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Naim Dacs

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crusaderlord's picture
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I wondered if there were any Naim Dac experts around. They do have a confusing array of products which all contain Dacs of varying (i assume) quality and this includes the new Dac V1 which i have an interest in as an alternative to my Musical Fidelity M1 Dac. However i have no real idea how good a Dac is in the new V1-Dac against what i have now.

I would be using with a Squeezebox Touch and could make some use of the headphone option (not essential). I would only really be interested if it was a step up from the MF M1 using the coaxial input. Clearly Naim have an even more expensive n-Dac (bit too steep a price really).

The other option is to sell both the Touch and the MF M1 Dac and go towards a Naim ND5XS instead as the streamer.

Happy to hear any thoughts.

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chebby's picture
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RE: Naim Dacs

Good write-up of the DAC V1 here...

http://www.whathifi.com/blog/hands-on-review-first-impressions-of-the-naim-dac-v1-and-nap-100 Including a link to the Naim 'white paper'.

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RE: Naim Dacs

If I were in the market for a DAC in that price range (I wish) I would be looking at a Violectric V800 or a Benchmark DAC. Both are professional quality products and are absolutely transparent, adding nothing to the input. Personally, I  believe that audiophile DACS are coloured in one way or another and overpriced. You may like that or not, just offering my thoughts.

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crusaderlord's picture
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RE: Naim Dacs

Thanks for the replies. That is a good write up of the V1 and it looks a nice product to me.

Now if it had a streaming function as well in that size box i would have snapped it up (dont want a qute with its amp in there).

It still ticks more than one box for me so its an option to consider and demo - the ability of the DAC v my current one and if it could even add something to my CD via the digital out could be key.

 

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SteveR750's picture
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RE: Naim Dacs

pauln wrote:

If I were in the market for a DAC in that price range (I wish) I would be looking at a Violectric V800 or a Benchmark DAC. Both are professional quality products and are absolutely transparent, adding nothing to the input. Personally, I  believe that audiophile DACS are coloured in one way or another and overpriced. You may like that or not, just offering my thoughts.

 

That, or if the cost justifies the price, then a very expensive way to get a small improvement (if sometimes any at all).

I'd be interested to know how this stacks up against the Chord Qute, which I liked, but frankly is not worht the £600 extra over a dacmagic+ in my system anyway.

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ReValveiT's picture
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RE: Naim Dacs

Assuming you've tried the analog out of the SBT?

 

You may be very pleasantly shocked.

 

Smile

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RE: Naim Dacs

ReValveiT wrote:

Assuming you've tried the analog out of the SBT?

 

You may be very pleasantly shocked.

 

Smile

 

Surprised Wink

 

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Ambrose's picture
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RE: Naim Dacs

crusaderlord wrote:
I wondered if there were any Naim Dac experts around. They do have a confusing array of products which all contain Dacs of varying (i assume) quality and this includes the new Dac V1 which i have an interest in as an alternative to my Musical Fidelity M1 Dac. However i have no real idea how good a Dac is in the new V1-Dac against what i have now. I would be using with a Squeezebox Touch and could make some use of the headphone option (not essential). I would only really be interested if it was a step up from the MF M1 using the coaxial input. Clearly Naim have an even more expensive n-Dac (bit too steep a price really). The other option is to sell both the Touch and the MF M1 Dac and go towards a Naim ND5XS instead as the streamer. Happy to hear any thoughts.

 

Hi CL,

Have you got any further on this? I have tried a few sources recently and ended up with CD5XS (just got used last weekend). I sold SBT and am selling Naim DVD5 / Rega Dac.

I did compare Naim Dac-v1 against my Rega Dac using Naim DVD5 as transport (at home) and the Naim was better no doubt, very clean and pristine sounding. Of course all system dependant and probably better via USB which I did not try.

I heard the ND5XS (at home) and was much better than SBT - Rega DAC combo which surprised me. TBH it was more revealing than the CD5XS and best I have heard at home. I prefer the fuller / smoother sounding CD5XS and overall presentation fit perfectly with my Nait and Motives. Every CD sounds sublime and enjoyable to listen to and bigger.

 I was also told how you feed the ND5XS can be quite important too but I only streamed wired from PC via switch. Easy as pie to setup.

So if you are serious then I would say either option is worth investigating further.

Ambrose

 

 

 

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BigH's picture
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RE: Naim Dacs

I would look at John Kenny DACs if you only want usb connection they are around £400-£460. AN even cheaper option would be the Epiphany E-DAC.  only £99.

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RE: Naim Dacs

Most NAS storage drives have added streaming facilities controled by an app from an ipad or phone, so I guess all you need is a USB Dac like the DAC V1 to stream your music to your system

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RE: Naim Dacs

Not had experience of the DAC-V1 but I have recently been auditioning my next upgrade. I too have a Squeezebox Touch, which for a £220 box is one of the best pieces of kit I've ever owned. I love not having a computer in my music room but have access to all of my music plus streaming capabilities. The analogue out from it, again for a £220 box, is very competent, but to my ears, isn't a serious front end. Put it's digital out through a good DAC however and its a different story.

Up until recently I used an Audiolab 8000CDQ and used the plugin that allowed Asynchronous USB output from the Touch into the CDQ which worked really well. The only issue being that the best sound still came from putting a CD in the CDQ's drawer, the Touch was a little flat and lacking in dynamics and life by comparison. But over time I got generally bored with the CDQ's somewhat sterile and detached presentation so I started looking at upgrades.

Having tried the Naim ND5, NDX and DAC, I've settled on the DAC. Whilst I was interested in Naim's streaming solutions, I didn't find that any of it was as totally flexible as the Touch i.e. you can't run Spotify or any other subscription service or use any of the BBC iPlayer listen again streams (without having an iPhone/iPad attached anyway). Couple this to the fact that Naim has really done its homework when it comes to the SPDIF input with the DAC (not sure if the DAC-V1 shares the same SPDIF input stage but if it does, it should work well with the Touch) and it seemed like a no-brainer to carry on using the Touch through the DAC. Naim produced a white paper on its SPDIF implementation which makes for some interesting reading and having heard what it does with the Touch connected to it, I was sold pretty much straight away. It reminded me of the sound of Naim's early CD players - The CDS and CDi, lacking the warmth of the early players but the timing, rhythm and sheer involvement, connection and insight it gave you into everything you played was nothing short of addictive. By comparison I found both streamers to sound somewhat more in your face, bold and brash, lacking in the subtleties that the DAC made so beguilling to listen to.

From what I've read about the DAC-V1, it isn't a million miles behind the DAC, so I dare say it will breath new life into your Squeezebox Touch as a front end. The DAC has taken my modest little streaming box from a competent piece of budget kit, to some of the best digital reproduction I've heard anywhere.