviced at Class A. It is indeed a very enjoyable listen and makes you realise that for the pure enjoyment of music it is all that is required with a decent source and appropriate speakers. The living room rig is much more immersive, nuanced, loud, detailed etc., and I happily enjoy the qualities of both.

At around the time I purchased the Nait I also picked up a couple of other British integrated amps from the period. An Onix OA21s which I had serviced and use in the kitchen and an Inca Tech Claymore, which was just too cheap to pass up.   I occasionally swap the Nait and Claymore and despite the Claymore having had no service - it really is no slouch and gives an equally enjoyable performance.  A bit more power and a headphone socket make it a real used bargain - and some have MM and MC capability, although mine is only MM.

There was something magical in the water in the 80's for British integrateds - Other examples from Exposure, NVA, Nytech etc. are also worthy if the budget doesn't stretch to the top of the tree Nait.

Yes, the Onix OA21 was nice, as was the Exposure X, which was a relatively sophisticated design, if more costly than the NAIT.  The Creek 4040 was really enjoyable, at a relative bargain price.  I never fell in love with the two Claymores I tried, or the Magnum IA125, which seems a bit bright and disjointed. But in some ways, best of the bunch was the Ion Obelisk 3x, albeit it was two shoeboxes as it required the matching X-Pak power supply.  The standard one-box Obelisk 3 was good, albeit a fair way behind the 3x (showed that separating the transformer from the amp stages was a very good thing), and wasn't that much different to the Obelisk 2.  The Obelisk 1 was comparatively lacklustre, but of course a lot cheaper than its bigger brothers and so probably competitive with the better entry level amps of the day. The 3x + x-Pak is a really grown up sounding amp - First thing that strikes you is how seemingly quiet it is - this is possibly what reviewers refer to as "music emerging from an inky blackness" - at least that's the closest I can think they are referring to!!  Personally, I'm useless as describing this stuff, particularly with the distance of passing time, but IIRC it had great scale and with a dark but rich sound that is quite a contrast to something like the NAIT but maybe just as valid.  

Cheers all - an RCA to DIN cable arrived on my desk this morning so i should be able to connect it up tonight and have a play.

Not sure what i'm going to do with it longer term yet but for the next few weeks i'll slot it into my main system, use the Devialet as a DAC and go from there. Having it just sat in my rack reminded me how cool the CB stuff actually looks. 

Now if i could just find a minty NAT101 

analogmusic posted:
Daft Apeth posted:

Alrighty... not just me, then. Good to hear! This thing just sounds so "right" somehow. Hard to explain but everything I chuck at it just sounds so enjoyable and compelling. Maybe Naim's finest moment?

ps.. not a novice. Heard many Naim systems but few carry a groove like this little dynamo. Good times ��

Oh dear wish I hadn't read that.

i really must try one asap

With quite demanding Dynaudio speakers, which I assume you use, early Naits are not a real good match for hearing their strenghts

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