Can I have your views on Naim/Spendor please

goresfield

Standard Member
Hello all
This is my first post to this forum.
I currently have a Linn Lp12 ( Circus, Akito,K9) , Naim NAC 72, NAP 140 ( both olive ) and Linn Helix speakers all of which, as you can probably guess, were bought in the early 1990s. I also have an Arcam CD 72 which I bought in 2000. I am very happy with the sound from the system ( especially LPs ) and never really felt the need to upgrade further. However, I am looking to replace the speakers, purely for aesthetic reasons to something that look as little less “1980s” and are more suited to our lounge ( to keep SWMBO happy ! ).
I have not listened to them yet but plan to have a look at the Spendor A5 and A6 at the weekend.
Do any of you have any similar experiences with matching these speakers to Naim amps from 20 years ago and what are your thoughts.
I listen to pop/rock music and very much like the exiting, forward, musical “Naim sound”.
Also, having made the mistake of starting to buy the magazines and read reviews again, I am wondering about upgrading my CD player too, and was thinking of looking at the Naim and Cyrus machines around £800-£1500 or so. Again, do you have any thoughts on this.
Thanks for your help guys.
David
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
David, first off as a cheap upgrade swap out the K9 for a Denon DL110. A much better cart, I went from a K9 to a Shure V15III to a Denon DL110 and back to the Shure again. Both carts are a world of difference to the K9, I too use an Akito FWIW.

Speaker wise the Dynaudio Focus range should be on your radar as the brand works well with Naim amplification, as do the older Dynaudio Contour range (1.1, 1.3II, 1.8II) Also Neat range of speakers. Personally speaking I’d get the best speakers and amp combo you can manage, you could upgrade the whole rig by getting say a Naim Uniti, but spending £1500 on a CDP when you can upgrade the amplification quite a margin, this will give you a better return on your money. Naim make some nice CDPs, esp the CD5. But options like the Uniti make the upgrade scenario across both source and amplification. Plenty of ways to go around this TBH. But I’d advise against the amount you are about to spend on a CD player in the context of your existing system. Put a large slice of that on speakers and amp upgrade.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
What is your total budget David?
 

goresfield

Standard Member
I am not really sure. I was happy to pay £1500-£2000 for the speakers, as much for harmony at home ( my wife hates the black vinal wrap of the Helixs and their boxy looks) as anything else. I like the sound from my setup and have deliberately kept away from hi fi shops for years so I dont really know how much the modern stuff has improved. To be honest, I have always preferred the sound from LP to CD and know that my Arcam player is letting the side down and so saw that as the next thing to replace after the speakers. Total spend would probably be £2.5-£3k but I have an open mind on this until I start listening.
 

John Martin

Active Member
Hello all
This is my first post to this forum.
I currently have a Linn Lp12 ( Circus, Akito,K9) , Naim NAC 72, NAP 140 ( both olive ) and Linn Helix speakers all of which, as you can probably guess, were bought in the early 1990s. I also have an Arcam CD 72 which I bought in 2000. I am very happy with the sound from the system ( especially LPs ) and never really felt the need to upgrade further. However, I am looking to replace the speakers, purely for aesthetic reasons to something that look as little less “1980s” and are more suited to our lounge ( to keep SWMBO happy ! ).
I have not listened to them yet but plan to have a look at the Spendor A5 and A6 at the weekend.
Do any of you have any similar experiences with matching these speakers to Naim amps from 20 years ago and what are your thoughts.
I listen to pop/rock music and very much like the exiting, forward, musical “Naim sound”.
Also, having made the mistake of starting to buy the magazines and read reviews again, I am wondering about upgrading my CD player too, and was thinking of looking at the Naim and Cyrus machines around £800-£1500 or so. Again, do you have any thoughts on this.
Thanks for your help guys.
David
Can't tell you about your exact combination, but many years ago (about 1983 IIRC) I got my Linn (with Ittok/AR P77 and a Naim Nait (original) which I used initially with a pair of Spendor BC1s. Worked very well, and was a superbly musical. Was eventually ousted a year later when I got my Asak/Naim32/250/Hicap/Linn Saras. So - go and listen. You will probably be pleasantly surprised. :thumbsup:
 

goresfield

Standard Member
David, first off as a cheap upgrade swap out the K9 for a Denon DL110. A much better cart, I went from a K9 to a Shure V15III to a Denon DL110 and back to the Shure again. Both carts are a world of difference to the K9, I too use an Akito FWIW.

