I have seen DVD5 and N-DVI on a well known site. Are they to be recommended? I have a second system which is a Uniti Lite driving Linn Kans. Do the NAIM players offer anything better than a cheap, £50 player?
The DVD5 was really rather good at playing CDs - it sounded a bit like a CDX in many respects. Trouble was, being a DVD player, operationally it rated just like a DVD player, which can be frustrating on CDs. However it was also superb playing 24/96kHz DADs and 24/192kHz DVD-As - definitely musical in the typical Naim mould, on a good DAD or DVD-A it could sound really stunning.
Picture quality was also stunning for a DVD player, without onboard scaling. It was actually at its best on the RGBHV BNC component output, particularly when using Naim’s own component cable and a screen or projector that could make the most of such a connection (Naim used Fujitsu plasmas, SIM2 rear projection screens and SIM2 overhead projectors). In many respects, such as with skin tones, it set a standard that is still amazing for DVD.
The n-Vi took elements of the DVD5 (somewhat simplified and detuned) and added 5 channel processing and class D amplification. It was a great bit of kit, and when partnered with the Naim n-System speakers and n-Sub, properly set up, and fed some great music and concert DVDs, it could offer wonderful entertainment, with a picture not that far off the DVD5 standard. Only issue with the n-Vi and also to a lesser extent the DVD5 and it’s AV2 processor sibling, was that the video side relied on a partnership that was always as joined up as it should have been, so they proved somewhat “characterful” in their operational quirks.
That said, if considering one today, you would have to ask yourself some hard questions as to just what you want, and how much you’re willing to pay, and, should it all go pear shaped, are you able to happily just walk away from the unit. If it’s just a great music system you’re after, I’d say pass. If you want a great DVD-A player then the DVD5 is definitely still relevant. If you’ve got a nice little n-system standing by and a whole cupboard full of music and concert DVDs that you want to enjoy, then, if the price is right, an n-Vi might be just the thing… if it’s all still working reliably. But don’t pay too much…
I have one (DVD5) I bought used when I was getting into Wagner and decided that I needed to see the operas and not just listen to the music to get the best of them, though the sound track of most DVDs turned out to be a bit disappointing in musical terms compared to CD. At the time I had a CDX2 and the DVD5 playing CDs didn’t give that much away, not as deep in the bass but just as musical, until I put the CDX2 on full Fraim that is, the gap opened up a bit once I did that.
I still keep the DVD5 in my main system, now feeding the ND555 (that replaced the CDX2) via SPdif. It’s a pity they used RCA for the digital out rather than BNC.
Operationally its a bit clunky with the drawer sometimes reluctant to open if it’s been idle for a long time, which it mostly is.
One thing well worth doing with the DVD5 if you are just wanting to play music is to defeat the display, which also defeats part of the video circuitry for even better sound.
I would echo Richard’s comments. It has a digital output so you can play with external DACs is that floats your boat.
I gave my DVD5 away to a fellow forum member who was having issues with his; and, as Richard points out, this is the Achilles heel. Still, good CD player and superb with DVD-A.
I have two DVD5 with a few hundreds difference in serial N. The newer one is still serviceable with spare mechs still available the older one is no more.
Audio performace is great, being side by side with CDX2-2. It’s a bit reluctant sometime reading dvd Toc. and less than perfect discs.
I had a n-Vi for a few years. I loved its performance, which was especially good at low volumes. But…they are notoriously unreliable. Mine broke, had a big repair by Naim then broke again and that was the end. So be wary of what you are buying.
My DVD5 is also hesitant at opening the drawer at start up and now also refuses to play DVD’s. But seems to play CD’s only for now.
By way of contrast, mine doesn’t recognize CDs but will play DVDs! It’s in the lift now…
The n-Vi was a brilliant one box solution.
Just a bit to late to market with HD and BluRay.
I had one on pre order for months.
It arrived worked faultlessly for almost a year ,
Adam gave me a full refund to spend on more black boxes then left Naim to go live in France.
I’ve not a clue who is customer relations at naim these days?
Does anyone know how the wonderful Shelia is getting on since she left Naim ?
If you don’t mind sharing, what serial number range is still serviceable?
I’ ll let you know tomorow
Well, in for a penny . . .
DVD5 on the way. Emailed service, it can still be serviced and the serial number has not been serviced per Naim’s records.
Should be interesting comparing it as a CD transport to the Expo 3010S2 CD player I have . . .
Just remember to defeat the display for best sound performance. Also make sure it’s set for PCM 2 channel output (not Bitstream). You’ll need to plug it into a display to go through the menus to ensure all is set properly.
Hmmmm . . . I assume a remote is needed?
Yes, you’ll need a remote control.
Here we are, of mine, N. 22798 has been serviced with new mech last year. N. 222541 is not serviceable
I wound up buying it - S/N 285xxx. Now, to find a remote that works that is not $229 . . .