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Thread: Naim Nait XS

  1. #1
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    I hear this new Naim(£1250) has only just premiered in Blighty. This is going to be much too hopeful... but has anyone heard it already in comparison with the Nait 5i? I'm wondering how much of a lift in performance it will offer over the Nait 5i? 60W vs 50W doesn't seem like an overwhelming increase in power. If nay, the 5i seems better value for money.

    The 'X' moniker is very desirable though. Magic letter.


    SS



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  2. #2
    Moderator Polarbear's Avatar
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    I haven't heard it but performance will be that of the Supernait. i.e between the 112/150 and 205/200.

    From what I understand its a Supernait without the Dac,

    Regards

    PB

  3. #3
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    hmm... given the SuperNait's RRP, the value of that onboard DAC is £1100 then.

    The XS definitely appears better value than the SuperNait IMO. Not reached the shores of Tipoca yet. Perhaps its worth the patience of waiting another four weeks or so to hear it before committing to the Nait 5i.

    Ta.

    SS
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    Post imported post

    Solid - what speakers did you hear the 5i's with? Iwill demosome Naim kit if I ever have any upgrade dosh. The Naim stuff I have heard has been through Naim speakers or those horrible rectangular box things at the last Heathrow show, they have never done it for me yet.

    I know for sure that I don'tto loose the Prattyness of the Evo's though.

    Cheers BB

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    Post imported post

    How would you guys rate the Nait 5s' and 5is'?

    Im asking as i have a Nait, the old school original and i love its sound, really engaging and a slight amount of warmth and lots of clarity. I heard that the later Naits lost this signature naim sound, but without hearing its impossible to tell.

    So how do the Naits compare through the ages?

  6. #6
    Super Wammer istari knight's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    I cant help but think the XS is a missed oppertunity in the looks dept. - they should have used the supernait chassis/faceplate IMO

  7. #7
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    Post imported post

    BB, the Naits were hooked to Wharfedale Opus 2-1 and the way the Nait 5i gripped those drivers...

    Richard Black's first review of the EVOs said Creek is a "poor man's Naim". While I'd disagreed with that tongue-in-cheek comment (the EVO amp has its own non-Naim charms), it may be obvious that Creek modeled the EVO amp after the first Nait 5i. They have the same energetic delivery.

    So you definitely won't be missing any PRaT if you switch to Naim someday, BB. I reckon the new Naits will suit you to a T.


    cheerSS










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  8. #8
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    Post imported post

    Burnibus wrote:
    How would you guys rate the Nait 5s' and 5is'?

    Im asking as i have a Nait, the old school original and i love its sound, really engaging and a slight amount of warmth and lots of clarity. I heard that the later Naits lost this signature naim sound, but without hearing its impossible to tell.

    So how do the Naits compare through the ages?
    The previous Nait 5i didn't impress me with classical music. It sounded crumbly and chunky with the sample music I tried.

    The new Nait 5i cooks with classical stuff. I was shocked. It presented an alternative, yet valid presentation to my MF X-T100. The X-T100 places emphasis on spatial depth and tonal smoothness (classic MF traits), the Nait 5i holds a magnifying glass over the minutiae of instrumental tones: the rosin on strings, quivering vibrato... it's more busy sounding than the MF, yet it remains cohesive and very life-like.

    And of course, there is the inimitable timingTM.

    SS







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  9. #9
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    Post imported post

    Solid,

    I wouldn't place too much store in the power rating of Naim amps. My 250 only measures at 75W but packs a weighty punch.

    Like PB I can't comment on the sound of the XS but would be worth your while waiting for a listen. IncidentallyI heard the Supernait in a high quality vinyl systemlast weekend and it was very good.

    Strat
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  10. #10
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    So true, Strat. The "flea-powered" amps from the big boys often prove to be much more powerful in practice. My 50W MF throws out a bigger soundstage than CA's 120W Azur 840A.


    NB: The old Nait 5i is more than 50W. It measured 65W/105W (8/4 ohms) in HFN(May 06)with peaks of 75W/125W/200W into 8/4/2 ohms. Tested with Dali Ikon 6, which is what I have.

    I just don't like the idea of owning two amps both rated at 50W...

    I've calmed down after the euphoria of hearing the Naits. This time I'll take it slow and spend the rest of Dec checking out other new stuff from other brands. Hope to catch Roksan's 125W Kandy K2 in action sometime next week. Nice looks and I really like candy.


    cheerSS



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  11. #11
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    Roksan amps are really good as well - the aesthetics aren't as smart as Naim imo but from my albeit limited listening they really give a fullsome sound.

    One other thing - a lot of nonsense (positive and negative) is written about Naim equipment but the biggest myth is that it doesn't play classical. This is simply rubbish - our system is sublime with the old stuff.

    Strat

    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  12. #12
    Too many turntables Beobloke's Avatar
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    I have a Nait XS arriving at Beobloke Towers next week, amongst a few other amps, so I'm looking forward to seeing how well it compares to the Supernait. A Kandy K2 has also been here for a few weeks now and I do like it, but it's not quite perfect - I'd personally still plump for the Nait 5i over it.


    Digital downloads - perfect for children and other people who can't be trusted with delicate objects.

  13. #13
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    SSM wrote:
    Burnibus wrote:
    How would you guys rate the Nait 5s' and 5is'?

    Im asking as i have a Nait, the old school original and i love its sound, really engaging and a slight amount of warmth and lots of clarity. I heard that the later Naits lost this signature naim sound, but without hearing its impossible to tell.

    So how do the Naits compare through the ages?
    The previous Nait 5i didn't impress me with classical music. It sounded crumbly and chunky with the sample music I tried.

