Is all older Naim gear rubbish?

(Asked in the Lounge and in a light hearted way)
Following on from the reports of how outstanding the new Naim range sounds is the title correct?

I have a 552DR/300DR as my main system.
I also have a 62/140 which sounds rubbish by comparison.

On the other hand I prefer my Older Nait to newer Denon kit for music.

Should we all be abandoning our older Naim kit for the new designs as they become available?

For me, the Olive kit is the best compromise between an engaging listen and hifi gimmickry.

At concerts and festivals, I have walked around trying to find the so called sweet spot. I have found some bad spots, but generally anywhere will do. The music is a source point rather than an invented hifi soundstage. Perfect.

The newer hifi seems to lean toward inventing a soundstage which I find distracting, and even annoying. Simple stereo or mono is all want to have. So no, for me, my old gear absolutely is not rubbish, but rather the pinnacle of hifi, at least within the Naim brand.

On the other hand, yes, you should be selling your older rubbish gear to me. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

9 Likes

Good point. I have a collection that needs moving on.

I find the classic the best sound quality, particularly the DR. I prefer the look of the cb though. I haven’t heard any of the new classic but I am interested to see if it sounds better than the DR though. I expect it to sound different, but better? mmmmm.

2 Likes

I like listening to my old 112x/nap200 combo. It didn’t suddenly sound bad after the new classic kit was revealed.

7 Likes

Indubitably.

What’s the point of having gear if you just keep it? Make way, make way…needs must and all that.

And of course… one simply must have a system in every room, which of course one must
( the previous gear can always be set up in the fourth bedroom, or the second shed ).

(I jest…I think.)

2 Likes

… don’t tell my wife that we have children for a reason …

2 Likes

This thread made me sit down and think. I’ve had many different bits of gear over the years, but the biggest improvement to my enjoyment came when I got my LP12 and Nait 1 back in 1983 (IIRC). This I ran into a pair of Spendor BC1s which I already had.

Of course the dreaded upgrade it is set in and I have had various iterartions of mainly Naim gear and LP12 upgrades.

Do I enjoy them more? Not sure. I recently visited the “outlaws” (my son-in-law’s parents) and listened to their system, which consisted of Dual Turntable, my daughter’s old Nait 2, Denon CD and Royd A7s. It sounded superb and made me wonder why I keep my current multibox stuff. It may sound more detailed etc, but has made me debate downgrading just to reduce the box count.

6 Likes

The biggest issue with the old stuff (and I run Olive) is the fact that to max it out with power supplies etc takes so many boxes that there will come a point when all of us downsize to a retirement home and don’t want two towers of Fraim full of 250’s and supercaps anymore! It looks flipping impressive in the right circumstances though!

I still think that the old shoebox style has a lot to commend it as a retirement or bachelor pad system. You get a hell of a lot of sound for the money and size from a Nait or a 62/140…

JonathanG

4 Likes

I don’t keep my stuff and trade it in so it’s hard to compare however from my first 102/180 to my current setup I’ve never considered Naim rubbish.

If you already had a great system been superseded isn’t going to make it sound sht.

3 Likes

I’m sure marketing would like that approach, but I’d take a healthy pinch of salt with some of the hyperbole going around.

3 Likes

Almost all innovation is incremental so I suppose it is a matter of buying at the right time and avoiding the temptation to refresh too early - wait for a more substantial future increment to future proof your investment…

2 Likes

I don’t think abandoning your old kit is necessary at all - unless you have the money and like the new range. From what I have heard it is indeed ‘better’ but that has a cost too.

For me what I’m seeking is to maximise musical enjoyment and that might come through a new component but it may also come in other ways. Let me give you an example: As we get older the way we listen to music changes and that can significantly impact the enjoyment of one’s system. When I was younger I used to hit the record stores with my mates on a Saturday and then we would come back that afternoon as a group of friends and play everybody’s acquisitions. We’d talk music, listen, sip coffee or whatever and really immersed ourselves in the sound. I was keen enough in those days to try a lot of tweaks which were essentially free or at least cheap on my modest system.

Nowadays with a house to run and a family etc there’s very rarely any record store trips and if I do go to HMV or a secondhand vinyl place it’s inevitably on my own and not a shared activity anymore. When I come home with a new record it’s very likely I might not even listen to it straight away because other priorities like making dinner etc take over. When I do listen it will be either alone or with my Missus who will likely want to talk through it!! Even though my system is far better than the one I had aged 19 the listening experience is not better at all…

I’m trying to get together with my old buddies now and again so music can be a shared experience once again with like minded souls - as it used to be. That is better than any new box or upgrade in my view!!

My reviewing activity is nearly always done when everyone else is out midweek because I work shifts in the day job. This at least enables me to listen without distractions, but it’s inevitably alone and very often (not always) quite different to listening for pleasure.

JonathanG

16 Likes

I agree with the finding time to actively listen. Even in retirement and just Mrs Bruss and I, it seems rude to exclude Mrs B and just as rude to ignore her need to talk to someone. The P8 in the main system gets less use than the TT in the study!

2 Likes

I can see how a reduced box count is attractive, especially if the new classic range accommodates this with little loss in sq. I am still enjoying the exploration of multi boxes though and the differences in sq that can bring, I much prefer to listen to the main system over any of the other simpler set ups I have. Later, perhaps as we downsize the house and move, that may change.

Last year, I had my CDX2 serviced and upgraded . I had an old Olive CD3, it hadn’t been played in twenty years . Within two hours it had warmed up and was singing sweetly

That speaks for itself

5 Likes

Compared to a Statement system it arguably is not very good. However, it allows you to enjoy your music then arguably it is still very good.

My first Naim kit, a 42/110, was at the time to be considered very good. Now 40 years later I would argue it still is because it was and is a very enjoyable tool to listen to music with. Is it as refined, as detailed, and sonically accurate as a modern bit of kit, probably not. I would definitely not swap my 222/250 for a 42/110 but in a second system, I would be very happy with it.

1 Like

Come and listen to our system to answer the question. nd5xs2, lp12, aro, troika,PS, 82, SC, 250, SBLs. All serviced up to date and set up perfectly. Then you can decide! Still my end game system. (ok, maybe tempted if a 52 came along)
Martin

1 Like

Lol. There is no such thing as an end game system. :grinning:

3 Likes

There is if money or spousal tolerance runs out.
The trick is to get to the ‘happy’ stage before either or both occur.

5 Likes

I have a “Classic/500 series” system at the moment : LP12/EkosSE/Radikal/Dynavector XV-1s/Naim NDS/555DR/Nac552/552PSDR/NAP300DR/Arcam AV850/Naim n-System.

Sounds great, but I’ve always enjoyed the systems I had in the past. The listening room is my “man-cave” (originally my study), and is SMALL - about 9ft by 14ft. Once a year I dismantle the setup, clean up the dead spiders hiding behind it, then put it all back together. Heavy work, and usually involves bad language, taking nearly all day (I’m not getting any younger!) I may have to get one of my sons-in-law to help me do it this year.

Just out of curiosity I have tried running the system just using the NDS/Arcam/NAP300 (preamp out from the AVR). It’s eminently listenable. Must try this sometime again using the Arcam’s own power amp rather than the NAP300.

1 Like