A friend of mine uses Vandersteen Treo CT's with Naim Uniti-Atom. Match made in heaven. IMHO. You can use higher powered Naims besides the Uniti-Atom which is 40 WPC. But the little Atom will power the Vandersteens to quite respectable levels. The thing is, Naim can really make them sing.
Back in the old days I believe Linn/Naim Ivor Tifenbrun and Julian Veriker were in cahoots.
If you had Linn Isobaric speakers (an over damped design Q.3) you used the Naim 250 that had poor damping factor 8 for memory, both compliment each other to sound just right in the bass.
But if you dared to put a big Krell on the Isobrarics the bass was way to tight and missing in action, who would have thought a Krell that can’t do bass???.
This was how Linn/Naim cornered the market in Australia in the 80-90’s and they sold stacks of the combos, because no other speaker or no other amp sounded right with either of them. Don’t think it’s the same today, they don’t seem to love each other so much.
Thank you George. Very interesting background information. I do know that there seems to be some natural combinations for amp and speaker choices. I didn’t know about that one.
Thank you mr_m, I bet that’s a great combo as well. Probably thinking Supernait2/3 and above depending on final speakers chosen.
In my main reference setup I’m using the Magico M6 paired with the Naim Statement NAP S1 monoblock amps & Naim Statement NAC S1 linestage analog preamp. They sounded fabulous together.
In my bedroom setup I have the Naim Uniti Nova paired with a pair of PMC standmount speakers. Match made in heaven. Prior to the PMC, I had the Naim Uniti Nova paired with the B&W 805 D3 standmount and the Sonus Faber Olympica l standmount speakers and they sounded fantastic together too. Out of these 3 different sets of speakers paired with the Naim Uniti Nova, the PMC have the best synergy with the Uniti Nova, then followed by the B&W 805 D3, then lastly the Sonus Faber Olympica l standmount.
In general, Naim electronics will pair well with PMC, Harbeth, Spendor, Magico, B&W among others. What kind of Naim electronics do you have? I’m a big fan of Naim.
FYI, Naim has its own community forum and I suggest you join the Naim forum at Naim.co.uk.
Wow! Thank you so much. What an awesome system.
I personally have a Supernait2 with HiCap-dr. I absolutely love it. I hope to move up the line, maybe a NAP250 or 300.
One friend is considering a full 500 system with his B&W 800D3. I’m pushing for Naim. I realize that some B&W’s can dip down to a 1.1 ohm load which can be difficult for a lot of amps.
Another friend and I were talking about what speakers pair well with Naim. I posted here for another perspective. I’m also a Naim forum member and will be curious what recommendations they give.
My main system is full Naim 500 series with passive Naim NBLs, I used to have a 282/250 on them before that with either a Hicap or Supercap powering the pre. Before the NBLs the 250 was running into Thiel CS1.6s. When I bought the Thiels the dealer demoed them with Accuphase and they really couldn't produce any excitement from the likes of Tool and even with Scriabin there was a haze around the piano. I nearly didn't try them at home but I'd run out of all other options locally so gave them a go. With a 282/250 up them they took on a somewhat livelier character and earned their place. As my source was upgraded it started feeding a bit more low bass into the system which was exciting a room mode, not helped by the ports on the Thiels, the NBLs were taken in part ex by my local Naim dealer and I didn't think they'd work in my 4m X 3.8m room but we found a spot where they work a treat, I doubt I'd get many full range speakers to work in that space. I still have the Thiels and 282/Hi/250 in a second home and there I have 6m X 7m for them to breathe in but bass is there a bit light. When I set that second system up my wife said she'd missed that sound and there is something about the thiels, though the NBLs have them on rock. I'd love to try some 3.7s with the 500 series in that room against the NBLs and might get the chance
when I retire
next year, if I can find a pair.
Thank you for taking the time to post yeti, great information. I’ve never heard Thiel but have seen great write ups. Sad the owner passed away a while ago.
PMC & Focal speakers will have best synergy with Naim electronics.
Ever since Focal acquired Naim, Focal has been voicing and tuning their speakers using Naim electronics. B&W will pair well with Naim too.
