Nice inheritance?

Hi all. I have inherited a mish mash of hi-fi from a relative and I’m at a bit of a loss. I am suppose it is a bit of privileged problem to inherit but nonetheless confusing for a hi fi novice. So at the risk of sending shockwaves of horror throughout the community I exist quite happily (to date) on spotify and a generic soundbar. So, I’ve been generously given some Naim equipment, an Arcam CD player which is unwell and a Linn axis turntable. Also I have been given a choice of Quad 22L speakers or Harbeth (Express?).
The Naim equipment is 22 years old as I read off the serial numbers and checked their history. I have a flatcap (?) and a Nait 3 amp. The CD player is an Arcam Alpha 5 but the drawer is completely stuck. I think I need to replace the gear cog which I think is stuffed but I don’t have the tech resource or time to do this. Also, I have no idea whether the rest of the electronics are functioning. Given that all this kit is at least 20 years old and that audio technology must have quadrupled in capability since then, would I not be better off trading in for some smaller modern gear which could probably outperform it.? I like the deck, I would keep that I think, it feels quite old school. I’d have to replace the CD player if I was to keep the system with something that would match the rest of the components. There would be no point in getting something modern and higher spec that the rest of the kit couldn’t cope with. I do like playing CD’s, I have a good collection but I also like the flexibility of streaming. On a nostalgic night, I might play some LP’s I have and also inherited again. With the speakers, I cannot test them so I have to guess which are better one’s for system. So as I said, it is a real mish mash and I would appreciate some pointers. Thank you

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It’s all worth keeping and getting it serviced / repaired will bring you a system that will give you much pleasure and likely outperform a fair bit of modern gear.


Firstly you’ve got some good stuff there. Firstly if you hang around on this forum, you will find there are happy users of the vintage stuff - they just get it serviced . It comes back good as new for a fraction of the price. The Nait3 was my first Naim Amp, the Flatcap was an optional power supply that improved performance.

In terms of progress , the big change has been streaming - not amplification

To give you some idea, I still have the matching tuner to your amp in my rack and the matching CD player upstairs in it’s box.

The kit you’ve got is basically sound and will give decades more service if serviced

I would contact Arcam - about the CD player, but on this forum Arcam of that era is generally well regarded . You could add something like a Node , but you will need a cable that converts DIN to phono . The NAIT 3 had a phono stage so you can play LPs, I used to have an LP12 that wasn’t out of place with the set up you have.

I can’t comment on the speakers, my suspicion is the Quads would be my keepers , I think they are newish

Having done a quick google search on the speakers, both seem to be fairly well thought of. Harbeth Speakers have a forum and it might be worth joining that to find out more about the speakers, which I think could be Harberth Expression. A fair few members of the forum have Harbeth speakers and like them.
The Quads 22L speakers came in two versions and seem to get a mixed response, which is fairly typical for speakers.
As others have said, I would contact Naim support or a local Naim dealer (Naim have a list of dealers on the website) and ask how much to service than Nait 3 and flatcap. If you can afford it then you are very unlikely to get new equipment that will sound as good for the money and once serviced you will have many years of enjoyment from them. You could buy a second-hand streamer or get a new one and access all the music you did with your soundbar in much better quality.

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There are also a lot of happy vintage users with vintage stuff :wink:


I tend to agree with the other responses. Though, I am a sentimental person, and if gifted something, I would cherish and use it given the situation. The turntable can be tuned up easily, and servicing the other equipment will be as new. Given that, you may discover your records sound better than you ever thought and have some fond memories while immersing yourself into some wonderful music.

I am assuming the person who gifted the equipment to you thought YOU would be the one that would understand and cherish it out of anyone else, but that is an assumption.



Thanks all for your valuable feedback and “sound” advice. I will find a suitable and able hi-fi engineer who can look at all the components and advise. As Im based in North West of UK, I have researched a guy called Mike Powell in Bolton who comes with very good reviews. If anyone has heard of him or could recommend someone else they have gone to, that would be great. Also if the CD Arcam Alpha 5 is not salveagable, what would anyone suggest as a replacement that would sit comfortably with this system? Thank you again

I’m also in the North West, but for Naim most UK people on this Forum would recommend Darren at Class A in Sheffield. He is an authorised Naim Service engineer, and everyone speaks highly of him, and not expensive. He can arrange a pickup service, or just take the items over to him for a nice journey across the Snake Pass.

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I’d agree with Darran at Class A in Sheffield for the Naim gear, he’s a Naim approved service engineer (I think the only one apart from Naim themselves), excellent work, good prices, and he’s a really nice bloke. I drove from home in West Yorkshire, dropped off 5 boxes at 10am, wandered around Sheffield Art Gallery and had lunch, he rang me at about 2.30, I picked the kit up and drove home.
For the turntable depending on where you are in the North West have a look at North West Analogue in Cumbria, Dominic did a great job on my Shiraz cartridge, and set up my Roksan TMS really well.

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That arcam is easy to salvage and the tda1541 dac is a classic and it’s very very easily tweaked to make it a killer player… don’t scrap it!

Nope, there are more. It would be good if there is a published list of them.

Darran used to say on his website he was one of three, but assuming he wasn’t counting Naim at Salisbury I’ve never heard any others identified.

If the Arcam CDP is deemed not recoverable you could look out for a S/h Naim 5 or similar.

With the stuck drawer on the arcam, try gently levering it while pressing the eject button. I recently had the same issue with a dvd player that hadn’t been used for some time, and it worked for me so may be worth a try.

the arcam cdp is really easy to take apart and get to the belt and gear tray so id do it that way.

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