Money to invest in system - not sure where to put it

painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
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120
Hi again,

I recently acquired a REL T/5x to help my little Quad S2s, which has been great; wish I'd done it sooner 🤔😊

I've now been given permission from my much better half to splash around £1200, maybe stretching to £1500 due to some recent good fortune.

The only thing is, I'm really unsure where to invest the money. I do have £££ set aside to Teddy Pardo my Node, so that leaves amp and speakers.

My amp is the Naim Nait 5si; not sure I want to go down the Naim rabbit hole again, and happy with it, but I've only ever owned Naim amps, apart from a brief encounter with a Rega Elex-r which didn't stay in the end.

I would like to maybe explore other amps; Exposure, Musical Fidelity, maybe Rotel. Models in my current price bracket of course.

That leaves the speakers; again, happy with the little Quad S2's, but have been getting itchy feet and found myself "window" shopping online. Just up to the next tier.

A couple of brands models have caught my eye;

Acoustic Energy AE500
Sonus Faber Lumina II
ProAc Tablette 10 Signature.

To name a few.

In the immediate, I would appreciate suggestions on which way to go, which would I would see/hear more benefit from.

Thanks as always

Kind Regards

L
 

skinnypuppy71

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2021
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103
270
I went from naim to exposure and I'm quite happy that I did...all be it....it wasn't really for sq purposes just that I wanted to move from my superuniti all in one to a separate amp, dac and headphone amp...and I fancied trying some different brands also...oh and it just so happens that this wee system knocks the socks off the Superuniti.
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
Hi again,

I recently acquired a REL T/5x to help my little Quad S2s, which has been great; wish I'd done it sooner 🤔😊

I've now been given permission from my much better half to splash around £1200, maybe stretching to £1500 due to some recent good fortune.

The only thing is, I'm really unsure where to invest the money. I do have £££ set aside to Teddy Pardo my Node, so that leaves amp and speakers.

My amp is the Naim Nait 5si; not sure I want to go down the Naim rabbit hole again, and happy with it, but I've only ever owned Naim amps, apart from a brief encounter with a Rega Elex-r which didn't stay in the end.

I would like to maybe explore other amps; Exposure, Musical Fidelity, maybe Rotel. Models in my current price bracket of course.

That leaves the speakers; again, happy with the little Quad S2's, but have been getting itchy feet and found myself "window" shopping online. Just up to the next tier.

A couple of brands models have caught my eye;

Acoustic Energy AE500
Sonus Faber Lumina II
ProAc Tablette 10 Signature.

To name a few.

In the immediate, I would appreciate suggestions on which way to go, which would I would see/hear more benefit from.

Thanks as always

Kind Regards

L
I know this sounds really silly, but how about Quad pre/power (99/909). Should be stonking with the sibling speakers.

Or have you thought about Leema? The MK1s can be had on the s/h market for £400-600 typically or the newer MKIV, which can be purchased for between £1200-1500 on the used market.

If my MK1 is anything to go by the MKIV should be stunning.
 
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matthewpianist

Active member
Feb 18, 2022
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15
25
This is an interesting quandry, and it ultimately comes down to what kind of change you are seeking in sound.

Naim amps have a very particular sound. I have a Nait 5i and it's very punchy and rhythmic (true to legend), but it can sometimes sound a little bit like a big old 70s amp with the loudness switched on. I've currently got my Denon PMA1600NE on in preference because I find it much more natural sounding overall - more refined, better at describing the timbre of instruments and voices, but still more than capable of describing rhythms and dynamic swings. If you love the Naim sound, stick with it. If you seek something more natural sounding your amp would be a change well worth considering, and don't discount the larger Japanese amps such as the Denon and alternatives from Marantz and Rotel.

You seem happy with the Quad S2s. I'm very familiar with these speakers and they will be balancing out some of the extremes of the Naim sound with their smooth and refined presentation. The top end of the Quads is divine for their price but they do lack scale, which I guess is what lead you to add the subwoofer. Your Naim has plenty of capable to drive a wide range of speakers.

