With the new classic series apparently the 202/200, Hicap/282/250, supercap/252/300 are all discontinued. The earlier starter systems of 112/150 based kit has already gone. This leaves the entry level separates as the new classic x300/332/350. That’s a big leap from where Naim used to be. Do Naim now believe that entry level is only about integrated streaming products?
I think you have forgotten ND5XS2 streamer and Nait XS3 as well as Nait 5i and that loveable Nait 50 limited edition.
They are all current. Not discontinued separates.
They are all integrated products in one form or another. By separates I was thinking psu/preamp/power amp.
It’s a great question bruss
I may be wrong but I think the lower level separates range might be gone forever
I guess maybe the powers that be may have looked at the likes of the Nova, SN 3 etc and concluded that SQ pretty close to the lower level separates plus that market might have diminished
Probably completely wrong though ha
Yes I’ve pondered the same thing. Naim offer things at “price points” only sadly. You can get on the Naim ladder at a desired price point easily enough, but it may not be the type of product you are really in the market for.
If you want to get on the pre-power ladder at a lower price point, it can’t be with Naim… unless you go second hand.
Which, in fairness, is exactly where many of us have started and continue to grow through…
I hope a new entry level will follow the new classsic range. It’s a way to open the door for new clients and as always a lot of them will follow the upgrade path with time coming. Unfortunately the investment groups in industry count to maximize profits in the first place. Car manufactors f.e. follow the same road and cut the production of small - low level vehicles as they have to make very large sales to get a satisfying profit. But they forget that lower priced quality products bring innew customers. At the end no clients, no sales.
And don’t forget the CD5Si either.
I imagine if you looked at the sales figures and margins across the ranges, old and new alike, the answer would be pretty obvious.
The quantity of products manufactured and sold across SI and XS Series vs Muso and Uniti for example and the margins associated with each.
The Uniti and Classic ranges also share a lot of components, particularly regards digital, control and networking, so volume purchasing and inventory management benefits apply accordingly.
The NAIT 50 could indeed be a bit of a trojan horse to test the market for a simple shoebox range and at a lower complexity/price point.
They could relatively easily change the mechanical ID of the NAIT 50 and make it a NAIT xx in a New Classic style.
I’d imagine they will continue to test the water and appeal of new ranging concepts, there’s plenty of shoebox low cost amps out there that probably sell in reasonable volumes and act as gateway products to upsell customer to other ranges.
It’s fair to assume that the current SI and XS ranges could be logically consolidated in to a new 100 Series range for example.
Going second-hand when the kit is so reliable and the long-term servicing so good is absolutely the right way to go for SQ per £.
Having said that, my understanding is that the bottom of the range of per/power combos was only fractionally better than a Supernait 3, and adding a Hicap to the Supernait 3 led to it outperforming 202/200.
Naim may appear obsessed with power supplies, but there does seem to be a reason for this - that 2-box amp just sounds better than the more traditional 2-box option.
What about those second-hand choices?
I have compared SQ from second-hand ND5XS2/82/Hicap/250 with a Nova, and there was no doubt the Nova was good but second-best even to cloth ears like mine. The fact that that combo also cost less on eBay or PFM than a new Nova costs may not matter to those who only want 1 or 2 boxes of course.
Isn’t it more the fact that the category ‘separates’ is being redefined. You could argue that even at 300 series level the notion of the separate unit has been revised as both the streamer and the pre-amp have an integrated power supply. It seems to me that Naim are responding to what people here say and no doubt what they find in their market research, that their potential customers need high quality SQ in fewer boxes. From such a perspective the NSC222 plus 250 is a separates system.
I think we’re a bit more old skool in terms of what we consider separates.
1996 - Rotel pre + 2x monobloc, tuner, CD transport, DAC, phono, TT
2019 - SuperUniti, definitely an integrated
2020 - 272/250 not really separates as 272 was all of streamer/DAC/pre
We now have separates having split 272 into 5 boxes!
In. my experience, Naim equipment is well designed and well made.
So the obvious way to start a Naim journey is to go to a good Naim dealer and look at their second hand stock.
I have always had great service and help from Grahams in Islington, TomTom Audio in St Albans and (more recently) Audio T in Brighton. Others such as Cymbiosis in Leicester have a stellar reputation for customer care and service.
So it’s not difficult for a ‘newbie’ to make a start on the Naim journey (which may last a lifetime).
Yes, second hand Naim has long been the alternative entry level point into the world of Naim. The fact that it was built really well to begin with and is mostly all still supported and serviceable really helps. For me, the NAC42 and NAP110 are the quintessential entry level Naim pre/power pairing; beautifully made, classic looks, reasonably affordable, fully serviceable, and still sounds great. It may just be all the amp you ever really need.
Yes - it’s quite amazing Richard the ability of naim to continue to service the CB gear
I still have the 32.5/hicap/250 CB combo - never ceases to amaze me how great it sounds, it’s in action a lot
Further to @Richard.Dane’s contribution obviously depends on budget but a 2nd hand 282/200 is a brilliant starting point.
I look forward to my hoard of serviced Naim starter kit becoming sought after. (Other investments are available)
fully agree demo or second hand market is a fine way to start a Naim adventure. But far more easy in the UK than EU where the number of such Naim gear is rather restricted and quickly sold.
Not just entry level. I had no desire to go up the ladder from 202/200 plus 2x power supplies. No interest in SN3 at the time - sideways move with phonostage redundancy for my use case. I’m sure I would have auditioned the new classic series and probably bought without a second thought had they been available at the time but that ship has sailed. I’m delighted with my switch to a pre-loved high-end integrated by another fab hi-fi company.
It’s fair: some eBay sellers will ship to EU and some won’t.
Of course, you can always organise a shopping trip. It’s not that far from the Eurostar terminal to (for example) Tom Tom in St. Albans.