I wrote the first draft of the press release at CES in January 2020! And yes, you know Naim - if it isn’t launched, it’s fair game for fettling until the last minute
As ever, these things are so system dependent. I’d certainly suggest an audition.
Looks cool! I wonder if there will be a matching shoe box power amp to replace the Nap 100 or are active Focals where we are going?
I wonder whether this could become the new normal for mid-tier Naim systems. Lower tier would be the Musos and all in one Unitis. Mid-tier would be streaming pre-amps and power amp/powered speakers.
I think this would keep 90% plus of the people very happy. Unless you need tape loops and multiple analogue inputs then such systems would provide all you need. Could this be the beginning of the end for the Nait integrateds? As a Supernait2 owner I hope not but progress will not be stopped.
In this vision only the upper echelons (NAC282 and above) would be separate streamer/pre-amp/power amp.
Possibly, as this was due for release last spring it would have been developed pretty much in parallel with the integrated amps launched in autumn ‘19, so it seems unlikely they’d have planned this as the start of a replacement range. Although I’d assume all will depend on sales, if this (and other announcements) massive outsell the classic boxes then Naim would have to think seriously about it.
It’s a valid question if you are wanting a streaming pre-amp and are now unsure whether to spring for the new Atom or hold-out for a 272 successor. When Naim didn’t offer a streaming pre-amp this was moot but now there is one the question is more pertinent, no?
I am wondering what this sounds like with passive ATC’s and my 250DR. At the moment I am waiting for the 272 replacement to replace my Star. So could this and a core be a good step up or a sideways move?
You know we don’t discuss product roadmaps, sorry.
I think your point puts the emphasis squarely on digital pre (Uniti) vs analog pre (Nait XS3 and SuperNait3). Putting the digital streaming platform into the digital pre makes sense, and is the value proposition for the entire new Uniti platform (now including the Atom headphone edition). Leaving the SuperNait as a “traditional” analog-only integrated (now with built-in phono-pre) makes great sense given the streaming source and dac separates like the NDX2.
My feeling is that that is a very natural, and clear, product line differentiation. It’s why the 272 successor will be a very interesting announcement - will it also bridge these worlds, with a built-in digital section (and a phono pre?!?) to a straight-up analog pre? I alluded to that in an earlier post, but probably didn’t elaborate my perspective very well!
Oh go on, we promise we won’t tell anyone
Re. a matching Atom-sized power amp, see Clare’s post here:
Considering the fairly recent launch of the NAIT XS3 and Supernait 3, I don’t think this launch of the Atom HE indicates anything like that.
From what I can see, Naim’s heart is firmly committed to building the best possible kit for replaying your music, whether it be digital or analogue (or indeed both).
It does seem with this design, it could have also gone into the Naim Classic range ?
Our priority on this occasion was people looking for a compact system, not a full-size one.
Curious to see, if/when/which variants will follow. Or if any of the existing products get a „minor upgrade/new options“ along the way.
I take this as a sign, that the current streaming platform is still being used in new products, hence it should see a long time of support (and hopefully new features/services) ahead of it.
Oh yes, plenty more to come on current streaming platform! TIDAL Connect up next, then more to follow before the year is out.
I’m not familiar with Apples’ products/naming, but based on the name I would assume the Pro is just a better/bigger/more powerful version of the "regular’ iPad? Which is exactly my point, you would naturally expect that the Atom and Atom HE serve a similar purpose. Which doesn’t seem to be the case.
This is stranger as there are of course similar but bigger/better/etc. products. The Apple analogy would have seemed to be more fitting if the Star had been renamed “Atom Pro” or something like that.
We’re not going back and change naming decisions made in 2016…but we can do with new releases
It didn’t then. That’s not even an official picture!