Naim, Mana acoustics history

Posted by: Sounsfaber on 11 January 2019

Hi, Iím interested in the pre-naim fraim history between the two brands. For those that can remember could you please fill me in on the  association. 

Did naim use mana racks at show or demos? Was naim sold at shops using mana as the best platform in the day. Did JV like mana or even use it in his own system. Did the boxes get listen to on mana at the factory in the listening tests.

Pls keep you personal love/hate mana opinion to yourself. 

Cheers

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Richard Dane

There was definitely Mana at the factory.  But there were also Base platforms, Hutter, Projekt, Archidee, and Audiotech. I may have forgotten one or two more. 

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Sounsfaber

Thank you Richard, anybody with more information please.

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by SamS

Sounsfaber - I think rather than Naim using Mana as a preferred rack it may have been the other way around, at least in the early days where Mana used Naim amps at shows etc. The original reference table was built for the LP12 and back then a Linn TT coupled with Naim amps were the epitome of 'flat earth' sound. Mana became the darling of the reviewing community in the early 90's many of whom used Naim amps, most notably Malcolm Stewart.

I bought my first Mana from Doug Brady Hi Fi in Covent Garden in 1992 for my CDS and PS - They didn't even have it set up in the shop and just handed me a couple of big boxes (not sure if they were in stock or had to be ordered). I seem to recall dealers having difficulty setting it up properly which eventually led to Mana doing most sales directly, which is how I bought all subsequent bits with the added advantage that one of the Mana chaps would deliver and help set it up in my flat.

The Mana room at shows at that time was usually a highlight, for me at least. There was really nothing quite like it. A stack of tables and soundframes under an LP12, and the same again for amps and CD player and the Linn Isobarics also on multiple soundframes. To give you an idea of the heights achieved, John Watson of Mana would be changing records at eye level, and he was not short. The sound was incredible - immediate, crisp leading edge, percussive slam and attack, and oh my could it go very, very loud and remain totally coherent - pretty much the zenith of flat earth.

I still use it as really can't see any reason to change and cerrtainly have no interest in auditioning racks. Also Fraim just won't fit where i need to to go.

Not sure how we can exchange email addresses on the forum - but if we can, and you are interested, I have a nice pdf of a brochure which must have been put out by Mana which has many of the reviews of the time.

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Obsydian

Ah the good old days (before the flame wars started), was a shame Damian left Mana, I think with the pair of them (JW), I think there may have been better sales success. 

Mana as I recall was on sold direct, well at least I bought mine all direct.

Shows wise I went to London show, JW had a Naim CDS and lava lamps. Looked ???? but sounded ????

Shame the way things ended I still rate Mana, when I sold up first time round (Naim and Mana) I missed my CDS2/52 and Mana the most.

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Sounsfaber

Hi Sam thank you, I would love to receive that PDF Iím unsure on how to send you my email address via the forum. I do not have Facebook so any ideas?

Adam, I have a bit of a mana madness going on in my pad, your pic is very much appreciated Iím sure your Wife is on board with you, it must of taken some time for you to get it setup . Just goes to show when itís done correctly it looks rather grand or even  sophisticated ????????

Obsydian ďLava lampsĒ is that old school code for another brand of rack? or just an place to put a box on? Or even lava lamps??????? Sorry for my ignorance. Youíre be happy to know my many phases of mana hold a cds2 and 52, 135 sl2. The more mana sound stages the better the mana affect. Jaw dropping,   particularly with good live like Eva Cassidyís  ď night birdĒ

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Peder

???? Adam Meredith,...I have written this before,..three up here in "our group" tested best floor-rack for LP12.

The Mana Acoustic Reference Table (on your picture above) was a clear and superior winner ????????????.

/Peder ????

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Jonas Olofsson

Had a special pair made for my SL2, still have them somewhere. Definitely an upgrade if you ask me. Maybe thatís why I use Sonority 3-level under my Titans...

//Jonas

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Peder

One in "our group" up here,..has recently talked a lot with "The Man Himself" Mr. John Watson.

Very interesting conversations,about installation and other advice from Mr. John Watson himself.

/Peder???? 

