Hello everyone, first post on this esteemed forum as I now consider myself a real Naim owner for the first time Going to be a bit of a long post to properly introduce myself and hopefully contributing another perspective to the topic.
Does it last? We will see … I just got a NAP 300 DR and right now it is blowing my mind and I am so happy. It’s been with me for 48 hours and so far it has been growing tremendously (I have had it play music 24/7, as 100 or even 200 hours of run-in time would take an unbearable several months with my normal listening habits). Most impressive was when it bloomed like a beautiful flower about 30 min. after turning it on.
Generally, it seems that I get the itch every 10 or 15 years, and it’s just been such a year. The current system:
Rega Planar 8, Ortofon 2M Black (recently replaced my Planar 3 from 1987)
Naim CD5i-2 (owned since 2009 and I don’t think will need replacement)
NAD C 658 (streamer/preamp with MQA and Dirac Live. Recently replaced a Rotel RC-1070 from 2005)
Naim NAP 300 DR (just replaced a Rotel RB-1080, also from 2005)
Monitor Audio Gold GX200 (since 2012. Happy with it and it has grown nicely when powered by the 300)
All devices on Sicomin Bases in a Creaktive Trend rack and the speakers on Sicomin AntiSpikes.
All Audioquest cables for now, left from the previous setup (will re-evaluate when the Naim chain is complete, I am sure)
When I was young in the 80ies, a friend infected me with the hifi virus and he had strange-looking boxes from something called Naim. This was obviously pre-internet and we lived far from the city with little in the way of non-mainstream news, so it all seemed deliciously mysterious and rebellious to me.
When I turned 18 in 1987, I got my first own real gear. (With money my parents had gifted me “for my future”, a spending choice which made my parents very happy as you can imagine )
Most I built myself from kits: A preamp and power amp based on blueprints from the German “Elektor” magazine (this was the time when you also would copy BASIC programs from mags and key them into a calculator), the Planar 3, and TDL Small Monitor Compact transmission line speakers - these were based on the huge UK TDLs but designed by the German distributor and less crazily huge (but still stretching for a student’s accommodation).
This first system lasted me around 20-30 years. After 18 years the amps were replaced by the Rotels in 2005. The TDLs where with me even longer, for 25 years until in 2012 the Rotel power amp blew an output transistor when idling. Nothing is like coming home and finding the chassis hang out of the box (and no spares in the world anymore). And the Planar 3 was with me for 33 years until this winter. If the itch needed scratching I tinkered a bit with cables, stands, etc. I was happy most of the time except for a few days or weeks after listening to way more expensive systems.
When I got the Rotels, Naim remained an impossible dream due to price. The Nait 5i was just too small for the TDLs, and up the Naim scale was too expensive at the time.
However, the two times I seriously evaluated a Naim device was when getting my CD5i and a friend’s Nait 5i. In both instances, the Naims were so much more fun than the competition at comparable price points that it was clear that a Naim system remained a clear goal.
When I needed to get a good online streaming solution last autumn, I therefore aimed for the Naim NAC-N 272, but the dealer counseled that it might be better to wait for a hopefully-to-be-updated NAC-N (possibly on the New Streaming Platform) and get the NAD C658 in the meantime. The difference I spent on the Rega Planar 8 a little later. I was happy again and told a friend how content I was, and how I would not need another upgrade for a long time
Then came SARS-CoV-2 and a lot of time at home. When the neighbor complained about noise, I started to shop around for headphones & amp, but it did not satisfy me even in the several-thousand EUR area. The dealer suggested to consider an amplifier that might not always need to be kicked to be fun. Listened to the NAP 250 DR and it was nice but it did not blow me away. The 300 DR however did, and I am at an age now where every upgrade can or should be the last one for a given area, so I bit the bullet and here I am. The NAD and the Monitor Audios seem to work very well with the 300, and though I am sure that the 300 can do much more, the NAD and the MAs are not getting exposed as being annoying or an unbearably weak link, so far.
Now I am looking forward to that NAC-N 272 successor hopefully becoming a reality and hoping that it will be so good that I can avoid the 252/NDX2/Supercaps. And I doubt I can wait another 10/15 years now
At this time, the thing that bothers me most is that the glowing Naim logos on the 300 are brighter than on the CD5i Maybe due to the CD being 11 years old, and the logo’s background also seems to have peeled off a bit. This is clearly a very good reason to send the CD to Naim for servicing soon!