Introducing myself

A bit late to the party but congratulations on your new role Charlie. I'd add to the many observations you've already had that, in a world increasingly run by a few large corporations and bean counters, your 'USP' and the thing that keeps people coming back for more is the raw emotion that Naim equipment can bring to music. There's a reason for the very large power supplies...

I'd suggest you might find it illuminating to read the threads concerning the most recent software updates for streamers, and the upset that forcing a change in sound on people had at the time. I know that for my humble Uniti2 I had the choice of the newer, thinner 'hifi' sound and the latest software fixes, or retaining the sound I preferred but missing out on some useful updates. I no longer listen to my system anywhere near as much as I used to with the latest update, as it has lost the 'punch' that the previous software code had.

This has meant I have also put on hold any thoughts of upgrading as I do not trust the more recent 'corporate' direction Naim seems to have gone in, and cannot afford to spend £k's on a product that no longer feels designed to last or be upgraded.

I still log in to the forum now and again, like tonight, and your appointment and delightfully human introduction has given me hope that the corporate 'rot' might be caught before it is too late.

I'll leave on a positive note - you have a world-class product and brand on your hands. These should be some of the most fulfilling years of your life as it appears that you genuinely enjoy music. I hope you enjoy them!

How does the saying go? "Opinions are like arse holes. Everyone's got one"

Welcome Charlie!

I understand you are one of several people with the power to steer and influence this great brand. So I don't see why you should not get creative. 

Clearly there is a lot of passionate brand advicates here. I may even be one. But I also know that whatever happens to Naim, the sun will come up and people will still enjoy music. The future's brighness is not measured by how close or far from the past we travel. Naim's success as a hifi brand is not necessarily rooted in the current way of doing things. I hear a lot of fear on this thread but the truth is Naim could be radically different in 10 years from now AND still be attractive to the original customer base and be better than ever.

I wish you all the success there is and hope you make the role your own.

Donkeyhaute posted:

Welcome, Charlie, and congratulations on what must be a dream role. As someone who has spent nearly 20 years in marketing (across a whole spectrum of industries), may I express a personal hope that you leave all of that knowledge at the door of your new office.

Naim does not require increased customer 'engagement', re-branding (again), logo updates, increased channels, 'content stickiness', KPIs, mission statements, vision statements, clickbait ad-buys, PR stunts, celebrity endorsements, marketing emails, magazines, Snapchat or YouTube accounts or anything even vaguely of that ilk.

Why?

Engagement = repetitively annoying a customer. I'm not 'engaged' with my supplier of lavatory paper. I'm barely engaged to my fiancee.

Re-branding = confusing a customer for no reason other than to have 'achieved' something.

Logo updates - pointless, it's already  'iconic'.

Increased channels = 14 years olds don't buy NAP250s. And, after Brexit, won't be able to until about 2065

KPIs - provide an excuse for conspicuous activity by middle management and utterly obscure the principle purpose.

Mission statements = lying to people who know that you're lying and, consequently, admire you less for it.

Vision statements = lying plus misunderstood Buddhism to mitigate the above.

Celebrity endorsements - maybe get Dmitry Medvedev?

HTML emails - these became spam in 2006.

I could go on but Dmitry would un-friend me on Snapchat and I value him as a deliciously irreverent content provider.

Naim works because it makes unique-sounding equipment and is resolutely un-modish. I'd get behind the long-standing employees and conspicuously value what they bring.

Those are the qualities that distinguish the company and ones that I encourage you to get behind.  

I wish you all the very best in those endeavours.

 

PS:  Focal speakers sound like a washing machine having a nervous breakdown in a train station.

Love and  smooches,

Terry Nutkins.

The best post of 2018 by a country mile and spot on.

Please no more 'reimagining of your music collection' and other marketing rubbish, such as the constant banging on about Bentley.

I realise that the clock can't be rolled back to the late 90s/early 2000s when Naim was at the top of its game (when the 552, 300 etc came out) but look at the Classic range as the bedrock and modernise it a bit by, for example, removing the record buttons.

Ray

Hi Charlie,

Well done on the new job and welcome. 

It seems you have inherited a company in transition and as always will get resistance which ever way you choose to take it.  As you know yourself as a longstanding fan of Naim Audio they are a company who have designed and made some world class amplifiers that divide opinion amongst hi-fi enthusiasts but have an extremely loyal fanbase it seems that in the search for more customers with the new uniti products Naim have managed to didvide opinion amongst even it's most loyal customers.

