Amplifiers again

busb

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2011
60
0
18,540
Hi all

My better half & I had of a couple of days in Oxford for her birthday. We called in on Oxford Audio Consultants to audition a possible replacement for my curent Primare i21. Took Loop Guru's Lupus Ineteruptus & Dutoit's Tchaikovshy/Mendlelssohn's violin concertos to listen to.

CDP was by Naim & speakers were Sonus Faber Liuto floorstanders. The 1st amp was MF's M3i. Nice sound & easy on the ears. Next was a Super Nait. Great imaging & a little faster sound - not bad at all. The real surprise was Primare's newish class D i32. I thought it was stunningly good. Timing was spot-on, bottom end extremely well controlled & astonishing detail. Treble was not grainy or fatiguing.

Having read WHF's review that gave it 3 out of 5, I was expecting a degree of harshness. Another dealer opined that it was better than their well-received i31 that I never heard. I cannot say if the review sample WHF had was faulty, an early sample or if they just got it wrong but to my ears, it sounded really engaging & musical.

My experience reminded me of the importance of listening & having confidence in one's own ears. The i32 jumps past Roksan's Caspian M2 on my shortlist.

One aspect that interested me was how the remote volume worked on each model. The M3i incremented the volume from zero to low levels quite finely then became too coarse at medium levels. The super Nait was the most consistent throught it range whereas the i32's 1st step was quite audiable as was a click when set back to zero. The Primare was the only one that didn't use a stepper motor on an analogue dual potentiometer. The i32 looked like it was a sealed box or unventilated at least & was still quite heavy.

Regards
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
The first question is would you rather lead than be led? WHFI? S&V's star ratings are brilliant at telling you what's hot and rot. However, they can't be held account to personal taste and acoustics. They only gave 3 stars to Usher S-520 speakers yet when I heard them, they were stunning.

Second point is you need to hear the Naim SuperNait and the new Primare with your speakers. As mentioned on a previous thread of yours, you need to hear Leema Tucana (Pulse as minimum). To me, Leema and Totem is a dreamy match. And also remember you are talking significant differences in price brackets here: The Primare and Nait are around 2k - 2.5k figure, while the M2 and Pulse are 1.5k.

Another suggestion could be Densen. Not heard any of their stuff personally, but there's a number of fans on here... their reviews are usually very complimentary.
 

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