Will an entry level stereo separates system sound better than a Naim Mu-So

Anavrin

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May 8, 2017
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Hi Everyone

This is my first post on here so bear with me if this is an obvious question, I've had a naim mu-so for about 18months now, I'm very pleased with it and love the way it sounds, so much so that I recently bought the smaller mu-so QB to go in my kitchen.

My only real gripe with it is there isn't much stereo separation, so recently I've been looking at some hifi separate systems, I have a small budget to spend in hifi terms, so I want to get something at a reasonable hifi starter budget of say £1000-£2000ish

I've been looking at the Marantz PM7005 Amplifire which is 60wpc for about £450, mainly for its USB DAC as an input and a pair of B&W 685 S3 stand mount speakers at £500, plus stands cables etc

Im also thinking of holding out for the new Naim uniti atom at £1700 with the same speakers, with this option I can stream multi room with my two mu-so's, but not sure if my budget can stretch that far.

My main concern is I don't want to thow money at a new system that possibly won't sound as good as the mu-so, the mu-so has 450w of power and the Marantz and uniti atom only have 120w or 80w respectively, I have a feeling the separate stereo system will sound better, just need a little advice please.
 

muljao

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Jul 18, 2016
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Sound quality sometimes is hard to quantify.

Physically, 2 speakers seperated out should give better stereo than a single unit with bits pointing in directions to mimic stere.

Having not ever heard the Naim Mu-so (but guessing it is good from what I have read), I'd still be certain that with a budget of 1000-2000 pounds that a system could be put together that would be significantly better. The Naim has a lot of tech, but compromises have to be made to fit all the tech in one box, and to a price.

That Marantz you mention is one I looked at previously, (I ended up with the less expensive pm6005). On paper it looks good, but there is very little user feedback around about it, so as I would of had to buy online I was hesitant and went with something better known.

I can't imagine that say that marantz and a set of q acoustic concept 40s and say a streamer would not be better than a Mu-so. Also there is a thread around here somewhere that a user sold a lot of high end gear and bought a set of Sonos play 5s, set up in stereo. That user was very happy with his change
 

jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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Anavrin said:
Hi Everyone

I've been looking at the Marantz PM7005 Amplifire which is 60wpc for about £450, mainly for its USB DAC as an input and a pair of B&W 685 S3 stand mount speakers at £500, plus stands cables etc
That would be my choice new, though the PM8005 is £579 at Creative Audio.

A second-hand Naim UnitiLite may also be an option. That would allow party mode with your existing Mu-so and Qube.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Welcome aboard.

Yes, almost certainly you can put a better sounding system together for that budget....I would look at components from Rega, Arcam, Q Acoustics and Kef.

If you are simply looking for a 2 channel system, a Linn Sneaky + Kef LS50s/R100/Q Acoustics Concept 20s, sound better (imo)

I was quite surprised that the amp in the Sneaky did so well...but it is not for disco levels. The nice thing about this idea, is that the Sneaky will do the job until (at some point in the future) you save up for a more capable amp (like Arcam A39 or Rega Elicit R)....and you will then have a very good sounding little system, with the Sneaky as a Source.
 

newlash09

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Aug 28, 2015
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Only 8 months ago. Once you've heard it that way, the level of musical involvement goes up a significant notch. So for the money you plan on spending, you could certainly get a good setup of seperates that involve you differently. Almost at the same sound quality if not better.

However, the thing to consider is wether you are willing to sit in a particular seat in the house to listen to music this way. If the answer is 'no', then it would be considered as back ground listening. In which case you would not enjoy what you spent on a system of seperates to start with.
 

Anavrin

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May 8, 2017
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Thanks for the help guys, I remember reading somewhere, maybe a discussion on the naim forum, some people where questioning why naim was entering the affordable home streaming market with the muso, someone commented that the muso is a gateway drug to get people into hifi, I think I have to agree :)

I'll have a good look at some of the suggestions and let you know how I get on, shame the mu-so has no audio output that I can just get an amp and speakers for :-(
 

tino

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Sep 29, 2011
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tino said:
Is it possible to get a second QB to act as a stereo pair with the other one you have?
Edit ... Seems not ... I think this is a bit of an oversight when a Sonos system can do this. Maybe a couple of Sonos Play 5s would work for you or perhaps a Yamaha NX-N500 streaming speaker setup.
 

newlash09

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Aug 28, 2015
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Is also worth a consideration, to get a stereo sound, and not going the completely seperates route. It would be a stepup on the Naim Muso sonically.
 

CnoEvil

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newlash09 said:
Is also worth a consideration, to get a stereo sound, and not going the completely seperates route. It would be a stepup on the Naim Muso sonically.
A huge step up.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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chebby said:
newlash09 said:
Is also worth a consideration, to get a stereo sound, and not going the completely seperates route. It would be a stepup on the Naim Muso sonically.
They are two Grand though. Chap was looking for separates at same price of mu-so.(£995 i think)
He has up to 2k to spend....so let's spend it. *diablo*

(Too late!)
 