Naim also makes awesome musical sounding streamer/DAC. I'm sure you are aware that you will have to use DIN connections to connect between Naim components in order to achieve best sound. Don't use RCA connections. That's why you will have to go all the way Naim, starting from their streamer/DAC, preamp & power amp and make use of their DIN connections to connect between them. No other hifi manufacturers make use of DIN connections as far as I know Naim is probably the only manufacturer that does that. DIN is pretty much like Naim's version of XLR balanced analog connection. However the Naim Statement NAC S1 preamp & Statement NAP S1 monoblock amps provide DIN, XLR balanced & RCA connections.
Naim amps power output ratings have always been conservatively rated and while their power output ratings (wattage) are usually low but their power and current delivery are very robust and are capable and have no problem of driving difficult speaker loads and are stable down to low impedance loads.
Current delivery that matters and is more important than the power output ratings (wattage). And I will guarantee you that say a power output ratings of 100 wpc @ 8 ohms off Naim amp will be very different than the same power output ratings of the same 100 wpc @ 8 ohms off an AV receiver or some cheap integrated amps or some cheap power amps.
To me Focal's - Dynaudio and Kudos have great synergy with Naim.
@mr_m It may have been the wine !
seriously the newer NAIM gear is very neutral, musical and well engineered. I have so far run Thiel’s, Vandersteen, Totem, Klipsch on them to happy results.
Kudos, Neat, Dynaudio, Proac ,Rega would be were I would start. Speakers are difficult because your room is really the master of them. I have used Naim for over 30 years and have used all of the above at one time or another to great effect. Usually, Dynaudio may be the exception, a speaker with a benign load of 6-8 ohms seem to work best with Naim imo. Good luck...speakers can be a long road.
In my bedroom system I have a Naim Uniti Star driving a pair of Zu Audio Dirty Weekend floor standers with Cardas Parsec Speaker cables. Power managed by Shunyata Venom PS8, Defender and Venom HC Power Cable. Streaming Roon. Great little system. Plenty of power from the Uniti Star driving the super sensitive/efficient Zu DW Speakers. I am very happy with this setup.
The newer Naim electronics are voiced to be used with Focal speakers, Naim went under and are now owned by the Focal group. Either way i would not recommend them with anything. YMMV.
Naim never ceased trading so “going under” doesn’t quite ring true but it was rather disappointing to see them merged as a junior partner with Focal. It was done in order to fund development of their streamers. Focal then being sold to venture capitalists was also rather worrying but that was a few years ago now and they’re still thriving.
They could have suffered a similar fate to Thiel, that was a sad end.
Speaking from experience, Boulder- Focal is a better combination than Naim-Focal. I've had UK dealers visit with a van load of speakers thinking they can easily best my Focal Stella Utopias after hearing the Naim-Focal combination demonstrated by the parent company, and after hearing what they sound like here driven by a Boulder 2060 those putative replacement speakers didn't even make it out of the van
The reputation of Focal speakers has really suffered in the UK from being paired with Naim Statement amps. They sound too bright together
I've heard the Naim Statement preamp & monoblock amps paired with the Focal Utopia Grande Evo iii at last year RMAF (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest) with Naim ND 555 streamer/DAC + 555 PS DR power supply unit served as digital front end source component and did not sound bright at all.
I myself own a Naim Statement NAC S1 linestage preamp and Naim Statement NAP S1 monoblock amps driving my Magico M6 speakers and the overall tonality is on the warmer side of neutral but I would characterize it as intoxicated warmth, nothing like tubey syrupy liquidy type of warmth. I know I have different speakers (Magico M6) not the Focal Utopia Stella like the one you have.
My front end source components are also slightly on the warmer side as well. My analog front end source components : Clearaudio Statement v2 turntable w/ Statement TT-1 tonearm, Statement Goldfinger cartridge and D'Agostino Momentum phonostage pre. My digital front end source components : MSB Select ll DAC w/ upgraded Femto 33 clock & two mono powerbases (two separate mono power supply units). And all my cablings are slightly on the warmer side of neutral. I'm using Transparent Magnum Opus cablings.
Thank you all so far for your responses.
I am jealous of the Statement owners here. So happy for you guys. I absolutely love what I hear from my Supernait2 and aspire to go higher.
My friends are still deciding where to land.
