I have an old Nait 5 - it hasn’t ever been serviced. I have 2 questions:
- Given the cost of a service, is it worth it for an old, entry-level, Naim amp?
- What does a service actually involve? These are solid state devices, is it much more than a re-capping?
Yes, it’s well worth it. The NAIT 5 is a really good integrated amp and a service will have it sounding like new again.
As for what is involved, apart from the capacitors, I’ll see if @NeilS can advise.
If it’s a very early example there are a raft of modifications that we would carry out at the same time as recapping.
This would include a replacement volume pot, which is a common failure in the early ones, they start fluctuating the output level which you won’t be able to live with.
So welll worth it in my opinion.
Neil, does 112 have the same issue with volume pot ? Heard about the problem as well. What is used instead of the original ?
Yes, it will affect early Nait5s, 112 & potentially 112x* (not 122x).
The original pot is single gang, the replacement is similar, but two gang which requires the pot PCB to be replaced at the same time.
*I can’t recall if the 112x had the revised pot from introduction.
IIRC, the revised encoder arrived later during NAIT5 and NAC112 production (was it made by ON rather than Ti? - scraping brain recesses…) and the NAC112x had the later encoder.
Yes, you may well be correct on that one Richard. I was just going by a picture of a 112x on Google that looked like the original pot.
The level shifter IC used to be Ti, then ON in the later ones. It’s just a standard pot with voltage through it rather than audio signal BTW, no encoder.
When I got my first pre, a secondhand 112x, my dealer told me it had an older and inferior pot to the 122x. Although mine never broke it was audible in clicks/scratch when raising the volume. Other then that it was fine and great sounding, this noise wasnt present with 5i or 122x
The 5 is a lovely amp indeed. At the moment mine is in a simple system in the conservatory. I think I paid £300 or so about 8 years ago.
Sadly I find it hard to pay more than I paid for the box in servicing /update/couriers roughly £330?. This isn’ a criticism of naim at all but rather a general dilemma!
It’s quite a common problem of the modern world where repair/servicing becomes uneconomic ? A pair of shoes seems to cost £25-30 for a sole and reheel but I’ve just bought 3 pairs of Jones shoes for £100 in a sale - list price £270
But your Nait 5 is balm for your soul.
Sorry, couldn’t stop myself!
I have spent far more on shoe repairs than on new shoes. Cheap shoes don’t feel well, having good shoes feels so different in a positive way.
Same for my Nait 5. It will get a service. It simply is so much better than anything I could buy new for that price.
The reply above is spot on. Paying £300 for it could be considered an incentive to service it and bring it back to full glory as your total outlay will still be a fraction of a new XS3, which is its nearest competitor.
I have two Nait 5, one in my main system and another in my office system and they both sound lovely, better if fact than many other Nait’s that have gone before in this house, including the NaiXS and to a degree a SN2. One of mine has been back to Naim for a full rebuild and updated volume pot, the other untouched. It’s probably the best value for money Naim amp out there considering they go for similar money to a 5i, and it’s by far a superior amp. I run both mine with Naim psu’s, one Hicap2 and one FC2, but they sound superb standalone and that’s how i used them for a long time.
A good friend of mine runs an original Nait 5 into SBLs and it sounds superb, well worth having this classic serviced.
As a followup to my original question - I took Richard & Neil’s advice and am having my Nait 5 serviced. It’s currently with Naim - hoping for it back in the next week or two. Can’t wait really, as the old NAD ‘standin’ that I dragged out of storage, though ‘ok’, isn’t a patch on the (even unserviced) Nait 5.
I also agree with Gary, I believe that the ‘vintage’ Nait 5 is a better proposition than the current entry-level Naim. Though the new one packs more power, it has:
- Fewer inputs.
- Can’t be upgraded with an extnal power supply.
- Can’t be upgraded by becoming a pre-amp to aseperate power amp.
Removing these ‘upgrade paths’ for new entry-level amps feels like a retrograde step (sorry Naim).
It was necessary because the cost to make the original NAIT5 was high and hence the retail price for what was “just” a 30W per channel integrated was meeting with some resistance - not what you really want with a gateway product like your entry-level amp. Hence the introduction of the NAIT 5i, which slashed everything to the essentials, was given more power, but sadly lost the ability to power auxiliary add-ons and to be upgradeable through an add on power supply, power amp, etc…
In many ways, the real successor to the original NAIT 5 was the NAIT XS.
Gary, does HC give to amplifier more than FC ? Is it worth ?
Andre, yes the Hicap2 i have does indeed give an edge over the already excellent Flatcap2, it breathes just a bit better, vocals in particular become a little more realistic and tangible. I would not sweat it however, my Hicap2 came to me at not a huge cost and i could live with either of my Nait5’s bare, and have done many times.
The Nait 5 is a fantastic amp. It took a 282/250.2 to better it in any meaningful way, for me at least. At today’s prices, it must be one of the biggest bargains in audio. I wish I kept mine, rather than selling it on!
As Gary notes above, adding a Hicap 2 to the Nait is a positive step. I was quite surprised how the Hicap removed hash/grain/glare that I hadn’t even realized was there.
At any rate, I’m glad the OP is getting the Nait serviced. It deserves it!
Agreed on the Nait 5, just about the best value for money on the Naim market these days. Mine replaced a SN2, and in many sonic respects i prefer it. The other giant killers of course are the Naits 1/2, but you have to pay rather more for those these days, and they excel mostly on a vinyl source, so my hat still tips to the ‘5’.