I'm not sure about LARGE scale opera/symphonic works, but the Naim/ATC combo is wonderful. As long as your room is not gigantic, you'll be in love.
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Sounds like Lindisfarne has direct experience with this matching. I do not but have never heard a smallish stand mount or floor stander sound bad with the Nait 5. The XS has more steam than the 5, and so should be able to starch the ATC's shorts for most types of music and at most listening volumes.
Naim doesn't post many specifications on their website, so it is difficult to compare peak current capability or dampening factor for their amplifiers, but from personal experience, their power ratings are conservative compared with other makes. Generally, Naim amps seem to behave somewhere in between tube and other solid state rigs in terms of speaker driving capacity per advertised wattage, i.e. they seem to do more with less.
Thanks for your answers.
On a more theoretical course: what does it mean a good quality amplifier ? (I speak of only integrated, as I never tried separate.) Might a smallish one, in wattage terms (ex: Naim, Sugden, LFD) sound better than a bigger one ( ex: Krell, Musical Fidelity) with the sensitive AND less sensitive speakers, or do the insensitive speakers always need more wattage, in order to have a good sound?
Might a smallish one, in wattage terms (ex: Naim, Sugden, LFD) sound better than a bigger one ( ex: Krell, Musical Fidelity) with the sensitive AND less sensitive speakers, or do the insensitive speakers always need more wattage, in order to have a good sound?
Small watts is easier to make then big watts - so for the same price a lower wattage amp will likely be better quality. However, a good amp will sound good whether it is 25 watts or 150 watts.
ATC's are a fairly easy load to drive (no nasty dips in impedance) but the 20 is not very efficient - so that is why you will need a beefy amp if you want realistic volume levels up to 105 db SPL.
NAD is releasing a new integrated amp that takes many of the advanced features of the M3 and places it in the more modestly priced non-Master series chassis. It is the new 375. I would hold off buying the M3 in favor of this. Very impressive specs and features the core M3 electronics. Was just announced on the new Absolute Sound website this week. There will be a $1,000 difference in price at the retail level.
I have owned numerous ATC speakers and feel you should plan at least 100 to 150 watts to properly drive the 19s. I own the M3 and can attest to its performance. It throws a nice soundstage and is fairly neutral, lacking the warmth of earlier NAD models. I am very anxious to see the new 375. I would also look at the new McIntosh 6300 amp or maybe something British like a Roksan Kandy 2. Both are in the beefy 100 to 150 watt range that Shadorne describes above and will be brilliant all rounders.
I love the build-to-value quality of NAIM and LFD products.
These are small English companies that relish old world craftsmenship, measured in decades of customer satisifaction. They deserve the great press they receive. I think they would work better with other English speakers like the new KEF Reference Speakers, Harbeth, and Spendor. ATC is of the same calibre but has rarely embraced the consumer market, in favor of professional environments. I really think that only the smaller ATC 7s would work with these amps that are in the 60 watt range.
How similar is the M3 to their regular products? I owned the c272 amp and the c162 pre a while back, wasn't impressed. Not that bad in sound but nothing special either. Best thing I can say about the pair was they didn't have the irritating etchy highs like a lot of equipment but they didn't seem to have a lot of ooomph either. Most disappointing was the quality. You could tell everything felt kind of cheap and flimsy. For the price they're ok and I've certainly heard worse but I wouldn't get excited about NAD master's series line if it's similar to their regular stuff.
Wireless, I do not own the M3 but thought about it. It certainly is not priced as standard NAD at 2999.00. It certainly looks and feels high end, and it is raved about by the press. So if you average everything I have said so far it certainly sounds like something to look at.
As far as what people say on the forums, they are either loving the M3 and matching M5 SACD/CD/HDCD, or have some audiophile complaint. BUT is there ever a product, that somebody on here or other forums discusses that is loved by some, and has some complaints from others ? A total opposite opinion ? That is the audio world.
But I find if you take out the extremes you can decide if something is a unit worth considering, which I believe this one is.