The best system I have ever heard anywhere ever is my friend's Statement NAC S1 with three NAP 300s driving active Naim Ovator S-800 speakers. These speakers were launched not long before Focal got involved with Naim so unfortunately were soon discontinued, but they are astonishing in this set up.
After demoing a few pairs I ended up with B&W 804 Diamonds through my Naim system (which was a NAC 552/ NAP 250 but is now NAC 82/NAP 180) and find the combo a brilliant pairing. The 804 Ds are an especially good floorstander for smaller rooms with any bass issues.
I find the Naim/Focal pairing unsatisfying when I hear it at shows: harsh and with glare.
Ultimately though a speaker is room dependent. Please home demo speakers before buying as their character can vary massively by room.
You may also consider one of Naim speaker Ovator series: Ovator S-400, S-600 or even S-800 (!). I listened a few times those speakers at BASILAUDIO in Los ALtos CA (NAIM dealer and only official repair center of Naim in US), with NAP-250 and NAP-500. The sound was magical. It was one of the best balanced and detailed sounds that I have ever heard so far.
After purchasing FOCAL, Naim decided to discontinue those speakers. Once a while you may find one of those for sale at 1/3 of its retail price tag.
I am sorry ... Basil Audio is in Los GAtos, CA!!!
I suspect the new Evo Utopia variant has been revoiced, given what you say. Previous impressions were in line with duckworp's
I use my SuperNait 2 with Sonus Faber Amati Future. I love it. Pairs well.
I have a full Naim 500's rig (500 amp, 552 preamp, 555 CD with 2 power supplies). All of the aforementioned are DRed. I also have the new Kuzma Stabi XL DC turntable, with the Kuzma 14" 4 Point arm, with a Koetsu Rosewood Platinum Signature cartridge. The cables are all Luna Black. This system pushes a pair (currently the only ones in the world) of Grandinote Mach 36 speakers from Italy (retail is $150,000.) They are pretty large, at over 6 feet tall and 440 pounds each. I have never heard any system which sounds as naturally musical. I have heard the pairing of Naim with Focal speakers and agree with those who already said that they sounded too bright, harsh or glaring.
I live in the NYC area, if anyone would like to come by for a listen. I'll even supply a dram or two of some fine single malt whisky!
Dynaudio, I have the Special 40 with Naim SN2, ProAc would be a good choice too
I have Naim NDS/555PSDR / 252/Supercap2DR with ATC SCM40A active speakers.
I honestly could not be happier. YMMV.
That's what I like about Naim electronics they sounded very natural musical smooth with a touch of warmth (intoxicated warmth) punchy full rhythmic sound. They excel really well in PRAT yet maintain its relaxed quality without sounding strain or anything. Music simply blossoms to the fullest with all Naim electronics in the system.
I’m a long-time Naim owner (252/SC/300DR); have Thiel CS3.6 speakers and Thiel CS2.4s. Naim/Thiel was a great sounding combination UNTIL I had my 300 upgraded to DR
about a year ago. Now there’s an upper-mid hardness in my System that’s driving me crazy. Regretfully I’ll probably have to consider other speakers because Naim DR/Thiel is no longer a match for me.
Please keep your Naim stories coming. The responses here are great, certainly a different perspective from the Naim forum which seems primarily UK based.
You should actively get on Naim UK based own forum community. I am as well. I'm always on Naim's own community forum (UK based). Not everyone here on Agon love Naim and some here think that Naim isn't for music lovers. I remembered seeing that kind of comment here before (I think he knows what I'm talking about) and people like him had no idea what they are up to.
Naim is nothing but for music lovers or music enthusiasts.
I agree caphill. I’m looking at it almost daily and weekly at a minimum. I have nothing but respect and love for Naim. I’ve converted a few friends to Naim. One friend in particular came from Burmester and Dartzeel. He’s ecstatic with his Supernait2 and HiCap ps. I still love mine but will eventually move up the line.
I have top olive Naim system-01/cds2/52/135s- previously had Focal 1038be’s- I gradually realized that they had harsh high frequencies and lacked what I replaced them with: Kudos Titan T88s.
The titans are much more organic, gave fuller bass and are much more musical than the Focal’s.
only one distributor in USA so not very available- I purchased mine second hand from this distributor- they are fantastic