Naim AV2

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Matt F, May 3, 2002.

  1. Matt F

    Matt F
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    900
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    Ratings:
    +4
    Just read a review of the new Naim AV2 processor in (I think) HiFi World (didn't buy the mag, just read part of it) and it was very highly rated - no video processing but pretty much everything else (including two lots of 6/8 channel inputs) and a sound to die for.

    And then there's the price: £2200 - never know, it could steal some TAG sales.

    Further details:

    http://www.naim-audio.com/html/products/av/av2.html

    Matt.
     
  2. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Hi Matt

    Looks interesting doesn't it. Is anyone using it? Is video switching so important? I thought all it really did was add another device between your source and video output device.

    Oh and I think there's only 1 multi-channel input according to the downloadable manual. The first 2 DIN inputs can be used as 1 multi-channel input.

    Jay
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,276
    Usual Naim audio qulaity but the AV bit is just another OEM board with Motorola horsepower driving it. This is what Rotel, Naim, Myrad, Arcam (old stuff) and most of the others have done. Nothing special here. It is not purpose designed like the Tag and the new Arcamas dedicated processors.
     
  4. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Hi Nic

    Thanks for your note but what's the actual impact performance wise?

    I have Naim equipment and am considering the AV2 and two 2nd hand powers for multi-channel. Not plussed if it's outdated technology but audio performance is obviously a priority, can something else do it better and cheaper.

    Jay
     
  5. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,276
    Jay

    The performance isn’t a duffer by any means and what I heard on demo was good but there are lots out there that do good. Compare this with the Naim AV1 it is a revelation. Naim competely missed the mark with the AV1 by saying people didn’t want DD / DTS but would be happy with Haffler, sorry matrix! Well Naim soon learned their lesson when no one bought their Haffler box at £2k? This really doesn’t show that Naim ‘understands’ AV like it understands Stereo.

    The AV2 is much better but rather designing something from the ground up and having complete control over everything Naim have bought in technology from elsewhere. A OEM board that they have to ‘integrate’ into their own stuff. For many firms who are not AV specialist like Lexicon, Meridian and Tag this is a common solution and achieves decent results. However it doesn’t reach the heights of the specialist firms and this is why people dream after their Lex etc (substitute your favourite here). Many of the traditional UK base audio firms have taken this route, like Musical Fidelity. Thinking that they can take on the specialist, they have been disappointed if you look at how well they sell against the specialists. Arcam have not used the OEM route for their new processor, more work but much better I think (and so do Arcam?).

    The solution is a good middle of the road solution, and suits Naim gear well but don’t expect an Meridian AV quality here.

    It does some things really well. No video circuit is excellent. Separate box required. It make the job of good audio easier, though with a few of the specialists now doing scalers in their processors etc, it does show the top boys can do this in one box without compromise. Anyone who has measured a Tag, Lex or Meridian will know that video performance isn’t compromised. Hell even Denon receivers show ‘minimal’ degredation here.

    Nain gear traditional has been based around quality of power supplies. Upgrades possible. They have missed a trick here IMHO. No upgrades, at least to power supplies.

    The back panel, a mixture of DIN and RCA!!!!! is a real mess. It is a consequence of OEM manufacture, NOT Naim manufacture. Multichannel inputs on dual Din inputs. Weird even for Naim. Some one is going to make some money on cables here. For a company that have argued for Din on quality grounds (a reasonable argument by the way) and then to fit RCA for digital instead of BNC just highlight the compromises in the design.

    The clicks when channel switchs is another compromise of integrating OEM boards and is a far cry form the audiophile choice of relays. I have one friend in London who is petrified of clicks like this in hi system as he has destroyed speakers. Even the most humble pop is a no no to him. The integration of the processor also leaves much to be desired. Having to mute the AV2 when listening to stereo, this went out with the ark. A Tagtronics using Tag owner would laugh if he knew major companies were doing this in 2002.

    Display and info is poor. No video therefore no OSD. This is fine if the box display was okay but it isn’t, mind you Naim were never generous in their display info.

    Processing modes are limited and this is to Naims credit and advantage. No hall / concert / Disco here horray. Just all the good ones

    The OEM board is modern and upto date, as are the DACs. The cases are the usual high standard, as are the de-coupled Naim PCBs.

