What else sounds like Naim?

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Basically, I'm after an AV processor that does music too. I know the Naim AV2 sounds great in hifi and very good in surround.

However, searching old posts on it brings up a few anomolies, and there is always the price.

Having listened to another Naim rig tonight, I really don't want to miss out on 'that' sound when buying my future processor.

So what's the alternative?????
 

CYRUStheVIRUS

Active Member
I thought NAIM was for over 50's:D .
Only joking (i liked av2 as well and they never come up secondhand)
Also do you think the Naim power amps account for their smooth sound, maybe try something from linn as most processors are crash bang wallop that are mentioned on the forums.
 

buns

Banned
do exposure make amps anymore? Their stereo offerings rocked something serious, they could make naims seem positively dull! Wish i could have afforded one at the time

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General Skanky

Well-known Member
Exposure. Never thought of them. Thanks.

Naim, smooth? Personally I think they are fast and exciting.

The AV2 is certainly that.

I may even do a Naim stereo pre bolted to a processor from elsewhere.

Naim's sound just seems to be exciting than most. Can't explain it.
 

Daneel

Active Member
Perhaps I need more exposure but I heard Naim kit driving some Splendor S8s and Totem Staffs last weekend and was not impressed. Plus it looks a bit cheap to me, black with green lights.
 

buns

Banned
I like the newer naim stuff but the old variety did strike me as a bit cheap looking and i wasnt much impressed either.

ad

ps. was that a pun about Exposure to Naim!? :D
 

jayjay

Active Member
So what's the plan Guy? Do you already have a Naim system?

Jay
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Well, I'm currently putting together a fully active speaker system from ATC.

From many past demos, the ATC's wether passive or active, always sounded best with Naim, every time.

I'd love to do the same at home.

However, I want to be 100% this time I've done the right thing. Last time my system was very good with passive ATC and Primare amps. It was just that the Naim + ATC 'always' sounded much better.

After another demo of the Active 20, it was decided to go the whole hog (again - and hopefully for the last time), sell up and change to the active + Naim(very possibly).

As our intial demo was based on Active 10s, we thought they weren't as good as our (now sold) ATC SCM 35s. And they weren't. But as always with buying and selling etc, after we'd bought all our kit at great expense, the 20s appeared and 'they' are what we should have compared with originally. I expect we'd have bought them the first time around, saving the hassle and cost now!:rolleyes:

Now, we 'should' end up with -

ATC Active 20 fronts
ATC Active 10 rears
ATC Active C4c centre

Source - Arcam FMJ DV27 (but with their DVD5 appearing, I'll be keeping an eye on that one).

Sub at some later date - no money

Processor to be decided, but the Naim just sounds so good! Hence the search to see if anything matched its sound, as we also want hifi from this kit.

With the deals I've managed to find on the speakers vrs the money lost on the kit we bought first time round, I think we've broken about even - ish, except the extra cost of the processor, which I'd love to get spot on.

It's taken a few years of buying/selling/trading up to get here, so a few days/weeks/months of trying processors won't hurt. I'll just pray they don't release a AV3 just after I'd plumped for a AV2 say.:)
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
For me the lesson has been very simple - system synergy.

Primare kit is great. ATC is great. But imho they don't quite reach their full potential together compared to the next option.

ATC + Naim = Excellent sound. Just seem to go together with the right speakers and pre.

We've had a lot of changes over the last year or two, too many to list, so getting it right this time is important due to the costs involved.
 

Peter Baker

Novice Member
Guy
If the synergy is there, I'd definitely go for it. Why try to find something else, which probably won't sound as good.
I very much liked the Naim AV2. I agree with you that it has great attack, but combines this with a rich sound, rather than an aggressive one. On HT this translates into great leading edge on things like arrow hits, you can really feel the impact. At the same time it is very musical, and on most music induces that toe-tapping impulsion. It is certainly a lot faster than many pre/pros I have heard.
If I had one criticism, it is that the soundstage is a little confined and two-dimensional compared to some of the kit I've heard.
I also found the Naim power amps a little lean, but with your active solution, this is irrelevant.

Go for it!!

Best wishes
Pete
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Thanks for that.

We hold back because of past comments above about its internal workings etc and because it seems there is some room for improvement (even tough it could be a long time in coming).

As stated, other brands have good sound and good features without compromise, so we just need to be sure.

I and my wife like the Naim. We don't want to hold back.

But until we demo say an Arcam AV8, Meridian 568.2 and one or two others, we can't really commit.

The only snag at the moment is that we've funded the active approach with the intention of using a cheapy processor until we save for the right processor.

