Oldest Naim kit in regular use?

Seeing some of the classic Olive and CB kit on System Pics made me wonder:

Amongst us forumites, what is the oldest piece of Naim kit actually in current use? Doesn’t have to have been owned by you since new, doesn’t matter if it spent most of the 90s in the loft, as long as it’s in one of your current systems and being regularly used, tell us. In the event of a draw on year of manufacturer, it can be settled by appeal to the serial numbers (you might want to XXX the last few digits on a public forum).

Mark (no point me entering, I’m strictly an all-black Naimer)

There will be older than this I’m sure, but as a starter my 135s are 1984 vintage, I bought them second hand in 1989 when they’d just been re-sleeved into olive cases at the factory. They’ve been my primary amp for all of the intervening 30 years.

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The 120 I’ve just put a picture up of (in the system pics 2020) is I think somewhere around 1978 (it’s an early one without the switch on the front panel).

Apart from that I’ve a pair of CB 250s from 1982 and 1983 that are in my main system.

I do have a NAC12S that I think is from '75-76 but it’s not often used- thinking of getting it serviced and using it with the NAP120.

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CB 110 from 1982 or thereabouts is the living room system daily driver. Keep thinking of upgrading but then I listen and go nah!

Good Morning All,

A NAP250 Serial No. 67217 so a 1990 unit, when the second system comes on line it will be the Naxo 2-4 Serial No. 42939 (a 1988 unit).

The newest is a NAP250 Serial No. 185603 (a 2002 unit).

Regards

Richard

I’d love to hear some old vintage kit back when Julian was alive… I wonder how much these units have been serviced over the years, or if they largely remain original.

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Julian Vereker died in 2000 which would mean he had a hand in everything up to the Olive series and likely the Classic series too.

All my main system kit is Olive series and has been serviced/repaired in the last two years. SBL’s never been touched. My second system (mostly Olive) has never been touched and remains exactly as it came out of the factory. However, it does sound like it could do with a service.

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NAC 12 and bolt down 160 used every weekday in my office. I’m sure there are earlier examples in use by forum members though. My 160 can power a preamp and the earliest ones couldnt.

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Not in everyday use, but certainly fairly regular; my NAC12 and matching shoebox SNAPS. The NAC12 is a very early metal plate Mk1 that has been updated to Mk2 and upgraded on a few occasions; it now has an ALPS Blue volume pot, RCA Phono sockets, and the knife edge connectors have been replaced by pin connectors on the phono input to take later NA3xx phono boards

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My 42.5, snaps and 110 in the study (upgrading from the nait 1)
Confirmed by naim as 1982 vintage - the serial numbers start at 0095 and are sequential, although I would assume the NAC started life as a 42 and got the “.5” upgrade in later life. Last serviced by naim in 2002 but sounding just fine!

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They look super fine too. I really do love the Chrome bumper.

Thanks for all those replies - great to see some real vintage kit still going very strong.

The number of second system examples has piqued my interest in putting together a system for the study/kitchen/whatever. Just out of interest, if I were to get a newly-serviced NAC/NAP combo of, say, early-80s vintage kit, how would it compare sound-wise to their modern equivalents? Given the usual s/h prices, it looks like some bargains might be there for the taking, even including any servicing cost.

Mark

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I gave my NAC12S and LP12 to my young, vinyl loving nephew. Seeing the pictures brought back happy memories. Great kit. I bought it second hand in about 1984 - I suspect it was about 1975 vintage. Next generation is enjoying and now introduced to serious music making. What a journey it has been! Felix anno Nuevo to everyone on this great forum!

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My NAT 01 and PS are both from 1988. Serviced in 2018 and in almost daily use.

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Just go for it. You might get a rough idea but need to hear this stuff yourself. A second system can be a lot of fun and with lower expectations.

I think as long as you purchase unmodified examples then you should get your money back OK - provided you work out the going rate and dont pay over the odds.

NAC32 or 42 with a NAP110 is a nice cost effective route into vintage Naim without need for a PSU. They are about £200 - £250 for each item, unserviced and depending on condition.

A pair of Linn Tukan bookshelf speakers will go well and only cost about £125 for a nice pair. Some NAC A5 or Linn K20 (cheap) will work well. Kan 1s and 2s (~£350) are amazing but very much an acquired taste and demand a top source. If you want floor standers then Rega ELAs (~£150) or Linn Keilidhs (~£200) will both sound good and boogie along just great.

Not sure what cost effective source would work well as I use LP12s. You probably need something on the warm side.

I wouldn’t worry about servicing until you’re more committed. You’ll find it hard to get your money back otherwise. If you buy serviced then check it was done by Naim or a Naim agent. Otherwise, steer clear.

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I’ve just come across a 250 CB described as in excellent condition with original packaging for sale in my town for £1k. Thinking I should grab it?

A fair bit of old Naim gear has been modified, had a service with non-standard components, or is badly in need of a recap/service. So I would try to find out something about it’s history, or if the price is right, budget for a full service if needed.

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I agree; a NAC42+NAP110 is an absolute classic combination and a great way into vintage Naim.

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A really nice condition one should only cost about £750, even on ebay. I recently paid a bit less than that to a Naim dealer for an excellent condition one with original box and cables, plus shipping and limited warranty included. Class A currently charge £285 for a service so £1k only works to my mind if it’s been recently serviced by Naim or a Naim agent. Shipping with insurance isn’t cheap either - it weighs a ton.

Generally, you don’t expect to cover your servicing costs when selling but of course no one wants to lose money if they can help it. If I sell mine, I was thinking of £900 but perhaps I should chance my arm as well :smile:

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Thanks, food for thought. I guess that I also need to think whether it would add anything to my systems. It could go with the SN2, Nova or Uniti2, or stored for a vintage system?