Ultimately, I agree with the advice given by @Al ears to audition. It's the only way you can make a choice you will be happy with. If you change your speakers, ask for a home audition of your two favourites after listening in the shop; speaker/room interaction is one of the most significant influences on the sound.
 
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painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
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120
@matthewpianist
Thanks for your post👍.

I love Naim, and my 5si, but sometimes in those more mellow times, I just want my amp to play for me and not at me 😁if that makes sense. I did home audition an Arcam SA10 a while back before I gave in and submitted to the Naim allure, again 😊, that was too far in the other direction to the Nait 5si, a bit too laid back.

As for the Quads, yep they are lovely little boxes, sweet is the word I'd use, for want of a better one. You're correct re: adding the REL, it's been great, allowed the Quads to feel less uptight and relaxed (I'm using the sub out and cross-over in the Node to cut LFs to the mains @80hz.)
 

chrisrizzo

Active member
May 2, 2022
3
1
25
I switched from Naim to Exposure, and I'm glad I did, even though it wasn't for sq reasons; I just wanted to upgrade from my Superuniti all-in-one to a standalone amp, dac, and headphone amp. I also wanted to test a new brand, but I don't have the money to do so right now.
 
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painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
68
50
120
I switched from Naim to Exposure, and I'm glad I did, even though it wasn't for sq reasons; I just wanted to upgrade from my Superuniti all-in-one to a standalone amp, dac, and headphone amp. I also wanted to test a new brand, but I don't have the money to do so right now.
Thanks Chris

How would you compare Naim vs Exposure; we're both familiar with the Naim character, how does the Exposure compare generally?
 

skinnypuppy71

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2021
199
103
270
Why not try a naim xs, very smooth sounding amplifier, unlike most of their other offerings I'm led to believe, I really liked mine when I had it, moved to a superuniti and it wasn't a night and day difference in sq considering the extra grunt of the superuniti amplifier section, then I got itchy feet again as I felt restricted with the all in one superuniti, and I just fancied a change in direction of the electronics, now exposure, Avid, njc and pmc /rel t zero. It all.lol sounds very nice indeed.......oh and I do believe you have recently acquired a njc dac yourself, how are you liking it?
 
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painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
68
50
120
Why not try a naim xs, very smooth sounding amplifier, unlike most of their other offerings I'm led to believe, I really liked mine when I had it, moved to a superuniti and it wasn't a night and day difference in sq considering the extra grunt of the superuniti amplifier section, then I got itchy feet again as I felt restricted with the all in one superuniti, and I just fancied a change in direction of the electronics, now exposure, Avid, njc and pmc /rel t zero. It all.lol sounds very nice indeed.......oh and I do believe you have recently acquired a njc dac yourself, how are you liking it?
Funnily enough, I have done just that since writing my OP. Sold on my 5si and bought a pre-loved Nait XS2; I agree, it is a lovely amp, a nice jump in refinement over the 5si. Very happy with it. I've also sold on the Quad S2's; although that ribbon tweeter is fabulous, I had an epiphany one day while listening, and realised I had subconsciously been listening to the tweeter/speaker, not the music.

I wanted a speaker that was more "balanced" in its presentation, and didn't by design accentuate any one aspect of music reproduction, so the Quads were packed up and sold on. In their place I bought a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 40's, which I am enjoying very much. The current price vs launch price on these speakers is ridiculously good value.

I've had the NJC DAC about 3 weeks now, and yes I can safely say its staying for the foreseeable 😊.

My taste/preference for a warm presentation has evolved over the last 4 or 5 months or so; not sure why this is to be honest, but I'm now heading toward the more neutral; in this regard, the NJC hits the spot. 👍

I can't speak highly enough of NJC, across the board, from customer service to the actual product, spot on!!!!
 
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