Nait 2, Kans Mk1 but what DAC?

Hi everyone,

I’m a Naim newcomer so go easy on me :slight_smile: Very happy to be here. So i’ve just purchased a Nait 2 (I’ll most likely have it serviced/re-capped). Also just purchased a pair of Linn Kans Mk1 (serials in the 16000’s) which I’ll also likely get tested and serviced.

I’m looking for some ideas/suggestions for a DAC that would go well with this combo. I currently have a Schiit Modi 3 but have been doing some research and I can see that some people like the Chord Quest with the Nait 2. But haven’t found anyone with the same combo as yet.

Could the Qutest be too much for the Nait 2/Kans combo, too bright and shouty or clinical perhaps?

For now the source is an older MacBook Pro running Tidal and Audivarna with a Toslink cable running into the DAC.

I’ll be looking into the LP12 turntable route in the future but thought starting with the digital route might be a more economical place to start.

Receiving the amp and speakers this week.

Thank you.

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Apart from its SQ, a useful feature of the Qutest is the ability to set output level at 1, 2 or 3V. The 1V setting will give far more range on the Nait’s volume control than with the 2V output setting.

Useful for getting over the low level channel imbalance of the volume control.

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Thanks James. That’s great to know.

Qutest works well with my Node plus Nait2 plus Kans.

Great to know! Thanks Bruss.

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I’d heartily recommend getting the Nait2 serviced before embarking on front end upgrades. This will give a level playing field to judge alternative DACs against. I got my Nait2 serviced in 2020 and was somewhat slack jawed at the improvement (allowing for a couple of weeks burn in etc) as my unit had never been touched since new. If you are in the UK, ClassA in Sheffield are an approved Naim service centre, alternatively send back to The Mother Ship for some TLC.

As others have referenced, Chord and the Nait seem to be a popular combo so worth checking out.

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A V1 would be a great DAC for use with a computer using USB. Not a perfect visual match with your Nait, but still a ‘shoebox’ size case.

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You can use the Nait 2 with any good DAC, essentially the sky is the limit. I’ve been using mine recently with the Auralic Vega G2 and the Atom HE and the way it reproduces space and separation of instruments, voices and rhythm (with the right speakers and in the right size room) is just phenomenal. In other words you should be rewarded for using the best front end you can afford.

But first, indeed, service is essential!

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Cheers. Yes, no point rushing in. It’s quite mad how much the Nait 2’s are going for now. Currently one on the bay for nigh on £1500. Yes, will definitely get it serviced ASAP. Followed by the speakers. From a previous post it looks like Anapeach speaker restoration comes recommended.

Thanks for your help.

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Thanks for letting me know. I’ll have a look into the V1.

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Thanks for all the info. I’ll take a look into those DAC’s although some may be over my budget. I think a used Qutest is probably the top of the limit for me for now. Makes sense though re using the best source possible. Sounds like an incredible set up!

I’m coming from a Rega Brio with the Schiit Modi 3 and Planar 1 with a Nagaoka MP110. So am hoping this should all be a decent upgrade :slight_smile: even though I’m just focusing on the digital side of things for now.

Really looking forward to what can be achieved and this group has been very helpful.

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The Qutest is perfect for the Nait 2 and as James mentioned above setting the Qutest to 1v is ideal.

I’ve attached a Dave/MScaler to my Nait 2, the Nait 2 is one hell of an amp just keeps on giving. Get yours serviced and buy the best DAC you can afford.

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The post-Hugo crop of Chord DACs are not shouty - but Isn’t that what the Kans are all about anyway?

I guess I’m about to find out.

Mscaler looks the business but is somewhat out of my league for now.

Anyone used a Sbooster with the Ultra MkII and the Qutest as a way to eke out anything more from this DAC? Or something similar perhaps.

I have a pair of Kan I’s in the 46000 range, so these can be bi-amped. I ran them ‘as bought’ for a few years. Very good, but I felt there was a slight ‘tremble’ occasionally at the treble-end. So, last year I had them completely refurbished with all-new drivers and crossover by someone who formerly worked for Linn. The result - following a few weeks of ‘bedding in’ - has been amazing.

Basically, you’ve got a pair of one of the two or three best brands of small speakers ever produced in the hi-fi era. As long as you find somebody who knows how to properly fettle these, they’re worth their weight in gold.

Skyebridge

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That’s great to know! Definitely sounds like they can be great for their size if set up in the right space. I’m very interested to see how they sound.

Do you mind if I ask who you used to service yours?

Thanks.

I have a pair of MK1 Kans with the sticking out speaker posts. I had new Scanspeak ferofluid tweeters fitted and the crossovers recapped along with new grill cloth. Wilmslow Audio in Leicester did the work 2 years ago for £260. Very happy with the sound, lovely treble very sweet no harshness or grain and the new tweeters integrate perfectly with the B110 mid bass driver sounding very dynamic with great clarity and the bass extension has surprised me. I drive these speakers with Naim 72/HiCap/180 in a very small room and find the 180 gives them enough juice to get them singing. A 250 would yield better results and maybe one day when funds permit I will take it to the next level. I highly recommend getting the MKll stands and getting the speakers as close to the back wall as possible, Linn recommend 5-10cm and 45cm from the corners as a guide but some experimentation may yield better results depending on your room acoustics. If you can get the setup of the Kans right then you are in for a real treat. With the new tweeters the Kans work just as well with digital sources as they do with analogue. The Kans are incredibly revealing of source. I would suggest an LP12 with at least an Ittok with a nice sweet sounding moving coil cartridge and a decent power supply.

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I’d love to be able to give you that information. Unfortunately, however, he is someone who has some significant health issues, and cannot accommodate the potential demand for his terrific skills. I was very lucky to make his acquaintance.

The full rebuild cost for my Kans was around £550, including shipping and insurance. This included the return of all four original drivers in working order (the treble ‘tremble’ I detected proved to be just a slight loosening of a connection or the housing). Hence I could sell-on those drivers and recover a good portion of my refurbishment costs. I don’t expect you will find anyone else with the right skills at that price level. But at least you’ve got a benchmark when looking at some of the very hefty ‘asking prices’ out there.

DiY is not rocket science if you can follow manuals, though best also if you have access to a skilled cabinet maker who can guide you through the tricky bits of undoing and doing seals on the cabinets etc.

I hope this is helpful.

Skyebridge

The Naim V1 would be a good match or any Chord Dac. Service the Nait before doing anything else. You will be amazed at the improvement.

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