X250.5 compared to Naim Nait5i

Hi guys,

I am new to higher end audio. At present I have a Naim Nait 5i, Cambridge Azur 840 c (CD player) and Dali Ikon 7 speakers. Will running a Pass X 250x along with a Parasound JC2 with these speakers make a big difference to the sound?
I also plan to get a pair of Magnepan 1.6s and I am guessing those with the above equipment would be a big improvement.......what do you think?

I have nothing to compare all this with since my last system cost a total of about $500 - Cambridge Soundworks...(I know) but I am amazed with the sound I have now, however, the high notes on the Ikon 7s tend to be irritating and shrill, almost like having a referee blow his whistle in my ear (is this what you guys mean when you say the highs are a bit "forward"?). I have tried laying carpet in front of the speakers (I have hard floors) and it helps a bit. My dealer told me to hang a piece of tissue over the tweeter but I think there has to be a better fix than that.
Any info regarding the above would be greatly appreciated.
Fantastic site and forum by the way.
Thanks a lot
Yes, it will be a big improvement. I am a Naim fan, but moving to separates costing 7-8 times the cost should yield improvement, and it will. But it may also cause you to appreciate some aspects of your Nait even more. It is a very musical piece of gear, regardless of price. But in the areas of detail, smoothness, soundstaging, etc, you will get a big upgrade.
The PASS will make everything peachy keen. And wait till you add those 1.6's. You will have no need for sleeping pills again.
magnepan 1.6 with the pass labs will be awesome
Thanks for the replies so far guys. To the guy (Vandermeulen) who mentioned sleeping pills - on the smaller system I have now (Naim, Dali Ikon 7s etc) I already can hardly make it to bed before 4am!

I have the Maggies coming Monday, the Pass later in the week with some better cables and ICs, one concern I have is will the Parasound JC2 pre-amp be a good match for the Pass Labs?
I would say yes. I have yet to pair a pass .5 with any pre and not find it pleasing to say the least. What cables?
Thanks Vandermeulen. I will be using Kimber 8TC speaker cable and Wire World interconnects (XLR).
What has the bigger effect on the music - the preamp or the amp, assuming the amp is matched well for the speakers?
Thats a tricky one. If you were asking about phone pre's, I would say DEFINITELY the pre in that case. But either one can project an obvious difference in the system. I would slightly lean more towards the amps in this case.
To DBarger - Looks like your comment that re. moving up to separates will make me appreciate the Naim Nait5i seems to be right on target.
I wanted to hook the Pass X250.5 up to the Maggie 1.6s today but couldn't as I need adapters for them so my cables will fit. I previously had been using the Nait with a pair of Dali Ikon 7s, then until the Pass arrived I was running the Maggies off the Nait - surprisingly good for 50watts!
Anyway, I hooked the Pass up with a Parasound Jc2 through the Ikons and to be honest I think the Nait sounds almost,if not, as good! I am sure I will notice a great difference when this gear is running the Maggies on Monday, but in this set-up the amp and pre-amp don't really stand out against the Nait.....would you or anybody else agree on this. or am I missing something?

One possibility is, I have been listening to the Maggies non-stop for a week or two and might be getting spoiled when switching back to the Dalis.
I am actually going through something similar myself. I have a Naim XS which I enjoy greatly. I also have ARC Ref3/Ref110 gear. When I put in the ARC gear, while it is obviously more detailed, open, and transparent, I just don't get as involved in the music as with the little Naim. With the Naim, at the end of a song, I could tell just how the piece flowed, what little musical nuances there were, whereas with the ARC gear at the end I really couldn't tell you much musically speaking, just details about the details. I am actually selling the XS (probably a mistake) to move up the Naim chain to see if I can get it all at a higher price. A bit frustrating for me. Once you "get it" about the Naim experience, and find it suits you, nothing else will quite do as well...
I believe that the Dali speakers are the limiting link in your system right now.
By the way your hearing is in good shape, Stereophile measured a 5 db peak in the treble, which sounds exactly as you described, bright and shrill.
Two speaker drivers operating in paralell will have a theoretical max 6 db gain in loudness.
A treble range lifted 5db above the midrange is the direct result of those redundant tweeters.
I do not understand why Dali insists on running two tweeters at mostly overlappping frequencies. My guess is that they do it as a marketing gimmick.
The speakers sound pretty impressive in the showroom, all that clarity...but later on, listening fatigue sets in.
I believe you will be much happier with the Maggies.
Thanks guys. Getting it now - I have had the Maggies hooked up with the bigger gear. Yes, the Nait and the Dali's sound very detailed and as complete novice I was impressed with this and still am. However, with the Maggies running off the Pass Labs 250.5 and Parasound JC2 I have a great sound which I would call more "realistic" if I had to label it, still, the Nait and Dalis at that price do sound great and I think they are a good first step. I know I will probably never be completely happy, especially when I read all the opinions here and there and I will always want to experiment and explore.....I guess I am straying from my first intention - to buy a nice sounding system, to it becoming more of a hobby - an added bonus as far as I am concerned!
Magnepan 1.6 is much better match with BIG TUBE AMPS like the Sonic Frontiers Power 3 which I am currently running.
The upstream source is absolutely important too.
I had tried numerous CD (YBA, Sony scd-1, Mcintosh, Esoteric, etc), DAC (Meridian, Audio research, Esoteric, Mcintosh, etc), preamplifers (YBA pre 1, McIntosh C2200, Audio research Reference 2, Conrad Johnson ACT, etc.) and power amplifier ( Pass, XA60, X250, YBA 1 & 2, McIntosh MC2301, MC250, etc)
All the above are excellent gear, yet, the only one sounds natural, real and good to my own ears are the following combination.
Tentlabs CD player, VAC preamplifier (upgraded capacitors: Mundorf Gold/Silver/Oil), Sonic Frontiers Power 3, AudioNote SET, Maggie 3.6
This combination compares to systems costing over $200,000 (Mcintosh, Sonus Fraber, Wilson Puppy, Audio research, etc)
; it just cannot compare.
I compare all the system to real, live music, and if your ears tell you to continue to listen; that is a good system.
Not listening to "Stereophile" or any person who has a "CONFLICT OF INTEREST" (they benefit from it: just like we should never listen to real estate agent, stock brokers, and especially, the lawyers; they all want nothing but your money)
Use your own ear; better yet, learn to play instrument and then you can tell which is real and which is just total horse shit.