The low box count debate...🤪

Morning all

I keep reading, hearing about box count and that less is more these days but…

In my opinion, unless your talking about some of you lucky lot that have two racks separating the brains from the power, then ultimately if you have one box or 6/7, you are taking up the same amount of floor space.
Just one rack. Maybe a couple of extra power leads and cables but nothing major.

I for one am a fan of a nice full rack…


I have my boxes out of sight in the lounge - only the LP12 and Spendors are visible. I like the design of Linn’s Selekt where modules fit in one chassis.


That’s where I believe you are wrong, I believe any one box configuration as good as it already, could be made sonically better by being separated!

Ultimately I know the main reason I am hear on this forum is because I love music and the sound quality that Naim brings.

A one box option that’s as good as any multi box option out there I bet would be even better if separated.

I personally don’t get the argument as I think the majority of speakers are far more intrusive and dominating in a room than any rack. Especially if you have a small high end integrated setup with appropriate high end speakers!


:roll_eyes: looks like your debating to me. :thinking:


Basically, the new split in the approach to home hifi seems to be between:

“It’s good enough.” and “Could it be better?”

The latter will please your ears. The former, your bank balance. :wink:


The trick is accepting that it could always be better, while being aware of when it’s good enough.


Yes, it’s not about right or wrong, it’s simply a preference. I’ve had a two stack setup before, which got downsized to a SuperUniti. That became a 272/250, then came a PS, then the 250 became a 300. So four boxes. Then I added a tuner and later a turntable. It all sits in the corner and looks neat and tidy. It’s a reasonable compromise for us - a middle way if you like. Some want lots of boxes, some want just one. It’s all fine. As you say it’s not really a debate - it’s just choice.



I believe that any box configuration as good as it can be improved sonically by being separated!
[/to quote]

By applying the KISS law ( keep it simple stupid), you get:
i - more pleasant aesthetics
ii - save a lot more money.

Even though you may theoretically be right about the sound.

However, if a Nova gives me 85% of everything, why burn exponential money (which I don’t have?) :sweat_smile:

Just diferent approach to the same problem.



Its called :
how crazy do you want to Go game


Yeah I think I’ve probably gone Crazee Max.

Although, quite like the look of that new…


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I never said anything about right and wrong.
And obviously it’s a choice, everything is a choice.

My point comes back to, floor space foot print is 9 times of of 10 still the same as if you have 1 box or 6/7.

And still speakers are generally more dominating in a room.

Why not just make boxes smaller. Perhaps stackable. I’ve heard both pre and poweramps with SMPS that sound very good so a bit of Naim R&D to get rid of those expensive humming power-supplies and deliver expensive, small, light and “climate-friendly” power-supplies


The return of the shoe box collection

Like that idea… :muscle:

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Yup, a good hicap having a smps instead of the toroidals.

Got to agree with this…

Smaller box counts have been more popular since hifi time eternal. The Uniti’s are just the modern version of the silver receivers of the 60s-80s.

Seperates, especially pre/power amps were always a highly niche market. Expensive one box solutions from Bose, B&O etc. have wooed custoners in droves away from multi box stacks since they existed. It’s not new.

People often conflate their own changing preferences with wider trends. What they often fail to see is simply that they were part of a highly niche market, and for whatever life change reasons, cross back to the mainstream that was always there.

It’s like buying a small sportscar to replace the people carrier after the kids have left home and then coming to the conclusion that tiny sports cars are all the rage and trends are changing.

Lower home ownership and increased inner city living have pushed hifi in general down the ladder but that includes one box systems too. The scope to rock out for most people in core income years isn’t what it once was. Though a massive shift away from cities and increased work-from-home rates might reverse that.


Which is why I went from PMC FB1 to Harbeth P3ESR they were just too big for the room .

I have loss a little bass but the music sounds as if it has a layer of veneer removed , rather like an old painting that has been cleaned and restored to full colour .

I remember seeing Caravaggio’s Beheading Of St John many years ago and then saw it a few years after it had been cleaned. Colours were breathtaking.

So smaller doesn’t mean less quality , I just found it to bring a differing type of quality


I would love speakers that gave a better sense of scale and bass extension. The reason we have stayed with our C10s is - as stated in another thread - because they largely disappear visually
in the room. I totally get the desire for compact systems where this doesn’t conflict much with functionality - but have a 7 box CD player simply because I like the sound! :grinning:


But I don’t think it’s fundamentally about footprint. I agree with you on the issue of floorspace, but for me the visual intrusion of a 7 box Fraim stack is more than I would want in my lounge. And the spaghetti tangle of wires at the back when I had only 5 levels drove me nuts at times. Other folk have different preferences and why not? It would be a boring world if we were all the same, but your posts do come across as a bit preachy: “anyone, unlike me, with a low box-count system is not getting optimal SQ.” Apologies if this is not what you meant.



I don’t think even Naim believed this in all circumstances. A decade or so after CDs were introduced there was a move to separate CD transports from DACs – Meridian’s excellent 200/203 was an early example. However, Naim resisted this form of two-box setup for many years. That was until they produced their own DAC and added digital outputs to two of their most popular players!