I have embarked on a process of trying to find a good, 'One manufacturer' CD/integrated amplifier system and started yesterday at a respected local dealer with the Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i. I thought I would start with the best and most expensive of the options I am willing to consider.
I had just over an hour with components that had been set up and been powered up all day up until I arrived, say six hours (not straight from the box either, but demo stock that had presumably been 'burnt in' a while after many demos)
I used CDs from across the board that I love and I am familiar with. I don't believe in using special 'hi-fi demo' material. Desmond Dekker, Seekers, XTC, Mint Juleps, Handel, some spoken word, some live single miked lute music, Blondie, Tallis Scholars and even a CD of chant from the local Benedictine monastery and The Birds (yes the Birds not the Byrds) and some Stones and some Ogdens Nut Gone Flake (Faces).
They set the NAIT/CD demo up with the same speakers I use at home (Monitor Audio BRs) and the speakers were also demo stock that have been used quite a bit. Not fresh from box either.
The NAIT and CD were connected with Naim's own 5 pin locking connector and the stands were Partington dreadnoughts (I use Atacama at home) so if anything, their stands were better than mine. The Demo room is a similar size and shape/ceiling height/ carpets painted walls to my own room at home and I used the 'foam bungs' in the speakers just the same as at home and with similar seperation, distance from wall and 'toe in' etc etc.
Well I had an hour and 15 minutes for my demo (and a nice coffee, thanks guys) but had had enough after 35 minutes.
I was NOT expecting 'The Voice of God' from this set-up but WAS expecting it to sound better than my