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Naim or Linn at low volumes

BillyE

New member
Aug 18, 2007
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I keep thinking about getting back into hifi. The thing that puts me off is that my house isn't that well sound insulated and I don't want to disturb my neighbours, so if I did I would end up listening at quite low volumes.

I think I want a streaming system and the Majik DSM or Uniti2 are about the money I was looking to spend. I know Naim has a more forward sound compared to Linn's slightly more clinical sound. Any thoughts as to which would work well with easy listening, folk, light classical and jazz at low volumes?

I heard a DMS and a Uniti2 recently, but in a farily big demo room with B&W speakers. The scale of the B&Ws worried me, might overwhelm my room, and I didn't really get to judge the electronics.

Any speaker suggestions would be gratefully received too, so that I can put together an audition list.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
369
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19,070
Hi. If your room isn't too big, you needn't get more then Unitiqute 2 or Naim Unitilite if you also want cd playback. Pair with Focal Aria 906 with stands, or with the saved moneys, a pair of PMC DB1 Gold. Uniti 2 goes VERY well with Piega Premium 3.2 (they're compact floorstanders, and they sound oh-so amazing).
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Linn and Naim sound different, so go with the the presentation you prefer.

FWIW. I think Linn MDS and Kef R Series/LS50 work very well together.
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
701
232
19,270
CnoEvil said:
Linn and Naim sound different, so go with the the presentation you prefer.

FWIW. I think Linn MDS and Kef R Series/LS50 work very well together.
I have 4 Naim systems in my home, so naturally I am going to ... agree with you actually. For low volumes the Linn/Kef LS50s would be my bet. Naims are great when you go further up the rev counter. Of course, you could get a UnitiQute and some good headphones!
 

BillyE

New member
Aug 18, 2007
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I have listened to both Linn and Naim stuff over the past few weeks. The Linn sounded to me quite dry and analytical, and the Naim a bit 'in your face'. I am therefore thinking about the separates route - either a Linn Majik DS or a Naim ND5 XS and a different brand of amp. Can peope recommend any amps that would tame the Naim a bit or add a bit of warmth to the Linn?

Thanks.
 

Q5

New member
Oct 2, 2015
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It took me a while to decide my route, in the end settled for Linn Majik DS - Arcam amp and Kef speakers.

Please try to demo and I bet you will be supprised at the sound, the Ref 1's would be nice.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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BillyE said:
I have listened to both Linn and Naim stuff over the past few weeks. The Linn sounded to me quite dry and analytical, and the Naim a bit 'in your face'. I am therefore thinking about the separates route - either a Linn Majik DS or a Naim ND5 XS and a different brand of amp. Can peope recommend any amps that would tame the Naim a bit or add a bit of warmth to the Linn?

Thanks.
That is exactly how I described Linn amplification.....until I heard it with the Kef R Series (which have the opposite character)....maybe worth a listen (if you haven't already).

If that doesn't do it for you, try DS + Arcam A39/Creek Evo 100A/Rega Elicit R/Hegel/Pathos/Croft. + Kef/Spendor/Harbeth/Focal/PMC/Proac/ATC etc,

FWIW. I have found Naim's character comes through whatever system it is put in....which is great if you like it, but less so if you don't (obviously).

BTW. What speakers did you try?
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
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0
BillyE said:
I keep thinking about getting back into hifi. The thing that puts me off is that my house isn't that well sound insulated and I don't want to disturb my neighbours, so if I did I would end up listening at quite low volumes.

I think I want a streaming system and the Majik DSM or Uniti2 are about the money I was looking to spend. I know Naim has a more forward sound compared to Linn's slightly more clinical sound. Any thoughts as to which would work well with easy listening, folk, light classical and jazz at low volumes?

I heard a DMS and a Uniti2 recently, but in a farily big demo room with B&W speakers. The scale of the B&Ws worried me, might overwhelm my room, and I didn't really get to judge the electronics.

Any speaker suggestions would be gratefully received too, so that I can put together an audition list.
A normal transistor amplifier should not have any kind of handicap at low volume. If yes, then you are probably investing in a bad engineered amp.

Some speaker need a little bit of volume to come to their full potential and are not giving their best at lowest volume (they open up very fast, but.. they need a little Mw to open up). In my experience, the older B&W 800 series are of those kind of speakers. For quiet listening conditions, I listenend to Xavian, Goldmund, ATC, PMC, PSI, Piega, Klein&Hummel, ME-Geithain and Dali speakers, that worked very well because they are "there" from the start. After that this could vary depending on the type of speaker you will pick up.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,636
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19,770
BillyE said:
I have listened to both Linn and Naim stuff over the past few weeks. The Linn sounded to me quite dry and analytical, and the Naim a bit 'in your face'. I am therefore thinking about the separates route - either a Linn Majik DS or a Naim ND5 XS and a different brand of amp. Can peope recommend any amps that would tame the Naim a bit or add a bit of warmth to the Linn?

Thanks.
Okay, I've recently owned a Naim CD5i with my Leema Pulse and the combo was very good. Naim amplification are IMHO speaker dependant. Get the matching right and it's good, get it wrong and it's dreadful.

PMC, Neat, newer Kef R range are the best matches IMO.

