About 30 years ago I bought a Nait 2 (chrome bumper), about 1 or 2 years old from its original owner. I listened a fair bit for about 10 years, then life happened and I rarely listened, and it has been stored in a closet for the last 15 years. Never really thought about it.
I’m now getting back to listening, dusted it off, hooked it up to my trusty B&W DM7-mkII speakers and it still works perfectly. Incidentally, I also connected a few other speakers (KEFs, Mordaunt Shorts, Missions) and the B&Ws still sounded best overall. I have picked up a decent DAC (Schiit Bifrost) and other bits for modern sources.
So I would just listen to my Nait 2 happily except for 2 things:
I’m worried that with all the old components, it may fail at any moment.
I was surprised (shocked) to learn that it has achieved near-legendary status and typically sells for ~$US600 and up.
So now I’m looking for some thoughts - I see (at least) 4 options:
Just keep listening and hope nothing happens (but worry every time I turn it on)
Bribe my electronics genius friend to help me replace/upgrade the old components.
Replace components and while I’m at it, do some of the upgrades
Sell it while it’s working perfectly and put the money toward a newer piece like a newer Naim, Rega Brio, Sonneteer Campion, Marantz PM-something, Arcam etc.
Hoping some of you who know these amps and may have experience with the replacement or upgrades can help me out. Will it keep singing happily or should I re-cap? Do the upgrades really help or should I just re-cap? If I should sell, thoughts on what to replace it with.
PS. I know there are places that do the replacement/upgrades, but I assume adding that money to the money from selling it gets me a much newer, better amp.
Some of your options listed we aren’t allowed to talk about. But you also missed send nait back to the mother ship for a service. Then sit back and enjoy in the knowledge all is well!
I’ve made a small edit to your post to ensure it complies with forum rules (discussion of unauthorised modifications is not allowed on here).
The NAIT 2 is a stone cold classic - one of the greats, an iconic amplifier that can still compete on performance terms with modern amps. It deserves a proper factory standard service. Speak to your dealer, local distributor, or (assuming you’re Stateside) get in touch with AV Options, who are Naim approved - Owner Chris West cut his teeth at Naim back when the NAIT 2 was news and then was part of the Naim Audio North America team for many years.
Great moniker. What is Naim if not aspirational?!! Enjoy your Nait 2
Agree, factory service and it’s a keeper. Wish I had one but no room for a second system…
Keep it and get it serviced. Nothing else compares to it.
Keep it and enjoy. Unfortunately, servicing costs here in the US are quite high – $1,200 for the Nait 2 – so I’d run it 'til it dies!
Apart from any degraded performance, you then risk taking out your speakers as well as the amp. I would either get it done properly or sell it.
Personally, unless it holds sentimental value, then I’d sell it and buy a serviced Nait 1 (~£550) which I slightly prefer anyway. Otherwise, I’d get it serviced by a Naim agent and enjoy it as much as possible.
Serviced (by Naim agent) and in excellent condition, they are fetching £800 in the UK (on ebay). They are highly sought after in Asia so, even if you don’t ship outside the US, buyers in Asia often still find a way to purchase them and ship across.
Normally, the value of Naim equipment drops if you don’t get it serviced by Naim (or an agent) but the CB Nait 2 is so sought after than the normal rules may not apply. Also note that some people prefer unserviced Naim anyway, excluding the amps that must be serviced regularly (i.e. 250). Not sure what the Far East market prefers when it comes to this amp.
Nothing you listed sounds anything like the Nait 1 / 2. But then, nothing from Naim I’ve ever tried really sounds like a Nait 1 /2 either, although 12/110 is broadly similar. Best not to assume newer is better. Newer is different is perhaps more like it.
I like the look of your old B&W speakers. Never heard them myself. Finding suitable speakers for the Nait 1 / 2 is always a challange!
I would service the Nait 2 via AV Options. As you’ve already absorbed the cost of the Nait years ago, you can sell it on without much loss (if any) should you later decide for something more modern. The provenance of a service with AV Options will serve you well in any case.
I routinely listen to Nait 2, split Nait 3R, and a SN2.
Thank you everyone for the thoughts.
I get that the Nait is special, but I’m having a tough time justifying the restoration cost - if it’ll cost US$1200 to keep using the Nait safely (especially now knowing it can blow my speakers), or I can sell it for ~$600, that’s almost $2000 towards new kit. Good as the Nait is, I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that I could get some better gear for $2k (i.e. a Brio or Sonneteer, with money left over to upgrade something else). That’s why I thought I’d bribe my electronic genius friend to help me - he designs and builds his own (high end) audio gear so I’m pretty confident he can do a good job. But perhaps I have to reconsider.
PS. Any speaker recommendations? I confess the B&Ws were never bought with the Nait in mind (and my wife hates them (too big and old looking)). I bought them before the Nait for my 100 wpc amp and tube pre-amp, and they were much better than anything else I could afford. When I discovered the Nait sounded way better than my separates, I was worried the B&Ws would be too inefficient but they sounded fine so I kept them, but I don’t know that they’re really a good match. I considered replacing them a few times over the years (not recently) and listened to new speakers, but I discovered I was going to have to spend a lot to get any meaningful improvement (as usual).
Is it worth double checking that price. Seems astronomical to me, bearing in my Class A charge about £190 here in the UK and that includes return shipping.
I’ve tried a dozen or more pairs and my preference so far is the Linn Keilidh (with upgraded stands and Valhalla LP12), followed by Rega ELA and Audio Note AN-K. In general, fairly efficient floor standers have worked best in my setup - the deep bass helps (to some extent) disguise the fact that the amp has quite a ‘thin’ sound.
Having said that, despite initial mis-givings, Linn Kans can work wonders. However, they have such a long list of caveats and shortcomings that it’s probably best to stay away from them.
Keen to try Heybrook HB1s next.
Keilidhs, Tukans, ELAs, Minstrels, HB1s are all cheap here in the UK (under £200) but perhaps things are different in the US, plus availability will be worse - I assume.
Get it serviced, enjoy and it will last for a long, long time while most modern electronics are ending up as landfill.
Suspect it won’t cost the $1200 dollars if you send it back to the UK
I just wish I had my olive Nait and Flatcap - still have the CD3 and the NAT 03 though, which is still on the rack and performing well despite a 20 year sabbatical in the loft
1 - I had my Nait 2 recapped at the Focal Naim America distributor in July 2019 for $355.00 Canadian monopoly dollars…
2 - Chris West at A/V Options is doing a complete rebuild of the amplifier at 4 times the price. You have to figure out if you want to keep it for another 10 years (option 1) or another 20 years (option 2).
Wathever you decide, be assured that if you get rid of it, you may bitterly regret it.
Likewise, I had my Nait 2 serviced at the Canadian dealer in Montreal. Great price and no snake oil - ie cryo cables ; )
A serviced Nait 2 is right up there with anything in the $2,000 CDN price range. I’m expect mine to last another 20 years.
Chris West isn’t selling snake oil, friend. I have had gear serviced by a variety of different entities over the last 20 years. His works is the best hands down. He is the master.
He did the deep cryo on my CB Nait 2. Also did it on a pair of NAC A5. Both came back sounding better. Smoother, with deeper bass extension.
It’s no accident Art Dudley said my Nait 2 is the best Nait 2 he has ever heard.
The proof is in the music. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
it won’t blow your speakers, for God’s sake. i’m not sure where @ChrisSU got that notion; unless there are a bunch of Nait detonations heretofore unreported on this forum it’ll be fine even if you don’t get it serviced. that said, if you can have the Canadian importer do it for 400 CAD, then fire away!
I’m quite sure I will not be the only person ever to have had an old, unserviced amp “gone DC” as my dealer described it at the time. He was able to repair the amp himself relatively cheaply, but the speaker cone was a write-off.
What to do with a Nait 2? get the highest quality high efficiency speakers you can get and enjoy it - the music I mean! I have (3) one a 1989 s/n driving a pair of DIY floor standers using two top Morel drivers with a single order high quality x-over.