The trick to being content with your system?

Obviously a big part of the forum is those seeking advice regarding upgrades so I thought a thread maybe interesting surrounding the nature of Naim and its step ladder upgrade philosophy.

Do you plan your upgrades and where you want to end up or does the next best thing always sit in your mind and eat at you until you reach so called audio nirvana?

Is there a trick in how to be content with your system…




Buy a turntable.


or stop reading this forum!


Stop messin’

(I haven’t learn’t that bit yet)

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Naim helps us here by having standard system combinations, with some upgradability within each combo. E.g. a NAC82/HiCap/NAP140 is a standard, and you might add a NAPSC. So you wouldn’t typically put a NAP150 on this. This was what I had, and I’m now moving to the next standard which is a NAC82/NAPSC/HiCapOrSC/NAP250DR. I am just about there, so not sure if I’ll stop then, but I hope so. I consider sources then a little different, and they are perhaps more fashionable items that can change - e.g. changing from a CD player to Streamer, and here we have loads of options particularly if you go outside Naim. E.g. if you go down the NAS and RPie route, you might be upgrading eternally. Joining this forum I’d say nudges you on the forever upgrade ladder unless you are very disciplined.

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That’s the problem, there are to many options available, There’s a thread at the moment concerning adding boxes and cables to a number of chord DACs, there must be over 2 dozen suggested options, which could mean hundreds or thousands of combinations. It’s a nightmare.

I’m happy with my streaming equipment at the moment, having recently purchased an Ndac. However, I feel the urge to compare optical/coaxial cable between streamer and DAC, battery/mains powered streamer and naim/mogami cable from the DAC to pre-amp. Just because I have the cables to do so.

Before I started streaming I was quite happy to use a Manticore Turntable and CDS2 for many years without the urge to change anything.

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Oh come on back in the 80s not a week went by without a new Linn upgrade!

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I sold mine - never looked back.

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I learned it helps to be at a defined place, not a mix of gear at different levels which always makes you think about this or that part.

Like in my case, the absolute top end of Classic. Everything sings and fits together, you know what you have, there’s no extra complications, and the next step up would be huge. (Well I am not ruling out a pre-owned 552 :slight_smile: but am in no rush and it may or may not come along)

Running out of budget?!

I’ve had my Nait 3 for 20 years, my Systemdek IIXE for over 25. A CD5 for 2 years. And a Unitiqute for a month. Hanging onto the bottom rung of the upgrade ladder :slight_smile:

Suspect it’ll be years before another purchase is on the cards. I just like reading about the amazing kit most folks on here have, and experiencing upgrades vicariously without having to trouble the bank manager :wink:


How altruistic of them :smiley:



I find a quick blast of Lenny Kravitz does the trick!


A great recording, played loud.


I’ve told you a million times before, don’t exaggerate!


Don’t listen to exciting new products that you can’t afford. I learned that lesson when I did a demo of the NAC 52 just after I had upgraded from a 42-5 to a 72. Before the demo, I was quite satisfied with my system. Afterwards, I was dissatisfied with it until I managed to save up the money to upgrade to the 52.

For this reason, I have not had a demo of any hi fi equipment since I got my CDS II in 1999.


You ask a very interesting question - all too people really enthuse about something, only in a fairly short space of time to yearn for better, or say they find music tiring to listen to for long (or some component tiring to listen through for long). The former may just be their psyche, but with the latter clearly something is wrong, though of course diagnosing can be difficult. I doubt my responses to your question will help anyone either way, but anyway these are my initial thoughts:

  • Make sure the character of sound is what you like - speakers are absolutely key to this, and with them room setup.

  • Make sure you buy what makes your music play nicely, not something just because it is the ‘in’ thing, with lots of people saying it is great, or because the dealer says it is the best. Blind comparisons can really help here.

  • Don’t read hifi mags other than for focussed research.

  • Don’t read forum threads about tweaks and upgrades unless you know you are not a tweaker nor habitual upgrader.

  • Don’t believe manufacturers’ claims.

  • Make sure you listen to music you like! (I find it odd when some people talk about trying to like some piece or some style - why try? There’s so much other music out there, you don’t have to like everything, even very popular things.


Ah, the cause of upgraditis. Many folk much wiser than me have tried and failed to find the cause of this awful affliction.

Are upgraditis tendencies an hereditary phenomenon or are they learned? Nature or nurture?

I will save hard, and/or sell the odd organ to get my upgrade fix, set it up nicely in my lovely Fraim (for which I had to buy another flippin’ shelf by the way), sit back and marvel at the night and day difference this very heavy black box has brought. And then, as time goes on, that night and day difference starts to fade and becomes the new normal. This sense of loss can only be solved one way. You’ve guessed it, another upgrade.

And wouldn’t you know it, those nice people at Naim have not one, but several ways to achieve the next fix.

Naim have completely sussed this aspect of human nature and have created so many interwoven upgrade paths, we can never run out of ways to get that next fix.

There is only one answer. As Nancy Reagan famously once said, ‘just say no’.

Oh, and stay clear of the pushers, I mean Naim dealerships (and this place)!


In my experience (a phrase I’ve never seen in any of your posts categorically stating your view that speakers have the biggest effect on the character of the sound), the speakers are less important than all the other upstream components in determining the character of the sound.


Where have you been?

I confirm that my view is based on experience, not speculation or following of any belief or reading of hifi press etc. I have heard a far greater difference in the character sound between different speakers - even at the same price point - than between a wide range of sources, cheap and expensive, vinyl and digital. Yes, I have heard different characters between sources, but nowhere near as marked as the difference I’ve heard between speakers.