Just signed up as Member, my home is now stuffed with b&o gear, but in my living room i want to go back to some serieus listening.
I like the Naim sound, looks and quality, so my first step is to get a Naim AMP and Some matching speakers.
Options are 5i,5si and xs, speakers monitors or small Floorstanders, max €2000 so need to go secondhand
My source is a Mac mini with Audirvana and a musical fidelity dac and a Rega P3 turntable
Speakers have to be wife acceptable
Like to get the right direction
Welcome tothe madhouse! If you talk about small floorstanders, have a look at the Neat Motive SX2 …
Xs is the perfect place to start because the amp allows add-on power supplies. Great you have that choice to upgrade/experiment should you wish at a later date.
I can’t advise on speakers but I would say this, whatever speakers I’ve put on the end of Naim amplification always sounded as if they were performing at their best!
I reckon Kudos X2 should be listened to also.
Welcome, and so the fun begins!
Can you expand a little on your listening room, dimensions and shape for example. Do you have space for floor standing speakers or are bookshelf/stand type preferable?
I’d be inclined to hit the ground running with a NAIT XS if funds allow. There are 3 versions of that model, I’ve owned the first and second type and used them with and without a HiCap DR PSU. The 5 Series amps are good but have no option to add power supplies later as your budget and needs adapt, the XS amps have more power and give a more controlled listening experience you can push a little too when the mood takes you, you’ll find the limits of a 5 Series amp sooner but they are still fun and at their price point enjoyable.
Another thing to factor in is cabling namely interconnects and speakers cables. The Naim amplifiers have a mix of 5 pin DIN and RCA inputs with a preference towards DIN in terms of sound quality, however if you have RCA IC’s they will work and you can decide if you want to replace them later or not, many folks end up upgrading to something like a Naim Hi-Line IC for example.
Speaker cables wise, a reliable option is the Naim NAC A5, you’ll want those to be at least 3.5m for each speaker and ideally no more than 8m between amp and speaker, unlikely but making you aware!
Speaker choice will depend a bit on the room size and shape but a used XS v1 or v2 you should be able to get for under €1000 (depending on age) and you should be able to find some capable ex demo or nearly new speakers to match up against it. The Kudos x2 you should be able to find around €1000 easily enough.
You can check models and serial numbers on the Naim website, ideally buy something between 3-8 years old and less than 10 (based on serial) as beyond 10 years old, whilst they are likely to be absolutely fine, they could end up needing a service and that can be expensive and a shock!
You have been able to transfer warranties between owners historically but my understanding is Naim are limiting that moving forwards, perhaps ask Naim directly for a definitive status.
Note that the amps you mention do not have Phono inputs however you can add a phono preamp easily enough or may have one already. When I had similar amps used with non Naim Kit I used mostly Chord Company IC’s and found they worked well for RCA to DIN connections.
Thx for the tip, upgrade options would indeed be nice
Thanks for the Naïm education, this helps a lot.
My room is about 30m2, and is almost square, wooden floor, and 3 meters high.
The kudos is not very well known in Holland. I have had a long time crunch for Sonus Faber, any experience?
Sonus make lovely speakers, you may want to add some 0’s to your budget however
Liuto or Concertino with stands are around €900…
Welcome to the forum,
I would look to see if you can find a used XS 2 with a pair of used Tablette 10 or ATC SCM7 speakers.
Good luck with decisions and enjoy the journey!
Speakers are a tricky one, I can only talk to what I’ve owned and used relative to your target system which in my case had been a mix of Dynaudio, Dali and PMC. I used PMC GB1i on NAIT XS and for a while on an XS 2 and enjoyed those, I had some bookshelf Dynaudio and Dali speakers as well and whilst they were enjoyable to listen to I was left wanting more.
The best advise is start with a few known good matches as you’ve already had so far and will likely get a few more in the coming days, and if possible, try and find a dealer or retailer locally you can have a listen to them at.
You have a fairly large room and it will probably been quite a bright space to fill so going for a floorstander with more range and at least an XS in the amp range will help fill it. Furnishings and curtains will help to temper the sound as well of course.
I’m certainly a fan of ATC speakers, not sure if an XS would drive them sufficiently but not heard that combo so may be wrong. ProAc are usually a good match for NAIT’s, again not heard that specific combo but both brands worth putting on a listening list for sure, I’d probably add Russell K and PMC to the list too.
Conscious of the €2k target however, easy to exceed that without even trying!
I’ve heard Focal Chora 826 speakers driven by Naim amps, they sounded really musical, great value for money. Focal are Naim’s sister company, I’m not a fan of some of their high end speakers, but I’m very impressed with the Choras.
Speakers all sound different, often markedly so, and therefore are the components most influencing the charater of the sound, therefore it pays to consider and listen as widely as possible - and also makes recommendations very difficult. One key decision has to be whether you like a full frequency spectrum down to low bass, or whether you are happy missing the bottome octave or two. The former dictates larger speakers (normally floorstanders), and higher cost for otherwise the same sound quality. Tgey can sometimes also be more chalkenging to drive, requiring a better amp. Personally I like transmission line bass, for which PMC have been a key player in the past 10-20 years, so based on my own preference I’d suggest reading up on them and maybe including some of their models in your auditioning.
Take her with you to audition - if she hears the difference and likes the sound she might be more willing to compromise on appearance.
The current generation of Entry ATC are very easy to drive. Don’t expect a lot of bass with the 7 and their sensitivity is very low but ATC want to be very honnest with their spec. Dont stop a this number if you love the ATC sound, i drive my 40 with a sn3 and i listen loud and have a 13×17 feet with 10 feet ceeling and he never get hot… Easy speaker to drive !
The 7 seem to be little bit small, with atc i would look to the 19 minimaly. But ATC and Naim is a perfect synergy, Naim is very sweet for ATC and ATC tend to traduce exactly the timber, the sweetnest the rapidity and the punch of the Naim equipment… An ideal match for me
Is this wife-acceptable? If so, you are a blessed person.
I really dislike this patronising wife acceptance bollocks. We lived happily for years with SBLs. Are we saying that wives are so stupid that they only like pretty things?
It is a balance Halibut, at least in our place. She get her stuff, I get mine. We sometimes clash but we always work it out over time and if I may say … we do it better than both our parents did.
Good to know @benjonobo, appreciate the insight.
I certainly enjoyed a listen to their setup at the Bristol show last weekend.