I’m fortunate to have two systems, the other system being Densen based. Being honest I’d struggle to save my Naim over my Densen but just wonder who else out there has another manufacturer that they respect in the same way and why?
Interesting question. Lots of hi-fi companies start with a founder(s) who has a strong view about how to make better music, rigorously avoids pandering to fashion and really does care about customers to a greater than normal degree.
This sort of consideration gives me a sympathetic stance when I see (for example) Spendor speakers - whose (long-dead) founders’ names were Spencer & Dorothy, or the single-minded focus behind SME.
Naim qualifies of course, but it isn’t quite why I ‘respect’ them, and it certainly isn’t why there are so may Naim badges in my living room. That has much more to how well the kit does its job of making better music, how well-designed and robust it is, and how confident I can be that it will all be looked after 20+years after buying.
The nearest that I can get to a candidate today would be Neat speakers. They reflect one person’s conviction of how to make music better, and they work brilliantly.
As for the service aspect, I was thinking about buying a pair of Xplorers and had questions. I was advised to call Bob Surgeoner, who spoke with great knowledge, enthusiasm and fairness. In a good dem in a good shop, they were absolutely brilliant, but what he said encouraged me to try them in my house. And in my house the vastly bigger and vastly more expensive B&W804s really did work better.
i have just bought a complete system for a holiday home with a less demanding shape - all ex-dem or second-hand. The only non-Naim boxes are the Neat Xplorers. I picked them because of how well they work, and in particular the degree to which they make music involving, but the design focus, the value, and the helpfulness to a non-customer don’t hurt.
Was that the sort of thing you meant by the question?
Absolutely, I’ve owned the Densen kit for about twenty years or so, I’ve listened to lots of other equipment in that time but there is a timeless quality about Densen setup that is special.
It’s now in the cabin but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been relegated to second best, far from it, as if a late night session is on then it’s the ideal place so everyone else can sleep.
My experience of the company has been excellent over that time, just keep hoping that one day they might produce and anniversary edition of either their first product, the Dm-10, or even the Beat-100 , which I have an original of.
Hi fi is full of passionate founders. Some create large companies, some stay small.
I always admire the passion of people who are trying to make a fantastic product. And I can admire them and what they do without owning their products. After all, there is only but so much room on the hi fi rack.
Yes. I’m an admirer of Michell, Avid, Rega amongst others in addition to Salisbury’s finest!
I have two main systems I respect immensely. Some respect for the same reasons. Other respect for their differences.
One is a Naim source and amplification system. Pretty typical: lots of boxes. The other is a Luxman source and amplification system.
They both share similarities in terms of preference for linear power supplies, regulated amplification at the upper end of the range (though mine isn’t), massively overengineered heavy duty rails and signal earthing. Fondness for the same class of BurrBrown DACs. First rate service departments. Rejecting at least 60% of all components that don’t quite make the cut.
But they sound very different. Look very different. Clearly both built by engineers with a passion for what they do. They elicit different emotional responses to use. I’d struggle to pick one over the other.
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