What is it a about Naim?

First of all an admission – I have been guilty of what I am going to call out when I pranced around the predecessor of this forum in short trousers in 2005

There is yet another thread running currently along the lines of wow – I’ve just got my Naim XXX and YYY and it sounds absolutely amazing - what upgrade will I do?

No I don’t frequent car forums or such like but if someone buys a Mercedes do they go straight onto the forum and say - wow this Mercedes is absolutely fantastic. What can I buy to make it better?

And on these threads, many chime in and say listen, sit down enjoy the music wait, don’t be in a rush. Of course there are other people who reply with getting a Naim 2XXX and 2YYY is the only way to go

Is it just an effect on this actual forum? Are there plenty of people who buy Naim, plug it in and listen away quite happily and never come near here and so never ask that question in the first place?

Is it the same for all brands, and all for hifi fora?
I have occasionally frequented the Harbeth one and the predilection for an immediate enhancement to what is proclaimed as wonderful is rarely present. There is a touch of it on the Auralic forum, but it’s not quite as prevalent.

Is it normal behaviour?
is it a manifestation of some psychological condition?
I know when I was busy upgrading at an insane pace, it was after the death of my father and looking back, it was probably a driver for me, but thankfully I never bought what I couldn’t afford and by and large my Naim has remained constant since 2009, apart from sales.

Or are all hobbies like this full of enthusiasts where are the thrill of the chase is the attraction?



I have always simplistically maintained that this place is a spectrum of HiFi vs Music enthusiasts.

In other words some on the Forum are not really that bothered by the boxes and the next latest thing but use their kit as a tool to enjoy music. Others love the upgrading, tweaking and the technology per se. Not saying the two are exclusive but hopefully you see my point. I am sure the same can be said about cameras and photography etc etc.

Or putting it another way; not all of us are upgrading or looking for the next step up incessantly. Of course not all Naim buyers are here anyway!

Each, thankfully, to their own.



It is a Naim thing.

If Harbeth Audio brought out a new line of speakers without crossovers, along with a whole raft of outboard crossovers with varying frequency points and quality of internal parts - with pricing of sensible, expensive, very expensive to outrageous. I’m sure the Harbeth forum would explode with users asking for guidance or sharing their experiences of what goes with what.


Depends whether hifi is a hobby. I read a lot of books but I don’t see it as a hobby. I listen to music but don’t really believe it is a hobby. I ride a motorbike but it’s not a hobby.

I make models, definitely a hobby. :upside_down_face:

Upgrading hifi………


Hi @Sloop_John_B ,

It isn’t just Naim, far from it.

There is an intellectual interest in listening to HiFi that I think can capture us all.

IF you can work out the end point you are trying to get to, and the most money efficient way of getting there, then having that in mind will be an effective way of upgrading.

To just have bought some new gear and THEN ask what to do next seems a bit arse about face to me. Doesn’t mean it won’t be interesting and fun, just perhaps rather more expensive.



Naim has always (as far as I remember, not quite as far back as short trousers days though…) marketed the upgrade path. It is not about purchasing kit at a particular level, each piece is sold as a stepping stone to the next.

I think this forum represents, to a certain extent, more hifi enthusiasts than music enthusiasts. We prefer to think we are music enthusiasts so clever hifi marketing convinces us that moving up the ladder gets us closer to the music.

Overall though, I think communities like this one probably represent a small minority of hifi owners. The majority just buy what they can afford, plug it in and enjoy it.


I think some of us have too much time on our hands as well :wink:. Beats working though.


I note and second your use of capitals on the ‘IF’. :grinning:

It does seem like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’m sure that’s part of the fun!


It’s an attribute of the Naim tribe.
I for one like to belong to it because when I first heard Naim kit back in the early 1980’s I was hooked by the sound. Then I was caught up in the idea of what was the best I could afford on a journey to an active system.

There have been staging posts along this journey, there have been some distractions, and a change in direction once or twice. I like to see and hear about other people’s journeys on the forum, and partake in a few side lines too.

It’s all part of being part of the tribe; it accommodates different perspectives, aims, and budgets in terms of music playback. Not to mention varying senses of humour, food and pets.

I’m glad it’s not a club, because paraphrasing Groucho Marx: I would not want to be a member of a club that wanted me.


Not sure this phenomenon is anything more than the forum simply revealing that people, by and large, fundamentally think very differently.

Humans like to believe that we all deep down, given the same data input, experiences etc. will arrive at the same conclusions through common reasoning. We won’t.

For every person itching to make a change the instant they unbox the last thing, there will be another rocking it with their old chrome bumper gear. And their relative income will play little role in this.

I see work colleagues pestering IT to approve a new laptop every 12 months whining about their “ancient” computer hobbling their work. And then there’s me, rejecting an offer from IT because my 8 year old laptop still works and I want to see if I can get a decade out of it.


Dare I say that I think it’s exacerbated by a manufacturer that has developed more ways of tweaking/‘improving’ the sound of their equipment than maybe any other out there. Multiple power supply options offering varying degrees of improvement for the same base products across almost the entire product range offers endless possibilities and ultimately creates consumer confusion. Add to that that Naim equipment is serviceable and long-lasting, which means that the possible routes to sound quality utopia are even more bewildering to the newcomer


Generalisations are disrespectful and pointless. Including this one. :flushed: :scream:

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Just Human Nature isn’t it….to want “better” or the best even. There’s a whole thread devoted to it on here.

