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Nait XS or NAC202/NAP 200

Discussion in 'audio' started by audionaut, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    I did a series of tests starting with Nait 5i and up, through Nait XS, then 152/155, then 202/155, and I ended up with a 202/200. All of this is with Linn Majik 109's, and using various iterations of the 5 series Cd players as sources; as an optimum CD5xs/fc2, although at home I use cd5/teddycap2 (and an LP12, which is great with the Naim, but the phono stage is another issue).

    I liked the Nait XS a lot, but I had a slight problem with its forward presentation being excessive on a soprano saxophone, for example. I found the bass extraordinarily rich with the 109's, in a good way. But I wanted more refinement, and just a slightly better balance of presentation.

    152/155 - I thought this resolved the small issues I had with the XS and made a really coherent pacakage. It works great with a Cd5i as well as the 5xs/fc2xs - seems to be tolerant and forgiving, a nice organic feel. No negatives at all. Actually I was set to buy this, but then I heard a 202.

    202/155 - the change in resolution is quite dramatic here. I don't care how much older the classic series is, even the excellent new 152 doesn't come close. It taught me what a dramatic role the pre has, and I guess I'll learn more in future. Playing a dub reggae/techno track by 'Rhythm and Sound' I was amazed at how much the change from 152 to 202 allowed my small speakers to approach the huge space and depth of this kind of music. So I was all set to buy this pair now. But.... a second hand 200 came up for the same price as the ex-demo 155 and I went for it blind. Risky.

    202/200 - so this is what I have now. I can't properly comment on what the 200 brings to the table, since I didn't test against the 155. When I first got this home I was at turns excited and a little troubled. I'd always been a bit bored by Naimies prattling on about PRAT, but I got it now, however it was not allways welcome. Sometimes the rhythmic attack seemed too insistent - 'Kings of Convenience' were suddenly forcing the foot to tap when that is not necessarily the spirit of their music.

    Since that point I've made various modifications - NACA5 made a surprising difference. A Flatcap is worthwhile on a 202, though most will insist on a HiCap. I have a Teddy now. I'm used to the Naim sound now and whether the process has been psycho-acoustic or electronics 'bedding in' I like it. I can see why people have their issues, although all that talk of Naim amps hitting you over the head is ludicrously inflated.

    My concluding point though would be that the change in the pre does run the risk of destabilizing your whole system. Extra detail and resolution makes you more conscious, more questioning, and more likely to wonder if the speakers are right, etc. So make sure you are not starting a revolution you won't want to continue. I'd still say stick with the XS if it sounds right. The important thing is always correctness in your system, and in your ROOM (the most important element of all).
  2. Jack Barriere

    Jack Barriere Me, you and them

    Well said :cool: The OPs N-DAC and Rega speakers are up for the task.

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