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Classic Bolt Down Naim System revived

Discussion in 'classic' started by cctaylor, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    My late father's Naim Tri-amp system has returned from Witch Hat after a full service and upgrade. The 250 power amps were last serviced about 15 years ago for the first time. The 32 and the NAXO and SNAPS were as they left Salt Lane in 1977. I took the opportunity to get some upgrades on the pre side.

    I had a spare bolt down SNAPS. Witch Hat fitted their Newt regulators to both SNAPS converting them to provide dual outputs. The 32 and NAXO were both converted to dual rail, each is now supplied by it's own SNAPS. The interconnects are all Morgana with the exception of one which is on back order. The speaker cables are Witch Hat Phantom.

    This 44 year old system rocks!! Of course I can't comment on the effectiveness of any of the individual upgrades but as a package it really works very well.

    I'm sure my dad would appreciate what I have done with his equipment.
    Nic Robinson, MikeMA, Phil UK and 4 others like this.
  2. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    That is amazing, bet it sounds great, what speakers are you using?
  3. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    This vintage kit leaves many contemporary amps way behind in the dust sound wise IMO so well worth the refurbishing.
    cctaylor likes this.
  4. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    It certainly does sound great. This is one of first Linn/Naim active systems. The Isobariks are s/n 13 and 14. The 32 and oldest SNAPS s/n 007.

    Three 250s into the Isobariks. Dad took the speakers back to the factory for the tweeter upgrade.

    I was responsible for dad upgrading his original Isobariks to the active setup. I was invited to a public demo of the active Linn/Naim system organised by Russ Andrews and Linn in an Edinburgh hotel when I was a student.
    Woodface likes this.
  5. Martin M

    Martin M Crueller than April

    It would be very interesting to see a picture of this vintage system, especially the very old Isobariks. Are they the old 'wide' version is slightly less old ones rotated through 90 degrees?
  6. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    @Martin M The Isobariks are the style we are all used to seeing. Dad did start with the earlier style driven initially by 2 Sugden P51 amps. He upgraded to Naim 32/250 combo before later that year going the whole hog with the extra pair of 250s and the active Isobariks.

    I didn't realise how quickly he upgraded until l looked the invoices recently.
  7. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    [​IMG]P1060228 by Cecil Taylor, on Flickr

    @Martin M

    Hiding behind the right hand leg of the stack is my Raspberry Pi with the Hifiberry DAC2 HD, the only concession to the 21st century.

    The stands for the speakers are later than the originals. The originals were assembled from lightweight 1inch square tube with push in corner connectors and had no spikes.

    At the time I took the photo I was listening to "The Missing Linc Vol 11" one of the Sheffield direct to disc recordings. The realism of the sound is breath taking at times.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
    htm_1968, _howard, MikeMA and 6 others like this.
  8. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    I have had first year Isobariks bought from a staff member at HiFi Corner in Edinburgh
    Last year of manufacturing briks

    Both amazing

    But early ones so much more exciting ...the last run ones were so capable but lacked character...possibly the difference between analogue and digital headed engineers and market 'needs'.

    The early ones are best!
  9. Martin M

    Martin M Crueller than April

    @cctaylor Thank you. What a great system, in fantastic condition and wonderful connection with your family. I'm not at all surprised it sounds fantastic. I have Julian Vereker's later interpretation of the same thing - tri-amp DBLs and it's a pleasure to listen to.
  10. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    Isn’t it weird that this 40 year old kit is still beating many many contemporary competitors in a so obvious way ?
    I’m jealous...........don’t ever sell any of these !
    cctaylor likes this.
  11. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    @ian r Dad bought his first Isobariks (the original style) from Hifi Corner in Leith Walk. When Russ Andrews set up on his own account he along with many others transferred their allegiance to Northumberland Street. Dad switched to Naim amplification then upgraded to the system I now own.

    We both were good customers of the Russ Andrews shop over the years.
  12. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    My only concern would be the close stacking of power amps and psus but I suppose that you never play the set cranked up above 10 o'clock. Always nice to see an original stack of Naim and ancillaries. I still haven't listened to a Naim Nap 250 in either of its incarnations. Enjoy!
  13. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    Don't worry, I have no plans to sell any this kit. I have no desire to jump on the upgrade merry-go-round. The family history means quite a bit to me anyway.

    The updates carried out recently by Witch Hat have had minimal impact on originality. The 32 and NAXO have been converted to split rail power supplies. This could easily be reversed if anyone so desired by simply rewiring and replacing the 5 pin Din with a 4 pin. The two SNAPS have had the regulators updated with Witch Hat's Newt.

    Incidentally the oldest SNAPS has a 120 transformer the newer one has a 110 toroid.
  14. tpetsch

    tpetsch pfm Member

    Money and time well spent IMO to get an extremely satisfying system going again that can easily bests much of the new stuff out there costing many times more, especially if your main listening source is analog...
  15. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    Dad had the 250s and the SNAPS in a single stack in a cupboard. His room was much larger so he would have used more of the 250's power. They seemed happy enough with this arrangement. When he had the original Isobariks with single 250 it would occasionally shut down due to overwork!
    Rosewind likes this.
  16. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    Lovely coincidences there, yes that RA fella ran a good shop with a record cleaning machine I used often enough....
  17. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    @ian r I used to pop into the shop if I was in Edinburgh. Usually in June on my pilgrimage to the Highland Show. Dave and Roy were always helpful and welcoming. Sadly Roy passed away last year.
    ian r likes this.
  18. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    I heard Dave is once again doing LP12s, now based out of HiFi Corner in Falkirk. A friend of mine won't take his deck to anyone else up there.
  19. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    That's good to hear.
  20. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I’d get a new rack & stack them better, would work really well on a wide AV style stand. Great set up, nothing is likely to beat it.

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