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JBGood
20-05-2009, 12:10 AM
Greetings everyone,
New to this forum. How do Harbeth speakers and Naim electronics play together? Do they mate well?

I currently own the following system:

Naim Nait 5i-2 integrated amp (may be upgrading to Naim XS integrated)
Naim CD5x (will probably add a FlatCap2x power supply)
Naim NACA5 speaker cable

I mostly listen to jazz/classical/vocal/instrumental music. Not a rocker. Don't tend to listen at high volumes.

I have done some searching on this website, but did not come up with a wealth of info. I also searched & posted on the Naim forum, but found little info and got few replies.

Thanks in advance.

John Geisen
20-05-2009, 02:06 AM
Hello JBGood,

Welcome to the forum.

Being both a Naim and Harbeth dealer, I want to assure you that the two products go together very well, indeed. Harbeths are not demanding on amplifiers however you can easily hear differences between different amps. That being said, I'll admit my prejudice for both products so you need to see what other folks say. Good listening.

John Geisen

JBGood
20-05-2009, 04:43 AM
John,
Thanks for the warm welcome. Good to hear from somebody who is familiar with both companies.

I couldn't quite tell from my early searching on these forums, are there many Harbeth+Naim folks around here?

Regards,

JBGood




Hello JBGood,

Welcome to the forum.

Being both a Naim and Harbeth dealer, I want to assure you that the two products go together very well, indeed. Harbeths are not demanding on amplifiers however you can easily hear differences between different amps. That being said, I'll admit my prejudice for both products so you need to see what other folks say. Good listening.

John Geisen

sunshine
20-05-2009, 04:58 AM
Hi JBGood,

I'm using a Supernait/CDS2/Compact 7 ES-2, good combination i feel.

Cheers,
Sunshine

John Geisen
20-05-2009, 04:58 AM
I think you will find there are many Naim / Harbeth advocates as there are many advocates of other forms of amplification. I hate to use the metaphor but it is almost like asking which flavor of ice cream is the "best". Everyone has an opinion and their opinion is valid for them. I hope I haven't made this more confusing for you; but just there are many Naim enthusiasts, you will also find others prefer tubes, or integrated amps, etc.

All the best as you search for your personal musical connection.

John Geisen

JBGood
20-05-2009, 05:11 AM
John,
I agree that, ultimately, there is no substitute to your own ears when making audio equipment selections. Note, I was not asking whether Naim+Harbeth is the "best" combination. Rather, I was wondering if this is a common pairing among the Harbeth forum crowd.

As we all know, a good magazine review or a popular system combination can at least help point a buyer in some good initial directions- to develop a good "short list" to consider. The rest is up to our individual ears.

Unfortunately, I will probably have to travel to find a dealer that stocks both Naim and Harbeth.

Regards

vaughn3d
20-05-2009, 06:22 AM
JB, I use a Supernait, CD5x, FC2, Compact 7es2 and am very happy with the setup. If you enjoy vocals I would be very surprised if you weren't happy with Harbeths at the end of you Naim electronics.

macraddy
20-05-2009, 09:51 AM
I auditioned the 500 series electronics with the SHL5s. Extremely nice!

LGCS1
20-05-2009, 05:07 PM
282/250 with SHL5. Happy with combination.

JBGood
20-05-2009, 06:55 PM
Gosh it's nice to find a civilized forum! Thanks for all the replies.

I know it's hard to put into words, but can anyone describe the general character of the Naim+Harbeth combination? For those of you who decided on this combination, why did you choose it?

I look forward to auditioning with my own ears, but I do not have a local dealer who has the right stuff.

Regards,

JBGood

garmtz
20-05-2009, 09:08 PM
I am a dealer of both NAIM and Harbeth and the combination is one of the best I can think of. If you like the NAIM sound, you will love it through Harbeth speakers. They bring out the best in each other I find, although others of course may prefer other combinations.

The NAIT 5i or XS with either the P3 or C7 is magic!

hifi_dave
22-05-2009, 09:50 PM
My first post.

I have been a Naim dealer for many years and have just started to stock Harbeth. I can tell you that the combination is very good indeed. From the Nait 5i to the NAP 300, the results with Harbeth are truly excellent and you should try to get an audition yourself.

