The whole point here is that your hi-fi system should be a thing that brings you great pleasure. When it starts to become something that you are fretting with or worrying about or are unhappy with then something is radically wrong and that needs addressing. If that involves a change of system to a simpler Naim one or another brand then so be it. In the distant past I was prepared to invest much time and mental energy into keeping my relatively complex system in tip-top shape and performing optimally. That is something that I now refuse to do. As HH said - this stuff should just work. Who would consider paying thousands of pounds for a TV that didn’t always receive all the channels properly - or for an up-market electric cooker that on certain days would not heat up properly? I’m afraid I simply wouldn’t give house room to any hi-fi that caused me trouble in any way - it would have to go. Life’s too short to be messing with stuff like that.
I do agree about Naim now seeming like a faceless corporate. I suspect that the Naim Audio of today bears very little resemblance to the company founded by Julian Vereker all those years ago. That was a company run by a small group of music enthusiasts, not by accountants and business executives. Of course every company has to grow and adapt to the realities of the times to survive, but inevitably certain valued things will be lost or heavily diluted in the process.
I’m used to the fact that a complex Naim system needs regular fettling and TLC to get it to work at its best and I’m fine with that. What is wearing me down is continual box failures and the realisation that with the amount of money in the system I need to resolve the problems before I can move the it on.
My dealer speaks highly of the SIM Audio Moon stuff and I recall being impressed by a Bryston amp the one time I heard one. Those two and Sugden are on my initial list of possibles IF my current thoughts persist.
Steve, I’ve been there and I understand completely what you are going through. Ultimately only you can make the decision on how to proceed. Speaking purely for myself I don’t regret the change to the integrated Moon amp one little bit - I love it. If I had downsized to say a Supernait 3 then I’m sure I would have missed my previous set-up, but somehow the change to another. brand / presentation simply feels like going off in another direction rather than a downsize as such.
I have had Naim on and off all my life from my first Nait in the 80s which I loved. But I too felt to get the best out of all the boxes I bought I would need even more boxes and a lot of wires to tidy and money and more space which I was running out of. Obviously a supernait was not going to cut it and was going backwards so I ended up auditioning an accuphase integrated amp and was lost for words on how good it was in one box in fact silly given the price and it had meters!! So I swapped the lot kept the fraim but ended up with a Naim streamer as they really are amazing and no wires (hey presto) I would have liked Naim to have made a super integrated to accommodate what seems to be a growing number of like minded audiophiles out there but sadly it’s not going to happen! Those Japanese are very clever! Here endeth the lesson! (I will take questions from the back)?
I have to add that during my two + decades with Naim, I never had any failure, problem or even a glitch. 100% Flawless. And the service from the Dutch Naim distributor when servicing my kit has been nothing less than excellent. Friendly, accurate and quick.
But I must admit that as of late, I find a compact & simple 2 box solution like Linn Klimax or Mola Mola very appealing.
I used Naim for around 30 years and during that time generally had no issues - excellent dealer support. The biggest problem was when I purchased a DVD5 and AV2. The experience was so bad that it fundamentally changed my perception of Naim as a company. I had to have the AV2 replaced twice. First one had something loose rattling around inside the case. On the second one a coaxial digital input simply didn’t work. Then there were the countless bugs that meant the things just didn’t work properly. It was bought home to me by friend who commented that I had paid around £5K for this stuff and a £20 DVD player he had picked up from Tesco functioned perfectly without any issues. Calls to Naim HQ were hardly helpful or reassuring. I was basically told that yes there were lots of bugs that needed fixing and that they were on the case - but not to hold my breath. In the end I sold them and bought a top of the range Pioneer DVD player at a fraction of the cost that was absolutely superb. Not a good experience at all. I should have actually returned them for a refund as they were unfit for purpose.