    What it does well is the sound however you have to put up with an archaic ‘integration / user friendliness from the remote control free days of the seventies’. I don’t think the OEM route has done Naim any favours here.

    To quote the HFNRR review “The actual sound wasn’t entirely to my taste……”, from a Naim user for the full Naim AV kit. Could do better I think, others certainly do, but for a loyal Naim owner he may well be able to put up with the operational ‘simpleness’ of the processor in order to get a full Naim set up. Personally I would also look to put a specialist processor into a input on you amp and run like that or have a separate system. As an engineer from Salisbury who has family links with Naim I am very pro this company but it does pain me when I see their efforts in AV, someway behind the stereo bits.

    Secondhand Naim amps for the other channel is a good idea. Try several options on the processor front to make sure you have made the correct decision though.
     
  6. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Hi Rob

    Thank you very much for your advice - it's really appreciated.

    We have separate systems at the moment but we're planning to move to a new home in the near future and I was entertaining the possibility of integrating an AV2 into my Naim system and doing away with the Sony/B&W home theatre. On second thoughts I think I'll stick my guns and insist that we keep the systems separate in the short/medium term.

    I'm sure that the AV2 is a great sounding peice of equipment, I wouldn't expect anything less of Naim. Personally I'm not worried about the lack of display and some of the switching issues as long as the unit delivered the sonic goods. I've been told that the pre-amp section is good enough to compete with the NAC112. Unfortuately I'm beyond the 5 series so I'd have to keep my 102/hi-cap for music if I didn't want to compromise.

    Another thing to keep in mind for Naim users is that generally Naim equipment can be a little more difficult to set-up and sensitive to it's environment. Time spent in this area is definitely rewarded and that could be a good reason why Naim users are such a loyal bunch. Add a television, a subwoofer and another 4 speakers and we're getting into the Naim owners nightmare territory!

    Incidentally, a possibility for debate, the DIN's for the analogue multi-channel input on the AV2 could be because Naim have a DVD or such like player in the works. That'd bound to have DIN's to output a quality multi-channel audio.

    Once again many thanks.

    Jay
     
  7. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    In my search for Naim, stumbled across this. Seen it before, just thought I'd bump it and see if there are any other comments on the AV2.
     
  8. Anodyne

    Anodyne
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    554
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    Bristol
    Ratings:
    +130
    I was interested in one when they first came out, but what put me off was the inabilty to use direct+sub. A bit of drawback if you use a sub/satellite system, but I guess not much of an issue if you use 'full range' speakers.

    Will
     
  9. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    Do you mean no 80Hz cut off?
     
  10. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Scarey Guy!

    Thanks for resurrecting the thread - quite bizarre to re-read my own comments made a year and a half ago!

    By quite perverse co-incidence I'm expecting my AV2 to arrive next week. It's going into a full Naim HT set-up with the Philips 963SA and Loewe at the front end. I'll be using some older Naim powers I had and the NAPV175, which is the 3 channel power.

    Of the rather limited listening I did, the Naim was the one to go for IMHO. I have separate system dedicated to music and whilst this is ideal at the moment in the future the systems will probably need to integrate. That figured quite heavily in my choice.

    If anyone's interested I can post my findings in a couple of weeks or so when the system beds down.

    Jay
     
  11. Anodyne

    Anodyne
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    554
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    Bristol
    Ratings:
    +130
    I can't remember the specifics now, but it was something to do with setting the speakers to small which usually equates to 80Hz. It's possible they've updated the software by now though. I think you can download the user manual from the Naim website which might cover it in more detail.

    Will
     
  12. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    I'd be 'very' interested to see how it develops Jay.

    I know there are things to consider about the Naim, but their sound is really quite awesome.
     
  13. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    I downloaded the manual. Not enough pictures for me.:)

    I'll get my dealer to demo the set up and settings. Easier.
     
  14. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    How's it all going JayJay?
     
  15. Matt F

    Matt F
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    900
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    Ratings:
    +4
    I believe you can now run 'direct+sub' on the AV2 - at least that's what the guys on the Naim forums told me. Cut of is apparently 70Hz.

