After much deliberation and meditation on the future of my hifi system, I’ve set in motion a major upgrade. Unable to locate an ex demo 552 I did find a dealer offering a full Statement system ex demo at an attractive price. After looking at my bank account I decided I can’t afford it. Thus ended my Naim journey.
I’m moving on to the Diablo 300 on a sick HRS SXR rack powering a pair of Magico S5 MkII speakers in orange. I really love Naim but don’t have space for two racks to accommodate the Innuos/Rossini/clock/552/300. Also it’s just too many cables considering my limited interest in actively participating in hifi optimization. Final factor is the lack of balanced inputs on 552. The Rossini is designed for balanced output and the single ended is mostly for convenience.
Never directly experienced any of these components but they were highly recommended by folks in whom I have significant confidence. Of course I bought into Naim without ever hearing it so I’m not overly concerned. Still going to use my powerlines and SL speaker cables. The HRS rack is obviously overkill but it’s just such a visually appealing design.
Is this really an upgrade? I’d be keen to learn what was the catalyst during your moment of meditation? Considering that you are financially constrained, do you really believe that leaving Naim will lead to the musical nirvana that you have been striving for? I have a feeling that you have been overly influenced by anecdotal experiences and from my experience any Naim system could be considered an end game regardless of whether you wish to reach the summit
Yes it is an upgrade. I really wanted Rockport speakers but they are too massive to fit into the space. Magico is the next best thing in a more compact form. My current speakers are just not good enough and need to be replaced. I like them but they’re outclassed by everything else in the current system. Speakers were the catalyst. I can’t demo anything but I remember hearing Magico years ago and was impressed.
I can’t do seven shelves vertically. This will get it down to four. The HRS is supposedly among the best. It’s built like a tank and maintenance free. I can finally sell off all my unused stillpoints. If you saw my current rack you’d understand.
The Diablo 300 is highly regarded and very typically paired with the Rossini. It’s unlikely to be 500 level but extremely likely to be significantly better hifi than my 282/hicap/300DR. By all accounts the xlr output from Rossini is significantly superior to the single ended. Even if the amp is only marginally better the source will also improve.
Net cost about $30k less vs going with 552. I love Naim but I don’t have a local dealer and paying $30k more doesn’t make sense. However… if I could physically fit two separate racks I’d probably stick with Naim. Unfortunately the physical limitation is the deal breaker. If I were to receive a really good deal on a Statement pre then it might be a different calculation.
Anyway… I wish I could stick with Naim but I can’t.
Oh. I’m not looking for audio nirvana. I just get this uneasy feeling whenever I look at my ridiculously tall and top heavy hifi rack. It’s like bad feng shui. Need to get it to half height.
I would suggest that you do not make any rash decisions. I would consider you to be well positioned with the system that you have because you have the option of a source of preamp upgrade. I thought you would have known about the space it would have occupied beforehand?
Well originally I bout 7m SL speaker wire because I was going to move the electronics to opposite side of room with plenty of space. Unfortunately it’s nearly impossible to run the wire under the floor as planned do to the placement of the joists. Would involve multiple contractors and cost more than it’s worth to me. Also tearing up our floor/ceiling isn’t something my wife would find even remotely sensible.
It’s not a rash decision by any measure. I’ve been considering this move since May when I had only my SN2. The 282/300 was purchased to get a taste of what Naim separates would offer. I definitely like it but the convenience of a high performance integrated amp can’t be discounted.
The Magico decision was pretty sudden but they are the only speakers I’ve found that fulfill all my requirements. They’re beautiful, compact, come in orange, sealed design, extremely heavy, and probably sound very nice. It’s also nice they’re made in US and available in a month vs some brands that might take 3-1 billion months. My only other realistic option is Wilson Sabrina X or Sasha DAW. The Sasha looks horrible and the Sabrina is a bit small for my room. Id get the Rockports but they’re literally two feet deep.
Seriously though… check out the HRS SXR rack. It’s like a work of art and exudes complete mastery of stability.
Not really. To make it a reasonable test I’d need a pair of Chord Sarum T rca → xlr cables. Also 95% of dCS users I’ve read find a pre an important component.
I do have a cheap rca → xlr set of cables but it’s too short. Maybe I’ll give it a try. Unfortunately the Rossini is optimized for balanced out so it isn’t a long term solution. It’s my fault I bought the 300 thinking it was balanced. Thought I had good understanding of all Naim specs but learn something every day.
Thanks. Making the decision which, let’s be honest, is a triviality in the grand scheme felt similar to what I experience after leaving my college for grad school. It’s like you know the future is exciting but you’ll miss your friends, community, and institutions. Weird thing is I eventually returned to my undergrad university to finish grad school. Maybe I’ll be back?
They are definitely too heavy to deal with. Magico A5’s are on our short list, to trade our A3’s towards. I love the look of the S series especially the colors, but the A5’s are imho a very sweet spot in the Magico lineup. It’s the first in their entire lineup with their new midrange driver that’ll end up in the S series MkIII eventually. And the black monolith look is fine with us anyway.
I’ve known of a couple people with the Diablo 300. They both love it. Which is saying something because they both had more than one failure in the first 18 months needing trips back to Gryphon. Despite that, they are hanging onto it.
Another friend had one at home for a weekend to try with his massive Dynaudios. But in that context, a midrange Accuphase integrated showed the 300 a clean pair of heels. Synergy being critical regardless of cost.
I don’t think it’s necessarily true that you always lose something going integrated. You certainly do within Naim but the design philosophy leads to that somewhat. I have a non Naim integrated and, sure, it costs about 1/4 of my Naim pre/power combo. Yet it does a few things better too.
I agree with the OP. To enjoy music fully, you also need a system that fits comfortably in your space so you can enjoy the room too. It’s a total symbiotic experience. I’m fine with multi rack systems. But the space needs to gracefully accommodate that.
Have you not considered going active? The money you’re talking about spending on an amp and speakers would get you any of ATC’s actives including the 300’s if you’ve room for them and you would still have over 10k in change. I’m sure there are many other alternatives if you don’t like ATC presentation but surely worth a demo if you can get one
I think it’s a very sensible decision. The Magicos are by all accounts wonderful speakers and the Diablo has all the power required to drive them. Balanced connection from the DCS and then hardly any other wires sounds perfect, and the very solid HRS stand is ideal for the big and heavy components. It all sounds very well thought out and though the boxes are substantial you don’t need a whole wall full of them as people tend to do with the top Naim systems.
People will ask whether you’ve tried X or Y but it really doesn’t matter so long as it works for you. I hope you really enjoy it. It would be great to see a picture once it’s all up and running.
[quote=“Katzky2021, post:7, topic:19235”] My only other realistic option is Wilson Sabrina X or Sasha DAW. The Sasha looks horrible and the Sabrina is a bit small for my room.
I did that very comparison with Mágicos and ended up with S3 mk2. Mids and highs were all excellent (though quite different) but the Mágico low frequency control won over myself and Mrs Elfer by quite a margin.