ŴFSignals hifi hosted an informal Naim evening last night with Steve Sells head of electronics design, Jason Gould and Mike Heath. It was good too see Michael, Tonym, Nick and Dark Bear for a chat, and probably others?
Jason took us through music on the 552/500 into Dynaudio Contour 60,s, then the Statement S1 preamp with NAP 500, then full Statement amps.
It was easy for me to follow the improvements, not subtle to my ears. I am not good at putting words together to how things sound. But the first track,s female vocals on high notes got a little unpleasant at times on the 552/500, but this was not detectable with the S1. The Bruce Springstein track Philadelphia had his usual raw, raspiness this raspiness melted away with the full Statement system. Best i have heard his vocals on that track. Others please chip in as you please.
Steve Sells gave the design insights in between the tracks. Interesting discussion on the benefits of active operation versus the Statement mono amps power and headroom. I am sure others are more technically able than me to explain. I came away thinking that @darkbear is probably in a sweet spot with his system versus cost.
Question from Nick to Steve, was do you copy other designs. Answer not knowingly, if i had to, it would become just another job.
His passion for hifi design was so obvious. He has an old research Statement at home he plays with design wise…for Statement mk2!
Before most arrived i had a chat about my ND555 relay failure. Naim spent 3 weeks working to understand the failure, which was a few relays in one batch. The supplier used over many years are in denial about the problem. Interesting response from Naim…tried other supplier, they do not sound as good. We cannot have our high end products exposed to this in the future, so i am redesigning the circuit to take 2 relays from another supplier. These relays are used in a number if 500 series, if they have not failed early…they are good for 10 million switchings.
Apparently no Audio show east this year, but there will be a few hifi days instead with active Kudos and PMC new fact speakers coming up shortly. Thanks to Andy and Alistair and the Naim team, i am sure i have missed some important bits, so please chime in or disagree.