19 posts / 0 new
Last post
Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 7 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 505
Naim V1 dac and others...................
English

Hi again,

For anyone who is interested I finally had a good listen to this yesterday along with the MDAC (again) and the new arcam ir dac.

Started with the mdac using my usual selection off a cd drive and then started swapping between this and the Naim and unfortunately no pleasant surprises.
The MDAC is still the best I have heard at detail and range , a fantastic but to my ears slightly flawed product, only slightly but enough, top ends a little sharp and doesn't seem to fully organise the music in a totally balanced way.
The Naim V1 has much better organisation, flows better, not everything shouting at once and very good to listen to, but not the detail of the mdac or the range esp at the top end but maybe no bad thing for it.

The Arcam is a great performer for the price has same inputs plus an extra usb but is a step behind the other two but is £200 cheaper than the mdac but £850 less than the Naim !!

We listened to some hi res material and both the Naim and MDAC stuck to their charcteristics and sounded fantastic in their own ways.

I should add was listening with a pair of KEF 300's and they are a cracking speaker, didn't miss a beat anywhere fantastically balanced and would advise anyone looking for speakers at this price should give them a go.
To my taste I prefer over the LS 50's but I think I am in a minority here, I should also add I am not a great kef lover either but the R series has changed that for me.

So back to my dac dilemma and I am still none the wiser, the MDAC is great but am not sure I could live with it day in day out but it would only be one of my sources and it is good value for the price.

I prefer the Naim overall but the price is hard to justify, I was really hoping to hear something special, had my expectations low and although there was a grin the huge smile was not there because the price difference is too big, £800 and it could be a winner but double the price of the MDAC !!

Also tried moving from 'silvery' cables to copper to reduce the harshness of the mdac but the change was slight and didn't alter the organisational issues .I didn't know what cables we had been listening to or what had been changed so it was a worthwhile test for my ears but I would say there was a tiny bit more detail with the silver but a harsher top end, this was minimal.

In a way the Naim was more similar to the Exposure dac that again can't compare with the detail of the MDAC but has a better sound balance and organisation and when it gets it right, esp. with rock it is fabulous but £200 more than the MDAC.

I have been offered a home demo of the mdac and the naim to see what the uplift will be from my SBT and how they sound in my system in my new bigger room, the Proac's now look normal size !
Will have to work on the other dealer to see if they will lend me their Exposure, the only negative on the Exposure is the size as it is full width, not a big problem but was hoping for a half size box.

I have been at this for nearly 18 months now and still not found the perfect product, maybe this is one compromise but I like to hope my patience will be rewarded, may be I am fooilng myself.

Thanks for reading if you got this far any comments thoughts gratefully recieved as always.

Oh nearly forgot, big thanks to Simon at AudioT in enfield yesterday for all his time and effort, a man who is waiting for a serious cable to come in, he said he is willing to lend it to me for my thoughts, never say never , I could be converted !!

Have fun.

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12815
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Good write-up....and you know what my preference is for a source, so I won't bore you with it again.  :shifty:

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 7 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 505
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Indeed I do and I should really give it a go, the inputs are not good for me but maybe it has the big grin factor, out of interest have you heard any of the Naim DAC's, any thoughts ?

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 3 min ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12815
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Shanka wrote:
Indeed I do and I should really give it a go, the inputs are not good for me but maybe it has the big grin factor, out of interest have you heard any of the Naim DAC's, any thoughts ?

I heard a Naim Streamer some time back, in an all Naim system, which doesn't suit my ear......I haven't heard their DAC.....so not much help.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

BigH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 29/12/2012 - 12:31
Posts: 3847
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Have you considered DACs like Benchmark and Metrum? They get good reviews and are around £800.

Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 7 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 505
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Hi,

Thanks for the tips, have tried to get Benchmark demo's but has proved difficult without a lot of faffing about and I am quite lazy, any knowledge on how best to hear one would be much appreciated.

I can honestly say I am not aware of Metrum so will have a look and see, thanks again for the info.

Have you heard either , any thoughts ?

Thanks

mitch65's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 37 min ago
Joined: 16/12/2003 - 12:50
Posts: 1159
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Shanka wrote:
Hi, Thanks for the tips, have tried to get Benchmark demo's but has proved difficult without a lot of faffing about and I am quite lazy, any knowledge on how best to hear one would be much appreciated. I can honestly say I am not aware of Metrum so will have a look and see, thanks again for the info. Have you heard either , any thoughts ? Thanks

try Igloo audio, very nice guy Smile

Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 7 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 505
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Hi ,

Thanks for the tip, have been looking at the benchmark dac's and for inputs i require I would want the hgc 2 which is out of my budget but may visit my neice who lives nearby to hear one, see if it is special and at least can compare with the Exposure which I am quite keen on.

Looked at the Metrum and would have to see if their are any uk retailers, I don't think I could manage posting things back and forwards to the Netherlands,again it would be their top of the range model for the inputs I require and have to see the uk retail price.

From what I am hearing with the dac's so far their isn't really the same level of difference between a £1200 and £600 as compared with differences in cd players at similar prices eg there is a vast difference between the Kandy cdp and Caspian M2cdp, mind you I didn't hear a huge difference between Naim 5i cdp and 5xs cd, maybe just model dependant.

Have just been offered 10% of the Naim v1 but still too much, oh well, back to the beer and a few tunes.

Thanks again for all the info, hugely appreciated as always.

SteveR750's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/03/2005 - 23:46
Posts: 3080
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Shanka, I read your review with great interest, as you know I am still on the journey to DAC nirvana. I noticed a Chord Qute on ebay last week, as it was the best I heard when I did my big DAC search last year, but £900 is simply too much for the small improvements over the dacmagic. Unfotunately the used Qute was going for £750 which was still too much for me to jump. I'm still waiting for the promised Caspian M2 pre/power combination with inbuilt DAC.....!

Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 7 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 505
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Hi Steve,

It seems we are both still in the same quandry since we last spoke, I would suggest if you get a chance try the Exposure, would be keen to hear your thoughts.

I can also say the Naim is very good but the price is too much but again worth an audition .

I have not heard the qute which I did see recommended with the M2 by WHF but not enough inputs for what I require.

Have Fun.

BigH's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 29/12/2012 - 12:31
Posts: 3847
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................
p_m_brown's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: 01/02/2013 - 13:55
Posts: 307
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Hey Shanka,

i would check out the Leema Elements Dac - I am so pleased with it and have no plans to change it! Great detail but not to the point of being bright like the MDAC. Good prices put there too at the moment.

Get that on a home demo after you have decided between the Naim and MDAC, I'm sure you will also think it rocks! :rockout:

Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 7 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 505
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Hi again,

Thanks for all the info , have asked my local Leema dealer to see if they can get a dem model of the elements dac, it is quite a high price so it is going to be a tall ask in my view as am starting to feel there isn't really a lot between dac's and will also be trying the TEAC UD-501 USB DAC along with the mdac (again) and the Exposure which I am looking forward to hearing again after an excellent first impression.

I usually listen to the same music when I demo as I know the pieces so well I can pick up differences quite easily but I was thinking I might take few extra this time as may try something different if the Exposure does what it did so well last time.

This may be pre judging a bit but as I don't feel the Naim was giving value the Exposure seems to be the best overall solution so far,I want to test this out more.
Maybe this will not be required if the Leema or Teac excels, will keep updating for those interested.

Also to add the mytek I would require is way off my budget and the same with the benchmark, if I get a chance to demo either I will do so but not a priority but thanks again for the advice.

Have fun.

Tariqv's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 01/01/2013 - 12:26
Posts: 15
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

Hello Shanka,

I am on the same boat with you more or less as I have an M-dac which I like but not great since as you have said has that organization issue, when I listen to rock music for example all the instruments feel muddled together, they are all lost within each other. I would like to hear a Dac V-1 but do not have the chance in my country. Am wondering if you have decided on a dac?

gurux's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 11/11/2009 - 14:38
Posts: 14
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

I had the nDac, the V1, NDX and NDS. In my book the NDS is the only source that matters in the Naim range, money no issue. The nDAC is the best value for money, although without a power supply it sounds a bit sterile and digital. V1 didn't impress me at all and I sold it after a month of ownership. Average performance, average headphone output.

I wouldn't rate the old Benchmarks highly either (I had the HDR). But I haven't had the chance to try the new generation. 

LJT_Tom's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2014 - 21:30
Posts: 2
RE: Naim V1 dac and others...................

I was after a DAC + amplifier for my REGA RS5.    I tried RS5 before with Rega Brio R + REGA DAC and liked RS5 so much that I orderd it.  I have not ordered the another 2 componetns though.   I was  tempted to give a try to the following components below before stick to full REGA setup.

 

Another  options I wanted to try:

-  NAIM UnitiLite (lots of features for the money and the amplification should be nice too)

-  NAIM V1 DAC + REGA BRIO R .   -   I know the fair comparison would have been using a NAIM 5si here, but that was not available to try and the UnitLite amplification is derived from that - I was told.  I wanted to hear V1 DAC s I am a little bit worried about the USB limitations on REGA DAC. 

 

The source was Gryphon Mikado Signature CD player this would be totaly out of budget.

The built in CD player on UnitiLite.

Speakers were Audio Physics Sitara 25 (totally out of budget), but RS5 was not available in the shop this time (on its way).

 

trial 1

Audio Physics Sitara 25, Rega Brio R, NAIM V1 DAC, Gryphon Mikado Signature C. -  very nice, delicate and sublte presentation, excellent on piano play, nice on higher notes, large scale, lost on lower notes of strings like chello play, drums are a little bit distorted playing jazz,  the sound was unnatural.

tiral 2

Audio Physics Sitara 25, UnitiLite. - Very good on orchestral music. Similar issues to trial 1. Good on piano play. Deals better with lower notes and chello music. Drums are still a bit distorted.  Considering the price it is very impressive as it is not far off from a lot more expensive setup above.

 trial 3

Audio Physics Sitara 25, Rega Brio R, REGA DAC, Gryphon Mikado Signature C  - Very good on jazz. Very real on strings. Drums are thight and real.  The piano play is a bit unpolite (somehow too forward to me).  On piano play I preferred the first 2 options. The top end is not as good as trial 1 and 2, but middle & low frequencies are  better. I think vocal is better here. Overall I preferred this setup for the type of music I am listening to most.

 

I will try V1 DAC with RS5, but I am likely to stick to full REGA setup.

 

 

 

 

Pages

Log in or register to post comments