Good day for my Nait

Apologies this got a little long, but I had an interesting day.

I’ve posted a couple speaker questions here as I’ve investigated speaker options for my Nait2 CB to replace my B&W DM7mkIIs, which are almost 40 years old and only 86dB sensitivity, left over from a previous 100wpc amp. Last year I bought a pair of current, good-quality floorstanders but once I got them home I wasn’t overly impressed so I sold them and went back to my B&Ws.

A couple days ago a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios appeared for sale near me (at a favourable price). I was intrigued by the many overwhelmingly positive reviews, the ribbon tweeter (a personal thing) and the 89dB sensitivity (not exceptional but a step up on my current 86dB).

I asked Acoustic Zen, who told me that the Nait’s power sounded a bit wimpy but not out of the question so maybe give it a try. I also asked the seller what he thought; he told me he seriously doubted it would fly but I was welcome to bring my Nait over and try, or take the speakers home and return them if they don’t work out. He said he’s very into music and stereo, isn’t worried about selling his speakers and wants the buyer to be happy.

So I took my Nait over and was almost immediately embarrassed. He is building a new listening room so his main system was not set up, but I estimate it cost about half what I paid for my first house 20 years ago (he confirmed that was about right). Although the room was under construction, the racks holding thousands of records and CDs were finished; it looked like a music store (back when there were big record/CD stores).

So we used his downstairs backup system, consisting of a Meitner CD player, Conrad Johnson pre-amp and beautiful pair of large tube monoblocks (from a long-defunct microbrand), of course all connected by thick, exotic cables. And lying throughout his house were various components each worth roughly the same as my car.

He looked at my little Naim shoebox on the table and reiterated his dismay. I felt if we’d been at the beach, he would have kicked sand on me.

After a bit of listening to his system, he inserted the Nait between the Meitner CD and the Adagios. I apologized in advance for the little static noises that Naits make when you turn them on and off.

But once it got going, the Nait made the Adagios sing, and a volume of only around 8-9 o’clock was enough to fill the space. He sat behind the listening seat and by the end of the second song, he said he was shocked how good the little shoebox sounded with the Adagios.

By the end of the fourth song he had searched online for Nait prices and said he couldn’t believe the ~$800 integrated was doing virtually as good a job on the CDs as his (backup) system, which he pointed out is optimized for vinyl but still sports over $10k of amplification (between the CJ pre and the monoblocks). He promised several times he wasn’t just trying to butter me up and he seemed genuinely surprised and intrigued, and asked me about various Nait models, why 2s sell for more than 3s and 5s etc.

Once I was done testing, he asked if he could listen to a couple of his own discs through the Nait and explained that he was looking for a compact, SS system for his bedroom and assumed he would spend a few thousand, but was now determined to buy a Nait. He offered a couple times to buy my Nait on the spot or take it as partial payment for the speakers, and told me that if I don’t buy the Adagios he would keep them for his bedroom system with a Nait.

I went home with a new pair of speakers (which sound magical) and a stack of speaker cables (he handed me several cables to try and told me I could buy any of them or bring them back when I’m done testing). And he said he learned something he absolutely did not expect.

All in all a good afternoon.

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Thanks for sharing and congratulations on the new speakers too, and great to hear that the little Nait2 performed so well in the context of the sellers system - and a new convert now investigating Naits!

Just as an aside, have you had your Nait2 serviced? Worthwhile having it done - I was genuinely surprised at the difference it made when I had my CB Nait2 refreshed last year.

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That’s good to read and it sounds like you’ve ended up with a very enjoyable setup. Those Naits punch well above their weight.

You might want to check that the speaker cables you’ve been loaned don’t stray too far from Naim recommendations on electrical spec and length.

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Funny how NAITs tend to do that to some people the first time they hear one - what’s more remarkable is that they’ve doing it for 38 years!

As James suggests, be careful with the speaker cables. The NAIT really does like to have cabling to Naim’s spec (see FAQ on here) and may well be damaged by some high capacitance or low inductance cables (stay well away from woven types). Use nickel silver Deltrons or Naim’s own SA8 plugs at the amp end.

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I predict a future Statement owner. :grinning:
That’s a great tale, my first Naim amp was a Nait back in 1985, it made music so listenable.

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Lovely fun story, thanks for sharing it. A new Naim fan in the making.

