Naim CI Series

The current ci lineup is really begging for an av preamp indeed.


I’ve been sans AV amp since my last one blew up on the workbench during recapping. Waiting for a new one for months and no word from Denon when/if it will be available soon.

But if Naim managed to get a AV processor out the door in the next few months, I’d be very tempted.

I’m 99.999% certain that won’t happen though.

I read the Naim CI blurb stuff quickly and it mentioned a processor (not made by Naim) that it was designed to work with. As I’m neither knowledgeable nor interested, I’ve forgotten what was written now, but it might be worth looking at that in case it’s relevant.

I think it’s a bit more different than that.
Things obviously missing at first glance: screen, remote, physical volume knob, headphone plug. USB-port for local drives. It’s intended to be hidden away and remotely operated via network/apps.
The amplifier seems to be very different as well. 150 Watts (@8 Ohm).
That’s before checking more details and all the special features added in HW and SW (where we e.g. currently don’t know, which parts are implemented just in software or if there are changes to the compute platform to support the new capabilities wir multi-room, DSP, etc.).

I guess, we’ll have to wait for more details and some hands-on reports.

It’s a system controller sadly not an AV processor.

But obviously you can pair the 108 with any AV processor you like.

These ATMOS AV all in one amps are fine but they struggle driving 7 full range 4 Ohm speakers. That 108 might be just the ticket.


Yes it is . Mac was founded in 1949… well before Naim. And Marantz was founded in 1953

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If Focal launch active speaker powered by Naim amplification at the price that I can afford, I’d definitely buy that


We’re looking at a grown up MuSo with this series. DSP, multiple class D amps, SMPS (A universal 100V to 240V mains power supply) but the speakers move out of the box and into the walls/ceiling.

But FOCAL/NAIM also marked the units are designed to work perfectely with the THEVA, VESTIA and ARIA EVO X loudspeakers in a real hifi environment. I would like to try the units with line array speakers and subs engineered by the German brand Bec Akustik.

Yes, of course, as these are all Focal speakers. However, not that they are at the affordable end of Focal’s range, which perhaps tells you bit about the CI market in general.

Speaking of McIntosh, yes they have been around for a while :grin:


What would be an interesting (if expensive) experiment would be to back to back a conventional system using high quality electronics into expensive passive speakers using conventional crossovers against a Minidsp into NAP-108 fully active into a DIY/kit speaker with design parameters geared to a particular room.

Not an apples for apples comparison but it would be interesting to hear them back-to-back.

The conventional passive system has the advantage of HQ electronics and drivers/cabinets but the disadvantage of passive crossovers.

The ‘DIY’ system is obviously only as good as its designer and uses much cheaper electronics but would the ability to design speakers exactly to the requirements of the room/listener and without the need for lossy crossovers compensate for cheaper electronics?

I suspect the results might be closer than one might expect.

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Partner it with a Marantz Cinema 70 in pre-amp mode and you might have a very effective system that runs cool in two slim boxes.

Please let us know the outcome of your comparison of the Atom with the 102. Do you understand what drives the price difference?

Yes please let us know.

Can’t figure out why the CI Uniti 102 couldn’t be used as a steamer DAC combo hidden away and going into a NAP250 or NAIT50 for example. If the screen and remote are not needed in your set-up. Why pay more than double to get the features you do want.

I’d consider myself a target customer in so much as I have a custom install of Focal 300 Series in wall speakers in my lounge.
I used an Atom as I had one in my home office and repurposed it. I moved a Sonos amp from the kitchen to my office and had my bases covered.
If the 102 is as capable for TV duty as my Atom has been it frees that up to go back in the office again.
It’ll have a similar set of capabilities but without a display, remote or volume control as with the Atom, none of which I’d miss as it’s in a cupboard hidden anyway.
The 102 has a Class D amp in it and probably a SMPS as opposed to a linear ps toroidal so imagine it’ll be fast and punchy but vs the Atom might sound less exciting or involving (an estimate for now).
What I’m not expecting it to be is an Atom without a screen.

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I can see the Uniti 102 finding its way into many peoples kitchens and home offices etc. Looks like a fantastic product.
Cant wait to have a play with one.


Yes please! And preferably for less than Nait 50 money.


Looks modern, but underneath has the Naim equivalent of the engine and suspension from a 1952 Morris Minor.

Not sure of the analogy here (got to love a Moggie - the car in which I learned to drive), however, as for Marinised, see my follow up post with the Wiki explanation of Marinisation;