Returning to Naim

We did agree on the main parts :slight_smile:

It’s fun theoretically spending other peoples money.

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Being an eternal optimist, I just keep hoping they will give it to me to spend on myself, instead of putting themselves through the stress of deciding what to spend their money on :smiley: :smiley:

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Thanks for your responses guys.

I am curious about how ATC speakers compared to Kudos. I have a dedicated room of reasonable size. Had a good chat with a dealer today who is happy with 10% off list.

Did you just have no hifi since your last Naim experience or if you had a system, what was it and what’s wrong with it?

Although I have a 552/300 → SL2 I really don’t think if I was starting all over with a budget of 100k I’d end up with a 552/500 - in fact I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.

Have you considered recreating your former system with a digital front end, you could probably do it for 20% of your budget ?

If I could “start again” I’d be looking at actives (Kii or Dutch) fronted by an Auralic Aries G2.1. If this didn’t do it for me I’d try active ATCs with Auralic Aries-Vega DAC running Roon for DSP.

I cannot think of anything in the Naim universe with a less value for money proposition currently than a new NAP500.

Vitus being class A (although they have other options but most users seem to use them as class A) would be a non-starter for me due to heat produced (from an environmental perspective but of course YMMV). Naim needing 24/7 operation for optimal sound would probably rule them out from an environmental perspective new but my vintage 2007 units (being fully serviceable) are probably not as detrimental in the whole.

So active or vintage (or current second hand) is my advice. I think 100k on a new 552/500 (plus speakers) would be pure madness (from a cost perspective).

You probably know this but for speakers you really HAVE to have a home demo. Don’t underestimate the room speaker interaction, I have learned over my long(ish) journey that it’s the most important aspect (although exotic cables and switches seem to have caught the imagination more).

Best of luck whatever way you go, it’s a great situation to be in to have this level of funds to purchase a music system that has the potential give so much pleasure and can be (treated as being) amortised over its lifetime.

And of course the journey can be interesting and enjoyable too - the thrill of the chase- so don’t rush and enjoy the journey.



If you’re looking at an LP12, the best thing I can think of is to make an appointment with a dealer who has all the options in terms of plinths, PSU’s chassis/sub-chassis, arms and carts on permanent demo. That narrows the choice down to, er 1 dealer I can think of - Cymbiosis in Leicestershire. They’re also a Naim stockist too. Beware though, you may blow your budget, even with £100k to spend!!! Oh, and tell Peter I sent you…not that I’m on commission but it might be worth a free digestive biccie next time I’m in there…:wink:

Thanks Jonners but great as Peter apparently is at setting up an LP 12 I prefer to demonstrate the turntable against other decks in a less biased scenario. Not easy to achieve granted.

Technics SL100R and decks from Well Tempered, Vertere and Rega etc warrant a fair dem :-).

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John. Why do you feel that the NAP 500 is a bad buy new?

The dealer is your friend, his primary goal is not profit but ensuring that you get the best sound for the least amount of cash. Be honest with him and tell him you have 100K burning a hole in your pocket and have little or no knowledge of the latest audio gear. Rest assured, he will steer you in the right direction.

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:joy: nice one

I just think it’s too old, there has to be new products in the near future. I just don’t think the new price stacks up for such an old design. Just look at the drop in value by looking at second hand prices. It makes more monitory sense to me as a second hand purchase. Second hand 552s hold their price a bit better but the same overall logic would apply for me.

You’ll be told that they will sound just as good once replacements arrive just like was said of the NDS in many threads where I was urging similar caution. NDS prices fell through the floor.

No one correct route, I’m just trying to give some balance to the default answer.

And as was mentioned above set some money aside to measure your room’s response. Ideally a dealer should be able to do this for you. I’d also recommend some of your funds should go towards a Roon nucleus and a Roon membership. You can do it cheaper DIY but at your price point I think the nucleus is worth it. This also opens up the possibility room correction filters which have given me one of the biggest sound uplifts in my whole journey.



Do not overlook your potential sources of digital content, I.e. whether you will use local files (ripped CD or download), streaming services (Qobuz / hi-res, Spotify) and Internet radio (flac or mp3 equivalent). Whether you would rely upon the Naim app or incorporate Roon.

Melco, Innuos, Antipodes, Taiko are all worth looking at for local servers, depending on scope and budget. The Naim Uniti Core has rather been left behind, but expect an announcement soon from Naim on an upgrade & functionality extension to the Core.

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My choice would be second hand too for Nap 500 dr , Nd555/ 555dr.
Then NAC S1. Rega P10/ Kleos Sl. 15 k speakers.


This is what I’d do personally if I was ‘Returning to Naim’

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Mmm, ok.

I’m going to find a dealer who’s in the business just for the love of it.


This sounds exciting, can’t imagine what it might be though.

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Tend to agree.

However, a good dealer knows that happy customers are customers who come back later and spend again or recommend the dealership to friends and family. So this is a very strong incentive to give a good steer, going after the fast buck doesn’t lead to a sustainable business.

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Fair point but the caveat based on my experience is that I’ve never known a dealer recommend any product that they doesn’t sell. One very highly regarded LP12 ‘fettler’ (several years ago) told me that a Linn Axis “trounces a Well Tempered Amadeus”. I thought the WT was not better but offered some advantages over even a top spec LP12 so I gave that dealer the swerve. Then we have the tube sellers who say disparaging things about the sound of Naim electronics like “glassy mids and false bass”. Which has an element of truth to it but totally undermines the thrill of listening to a good Naim system ‘on song’. I know to trust my ears.

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He does have Regas as well and will demo them properly. It’s actually a low-pressure environment unless the presence of many LP12s around counts as pressure. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think you’ll struggle to find all of your options in one place.

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Hi Steve. If you’re considering auditioning ATC, I’d ask the dealer to include actives in the demo, perhaps comparing with passives driven by, say, a 500. Something like active SCM100 towers or even SCM150s if your room is suitable. My system costs a fraction of what you’re planning to spend, but my first audition of active ATCs was a real wow moment for me and I knew I had to own a pair. Their honesty and realism with a good recording do not appeal to everyone, but if they float your boat, you may find them irresistible