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Nice story regarding the Nait always nice to read a possible Nait 1 or 2 convert is on the horizon. I’m always gobsmacked how well my Nait2 CB drives my Allaes or SL2s both 89dB sensitivity with 8" woofers, music just fills the room and if you close your eyes I could be listening to my 300s.

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Double-edged sword — will drive up prices even further… Those who have one might not mind, but those without… A bit like the property ladder… :wink:

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What… one person?

He might have some HiFi friends…….

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I think that has already happened Nait 1 and 2’s have gone mental in the past 12 months. Other kit has increased by smaller amounts and now seem to have levelled, even possibly falling back a little for non DR components but the Nait 1 and 2 prices just keep on climbing.

Yep. In these uncertain times, invest in a Nait…

Just boxing mine up now :shushing_face:

I guess I’m lucky with a Nait 2 in a second system, if someone offered me £2k I would say no thanks :slightly_smiling_face:

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Same here. Also it’s a sentimental attachment, my first Naim.

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There are no absolutes when it comes to this sort of thing. While the amount of money spent on a system or any given component might serve as an indicator of its HiFi capabilities, it’s certainly not an indicator of the enjoyment a person will get out of it. Regardless of what anyone else might feel about any given component, the enjoyment that the owner gets out of it in their own system/room is truly all that matters.

My Nait 5i is coming up on 18 years of age and has served as the cornerstone of my system this entire time. Years ago I was still visiting my local dealer fairly often and curiosity led me to demo the likes of the Nait XS as well as the Supernait, but for me personally these units didn’t manage to deliver any more enjoyment than the Nait 5i. After that I happily resigned myself to the fact that I simply clicked with the 5i. Since the purchase of “my Nait”, anything that was newly introduced into my system was selected based on its ability to gel with the Nait 5i as well as with my listening room.

This last bit about the room has proven to be key. A few years back I found myself tempted by a used pair of DeVore Gibbon 8 speakers for sale at a dealer located thee hours away. (I had listened to the Gibbon 8 upon their introduction and really liked them.) I wrote to DeVore to inquire if they felt the Gibbon 8 would be a good match with the Nait 5i. Mr. DeVore himself wrote me back, informing me that this would be a great combination – he based this on the fact that he himself actually had a system that combined the Gibbon 8 with the Nait 5i. I couldn’t imagine a better endorsement. I ended making the 6 hour round trip drive to buy the speakers. Much to my dismay, the speakers simply fell flat in my room.

Fortunately the dealer had no problems with me returning them. Upon doing so, I ended up listening to a number of other well regarded speakers. During this time, given the rest of my system, the salesman assisting me suggested that I might consider listening to the speaker he himself used at home, Rega’s RX3. Upon doing so I literally found myself laughing out loud at how much I enjoyed these little floorstanders. Despite the fact that I was listening in a room other than my own, using Naim amplification that wasn’t a Nait 5i, I decided to take a chance on the Rega’s, hoping that they would gel well with my own system and room. That was three years ago and I’ve remained thrilled with my setup ever since.

Some of the changes I’ve made were brought about by hardware failures. But overall I’ve not been one to upgrade my system as a matter of course. I believe that this has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve never grown tired of my Nait. In my case, it has kept the act of listening to music incredibly enjoyable over the years. Every music lover should be so lucky.

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Nice story, can we know in what part of the world it happened?

Great story. I actually have 2 Nait1s (loaned one to my sister, been working flawlessly since 1985; the other is my workshop system). Used to use the Nait1 as a travelling system for extended work assignments in strange locations (used Linn Kans originally as the speakers along with a portable CD player; packed nicely into a small hard cased suitcase). Great little integrated amps. The workshop system is partnered with Neat Petite 3 speakers and still delivers very enjoyable music, especially after recently being recapped. Some of the last pieces of CB gear that I own as these little beauties are like the Energizer Bunny, they just keep going delivering great sound.

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I was considering this, but many hotelrooms have bad isolation. Never dared to bring my own amp there.

Never had any issue with the NAIT or with LINN Classic Integrated. Used the Nait for countries with 110v-120v and the Linn in 220v countries. As some of my destinations were bush camps in the middle of the jungle or similar also used a line conditioner/surge suppressor to protect against power fluctuations and outages.

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Suburb of beautiful Vancouver, Canada.

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