Only you as MD and your associates are party to the information that tells you wether the new units are a great success and wether or not you throw the full force of the company behind these 'lifestyle' products if that is the case and you keep Naim Audio growing and successful then well done.  As a fan of those great amplifiers perhaps you could oversee their continued support and perhaps even spare a few crumbs on the development of something that reflects that great history because as one of my all time heroes Bob Marley once sang ' In this great future you can't forget your past'.                                                                                                                                                       

Good points above  (though Terry’s post was a touch extreme in the cynicism department - I think most of us ignore bland marketing cliches now) but PLEASE DO NOT remove the record button.. it allows so much flexibility as a second preamp bus.. I use mine regularly... a real PLUS for Naim and a few other higher ends... so many others have removed this functionality at the to for many true audio enthusiasts... arguably with many streaming digital sources as well as analogue sources aggregating at the preamp now recording, as for me, is possibly more useful than it’s been for a long time... yes perhaps call it Record as opposed to Tape.. though when recording I use DAT.

Timmo, like Simon, I use the recording out functions on my Naim preamp quite a lot. It's very useful for recording an analogue source to a digital file for use on portables. And, of course, it allows the use of a Headphone amp, such as Naim's own Headline.  I would certainly miss it. 

Richard Dane posted:

Timmo, like Simon, I use the recording out functions on my Naim preamp quite a lot. It's very useful for recording an analogue source to a digital file for use on portables. And, of course, it allows the use of a Headphone amp, such as Naim's own Headline.  I would certainly miss it. 

Ah, that now makes sense. It was the ‘record’ term that was confusing me. Perhaps renaming might be a good idea?

Timmo1341 posted:
Richard Dane posted:

Timmo, like Simon, I use the recording out functions on my Naim preamp quite a lot. It's very useful for recording an analogue source to a digital file for use on portables. And, of course, it allows the use of a Headphone amp, such as Naim's own Headline.  I would certainly miss it. 

Ah, that now makes sense. It was the ‘record’ term that was confusing me. Perhaps renaming might be a good idea?

Perhaps Naim could pay a couple of grand for some marketing fartey called something improbable like Thad who wears designer glasses to 'reimagine' the name for the obsolete Record buttons.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Good points above  (though Terry’s post was a touch extreme in the cynicism department - I think most of us ignore bland marketing cliches now) but PLEASE DO NOT remove the record button.. it allows so much flexibility as a second preamp bus.. I use mine regularly... a real PLUS for Naim and a few other higher ends... so many others have removed this functionality at the to for many true audio enthusiasts... arguably with many streaming digital sources as well as analogue sources aggregating at the preamp now recording, as for me, is possibly more useful than it’s been for a long time... yes perhaps call it Record as opposed to Tape.. though when recording I use DAT.

Great post, not only clarifying the value of the Record/Output function but also putting the marketing in perspective, including Terry's comment.

I think what people here most dislike is precisely the "bland cliche" aspect: that it says nothing about Naim, doesn't embody its character or aspirations: in short, that it's bad branding. It could have been written about any high-end company.

Tony2011 posted:

Dear Charlie, 

Apologies for the direct approach, and for crashing this thread, but please make sure Naim Service Dept gets sorted as your first priority. Two months to change a streamer display is utterly unacceptable.

Kind regards,

Tony

 

 

Hi Tony,

It is absolutely a priority for me too. Work already underway,

Charlie

 

Hi Charlie ......... one thing on my Naim wish list .......... the wonderful 552 preamp ........ is great, however, not all of us will ever have a chance of owning the stellar S1...the 552 does have one weak link - the analogue wiper volume control..........it would be great if this area was updated with an S1 type digital ladder control .........  Finally a minor mod to the NAP500dr to allow the fitting of two power supplies..........would be good. More sales for you - more sound for us.....win win???

Richieroo posted:

Hi Charlie ......... one thing on my Naim wish list .......... the wonderful 552 preamp ........ is great, however, not all of us will ever have a chance of owning the stellar S1...the 552 does have one weak link - the analogue wiper volume control..........it would be great if this area was updated with an S1 type digital ladder control .........  Finally a minor mod to the NAP500dr to allow the fitting of two power supplies..........would be good. More sales for you - more sound for us.....win win???

As a 552 owner I have nothing against the excellent pot control. I have heard so many execrable amps with the digital control ladders and unfortunately once owned one.I'm sure it works just fine and dandy on the S1 and offers all sorts of benefits, but not sure they necessarily include sonic superiority.

When Naim developed the 500 they tried two power supplies and very definitely preferred it with one so never made it an option.

