500 series owners, what would you do

This has been a fun read. I have been on sort of a quest to minimize and every time I try, I end up staying put. My last attempt was to eliminate six boxes (ND555, 552, and Superline; with respective power supplies). I tried the Next Generation Klimax DSM connected directly to the NAP 500. Don’t get me wrong, it sounded nice, very detailed, but just did not have the sound of the ND555 with a 552.

I also tried a Bartok directly to the 500, not even close to the 555/552 sound.

It seemed like the sound sat a bit behind the speakers. I think I’m set with the 500 system I have. If Naim came out with a superintegrated, I’d love to hear it but but honestly I should just be satisfied and grateful for what I have. I’ve climbed the ladder from a 202/200 to this and love it!

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I had no idea I was going to make the move until about 2 weeks ago. The opportunity came up and I took it. I figured it was only a matter of time before Naim changed the 500 series and then my trade in value would be drastically reduced.

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Interesting to hear that, this was certainly the opinion I had been given, the cost should certainly drive high standards of support!

Should but who knows. Anyhow, if buying through a dealer, let the dealer have the hassle if the need ever occurs.

How many people base their decisions (HiFi) on potential aftercare from the manufacturer? I suspect all decisions are based on performance and reliance on the dealer.

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If I received a cheque for the price of new then I most likely be straight back out on the 2nd hand market and buy the same again with a lot of change left over for a holiday and more records.

I bought nearly all my 500 kit 2nd hand with the 552 some 15 years ago and it’s been pretty much bulletproof with just servicing every 12 years or so.

The price I paid for my NAC552, NAP500DR and ND555 would equal the cost of a new 552DR today.

It’s been a privilege to own 500 series that has brought so much joy that I never think about wanting anymore. I will one day downgrade if the dusting gets too much or my back gives up on the occasional 500 move.

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I think the measuring units quoted are mixed up…should they not be in millimetres? Just to stop any confusion.

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I’m kinda sure you could have had an in-home demo.

And I’m looking forward to your review of what you hear!

Yet David Hume could out-consume him.

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I’m sure I could have asked for one, but I didn’t. The great thing about being 65 is that my hearing is terrible anyway, ironic isn’t it. When I was younger with great hearing I couldn’t afford to even pay attention. I will post my review.

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Indeed and I will be careful with what I write for legal reasons (my wife is a litigation lawyer so I have been advised more than once in this area). I owned a Level 5 AN system which developed numerous faults over a two year period and I saw the machinations of the company from within. I have no axe to grind, but hand on heart, I can’t recommend buying their equipment. But it’s your “call” at the end of the day.

Naim and especially Chord Cables as companies are the polar opposite IME and are the two best that I’ve dealt with customer service wise. Also their quality control testing is rigorous, one of the reasons why their products are so reliable IMO/E. I’ve also had the pleasure of dealing with Jason Gould at Naim and Alan Gibbs at Chord. Both top men!!

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It’s an interesting question as to how to replace a CD555 (2xPS) on a ~ like-4-like basis nowadays which, doubtless, would cost serious coin. Out of interest, have you heard an AN CD player?

Reason I ask is that I see their 5-numbered kit is Class A and many years ago I heard a AR valve CD player. The presentation was very different to a CD555, being far smoother and had a mid-range biased letterbox presentation. Great for detail and rich vocals, not so great for PRaT.

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I came back to Naim based on the quality of the support, having had a few letdowns with well regarded equipment US kit that wasn’t easy to service here in the UK. It turns out I could enjoy the performance of lots of equipment, but if there’s a problem sometimes when even well-meaning distributors don’t have the resources to help and they’re not keen to ship it half way across the world to get it properly looked at. My dealer, oft mentioned in these parts, tried everything to get a repair for me when a large amp would continually switch itself into standby and was really let down by the distributor and I believe my case effectively ended their business relationship.
I’ve had Naim on and off for 30 years now and never had an issue with servicing or service quality. I realise that’s partly because I’m UK-based, but I decided that it was best for me overall.

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Hi there, no not personally heard an AN player, I know all have tubes, my amp is Class A up to 12.5 watts which should mean that is what I am mostly hearing, this combination with the CD555 does give me the balance I am looking. I really don’t like anything overly critical in presentation so AN came into my thinking, I know the Rega Isis seems to have mixed views, hoping this is something a way off! I believe from a future parts need, AN are in a good position as tend to buy big in that respect.

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I’m using AN products as analog source to my Naim500 system. If my AN TT2+ AN M1 RIAA phono stage & power supply could be said to represent the sonical character of Audio Note gears, then yes they’re so far away from being “analitical”. I find them to be a good balance with my 500 system.

Having said that, trying them with your system is still very important. Once, just for the sake of trying it, I connected the digital signal from my ND555 to a high grade AN DAC 4.1x and connected it back to my system through th2 552. Unexpectedly, the result sounded “thin tho’ lean” to me, which I guess that’s what people would call it “analitical”.
I suspect it’s more having to do with the some “incompatibility of character” between the streaming board at Naim ND555 with AN DAC.

The result could be very different if the source is another digital source of AN too, like their AN CD transport.

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Sorry don’t understand…

Monty Python reference

Hi There
Does your post imply you tried the 350s over the 500Dr
Thanks
Steve

When that happened to me ,I bought a lesser Naim system and put the balance to a burglar alarm.

Later I moved to a very anonymous flat .

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I agree about multiple boxes. I have 4 power supplies in my 500 system. I have another room I would like to instal the system but the room won’t accommodate all the boxes. I suspect I would make different choices now

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Interesting feedback, I have watched a few videos via a well known channel from AudioNote and I understand the reason they never built a streamer was in their belief that Red Book CD was still the best Digital Source when done well. I know their CD players aim to keep that analogue sound, doing away with unnecessary filtering. Definitely keen to hear one at some stage, I am pretty sure there was talk of a belt driven CD player being developed so you never know in the future. For now, with the addition of PMC Fact 12’s my whole system has just jumped another level, now fully hearing what the CD555 and its power supplies can do, thank you for your comments :slightly_smiling_face:

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