    I nearly bought one - you can pick up ex-dem ones for £1600-£1800 but I ended up getting an 18month old Tag AV32R-BP192 for less than this!

    Matt.
     
  16. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    I've been reading through their forums also.

    I've now seen an ex dem one for £1400 or so.
     
  17. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Ok firstly I had this reasonably long post that I've managed to delete :mad: Bear with me!

    Hi Guy

    Sorry for not getting back to you. The AV2 arrived at the end of last week (I do live in NZ you know :smoke: ). Everything takes an age to get here sometimes it seems!

    I haven't really had much of a chance to do much with it apart from set it up and watch a few music DVD's (U2 in Boston, David Gray, Pearl Jam, Morcheeba, Foo Fighters, Peter Gabriel) and one movie (State and Main - which is excellent by the way!).

    The AV2 replaced a Sony 1070 6.1 receiver, which is now sitting idle. Should I sell it or attach it to my PC :D

    Anyway....some background. Here's the system...

    Loewe Xelos TV
    Philips 963SA
    Naim AV2
    Naim NAP180 (fronts)
    Naim NAPV175 (centre and rears)
    Royd AV77 centre
    Royd Minstrel x 4 fronts and rears
    Sony subby

    I should also point out that I'm an avid (that's avid NOT rabid :D ) Naim fan and have a separate 2-channel system in another room for the tunes fix! If you think I'm biased, you are probably correct!

    So why an Naim AV2?

    Well, I like the Naim sound. It's fast, dynamic, exciting and “times” like a bastard. It makes me want to listen to music - end of story. I haven't done extensive demos or tried out multiple set-ups at home but I've listened to a number of AV2 systems and they all sounded fantastic to me (your mileage may vary). I knew that was what I wanted too. I also wanted to utilise a spare NAP180 and think that in the distant future the Hifi and HT may need to be co-located. I wanted a processor that would match with my 2-channel set-up when the time came. Hopefully that's not too soon :p

    OK enough already! What does it sound like? (apologies upfront for the crap descriptions)

    Well first impressions are usually the best but I reserve my right to change my mind later!

    What struck me straight off the bat is how revealing the whole system is. Everything is significantly clearer. If you've the David Gray DVD you'll notice that he sings into the mic most of time but moves his head around a lot. You can distinctly hear the change in his voice from singing straight into the mic to “off mic”. It’s a little detail I know, but it’s a good example of how all the little things like it, can somehow make the performance so much more intimate and realistic.

    Coupled with this you also have what I can only describe as an incredible speed of delivery. Everything appears to happen just that little bit faster, it’s all louder and harder hitting. I watched the shark chase scene in finding Nemo where “Bruce” chases Marlin and Dory through the submarine. It culminates in an almighty explosion as Bruce throws a torpedo into the minefield. The sound leaps around the room (notice I didn’t say from speaker to speaker) and you almost jump when shark smashes through the gangways and into bulkheads.

    My overriding impression is that the speakers just disappear and what you have are “proper” sound fields and a feeling of being enveloped in sound. Is this what some people refer to as steering?

    The music DVD’s I have, played like proper music. Not bad for a lossy format J Plenty of PRAT and good enough for longer-term listening. The performances all had an amazing energy and vitality and the more intimate songs (if a song at a concert can be intimate!) like Don’t Give Up with Peter G and Paula? someone, conveyed buckets of emotion.

    In short I’m very impressed. Sure, what I’m saying could be applied to any higher end HT sound processor. I don’t have the personal experience to say yay or nay to that but if you are looking for a processor that does music and HT very well then you could do a lot worse than the AV2.

    Hope that helps someone….Must get more time this weekend to listen! And if anyone has a good recommendation on a cheap projector – let me know!

    Regards J
     
  18. Dellboy

    Dellboy
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    The Cotswolds
    Ratings:
    +136
    Jayjay

    If you think the AV2 sounds pretty good after a few days just wait until the unit has burnt in.

    This will take about 8-12 weeks unfortunately, depending on the amount of time you play your music and dvd's.

    I had a new AV system installed Sept. 2003 with the Naim AV2 and Naim mono block amps. The system is only just beginning to reveal what it can do.

