I think it is an interesting little box especially for use in a simple system with active speakers but as always better try it before declaring it.
Thanks Ian… yes, “minimalist” is likely more appropriate than “modest”! I read all the x vs y threads with interest, and it is interesting how many people confirm that all the bits are good (and more than “good enough”!) no matter which system the opt for in the end. I think the ClearAudio plays really well through the Nova.
Apropos this topic, I think the Atom is a great product (I have one, partnered with Kudos X2 that I’m really enjoying at our home abroad right now) and think that the Headphone Edition is a genius concept: really clever, and definitely an outside the boxes idea.
ps - I also enjoy your system photos!!
Already got the NAP though, and want dinky kit. Know what you mean though … should new Atom be sub £2k?
Well done Naim looks like a great product that I will seriously consider - subject to demo with the Focal Clear headphones I’ve ordered and eagerly awaiting…
IMHO, It’s a lot more fun to speculate what’s coming and then be totally surprised like today’s announcement. Keep up the good work!
I’ve had the benefit of “Pitmaster privileges” on using an HE in various forms over the last year. Primarily use is headphones - it’s tidy, but it’s also a pretty sweet streaming preamp. It punches well above its weight.
Feature set wise it does everything an Atom can do, so Unity gain mode on analogue input. Think of it as take an Atom, and fill the space of removing power amp electronics with very nice analogue output stage electronics.
In my home system I’ve been using Atom HE → XLR out → NAP250. Also my second setup is Atom HE straight into a set of active speakers via XLR and driving a set of Focal subs on the RCA outputs. HE is a bit of a swiss army knife of units once you get to know it.
Naim Audio Ltd.
Ah. Gotcha. My second COVID jab is tiring me. So it’s Star/250 versus HE/250 into passive 40. I got my wires crosssd. I thought that you were thinking of going straight from HE into active 40s. Been a long day…
Hmmm. The HE next to a core would look really gorgeous - a mega match. Core’s pricey though. I went for an innuos zen mini to get the same luxury of insert and go ripping as well as a roon endpoint in another room. The Core can’t do roon endpoint, but it’s user serviceable - simply drop a hard disk into it and screws the Lid down. That’sa nice touch.
A lot of people here use the Roon Nucleus avec internal hard drive which is a very good solution. I have the nucleus sans hard disk… but my end game might be different to yours. I think that’s what you should think about when it comes to the Core: your end game. If you’re considering Roon, then the Core might be expensive. Blimey… it does look good on a track though…mind you so does the Silent Nucleus. Sorry @paulbysea . A bit of a rushed stream of consciousness because my bed is looking so good right now due to my COVID jab grogginess. I have quite a lot of knowledge about the Core versus other solutions. Feel free to call me or email me if you like.
Thanks Steve. It’s certainly stoked my interest and looks to be a real winner.
So if the Atom HE with its Statement trickle-down technology outperforms the existing Uniti range which I thought already incorporated Statement trickle-down technology, let’s hope there is enough trickle-down left to enable the 272 replacement to outperform both…for me then it would be OK to call the plumber…
Steve, any chance of sharing which active speakers you are using?
Thanks Steve - sounds like a clever and versatile little product that will offer a range of uses for many of us…
How did you connect it up to a NAP250 (my potential use) via balanced XLR(s) out? Is there, will there be a cable we can buy?
First a disclaimer - I am a guy with a lot of speakers who is constantly changing bits based on what’s happening at work. Most men would end up divorced and ruined by buying so many speakers, let alone Hifi clogging up the house. A nice occupational hazard.
On my second system I use ATC SCM50ASLT towers which I’ve complemented with a couple of Focal subs to do the lower octave and balance out stereo image vs sheer bass weight and dialling subs into the room acoustics. The SCM50’s are old school in their design and need lower end reinforcement to really rock.
Balanced XRL outputs speaks volumes. Welcome to the future of Naim.
Nice speakers. I’ve often wondered how those or their bigger brother compare to mine. Mine are DIY but similar in driver layout and volume. The process of building, tinkering and listening has stretched my wife’s patience as you say. But now all done and worth it. I use an Atom and love it. Will upgrade to Nova in time.
Am I the only one who thinks the most intriguing statement was about the newly designed transformer?
Considering Naim’s preference for off the shelf high quality toroids, I’m by far most interested in what is new about this transformer and if it has any bearing on future products.
Copied this from the review posted above.
There has been quite a lot of work done to the circuitry in general. “There are improvements at every point,” says Steve. “For example, the transformer has the same sized core as Uniti Atom and the same digital winding but has new analogue windings for the headphone amplifier. These have been appropriately scaled for the headphone amplifier – the voltage is lower so that it runs cooler allowing smaller, faster power transistors.”
Hahaha. I think that means taking [massive] liberties with the phrase “a completely new transformer design”
I think it would have more accurate to just say “It has a transformer. It’s not exactly the same spec as the Atom”
Haha where’s the fun in that though… You gotta hype it up mate!
Also interested to hear how you are cabling the balanced out to the 250. Thanks
Doesn’t the NAP250 have a single XLR input (and the 200DR only DIN)? How to connect the Atom HE to a Naim power amp? Adaptor maybe but that would lose some of the NAP advantage.
But this would leave only the NAP300 as a Naim option as it has 2x XLR, unlike 200 and 250. This is a shame @Naim.Marketing - noted you say there are no plans to introduce a new power amp, but surely the NAP 200 and 250 inputs should be tweaked?