Have Linn Classik, upgrade to int amp & cd? Naim?

I have a Linn Classik and I was thinking
about upgrading to something like a
Naim Nait 5i and CD5i. I would be open
to other options except that it has to
be black and both by the same manufacturer
so that 1 remote runs both. I'm lazy.
buget is about $3000-$3500.

My motivation is mainly to get better sound.
Also considering a seperate Linn Amp and
running the clasik into it.

Does nait5i have a brighter or softer sound
than the clasik? I'm sensitive to brightness.

Different beasts! Naim and Linn are far apart.
Naim is fast, rhythmical - certainly not bright.
Linn more accurate tonally. A more precise sound.
Look at Cairn Fog CDP and 4808A Integrated - discontinued so good deals going. Best of both worlds I found.
A Quad 99-CDP CD player connected directly via it excellent variable volume control to a Quad 99 or Quad 909 amplifier. This is an excellent setup, but it has a grey face, not black.

This setup would retail for under $3000 and could be bought lightly used for about $1200-1800 depending on amp choice.

This setup got an excellent review in The Absolute Sound. I own the Quad 99 CDP and it is a really great player at its pricepoint.


I love my Nait 5i, with the Naim CD 5x. I'm budget sensitive too, but found the CD 5x worth the significant extra cost over the 5i. The Nait 5i sound is pleasingly warm and rich, without being fuzzy or flabby, just an all-around musical pleasure. Very hard to approach in its price range, from what I've heard. Definitely not bright, harsh or etched in presentation. And, I admit that my wife also likes the slim, elegant black boxes.
cyrus and soneteer components fall into the naim camp(rhythm) and revox elegence(tonal accuracy) into the linn camp. all are probably better bang for the buck at the moment. those revox pieces are the best kept secret(for the money) in audio. also built to last forever
Hello Eastside, you didn't mention what speakers you'd be using, but the Cairn, Quad, and especially the Naim stuff appeal to me. I'd try to hear them with your speakers. I also love the simplicity of the classik especially w/fm so here are a couple more suggestions. With your budget, have you considered a high quality tube or hybrid amp new/used into the linn? Or what about a Naim nap 150 ahd flatcap2 new/used into the linn [i know it's sacreligious to mix Naim with other brands but it might sound great] , Then when finances allowed upgrade to cd5x/nac 112pre/flatcap[s] for a killer all Naim system. You could hide all but the cd/pre if space is a problem. Whatever you decide, keep the classik. I think it lives up to it's name/Naim/classic/classik/hee/hee/he!
An LK 140 or one of the new Chakra amps would be KILLER with the Classik till you could afford the stunning Linn Unidisk SC.
I started with the Linn Classik and ATC SCM7 speakers. Next upgrade was LK400 biwire and an LK140 power amp. That amp made an incredible difference. I recently purchased a Linn Kairn slimline pre-amp and WOW, it's like I hadn't had a hi-fi system until I put that in! I'm getting a Klout amplifier next week and will experiment with running that alone vs. the Klout with the LK140. I'm currently looking into upgrading CD players to a Naim CD5i (the CD5x is a little out of my price range with my recent upgrades). After that my classic will just be used as a tuner. I'll never regret stepping into this wonderful hobby with the Classik, but as time has gone by I just keep wanting more...the upgrade itch definitely needs scratching. I'm looking forward to finding a Naim dealer in my area and listening to the CD players as it's been years since I've heard one. I'll let you know how it sounds. I agree completely with Realhifi that a good amp is the perfect upgrade and I'm glad I didn't settle for an LK85 or an older LK100. Once my source is where I want it I'll look into where I'd like to go with my speakers. Best wishes.
With a budget of 3500 it's going to be difficult!

Some said the pre-amp section of Classik is the weakest link but then you cannot use it as power amp alone. Maybe spend that $ to buy a pre-power amp combination first.

It's better to upgrade one component at a time to get a better quality component than a whole set.

BTW - what is the speaker and room size? Any room treatment? Sometimes, the room could be the limiting factor not the gear.