    Big differences are shown on well engineered Dts sound tracks.

    Enjoy.
     
  19. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Sounds mighty fine Dellboy. I expect the Naim DVD will be of interest to you :)

    I tried Pearl Jam's 2000 tour DVD last night and it was a shocker! The soundtrack was so forward and compressed - urk! Gotta take the good with the bad...

    Jay
     
  20. Dellboy

    Dellboy
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    The Cotswolds
    Ratings:
    +136
    Jayjay

    Did you know that Naim recommend the use of M&K subs with an AV2 fronted Naim system?

    I bought the M&K Mx-150 THX before christmas.
    Bloody 'ell is all I can say.

    Try the classic Hell Freezes Over by the Eagles when everything has had time to settle. Its a real treat.
     
  21. brendank

    brendank
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    684
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    drogheda, co louth,ireland
    Ratings:
    +6
    i too have read some interesting stuff on av2,seems like a good option

    does anyone run it with active speakers?


    to general skanky what forum? do you have link to demo model you refer to

    does anybody have photo or link showing the back of the unit, i think i read somewhere that it uses din type speaker connections

    thanks
    :)
     
  22. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
  23. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    Picture of the back panel is on the Naim forums. Search AV2 and look through, you'll see it in one of the threads.

    Also, top left of this forum, drop down link to What Video and TV who did a review with a back panel picture.
     
  24. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    One last thing, if you do go for a AV2, be aware that according to the Naim forums there have been some updates and upgrades.

    New software and a replacement PIC (IC) to allow for future use with the DVD 5 and OSD. Basically it has more capacity.

    I haven't got all the details without rereading all the forums, but at least you know. :D
     
  25. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Whatzat mate? Do I have it? Search on the Naim forum is broke btw (I'm not that lazy :D ).

    Jay
     
  26. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Didn't actually. Haven't much about them. Are they widely distributed?

    I have that, should be good. Can I recommend Peter Gabriel's Growing Up DVD. Very good.

    Jay
     
  27. Dellboy

    Dellboy
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    606
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    The Cotswolds
    Ratings:
    +136
  28. General Skanky

    General Skanky
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    4,251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Colchester
    Ratings:
    +44
    Another year and here we are again! :hiya:

    I am on the verge of home dem/buying the AV2, at last.

    Any updates to share with us Jay before I dive in?
     
  29. jayjay

    jayjay
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    Messages:
    353
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    nwsex
    Ratings:
    +8
    Hey Guy

    Sounds like you're going to have a fun weekend. Hope it rains!!! (I don't care I'll be in Dublin!)

    Well things have changed a little since we last chatted. I basically moved countries and the whole system thing is in a little disarray. I've consolidated to one music/movies system but we bought the av2 with us :D for kicks!

    So....to get the best out the AV2 I would recommend that your amplification and speakers are tonally matched. Something like the AV2 is extremely transparent and to get that seamless, wall of sound effect, differences in amplification and speakers can kinda mess it up a little.

    Set up is also critical, you will really know when it's dialed in! I was completely taken aback when I first got it right.

    Be extremely anal in setting the levels, use a spl meter if you can, then adjust from your listening position using your own ears on material you know. A few little tweaks here can make a big big difference. This stuff is not plug and play. It might take you a while, but it's worth it.

    I'm sure that most of this advice is probably quite generic and like anything in the hifi world, something very expensive can sound pants without proper set-up.

    I have heard the comments re: spatial effects not as good as others, bla, bla, bla. I read it in a review and have heard it from a good friend. Now I haven't done a lot of comparison listening at all, just the odd enlightening experience, and personally I have never found the AV2 remotely lacking. It might come down to what you're looking/listening for.

    My advice is once you've set it up, just to sit back and relax. If you get through movies without chopping a changing and listening for booms and crashes but instead are immersed in the experience then you know it's good!

    I do believe for music and movies combo the AV2 will take some beating.

    Enjoy and let me know how you get on!

    Jay
     
  30. brendank

    brendank
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    684
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    drogheda, co louth,ireland
    Ratings:
    +6
    hey jay

    are you based in dublin now!! welcome

    are you doing any demos
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice