New from Naim – Solstice Special Edition turntable

Because the Solstice was marketed as a limited edition of the very best turntable that Naim (in conjunction with Clearaudio) could build.

Given that sales patter, you might be entitled to expect that the ancillaries were also optimised for vinyl playback.

G – this was never the case, as others have said. At £16k for the package, it clearly wasn’t when a Superline is much better than the phono-amp in the package. You’re right though, there was scant recognition of this at the time (marketing rhetoric got in the way!) – it is/was simply a high quality plug’n’play package. The end.


Nothing I read here reads as a “best ever” TT claim…as it was Naim’s first TT, I suppose one could interpret that as the best ever Naim TT, lol…

Even top-flight design (built to a budget) can be improved (budget aside) even if only somewhat, surely?

I just remember lots of “A New Dawn” nonsense, using Stonehenge as backdrop.

I never saw any small print telling the unsuspecting possible purchaser that its performance could be greatly improved with some even more expensive accessories and cables.

I suspect that most purchasers were wealthy bankers and business types who equate greater cost with greater value.

I wonder if Naim will ever pull a similar stunt again?

Anyway, I’ve had my say.

Did they really say that in their marketing? The original post in this thread by @Naim.Marketing doesn’t.

But if they did so what. I’ll change my analogy a bit. Take the ND555. Isn’t that the very best that Naim offers? But it comes with only a sub-par HiLine cable. Then to “upgrade it using Naim’s own cables is verging on the ridiculous”? I think those with ND555 using SuperLumina cables might disagree.

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G – I wouldn’t term it as a ‘stunt’ – it was an attempt to present a Naim-developed TT package to market, to go along with other kit where people wanted a plug’n’play package, akin to the lower-rank SMEs and other TT packages out there. Thing is though, people on here, some who wanted away from Linn, were interested to understand if the ‘package’ could produce more performance, which given the marketing hullabalo around the re-birth of the ARO and the quality of the underpinnings of the TT (via Clearaudio), is a very understandable position e.g. the cartridge is somewhere around a Dyn XX2 as I understand?

As more people tinkered, they found kit limitations and unexpected challenges. The package can be improved upon, but only in certain ways it seems(?). And the long term support for this kit must be questioned e.g. replacement cartridges via Naim.

As a pure package, it does its job very well.

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Can you explain Cohen ? I didn’t still understood what went wrong with the SME, as it’s built so perfectly and now the new motor / ps combo seems to give a much more involving sound.
I ask because if I have to buy a better turntable one day, the SME 20 is strongly on my radar.
Please, just a few words.

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I will Rooster but I’ve promised not to just yet. You know what the hifi industry is like. I’ve already peed off a couple of people at Naim with some of the things I’ve written on the forum and I’m a big fan of Naim and the top brass at Salisbury. It can all be a little anal really :woozy_face:


Which makes it much the same as any other piece of hi-fi kit. Since when has high cost meant that improvements were not possible?


Naim Forum must be full of em, (and ex-solicitors perchance, lol)

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Not what you’d expect from a turntable that was supposed to be the best that Naim, with Clearaudio, can do.

Because…like much other equipment, hifi or cars or…Solstice would have been developed to a price point that the designers worked within.

Best within that price range maybe. I don’t know: I’ve not heard a Solstice, nor I suspect have you.

I heard one just once, and very briefly at that, at my dealers, a couple of years before I bought my second LP12.

The Solstice is also one of the most ungainly pieces of hifi that I have ever seen. I understand that the heavy platter is part of a ‘flywheel’ design to reduce speed variation but - to my taste - it’s a remarkably ugly piece of product design.

Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I love my TT, with it’s 85mm platter. I wouldn’t want a Solstice for myself, but I do think it looks pretty good.

There are people who think what I have is ugly, and say it looks like an oil rig. LOL


Your turntable, and the Solstice, is nowhere near ugly design or oilrig. Witness:


Solstice looks beautiful & elegant in comparison - as does yours @JosquinDesPrez.

Yeah, those two are rather ugly and over the top, IMO. I’m sure someone loves the look.

I think Clearaudio’s designs are really pretty elegant and simply stated, Solstice included.


Damning with faint praise?

Didn’t mean to…I wasn’t overly struck by Solstice’s look at first, but it’s grown on me quite a bit. If I wasn’t a confirmed LP12er, and was looking for a TT, I’d certainly have it on the list to hear.

I think Clearaudio’s own line of turntables are things of beauty. I love the combination of piano black plinths with polished beveled edges, matte black anodized aluminum on table and arms, and black carbon fiber tonearm wands. And the fit, finish, and sound quality are all top shelf. Upgrading to an Innovation has been a real game changer for playing records.

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It wasn’t supposed to be that at all. It was just a nice and reasonably priced ‘plug and play’ turntable package. Rather cheap actually if you compare with the LP12 Klimax around £25K or the SME Model 60 around £60K.

One hardly needs to be wealthy to purchase a £16K turntable. But in any case, such wealthy bankers and business types, from what little I’ve had to do with them, are highly astute. Not likely to make a mistake like that.