Speaker wise the Dynaudio Focus range should be on your radar as the brand works well with Naim amplification, as do the older Dynaudio Contour range (1.1, 1.3II, 1.8II) Also Neat range of speakers. Personally speaking I’d get the best speakers and amp combo you can manage, you could upgrade the whole rig by getting say a Naim Uniti, but spending £1500 on a CDP when you can upgrade the amplification quite a margin, this will give you a better return on your money. Naim make some nice CDPs, esp the CD5. But options like the Uniti make the upgrade scenario across both source and amplification. Plenty of ways to go around this TBH. But I’d advise against the amount you are about to spend on a CD player in the context of your existing system. Put a large slice of that on speakers and amp upgrade.
Thanks for the help so far. I must confess that I had not looked at the Unity before but am attracted by it's functionality. I plan to book a listen for the weekend. How do you think that it's cd player compares with the sound from a cd5i ( or Cyrus cd6/8se ) and do you really think that the integrated amp it contains is a step forward from the 72/140. It almost sounds too good to be true - can't wait to hear it !

David
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Hi Dave, by all accounts it is a Naim CD5 + 50W Nait 5 (which would have no problems driving the Dynauduio speakers I mentioned earlier as a few guys have used this amp with Dyn Conts/Focus), I have no idea how that compares to your olive boxes, I loved the combo above when I heard it into Allaes, in addition to the CD+Amp, you get wireless streaming of audio, digital inputs ie a DAC section and a DAB Tuner. I only mentioned it as you were talking of spending $1500 on a CDP. Naim seem to have made a really decent VFM piece of hifi for £2000. There are many ways to spend your money mate. For example Densen + Neat are mentioned quite a lot in the same breath as Naim + Dynaudio.

I’d get a listen at a Naim dealer, you will have no problem shifting on your Naim gear second hand wise, the brand has excellent used residuals, I found this out when I sold on a Naim Stageline MM series phono stage.
 

Mr_Sukebe

Active Member
Hmm, interesting issue.
First off, your older olive kit doesn't sound like the newer gear. Having heard and compared the two, the newer gear is a bit cleaner, more even handed but also slightly less "fun". So beware of upsetting your system by box swapping. IMO the olive gear was very synergistic with vinyl rigs like the LP12, you might find the newer stuff really doesn't work when you stuff it into your existing system, so make sure you how dem anything.

Ref the Spendor kit. I've heard a few of their systems in the last few years, and IMO it's one of the few speakers that's somehow capable of making Naim gear sound absolutely flat and boring (NOT an easy task).
Go find yourself a decent dealer who already stocks Naim and have a listen to a few options. Do remember that the 140 is not the most ballsy amp around, so something reasonably efficient is a good idea.

As a quick add on, you could of course consider a pair of used SBLs. Not the prettiest of speaker around, but they sound ace with LP12s and olive amps.
 
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goresfield

Standard Member
The Unity looks very tempting doesnt it, I'll book a listen for the weekend and let you know how I get on.

David
 

goresfield

Standard Member
Hmm, interesting issue.
First off, your older olive kit doesn't sound like the newer gear. Having heard and compared the two, the newer gear is a bit cleaner, more even handed but also slightly less "fun". So beware of upsetting your system by box swapping. IMO the olive gear was very synergistic with vinyl rigs like the LP12, you might find the newer stuff really doesn't work when you stuff it into your existing system, so make sure you how dem anything.

Ref the Spendor kit. I've heard a few of their systems in the last few years, and IMO it's one of the few speakers that's somehow capable of making Naim gear sound absolutely flat and boring (NOT an easy task).
Go find yourself a decent dealer who already stocks Naim and have a listen to a few options. Do remember that the 140 is not the most ballsy amp around, so something reasonably efficient is a good idea.

As a quick add on, you could of course consider a pair of used SBLs. Not the prettiest of speaker around, but they sound ace with LP12s and olive amps.
Interesting view on the Spendors, I've only seen great reviews so far. Again I 'll post back once I have listened to them myself. I will take my amps into the dealer and compare them directly with the unity etc.

There is no way I am going to get away with SBLs in the lounge though !
 

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