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Sounsfaber

Yes Peder, I too have had many email exchanges with John, he is a very interesting person who has a passion for audio. I never asked him about Naim Audio as I feel itís probably something to steer clear of , not sure why though.

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Sounsfaber
Adam Meredith posted:
Sounsfaber posted:

Adam, I have a bit of a mana madness going on in my pad, your pic is very much appreciated Iím sure your Wife is on board with you, it must of taken some time for you to get it setup .

This was the extent of my madness - the other (above) is from a clinical study of obsession. I found this excellent under a Linn LP12 - never had the equipment shelves.

Yes I know you were being funny, that was just my  puss take of humour on humour. In saying that I found with the cds2 that an extra table top for that  reference mana stand is a very nice addition. Well worth a play REALLY.

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Suzy Wong

On a more serious note though.......as they were mentioned by Obsydian......Ē lava lampsĒ, or rather bulbs for them - mini 30W spots with SES fixing.

Been searching for them in our local emporia......nary a sight of them....and advised by the lady in B&Q that if I ever found some, ďto buy a lifetimes worth, coz the world will be fully LED by next year!Ē    A very astute lady, methinks.

In the end, Mr Bezosís company came up with the goods.

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by SamClaus

I was told by the designer of the Audiophile Starbase system, a very nice gentleman, that that's what Naim used (along with other supports, I presume) before the Fraim was introduced.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Sounsfaber

So i take no real connection between naim and mana. JW didnít talk to JV  no collusion just mana worked well with olive and naim used a number of different branded racks at shows, where mana used naim most often than not. So mana lived on the back of Naim Audio correct?

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Steve2

I am sure that Mana were using Technics at the Bristol Hi Fi show that I attended back in the mid 90s.  They had those multiple platforms reaching half way to the ceiling.  Incidentally as I arrived just outside the hotel who should alight from a taxi slap bang in front of me but Robert Plant!  Not sure that he attended the show though.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by SamS
Sounsfaber posted:

......... So mana lived on the back of Naim Audio correct?

Not sure if I'd have phrased it quite like that but probably correct. Mana did very well selling to obsessive Naimees. I am sure they sold well to owners of other kit also but the Naim users seemed the most fervent. Things got out of control - see Adam's photo above. IIRC my original CDS had rubber feet and worked very well on Mana. I believe when Naim introduced the CDS2 it had metal feet which wasn't ideal for the Mana. i recall many posts on the old Mana forum extolling the virtues of  a sheet of fag paper under the metal feet to max out performance. This may have led to discussion of, "if one sheet is good then 2, or 3 or 4 might be better". Did I mention obsessive !!

If you want the pdf why don't you put your email up on your wall - suitably disguised of course with 'at' for @ etc., and I will send it off to you. You can then delete the email from the wall.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Richard Dane
SamS posted:

If you want the pdf why don't you put your email up on your wall - suitably disguised of course with 'at' for @ etc., and I will send it off to you. You can then delete the email from the wall.

Please don't.  This is unsafe and I have a duty of care to remove it. What not send it to Naim Audio (mark for my attention) and then I can send it on, should Sounsfaber wish it.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by SamS

OK Richard thanks for chiming in and helping out. I have done as you suggested and sent for your attention to the info@ address.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Sounsfaber

Thank you very much Richard. Pls send it Sam. 

Thanks and regards Steve

Posted on: 14 January 2019 by Chief Chirpa.

Google Mana Acoustics brochure.

yw

Posted on: 14 January 2019 by SamS

Thanks Chief - the first hit takes you to a nice glossy colour one. The one I have is different,  20 + pages of reviews only.

Posted on: 14 January 2019 by Chief Chirpa.

Ah ok, cool stuff.

My only exposure to Mana is through here, and then falling down a rabbit hole to their forum once or twice...Ö

Posted on: 14 January 2019 by Joolzdee
SamS posted:

Thanks Chief - the first hit takes you to a nice glossy colour one. The one I have is different,  20 + pages of reviews only.

Hi SamS

with your permission, please could I ask Richard to send me a copy?

Regards

 

Posted on: 14 January 2019 by Sounsfaber

Thank you Sam received ????????

Thank you Richard for your extra service ????

the reviews do reflect my experience with mana. ????????