Advice on possibly returning to Naim on the main system

I used to have a DAC/XPS/252/SCDR/300/Ovator 400 setup on 2 Fraims, but a decade ago I got fed up with the humming, the fussy interconnects (being disconnected by a then kitten squeezing in amongst them), and the size of all the boxes etc. so I sold the lot and got a Devialet 250 and a pair of Atom GT1 SE speakers on heavy Atacama stands 2x REL TZero subs. Last year I added a Vertere DG1 TT.

A recent acquisition of the Naim Uniti Atom HE for the office has got me wondering about a return to Naim. The Devialet has a different sound, particularly on digital sources (Mac mini Audirvana and streaming via Devialet’s proprietary AIR). A combination of sharp transients and background mids can get a bit blurred and the overall sound stage is flatter than I recall my Naim set up. The Devialet is probably best sounding with the new Vertere TT. So two distinct questions I I may?

  1. On the NC series is it possible to power the REL subs from the BMC outputs on the NSC222? Presumably the main speakers will be full pass and the low pass cut implemented on the subs? How does the NSC222 compare with the Atom HE? There’s quite a difference in price and I wouldn’t want to add a separate PS. I would use the New 250 to drive the speakers.

  2. I see that my old 252, even in the SC DR version is available really cheaply and widely compared with a decade ago. It makes it similar in cost to have a 252/ SCDR / 250 DR used with an Atom HE as a streamer/DAC to the 222/250NC - My guess is that it might have a better phono stage for my Vertere than the 222 or atom. Any thoughts? (looking at used prices so hard to get a demo on the used kit)

Thanks - Thinking I could sell on the Devialet and get either of the above. I’d like to keep my speakers/subs.
Tx Brendan

I can’t answer your questions, however don’t know if you are aware that there is, apparently, a difference in sound between the new classics and the old classics, and possibly between the letter and the Nait 50. You might like to try to get to hear the different ranges before committing to one or another and selling the Devialet.

Ok, I tried the Atom HE on the line in to the Devialet - so as close to using the Devialet as a power amp (zero gain) as you can get.
Definition quite similar, but the Naim has a much deeper sound stage, more presence on vocals, more ‘pace’ on rhythmic tracks and a deeper bass (no need for the subs). Seriously thinking now of getting a Naim 222 and 250 instead (I need the phono stage of the 222 for my deck). I’m sure the 250 will be better than using the Devialet this way.
Btw it’s rather confusing reading around if the HE has a phono input… I tried it and got nothing (remembered to activate it on the app), so presumably it doesn’t!

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The HE doesn’t have a phono stage.

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The HE is pretty light on the inputs; 1 line level via rca phono, 1 coax, 2 optical. So a phono stage into the line level is a possibility.

If you choose the 222/250 you would use the BNC outputs for the 250 and the RCAs for your subs. Either that or use a high level connection with the cables supplied by Rel, which may well give better results. Either way, the subs always receive a full range signal as they are designed to.

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Just got home and put Philip Glass on the Atom ‘ What’s that, it sounds bloody amazing?’ Says my wife…

Yes that was my first thought, find the right Naim setup and these can go.

Knowing Devialet and reading what you prefer with the Atom HE and wanting an analogue MM phono stage I’m positive this combination will be all you need, can you demo somewhere to be sure?

Devialet dealers here always sell Audioquest cable with it, so budget for some NACA5 also.

One thing to remember is that the HE digitises analogue inputs and converts them back again whilst the 222 keeps everything analogue. I would have thought the Vertere into the 222 would sound brilliant.


Mogami 3082 here. Definitely keeping that.

And I don’t think anyone has found any negative effect from doing that!

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Yes and of course on an all Linn system they digitize even a Klimax LP12.

This is a coaxial cable? It’s probably fine, but I’d double-check the electrical characteristics for use with a Naim power amp.

On paper that would be a pretty poor match for a Naim power amp, although it’s not entirely clear to what extent that applies to their more recent designs.

Thanks. It’s only 2 x 2.5m so I think I’ll just try it and see. I really dislike dealing with NACA5. It’s ugly and hard to get to lie neatly so it’s the first thing you look at in the lounge.

Yes, NACA5 can be awkward to handle. There are, however, other cables that are reasonably close in capacitance and inductance and that will still work well. Mogami 3082 is certainly not one of them, and the issue will be further exacerbated by using short lengths.
How much of a problem this is will depend on which Naim power amp you use.

Its going to be the latest NAP250

The official line from Naim, or at least what was posted here by designer Steve Sells, is that the New Classic amps can be used with any cables, although some people still seem to prefer the sound with longer ones.

In this case I would try your own cables and see if you can demo some NACA5 or similar and see what you prefer.

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