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chebby
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Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday...

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

bifcake
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday...

Just tell them you don't like it and tell them exactly why. There's no way they can customize a satisfying system for you unless they get feedback as far as the traits you find important. Every music system is a compromise and different people give different weight to various aspects of sound. The dealer has to know what what your priorities are.

chebby
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday...

My priorities are for a good sense of space with detail and pace and atmosphere. I like to 'lose myself' in the music (reminiscing with the old stuff, up in the clouds daydreaming with the classical vocal stuff, feeling like a boogie when the music demands it and occasionally a bit of 'air guitar' when no-one is around!) but I don't play it REALLY loud, just moderate volumes whereby someone else in the same room can still be comfortably heard over it without having to raise voices or shout to each other!

I can bear a little 'warmth' in the music so long as it does not muddle things. I am used to the sort of levels of bass a decent pair of efficient bookshelf speakers on firm, spiked stands can bring when placed about 12 inches from a rear wall and at about 12 feet listening distance at moderate levels. (Although I am often at my desk listening off axis.)

I am not a 'hi-fi' type listener. I do not perch on the edge of my chair straining my ears and moving my chair around to achieve some kind of 'sweet spot' position (I have headphones for that) and I do not sit there with liver rupturing levels of volume.

I am going to listen to Rega next. Brio 3 (or Mira 3) with an Apollo and a pair of Rega R3s and also Arcam A70 + CD73 + suitable small/slim/good speakers. I know Rega manufacture everything they possibly can themselves in the UK and I think the same is true of Arcam (though I will research that one). I do not want to buy Chinese built gear if at all possible not to.

tom collins
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday...

i have an arcam a80 and cd73 that i like very much. in fact it is now bi-amped with a p80 as well. i like the fact that this option was available, but you have to have biwirable speakers to do so. now, some will say this is silly, but the interconnects and speaker cables are very important and can completely change the way a system sounds. in mine, i use nordost red dawn interconnect and nordost blue heaven speaker wire. this sounded best to me. yesterday, i just introduced a nordost power cord to the cd player and got a new level of detail, but i digress. your dealer really has to know what he is doing to get things set up right for you. i would presume a naim dealer would know such things, but perhaps, the wires to the speakers were not compatable - you should tell the dealer what you didn't like and maybe they could try a different set that you would like better. when i picked up this power cord yesterday, i mentioned that when i move up, i can just reuse this cord - he said not necessarily, some sound better than others depending on the equipment. also, your speakers just might not be a good match to the naim. finally, you just may not like the "naim sound". tell your dealer what you didn't like and what you prefer and maybe he will either agree with you and suggest a different system or change the naim in a way that you like. these guys may like a particular brand a lot, but they are in business to sell stuff and make a profit. they carry other equipment, believe me, they are in love with whatever they carry that makes you happy.
good hunting.

tom

chebby
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday...

I am sure the speaker cables at the dealer were fine. They were Naim's own brand of cable so therefore (presumably) entirely compatible. My speakers are not a difficult load and the power output of the Nait is well within their specified power handling.

I guess if I had more budget (The Naim combi was

tom collins
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday...

you'll definitely find one out there that works for you.

mrlowry
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday...

I agree with AlexO. If the dealer doesn't know what your opinion is of the Naim gear then they will have a harder time helping you find the right system. If you tell them it's a money thing but lead them to believe you liked the sound they are going to try to find a system that sounds similar but costs less. It's kind of like going to your doctor when something is wrong and lying about the symptoms because you are embarrassed. There is nothing to be embarrassed about, the Naim isn't your cup of Tea.

chebby
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday. (Concluded)

The hunt is over. The new system purchased and installed and sounding great.

Oh yes, the gear...

Arcam Solo Mini (combination CD + Amp + FM/DAB tuner

Rega R3 loudspeakers (maple veneer)

Arcam rDock for my iPod.

Sounds wonderful. The Rega R3 speakers are a revelation and a total suprise. There is nowhere in our lounge that anyone can sit 'on axis' and these are the first loudspeakers I have ever owned that fill the space, and where the sound has dimensionality wherever I sit in the room. They can be sublime with Tallis Scholars (Palestrina) and really bop even with the cheesiest of old 1970s Pop compilations.

'Hifi' they ain't (thank goodness!) but I am playing CD after CD and have watched hardly any television (except to try out some U2 and Rolling Stones DVDs through the new system.)

The Arcam Solo Mini? Yes well, obviously I like the sound. One small(ish) smart, discrete and minimalist box that does everything I need.

I have a lossless download (from Linn records) of 'Spem in Alium' with some incredibly challenging vocals that I have played via rDock/iPod and also via a memory stick plugged into the fascia mounted USB socket. Both sounded fantastic with none of that stressing that something is 'going to give' that I have heard even on far more expensive systems.

http://www.linnrecords.com/recording-thomas-tallis--spem-in-alium-sacd.aspx

(I have yet to hook up my FM roof aerial [antenna] because I need to have the co-ax lead extended about 12 feet into the room.

smejias
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday. (Concluded)

Sounds like an excellent system, chebby. Congrats!

RGibran
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Re: Naim NAIT 5i and CD5i demo yesterday. (Concluded)

You are having too much fun over there chebby!!! Congrats on finding a system that meets your needs.

Just one caution. Verify the rooftop antenna has a proper ground so your new equipment is protected.

Enjoy!

RG

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