Actually, the Harbeth's are very amp friendly as I have had great results with EAR, Puresound and Croft tube amps and Rega, LFD and even Amcron solid state amps as well as the aforementioned Naim products. You shouldn't encounter any problems.

Vlado
22-05-2009, 10:22 PM
.....as I have had great results with EAR and Croft....


Hi Dave,
please give us some ideas how the C7's sound wih Croft and EAR. Although I'm a lazy dog and wont make a step without remote control..
Kindly

VA

jasontan
23-05-2009, 08:37 PM
I am a dealer of both NAIM and Harbeth and the combination is one of the best I can think of. If you like the NAIM sound, you will love it through Harbeth speakers. They bring out the best in each other I find, although others of course may prefer other combinations.

The NAIT 5i or XS with either the P3 or C7 is magic!

Am using Nait 5i-2 with M30s. It's my alternative for an Audionote Kit 1 single-ended triode amp (300Bs, 8-9 watts) for 33 celsius days and nights.

i love em both, and of course my m30s, and hope to post more about this apparently chalk and cheese duo soon.

hifi_dave
23-05-2009, 09:12 PM
Hi Dave,
please give us some ideas how the C7's sound wih Croft and EAR. Although I'm a lazy dog and wont make a step without remote control..
Kindly

VA

How do I answer this ?

The 7's, with whatever amp I've tried, sound natural, easy, unforced, communicative and fun. You don't need to thrash them, as you do with some speakers and they simply allow you to enjoy the music. With the two amps you mention, you just hear what the amps do. They are different to each other but both are a good match with the Harbeth's. I wouldn't like to make the final choice - you need to audition them yourself.

David

Vlado
24-05-2009, 09:49 AM
How do I answer this ?

They are different to each other but both are a good match with the Harbeth's.

David

Hello David,
thank you for answer. I don't want to replace my Electrocompaniet gear, I'm just curious.
I never had the chance to hear EAR or Croft amplifiers, but heard a lot of good things about them.

Best regards

Vlado

coredump
27-08-2013, 04:28 PM
anybody tried this?

i going to listen to it this weekend. been craving for a Naim amplifier for a long while?
any thing to share on this amplifier?

DSRANCE
27-08-2013, 08:20 PM
I feel that you can do so well for well under a grand in modern designs - Emotiva, XTZ, Cambridge, the big HK amp (HK990 if it's still around), and that's before I've mentioned other smaller concerns such as Rega, Croft and a couple of others I've yet to hear with Harbeths.

PLEASE keep an open mind, as amp design and internal components (allowing more sophisticated designs) have come a long long way since the late 1950's PA design that all Naim's are based on and in this case, it IS audible, especially on cymbal work....

Miles MG
27-08-2013, 08:45 PM
I am a dealer of both NAIM and Harbeth and the combination is one of the best I can think of. If you like the NAIM sound, you will love it through Harbeth speakers. They bring out the best in each other I find, although others of course may prefer other combinations.

The NAIT 5i or XS with either the P3 or C7 is magic!
I wasn't aware there is something known as ' The Naim Sound '.

peez777
27-08-2013, 11:42 PM
Anybody tried this?

i going to listen to it this weekend. been craving for a Naim amplifier for a long while?
any thing to share on this amplifier?

i listened to it with P3esr's last weekend - i thought it was quite a special amp - source was an NDX - the combination was a good one I felt although i imagine the 30.1's I have on order will also be amazing!

Kumar Kane
28-08-2013, 09:23 AM
I wasn't aware there is something known as ' The Naim Sound '.

See this for one discussion on a well known subject:
http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/naim-sound

I suspect that this is more due to the fact that Naim has very high sensitivity inputs, and therefore sound a lot louder at similar volume control settings than other amplifiers with inputs that are a lot less sensitive to the input signal voltage. If you turn up the volume on the other amps to deliver the same sound levels, they will yield the Naim sound too, all other variables remaining unchanged.

hifi_dave
28-08-2013, 11:35 AM
IMO you can do better (or similar) for less but you are unlikely to find a Naim dealer willing to do that demo.

Miles MG
28-08-2013, 04:03 PM
Naim Dealers ( from what I have gathered ) seem to be almost a religious sect, proclaiming that the Gospel of Naim is the only true way. It may be ( probably is ) an over-exaggeration. I haven't encountered it, as the Naim Dealer in Oxford sells many other brands and doesn't promote any particular make.

