Been lost in Naim's vintage items hierarchy

I’ve been a very happy naimist for quite some time now (10 years or so i think) and would never look back again because i’m so happy since I dived into the Naim world. My 3rd naim kit now consists of 2 Atoms, 1 core and 1 NAP100. (Before the Atoms I owned 2 UQ2, 1 DAC-V1 and the same NAP100)

However, even though I absolutely love the aesthetics of the shoebox-size now discontinued naim amps I’ve never get a chance to listen or even see in the flesh some of those Nait1, Nait 2, CB or Olive amps.

So don’t ask me how and why but I think that now that I started growing some hair on my chest as regarding naim kits, I feel much more inclined to invest in one or more or the several shoebox-size amps.
However, I’ve never read about the discontinued range and felt really lost about the various differences between Chrome Bumper, Olive, Nait1 or Nait2, etc.

Indeed, i’d love finding a cheap, 3rd system for one my other rooms and i’m very curious to know how one of these lil boxes will sound with a good pair of standmounts. The room is kinda of small-ish and i intend to use them with a fairly small bookshelf speakers (not decided yet which ones but something like the Menuet - which I already have a pair of- or some LS50 if suitable power-wise on the radar)
I did not set any budget yet so will depend on what I learn on here

Is there a place on this forum or somewhere else where I could educate myself and foremost get a better and clearer idea about the long discontinued early range of shoebox sized amps ? i.e differences between the Nait 1 vs. 2 , which ones came with the CB and which others are called “Olive”, will the Nait 2 be far more superior to the 1, do they all need to be purchased with a dedicated power supply ? what PS unit then if required?
This may sound laughable or funny to some early naimist on here but I think I wasn’t even born when the 1st naim amp came out :grinning::smile:

So I’d really grateful if the knowledgeable persons on here could give me more insight about this.
Thank you so much in advance

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Bouba, I was after a Nait 1 or 2, but I decided to go for a Nac 72 + Nap 140 since it has more power and therefore can drive a wider range of loudspeakers. Especially these smaller bookshelf loudspeakers can be very demanding or only come alive with a lot of grunt behind them.

Happy with my decision, but still longing for an old Nait :slight_smile:

Hey Ardbeg,
Surely the 140 can be on the shortlist as it also fits within the shoebox sized cat :grin:(love that design)
As far as I can see on google this belongs to the olive range right ?

Indeed, however there are nice shoeboxsized ChromeBumper systems available too, but I don’t know too much about it. Its a matter of time and someone will start praising the 42/110 combo here …

Could you please tell me more about the various typical preamp/amp combos, that’d easy my research and what to look for when collecting information on the internet, cause right now it’s all seems to me that the whole range is a mix and match affair. Am I correct ?

Is there any resource somewhere on the forum tracing the chronological history and various possible combinations ? That’d be great

Did somebody call…?

Yes, a big fan of the NAC42 + NAP110. It looks right, sounds right and, is priced just about right - a great place to start if you’re thinking of buying some vintage Naim kit. Sound-wise it still competes well.



Hey Richard,
Well it really occurred to me quite oddly just right now that Id be interested in hearing and owning these.
I’ve been actually thinking about it for quite some 3/4 years but I fell like now is the right time to give it a shot.
But to be honest i feel completely lost into the contradictory and all the information available on the internet.
Naim should maybe build a dedicated vintage kit website with relevant information on the discontinued kits because we have not been all into this hobby for 50 years and counting

Bouba, I disagree (a bit :slight_smile: ). There is simply no absolute truth in hifi and the value is in different experiences. What for one person is forward sounding, could be relaxed for another person. And in the Naim world the facts often does not matter. I am sure that in a few days all standard combinations of the old amps are listed on this topic, and then … there are many people around entirely happy with their mullet system.

@Ardbeg10y: Totally agree with your says. beauty is in the eye of the owner :joy:
When I said «typical combos » I actually meant the ones that are commonly associated together to build a coherent/no-nonsense system. I do realize that there’s no absolute rigid predetermined association to expect.

But l’d Love to grab one of these little systems with my dead cold hands :blush:

And that’s exactly what brought me into naim when I bought my 1st kit.

Very happy with my 72/140/Hi-Cap…


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Well, I’m sure Richard is working hard on his long-awaited “Naim Compendium: All You Need to Know About Naim” (to be published early next year - you get a discount if you’re a forumite)… :wink:

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I’m not sure that Naim ‘should’ build a history of old kit. The person that does it needs payment and it diverts resources from where it matters.

My first Naim, bought in 1983, was a 42, 110 and snaps, and rather wonderful it was.

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You’re so right Richard, I just love the volume control rotary design on those old chrome bumper amps and the overall design just looks so right!

I remember when naim launched the olive design I wasn’t sure I liked it as much but when I saw them in the flesh I fell in love and still think the design and aesthetic hasn’t been bettered. I still cherish my old copies of Audiophile magazine and in particular the Malcolm Steward penned NAC52 review that made the front cover. I must have read that article a hundred times and just remember longing to see one let alone hear one!

I think one of the nice things about getting older is that the Hi-Fi you dreamt of in your youth but which was then unattainable is now more affordable. I also think there is something comforting about the music, Hi-Fi, bicycles, tv shows etc you watched as a kid. Maybe that explains my love for buying box sets of Blake’s 7, Space 1999, The new avengers and Whatever happened to the likely lads! It also explains my desire to acquire a NAC82 and then 52 rather than a 282 and then 552

Anyway I see I haven’t really added much of value to the original poster except to say in my view all naim amps I have ever heard including my chrome bumper Nait 1 remain very valid and competitive choices even today. I am pretty sure the little nait would be as good if not better than any £600 integrated in current production


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They’re all great. I have owned all the shoebox components and for my taste the Nait2 and 72/hc/140 are the pinnacle of the format. Keep in mind that your budget should include an allocation to have everything serviced. Comparisons between boxes can on occasion be highly misleading if they have not been serviced in a long time.

You can’t be serious. How much could that really cost, and it would show off the heritage of the brand. I would love to know how much money they dropped on the overhyped rollout of the Muso2.


It’s only my humble opinion but the Olive 72/140/HICAP and the NAIT 2 are the most aesthetically pleasing hifi components ever made, I only bought mine because of the way they look,
They sound lovely too which is a bonus,
For 30+ years I’ve had a deep loathing for the way 99% of hifi systems look, piles of black paving slabs and a couple of wardrobes, and don’t even get me started on the racks/stands for them, hideous.


Fully agreed, seven.

I always wanted to see a Nac 12 + Nap 160 in the flesh, I believe that could look very good too.

I do like the rotary switches on the olive series, so the big disappointment for me is the on/off switches on the big olive boxes (SC, 180, 250 etc).

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