On the question of large multi-box systems I simply got fed up with all the complexity involved and the time/attention needed to keep everything working optimally. And if you don’t bother with that then you are really wasting your money, so it’s an obligation and responsibility of sorts. I did it and actually really enjoyed it for a good many years but finally decided I’d rather not spend my time crawling around the backs of racks on my hands and knees messing with cables etc. and rebuilding Fraim to keep it ‘just so’.
This is rather sad to read of such issues. Everytime i called Naim UK (in 2021) the call was answered. Once I didn’t have my RMA number but they still looked into the status of my recently serviced CDS3. It took a couple of months to get the CDS3 back, but I’m sure that was due to travelling to/from the UK and customs as well. Once I got it back it was fixed and a new/reconditioned transport. I was very happy and it sounds great.
Same for me and likewise the service from the german distributor.
My complete system was serviced in 2021 and I did not do the DR upgrades. After what I read on here I’m glad that I didn’t. In the end absolutely no regrets about not going down the DR route…
I think there is a tendency in some comments to conflate upgradeitis and tinkering with quality control and reliability.
One you have control over (possibly with the aid of medication), the other you don’t. I’ve never really had a problem with an 8 box Naim system. I set it up carefully. It works. I don’t have upgradeitis. I spent no time tinkering round the back of it in 6 years (it’s now in storage for other reasons) other than when I had to move the system.
Smaller lower box count systems have always been more popular since time eternal. People’s priorities change in life. Quality control on the other hand, seems to be a growing concern in the past couple years. Though, as I said, I’d not single Naim out specifically. I’ve just seen no end of product defects with anything and everything in the last 2 years as has everyone I know.
Totally agree fz, and I was about to say the same thing. As HH implies my system just works. I do feel for Steve and in no way would I underplay his frustration. It’s just not been my experience in over 30 years of Naim ownership. As for the constant tweaking, that’s not me either. Nor am I always adjusting my LP12…
To clarify my comments on ‘crawling around the backs of racks’. No, of course you don’t have to do this. Once the system is set up it can just be left alone. However I’m sure we have all experienced those times when for some inexplicable reason the system just starts to sound ‘off’. Music becomes less enjoyable and you find yourself preferring to watch TV or whatever. Experience taught me that at those times paying close attention to cable dressing etc. can bring the whole system back on song. It defies logic, but sometimes with a complex system even moving one interconnect a few cm one way or the other can make all the difference. This does seem to be very much a property of more complex systems. It’s as if the whole set-up rests on a knife edge and unless everything is ‘just so’ the results can be disappointing. That’s my experience anyway.
Hi I went for a modest E-380 but the gains as you go up I am told are extremely good for little more so depends on your budget I suppose! £2/3k can make a big difference but I didn’t listen to them just in case I wanted them and couldn’t afford it! I have to say naim work very well together in this instance imo it’s a little odd to look at and preferred all naim look but you can’t un hear it as they say!
It’s a peculiar phenomenon and I only became aware of it after acquiring a rather complex Naim system. It doesn’t seem to affect simpler systems, at least to nothing like the same extent. The performance of complex systems seems to ‘rest in the balance’, rather like a ‘house of cards’. Upset one thing and the whole lot comes crashing down.
Having said that it depends on how fussy you are. Personally after spending around £30K on Naim equipment over the years I was very keen to get the best performance possible from it - or why bother spending all that cash? To people who say they never bother with fettling their expensive systems I say fair enough - it’s your choice. But I can guarantee that there’s no way those people are getting anything like optimum performance from them. Well, it’s their money…
Interesting set up Marki. I love the simplicity, and nice to see a NA turntable as well - not many on the forum from what I’ve seen. Nottingham A and Accuphase are two manufacturers where I’ve yet to hear their products.
Did you explore many options before deciding on both deck and amplifier?
I think you missed the point. I was joking.
Yes indeed such systems are not plug and play. I also try to get the best out of the system and that includes experimenting with different interconnects and speaker cables and makimg sure things are tidy