I’ve often come across dealers/manufacturers and hifi hobbyists that have a strong disliking for Naim. Obviously the dealer aspect I can understand. For instance, if they dont carry the product/brand they will try to put it down to promote their preferred ones. But I have never understood why users of other brands dislike Naim so much.
My only guess is that Naim has become a very successful brand therefore people will always hate on success. Or perhaps it’s the cost factor, having said that, my olive system which is about 7.5k in value could not be bettered by many alternatives Ive heard up to about 20k. Now I understand Naim gear generally doesnt have the lowest noise floor but then it doesn’t sound as laid back as many other brands either. It may not be euphonic (552 was) but it’s so exciting to listen to.
Over the years I cannot even remember the amount of times I’ve mentioned that I have Naim amplification and I’ve gotten a negative response. Sometimes even an offensive one.
I’ve used various other brands of amplification that I do not personally like for my system. However, I would never degrade a product. Especially if I knew that the individual is clearly enjoying it. I have found a lot of the other top brands, including valve based systems to lack the fun sound I get from Naim but I’m sure in various other setups they have suited and performed very well and to the users satisfaction. Just not for me.
Even on other forums, you won’t have to read much before you come across negative comments about Naim.
Why the hate for Naim?
I suspect it’s nothing to do with sound quality. More the clique ownership aspect.
I think it has something to do with the blind faith of many Naim owners (followers).
Certainly sometimes here you’d think it was the only one true path and any straying will only lead to tears.
The hate you mention often seems visceral which I can’t understand, but I can see how one might not like it in the same way as I don’t particularly like Audi based on the owners I’ve come across ( and the amount of bloody times they overtake me at speed!).
Not all Audi drivers are tossers… like not all Naim owners are cliquey…
Is that even a word?
I’ll know that, I have met one half decent Audi driver I’m just explaining how one could have a negative view of a brand from their customers.
I think you’ve hit one of the nails on the head - the evangelical one true path belief of some owners. Others appear to be the very high prices these days, the whole multiple box thing, and the fact that a company that once prided itself on including the wires you needed in the box seemingly sold out with me-too mega priced interconnects. All of these have quite a bit of truth in them if you view it objectively.
Incidentally, we have a metallic white Audi A3 S Line with sporty body kit, big wheels and all the stuff that can upset people. It’s an absolute delight, beautifully made and great to drive. Mrs HH and I are very careful, sensible drivers and two of the loveliest people you could wish to meet. Unlike BMW drivers, who are….
Humans are tribal by nature from the global (human vs aliens), to racism, sexism, all the way down to smaller tribes such as football supporters, and brand loyalists, to gangs and clans etc. It’s all tribalism in one form or another and it’s what we humans do.
This couldn’t be more true, I’ve been looking at the gryphon diable 300 due to reducing the massive box count I currently have and the dealer doesn’t sell naim. So obviously didn’t have great things to say.
I personally love naim but in our lounge multiple racks just doesn’t work, if Naim wants to bring a 500 or maybe statement integrated them I’d be there straight away.
The hierarchical upgrade model, with each Naim owner exactly knowing where they stand in the pyramid, and behaving accordingly, can be a bit off-putting.
The Naim product lines sometimes seem to be treated as steps towards audio valhalla, the closer someone is the more they are revered by the rest of the community. The amount of groveling and drooling that is visible in the Statement and 500 threads is a real turn off for me.
On the forums, you quite regularly see people typing lines like “i one day hope to be where you are!”, when reacting to another person’s full fraim pictures. People actually seem to look up to other people who did nothing special except spend a ton of money on gear. This makes me a little sad really.
I don’t think there are many other brands, or hifi communities rather, that are like this. But i have to admit i don’t know much about the other high end brand communities, perhaps it’s more similar than i think…
I don’t think it is. I know you were saying it tongue in cheek but that’s the attitude that really upsets people.
I perceive that the “hate” generally comes from people who think Naim is massively overpriced and that you can get better sound for less money - which may be true in some cases. I think this makes them, incorrectly, think that we buy Naim to be superior, even though “we can’t hear properly” The truth is, I can buy from a wide range of equipment designed to work brilliantly well together, with a 5 year warranty and the knowledge that I could have it repaired and serviced for 20 years or more. What’s not to love?
If it was me, I wouldn’t go on those threads if they put me off. There are plenty of other interesting and informative threads. On the whole I find people on the forum to be humble, helpful and encouraging, irrespective of system.
I don’t think you can ignore the fact that a lot of people simply don’t like the sound of Naim electronics, especially tube/valve fans, the “tone” above all else types–Ken Kessler is a prime example.
Recently, I’ve gotten the impression that the guys from across the pond are waking up to the Naim sound. I won’t mention the tubers but if you know, you know.
I also think it’s to do with the fact that Naim has been so successful over the past decades. It’s like people hating on Ferrari. I remember Clarkson mentioned it on the show once that he never understood why people at fuel stations pass of remarks like ‘I bet it costs you a pretty penny to own that’ when they saw him in a Ferrari rather than just appreciate the beauty and engineering of the machine.
I never really read hate with regard to current products. I do read that there’s a caricature of Naim owners as flat earthers which persists from the 1970s. That seems very much the norm on several popular forums. Everybody likes to define themselves by their supposed enemies I guess. Never understood it myself.
There are plenty of one true path type posters on here but then having read other forums for other manufacturers I see nothing unique there. I honestly do think it’s a hangover from the Naim/Linn days to a great extent.
While I have never experienced anything as pronounced as you describe, I can surely see some reasons for disliking Naim.
Having said that, I actively avoid dealers who dismiss or even badmouth every brand they don’t sell. I think this is an insult to every customer who has heard and liked a product from another manufacturer and now gets told that he likes unworthy things. Isn’t this simply telling the customer that he is deaf, stupid or both? Who in his right mind would endure this?
The two dealers I regularly visit have no problem whatsoever admitting that they can’t carry everything. Yes, there still is rubbish around, but there are more than just a handful of good ones.
What I simply cannot stand is the attitude of some Naim owners. Insisting that only PRAT has anything to do with music and things like tone or soundstageing are just HiFi is simply condescending.
These aspects might not matter to everyone and this is absolutely fine. But declaring them as universally unimportant or even detrimental, can and will lead to strong reactions. This is absolutely no excuse for hate, pretty much nothing is.
No great mystery…the phenomenon is none other than jealousy
The attention to detail (inside and out),
Long term serviceability,
Timeless design (IMOP )
The not keeping up with the Jones mentality of making changes for the sakes of it!
The list goes on for what’s not to like apart from maybe some Forum members.