If you couldn't choose Naim, what brands would you shortlist for a system?

Michael_B. posted:
Dave J posted:
hungryhalibut posted:

I’d like to try a Vitus amplifier one day. According to their dealer it’s better than a 552/500 for less than half the price, but then they would say that wouldn’t they. The Linn Klimax DSM is another one - I asked a Linn/Naim dealer who said not to bother and that my 272/555 would be more enjoyable. I rather like the idea of Linn/Vitus nonetheless. 

Ha ha, silly dealer.

Quite the reverse in my opinion and to be commended for his honesty.

Not the Vitus bit, haven’t done that comparison. However “not to bother” with Linn Klimax is absurd. IMHO, of course.

I've known dealerships where one manager worshipped at the temple of Linn and the other at the temple of Naim. Depending on who was in on that day you'd get pushed hard in one direction or the other.

That said, I think it is pretty normal to think a system from your preferred brand X is better than a system at twice the price from brand Y that just doesn't strike your fancy. HiFi is highly subjective. Probably many people that love the Naim sound in their system hear other systems that cost more and think their's is more musical. By extension, those that left Naim feel the same about how their's sounds.

The dealer HH described just sounds human to me.

feeling_zen posted:

I've known dealerships where one manager worshipped at the temple of Linn and the other at the temple of Naim. Depending on who was in on that day you'd get pushed hard in one direction or the other.

That said, I think it is pretty normal to think a system from your preferred brand X is better than a system at twice the price from brand Y that just doesn't strike your fancy. HiFi is highly subjective. Probably many people that love the Naim sound in their system hear other systems that cost more and think their's is more musical. By extension, those that left Naim feel the same about how their's sounds.

The dealer HH described just sounds human to me.

I have too and it's a shame that personal bias gets in the way of sound (ha ha) advice. 

I expect my dealer to have built his product range based upon what he has found delivers a great sound at a range of price points. I also expect him to offer me a selection of items that meet my needs/tastes/budget and let me make my own mind by demonstration and loan. Feeding me a line of twaddle, irrespective of how inclined I may be towards one brand or another, does me no favours at all. I don't buy what he tells me to buy, I buy what I decide I like and prefer for myself.  There's nothing worse than being told something only to discover that the advice was totally wrong.  I'd seriously be considering another dealer.

Dave J posted:
feeling_zen posted:

I've known dealerships where one manager worshipped at the temple of Linn and the other at the temple of Naim. Depending on who was in on that day you'd get pushed hard in one direction or the other.

That said, I think it is pretty normal to think a system from your preferred brand X is better than a system at twice the price from brand Y that just doesn't strike your fancy. HiFi is highly subjective. Probably many people that love the Naim sound in their system hear other systems that cost more and think their's is more musical. By extension, those that left Naim feel the same about how their's sounds.

The dealer HH described just sounds human to me.

I have too and it's a shame that personal bias gets in the way of sound (ha ha) advice. 

I expect my dealer to have built his product range based upon what he has found delivers a great sound at a range of price points. I also expect him to offer me a selection of items that meet my needs/tastes/budget and let me make my own mind by demonstration and loan. Feeding me a line of twaddle, irrespective of how inclined I may be towards one brand or another, does me no favours at all. I don't buy what he tells me to buy, I buy what I decide I like and prefer for myself.  There's nothing worse than being told something only to discover that the advice was totally wrong.  I'd seriously be considering another dealer.

Except that, if a dealer knows my tastes, I'd take such a comment as helpful. Doesn't mean I wouldn't audition. Or find him right. The first dealer I went into ridiculed the amp I wanted to buy and set up an audition for me there and then. He was absolutely right. He had passionate knowledge of classical music and was a regular concertgoer and knew what the instruments sound like. The amplifier the mags had got me interested in simply couldn't hack it. 

🔹 FEELING_ZEN, DAVE J,....Unfortunately,the truth is also,that you can demonstrate in different ways the results you want.

I think many older people here,..Who has been with a while and gained experience know.
But less knowledgeable does not know this, and then falls into the merchant's hands.

We must unfortunately not forget,that when money is involved,there are traders who can be a little less serious....se only on the "LP12 Radikal Problem" thread,where there are still traders (and even Linn) who claim that it does not affect soundquality,that the Radikal-engine takes in the Trampoline foot 😵.

I myself have been scammed by such a demonstration in 1986,I should briefly tell you..

Had 1986 an LP12,Naim Nait and Linn Kan. Should Upgrade to pre and power amplifier (Nac 32.5 Nap 250).
Linn had just arrived with LK1 and LK2,..these were always plugged in and turned on in the store's demo room.

We first listened to Linn LK1, LK2......then Naim 32.5..250 was connected in.
The dealer immediately began playing on these,...cold and unheated 32.5.. 250.
Of course,..Linn LK1,LK2 played much better, so I bought Linn instead of Naim.
He may have used other tricks too,I don't know.

Today I know many such tricks myself.
I was not as knowledgeable 1986,as I was a few years later.

I can say that,when I a year later in Stockholm, could hear a LP12,Nac 32.5..NAP 250 with Linn Kan.....well then I was really damned,because it played incredibly much better than my Linn LK1,LK2.

The same trader,he has sold Linn since 1986 (then he ended with Naim).....has now started selling Naim Atom.
This Atom he demonstrates with Linn K200 speaker cable at 2m.
This speaker cable in a Naim Atom completely kills the music,it is clear that customers buy Linn Majik DSM instead.

