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The (almost) bi-polar nature of Naim's products and customers . . .

Discussion in 'audio' started by Bob Edwards, May 13, 2020.

  1. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards pfm Member

    I think that Mr. Pig has hit upon the almost bipolar nature of Naim's customers and products. It IS ludicrous to accept that an expensive product doesn't work 'properly' unless powered by another product that costs double. I'm thinking of the 272, which "works" on its own, but only gives its best if powered by a 555PS, which is, according to the AV Options April 2018 price list, a mere $12,995 USD. While I'm impressed at how much capability is packed into a 272, the times I've heard one it's been . . . ok. For $6500 USD at last retail ($6995 with tuner), it should be better than "ok." And to defend that is to defend the indefensible.

    In contrast, a piece that, while older, still held its own at its price point, is the Naim nDAC. I bought a used one, complete with box, manual, power cable, link plug, etc., for $1000 USD; at that price I've not heard anything that is close. At last retail, it was $4395 USD, and and it was still competitive musically/sonically with other DACs I tried in the the $4-6k range. Adding a TeddyXPS made a significant difference for the better, the difference being that the DAC (at least to me) sounded excellent on its own - the TeddyXPS simply allows it to reach even more of its potential. The difference is that a separate power supply is not 'required' for the DAC to work properly and to sound good/competitive. Similarly, the Naim XPS2 was listed at $6595 USD; compared to $1099 USD for a (new) TeddyXPS.

    Another product that, to me, shows the disconnect from older to newer is the 252. The original 52, for a long time, was widely regarded as the gold standard (in Naim circles, at least) and the tone of comments around it was often almost reverential. The 252 should have been a significant advance on the 52; the fact that so many debate which is better is powerful evidence that it is not - one must move to the 552 or Statement (gulp) to significantly better it.

    I'm reminded of comparing a 202/NAPSC/Hicap to the Exposure 3010S2 preamp - the Exposure sounded better for a fraction of the price. And various people made all sorts of excuses - wrong speakers, wrong CD player, not set up well (ha!), etc. While I can appreciate their enthusiasm, it does serve as a reminder of how many blinders we all have - most of those defending Naim had no idea that I worked in a Naim shop for years, and owned, at one time or another, most every piece through the olive range (save 135s and CDS2).
  2. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Nothing new covered here, haven’t we had enough naim bashing?

    It’s all a bit tiring.
  3. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    More Naim pain. They’re good.
  4. Olsen

    Olsen pfm Member

    The 272 is discontinued
    Fact is it will play without external PSU
  5. Bjork67

    Bjork67 pfm Member

    Stwewartat lee and maim bashing :rolleyes: good job I'm not a pisseded right ring Tory basdid.
  6. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    If Naim gear was reduced in price by 2/3rd's it would still be overpriced... and generally under-performing.
    It's well made though FWIW but so is loads of other gear for less money.
    Miss Ariel, Shane2468, Jonboi and 9 others like this.
  7. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    But that's crap though isn't it? What's more, even the people that say it know it's crap too! Like it or lump it, Naim’s hierarchical approach to powering a piece of equipment means that you can buy one of their products at a lower price and then buy a better power supply later IF YOU WANT! Where was it written that it won’t work properly unless powered by another product that costs double? I bet there are loads of people out there still using an original snaps or similar psu. Don’t like Naim, don’t buy Naim – simples!
  8. Stemcor

    Stemcor I should be listening to music

    I have always said that Naim is a superb marketing company.

    Cast your minds back to the mid 70’s and the “Naim way” was different to the “mainstream”. A pathway to upgrade your amplifier by adding a psu whilst retaining brand loyalty makes a lot of business sense. Nothing has really changed since then in the Naim World except that component technology has moved on and there are other manufacturers who have taken advantage of this to make some excellent products.

    I used Naim for almost 30 years but there are alternatives out there based on different business models and consequently different pricing. Dealers do not work for free.
    RustyB, Miss Ariel, DavidS and 3 others like this.
  9. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I was diagnosed as Bipolar a few years ago and have never owned a Naim amplifier...
    DavidS, Tarzan, leroyd and 3 others like this.
  10. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    I do sometimes wonder if we ought to have a separate I HATE LINN AND NAIM room, so people can rant and rave in there as much as they like.
  11. I.D.C.

    I.D.C. pfm Member

    I suppose Linn had there bashing not so long ago. Niam's turn now.
    Tarzan likes this.
  12. Stemcor

    Stemcor I should be listening to music

    Perhaps we should have both love and hate rooms. Keeps a sense of balance and lets people get things of their chest....
  13. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Perhaps we should have two places of worship, where adherents can genuflect towards turntables
    and amplifiers.
    simonhamnett and Stemcor like this.
  14. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    It takes a special kind of ignorance to buy a power amp, in 2020, of virtually identical circuitry to vast numbers of music centres, PA amps, guitar and bass amps plus low to mid range hi fi gear... and all circa 1973, and pay >£4000 for it whilst considering you got a fair deal there.. and then double down by paying £2000+ for a transformer in a box with a few 1970's tech LM317's (30p each) in it in an attempt to make the pre amp work properly.
  15. Stemcor

    Stemcor I should be listening to music

    I really liked chrome bumper Naim back in the day but as I have indicated in upthread, Naim are a superb marketing machine.
  16. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Are you having a bipolar moment Arkless?
    Yesterday you were complaining about amps with modern technology, like displays and micros, and now your complaining about the ones you were singing the praises of because they are easy to fix. :rolleyes:
    simonhamnett, lindsayt and Curtis like this.
  17. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Who gives a s**t about the circuitry? Maybe we should say the same about the Leak adherents here?
    Caledon1297 likes this.
  18. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    It's the only thing that matters!
  19. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    This whole thing is quite pathetic
    flutteringwow likes this.
  20. JoeJoe

    JoeJoe pfm Member

    Naim acolytes on their forum are not actually a very rational, friendly bunch. Any slight critique is usually met with a barrage of indignant abuse, so yes, I think Naim-bashing is acceptable from that perspective.

    The addition of power-supplies and subsequent insistence from their forum members that your newly acquired piece of Naim kit is only “half way there” is predictable and tedious. I’ve never seen anything quite like this unquestioning devotion.....

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