DSRANCE
28-08-2013, 10:28 PM
This maybe should be for elsewhere, but to answer MG's question, copious amounts of third and fifth (odd order) harmonic distortion not always way below the 'magic' -80db level, coupled with crossover artefacts (that modern Class B designs all but banished years ago) and quite vicious band limiting (by modern standards) may well have an audible effect in the musical range.

Couple that with some hard-clipping in many models and there's your exciting/rhythmic 'Naim Sound...' - in my opinion. Later models do seem to add copious amounts of even order distortion to balance the odd orders out, but according to the reviews I've seen, the basic technical performance is borderline-audible and in my opinion, designed to be... Quad-neutral it certainly isn't I'm afraid...

Pharos
28-08-2013, 11:22 PM
My experience of Naim is very limited, but I have a few points to make.

Religions are all pervasive in audio as in many other arras of life - Oh for a gretaer emphasis on scientific principle - and in all areas of life.

I have a Nait 1 which I use as a headphone amp, and have been told by dealers that this and the Nait 2 are the best amps Naim ever made.

In demoing a pair of ML CLS 2s, I used a Naim 250, and it could not cope with the very low impedance, and repeatedly cut out.

The internal wiring is extremely neat, and impressive.

The Naim sound used to be described as 'gritty' by dealers.

coredump
29-08-2013, 03:26 AM
i listened to it with P3esr's last weekend - i thlistenought it was quite a special amp - source was an NDX - the combination was a good one I felt although i imagine the 30.1's I have on order will also be amazing!

Fantastic. you listened to it with the intention to purchase the SN2? Or leisurely

I having a Accuphase e560 and wanted one that is electricity friendly so that I can switch on thru out the day

hifi_dave
29-08-2013, 11:23 AM
Surely you don't intend swopping an Accuphase for Naim Supernait ???

Just the build quality alone should put you off but if you do try any Naim, listen to the transformer 'buzz', which can be very intrusive and a major problem for many people.

DSRANCE
29-08-2013, 01:44 PM
The little Nait 1 - when new - was a fabulous little 'soft clipper' that acted as a progressive limiter on the sonics if pushed too hard. Not really suitable for modern loudspeakers though unless they're extremely sensitive and the used prices are stupidly high.

I don't have the spare funds to try this myself right now, but something like an Alesis RA500 power amp is so cheap and apparently really good. I wonder if someone could afford to try one (wearing blindfolds of necessary) to see if it really does 'cut it' as is claimed. Harbeths are an easy load for an amp, so it's not as if it would struggle to dole out loads of current or anything...

Really, if an Accuphase is going to be a bit power-hungry to leave on all the while, why not look out for a decent Quad 306 or something, fed by a passive preamp such as the Tisbury on eBay, which seems well made with good parts at a reasonable price. Low consumption, excellent build and reliability, known great match with Harbeths when auditioned at the factory ( ;) ) and can be left unattended for months at a time I understand, as can all the Quad amps (solid state at any rate)... No treble edge or 'grain,' lovely midrange when unfettered from the preamp and bass more than good enough unless you need more power. The 306 inverts the phase, so if not used with an inverting preamp such as the 34 or 44, then bear this in mind..... :)

coredump
29-08-2013, 01:47 PM
i wont consider it as upgrade. just a stand in amp. I am keeping the accuphase for sure.

there is always a string attached to naim all along. I think it is the look that draws me

hifi_dave
29-08-2013, 04:29 PM
You shouldn't need a "stand in" with the Accuphase but if you do, why not try the Rega Brio-r ? It is 1/5 the Supernait price, sounds every bit as good, has a great internal MM phono stage and doesn't buzz like a hive full of bees !!!

Miles MG
29-08-2013, 05:41 PM
[QUOTE=DSRANCE;24978]The little Nait 1 - when new - was a fabulous little 'soft clipper' that acted as a progressive limiter on the sonics if pushed too hard. Not really suitable for modern loudspeakers though unless they're extremely sensitive and the used prices are stupidly high.

Someone likened the little Sony TA88 amp. to the Naim 1. I have an '88 on a bedroom system, so I'll have to try it on my Harbeths. Could be interesting...

peez777
29-08-2013, 08:32 PM
I am looking for a relaible SS amp to replace my valve pre-power as the pre developed a fault and my life is too busy at the mo to manage a valve based system - I went as a previous Naim naysayer and really liked what I heard, so it was with a serious interest although no final decision has been reached - but, sounded great, easy to use with the NDX source and cool running remote controlled easy maintenance.


