Naim with Linn

I had a good life.  I was bug free playing lots of music. Basic and magic system. Unity 2 with Powerline and Neat Motive SX2 with NACA5.  Synergy. Once set right in the room (which takes time and places) very enjoyable and foot tapping. Always can come for some more. Never fatiguing and always exciting. Record after a record.

And then I have got a Linn Klout and hooked it as a power switching off the power on Naim.

The mess has started. It is not an obvious upgrade. it is different but not better. I am switching back and forth.

Naim is more enjoyable, bass is better more body and structure. Vocals are better defined.

But.... Linn has something different. Turns out that not all records are foot tapping. Turns out that there are could be 2 lines within 1 song. The Klout boogies as crazy if needed and has slam. But not all the time. One can hear 2 different pedals when pressed on solo guitar. More nuances. Less flow. All of a sudden it takes more energy and attention to follow a record and it seems different. But I cannot entirely stop listening it. 

Unity has more emotion but Linn owns more honest view of the record. Not on all songs band is good and jamming. 

If bass quality of the Klout would be less cloudy I would probably stick to it. 

Could it be the sign of being old and probably has to be maintenanced?

Would be NAP200 twice better than Klout given the price difference?

In any case I must admit the the Unity 2 is a serious fun machine and stands on its own given the right elements connected.





Original Post

I run a nap 200 DR into Neat Motive SX2 with NACA5 using Naim streaming and CD via a 202 it sounds fantastic my friend has a Klout and Linn streamer which I've listened to a lot, I prefer the Naim, if you like the Naim sound I do not think you would be disapointed You 'll get more of that sound and better performance at lower volume I think.

Linn amps never did it for me. Clean and clear but uninvolving. Liked Kans back in the day, and of course own their record player. I think you need more exposure to each brand and settle on the one you prefer, especially if you plan to move up their respective upgrade paths. Getting it right now will save a lot of cash later should you change your mind.


Naim amps do low-level information better than most. Most other brands concentrate on cleaner high-level detail, but lose the low-level musical information is how I hear it. You decide which you prefer at the price-point. Naim make a different set of compromises at each price-point to maintain an overall musical integrity as they see it - you can make different priorities and get more high-level detail, but I hear it throws a lot away to get that.
I would not say the Naim is less honest if more music is enjoyable and that the other brand is revealing how poor some music is and that you need to limit your choices to less music.

With these things you choose with your heart and not your mind - what do you really enjoy listening to rather than what reveals more detail.


I would echo those thoughts. A week or so ago I heard the Linn £20k system of speakers with dac and amps in the base and their top level streamer demoed by Linn at my dealer. Very uninvolving, seemed to need the high res streaming to work at all, but that’s just me, maybe...Quite frankly I would have been happier with Atom and a pair of Russell K 50,s.


stuart.ashen posted:

Linn amps never did it for me. Clean and clear but uninvolving. Liked Kans back in the day, and of course own their record player. I think you need more exposure to each brand and settle on the one you prefer, especially if you plan to move up their respective upgrade paths. Getting it right now will save a lot of cash later should you change your mind.


I have been in Naim camp for last 15 years running different cd/amp combos starting with CD3/Nait3 and up there and thru both NaimUnitys. I always had 'weird" setups as running CD/Nait3 into a pair of JM Reynaud Twins speakers because could not settle for 100% with Naim sound. Comparing it to Linn it sounds now very fruity although very involving and emotional. I could never figure out either space or nuances in the recordings and blimey sometimes i really wanted it to. I guess it is up the ladder in Naim but i am not sure i want to go that road because it never ends. I think i can live happily with the Unity products especially seeing now what they are capable of.  But checking out the Akurate does not sound to me as  a bad idea although  i would not think of it a week ago. Thanks for replies, guys.

Example. I am playing Bill Evan’s “Turn out the stars” from Village Vanguard. Unity makes ‘perfect’ version of the event. Interplay between bass and Evans is very articulated. You get exact idea what it is about. But this is a simplified idea. Connecting Klout as power amp decreases piano/bass interaction to fewer moments but adds the drummer in who is brilliantly changing the rhymes also as you start hearing that it is actually life performance which is quite negligible by unity itself.  Unity’s version is polished and more exciting so to speak but Klout adds some edging and rawness to the event making less accents on bass/piano and kind of dissolving the connections making it more loose. When it needs to slam it does.

My only problem now with Klout that the bass is not articulated enough and I guess that it is either problem of the interconnect or the standard power cable it came with.  How else can it be?  


Or you want more than either deliver - welcome to the dreaded upgrade train if you are not careful!

As I said earlier, every manufacturer cuts their own compromise for the price constraint that keeps what they think are the essentials of their concept of musical delivery. You then will figure as you ascend the manufacturer's hierarchy of price-points you get more musical components and at some point decide you have enough for where you are with your life, musical interests and finances. That is certainly how I hear it work with Naim and you probably want a step-up on the Unity that retains the good things that it does.

Another manufacturer will have their way they hear how music should be presented and their own conceptions on the engineering required to get there - you go listen and decide if it does what you want and hopefully buy what you like and are happy for at least a good long while.

But the human mind-ear-brain system does not work only through the clear immediate intellect, but you also perceive into your subconscious mind and self and that is where most of the enjoyment of music is for some of us - that we don't really understand why we enjoy some stuff immediately, but we still do. And we also begin to miss things that were not obvious as important before when we buy something we have determined was 'better', but in fact is lacking somewhere.

You seem to be wanting the best of both systems you describe, so may have to either convince yourself one is better - which is self-deception that won't last long, or have a listen to some things a little higher-up the hierarchy to see if you get enough more to be happy and stop.


JohnL posted:

I heard a full on Linn 350 active system at a dealer recently and both my wife and myself were totally unimpressed (my wife..."good grief, how much ??"), to our ears, not a patch on our active 250's into SL2's

Phew, thats a relief, I had the same impression when I heard them a while back,  I was reluctant to say much as it was only a casual listen as they were already playing;  I started to doubt my hearing  or maybe it was the way the dealer had set them up.   Yes they are good as in they sound nice,  but £50k for just 'nice' was a disappointment & I really was expecting more.   Whatever, I was not at the dealer to listen to Linn so nothing lost.  

I think to a significant extent this is a matter of personal taste and what one gets used to. The Linn dealer to whom I have always taken my LP12 for upgrades and servicing is a "full on" Linn dealer (though does keep Naim in stock) and uses Linn kit for demoing. I've listened to mid/high level set ups on many auditions of various LP12 upgrades and would probably be quite happy to live with Linn - but I always like to get home to my 52/SC/135/S20 set up, it just seems to have more of the boogie factor. I often wonder if I would  feel the same way after a 552/300 demo