I have auditioned a older Naim pre and it was VERY good. Thought it blew away my audible illusions mod3. I would imagine the newer gear would not be a disapointment. Good Luck.
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Low-key Naim Audio provokes a lot of controversy among audiophiles. They are either loved or hated by many. Based on a handful of listenings in dealer showrooms, I can say that I like Naim gear. Their CD players are wonderful, no two ways about it. Very detailed, open, and musical -- great toetap factor. I found their amps to be dry and two dimensional, but with other nice qualities like tight bass, realistic portrayal of instruments, and nice pace. This is based on the entry level amp&preamp, and the integrated amp. I haven't heard the more expensive amps, speakers, or tuner. One of the best things about Naim is the upgrade path. All or most units are upgradeable through better power supplies and crossovers. Very well thought out. I think Naim gets a lot of brand loyalty because of this; you can get great equipment for a reasonable amount of money, and upgrade when you need more performance. First time buyers, though, should probably think about whether they like the "Naim sound", because some people just don't like it.
ALL the followups ring true.The interesting thing about Naim is that you dont have spend insane amounts on interconnects,speaker wire,power cables,line conditioners.The equiptment is designed from the outlet all the way to the speaker(And even farther if you own Naim speakers) I have owned various Naim products for 12 years and NEVER had a problem with any of it.Previously I have owned,Old quads(Miss them),Bedini amps,Electrocompaniet,PS audio,Acoustat reference(custom),Thiels,Bryston,ETC.All were great,But not as musical as the full Naim system I have now.
One important thing, anyone buying this equipment should avoid being a NAIM DROPPER, it could run into money. (Sorry, I remembered Naim's ad's where they did a word play on this very pun). Any company that takes such liberty with their own trademark must be fun loving people, and that's a lot of what music is about. I have not heard this product, but I already like it on principal alone.
I have a lot of experience with Naim gear. Two key points to consider. One - there are few cross-over points between the Naim philosophy/gear and the rest of the audio world. What this means is that while some Naim gear can perform very well together with other gear, it performs a lot better in an all Naim system. This is particularly true of Naim speakers, Naim cables and Naim amplifiers. Naim systems respond very well to improvements in your power supply by running dedicated mains, and ensuring all contacts back to the building's power inlet are clean and tight - but respond poorly to any form of power conditioning or filtering. Naim gear tends to respond best to tight coupling of components to the floor with light and rigid racks/shelves/spikes - as opposed to the bladder or sorbothane/compliant feet methods. Two - the whole Naim philosophy is about PRAT (pace, rhythm and timing). That is, the pursuit of musical enjoyment through the Naim upgrade path is via a path that attempts to stay true to the music's elements that connect with your body and soul, not just your ears and brain. This is in contrast to the TAS type of philosophy which is more objective (even though they are criticised for being too subjective) and focusses on identifiable sound characteristics like timbral accuracy, dynamics, resolution, spatial detail etc. In my view both philosophies have their merits. The TAS philosophy is somewhat flawed as is evidenced by the many audiophiles that spend huge amounts in pursuit of better "sound" but find their systems are no more musically enjoyable than their car stereos. If the "sound" could be perfected then perhaps the music would return, but perfection is not practical. On the other hand, while Naim systems are generally always musical (if set up right), they can be irritating or fatiguing in the longer term because of persistant colorations or other "sound" anomolies. To me the best course lies in between. The only Naim systems I like are to be found in their top of the range gear where both good sound and good music can be achieved.
The 32.5 & 72 are the best value for money/sound etc.
I have both plus a NAC82. I have 821A Avondale boards, as well. The 82 is powered by 2 Hi-Caps. The 32.5 & 72 by 1 Hi-Cap. Front end is CD5 with Hi-Cap p/s. & LP12/Ittok/Karma.
Back end MK2 SBL,s. The 82 has far too much gain for the CD input, such that I have tried up to 18db attentuation to get it right. The 32.5 & 72 are just about perfect, with or without the 821A boards. Power Amps are 135,s, 250 & 180.
I can confirm that the 180 sounds as good as the other more expensive 2 options. Even when used to power the 32.5 & 72 on it,s own. So go for the 32/72 with the latest version boards inside & buy a NAP180 to drive it. All leads are Naim BTW.
I like Naim CDPs (I own a CD555) and I think their cheaper integrated amps are also quite good for the money. In my office at work, I run a Uniti (all-in-one CD player, tuner, amp). I also like their top-of-the-line phonostage.
I am less enamored with their separate preamps and power amps. The sound is a bit too dry and to "mechanical" (a pervasive artificially sharp edge to the initial attack of the note). I am not saying that the sound is bad, its just that there are alternatives I prefer for the money.