The big news from UK-based Naim is the arrival of the company’s first asynchronous USB DAC, the DAC-VI ($2395). Its companion in size is the new NAP 100 discrete-transistor, compact power amplifier ($1295). Production on both begins in February. To focus first on the amp, which is in my CES blogging territory of amps and preamps in the $2500$15,000 price range, the NAP 100 is a dual-mono design that outputs 50Wpc into 8 ohms and 100 into 4, and is said to incorporate a linear power supply with a “large toroidal transformer and audiophile grade selected components” into a non-magnetic, low resonance, compact chassis and sleeve.
The diminutive DAC-VI, which would mate wonderfully with the NAP 100 in a computer desktop system, handles files up to 24/384k via high-speed USB, and includes a single-ended, class-A headphone amplifier and digitally controlled analog volume control. The firmware is field upgradable, and the unit has five S/PDIF inputsone BNC, two RCA, and two Toslinkthat accept signals up to 24/192. I’ll bet that Michael Lavorgna is all over this pair for our sister online publication, AudioStream.com.