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That’s correct. Sadly, I think one of the secrets to happiness is learning to want what you have instead of constantly trying to have what you want.


absolutely agree @feeling_zen i got a muso2 as a toe in the water with streaming just before lockdowns started which put the kybosh on plans to audition further up the range. Now whenever i think of auditioning i just stream some music and wonder why change - love my lowly muso2 and the infinite world of music it opens up. for me the forum is a great spectator sport but that’s all.


What I was being sold by the Linn/Naim dealer back in the 80s was to always first make sure everything is correctly setup before even thinking about any upgrade, and then always adhere to the source first process to avoid meaningless sideways purchases. It was hard when the old mantra was to go for the speakers first, but it really worked.

I managed to mess up the source first going digital but I am fixing this in a few months when I have the time to deal with it.


Yes, people buy a Mercedes and will straight away want it to drive better and make changes. Switch out parts and modify. It’s what hobbyists do. This maybe cars, hifi, DIY, houses, photography, boating bikes… anything.

It’s often more interesting to take something and transform it to a different level. Car modifications is a massive industry and hobby.

As for Naim, the way you can upgrade with power supplies, cables, racking and previously DR upgrades enabled endless permutations.

I dont see it as much different from other hobbies.

And there are plenty of hobbies that are more expensive than Naim hifi.

It’s an enjoyable, satisfying hobby. And combined with my love of music I see nothing wrong with enjoying a good quality system and upgrading when and if you want to or can.

It’s cheaper than many hobbies and fortunately Naim gear has reasonable residual values.


I think most of us purchase a system because we like the music, but in this process we get addicted to getting more from it and with this addiction we find ourselves buying or upgrading to better gear dreaming with the systems impossible to personally archive.

The internet opened a new world of interaction and information, the digital fóruns offered ways of sharing experiences and opinions, ask for help and help others, learn with others, troubleshoot and be a part of a community with the same passion, today the web is not anymore a place only for geeks.

There are many customers that will never be here, they simply buy their Naim system and they are happy with it, or deal directly to their dealer on most of their questions and doubts, but there is also the ones that come here by accident when try to find some more information about a Naim product, register an account and become a part of this community.

I believe that most people today before making their decision do a search, read reviews and get to know their next big purchase better, before they finely decide to go for it.

I Am a recent Naim system user not a fanboy, have other systems not from Naim, but I find the Naim forum one of the most rewarding forums, could be that the topics I find here, the responses and interaction with the community seems more rewarding to me personally than other fóruns, who knows.

What I think of Naim, sounds good, has a past and hope a future, is expensive for me to stop on what I already have NDX2 with Supernait 3 and Hicap DR, has transformer noise sometimes, the dealer is amazing, does not need expensive cables to shine, the Naca5 and Lavender are good but not great, the wife loves them visually so less problems arguing about.


I don’t know if it’s a Naim thing or a hifi thing because I don’t really visit other forums. I do visit the Steve Hoffman forum, but all my time there is spent in the music zone.

I do know that when i decided to purchase a real music reproduction system… once my kids were somewhat grown and the finances were in decent shape, I was directed towards a Naim Uniti Qute by a thoughtful sales person at a respectable hifi shop, and ever since, I’ve been with Naim. And I do go to audio shows and I do listen to other systems within my budget and way outside my budget, and the bottom line is… I’ve never been swayed. I do prefer Chord DAC’s… other than that, I’ve never had any serious interest in leaving the brand. I do remain open to possibilities.

The behaviours the OP notes struck me very soon after first joining the forum. My conclusion was that it was far from being everybody - and in fact I would hazard that there is a largely silent majority of members who upgrade far less often than others, and don’t immediately look to the next upgrade or tweak immediately after each one - but they are not visible, so we tend only to notice the more obsessive members.

I think it is much the same with other hobbies where upgrading and tweaking are possible, e.g. bicycles or photography. Others either don’t upgrade or tweak, or only do so infrequently, whatever the trigger may be. Some people have goals from their start in hifi, with a target system (or level of system), and work towards it in upgrade steps, the size and frequency of which varies hugely between people. Some people just seem to have money to burn, and don’t mind letting others know.

As for those making very frequent changes, seemingly always on the hunt for the next tweak, and forever swapping things in and out, I do wonder if an underlying cause could be that the music through their system being unsatisfying, or tiring to listen, and hence whether they might be better off dumping the lot and starting from scratch looking in a different direction entirely. (Or trying different music!) From my own experience of the significance of speakers, and noting the diminutive status that speakers seem to have in some people’s systems, I do sometimes wonder if the source first philosophy has for some mislead them into not giving the speakers the attention and place that I believe they deserve, condemning them into permanent state of limited satisfaction by not going for far better speakers than they they have tried, but all this is pure speculation.

As far as the Naim forum compares with others, a significant factor, as others have intimated, is that the whole Naim approach seems designed to encourage upgrading, and in numerous steps, with a plethora of different products and models.

One other thing that is evident to me is that just as some people are serial tweakers, whether big or small), clearly getting same form of pleasure out of so doing, including the very process of trying things, almost as if they collect system changes, others are music collectors, not primarily buying music to play, but for the pleasure of collecting. I’m not in any way meaning to imply there is anything wrong with that, simply pointing out that among the membership there are different patterns of behaviour right across the board - such is humanity!