Naim Star vs Exposure 2010s2

hi,

i’m new To the forum and to the Naim products but in the last time looking for a more compact solution I ended up in Plato and then in Naim Star.

i’m quite satisfied by my current System Exposure 2010s2 + Neat Motive 2 but I’m looking for a compact system without loosing the current sound quality hence I’m evaluating the Star with Iota Alpha speakers. 

The change will be pretty expensive but I wonder if I’ll loose or gain something on the sound point of view (for sure I’ll gain the streaming part).

do you have any view or suggestion?

thanks

Original Post

I've had home for demo or owned the Nait 5si, Nait XS, and SN2. I've also home demo'd the Exposure 2010's bigger brother, the 3010RS. The thing I most enjoyed about the Exposure was it's sweet top-end. Shimmering cymbals and high frequencies flowing with no hint of stridency. The Exposure was completely inoffensive and something I could listen to all day long. The downside was Exposure never pulled me into the music or fully engaged me. Although the 3010 is rated at 110-watts, I felt the SN2's 80-watts had superior grip and command of my speakers, notably on the woofers. The Exposure bass was quite sluggish in comparison.

Generalizing the three Naim integrateds versus the lone Exposure, I'd say you'll get faster bass, a slightly more forward mid-range, and a more rolled-off top end with Naim. What you gain with Naim is musicality, engagement, speed and truer stated power.

I realize this is lateral experience with Naim and Exposure amplification to your stated gear choices, but hope it gives you something to focus on when comparing the two.

@caolino70, reading through your OP again I see you're contemplating changing both integrated and speakers. Hard to evaluate the true contribution of one component over the other when doing that. Ideally get home the Star for demo with your current speakers. No reason your Neat Motive 2 won't pair well with the Star. Or maybe the Iota Alpha pair with your existing Exposure? Either way, a bit of legwork could save you some money in the long run and leave you with more to spend on new music.

I concur with joerand about Exposure. like cheese on toast. Nothing wrong with it and ultimately satisfying, but doesn't really engage all your senses.

I haven't heard the Star, but I'm sure Naim would ensure all it's products meet their strict house sound policy.

Try the 16 dual regulated monoblocks......I had a pair for 6 years and sold them to a guy who’d sold his and regretted it.....I had that awful moment of doubt feeling when he left with them. Fab amps, rare as hen’s teeth and custom made by John Farlowe and they weighed a ton

caolino70 posted:

Thanks for all the comments and I understand the difficult question. Related to the Star do you think that the sound quality is the same as the other Naim separate hifi components. In the old school: bigger and separate are better?

I am biased but I love the Star. To me it sounds more like the Naim XS-2 I had. Previously I had 5i and Uniti2 which sounded more similar to one another I felt. However moving from the Uniti2 to the Star was like being reintroduced to HiFi again. 

I bought the Star home a week ago and I'm very happy with it. I replaces the ND5 and a Rega Apollo CDP so just one box.  Ripping is so much easier and tho I need to wait to get the RIP mode, often I walk away and 20 minutes later  I see my mistake.  Using the app has been a little stressful figuring out how to  do things like changing metadata and album images.  The sound is wonderful, tho I'm powering it thru a Herron amp system.  Speakers are Harbeth HLS 5.  I have Peter Gabriels UP playing right now.

I'm confused by your response and where you now stand with Exposure. Why the concern with volume regulation? I'm an integrated guy for practical reasons of reduced power cords, cabling and rack space, but wouldn't hesitate to doubt the superiority of separates. If the end-result fits your sonic needs, why be concerned with internal build aspects or related hype?

You are right i’m confused :-)

i’d like  to go for an all-in-one but I’m afraid to have some draw backs in sound quality vs my exposure that is separates and fully analog.

i don’t have the possibility to demo the system in my house so it’s difficult to decide only listening in the shop.

thanks

caolino70 posted:

You are right i’m confused :-)

i’d like  to go for an all-in-one but I’m afraid to have some draw backs in sound quality vs my exposure that is separates and fully analog.

i don’t have the possibility to demo the system in my house so it’s difficult to decide only listening in the shop.

thanks

If you like what you hear in the shop, buy it and try it at home. Many audio dealers have a 14 day or 30 day return window. 

What Exposure stuff do you have now - there are quite a few 2010S2 boxes. My instinct is that if you already have concerns about the swap, you shouldn’t do it. It’s a big decision, and ideally you’d try it at home for a few days before deciding. And why change the speakers - the Motive 2 is already tiny?

@Calla501 in Italy we don’t have this smart service so it’s only in the shop and then buy

@hungryhalibut I have 2010s2 bought at the end of 2012. It’s a principle doubt due to the uniti vs “real” hifi that are separated.

for the Motive 2, I need to go smaller and also there I do hope to don’t loose sound quality. In the shop they sounds good ideally I like mid-high clarity more than deeper bass and the seller told me that the new tweeter will be better.

 

The Naim all in ones are very good and do have the  Naim family sound. If you want a single box that will play CDs, stream and play internet radio, the Star would be ideal. If you want the Naim equivalent of what you have now, the CD5xs and Nait XS are the boxes to look at. 

hungryhalibut posted:

The Naim all in ones are very good and do have the  Naim family sound. If you want a single box that will play CDs, stream and play internet radio, the Star would be ideal. If you want the Naim equivalent of what you have now, the CD5xs and Nait XS are the boxes to look at. 

Cd5xs and the Nait XS would be a big upgrade over the 2010s's. Naims 5i series are more in line.  Exposure 3010s are more like the XS line.

Perhaps the Core with Atom might be "separate" enough, more space saving if stacked upon each other than the Star.

Iota Alpha are visually smaller than Motive 2

Both need space and do not work well right up against boundaries in compact places, so perhaps no good idea getting the Alpha's even they are better ?

In my book Naim cd and amp are better than Exposure 2010 range, but I am a fan of the old Exposure Farlowe kit which I think was quite good, now a bit old. The 2010 range never amazed me. Other people tend to prefer 3010 against Naim amp so a listen yourself is the only answer.

No idea what budget or if you can buy s/h amp, first generation XS sometime available for the price of a new 5Si amp. Both are really great.

Personally I would stick to dedicated amps and have your choice of source in another box, streaming and Dac's development goes fast these years and yesterdays all-in-one may be old hat tomorrow.

 

I finally manage to have demo a session at home with the Atom and 2 different pairs of neat Motive 2 (mine) and Iota Alpha.

first quick reflections:

power: tha Exposure it’s 2x the atom but as sound quality I found the atom more reach with my speakers in term of dynamic. Rising the volume Exposure it’s a beast!!

Related to speakers the Iota Alpha sound relatively good but not yet comparable to Motive 2. If you consider the size they are very good.

i’ll continue my sessions during the wke

As others have said, it’s worth having demo to find out if the Star is for you with your current speakers to get a handle on It’s sound signature and if it’s for you.

i also went from separates in an SN2, chord dac, streamer, Rega deck etc to a Uniti Nova & a lesser Rega deck without a proper full demo. As I have a very good relationship/friendship with my dealer there’s an understanding of what I like and it was suggested to prevent my continual box swapping.

I couldn’t be more happier with my choice and really enjoy music, less cables, plugs etc, a simple three box system Nova, phono stage & turntable I now rarely use.

 

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