I thought the EVO was a very good looking piece of gear when I saw it online a couple of days back.
It has balanced xlr inputs, pre-amp out, as well as the MM stage and a headphone output.
I almost feel I want to buy one, even though I would have no use for it in practice.
There is an interesting video on Youtube that was streamed on the launch day of the EVO range. It is a live talk between the Canadian distributor of Cambridge Audio and CA’s head of product marketing, Tony Stotts.
The video for some reason has less than a 1000 views, which is pretty strange for a period of 10 days.
In the talk they not so subtly talk about their primary marketing strategies, Naim and NAD are mentioned as their main competitors in the market.
They seem to make a few references that to me suggest they have at least some pretty good insight in the current state of affairs with their competitors, things that stood out to me were:
- They keep emphasizing their in-house software development strategy, and how well both their streaming platform and their app work.
- They have quite a long section about the different types of amplification and why they feel that Class D is the best path forward in this market segment.
- They emphasize details that would normally be not so important in the grand scheme of things, but to me feel like subtle jabs at their competitors, like:
– MQA support
– Asynchronous USB (use the EVO as a DAC / output or sound card from a computer)
– Bidirectional Bluetooth
Anyway i thought it was interesting to see, you can find it on YT by searching for the Trends Electronics channel.
Thanks. Sounds interesting.
I fully agree with your first point, Naim prides itself on building things itself in Salisbury. The software now being a core part of their product, not just some addon it should be moved in-house (assuming it isn’t already, which I don’t think is the case). Maybe you can outsource some elements like UI design, but the core should be developed in house IMO.
The second one can really just be merged with the third. They use Class D, Naim does not. Of course they’re going to highlight the difference and claim their way is better. Naim would do the same.
From an energy consumption or efficiency standpoint it clearly will be better. Sonically, well let’s hear it first.
I think in this price range pure audio quality may not be the primary deciding factor for customers, it is not primarily targeted at audiophiles who will gladly pay more for the best quality. It is all about features, convenience, aesthetics and ease of use at an affordable price point.
In this sense it has to sound ‘good enough’ for most normal living rooms, it perhaps doesn’t have to sound better than for instance an Atom. As long as it doesn’t sound noticeably worse, most potential buyers will not care.
To confirm, we have a significant in-house software development team, working on every element of our products.
I don’t even know if the HDMI input works on my Nova. Guess I should use it to find out.
Is it the one from Trends Electronics, TrendsU: … etc. ?
Yes! It’s 37 minutes long.
That was quite a nice video. It would be great to have something similar from Naim, other than the no-news on the mysterious 3 new products.
I guess they will have listened to the Atom in comparison and price matched it to be competitive. It clearly has the edge in features and appears to be objectively more powerful. It may well come down to features or form factor as much as sound quality for items like these when a choice is made by the consumer.
The phono stage may be a factor but I think it’s unlikely as someone after a turntable will probably sidestep products like the Evo. Ironically, Cambridge Audio have made it easier to pair their turntable, the Alva, with an Atom because of its built in phonostage or the ability to use aptX Bluetooth to connect them, which effectively removes a barrier there, should someone be considering that particular amp/turntable combo.
I couldn’t find it! Can you post the link here?
I think Richard has been more strict about links here lately, also uncommercial, so I’d rather not. If you search youtube for “TrendsU EVO Cambridge” it should come up, for me the first result. The account it’s on is “Trends Electronics International Inc”
Remember that Naim got their fingers burnt before by announcing products too soon. Uniti range was announced mid- 2016 with aim for late autumn 2016 availability. In the end they were available late autumn of 2017. I don’t think they will make the same mistake again
I have absolutely no association with Naim other than buying their kit, but I think its wrong to put a link to another companies product. Talk about the competition , yes, but directly advertise them, no.
I agree, the goal is not to sell Cambridge Audio, it’s just a look at the state of the art and how that influences the market and products. Competition is good if it stimulates everyone to deliver their best, which Naim is certainly also doing ofcourse.
Cambridge is now a competitor in the Uniti market segment, but they will have a hard time matching the critical acclaim that Naim receives in the sound quality department. In terms of design, both Uniti and EVO look great and will integrate well into any modern living space.
For us as consumers / buyers the EVO range is a great new launch, not necessarily as a buying alternative but because it will stimulate all manufacturers to step up and make their products even better.
These are great times for innovations in the all-in-one systems market, it’s starting to really mature and innovations are going very fast. I’m excited to see how Naim / Focal is going to approach these developments and what they will have up their sleeve going forward.
I see that Naim and Cambridge Audio have another competitor in the form of Hifi Rose, a Korean audio company. Looks very similar as well.
Everyone is jumping on this bandwagon.
Those Rose devices look pretty crazy (in a good way):
14.9 inch IPS touchscreen, Ultra HD 4K Video Support
They’re running Android. Great DACs on board too though, so it’s not just about the eye candy.
Oh yes, I think Uniti’s have very good and attractive screens. Just the infomation displayed on them is not presented attractively at all but the potential is still there.
that picture of Nova must be an early one (before production). No such display view is unfortunatelly available currently.