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What's Opposite to the Naim sound?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Fin, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Fin

    Fin pfm Member

    Hi guys

    In the past I've had Naim Nait xs integrated amp along with a Naim dac. To be honest, I really got to dislike the sound. It had too much treble, or maybe thinness, to describe it in the most communicable language I can think of.

    Just wondering what amplifiers may offer a more lush warmer sound? My speakers are B&W CM9s.

  2. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    What's the budget?
    The new Arcam A49 may fit the bill, or Rega, or maybe a valve amp.
    If you don't like Naims presentation, ( & the most frequent complaint sonically, with their gear tends to be the treble end, as you found), Steer clear of Cyrus as well. Someone will probably suggest keeping the amp & changing the speakers, as there's a lot of committed Naim fans here.
  3. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue The Mighty Deoxitiser

    @Fin, I'd definitely take a look at valves if I were you.
  4. peter bj

    peter bj pfm Member

    Also look at sonneteer it still has punch but without the harshness
  5. chord

    chord pfm Member

    Just beyond Naim now.
    Valves, 6C33C.
  6. SteveS1

    SteveS1 I heard that, pardon?

    Measure your room, then you will get a handle on what contribution or otherwise is down to the system. Thin sounds usually mean a room suck out.
  7. windhoek

    windhoek The Phoolosopher

    Teddy Pardo + ATCs = music that's easy to listen to and enjoy no matter the volume :)
  8. jackbarron

    jackbarron Chelsea, London

    I went from Naim to an EAR V20 integrated valve amp and it was like listening to music with a new set of ears. The improvement was immense. The edgy treble was replaced by clear high notes and the overall presentation was warmer.

    EAR integrated amps aren't cheap, but you can find them secondhand for a couple of grand.

  9. banjoman

    banjoman pfm Member

    Try croft amps. It was the best move for me from a Naim set up
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Might well be that your Naim kit doesn't gel with your B&Ws. I once heard top Naim amplification (and CD) with very large B&Ws (Nautilus?) at Graham's in London, and my friend and I agreed that they were not synergistic. We were both high end Naim users.

    If you're stuck on your speakers, simply find technically and sonically compatible amplification (agree with previous post; avoid Cyrus), but if valve, it'll probably be a push-pull 50 + watter; however, there's just so much out there at that level, you'll just have to suck it and see unless you know people with your speakers. Then there's the room factor, of course................:eek:
  11. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    I changed my 135s for E.A.R. 509 monoblocs, but I wasn't really dissatisfied with my 135s except that they were a little dry; it's swings and roundabouts, but I'll stick to (E.A.R.) valves !
  12. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    Characterful valve amplifier, or solid state with tone controls.

    ....or Naim with tone controls.

    There is nothing inherent in the Naim circuits to make them sound thin, bright, or possessed of too much treble. Old wives tale.
  13. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    Quad 909 is very nice, with slightly rolled off top end that might work well. That said, when I auditioned the Nait XS I didn't think it was bright especially compared to a similar priced Roksan amp. The XS sounded slightly 'gentle' in the treble and bass with a deep but not very wide soundstage. Instead of the XS I bought an Onion Research Primo, which was much more characterful than the Nait - I'm not sure that was the best decision.
  14. Blzebub

    Blzebub Banned

    Naim + ATC = system that makes most people who hear it buy ATCs.

    IOW, nothing wrong with the Naim sound at all.
  15. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Fin, you aren't alone in this view. Nevertheless the faithful will still say that Naim never sounds thin. It does to me, and so I shop elsewhere.

    For solid state I'd try Quad or Meridian, both of which will be a pleasant surprise in terms of price, assuming you are going second hand, and as other have said any number of valves. If you want to try a left field option, try a Krell - massive power, sensational grip, you might like it.
  16. Blzebub

    Blzebub Banned

    Utter nonsense.
  17. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Absolutely, utter nonsense end to end, I made it all up, including the bit about shopping elsewhere. I made that bit up too. I actually have a 6-pack setup with power supplies for my power supplies, I'm just in denial.

    Naim always sounds lush and warm, and perfect. Anyone who thinks otherwise just needs to learn how to listen, or they need another power supply, or they need to move up the chain a little. Honest. Everything else is just made up.
  18. Shane2468

    Shane2468 pfm Member

  19. John_73

    John_73 pfm Member

    FWIW I went back to my Quad 34/606 from my 72/140 because - subjectively - I was bothered by a sense something wasn't quite to my tastes. Moving back to the 34/606 and it was a sense of fullness in the midrange I wasn't quite getting with the Naim setup. Both systems were freshly serviced too. Probably not an inherent 'character' of either setup, but more a very simple case of one being 'happier' with my speakers than the other, the speakers becoming part of the amplifiers circuit, of course. Very subtle differences, but after trying both setups over extended listening sesions (over a week) it was the Quads I kept coming back too.

  20. halvis

    halvis pfm Member

    Naim Nait XS + ATC = too much Naim type sound IMO. The amp drives the speakers ok, but it sounds exactly like what the OP has described.

    I would second the valve amp option, something like a Puresound A30 with good, smooth drive is an amp I have heard and available at a similar price to the Nait XS. Electrocompaniet is another, I had the ECI-3 which had quite a dark, warm and again powerful sound.

    As suggested, a Quad 909 might be your thing as well.

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