Fantastic. you listened to it with the intention to purchase the SN2? Or leisurely

I having a Accuphase e560 and wanted one that is electricity friendly so that I can switch on thru out the day

peez777
29-08-2013, 08:56 PM
Surely you don't intend swopping an Accuphase for Naim Supernait ???

Just the build quality alone should put you off but if you do try any Naim, listen to the transformer 'buzz', which can be very intrusive and a major problem for many people.

Are you not a former Naim dealer? I ask as there are a few pro Naim / Harbeth contributions in your name on the Naim forum from a while back.

tedwin
29-08-2013, 09:02 PM
I have a couple of the Naim uniti series in my house. Neither of them have any transformer buzz, both of them do what they where designed to perfectly. No complaints here, I'm under no illusion, they are pricey. But, they had a feature set I liked and look good.

Ted.

DSRANCE
29-08-2013, 11:35 PM
Naims can buzz loudly in one area and the same unit not in another - it's part of the charm..... I thought this fixed in current models, but sadly not :(

hifi_dave
31-08-2013, 10:20 AM
Naims can buzz loudly in one area and the same unit not in another - it's part of the charm..... I thought this fixed in current models, but sadly not :(

The DR versions appear to be noisier.

coredump
01-09-2013, 01:56 AM
noisier as in humming?

how is it compared to the XS and 5i?

Many Thanks

coredump
01-09-2013, 06:25 AM
Naims can buzz loudly in one area and the same unit not in another - it's part of the charm..... I thought this fixed in current models, but sadly not :(

How about when you playing records? will the buzz be amplify? how bad is it? does it appear in every unit? will it appear in their integrated Nait range?

hifi_dave
01-09-2013, 10:56 AM
It is transformer, mechanical 'buzz'. It varies from model to model but does appear to be more evident on the larger transformers.

maxbertola
12-12-2013, 08:31 PM
Hi,

I have tried the Supernait-2 in a friend's store, both with Harbeth and with Ovators.
Having owned the original Supernait, I can tell you that the -2 confirms my impression of Naim slowly taking the path of a more universal, smooth, elegant sound while trying to retain that ineffable trade mark sound, the so called PRaT.

The Supernait-2 has power, subtlety and a rather evident 3-D presentation, similar to a very good tube amp, but retains the guts of its ancestor.

I say that if I could live without that slight, in-your-face cheekiness of the classic Naim sound, I'd find that an excellent integrated, superior to its predecessor. As it is, I have a Nait5i because I sort of am addicted to that cheekiness, but the SN2 is a great amp.

Max

cambri_man
23-04-2014, 11:28 AM
Having had three demos over the last few weeks I finally took the plunge and got a Superuniti (http://www.hifigear.co.uk/naim-superuniti-all-in-one-player.html) - setup was easier than I expected (anything connected to network usually foxes me) and quality music was wafting through my lounge 20 minutes after unboxing.

Plenty powerful enough with my HL-P3ES. Looking forward to the Spotify functionality to be enabled on the S-Uniti next month.

Ned Mast
23-04-2014, 10:31 PM
If an amplifiers job is to take a electrical signal and boost (amplify) it without alteration, then the fact that differences can {it is claimed} easily be heard among different brands only means that most - if not all - are not functioning perfectly.

One might expect some subtle differences in how each mates with a given speaker, but I think subtle is the key word here. Personally, when I switch from one to the other of the three amplifiers I own, I hear no differences (all solid state and of adequate power). But I wouldn't argue that in a rigorous A/B test - going back and forth between two repeatedly and quickly - I wouldn't hear some difference, perhaps in a specific frequency range.

But why bother? Music is wonderful through all of them, because hooked to them are my M40s.

John Geisen
24-04-2014, 03:32 AM
Having had three demos over the last few weeks I finally took the plunge and got a Superuniti (http://www.hifigear.co.uk/naim-superuniti-all-in-one-player.html) - setup was easier than I expected (anything connected to network usually foxes me) and quality music was wafting through my lounge 20 minutes after unboxing.

Plenty powerful enough with my HL-P3ES. Looking forward to the Spotify functionality to be enabled on the S-Uniti next month.

Congratulations! It is a very nice combination.