New to Naim. New Naim System


I am in NYC. I am transitioning to a NYC dealer. First post. This will be a new Naim system for me. I am keeping my Rega P9. I am keeping my Solid Steel racks.

I had a:

Rega amp
Rega X3 speakers
Rega P9
Rega moving MM

EXCEPT for the P9 and the Rega amp, the system got damaged during a home renovation. I decided to move to Naim. My dealer initially recommended:

Nait XS3
Isotech Power
Spendor A4
Bluesound Node X

I upgraded to the Supernait3. I will keep my chord speaker cable. I have listened to the Naim gear and Spendor speakers at my dealer with my husband and we liked what we heard. Home audition is difficult in NYC. We also listened to the Spendor A2 and Focal Aria stand mounted speakers. Wr preferred the A4 speakers.

We have about 2500 LPs and about 500 CDs. We even have a few hundred cassettes and a cassette deck we have not used in years. We only will be streaming Apple Music via AirPlay2. We have no desire to stream Tidal or any of the high definition file formats.

Will the Bluesound suffice for only Airplay2?

Our living room is 12x23 feet with a semi-open back wall. There is a 8x10 foot vestibule entrance and an open dining area. Ceiling height is 8 feet. I assume, therefore the space volume is really bigger than just the living room? Bookcases on the left wall. Per Madsen oak record and CD storage.

Construction materials are plaster, concrete and cinder block. It can slightly hold onto bass and be slightly lively.

I want to thank Elliot at Innovative Audio for his great support and knowledge and making it easy for us. I also want to thank Rich at Signature Sound (my former dealer)in upstate NY for his years of great service and for all he has done in my transition to a NYC dealer.

Lastly, I am not looking to be on the upgrade treadmill. Been there. Done that. I am looking for a system that will bring joyful music into our home for years to come.

Am I missing anything?




Hi Jay, and welcome!

I think many here will question the use of Isotech in your system. Is there a reason for its use? Is this a power strip or filter or…?

I’ve had my system virtually unchanged since 1999, so no pressure to upgrade from me!


Also the Isotek provides needed outlets and it also makes getting to the outlets easier.

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Thanks Tony. The Isotek is power conditioning/Noisec reduction.


Congrats on upgrading to the SN3. You made the right decision. I bought mine a couple of months ago and love it. I also started out with the Node X before finding a lightly used NDX 2 and stream through Tidal and Qobuz. (The Bluesound Node X is fantastic.).

Two things. I read your statement about streaming. Ok. But…Yes, the Node X will suffice for Airplay. But the SQ is so much better with direct streaming from Tidal or Qobuz. I highly recommend you give it an audition. Plus the BlueOS app works so well.

Also, if you can find a discounted “new or lightly used” Hicap DR you will notice a difference on the SN3.

Good luck on your journey!

Hi Jay

Its worth trying the system with and without the Isotek if you can, Naim boxes don’t always work at their best with power conditioning. Maybe your dealer could lend you a good quality, standard, mains block if you need more sockets.


It’s more than that. Because of disability, I can’t easily get to the wall outlets behind the racks. Having the Isotek on a shelf on the rack is essential. Sometimes one needs to compromise.


Given what I just spent for the new system, I will need to wait on the Hicap DR.


I demoed an Isotek Aquarius V3 with my system, and ended up purchasing the V5 . Definitely money well spent, the music was more dynamic, and there was a lot more bass, not boom box style bass. I can hear a lot more bass guitar and drums come through. Even improved the picture quality on my plasma TV, made it a lot sharper. Another bonus is my 250 doesn’t hum as much as it did before I got the Isotek. I know the view is that Naim and power conditioning don’t always work. If you have a dealer that will lend you one to try at home, I’d recommend giving it a try.
I live in Brisbane, Australia, where we get a lot of thunder storms come through in summer, I also like the security of the surge protector.

@QlderBrad Glad to hear good things about the Isotek.

Does anyone have positive experience with the Bluesound Node X and has chosen it as the streamer for their Naim system?

No experience of the Node X but have used the previous Node N130 to good effect in my system. It sounds better than it has any right to given that it’s up against a CDS3 and a Roksan Xerxes 20+
I mainly play vinyl and use the Node for Radio Paradise and to audition albums I’m thinking of purchasing on vinyl via Amazon Music.
Welcome to the madhouse.


Since you have relatively few CD’s, I personally would RIP the CD’s to a hard drive, and get a streamer, I personally believe that more and more CD players will soon be unable to be serviced in the long term. Naim (and other manufacturers) can no longer supply replacement transports, which is very sad considering the amount of cash people have spent on their players.

Airplay 2 will support CD resolution without difficulty, the maximum rate it does support is 48Khz 24bit. Just a thought?

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It’s a great system, enjoy.

I use Isotek with my 552/300 to eradicate transformer hum with no detriment to the sound.

Set up your speakers optimally for the room, sit back and enjoy and log-off this forum!


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Will you use the phono preamp in the XS3, or are you going to use a separate phono preamp? The Rega P9 probably needs its dedicated phono preamp to get more out of the record collection. Since you own quite a few, I presume vinyl is one of your main music sources?

If you only use airplay for music streaming, I would consider a Volumio Primo streamer over a BlueSound. The musicality of the Volumio matches the character of the XS3 very well (more than a BlueSound NodeX) and it is the same price. I don’t know about availability of Volumio in the USA.


I have about 500 CD’s is that “relatively few”?

@jmtennapel. I am getting a Super Nait3. My P9 currently has a Rega Exact MM. I am reluctant to get into high priced delicate MC cartridges. If I choose to eventually go that route, I will add a Stageline. My Exact only has about 50 hours on it. Our apartment in NYC accumulates a fair bit of grit as we live on the approach to the Bridge with a great skyline view. I don’t put a lot of hours on a cartridge, but their suspension goes relatively quickly. If I am lucky, I get about two years. I am reluctant to have expensive MC cartridges.

So will the Bluesound node X suffice in my system if I’m only using Airplay2 for Apple Music?

It will work well enough for background music if that’s all you want to use it for. If sound quality is the main priority an NDX2 would be a good match for your amp, but of course that’s a lot more money.
A lot of people try streaming with a cheap source only to find that they want to use it more and more after they discover how accessible music becomes, and end up with a Naim streamer and a Qobuz subscription. If your not ready to do that the Node will be fine.
If you like the idea of streaming enough to lose your CD player an Innuos Zen Mini might be a good alternative. It will rip your CDs and store them as well as giving you streaming services and internet radio.

The Node X will be a fine streamer if you are only using Airplay 2.

The point is not that it is a MC or MM cartridge, but that to get the most out of your turntable and vinyl collection, the phono preamp section of the amplifier is probably not up to the task and adding a phono preamp (stage line or a Rega preamp ) will yield more results.

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