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Nait-5, Nait-5i, Nait-5i-2

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September 20, 2010 10:05 PM

What are the primary differences between these three integrateds?

Nait-5, Nait-5i, Nait-5i-2

(Sorry if this has been covered previously. If you would be so kind as to point me to the thread I will leave you alone.)
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 12:33 AM

Nait5 can be upgraded with a power supply Flat/HI/Supercap ECT. and offers 30 or so watts and the Nait 5i or 5 italic offers no upgrade route appart from a Powerline but offers 50 watts.

The nait 5 with a flatcap2 is the better option if you want smooth sounds, late night low levels and wish to play records (it has a balance control)

The nait 5i or italic is the better amp for playing louder and only wish to have cds/digital or tuner playback ( they are without a balance control). The italic offers a front panel 3.5 mini jack for mp3 players and better heatsinking ( I think ) not sure how much better the italic sounds over the 5i as I have never listened to one.
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 12:56 AM

Hello Mr. Lawson,

Compared to the 5i and 5i-2, the Nait 5 is upgradeable with an external power supply, got more inputs to plug multiple sources, have an active preamp section, is able to power up a Naim phono stage, and boast 30 watts per channel instead of 50 for the Nait 5i and 5i-2.

At the time of the lauch of the Nait 5i, it was announced as a replacement option for the Nait 5. Simpler, cheaper, better, and closer to what people are after when looking for an integrated amp... and so was the encensed thought until the Supernait came out in 2006.

Now Naim got 3 integrated amps in its current catalog, and I'm not counting the all-in-ones of the Uniti family that are marvels for people looking for great music into a small package.

The last integrated of the trio is the Nait XS. In my view, it is the true replacement of the Nait 5. It's giving the same upgrade and expansion features, plus numberous extras and enhancements. It's in fact a complete redesign, based on the strong lines of what made the success of the Supernait.

The differences between the Nait 5i and 5i-2 are mostly internal ones. The 5i-2 (or italic i, it's two names for the same amp) is having a better thermal and coupling of the power output transistors, a bettered star earthing path, and an Ipod/MP3 input on the front fascia. Those two first improvements are said to improve the behavior of the amp when facing airborne radio interferences and higher operating temperatures. The first version (the 5i) was already very good at managing those points, but why not bettering them when you can. Smile

This resumes it well, I think. If you have any complementary questions, again, my pleasure it will be to oblige.

Bye.
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 2:35 AM

NAIT 5 (active) preamp:
  • electronic switching
  • buffered resistor ladder volume control
  • through-hole construction
  • fully isolated from power amp ("split")
  • six DIN-5 inputs (including powered phono input and three tape in/outs)

NAIT 5i(-2) (passive) preamp:
  • relay switching
  • passive potentiometer
  • surface-mount construction
  • +10dB makeup gain in power amp stage
  • four RCA phono inputs (two with DIN-5 inputs, one RCA tape out) with 1/8" priority mini-jack on NAIT5i-2

NAIT XS(-2) (active) preamp:
  • relay switching
  • time-aligned buffer before potentiometer
  • surface-mount construction
  • reduced output gain to accommodate modern digital sources
  • dedicated power supplies for microprocessor and relay switching (preamp use requires AC mains connection to function
  • six RCA / DIN-5 inputs (including powered phono input and two tape in/outs), 1/8" priority mini-jack on NAIT5i-2
  • remote in, RS-232 control option
  • subwoofer out, upgrade socket (analogue stages only) for FlatCap / HiCap

NAIT 5 power amp:
  • +24V preamp supply
  • quasi-complementary Class B circuit with 30WPC

NAIT 5i(-2) power amp:
  • complementary Class B circuit with 50WPC

NAIT XS(-2) power amp:
  • +24V preamp supply (analogue stages only)
  • quasi-complementary Class B circuit with 60WPC
  • separate transformer windings for each channel
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 4:59 AM

Thank you.
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:18 AM

quote:
NAIT 5i(-2) (passive) preamp:

David, why did you skip the first 5i?
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:30 AM

I think David has included both here, hence (-2) to denote the additional inclusion of the revised model.
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:31 AM

quote:
Nait-5, Nait-5i, Nait-5i-2


Comment on qualitative differences would be useful too Winker
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:31 AM

In my view, by far the best value in today's market is a good s/h (serviced) Nait 5.