    The new Nait 5i cooks with classical stuff. I was shocked. It presented an alternative, yet valid presentation to my MF X-T100. The X-T100 places emphasis on spatial depth and tonal smoothness (classic MF traits), the Nait 5i holds a magnifying glass over the minutiae of instrumental tones: the rosin on strings, quivering vibrato... it's more busy sounding than the MF, yet it remains cohesive and very life-like.

    And of course, there is the inimitable timingTM.

    SS






    I'd be quite surprised if either the new XS or the Nait 5i "cooks with classical stuff". The Naim sound is fundamentally wrong for classical music with that emphasis on the bass and something missing in the treble. While Naim amps always make a great initial impression and are amazing for rock, they don't have the right balance for classical music IMHO.
    I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.

  14. #14
    Moderator Polarbear's Avatar
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    I beg to differ sir, earlier Olive series and its emphysis on the leading edge wasn't the best for classical music but the more balanced reference series plays classical music rather well.



    Saying that I recall sitting in a Spanish Villa in the Summer with Frank F and one of the most Naim, Naim systems an active SBL system. You would be hard pushed to claim it wasn't ideal for classical music. It was very good and very real,





    Regards



    PB

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    I knew someone was going to come to their defense about this. I used to have a Nait 5i and thought it was great (despite the annoying humming and buzzing and ludicrous snap crackle and pop when switched on). Then one day a musician friend came over and pointed out this imbalance while we were listening to St Matthews Passion. I hadn't noticed it before, but once it was pointed out it was unmistakable. The friend had never heard a Naim amp before and had none of the usual preconceptions about the brand. Someone else later said to me, and I think this is another reason why Naim amps don't work well for classical music, that the Naim sound is like sitting in the front row when what you really want for classical music is a seat in the middle of the orchestra.
    I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.

  16. #16
    Moderator Polarbear's Avatar
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    Someone else later said to me, and I think this is another reason why Naim amps don't work well for classical music, that the Naim sound is like sitting in the front row when what you really want for classical music is a seat in the middle of the orchestra.



    Yes thats the leading edge emphysis I mentioned. Some people like to sit at the front at a concert, some like to sit in the middle and some like to sit at the back. Thats the beauty of music everyone os different.



    I could introduce you to the infamous George of the Naim forum who used to play double bass in an orchestra, he will go on at great length about how he believes his little Nait is the best sounding amp he has heard.



    I am not posting in Naims defence I am just giving an honest opinion,



    Regards



    PB

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    Naim is great company and they make great products, but like you say, everyone's different. Personally, I'd rather not sit in the front row at a classical music concert.

    I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.

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    tryant wrote:
    Naim is great company and they make great products, but like you say, everyone's different. Personally, I'd rather not sit in the front row at a classical music concert.
    This has long been one of my difficulties with Naim, as I prefer a more "mid-hall" balance.





    Migod, Solid thinking of going over to the Dark Side...

  19. #19
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    boxer wrote:



    Migod, Solid thinking of going over to the Dark Side...
    .........yes and a turntable apparently

    And Solid please remove that Avatar - it's really is quite bizarre and well...... um........ tasteles as well.

    Strat
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

  20. #20
    Founding Wammer SSM's Avatar
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    As a long-time dependent on MF amplification to reproduce my classical music, I used to subscribe to the belief that this genre of music is best enjoyed when reproduced in a "mid-hall" acoustic. Most MF amps have excelled at carving big soundstages with good depth. This setting allows the listener to clearly hear the trailing edges of struck or bowed instruments interacting with the concert hall acoustic; the resultant reverberations give you a good idea of the height and width of the hall.

    Yesterday's demo of the Nait 5i challenged my belief. This amplification's sight is set on delivering the full impact of leading edges to the listener's ears and it is not "mid-hall" MF, but Row One. Based on the listening material I brought yesterday, some classical music genres are actually more enjoyable when presented up close and personal. An excerpt from Bach's Cello Suites was more engrossing than I am used to on my MF amps: the Nait captured every bur and thrum on the cello's body (caused by the vibration of the cellist's bowing), in addition to the usual musical notes and that really underlined the effort and passion of the playing. The more-distanced perspective offered by spacious MF amplication now seemed to be a disconnect between me and the cellist. (I didn't bring violin or piano sonata music to try, but I reckon the same effect applies to such solo instrumentals too.)

    Even more persuasive was Elgar's Nimrod from the Enigma Variations. The Nait made it seemed as if I was seated with the string players and hearing all those violins purr quietly in unison, close-up, was a rediscovery of the magic of this music. The Andante from Brahms' Fourth Symphony was the turning point: Like the Nimrod, I could hear, more vividly than with MFs, how purposefully the violinists were directing their will to their bows to elicit a yearning, nostalgic tone. And then towards the Andante's glorious end when the rest of the orchestra took up the theme in the slow crescendo and drove it home, the feeling was almost carthartic - like a river surging forward to enter the ocean. From this revelation, I am now convinced Naim amplification (in its own inimitable way) can also do justice to classical music.

    A listener's mileage may vary with regards to the Nait's very direct presentation, of course. If one has had heart or colonic bypass done, or is of sensitive constitution, it may be wise not to be exposed to fortissimo blasts from the horns in a Mahler symphony. You could skip a heartbeat or drop a turd in the process. The final blasts from Mahler's Sixth were quite unflinching in their stabbing impact. But that actually comes close to how brass instruments sound in real life. (I would know, I played trombone once)


    Oops, better stop now... If not I believe I won't have anything else to say in my review proper when the Naim actually comes into solidschateau.


    cheerSS



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