Nat01 or Nat05

I am contemplating purchasing a tuner, which is likely to be my last given the expected switch off of FM in the uk at some unspecified point. I would like the last one to be a good one. A newish nat05 and a Nat01 are around the same price, any views on which to go for? Aesthetics don't come into it so sound quality only 

Best wishes


Original Post

SQ only is NAT-01 - zimples. 

However, you need to weigh up the following 

If you're really only interested in the quality that BBC R3 offer & the rest is neither here nor there &/or casual listening;   NAT-01 is the only one to go for,  if not I would go 05. 

Finding one is the problem,  you might get lucky but they are not 2 'a penny & if you do find one, has it been serviced at Naim.

If you want the best FM with NAT-01 you need a good aerial & best not too far away from the transmitter - fringe area's would better served by the more sensitive 05.    


Good luck, let us know how you get on



David, also there is  no 'switch off' of FM VHF transmissions in the UK, however there might be removal of the BBC national stations off the band to be replaced by local/regional stations only. Personally I think that is a long time away.. At least well into next decade, and possibly after the UK DAB network is technology upgraded... It's a bit creaking and long in the tooth at present.

I think politically the broadband not spots will need to be addressed first, and from what I was hearing yesterday that could be via subsidised satellite access.. which could be interesting.... Possibly from 2019.


Oh yes NAT01 is best in absolute terms, NAT05 certainly no slouch. I use the latter currently.





It's got to be an O1 for absolute sound its fabulous.Its got a smooth detailed unprocessed sort of sound.Its magical !

I haven't heard a 02 but have heard the 101 which is also bloody brilliant.You might be able to get a 02 or 101 for £500 so you could save the money for other upgrades elsewhere.

Good luck 

Cheers Ian

I've owned the 01 and the 05. The 01 is clearly better. But I would buy neither, I'd get an 02, which is pretty close to the 01 and comes in a single box. It's also appreciably cheaper. You absolutely need a good aerial on the roof to get the best from any of these tuners. 


Before reading this post I was listening to CD review on Radio 3, using the £300 FM module in my 272 and was reflecting on the astonishingly natural sound quality. It's a shame that the module is not standard, as I'm sure most people don't pay the extra and are thus missing out on the enjoyment that FM can bring. 


Anyway, back to the question: I'd suggest an 02. 

i bought a NAT 01 second hand 12 years ago and Naim serviced it around 4-5 years ago. It's in daily use but R3 is the only station its tuned to. Personally I would'nt use it to listen to local radio stations as there's way too much compression. It really comes into it's own with a live R3 broadcast. I use mine with a Chord Indigo mains lead and a HiLine. They need a fair signal to drive them into full quieting. I use a six element aerial  which does the trick. Ron Smith aerials are often cited as the aerial of choice but living in a country cottage I didn't want a rig the size of the house on my roof! NAT02s are excellent but if you can I'd go for the 01 every time. Displays can fade on the early ones and the tuning head is no longer made but that said, mine has never given any trouble over the years. As with all such things pull out the aerial during thunderstorms/ when away etc unless you fancy fried electronics! A certain auction site has a NAT02 and an 01. the NAT 01 normally goes for £900 to £1000 for mint examples. A well known Naim dealer in Hertfordshire seems to have Naim tuners in stock on a regular basis.

I am often praising the NAT01 on this forum. I honestly believe it to be one of Naim Audio's best ever source components. As Ravenswood says, a live broadcast on BBCR3 FM can sound spectacular through the NAT01. I purchased mine new from Grahams when I was living in London. There the signal was so good that I used just the 4 or 5 element yagi aerial which was already on the house. I then moved to Wiltshire and discovered how critical the aerial was to its performance. I ended up with a Ron Smith Galaxie 20, which is a monster! Having moved house again, fortunately I can get a great signal from just 17 elements with the aerial hanging in the loft space. It might be worth your while having an aerial survey done before choosing which tuner (and aerial).

It arrives tomorrow and is supplied by a reputable dealer with a warranty which gives some comfort as I haven't been able to test or see in the flesh.  I'll set it up and have a good play and report back but it will be nice to have access to the radio back which I lost when I sold my Qute 2.

My ownership has proven short lived at the device turned up in poor condition and with a distinct smell of smoke from the power supply!  Currently arranging for it to go back to the dealer and for a refund.  Have to say that this has put me off quite a bit and I may need to rethink my next purchase (providing there are no issues with my refund!)

