Hi All… First time poster and new to Naim - so be gentle with me :). Apologies if this has been covered before - happy to be pointed to the right place on the forum, (although I have had a good look before posting).
So, a few months ago, I purchased my first Naim audio product - a Nait 5si with some Acoustic Energy 500 speakers being used in conjunction with a Bluesound Node 2i streamer. In short, I love the setup. There is definitely something about the Naim sound that I can’t put my finger on - but it won out over several other amps including a CA CXA80, Audiolab 6000a and Rega Elex-R.
So, to my dilemma. I love the sound of the current system and want a second setup in another room.
There are 2 possibilities listed below - both of which are different. My Bluesound Node 2i is a flexible box and is easily moved providing both analogue and digital outputs, so will work with both options below. The 2nd room setup will use a set of B&W 606’s which sound great with the Nait 5si also.
- Naim DAC V1 + NAP100
- Naim Nait 5si
I think I am slightly erring towards Option 1. This would seem to give me more options going forward - having the possibility of using the DAC and changing out the amplifier should I want to. I could also use the DAC with my existing Nait 5si if required.
Is the Naim DAC V1 + NAP100 inferior to the Nait 5si? With the current lockdown - it isn’t possible to go and listen - so this will be a blind purchase.
Is it possible that the DAC V1 can improve the sound received from digital sources versus other DAC’s - for example in an amplifier such as a CA CXA80? Is the DAC / Amplifier combo a step up from my existing setup, the same or worse? Other digital sources would include a PC and a Cambridge Audio CXC CD transport, (optical or Co-Axial). Is it likely that taking the digital output from the Bluesound Node 2i and letting the Naim DAC work it’s magic - an improvement will be audible versus using the analogue output of the Node 2i?
Appreciate that everything is subjective - but curious if anyone has had the same dilemma or been through a similar process. There are a lot of favourable reviews of the DAC V1 + NAP100 combo, but I’ve got it wrong so many times before based on reviews!
Thanks in advance for your considerations and replies in my new quest
I can’t advise on your options but for my 2nd system I use a Muso QB which works great.
I bought a second hand Unitiqute and Neat Iotas on the used market for less then the cost of a muso - I have to say it really good.
You can pick up aa pre-owned Superuniti for cheap these days. I know, because I just sold one, and I got SFA for it.
It just does everything, and it does it all very well.
I probably should have kept it.
Aware you can pick up a DAC V1 and NAP combined for around £1500 at the moment, this is an end of shelf life offer. The DAC V1 retailed at £1500 and the NAP about £800 (I think)
The basic NAIT will have about the same power but will accept analogue inputs.
If I was only intending digital inputs I think the DAC V1/ NAP 100 would probably be the superior option , if analogue is part of the equation then the NAIT would be the preferred route
The DAC-V1 and NAP100 is a great combination and would be a great choice here. However, there’s one thing to note; if you ever wish to add an analogue source then it’s not the right choice, as it only accommodates digital sources. In which case, as Ian points out above, I would take the NAIT instead.
I always feel Naim missed a trick in not putting an analogue source in and perhaps marketing the DAC V1 under a different name and as a stand alone headphone amplifier .
I wonder if the lines between headphone amp/ and DAC aren’t more than a little blurred with many being interchangeable
Having started, admittedly as main system, with unitiqute, then Dac V1, then went to 5xs, now NDX, I can’t recommend the unitiqute 2, as a second system, enough: marvellous little bit of kit & completely wish I’d never let it go; as soon as I can get one, other priorities with the main system presently, I’ll go for it as a second system - don’t dismiss that magical little box with both digital & analogue inputs
I have a Unitiqute2 with Spendor SR5 wall speakers and a n-Sub sitting underneath my desk (near-field low frequency goodness). Sounds amazing!
Another nod to the UQ2 …
One box does the lot, and very well to boot
If your second room is not too large, you might want to consider an Atom. That would avoid moving your Bluesound box from room to room. The amplifier in the Atom is apparently “based on” the Nait 5si, which suggests you might enjoy the sound. If your budget goes that far (and they’re beginning to appear used) it might be worth adding to your list of alternatives.
Many thanks for the responses so far. There are a great number of options that I hadn’t considered - particularly in terms of the 2nd hand market. The Uniti looks like a good option - especially as this would cover the CD option plus streaming. Are these units reliable and has anyone had experience in costs regarding servicing if it were to go wrong? In terms of quality - would this be on par with a Bluesound Node 2i + Nait 5si combo?
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