Engelbert Winker
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 10:44 AM

Richard: The Uniti shares almost identical circuitry as the Nait-5i-2. Does that mean the Uniti's preamp is also passive?
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 11:40 AM

NaimUniti and UnitiQute both have preamp sections similar to NAIT XS(-2), but power amp sections similar to NAIT 5i(-2).

The primary difference is the digitally-controlled analog volume IC, rather than a potentiometer.
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 8:58 PM

Going of track slightly on this one,could someone offer what the difference is between a passive pre and a active pre, and what are the ups and downsides of each?
Thanks.
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:00 PM

^ Looks very on track to me but don't know the answers.

Chris
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:25 PM

Maze, each has advantages and also disadvantages.

A passive pre can give excellent transparency for little cost. However it needs to be used with an amp specifically designed to be matched with a passive pre-amp (usually employing a high gain stage on the input), otherwise performance can be a bit flat.

Active preamps are favoured by Naim but can cost a lot more, especially if you seek transparency over all else.

The Nait 5i employs a passive pre-amp mainly for reasons of cost. Instead the power amp section has a high gain stage at its input. When working to such a squeezed budget it was felt that this gave the best performance. The Nait 5i cost considerably less to build than its predecessor, the Nait 5, which had a full active pre-amp stage - and a rather sophisticated one at that! The Nait 5 should probably have been sold at a 30% premium to make economic sense for Naim - but it was felt the market wouldn't bear such an expensive 30w integrated amp, hence the "back to basics" Nait 5i was born as a replacement. And the 5i has been a HUGE success!
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:34 PM

Thanks for that,clears some fog regards pre amps.
I love my Nait5i/2 to my ears it represents true value pound for sound over all others in it's price bracket,every day I am suprised how good it sounds,it's key seems to be it's simplicity. I used to think what a boring looking amp. You truly can't judge a book by it's cover so to speak.
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:41 PM

I feel exactly the same way about my Nait 5i-2, Maze! Smile

I don't feel any urge or curiosity to try or buy any other amp.
It represents great vfm to me and I have no intension to change it in the next coming years or so.

cheers,
Alco
 
 
 
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September 21, 2010 9:54 PM

Alco,
yeah i know what you mean,my only concern is as I'm completely happy with my nait5i/2 where will I make system improvemnets? a better Dac maybe,but ndac seems too much of a upgrade for the 5i. Naim could do with making a less costy dac in the £1k region that would fit in with the 5 series.
 
 
 
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September 22, 2010 1:16 AM

The Nait-5i/5i-2 are excellent an capable amps. On a couple of occasions I've indicated they seem to be under-appreciated on this forum. Even though I have a 202/200, I still have my 5i and use it on a regular basis. I wouldn't hesitate to upgrade a 5i with better source components given an audition to validate the upgrade is meeting my expectations of where I want to go with the system. It is capable enough to show differences in source components and speakers. At one time I had a Nait-5 and regret that I had sold it.

It often seems like 5i owners come on the forum in a somewhat apologetic way because they don't have one of the "big kits". No need to feel that way. The 5i is a fine amp and can be the anchor of a really musical system.
 
 
 
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September 22, 2010 4:59 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Dane:
I think David has included both here, hence (-2) to denote the additional inclusion of the revised model.


Then, whats the same -2 for the XS? The different faces in a short span is considered two models also?
 
 
 
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September 22, 2010 6:09 AM

quote:
a better Dac maybe,but ndac seems too much of a upgrade for the 5i.

I think the 5i is good enough to show the quality of the ndac.
Well, we'll see... hopefull within a week or so I'll find out, as my Naim dealer comes to visit me and brings the nDac, to try within my system! Smile

quote:
Naim could do with making a less costy dac in the £1k region that would fit in with the 5 series

Agreed.
 
