Advice: Naim Mu-So Alternatives


Active Member
Hi guys this is a bit of a ramble I'm afraid :facepalm:

My grandfather passed away earlier this year and he left me some money to spend, around £1,500. He has always been a big fan of Naim & Linn, which are a long way out of my price bracket unfortunately.

I have had a couple of demos of the Mu-so 2 and was very surprised how good it sounded -- big soundstage despite no separation -- but to be honest the emotions are quite raw still and it's hard to be objective, especially as a relative novice when it comes to evaluating hi-fi.

What I suppose I am wondering is, for my budget what other set-ups should I be considering? I have listened to some KEF LSXs which sounded very good but only in the sweet-spot and the app(s) were incredibly fiddly compared to SONOS or the Naim app. I have read about Yamaha's MusicCast streamer/amp and could spend the change on some B&W 603s.. but this is just guess work. Can you use an AV Receiver in place of a conventional stereo pre-amp/amp??

I know I will need to listen in person before making a purchase, but if anybody can give me some wildcards to demo alongside the Mu-so I would be very grateful. I also know that my budget is not much be audiophile standards, so if I need to top it up by a few hundred for the right "heirloom" that might be okay.

Thanks for reading!


Well-known Member
Although I'm not 100% clear what you want, it seems you're after a streamer/amplifier/speaker setup for a budget of around £1000 - £1500?

You have at least three options...
First, an all-in-one approach like the Muso 2. Secondly, and the complete opposite physical format in many ways, a conventional separates system of streamer + amp + passive speakers (or even a streaming amp + passive speakers for a three-box solution). Third option: a streamer + pre-amp + active speakers (or a streaming pre-amp + active speakers for a three-box solution).

IME, the third option is likely to offer the best audio quality for any given budget but I appreciate there are often other considerations too, such as operational convenience, equipment positioning within the room and aesthetics - not to mention the number of sources you wish to connect.

Before looking at individual items of equipment, I'd first research the formats I've mentioned (+ any other options I haven't thought of) and decide what's the best for you.


Distinguished Member
My initial thought for a brand new system would be a Yamaha wxc50 streamer preamp (£250) and a pair of Focal shape 65 active speakers (£1100) or Dynaudio lyd7 (£1100).

If you like naim the you can pick up a second hand unitiqute2 for around £750 and add a pair of pmc fb1 speakers £750 again.

The Yamaha rn803 is a good starting point for an amp at around £550 and the try a number of speakers to see what you like. Worth looking at the big retailers for ex demo, package, bundle or clearance items - audio t, Sevenoaks, richer, Peter Tyson.

These are an absolute steal at the moment - KEF R500 Floorstanding Speakers

But best is to go and listen to a few combinations and let your ears decide.

Alan Weir 1

Active Member
If you fancy keeping it simple a Bluesound Powernode 2I and something like a pair of B&W 606s.

I run these speakers and the node 2i (with a old Cyrus amp) and it sounds great. The Powernode get great reviews.

I also have the older mu-so (now in my bedroom) and loved the sound. Only problem was after a while you miss the wide open soundstage you get with a stereo set up.

As always though audition yourself if possible, no two pairs of ears are the same.

happy Hunting.


Active Member
Hi everyone,

First of all, thanks very much for the advice. Based on your responses I researched several alternatives and after a few listening sessions I decided to go for the Mu-so 2. The runner-up was a pair of AE1 active speakers which were very impressive, but I couldn't find a streamer/pre-amp below £500 that offered the same level of detail as the Mu-so.

I thought the idea of a 2nd-hand Uniti was great, by the way, but as this is my first go at dipping my toes with hi-fi I wanted the benefit of a 5+ year guarantee.

Again, big thanks for the input and sorry it took me a while to respond...


Distinguished Member
Any update is better then no update simply because it helps other members when they do similar searches. :smashin:
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