Blacksabbath25

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Sep 20, 2015
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Well with your budget it will be blown out of the water buying Naim separates that's for sure unless you look at secondhand .

it can be a slippery slope buying hifi separates because you could spend £2000 and after say 6 months think I want better it happens to us all it's the hifi bug .

Anyway the marantz pm7005 is a good one as it does have a built in Dac but the marantz pm8005 does not so you would have to spend money on a stand alone Dac or buy a marantz cdplayer to get the Dac that way .

unless you look at the marantz receivers which gives you streaming an onboard dac and the amplifier if you wanted just the one box .

but if you want value for money I would look at the marantz pm8005 and its matching cdplayer
 
Feb 18, 2015
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If you really like what naim do...then maybe you should wait a little while until funds allow for a system that will keep you entertained for a while and keep any hi-fi upgradeitis at bay.....as you suggested the new uniti atom is on it's way,but the uniti star is going to be the best of the bunch in many people's eyes,pairing that with a pair of standmounts or floordtanders if you have the room to accommodate them from stables such as...neat,pmc,kef etc.will give a fine sounding and balanced system....It's so easy to buy something and want for more not to further down the line,leading to a never ending cycle of box swapping and money down the drain,lost in depreciation or eBay and PayPal fees.get it right first time,although it may seem quite expensive at the first way of thinking,you will save money in the long term.no doubt about that as many here have been down this very road.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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As an alternative, why not buy a cheap as chips stereo system?

£20 Phillips CD player with TDA1549 DAC

£20 Japanese integrated amp

£50 Heybrook or Mission speakers

Something that'll sound better than the Muso, and at least as good as the £1000 dealer system.

If anyone owns a Muso near me (in West Yorkshire) I'd be happy to pop round with my cheap as chips £100 system for an evening of comprative listening.
 

radiorog

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Jan 1, 2013
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I would guess a huge step up also. I've never lived with a single speakered system, but I have found myself often being wowed by the stereo image of my set up, and end up craving it, and is sometimes the leading thing I hunger for before I turn on my system. (Not always mind, sometimes it's the detail,sometimes it's the base). Anyhoo, stereo image is a huge part in hifi imo, and I find it somehow seems to permeate a room so that even if you aren't sitting inbetween the speakers, you still somehow can hear and appreciate btje fact there are two speakers pumping good music into the room.
I would also want to look at the dynaudio emit 20 speakers, as in the latest issue of whf, they do a direct comparison between them and the b&w, and the dynaudio come out on top. I love my earlier incarnations,and would love to hear the emits.
To drive them tho, I would want at least a 70w amp. Less than this usually won't get them singing,and bass will be lacking.
 

nick8858

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Aug 8, 2011
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I used to have separates then got a Muso (the big one). Beatifully made and great to use but after 12 months it went. I so missed the proper stereo effect. Replaced with a Puioneer NC-50 DAB (Streamer. FM and DAB tuner, CD player, even a phono input) plus pair of Neat Iotas. Blows Muso for 6. However the Muso has its place and I wouldn't knock it at all. Best TV soundbar I ever had! Mus0 = £995, new system = £1149 but that extra cost is well worth it. The Iota's were slight cosmetic seconds so cheaper than full price (couldn't find a mark anywhere on them).
 

Helmut80

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Jan 8, 2011
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I recently upgraded my kitchen system from B&W A7 (£699 at time of purchase I think) to Dynaudio Xeo 2 (£995) and the improvement has been immense. Now I am wondering how much better the wireless LS50 would be. *dash1*
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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I've listened to the muso's a couple of times. Very stylish and not bad sounding for something so visually attractive.

Women will throw their knickers at you for giving up on separates but I think something harder and bigger will come your way if you go separates ... .
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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drummerman said:
I've listened to the muso's a couple of times. Very stylish and not bad sounding for something so visually attractive.

Women will throw their knickers at you for giving up on separates but I think something harder and bigger will come your way if you go separates ... .
Read your last paragraph again DM. My euphemism detector is going bonkers!
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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If you are a Naim man/woman then surely you should be considering a second hand Uniti or Uniti2? Perhaps with second hand PMC's. You will be happy forever.

Of course you won't be happy for ever, but you can add a Naim power amp at a later date if you get the itch again...
 

newlash09

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Aug 28, 2015
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that I have this habit of making my personal notes, when I consider several options for a purchase.

Just went through my notes from 2013, when I was contemplating my first proper hifi purchase of the marantz cd &pm 6005. How it all seemed to be very expensive to just listen to music. And then I decided to go for a all in one solution - bluesound powernode. Hoping that I would be happy forever, as I was not a a demanding listener at that time.And today IAM in the market again shopping.

Upgraditis sets in very fast in this hobby. So might as well spend well once and stay put, instead of being on the perennial box swapping mission, when ever funds permit. Secondly, flexibility of a system is very important, second only to sound quality. So that the piece of kit stays usable with future upgrades. My bluesound powernode is a closed end system. So IAM basically starting over again from scratch.

Just my 2 cents
 

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