Hi there. I am a complete newbie to Naim (slightly more experience with hifi overall) having this week picked up an absolutely mint 5si for a bargain on a well known auction site.
I set it up yesterday and I can certainly hear a big difference compared to the old Onkyo mini CD/receiver I was using as an amplifier.
My current set up is:
Pro-ject Debut III Audiophile S > Pro-ject Phono Box > Nait 5si > Monitor Audio Radius 90
The R90’s were inherited from my dad when he upgraded his system at home, along with some QED Micro cable. It sounds fine but I know I need better speakers, more on that later.
I primarily use my system for listening to records (mainly rock & metal) but I would like to add some Bluetooth streaming capability (i.e to the 5si) and have been doing a little research. I am considering the Arcam rBlink and the two Pro-ject Bluetooth boxes (E and S2). Two questions, would any of these suit the 5si’s inputs and would I need a further DAC between the bluetooth receiver and amp? Any other options? Budget is <£200
Next, on to speakers. Only considering reasonable small (no larger than 170mm wide) bookshelf speakers. I am aware that Neat and PMC are often mentioned when it comes to Naim but they would be out of my budget at the RRP prices. Short of secondhand options for Neat and PMC, are there any other brands/models I should consider?
Does it have to be Bluetooth? I only ask because of all the streaming options available - upnp, Airplay etc… - Bluetooth would, by a long way, come last. Mainly because it’s the poorest sounding option and unless you are very close by Bluetooth connectivity can be hit or miss at the best of times. Given the choice between Bluetooth or something like Airplay, I would go for the latter every time.
What device(s) are you thinking of using for the streaming?
Welcome Rico; enjoy the ride - it’s fun. If you’re looking for affordable though I’d move away quickly before you get sucked into power supplies, amps that come in two boxes and Ethernet cables that cost more than a decent bike.
Well, with Naim the quality of the source is important. No matter how good the amp and speakers, any deficiencies in the source are all the more exposed.
On your sort of budget I’d be looking at maybe something like an Arcam irDAC or airDac. Or perhaps an old Airport Express via optical Toslink into a decent affordable DAC.
Another alternative, if the MBP is close by, would be a DAC like the Audioquest Dragonfly Red or the new Dragonfly Cobalt, directly wired from DAC to the NAIT. Or maybe a secondhand Chord Mojo is within reach. To this you could eventually add a Poly add-on unit for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay and network connectivity.
Absolutely. Naim’s own digital sources are rated at 2V, which is the old Red Book standard.
If you already have an Airport Express then there are lots of decent affordable DACs available secondhand that fall within your budget and will take a Toslink input.
Look out for something like an Arcam irDAC or, if you can stretch the budget a bit, a Rega DAC. The aforementioned Chord Mojo is an excellent sounding unit, in spite of its portable size and battery power.
I find these Yamaha streamers to be very good in terms of the range of streaming sources they can use. The problem with the WXAD10 is that it has no digital output, so you have to use the built in DAC, and I really don’t think it’s up to the job in a Naim system. What I do think is worth considering is the Yamaha WX-C50, which is very good for the money, but also has a digital out, so you can add a better DAC in future.