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!
It happens not only with Naim. At least with Naim, the upgrades are less painful as PSU purchases would make one’s NAIT still usable, or a pre-amp purchase would make one’s NAIT power amp section still usable until such time one gets a dedicated power amp. As to more serious upgrades say from a Nait to the 500 series, well that’s another story.
I used to be a loyal customer for an American brand manufacturing tube pre and power amps. “Upgrades” on their gear were frequent back in the 80s and 90s. Pre amp models would have A, B, C, or VER 1, VER 2, VER 3, or Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, in a short period of time. Imagine, 4-5 revisions in a span of 5 years.
There were no forums or social media back then. Audiophiles would gather in houses and or audio stores and talk about the “need” to upgrade their pre amps because a new version has come up, and selling their 1 or 2 year old gear at 40% to 50% (if lucky) just to get the “latest and greatest”…. Geez, I would hear some of these guys sometimes say all these stories just to justify their need to upgrade. It’s as if changing their pre amp was just like changing their underwear
Although I would admit that some revisions did have audible improvements on some of these revisions, I for one did not automatically change gear simply because I was already happy with my current system. I was rational enough to know that my pre amp did not deteriorate in performance simply because there was a new version of it. I had enough discipline to say No, I will not be swayed to get the latest version. Although the temptation was there
The reason why me and my friends still loved this brand was of course the “sound” of the brand. After sales service was top notch. Whenever I send a fax message to the company, rest assure that a fax reply would come back the following day from none other than the founder / owner / circuit designer of the company.
I no longer buy from this brand for many reasons, but I still have one of their early 80s tube pre-amps. It’s a “B” version. Yes, I did not get tempted in changing to the higher versions which went up to “F” in a span of 5 years.
The key is being contended with what one has. One has to realize that it’s like a dog running after its tail. It’s a never ending story. Upgrade now, and expect to have this itch again after some time. But yes, life is short, so whatever floats one’s boat…
Upgrading after a few months or years I think has to do with getting used to sound…
At a certain point you no longer hear what you heard like in the beginning…
As far as I’m concerned there are two directions:
The first direction is especially central here on the forum and fits in with Naim’s design philosophy…
The second direction, however, also gives an excellent improvement of the music experience in my opinion. Listen a few months to a cheap/simple installation. Get used to it and then after a while I will turn on my naim set again…
and then be surprised how good this sounds…
An advantage of the second direction is that it is considerably cheaper…
Or not doing anything.
I’m moving towards the last few changes . I’m content with my integrated amp. Cables and power stuff. I’ve bought new speakers that have yet to arrive. All I’m all I’m fairly confident that I’ll be done soon
That’s the thing. Putting a system together is a creative process. One that engages many facets.
Once that process has been completed - a system assembled - the creative urges may well be left wanting.
Like a painter inspired by the next blank canvas.
I suspect Naim supports the forum not only to allow enthusiasts to wax lyrical but also to drive FOMO
It had that effect on me until I downsized but as a recovering addict I now observe without partaking
There is probably a law against that
The naim lego apporoach tohifi means that more people may end up in highend land than with other manufacturers where you lose a lot when selling last years model. With naim you can stack up and resell used lego bricks.
Then there is this forum really addictive since it seems to be made out of many users who are really knoledgable about many things, and the moderation keeps ssstupidity to a minimum.
Only for those who buy on latest product release, rather like being a follower of fashion rather than being on a developmental hifi journey - which may be the case with some (on here and not), but in my experience it is more normal to upgrade only to distinctly higher level products after a period of several years… (Even then, I’m not sure about the worn ‘“normal”!)
I enjoy reading the occasional love ins.
The old forum had Vitus and of course chord.
The new forum has had Marten, Tablette signature 10 and recently a Luxman love gush.
TJ, you forgot the great Lavry love-in…
But seriously, I think that what happens is that somebody new to Naim gets to hear a bit of Naim kit in a demo or some such situation and all just clicks for them - they just get what it’s all about, and it’s really exciting. Naturally they then want to find out more about the brand and want to discover for themselves how much better it gets from there.
I recently posted a thread here to draw attention to an excellent piece written by Jonathan Gorse re. Naim. I think his early experience of discovering Naim resonates for many here;
I suppose I am the last person to ask, this is my first sortie into the world of serious hi fi, and when I buy audio equipment it usually remains untouched for twenty years. I am seriously pleased with my (low end) Unitilite, that I purchased almost 10 years ago. When I come to upgrade one very big pro is that the CD player failed within a couple of weeks of purchase. I came clean and admitted that building work filled the room with plaster dust, and that this was no doubt the cause of the failure, but the machine was still replaced free of charge with no quibble. A con is the 500 track limit to Tidal playlists. As things stand I think I know where I will be heading when replacement time comes along in another 10 years.
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