Nait 5si advice needed - new (old) Naim user

Hi all,

This is my first time on the Naim forum. I owned a bi-amped Olive system back in the mid-90s, but sold it all due to life priorities at the time.

I’m now making my way back in to the HiFi world again, from scratch, after 20 odd years. I won’t be going down the route a I took in the 90s, I’m looking at a more modest set up.

To cut a long story short, I originally bought the Rega Elex-r, Quad S2 and the recent version of the Bluesound Node, and Audiolab 6000CDT.

I love the little Quads, they’re staying, as are the Node and CDT, but… after around 3 weeks with the Elex-r, I found it just too brash for my tastes.

I took it back to my dealer early this week with a view to looking at alternatives. They’ve loaned me an Arcam SA10 to try out at home, but they also gave a listen to the Nait 5si in the shop.

The Arcam is very easy to listen to; smooth and warmish, and I do enjoy it, but there’s something missing for me. I think it’s a little too laid back, the complete opposite of the Elex-r. I feel like I needed something that falls in between these two amps. So, after much hand ringing and gnashing of teeth, I’m going back tomorrow and pulling the trigger on the Nait 5si.

So, on this note, I just have a couple of questions , any help much appreciated;

I currently have 3m runs of QED Reference T40i speaker cable - will this be adequate/useable in the short term until I can get something more suitable - was looking at Witch Hat or Tellarium Black II?

Regarding the Quad S2s, they sounded great in the shop with the Nait, but haven’t been able to home demo the pairing - long term, are the Quads a decent pairing with the 5si?

Forgot to mention, my room is not big 12ft by 11ft. I listen to a lot of singer/songwriter material, Jazz, light classical, and 90s stuff like Pixies, 4AD label bands. Listening in the near field.

Thanks for reading, any advice or suggestions greatly appreciated

Kind Regards

The QED will be fine until you get 3.5m, (shortest you can buy,) of Witch Hat Phantom cable.

Thanks Billy windsock, that’s great to know. My dealer is lending me the 5si tomorrow for home demo before I buy officially.

Linn K20 is remarkably cheap… and quite similar to Naim NAC A4…

As long as you don’t go for something very exotic, made from echidnas spines, or liquid sodium, the integrated amps will cope.

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:rofl: thanks again. No, nothing weird :slight_smile:

Can your dealer lend you some NAC A5? I ran a 5si for many years and thought it was a great amplifier. Simple and direct and just cut straight to the music.

Thanks Stephen, to be honest, I didn’t think to ask. My dealer is a 60mile round trip, so I’ll make do with the QED for now.

He has the 5si on order, so once they come in, and I get my unit I’ll look at my options.

Just one other question regarding interconnects from my Node; would a RCA to DIN be a better connection than RCA to RCA?

If so, does anyone have experience of the Mogami Naim specific interconnect built for this purpose? It’s available from a couple of online retailers in the UK?

Yes a RCA > DIN lead would be the preferred choice over a RCA > RCA. I’ve used a Chord Company Clearway to great effect. I can’t comment on the Mogami, sorry.

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Just a an update; I’ve ordered a pair of WH Phantoms, but there is a long wait time, probably another 4 weeks or so. In the meantime, I bought a cheap 2xRCA to 5pin Din Mogami cable just to see if how that sounded compared to RCA to RCA. Not a scientific comparison, as I was using a QED Reference Audio 40 pair of RCA ICs, but there was a subtle increase in airiness, but nothing to write home about, but I wasn’t expecting anything at the price I paid for it, about £30.

Since this I was mooching around auction sites and came across this;



Here’s the blurb from the listing;

"The interconnect was made originally by CHORD in the UK about 30 years ago - we can estimate it based on style of RCA connectors and original seal with Chord logo that were in use by the company at that time

Who those readers who are interested in history of the UK Audio - this is a very rare early edition, a great predecessor of Cobra and Chrysalis families and a museum grade rarity actually.

The interconnect is in the perfect working order with very clean connectors and no marks.

This cable has high specification and was developed by The Chord Company for use with top quality

equipment like QUAD or NAIM. The cables like the one presented here were offered by Chord at that time

to meet this specification and is a remarkable rarity now."

Anyway, it was about £43 with shipping, so I took a punt, it arrived this morning. I’ve popped it between my Denafrips Ares II and 5si, and I must say, I am pleasantly surprised. I’ve just played through the latest Kings of Convenience album, Love or Peace, for about the 30th time and the Chord cable has created a little more space, vocals are more rounded and 3D, timbre has become slightly more richer. I love this album, but listening this morning, on certain tracks, the hairs on the back of my neck were raised. That’s the emotional response I crave.
Now listening to Dexter Gordon “GO”, similar changes/improvements.

Anyway, has anyone come across this old Chord IC before, and able to shed any more light on it`s product line history? Model name etc? Or was it a “prototype” or “proof of concept” and not part of a fully released product line?

Thanks all

Regards

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Originally, Chord IC’s were relatively good Value For Money. I have/have had several…

£43 = bargain…!!

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This is pic of my Chord Chrysalis, RCA to DIN.

Museum grade? Are there hifi interconnect museums? :smiley:

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:joy: I did think that myself when I read the sale description; I wouldn’t mind a visit :thinking::wink:.

Thanks for the pic gthack, there’s a discernible resemblance with the 2 ICs; as the seller claims, the cable I bought probably is a pre-cursor to the Chrysalis.

I am a tad nerdy, and find these kind of things interesting; heritage of product lines and how they’ve evolved, guess I should get out more :blush:

But regardless, for less than the price of a decent meal out for 2, this cable is a sweet sounding IC, and I’m really enjoying it, well worth the punt. The Mogami I bought was a cheap stop-gap while I deliberated on a higher tier RCA-DIN, but this old timer I’ve received today may be sticking around for a while, it makes me smile inside and out, which is the whole point of this insane past time I suppose. :wink:

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Yes RCA to DIN is a far better sound than RCA to RCA

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Ermm … doubtful… IMO - likely later.

Looks more like a Cobra, to me… I have owned both Red & Green Cobras…

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