I’ve been looking at the Naim integrated amplifiers to potentially use with my current speakers. They’re in use as the front speakers of my AV surround system, driven by a Denon AVR-X4500H. I also have the Silver W-12 subwoofer.
Whilst everything sounds fantastic for movies, I’ve been finding myself listening to music more and more. Music sounds nice through the Denon but I’m looking for more, I’ve been bitten by the bug I guess!
I’ve been looking at the NAIT XS 3 and SuperNait 2/3. I use a hires streaming service so I’m also thinking of the ND5 XS 2. I am tempted with digging out the vinyl but it’s not essential right now.
I realise the speakers aren’t those you’d typically find connected to Naim equipment but as they’re quite new I need to keep them for a while at least. There’s also the WAF to consider!
So I have a question or two…
How will these speakers sound with the amps I’ve mentioned? I listen to a wide variety of music, rock to classical … a lot of Pink Floyd
I’d be using the AV bypass on the amp so the volume would be controlled by the Denon but I’m a bit concerned that the difference in power might be an issue? The Denon is 125 W at 8 ohms. How do you think this would work out when watching movies?
The recommended amplifier power for the speakers is 80 - 200 W and sensitivity of 90db how well do you think the amps would drive them? Would there be an improvement in bass over the Denon?
Hi Mark, I’ve been using the AV input on my last two Naim amp setups with both Onkyo and Denon AV amplifiers and they work brilliantly. Using the auto setup facility on the denon with the microphone has produced excellent results.
Thank you for the replies, great to hear that they do work well with the speakers and AV amp.
Good point about the AV setup balancing things out Neil, thanks, that hadn’t occurred to me
Would the subwoofer connected to the Naim work with both music and the AV input?
Oh one other thing, I don’t see any cooling vents on either of the amps, how much room do they need around them in a cabinet? The manuals don’t mention that from what I’ve seen apart from keeping the components apart. I’d have just over a centimetre gap above for a Supernait, several cm either side.
Hi Mark, Connect the subwoofer to the AV amp and leave the music circuit pure. Then when the AV amp takes over it is just sending the front stereo image to your main speakers, and the subwoofer is left purely on the AV setup. That’s what works best for me anyway.
So I took the plunge and went for the SN3 and ND5, only had them for a week or so and am very happy, very happy!
The speakers have had the cobwebs blown out of them to say the least! They sound completely different, the clarity and impact, sounds silly but they feel like they’ve had their reins released and are having fun and want more Bass is fantastic, on some tracks I can feel it through the sofa, no need for the sub.
I bought Dark Side of the Moon when I was about 15 and 40+ years later have never heard it sound so good.
As a bonus the AV experience is similarly transformed, very simple to setup and get balanced. I thought the centre speaker might be a bit outmatched but vocals somehow sound a lot clearer. I’ve had several “leap out of the seat” moments watching films which I never had to the same extent with the Denon on it’s own!
We are currently doing up our front room so the walls are bare, wooden floor with rug, three sofas and not much else, don’t even have curtains at one end … hardly the ideal environment, things can get a bit brash at high volumes. To think that it may sound even better after more than the 30 odd hours of music it’s played and the room is finished is exciting
Enjoy, great system. I made the same experience with the Monitor Audio Gold GX200 that I have had for nine years and always liked them (obviously), until earlier this year with Rotel RC-1070 pre and RB-1080 power. I thought that’s fine. Then lockdowns, etc, and essentially between June and November I built the current system with P8, NDX2/555PR, NAC 252 / Supercap DR, and NAP 300 DR. The speakers are transformed and it is if I had bought new ones twice in one year (first with just the 300 and later the rest of the Naim units arriving). NigelB has the GX300 fronted by 500 sources and says similar things.
Naim amps don’t use very much power when idle compared to many other manufacturers. During the first weeks and months it’s a good idea, IMHO, to leave them on and remove one variable while you set up everything and establish a level of expectation for how it can sound. Later you can still turn if off and will have a better idea for whether it makes a difference you can hear or not.
I’m pleased that I don’t have to rush to upgrade the speakers and can take my time to see how things settle in and research which ones I should listen to … the gold series is on the list along with Focal and Spendor which seem to be popular choices on here.
That’s quite an upgrade you did over the summer/autumn! Sounds like you’re enjoying it
Thanks for the advice on the power side of things, makes sense,
Thanks, yeah, it’s been quite a ride but nothing better to do …
I made a slight mistake with the P8 that started it all actually already back in January, before I knew what would start to happen in June, so talking to the dealer to close out the year with changing it to a P10 After that also not in a rush to replace the Monitor Audios. Improving on them needs quite an investment, I think, and I need a break I’m sure you’ll enjoy yours too.
Hi, @Mark63. I had the same experience you describe when I inserted my first Naim amps into my existing AV setup. My dealer friend promised the 112/150 combination would “transform” my main speakers. I laughed at the hyperbole — until I found he was correct! I was shocked I didn’t miss the sub at all, when playing music.
@NickSeattle Apologies Nick, looks like I forgot to reply to you
A few weeks ago I tried hooking up the sub to the new amp and I was surprised how little it added to music … so it’s back on the AV amp where it belongs … and where it happily rattles the doors and windows
It’s been a couple of months so I thought I’d give an update now that the new boxes have settled in.
I’m still very pleased, the system sounds amazing in general but can fall apart when the volume is increased (a little past 9 o’clock) and there’s a lot going on in the track, it’s still harsh and loses its coherence, if that’s the right term.
Anything up to mid tempo, and faster if it’s a simple track, sounds amazing as I said earlier. Thanks to streaming I’ve been discovering jazz recently, a genre I’ve enjoyed live in bars in the past but never listened to at home. A large part of why I started listening to it is due to how great it sounds here and I’ve come to really appreciate and enjoy it.
On the other side I do enjoy classic rock a lot and that often doesn’t sound so great. I appreciate that it can be down to the recording, listening to Quadrophenia the other night (Qobuz hi-res) it was pretty flat and lacked bottom end punch. Kept up with Moon’s drumming fine though
I’m not convinced these issues are down to the speakers, maybe partly but all reviews were glowing in regards to pace and timing for their class. Maybe they are too big for the room (25m2), I do have to get them up to a decent volume to get the powerful bass out of them.
I think the room could well be the main issue. I’ve been talking to GIK Acoustics about room treatment, they have been extremely helpful giving advice on the sound measurements and room plan I sent them. Biggest issue with that is WAF, I’m very probably pushing my luck there considering the 10 speakers in the room already!
Another option could be EQ, not sure yet how that would fit in with the combined AV/Stereo setup I have.
Ideally I’d get some speakers in here and see if the problem is on that side of things, hard to do at the moment though.
So upshot at the moment is very pleased with the purchase, I’ve listened to more music in the past couple of months than I have in years, but with some issues I need to try and sort out.
This surprises me (the falling apart bit), though Naim Volume controls are famous for serving up all their goodness in the first 1/3 of the spectrum. 12:00 position and beyond is usually/often not usable.
Can you disconnect the AV from the Supernait and test the ND5 in isolation? Maybe try a CD player or other source directly into the Supernait for reference/comparison.
What kind of speaker-wire are you using? Soldered banana plugs are a must.