Quality issue

Im a graphic designer. I know what a Brand is.
I used the term lightly, to encapsulate the Naim Audio corporate identity. (Brand)


P.s., since the term brand comes from the branding of cattle in the old days, it would make sense to say that whatever name is printed on the product is the brand. There is a Naim logo branded in that sense but for instance not a Mu-So logo or a Uniti logo. So i would say that Naim is definitely the brand in this case.

(interestingly enough in German the word brand means ‘mark’, while in Dutch the word means ‘burn’)

Jeez… it’s a relatively minor manufacturing/production issue… sure if there was significant widespread failure it would be Company brand affecting… but that would be very much overstating the small issues manufacturing have had with certain components… let’s not carried away with hyperbole on a relatively small issue which I agree needs to have been addressed.

Are you sure you are not a flushmount?

Whoops very good. Let me just edit that… don’t you just love iPad auto correct.

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Dear sir, if you read carefully my posts in this thread, you Will not read anything against the Brand or failures. I just pointed out that whatever happens to the products, reflects to the brand

I agree with your logic, but I don’t agree with the extent, and I think it’s being overstated.

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The only problems I’ve had with any of my Naim gear (from 93’) has always been operator error. I only wish that the other stuff I own was as reliable.

Seems to be a lot of switch relay issues. I had one on my SN3 that needed repair. One channel got stuck in mute.

Yes, don’t know why Naim doesn’t think about changing relay provider

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I think this was mentioned earlier on. Naim have looked at that but the impact in SQ was unacceptable, therefore it is pending a circuit redesign potentially to perform as well with an alternate relay component.
Remember these are not regular power relays, but high quality audio signal relays in a critical part of the signal path. Gets it wrong and it’s potentially impacting the sound like changing the interconnect cable type.

Well it’s the easy reply always leaning back on sound quality like that justifies bad components. I very much hope Naim is not calculating that these will break but great sound comes first. It’s a mess sending products back to repair so nr 1 should always be product quality. They have been doing relays for ever and ever so of course they can manage this. I believe this is a manufacturing issue of relays that has shown up lately which to late got attention and now all these products float around on the market needing repair sooner or later.

Nope with Naim, it’s always sound comes first within the design and cost budgets… you might need to choose another manufacturer if you want other non sound first based considerations.
When Naim can mitigate the issue without compromising the sound performance of their products they will. Visit the factory and talk to lead designers to get a feel for their priorities and culture. That is what you buy into when you buy a Naim product. Chord is another, albeit smaller company that follows these principles… perhaps that is why they are both popular.

Interesting discussion! My own experience of quality issues over 5 years of Naim ownership is limited to UnitiServe component failures (not uncommon and well documented). Everything else listed in my profile, all of which is used regularly, every day for at least 2-3 hours, has functioned faultlessly.

My only observation is that when initially demoing Naim gear, no mention was ever made by my dealer of this ‘sound quality first at all costs above reliability’ philosophy referred to by some contributors. Had my Naim products proved to be intrinsically unreliable I might have felt a bit miffed!

No manufacturer with long history will or can claim sound quality is more important than product quality because distributors, retail and customers will not care a second about this. If there is a relay issue above 3-5 percent sold units they have an issue that is highest priority to solve. Sound first is just beautiful marketing.

Some perspective here. This is the second attempt in recent weeks to start a thread trying to allegedly quantify the extent to which Naim has in some way deteriorated. This one started on no more than “I heard…”

Personally I think there’s more to this than meets the eye.

Misery loves company and anyone with failures is likely to get together on this or another forum and the ill feeling gets disproportionately amplified.

Most people who don’t have issues are not going to spend time writing posts about not having issues. As a result, ascertaining anything from the net is nigh on impossible here. I’d say if you are thinking about upgrading, go for it. If the dealer is honest, they can give a guestimate on reliability compared to generations past. Assuming they’ce been dealing Naim long enough and in enough volume to know.

It’s like the transformer hum issue. If you read the forum, you’d think nearly everyone is beset by this problem. Yet in all the years I worked for a dealer, I never heard of even one customer mention this.


Like any manufacturer Naim will have a ( small ) number if approved suppliers. Ones that has a proven relationship with, and that it trusts. However, suppliers do not reveal all their problems to a customer. Preferring to show what they wish you to see ( And Naim will be no different in this).
Suppliers will be pressed to reduce costs and usually this ends up with a compromise with quality.
Covid will have tested customer/supplier relationships further. Many manufacturers now have single source suppliers and have little effect on this relationship. Currently most suppliers are King.
Thus will of course change by mid 2021. Those playing the long game ( Naim) will know this. As will their suppliers.
But I expect over the last 12 months they have had to build machines that are compromised. I’d expect them to know which ones, and be ready for potential warranty issues.

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You clearly have not spoken to the engineering design folk at Naim… or for that matter any of the roles at Naim… it’s certainly not just a marketing ruse… that just so completely fails to understand what Naim is about.
Of course products are tested, and stress tested, and even prototypes are humidity and atmosphere tested… get along to the factory when COVID is under control and you can see these development tools and process for yourself.

However in a product SQ comes first for Naim… audio components are carefully selected for SQ, and replacements are stored for repair for specific models so as not to compromise SQ. If a key component starts to prove unreliable in life, then ultimately a redesign may be required so as not to impact SQ, especially if in the critical signal path… and this will be expensive and will only be taken as a last resort, and in extreme circumstances may result in the end of a particular product ie if the issue proves unsustainable or non resolvable with the component supplier.


I can support & endorse all Simon says about Naim & the various test & verification processes they apply. It is astonishingly detailed & thorough.