Originally Posted by dayjay:

My ownership has proven short lived at the device turned up in poor condition and with a distinct smell of smoke from the power supply!  Currently arranging for it to go back to the dealer and for a refund.  Have to say that this has put me off quite a bit and I may need to rethink my next purchase (providing there are no issues with my refund!)

That's a shame - really shouldn't have happened as the unit should have been given a complete check before it was sent to you. Mine came from an excellent dealer and re-seller in St Albans so you might want to keep an eye on his stock going forward (let's hope yours didn't come from this source!). My late Olive NAT01 was sold as mint and indeed it was when it arrived all those years back.

Don't give up Dayjay.  Nat 01 is so much better than any alternative, if you have a perfect/good signal for BBC radio 3, that the quest is worth it. Live BBC 3 broadcasts are magic. 

It may be heresy, but I think that the Internet Radio route might be better than any other Naim tuner now. I can only access the BBC 3 128 stream (as Irish Resident), but via NDS it is pretty good. 

I have tried to get UPC to pay attention to the FM feed, without success. Anyone else in Ireland getting a good BBC 3 FM feed? .... Do tell !

Don't let that bad experience put you off. The NAT01 really is worth the wait. I have just had a look at 'completed listings' on the auction site we all love to hate and it would seem clear that they do come up reasonably frequently. Different styles too. Be patient and I'm sure you could find a good one.


Additionally, there's a Naim Audio dealer in St Albans who sells new and secondhand items who may be able to help. He even sold me a sealed-in-box Aro earlier this year!

Originally Posted by dayjay:

After scaring myself to death with the Nat 01, and after receiving my refund, I have ordered a new Nat 05 XS from my usual lovely dealer in Chester.  I've come to the conclusion that classic Naim is not for me!

I understand your concerns. Sometimes  


isn't always the best course of action. .

I don't think the Nat 05 Xs will let you down.

Congratulations David, I will be interested to hear your thoughts on it when it arrives and especially hope you get to hear it with a HiCap and to hear your thoughts as to weather or not it is a viable upgrade! 



regards Hilary  

Congratulations indeed. While on NDS/555DR and HD downloads most of the time, there is something with the NAT05 XS that keeps me away from streaming on my main system - input has been off and the Meicord Opal unplugged for three months now, but Classic NL, BBC3 or Klara are on every morning with the NAT before I get ready to go to work. Isn't it something? 

It is on dedicated FC2x, PL and HL. I sometimes wonder if I should go HCDR.


Chag -


Originally Posted by dayjay:

......... I have ordered a new Nat 05 XS from my usual lovely dealer in Chester.

Good choice, that said the 01, 101 & 02 are superb but do need a good aerial & signal to really shine, whereas the 05 is more sensitive & whilst it is better on a good aerial & signal it will probably do a better job with distant or low power local stations.  And as per The Strat,  mine is on pretty much all day & selectively during the evening when BBC R3 have something special.

Originally Posted by djh1697:
The NAT05XS cannot be powered via the hicap
Originally Posted by hilz:

I questioned Jason a couple of years ago,

about which tuner was best, his choice would be 

NAT05XS powered with a Hi Cap,

Or can it?


4.3 Power Supply Upgrades
The NAT05 XS can be upgraded through the addition of an external FlatCap or Hi-Cap power supply.


The external supply works with the internal power supply of the NAT05 XS to offer both a greater number of separate supplies and more sophisticated voltage regulation.


The upgrade power supply is connected to the NAT05 XS via a 240° five-pin DIN cable. Ensure that both the power supply and NAT05 XS are switched off when making connections. Remove the link plug and connect the supply cable ensuring that the connectors are securely attached. From their respective power switches, switch on the power supply followed by the NAT05 XS.


Diagram 7.2 illustrates the connection of an external power supply.

I scratched an itch a few years back with a NAT02 - lovely bit of kit. I'd still like to get my hands on a NAT101 even as a restoration project - No real interest in FM anymore but to me this is the most iconic of the naim tuners. Love the tuning display.





My Nat 05 XS arrived today courtesy of Acoustica in Chester.  All set up very easily and the radio playing nicely through my system.  Sounds good from the off and I'm looking forward to having a listen over the next couple of days.  I assume I'm ok to leave it switched on 24/7 like the rest of my kit?  Anyone know if there is any kind of running in period?

A week or two in and I couldn't be happier with this.  It's not as clear or as transparent as my mac/hugo but it has a lovely musical way to it that it quite addictive and its much better than I expected with local radio like Real XS that I listen to quite a lot.  Money well spent I think and another impresseive item I've bought from Naim.

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