Arcam, midrange Marantz, Yamaha will all be a safe choice if you're looking for a tame...anything. Personally speaking, though, Naim amp with a Naim source is the best combo, matched with an old pair of PMC 'i' series speakers.
 

bluedroog

New member
Mar 4, 2010
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I can't help think you're going about this the wrong way. You're starting from scratch and are building your system around two possible componenets, one of which you want to tame the other add warmth upstream. This is ok for tweaking, fine tuning or from a hobby aspect but doesn't sound like the ideal basis for getting a system right for you.

I'd suggest you get out there and listen to as much gear as possible, don't tie yourself to these two products and just invest by familiarising yourself with your options a bit more. The highstreet is a good place to start but the average store these days stock just a tiny amount of the same old stuff. Try some independant Hi-Fi stores, pro audio stores, even shows or bake-offs if you can. There is soooo much more out there.

Don't assume streamer - amp - box speakers is it, look at active speakers, panel speakers etc. I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with the high street, I just don't see any logic in getting something which isn't quite right for you and then trying to change the signature rather than just get something that sounds right from the off.

Are they both stand alone streaming devices? They may be fine to build around from a user pov but really the speakers are where it is at, of course having an amp suitable for them too, as is the room which it seems you're already giving consideration to.

If the streamers have digital outputs you can change their output with the use of a seperate DAC but it may prove an expensive way to getting what you want as effectivley you'd be paying for two DACs and one unused (assuming the streamers have DACs built in).

Take your time, read, consult forums as dealers aren't going to give you the full picture. Most importantly, trust your ears.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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0
One of the 'secrets' of good sound at lower levels is clarity, a quality that good active speakers excel at.

I would look at a Unityxxxx or Majik DS with something like the AVI DM5 as a hi-fi solution.

If you want to be a little more daring and move your listening experience fully into the 21st century, check out the Genelec 8330 APM with the full GLM 2.0 room equalisation software.

http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/genelec-8320a-8330a-apm
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
Have your system in a small room, if you have the option, and try some variant of the classic BBC LS3/5A mini-monitors (Spendor, Harbeth etc.)

Use them elevated to ear level at very close distances (a few feet is what the originals were designed for).

You could try a Naim UnitiQute 2 that has a switchable, variable 'loudness' feature to compensate for low bass at low volumes (it automatically reduces the effect as you turn up the volume).
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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chebby said:
Have your system in a small room, if you have the option, and try some variant of the classic BBC LS3/5A mini-monitors (Spendor, Harbeth etc.)
Are modern day Spendors, Harbeths etc really clones of the old and revered BBC LS3/5A monitors?

I'm not saying you're wrong but it's like comapring my Alfa 159 to 1970s Giulietta. There's elements that people could associate between the two but the vast majority is totally re-worked.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
plastic penguin said:
chebby said:
Have your system in a small room, if you have the option, and try some variant of the classic BBC LS3/5A mini-monitors (Spendor, Harbeth etc.)
Are modern day Spendors, Harbeths etc really clones of the old and revered BBC LS3/5A monitors?

I'm not saying you're wrong but it's like comapring my Alfa 159 to 1970s Giulietta. There's elements that people could associate between the two but the vast majority is totally re-worked.
You said 'clones'. I wouldn't have used that word.

The word I chose (variant) satisfies what I meant ...

"variation, form, alternative, alternative form, other form, different form, derived form, development, adaptation, alteration, modification, revision, revised version" etc.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,636
83
19,770
chebby said:
plastic penguin said:
chebby said:
Have your system in a small room, if you have the option, and try some variant of the classic BBC LS3/5A mini-monitors (Spendor, Harbeth etc.)
Are modern day Spendors, Harbeths etc really clones of the old and revered BBC LS3/5A monitors?

I'm not saying you're wrong but it's like comapring my Alfa 159 to 1970s Giulietta. There's elements that people could associate between the two but the vast majority is totally re-worked.
You said 'clones'. I wouldn't have used that word.

The word I chose (variant) satisfies what I meant ...

"variation, form, alternative, alternative form, other form, different form, derived form, development, adaptation, alteration, modification, revision, revised version" etc.
Semantics aside, can you really associate modern Spendors and Harbeths with BBC monitors?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
278
162
19,070
plastic penguin said:
chebby said:
plastic penguin said:
chebby said:
Have your system in a small room, if you have the option, and try some variant of the classic BBC LS3/5A mini-monitors (Spendor, Harbeth etc.)
Are modern day Spendors, Harbeths etc really clones of the old and revered BBC LS3/5A monitors?

I'm not saying you're wrong but it's like comapring my Alfa 159 to 1970s Giulietta. There's elements that people could associate between the two but the vast majority is totally re-worked.
You said 'clones'. I wouldn't have used that word.

The word I chose (variant) satisfies what I meant ...

"variation, form, alternative, alternative form, other form, different form, derived form, development, adaptation, alteration, modification, revision, revised version" etc.
Semantics aside, can you really associate modern Spendors and Harbeths with BBC monitors?
Hi pp, I think it is fair to say there are several models, inc. some from Spendor and Harbeth, which have something that has evolved from the LS3/5a or seeks to highlight its strengths.
 

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