Hard to imagine going wrong with either.
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I have both Creek and Naim systems. Creek Destiny amp, and a Nait 5i. Each is very easy to like, warm and rythmic. Naim is faster, sharper cutoff with the notes, very exciting. Creek is fast, but leans a little to the more lush, laid back side. Both will keep you feet tapping. Creek has more features and inputs, including 2 pairs of speaker terminals. Don't know if the New Creek Classic which is replacement for 5350 has pre-outs or not. Naim does not. Nait 5i does have a home theater pass through, which is nice if you ever want to use it with a receiver or processor.
Arcam is the only one out of the others I would consider, but would not choose.
Rotel and Cambridge are not in the same league IMO.
Thanks to all thus far. Mmm- maybe a plunge in to the Creek, which is not terrible as it is not cool or dry.
First, lets make things a little more interesting by adding
another contender. The Primare, which offers the I21 at the 5350SE price point. The Cayin is also interesting, but I just dont want to worry about having to shut it down before I shut down.
I can't make a direct comparison of the Nait 5i and Creek 5350, but I can tell you that the Nait 5i, which I own and use in my main system, is an extremely satisfying, musical piece of gear. I've been through a lot of amps, tube and solid-state, and the Nait 5i combines the virtues of both. In a second system, I use a Creek 4330 -- a superb little amp for the money. The Nait 5i is better, but if for some reason I had to live without the Nait, the little Creek would prove more than satisfactory. I guess my point is, either way you can't go wrong, and in the end it might come down to which is the better match with your speakers.
I am leaning heavily toward the Creek at this point, more so the Integrated than the CDP. I may even jump to the Destiny. I would now like to consider the speaker to mate
with the Creek. I am looking for a natural sound with warmth and texture. The Harbeth 7ES is one that I am considering. It is certainly suppose to have that out of the box sound, but how might it mate and sound with the 5350/Destiny.
The other speakers I have considered are Proac, Merlin Tsm,
and Spendor. I am worried that the aluminum tweeter in the Harbeth may prove a bit forward in the long run. My thought is the warmer Creek may balance this out with the
the Harbeth. FWIW I have an aluminum tweeter in my Vandy 5A, and it is just fine. I guess implementation does mean alot. C mon guys, jump in on this one. I know who knows.