Naim amps??

Why so much money for what seems to be underpowed amps, at least on paper?

Two grand for a 75 watt amp. Do they rate their amps differently or what?
Power output is far from the only consideration in cost/quality of an amplifier. If one is operating very efficient speakers, only a few watts are required, so the emphasis for that kind of system will be on very high quality (musical) for the few watts of output.

Even with fairly inefficient speakers, 75 watts is more than enough to get very high volume.

With my speakers, I comfortably get by with about 7 watts per channel of power. My amp, an Audionote (uk) Kageki, retails for far more than $2,000.

They value quality over quantity. It seems that is an unfamiliar concept to many Americans.


The previous two posters are correct. It's not about "watts". In my system, using my speakers, I could never use 75 watts. Currently I'm using a 5 watt/channel amp and I also own a 40 watt/ch amp. I never turn the system up past about 75% volume with either of these amps.

Concerning cost of Naim: I know of many amps that are less than 10 watts/channel that cost more than $5000.

It's all relative. For a typical Best Buy consumer, a NAD amp is expensive. For a NAD consumer a Naim amp is expensive and for a Naim consumer, a Wavac or Lamm is expensive.


I know of many amps that are less than 10 watts/channel that cost more than $5000.
Steve Martin used to say that banjo music was the best value out there, offering more notes per minute than any other kind. By his calculation methods, $500+ per watt is simply not an acceptable cost ratio. :-)
Steve Martin was correct! You can't sit down with just an Oboe and entertain a crowd!

At the risk of offending the Naim camp (are there still any campers out there?) as a former Naim owner and enthusiast (62/Hicap/140) I think the brand has lost it's way. When I was auditioning electronics after my gear was reaching the end of it's life span I really wanted to stay with Naim. However, in comparison with other brands I discovered that Naim is no longer a good value for the money. Very expensive, particularly when you add all the power supplies, and the sound is no better or, in some cases worse, than other gear that costs considerably less. I agree with the original post--2K for a 75 watt amp that can't really drive much beyond a BBC style 2-way is absurd.
This is the first time I've come across people (atleast on audiogon) comparing watts to dollars. It really doesn't make much sense, unless you are comparing two amplifiers in the same line. For example, a jeff rowland 201 vs. a jeff rowland 501. 501 is more expensive, because of more watts. But it's the parts inside that make it cost more, among other things. Where does the VAC integrated fall, then? 75 wpc for around 22,000 dollars?

The classe integrated is 100 watts for about 4500 dollars. Does that make it a bad value? Maybe, to some people it does. But if that is your price range, and you have a system that would compliment a component like that, I would say it has a high value.
People who are impressed by an amplifier's rated output in watts probably buy their speakers the same way. :-)
My full-range Sequerra speaker system will knock down walls with less than 50 watts per channel. It's all about efficiency. There are a few speakers that really require gobs of power, but those owners know who they are. For the rest of us, Naim offer an extremely musical presentation of music's pace & rhythm that can be very beguiling, and very habit forming. Nothing against any other manufacturers, but for me It's All In The Naim. :-)

My .02, Ed
I have almost $10 grand in a 2-watt per channel tube amp.
I guess that I must really be nuts!
tom welcome to the club; we're all off the deep end :-)
cyrus is the new naim. naim is the new arcam. arcam is the new music fidelity. music fidelity is the new cambridge.....and cambridge is the new cyrus.
you can do so much better than a naim they use a switching power supply which is the cheapest way to go. they wouldnt drive a pair of bose
You really know what you are talking about Wadia150. Good work.
agreed with agisthos... what are you talking about wadia? classic nait 2 uses a bell and howell transformer... i believe those used to cost a ton. + , 47 labs uses internals that are relatively inexpensive, but the amps design is so well done that the thing sounds fantastic.

if bentley made their engine blocks out of gold... you think it would run better?
05-15-06: Wadia150 said:
"you can do so much better than a naim they use a switching power supply which is the cheapest way to go. they wouldnt drive a pair of bose"

Naim amps don't use switching power supplies - you may be thinking of Linn.
I wonder how many opinions are expressed by people who really aren't very familiar with the performance. Most serious Naim enthusiasts are after music, not watts, and appreciate many qualitative aspects of the whole line. And yes, it doesn't come cheaply. There is extra value for money in a properly set up Naim systems using all Naim gear. There is a great deal of AUDIBLE synergy.
The best advice regarding Naim gear is to listen and if you feel it's worth it, then it is!
Probably the most simple answer to this question would be the following: Because it sounds good ....

Actually, Naim follows the philosophy that putting transistors in parallel is not good for a sound reproduction ... therefore Naim amps have only one transistor (per channel) at the output. They are rather powerful but the usual construction with putting a lot of transistors in parallel in order to get more power, more current, etc. is not what Naim is after ... Therefore Naim amps do not have a lot of power but they can drive seriously difficult speakers and they can do that, in most situations, seriously well.
Naim is using switching,in their new ht
It's pretty hard to even guess whether a particular amp will be liked or disliked by anyone in a particular system.

I know someone with two systems, one in a small room and a larger system in a theater room. When the small system was run with all Naim equipment, playing either Sonus Faber speakers or Spendors, it sounded very good and sounded completely off and lifeless with very pricey Hovland gear (Radia, HP 200). But, the big system (Sonus Faber Anniversarios) sound much better with the Hovland electronics. Same listeners so taste is taken into account. Room acoustics, system matching, etc., all come into play here.

Naim gear is, in the right implementation, very good sounding for solid state. As people have noted above it is not particularly high-powered, but that is because power comes at a price sonically. Also, Naim amps do require compatible speaker cables (low capacitance, higher inductance) because the amps don't have an inductor at the output.

I tend to like lower powered gear myself (high powered tube amps are particularly offensive to me), and suspect that a lot of people look to higher power to provide impact because other gear is lacking. I find so many of today's highly regarded speakers too lifeless and constipated sounding and incapable of resolving detail at lower volume.