The Naim New Classic range - Part 1

Nah, my boxes are better than your boxes. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:


Well, this is what I hear/ observed at my home, in my setup, I’m not a dealer, but I do love Naim whatever series involved. Every new series from Naim have represented changes and they have made contradictions?
Go and have a listen for yourself?


I’ve been following this thread from the start with interest. If one thing is true to me in relation to Hifi is the placebo effect of new kit or changing / upgrading a cable or a new box . The sound becomes different, sometimes in quite a large way and sometimes hardly noticeable…but better depends on a lot. I’ve not heard the new kit but I have spoken to a lot of the dealers and all of them say it’s good but different sounding, better to some different to others and some prefer the older kit/sound. I originally started out with a Nova….sounded good but quickly got the bug and added a 250dr. Slightly better but not night and day. Would go louder and slightly more dynamic but the speakers at the time were an easy load so probably didn’t need it. Then went to a 300dr, again slightly better/different more controlled and polished sound but again not night and day. Moved out the nova to a second system and added a 252 and SuperCapDR, NDX2,XPSDR. Speaker change to Sopra 2. System sounded great but again the law of diminishing returns set in…better yes but so it should be. I’m now at 552dr and added 555 to the NDX2. Change of speakers to Kudos 808s. I tried the nova again I can’t remember it ever sounding so good…obviously not at the main system level but nice. My point is at every step of change up the ladder there is a benefit in sound quality but rarely is it as much as you think it will be. different maybe better treble or brighter presentation, better bass maybe or midrange. If we then factor in different cabling, rooms, speakers, mains quality, etc etc then the outcomes are endless even with the same kit. I do plan on listening to the new classic kit that’s here and any upcoming stuff, but after 30 plus years of playing the Hifi game and a lot of different systems is I asked myself honestly if I enjoyed any of my previous systems any less then the answer would be no. They all sounded different but good in there own way. So enjoy what you have as better is quite often just different.


I have no plans to move to the new kit - but I’m rather hoping that as others do there might be more pre-loved choice out there…


Does this mean it safe now to use bi-wire? Like AudioQuest ThunderBird Zero & Bass Bi-Wire Speaker Cables?

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Yesterday I brought home my NAP 250 and NSC 222, along with a Fraim base and shelf and after fuddling for 2 hours with assembly, I’ve managed to clock in about 4 hours of listening.

My first impression was fantastic. More detail, more clarity, more separation of instruments, more everything. Parts of songs that seemed subdued relative to the feature instrument were noticeably more pronounced. For example, in Max Richter’s Vivaldi’s Seasons Winter 1, the lead violin heavily dwarfs the accompanying strings ensemble in terms of presence and impact on the Nova. With the New Classic, its a much more balanced presentation.

The improvement in detail and clarity was immediately apparent to my ears. On Taylor Swift’s Exile, there’s a smattering of bird noise that was always muddled with the Nova, but incredibly clear on my Dan Clark headphones. While not as clear on a good par of cans (as expected), that small detail is now unmistakably obvious on my speakers. Did you know there was a tambourine on Daft Punk’s Touch? I certainly didn’t.

I listen mostly at low to moderate levels (I live with my GF), a constraint that limited the performance of the Nova. With max volume setting of 80 in the Naim app, I had to bring the volume to at least 45 to before the soundstage and dynamics would appear. I know it isn’t an apples to apples comparison without true level matching, but the system starts coming alive when the NSC 222 is beyond just 20 in my room.

As far as usability goes, which was my main gripe with the ND5 / Supernait combo I demoed at home, it’s exactly the same as the Nova. With the optical remote cable between the NSC 222 and the NAP 250, the two units are working in complete tandem. The experience is exactly the same as the Nova, where you are interfacing with a single device. You turn on the system, choose songs and adjust the volume from the same remote / app. There is no HDMI port, so I’ll have to hunt for an optical toslink cable soon, but I’m currently too engaged with the music to care about TV for now.

Take all of this with a grain of salt and the caveat that there might be a non-negligible amount of recency / confirmation bias sprinkled in my write up. I did just spend $20K USD on this stuff, but to revive the old audiophile adage, even my girlfriend noticed the difference!

Edit: My speakers are the KEF Reference 3, btw.


Why not? From a technology perspective?

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I’m booked into @Cymbiosis tomorrow morning for a demo of NSC222/250/NPX which I am really looking forward too

never owned a 272 but an NDX since 2014 - Mr pre journey 202/282 and now 252 through the years with 200 and now 300DR my current speakers are Kudos T505 - not sure what the guys have set up for Saturday

will post my thoughts later saturday


The DAC chip used in the NSC 222 is the same as the one in the ND5 XS 2. Some have argued that perceived sound quality is less about the chip itself and more about the implementation. Considering the NDX 2 was released in August 2018, it might be possible that Naim has made some strides in improving the implementation. Might be wishful thinking?


i don’t think so. It’s more than possible that advances have been made in other areas of the equipment design that, when coupled with a seemingly ‘inferior’ dac push the performance ahead over all. Hi-fi kits performance comes from the sum of it’s parts, not from an individual component.

I don’t disagree with you. I just pointed out a possible reason some might consider the NSC 222 to be on par performance wise with the ND5. Naysayers aside, ultimately, your ears should be the judge right?

Why not on par with an NDX2 or higher, if things are to move forward we need to stop comparing the new with older models otherwise things kinda stay as is.

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I don’t know what you’re saying here. Maybe it’s time to turn the wifi off. :smiley:

Or turn off the ‘white noise’ instead.

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Hi Stover, I was merely using your post as a generel reply, no offence at all.
I will certainly listen once convenient.

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:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


You’ll be missed for sure.

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Upgrade to man cave.
Early days but enjoying the uplift in SQ from XS range gear I had previously.
Some pictures - still sorting out so go easy :joy:.


Good looking Isoblue rack.


Hey Tapp, what’s the big black box at the bottom of the rack?