Going Retro

TomTom Audio (St Albans) are showing a NAT-02 available for sale at the moment.

Have a look at their site.

James Allney at TomTom is a thoroughly decent chap. He will know, better than most, if you should grab the NAT-02 now, or hold out in the hope of getting the two-box unit.

For the avoidance of doubt, I have no financial “arrangement” with TomTom - just trying to help out!

PS I think that the 01 tuner and the (original) ARO tonearm are the two very best Naim products that I own!

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Nat 01’s do come up. I got one last year from my dealer who is a 10 minute walk away. At £1455 including servicing both boxes it must be the best bargain in hi fi! Just be aware that the government has only guaranteed fm broadcasts until 2030. My hope is that this timeframe will be extended especially with all the cars still using fm radios.

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They kick the potential FM switch-off forward by ten years every ten years or so.

We shall see!

I’m not aware of any European countries switching off FM transmitters, but I don’t actually know, nor what the situation is the likes of the USA or Japan.

In Japan, AM radio must switch to FM-wide by 2028. Plans to stop FM were abandoned outright some years ago.

That said, very few tuners available. Accuphase still make a high end one I think.

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I’ve always wondered about trying a Naim tuner as I listen to radio more than I watch TV, but know little about tuners in general…would one need a large external rooftop aerial for example?

Naim always used to recommend the Galaxie roof-mounted aerial by Ron Smith. He has retired (to Spain, I think), but his son is carrying on the business.

I imagine that your Naim dealer will be able to help.

Or Google may throw up the contact.

PS I’ve looked this up. Ron Smith is deceased, and his son George is running the business. There’s a pretty detailed list on the website of aerials available.

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They can go in loft space but open air is better. Unlike other transmissions, with FM radio the strongest signal from the biggest aerial is best. The smaller Ron Smith was the Galaxy 5 I think and they are modular so can be upgraded. I had the 5 when I lived in the UK and it was still big. But the reception was superb.

You also need to choose the best transmitter. I had the Galaxy pointing to Sutton Coldfield because the Banbury one applied more compression to the audio before transmission.

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There’s been a lot of nice support for your FM weakness here.
Personally, I can’t help but think you stil need some therapy. :wink:

Having said that, I was eyeballing my ol’ Luxman tuner the other day and realised that I’d like to give it a listen, and started thinking about antennas and such.
Maybe we all need some therapy …

I stream FM radio stations over the internet with my Auralic Aries G2.2 it sounds awesome like radio without mutipath distortion, hiss, and other junk. I’ve had some great tuners in my day probably the best was the Fanfare-FT1a . I also spent a lot of time listening to a DaySequerra FM Reference and a Marantz 10B There is Nothing better than the DaySequerra.

I plan on looking into that, although, if I stick with a tuner, tracking down a more recent Creek model - say, a T50 or an Evolution - might be a wiser spend.

I see some mentions of the venerable NAT-01. Amazingly, my dealer has a recently recapped one for sale. Tempting as it is, I have no place to put it other than the shelf immediately below my 552. The thought of placing a big Naim toroid inches from my 552 head unit makes me uneasy (although, to run with this fantasy for a few more seconds, it just might be possible to put the tuner itself on the shelf and the power supply on its side on the floor, behind my potted fig tree :thinking: )

Thanks @graham55 and @feeling_zen.

Feared it might be so…not sure even a loft aerial is doable, but I’ll do some research. Cheers.

My Nat 01 and its power supply is on the shelf immediately above the nac 252. I haven’t had any problems with this arrangement.

One of the Naim dealers in Montreal had a gorgeous Day Sequerra for sale some years back. I was sorely tempted, but what with the voltage and pre-emphasis differences, and then thoughts of how I would get it fixed for even properly serviced back in blighty made me think twice.

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Eeh, Obadiah. Of course you had it easy. We had to live in a cardboard box in t’ middle of t’ road.

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Back in the days I’ve owned Nat 01, 02 and 101.
The 101 and 02 did a better job due to mediocre antenna in my then rented apartment, lived far away from FM broadcast station could be reason.

I’d never buy a 01 these days, as 1. Service might be problematic, 2. Antenna or distance to broadcast is crucial.
I’d love a 101 back again but again won’t buy anything which is difficult to service living outside UK - thats why I just use my old Nat 05.

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I’m sure your system sounds great, but placing a power supply on a shelf that’s directly above or below a 52, 252, or 552 will bring the wrath of the Stacking Police down on your head :sweat_smile:

I’ve always loved FM but unfortunately my reception here is @#it and the ether is crammed with @#it too… The only uncompressed station is RAI Auditorium.
I remember that in older manuals Naim expressly stated that in the proper conditions FM could be the best source of all. And in older preamps/integrates the first link to the main board was from the Tuner input. Knowing Naim’s reluctancy to change, it’s possibly so now.

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Reading this forum shows this problem is one of many. Some of which are: no dedicated spur, switched socket, budget power cable to budget power block, budget single hifi rack, standard leads including RCA from CD player to 252, 4m of NAC A5, speakers to close to wall, suspended wooden floor and I wouldn’t dare show you my cable management!
Clearly lots of room for improvement but surprisingly I am happy with what I have and enjoy listening without having to worry that the sound could be better with upgrades.

I really like(d) the original Creek tuner when it came out - preferring it and the amplifier to A&R’s excellent, but mellower, models.

While I was at HiFi Review I had a Ron Smith installed and the Creek (and a very nice Onix) were extraordinarily able to benefit from this somewhat OTT source.

The Creek also had enough hidden quality to improve significantly with the use of a HiLine - after the DIN socket had been changed to allow AirPlug insertion.

The aerial was too much bother to remove when I left the property and still seems to be in place - awaiting a high wind or tardy Planning objection.

THIS ‘fact’ has been lurking since I first heard of the plan to phase out FM. Without this incompetent and commercially relevant deadline perhaps Naim would have continued to invest ‘bigly’ in tuner improvements.

I know I was SO eager to buy a NAT 02 but put off by this prospect. I regret the missed years of radio enjoyment.

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For many years I had an Audiolab 8000 tuner, which sounded wonderful. However, the problem generally with FM is the lack of quality music available. Fine if you like classical as BBC radio 3 is excellent. The other BBC stations not so and commercial stations sound dire.
I sold the Audiolab when I realised how many great radio stations were available via the internet. In particular Radio Paradise, which I still listen to as my go to source of free music. I initially bought a lowly Squeezebox Touch which I used with an external DAC and have enjoyed this until a few months ago when I bought an Atom HE.
Streamed music and internet radio can sound fantastic. OK I too think fondly of my A&R A60 and my Audiolab tuner and all the other stuff I used to own, but the sounds I am listening to now are infinitely better than they were 30-40 years ago, including radio (now in cd quality flac).
Anyway my view is FM has had its day (apart from R3).

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