Re 500 I read an article about that too ... my understanding was that whilst you are correct ........ I think there were in their opinion some earthing issues that needed looking into ........ aka development work ....... so as a quick trial no - although some immediate positives were noticed.......... so possibly with some serious attention it may well work. I also seem to remember reading some guys in the states were running twin supply NAP500's.

In my experience wiper pots are inherently a little lossy. Years ago I built a Ben Duncan Passion ....... passive and it was amazing - but alas not really suitable for Naim. I think when Naim originally developed the 552 - it was so far ahead sonically - that it was felt not necessary - but i think things have moved on from there - the S1 demonstrates this....and Naim now have critical development knowledge....

Charlie Henderson posted:
Tony2011 posted:

Dear Charlie, 

Apologies for the direct approach, and for crashing this thread, but please make sure Naim Service Dept gets sorted as your first priority. Two months to change a streamer display is utterly unacceptable.

Kind regards,

Tony

 

 

Hi Tony,

It is absolutely a priority for me too. Work already underway,

Charlie

 

Hi Charlie,

Great  to know some improvements are already taking place.  I would like to personally thank you in advance for your friendly but still professional  approach to these changes. I want to take the opportunity to also extend my compliments and gratitude to Mark, Rob and the rest of the crew. 

Best wishes for  the future.

Tony

Congratulations Charlie.

We have been a huge fan of Naim since the early days and I joined the old threaded Naim forum in 1996 when Paul and JV were very active along with some fantastic members. We hope you have a lot of success, your people at Naim are probably your biggest asset and we wish you all the best in your journey at Naim.

regards 

Charlie,

you are brave to post on the site but I am glad you did so.  As everyone is giving unsolicited advice, I will sheepishly as well.  To my mind one of the reasons for Naim's success is their products' ability to command good prices on the 2nd hand market (that is, excluding source components).  This allows the Company's customers to exchange equipment to dealers for upgrades.  It also allows customers to own very expensive equipment with the peace of mind that they can sell and still have a good residual value if needed.  I recently sold a 250.2 and a Supercap which I owned since 2006 for about 65- 70% what I paid for them new (excluding VAT).   I think some reasons the resale value is so good on certain Naim equipment include: the dealer support and repair service; the conservative styling which does not date; long intervals btw model updates; the active Naim forum community and the upgradability of some of the equipment (for eg the DR upgrades).  Financially, I would not have been drawn into the Naim world, or climbed the Naim ladder without the good residual values of the equipment.  I imagine there are a number of other customers who made a similar calculation.  

As you mentioned, Charlie, that the NAIM support desk was a priority for you, I just thought I’d mention that the two calls I made for help (1 yesterday and the other today) got me excellent customer service. I was happy to get a quick solution to my problem in the first instance, and a clear explanation after a forensically focused conversation in the second.

 I’ll save the names of your two staff for the email feedback, but I guess you must have hit the ground running...

Hi Charlie and congratulations on your new job.

I am glad that the Naim service department is a priority because quite simply it's not good enough. I've had my Unitiserve, 30 months old, languishing in the Naim repair loop for the last eight weeks, unfortunately my dealer hasn't been as fortunate as Mike1951 and has had no luck contacting them over the last few days let alone get an update.

I'm sure you will agree room for improvement.

Hi Mike, thank you for your positive feedback!

Hi Glasnaim and Bob, thank you for flagging your issues. I've taken these and shared with the team so we can hopefully resolve quickly.

As I've said on here before this is an absolute priority for me and the team are working hard to improve customer service. Thanks to everyone for continuing to flag areas of concern 

Charlie

Charlie Henderson posted:

Hi Mike, thank you for your positive feedback!

Hi Glasnaim and Bob, thank you for flagging your issues. I've taken these and shared with the team so we can hopefully resolve quickly.

As I've said on here before this is an absolute priority for me and the team are working hard to improve customer service. Thanks to everyone for continuing to flag areas of concern 

Charlie

Thats good to hear. My dealer now has had a call from customer support, which is progress, thankyou. Unfortunately the first conversation was we have no record of this repair. Now this Unitiserve had been sitting in my dealer, at Naims request due to backlog/limited space, for a month from October 15th, sent as agreed to Naim 15th November. It was only after they searched around the factory  they found it !

I think you have a big task to turn this around, it's a shambles. All I know the is cost for repair, which is unspecified, is £340, under warranty. My dealer expects it back next week. That has amounted to two months to do nothing, why?

Currently I have two Naim systems but unlike others on the forum I perhaps have less brand loyalty and any more experiences like this I'm off.

Malcolm.

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