Sharing my excitement of ordering my dream system and a short review of Arcam and Naim entry and mid range systems!

tyranniux42

New member
Jun 23, 2010
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Hi all,

just thought I would share my excitement and review of someArcam and Naim amplifiers and CD players as I went to audition and eventuallybuy some shiny new kit on Tuesday! :-D

I live near Leeds and York, so went along to SoundOrganisation in York to have a good listen and see what all the fuss was about.My current system comprises of Cambridge Audio 640V2 CD player and amp withrecently purchased B&W 683’s. The speakers they replaced were the excellent602s3’s which I still have but keep at the missus’ house running from aCA340Ase (more on that later!).

So anyway I was only really looking for a new CD player asthe 640 is now almost 4 years old and due a change I think. When I arrived Iwas greeted with some 683’s ready to be partnered with Arcams A18 and A38amplifiers, Naims Nait5i and eventually the NaitXS amplifiers, all fed fromArcams CD17, CD38 and Naims CD5i.

Audition CD’s I took were a selection of my favourite artistsincluding Radioheads KidA and Amnesiac, Hybrids Morning Scifi andSoundsystem01, Zero7’s The Garden and the newly released single from a newgirlband called ‘The Bonbonz’ a track called Ladyboy which has just beenreleased on Itunes and the likes - have a listen and see what you think, wouldappreciate feedback.

Arcam A18 and CD17 up first with the Radiohead records.Sounded detailed and forceful but it was clear in some of the louder morecomplex passages the amp was struggling to keep a hold on the difficult todrive B&W’s. When moved onto the Naim Nait5i and CD5i the sound wasdifferent and to my ears much more musical and rhythmic, but the amp again wasstruggling at higher volumes. The Gent at SO offered a suggestion at this pointthat the A38 and the Nait XS would be much more of a match for the speakerswith regard to driving them properly and suggested that in this occation theamplifier selection would likely be a better place to spend the larger portionof my budget (of which I told him was around the 2000 mark...)

Using his recommendation we switched to the bigger amps (andin the Arcam case the biggest in the integrated range) with the entry levelspinners. This was defiantly more like it. The speakers came alive at the sniffof more drive and were bounding along with anything I threw at them. Ispecifically used Hybrid’s Soundsystem01 disk for testing the amount of gruntthe amps had due to the seismic bass lines and complex electronic effects.

It was becoming apparent to me that I was preferring theNaim sound at this point, in particular the Nait XS with the CD5i soundedutterly spellbinding and I was reluctant to change the set up at this point,but in the interest of getting the best kit for my cash and the fact that thisset up took me over budget (2350 at list without cables) I swapped and changedsources and amps in every combination with the exception of the CD37 with thelarger amps as this was way way over my budget. I also found that with thelower range amplifiers hooked up to the CD37 and the 5i spinners I stillpreferred the Naim player for its sheer musicality. So I wasn’t too botheredabout trying the CD37 with the higher amps anyway. I had made my mind up on the5i so from that point I was swapping and changing between the a38 and the NaitXS. To both myself, the missus and the sales assistant, in this case with thisplayer and speakers the Nait XS was clearly the winner. It had all the detailand resolution of the Arcam with a huge amount more verve and musicality (there’sthat word again). It was simply stunning to listen to in combination with theCD5i. It was noted that the CD5x would improve on this further but I wasalready way over budget so I banned myself from listening to it J

So half an hour later I had listened to everything I hadwanted to through my preferred system, and I had done the usual trick ofconvincing myself that I needed it, badly!

Chaching!

[edit] Nait XS and CD5i was final decision just to clarify.

On order and hopefully with me before the weekend (pleasekeep your fingers crossed for me!). Now my trusty 640Cv2 is partnered with my340Ase and the DM602s3’s at the missus’ which I am listening to as I type this.

This brings me to another recommendation for a trulystaggering budget system if you can still manage to get a pair of 602s3’s asthey are simply amazing for the money!

The system listed above can be had for less than 500 if youlook at Richer sounds current prices and Ebay for some 602’s and I defy anyoneto buy something as musical for the money!

Anyway just thought I would share my experience with y’all.Im sure ive left some stuff out and have been vague etc so if anyone wants toknow my opinions or more detail on the kit I auditioned please drop a reply J

Thanks for reading, hope it wasnt too badly structured to make for difficult reading!

regards

Dan
 

tyranniux42

New member
Jun 23, 2010
18
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just a quick apology for the grammatical errors and absence of some spaces etc, I typed this in MS word and copied it into here, somewhere in the copy the editing has gone wrong, either that or I have forgotten how to type!

anyway cheers!

Dan
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,245
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19,195
I think you settled on the Naim CD5i with Nait XS (if I followed correctly).

Excellent choices both.

Let us know how it goes when it is all installed.

[Edit] Ah ok I see it all in your signature now.
 

tyranniux42

New member
Jun 23, 2010
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Yea sorry it doesnt read as clear as I was thinking at the time, was too busy being giddy looking at reviews and stuff haha...

Will definatly follow up with a full review and pics once its all run in!

regards
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
560
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18,920
I agree with you view of the 602S3s, excellent speaker for the money, and now plenty of good examples turning up 2nd hand for reasonably sensible money.
 

vinod_david

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
64
1
18,545
Op:

So, whathifi's observation about lack of timing and dynamics about the A38 hold good according to your review compared to the Naim.
 

tyranniux42

New member
Jun 23, 2010
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for the price point i would say so yes, but on the whole the Naim was amazing in those areas whereas the arcam was simply ordinary. To be honest and in my opinion the Arcam was not better in any area than the Naim, but was expecially behind in timing and the ability to get your feet tapping.

I would not have got rid of my CA640 for it at any rate, not for the money, it had bags more detail and control but to actually listen to was no more fun.
 

tyranniux42

New member
Jun 23, 2010
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Just a quick update to let you all know that the CD player is running in nicely, however my amp is still not with me :-(

but on the upside this thing is absolutely fantastic!

I totally buy into the source first philosophy now! Running even with the 640A amplifier it sounds staggering compared to the CA640Cv2, but in retrospect it should do considering its more than 3 times the price! but for what its worth (and IMHO) this is the best 925 quid ive ever spent.

Heres to hoping the amp is just as much of a boost! the leccy bill might not be something to look forward to if it is!

Regards

Dan
 

tyranniux42

New member
Jun 23, 2010
18
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after the third time of the message messign up trying to upload the pics directly into the post ive given up lol!

Please see links to pics and tell me what you think!

Cant stop grinning whilst re-spinning all my CD's!

Cheers

Dan

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae158/tyranniux42/IMG_0510.jpg

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae158/tyranniux42/IMG_0505.jpg

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae158/tyranniux42/IMG_0506.jpg

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae158/tyranniux42/IMG_0508.jpg

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae158/tyranniux42/IMG_0511.jpg
 

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