 
 
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September 22, 2010 3:00 PM

quote:
Originally posted by mfrancis:
The Nait-5i/5i-2 are excellent an capable amps. On a couple of occasions I've indicated they seem to be under-appreciated on this forum. Even though I have a 202/200, I still have my 5i and use it on a regular basis. I wouldn't hesitate to upgrade a 5i with better source components given an audition to validate the upgrade is meeting my expectations of where I want to go with the system. It is capable enough to show differences in source components and speakers. At one time I had a Nait-5 and regret that I had sold it.

It often seems like 5i owners come on the forum in a somewhat apologetic way because they don't have one of the "big kits". No need to feel that way. The 5i is a fine amp and can be the anchor of a really musical system.


I own a NaimUniti (very similar to Nait 5i-2) and fit your description of an apologists! I have to accept that my amplifier does have limitations compared with amplifiers higher up the rung and have doubts whether a better (read: more expensive source) would be justified and allow my system to sound better. I would be interested in you experiment with a better source like the nDAC.
 
 
 
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September 23, 2010 12:58 AM

Hi naimUnT,
I've been reading about dac's (that seem to come out daily) but have made no decision on any auditions. Maze may be another one to look to as he seems interested in some sort of upgrade for his 5i-2. When using my 5i in my system I currently use a CD5. I also have Jolida and Perreaux cd players and get excellent results with any of the 3 with the 5i.

My 5i is the first model not the 5i-2. Not sure if there is much in the way sonic differences between the two, but most comments on the forum these days seem to be about the 5i-2. Maybe someone who has heard both can comment. Hope this is helpful.
mfrancis
 
 
 
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September 23, 2010 1:29 AM

quote:
My 5i is the first model not the 5i-2. Not sure if there is much in the way sonic differences between the two, but most comments on the forum these days seem to be about the 5i-2. Maybe someone who has heard both can comment.


Yes, I too would like to hear any opinions on this.
 
 
 
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September 23, 2010 2:39 AM

quote:
Originally posted by mfrancis:
When using my 5i in my system I currently use a CD5. I also have Jolida and Perreaux cd players and get excellent results with any of the 3 with the 5i.

mfrancis


Thanks for sharing mfrancis! I don't think there are significant differences between the 5i iterations, very similar sonic signature. But, I was interested to read your observations that a good source (such as the CDPs) you mention sounded excellent through your 5i. I was hoping to try out a USB DAC (Tranquility) but hesitated because I always felt that I had to accept the 5i's limitations! Your sharing is certainly encouraging!
 
 
 
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September 23, 2010 10:26 AM

The 5i is easily able to differentiate between sources, as is the Nait2. Both my Naits show the huge difference between my CD5X and my CDS3!
 
 
 
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September 23, 2010 1:57 PM

quote:
I always felt that I had to accept the 5i's limitations!


quote:
The 5i is easily able to differentiate between sources, as is the Nait2. Both my Naits show the huge difference between my CD5X and my CDS3!


There you go. Don't discount the Naits, very capable amplifiers. If my 202/200 where gone I would have no problem living with my 5i. I have often thought about simplifying and getting a CDX2 to use with my 5i. I sometimes tire of all of the boxes and cables which is why I sometimes throw my 5i into the system for a different perspective. Sure, there differences in the capabilities between the systems, but once my brain acclimates, I think, my this 5i is really a good little amplifier. It's a keeper.
 
 
 
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September 23, 2010 6:35 PM

I've listened to both 5i's,though it was quite a time apart. I don't really remember much of a difference. I think i'm right in saying most of the changes are internal and the 3.5mm input on the front panel,which is of no use to me either way.
When I came to the 5i from a valve amp and £6k solid state amp due to credit crunch I thought I was taking a huge backward step,but no I think the credit crunch has done me a huge favour. Even if I could upgrade higher up the Naim ladder the 5i would be staying under my wing.
Years back I borrowed a nait 3 and didn't quite get the Naim sound back then,maybe system synergy or maybe just not ready at the time.
I did listen to the Nait XS which I did prefer but cost was the issue so chose the 5i and I love it,great.
 
 
 
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