Compare the Linn Majik DSM with the Linn K200 speaker cable,towards Naim Atom with Naca5 3, 5m,and the Naim Atom completely crushes Linn Majik DSM.
In addition,...Atom is € 700:- cheaper than Majik DSM here in Sweden.

One can of course speculate on why he does so,...probably because he earns more money if he gets to sell a Linn Majik DSM instead.

As I said at the beginning,there are many ways to demonstrate the differences on......and all are not serious.
Therefore,it is good with the forums,so more get the knowledge needed...before they invest their money.

/Peder 🙂

Michael_B. posted:

Except that, if a dealer knows my tastes, I'd take such a comment as helpful. Doesn't mean I wouldn't audition. Or find him right. The first dealer I went into ridiculed the amp I wanted to buy and set up an audition for me there and then. He was absolutely right. He had passionate knowledge of classical music and was a regular concertgoer and knew what the instruments sound like. The amplifier the mags had got me interested in simply couldn't hack it. 

The key thing there is that the dealer listened to you, and did a comparative demonstration to show you something was better (at least, that is what I think you meant happened) - just what a good dealer should do - however, if you had preferred the sound of your original choice having heard the two, hopefully he would have supported you in that. 

 

Dealer experiences can be good - and can be bad. A couple of years ago I was in London with most of a day to kill, andwhile walking along from the cancelled meeting I found myself passing a branch of a well-known and apparently usually well-regarded  hifi dealership. Now, at the time I was about to launch on a speaker search, so, though unplanned, with no gear or anything with me, on the spur of the moment I thought I’d pop in and if they weren’t busy see if I could do an off-the-cuff audition of a few, which even without anything as a baseline might help the process. 

Upon walking in, not another customer in sight nor music from anywhere out back, I inquired as to whether they had any other PMC models than the 20-24 and lower, and Fact 3 and lower that were in that part of the shop. ( I was interested in 20-26, F12, MB2, and  EB1). was asked about my system, and was told the 20-23 was plenty good enough for my needs, then, without even suggesting an audition,  he turned back to his paperwork. I didn’t disturb him again, nor ever will. 

Evlampi posted:

AC16161, what was your Naim kit, and what are your speakers?

Would you please compare the sound of the Vitus RI-101 to the Ri-100 and to the Naim you had?

 

Thank you!

It's still early days with the RI-101 as it only recently came back from Vitus and then I've been away for a while, so I'm looking forward to stretching its legs over the next few weeks. Historical comparisons may not be that accurate, but for what it's worth, the Naim rig I had was NDX, 282/hi-cap/NAPSC,  NAP 250 DR. I had some misgivings about taking it on due to the box count as I also have an AV receiver to accommodate, but I knew there was enough I liked about the Naim sound to give it a go. In the end, the box count/cabling proved too compromising for my room, and transformer noise was never resolved to my satisfaction. My dealer suggested I instead combine a Linn streamer with a Vitus amp. I already had positive experience with Linn streamers, but had no interest in Linn amplification having heard an Akurate power amp, one of the dullest/least involving demos ever (the NAP 250 is in a different league for fun and involvement). So I ended up switching to an Akurate DS streamer plus a Vitus RI-100, then had the chance to trade in the Akurate DS against a Katalyst Klimax DS, which is my current source. 

I would say that the KDS streamer and the Vitus amp partner each other beautifully, I think they play to each other's strengths. The RI-101 upgrade has brought a bigger and more dynamic sound compared to the RI-100 with dare I say it a sprinkling of Naim PRaT that was not there before. I would hesitate to compare back to the Naim setup as it was some while ago and so much has changed. I really enjoyed the Naim system while I had it, but the RI-101 offers great transparency, detail and scale in a one-box package. It is very unforgiving though on quality of source recording.

My speaker upgrade is still to be resolved. For many years I have run B&W 804s but they are totally out-classed by the rest of the system. I had an extensive home demo of Focal Sopra 2's and liked them in many ways, but have not decided yet. I may also try the Sopra 3's soon.

As I get to know the RI-101 better I'm happy to engage in discussion off-line if you'd like more feedback.

Thank you very much, AC16161!

I`m quite interested in the development of your system, since i have in mind an upgrade wether to 272/250DR or perhaps Vitus RI-101 + the internal DAC.

There are some people on the net accusing the old RI-100 of being slow and uninvolving, but everyone says the new RI-101 is a big step up - making it closer to the signature series.

 

When I was gainfully employed, and not a poor old destitute pensioner, I flirted at length with various examples of American exotica from the likes of Krell, ARC, CJ etc. before inadvertently discovering active Naim systems, so even if they've improved over the intervening years I have no desire to revisit them. An old work colleague, who I shared a mutual interest in music and hi-fi with, ended up with Vitus stuff (can't remember his particular models - they were all that uninteresting to my ears). I've preferred Chord for source componentry over Naim for a while (says an ex-CD555 owner). The ND555 may be different, but for the time being my Chord DAVE will do very nicely sir.

Amplification's a bit more tricky. I won't select a brand I've never heard before (how do you other folks find the time to listen to all this other kit? Don't you get pretty bored after a while, hearing inferior stuff?). Am I allowed to build my own (based on the old RCA - Naim topography, natch...)?

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