So there's no rush, even though we'd like to.

What did you end up with Peter as you did a big search yourself?
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Found this -

"Hi all
I'm still agonising over my choice, and this thread is very close to my dilemna.
I have now borrowed a Proceed AVP/5 channel amp. BTW the amp is probably the heaviest thing I have ever dealt with, approx 8st!!
I took the set to another shop to compare against the Naim AV2/Meridian 568 which some may recall, I preferred on music to the Arcam Av8/p7 a while ago, when things seemed simpler.
Stting the two up from cold, we compared the opening from Gladiator. Both were colourful and dramatic, with real attack to the arrow hits etc. If anything, the Naim had better attack, but a smaller perceived soundstage. It also seemed to concentrate more on the midrange. I liked the attack of the Naim, arrow hits and battle seemed crisper, however I think the Proceed was giving me more information.
Then onto music. The Naim was OK, certainly not as good as it seemed to be previously after the Arcam, but pacy and with a reasonably well controlled top end.
The Proceed was a different class, true audiophile quality, with a rich enveloping sound which separated each instrument whilst presenting a coherent whole.
So what's the problem?
Whilst I love music, I spend much more time with TV film , due to differences in musical tastes with my wife.
The Proceed, whilst sounding better on DTS film, didn't sound that much better. It also is only 5ch and has no Prologic II, or any likely upgrade facility in future. Plus, it is a disontinued company with questionable future support.
But for 2ch, it is far better than anything else I have heard. This probably includes the Bryston, which I compared to the Naim kit previously and which sounded better, but not night and day."
 

jayjay

Active Member
Guy

Sounds like you'll be building a very very impressive system!

If you can wait for the DVD5 please do. I have the feeling it could be very very nice, and go well with an AV2 obviously. In the meantime maybe go for the Philips instead of the Arcam? Not only is it significantly cheaper but the video performance is "quite" close in my experience. We tried both back to back with the Hitachi TX10 and the Arcam was better but not by much. We didn't focus on the sound side. I imagine the Arcam would have been better by a greater margin.

I know that there have been a number of updates to the AV2's firmware (is that the right word?) over the past year or so. So I think some of the operational issues talked about before have been worked through.

If I had one criticism, it is that the soundstage is a little confined and two-dimensional compared to some of the kit I've heard.

Hi Pete

I've heard this from a number of sources so I suppose it's most people's experience. Can't say it concerns me too much though, I'm quite a fan of the Naim sound and future integration overides any slight weakness in this area for me. Like you say "synergy".

Jay
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Jay, will you be able to post pictures when your kit is all set up?

I want to be nosey.:)
 

Peter Baker

Novice Member
Guy
You found my previous post, which pretty much summed up my feelings at the time. I'm now waiting to listen to the Meridian G series, although this is a lot more money.
If you listen to the Naim v the Arcam, try a bit of bouncy music. This is where I found the pace of the Naim beat the Arcam, which sounded slow in comparison. That said, Arcam think something may have been wrong with the dem, so listen for yourself.
BTW the Bryston edge over the Naim was really all about bass weight and control, and was probably more a power amp issue than a preamp one (I listened to both with their partnering power amps).
I was initially dismissing Meridian, as I thought it had no analogue pass through on the 568.2, and I wanted to use the DAC in my Wadia. I now believe some are configured with an analogue input, but have been persuaded that I really ought to hear the G68.

Best wishes

Pete
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
The choices.:)

I'm going to keep my budget for a processor definately below £3K and closer to £2K.

Meridian G series. I hear lots of good things. But expensive.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
My Father is a fully paid up Naim electronics addict and has an AV2. In comparison to the Marantz equipment I spend my days working with, the whole rig is super fast and extremely clear. The comments on the soundstage are telling- to this set of ears it won't "build the soundtrack around you" and whilst it places effects very accurately indeed it feels (with a 5 channel set up at least) that the rear effects are a bit thin- although this may be to do with the fact that the surrounds are Castle Durhams.
Its the clearest, fastest and most ruthless sounding piece of equipment I've heard in a long time but if I'm honest it isn't how I'd blow my several grand- although if the ATC's are as good as people say, it might be better in that context.
Ed
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Thanks. I like hearing things like that. Highlighting the flaws helps with decisions, as at least you go in with your eyes open.

Have you tired any other rears then?
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I leant him a pair of MS506 THX dipoles that improved dispersion but made the hard edge at high volume a little worse. My Dad was still interested (he doesn't mind the edge and maintains that you "grow into Naim") but my mother kiboshed the idea on account of the 506's being "hideous" :rolleyes:.
 

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