Need advice on system

Currently using a Mcintosh C2500 tube pre amplifier and a 200 watt Mcintosh amplifier. Source is a Lumin D2 streamer speakers are Sonus Faber Sonneto 3 and I find my system overall to be lifeless, very crisp and clear but I’m not into the music. I’m seriously considering Naim because I like the speed and rhythm that Naim claims to offer. What system components would you put together or would you just go for the Nova all in one? I’m mostly looking at used gear for now as I can’t really afford new and will sell all my Mcintosh gear. Has anyone come from Mcintosh and found Naim to suit their needs better?

What cables and supports are you using ?
How is it all positioned ?
Maybe you only need some set up tweaks to get what you want with what you’ve got.

Hi Darren, not sure where you are but my best advice would be to get a demo at a Naim dealership. You will I suspect, given your current gear, have high expectations and at a guess I would say that a NAC 282 / NAP 250 would be your starting point. I am sure you would be able to compare Nova / Supernait and the 282 / 250. It would at least give you a starting point. I am thinking that anything less than the pre/power route might be a disappointment in the longer term, but you may decide the SN is what you are looking for. Not familiar with your streamer but if you go down the SN or 282/250 route, the NDX2 is probably the best choice.
I made the transition back to Naim last year having used a 25 year old Linn active system for some time. I missed the Naim sound I had previously experienced but the 282/250 was the only option which I felt improved on what I had.
Of course budget is the issue but there are often ex demo bargains to be had. Always worth asking the question, especially if trade in is a possibility.
Good luck!


I have been recently auditioning the SF Sonneto 3 with various Naim amps including the Nova. I reffer you to this post.

I also tested MCintosh and Naim in that same dealer’s room and the Mcintosh despite sounding smooth and refined did not excite me the same way Naim gear does. As I am not so familiar with the Mcintosh line I don’t know how high up the ladder your gear sits to recommend a comprable or superior Naim box(s) to achieve what you are after.

Best of luck

Most Naim used gear are a perfect beginning in your situation.
Many setups are lifeless but with hifi-effects and many paper watt, at least thats my experience with the Mcintosh I’ve heard, didn’t even like the blue all over.

Not knowing your speakers, I’d say get whatever Naim you can afford, notice the condition and if boxed, accessories etc.

Don’t worry if its Olive, Black or older, most of it can be serviced.

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@DarrenM I have 2 systems in my house. Upstairs is the 70th anniversary tube McIntosh preamp and amp, Lumin t2 source with SF speakers, downstairs is the Naim 500 series, 555 steamer for source. The McIntosh receives more “everyday” play while serious music sessions go to the Naim. I’ve climbed the Naim upgrade ladder from 250/272/xps to 252/300/nds to my current 500 series. Depending on what best fits your listening wants and desires I wouldn’t discard the McIntosh just yet. Is my Naim “better”, it should be it costs 3 times the price (in the USA, another factor, i.e. where you live affects the price).

One thing that I prefer (which most on the Naim forum will feverishly disagree) is that the McIntosh has separate bass and treble tone controls. FOR ME, at lower listening levels this is a huge advantage for McIntosh. At higher levels they are not necessary (except for Zeppelin Kashmir). I found on the Naim 250/272 I always needed “more” bottom end at normal and lower listening levels. Like I needed to push the nonexistent loudness button. On the McIntosh I just add a little more bass.

On SF speakers, the series you have and the one above it are made in 2’s, 3’ms and 5’s if I remember correctly. If, big if, your dealer has a step up , like a 3 or 5, you might want to consider demoing the pair. If it doesn’t do any good you haven’t lost anything but a little time. I love my Naim, but I’m really fond of the McIntosh also. Good luck with your search, Naim or McIntosh both are quality hifi.

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