I am in turmoil as to which of these setups would give the best quality performance. I would be looking to use KEF LS50 meta speakers, headphones and a turntable at some point. Any guidance would be appreciated.
If headphone listening is a priority the Nait50 should give much better sound than the Atom. That’s unless you buy the Atom HE of course, and pair it with a power amp (watch this space ) or active speakers.
There is no matching Naim streamer for a Nait 50, so you would be looking at a full width ND5XS2 or NDX2 or a non-Naim option.
Thank you. Would an atom and a nait be overkill?
No, but there is redundancy there. With an Atom you have a preamp and power amp unused. With an Atom HE, just a redundant preamp. Logically you would just get a separate power amp, but if you like the idea of a Nait50 anyway it might still be a good option.
Yeah I’m just wondering if wasting money and should maybe go for a Star and be done with it. Thanks for your input
Again, how important is headphone listening to you? If that’s a priority the Atom HE or Nait 50 would likely be a better choice.
Plenty of half width non-Naim streamers that would go well with a Nait 50 - that would be my choice.
Examples Sinewave please ?
Either would be “good” or “ok” which you prefer should be an answer your ears and head determine.
Both systems are well regarded but come with strengths and weaknesses, the Nait 50, fanboy appeal to one side, whilst being a solid Naim product lacks a remote control, something that will either prove a quirky feature or a daily pain in the ass (and legs and arms as you constantly stand up and sit down to adjust anything).
I have an Atom (original integrated HDMI one) which is primarily used for TV audio but also for radio/streaming intermittently.
If headphones are a big deal and you have a serious investment in them then the Atom HE is a solid product targetted at that priority, you could for example add powered active speakers to one and have all you’ll ever need, and it has a decent streamer and DAC built in, a NAIT 50 has neither of those things.
Adding a vinyl source to either is a similar process, choose a deck and phonostage, connect and drop the needle.
Are the Kef’s existing and a mandatory component also?
What’s the listening space like, dimensions, layout etc. Is the listening space optimised for listening or worked in to a mixed use environment (lounge/dining/bedroom/office/kitchen)
Considering financials alone, an Atom (either version) is cheaper than a NAIT 50 and does quite a bit more, you also have two versions with an emphasis on headphone use in the HE which still has balanced outputs that allow a power amp or powered active speakers to be added as required, failing that the HDMI version includes a power amp and will work with a wide range of speakers including your KEF’s.
The NAIT 50 is a well thought out product but it’s more an enthusiasts or purists product than the Atom is, which is a solid allrounder than ticks the most common boxes that someone wants in that product/price category, the NAIT 50 is a niche product with a more limited appeal to a smaller target market.
Streamer and Nait 50 would be my choice
I’m currently running the NDX2 with Nait 50
and its brilliant
I’ve had Atom and the 2 box set up beats it hands down
However yes big price difference . Don’t have to go with the NDX2 but I’m sure the ND5xs2 will be a great combo and still far better than the one box Atom
Big praise for the Nait 50 from by the way
It’s better AND a lot more expensive of course, adding an NDX2 to any amp is likely to result in an improvement in that sense.
I was keen to highlight the lack of RCU as well, ok you can manage volume in the source but that can impact performance depending on how it’s implimented, personally a lack of volume control feels like a step back in time, they do sound the business I can concur but the user experience isn’t equivalent to an Atom or any other modern integrated amp.
Lack of remote doesn’t bother me at all especially in a small room , easy to get off ones bottom to change if need be
Nait 50 phono input also excellent as thread gent starter thinking about that for the future
I wouldn’t be jumping the gun on all of this as who knows what Naim may release shortly
Maybe a small integrated amp along the lines of the Nait 50 and a matching streamer - who knows
All valid points, just making sure he’s aware of both the sonic benefits and control constraints!
New kit for sure, I visited my dealer today for a social call and tried to get him to spill the beans but he was tight lipped, apart from a comment to the effect of “not what you’d expect to see” which could be interpreted as anything from a new coffee mug to a 500 NC series for all I know
Welcome at theForum @Akh666. I had the Uniti Atom until recently and have now switched to Nait50 with ND5XS2. Since last week I have also integrated an NDac.
The normal Atom (not HE) is a great device - I think the best from Naim in terms of price-performance ratio. With a better power cable and careful positioning it sounds really good, only slightly worse than a Nova and with similar sound characteristics. But it doesn’t have a phono stage. It also routes the signals at the analogue input via the internal Dac and then converts them back into analogue signals. So it doesn’t seem to me to be the best choice for phono applications.
Nait 50+ND5XS2 together cost twice as much as the Atom. In terms of sound quality, they are clearly on a much better level (higher resolution, wider sound stage, better differentiation of instruments, etc.). The sound is faster, clearer and more precise in the mid and high frequencies. In the fundamental and bass range, however, both are slimmer than the Atom. The effect of this depends on the speakers. In my case, the NDac restored the balance. There is a very detailed thread on the Nait50 here in the forum (Click here). Many members there report that the phono stage and the headphone amplifier on the Nait 50 are very good (I haven’t tried either). The combination offers more flexibility. I also quickly got used to the fact that the Nait 50 doesn’t have a remote control and I don’t see this as a major problem. The ND5XS2 is very easy to operate via the Naim app. If it’s financially feasible, it’s the better choice for your requirements.
Thank you all for your detailed replies. For me it’s all about sound quality but the system is not going to be in a dedicated listening room and is going to be more of a general system. I always get the feeling if I don’t go for the best I can afford then I will be missing out on something and I want the best of all worlds. Ideally I’d have a minimalist system that can sit atop a unit and play beautiful music. I love detail and I want a three dimensional sound that will pull me in. I am a huge fan of Americana/folk and listen to a lot of City and Colour and Tyler Childers and that about sums up my musical tastes except for the occasional trip into thrash metal. I shall wait until the new announcement before deciding but I get a sneaky feeling the uniti range is about to get a revamp. Thanks again all.
Cyrus; Heed; Leema…?
That’s the one that guides us all, the room is a key element in any system and contributes (or impedes upon) overall system synergy, hence my questions above.
Knowing what you are comfortable budgeting for and prepared to spend over time on improvements is important.
A 2 box 200 Series for example or something new about to be announced as you say!
If you already have an Atom HE and Kef speakers and are happy
with them build from there first, most things can be traded in to allow for later changes thankfully.
I’d be so curious to hear my NDX2 paired with a Nait 50. I’ve heard the Nait50 with an ND5 XS2 and it sounded superb (however I tested it with very different speakers to mine, I can’t really make a comparison).
What speakers Blacknote have you got ?
The Harbeth HL5 XD, great speakers IMO. What speakers do you use?
You can see a photo of the system I’ve heard here: