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CnoEvil's picture
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It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....
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A blast from the past which triggered a bit of nostalgia: http://thetomtomclub.ning.com/forum/topics/naim-42-110-review-from-popular-hifi

My system from that time consisted of: Linn LP12 / Ittok / Asak + 42 / 110 / Snaps + MA R852 MD (Naim NAC A4 + Heybrook Stands)

The MA beat the Epos ES14 and some more expensive Kefs (possibly R103/3) for a place in my system.

Nb. It's easy to see from the review why so many of us from that time were pushed down the Linn / Naim route....it did sound very good though!

 

(Apologies to Chebby for nicking his heading format.) 

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

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

My first taste of Linn / Naim was in the early 1980s. The husband of a friend of ours had bi-amped Saras with Naim power amps and pre-amp and his LP12 (same or similar spec to yours).

He was on permanent sick leave from his job and spent all day listening to what seemed like a 3 LP collection! (He only ever played the same three Dire Straits and Phil Collins and Men At Work records to show off his system.)

It was all crammed into a small living room and he liked to play it loud enough to cause headaches in us and distress in his wife. Being a bit mad and very Glaswegian he would frequently shout over the 'music' to elicit our approval.

The bass seemed to come from inside your head and explode out through the ears. "Aye iss crackin' issnae?" was spot-on. It felt like something in your skull or eardrums had to crack to relieve the pressure!

My wife and I would find as many excuses as possible to leave the room and talk with our friend who was usually on the verge of tears and trying to cope with his other 'hobby' (an equally mad, continuously barking, pedigree Alsatian that was kept chained up in their garden so it wouldn't destroy the hi-fi or guests or her).

He then upgraded to Isobariks and three amps!!

One day he was gone. Our friend had found she was pregnant and he'd scarpered back to Glasgow to live at his mother's place. The Alsatian was put out of it's misery (sad but necessary), and the system was found to have all been only part paid for (a deposit at most) or 'on loan' from about three different local dealers. They were very good about it and just took the kit away without any other penalties.

The house was sold (he'd borrowed loans using it as security without telling his wife).

So, regrettably maybe, future experiences of Linn and Naim - for many years - carried all that associated 'baggage' (screaming Glaswegians in grubby dressing gowns, headaches and mad Alsation dogs). It also gave me an aversion to Phil Collins / Dire Straits / Men At Work.

That lasted until 2009 when I had my Nait 5i / CD5i / NAT05 system for a couple of years. (I'd got over it a bit by then.)

It's also affected me another way. I have only ever bought hi-fi from overtime money, or bonuses, or non household savings and never from credit or loans. I have also tended to put hi-fi at the back of any 'needs / wants' lists for long periods. (I had one system for 11 years.) That has probably restricted my systems to 'mid-fi' (at best)  for the last 30 years, even when funds were there for more exotic fare. (I think it would still leave a nasty taste even if I were very rich.

None of this is the fault of Linn or Naim of course. In a bigger room, with good music and a sane and considerate host, who played music at moderate volumes, I might have been converted. (Although I don't think i'd have ever liked Dire Straits or Phil Collins no matter what.)

 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

chebby wrote:

My first taste of Linn / Naim was in the early 1980s. The husband of a friend of ours had bi-amped Saras with Naim power amps and pre-amp and his LP12 (same or similar spec to yours).

He was on permanent sick leave from his job and spent all day listening to what seemed like a 3 LP collection! (He only ever played the same three Dire Straits and Phil Collins and Men At Work records to show off his system.)

It was all crammed into a small living room and he liked to play it loud enough to cause headaches in us and distress in his wife. Being a bit mad and very Glaswegian he would frequently shout over the 'music' to elicit our approval.

The bass seemed to come from inside your head and explode out through the ears. "Aye iss crackin' issnae?" was spot-on. It felt like something in your skull or eardrums had to crack to relieve the pressure!

My wife and I would find as many excuses as possible to leave the room and talk with our friend who was usually on the verge of tears and trying to cope with his other 'hobby' (an equally mad, continuously barking, pedigree Alsatian that was kept chained up in their garden so it wouldn't destroy the hi-fi or guests or her).

He then upgraded to Isobariks and three amps!!

One day he was gone. Our friend had found she was pregnant and he'd scarpered back to Glasgow to live at his mother's place. The Alsatian was put out of it's misery (sad but necessary), and the system was found to have all been only part paid for (a deposit at most) or 'on loan' from about three different local dealers. They were very good about it and just took the kit away without any other penalties.

The house was sold (he'd borrowed loans using it as security without telling his wife).

So, regrettably maybe, future experiences of Linn and Naim - for many years - carried all that associated 'baggage' (screaming Glaswegians in grubby dressing gowns, headaches and mad Alsation dogs). It also gave me an aversion to Phil Collins / Dire Straits / Men At Work.

That lasted until 2009 when I had my Nait 5i / CD5i / NAT05 system for a couple of years. (I'd got over it a bit by then.)

It's also affected me another way. I have only ever bought hi-fi from overtime money, or bonuses, or non household savings and never from credit or loans. I have also tended to put hi-fi at the back of any 'needs / wants' lists for long periods. (I had one system for 11 years.) That has probably restricted my systems to 'mid-fi' (at best)  for the last 30 years, even when funds were there for more exotic fare. (I think it would still leave a nasty taste even if I were very rich.

None of this is the fault of Linn or Naim of course. In a bigger room, with good music and a sane and considerate host, who played music at moderate volumes, I might have been converted. (Although I don't think i'd have ever liked Dire Straits or Phil Collins no matter what.)

That was a good antidote to my somewhat rose-tinted nostalgia.

There is no doubt that having a very OTT excessive experience can  leave a very ingrained negative impression.

- When I was 17, I drank a full bottle of Bakardi.....I now can't touch the stuff.  :doh:

- When I was 19, I had 5 pints of the Blackstuff and went straight to the fairground and onto the Waltzer :wall: .....Now I turn green at the hint of any rotation (which embarrassingly includes the Teacups at Disneyland).

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

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

CnoEvil wrote:

A blast from the past which triggered a bit of nostalgia: http://thetomtomclub.ning.com/forum/topics/naim-42-110-review-from-popular-hifi

My system from that time consisted of: Linn LP12 / Ittok / Asak + 42 / 110 / Snaps + MA R852 MD (Naim NAC A4 + Heybrook Stands)

The MA beat the Epos ES14 and some more expensive Kefs (possibly R103/3) for a place in my system.

Nb. It's easy to see from the review why so many of us from that time were pushed down the Linn / Naim route....it did sound very good though!

(Apologies to Chebby for nicking his heading format.) 

That's actually a rather nice system, a nicer cartridge and a 32 (or even a 12s) instead of the 42 and you had something quite special. Systems of this type and period had a kind of coherence that later Linn/Naim systems lost. In the years that followed both companies produced better components, but rarely matched the systems from that period.

The R852MD was to my ears the best MA ever, it caused a big fallout between Robin Marshall and MA's owner Mo Iqbal which resulted in Robin leaving to form Epos. I was living in Sydney at the time and working for Mathew Bond (later to found Tara Labs) and the R852 simply blew away anything that we had at close to the price. It was better than much of the higher priced competition too.

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

davedotco wrote:

That's actually a rather nice system, a nicer cartridge and a 32 (or even a 12s) instead of the 42 and you had something quite special. Systems of this type and period had a kind of coherence that later Linn/Naim systems lost. In the years that followed both companies produced better components, but rarely matched the systems from that period.

The R852MD was to my ears the best MA ever, it caused a big fallout between Robin Marshall and MA's owner Mo Iqbal which resulted in Robin leaving to form Epos. I was living in Sydney at the time and working for Mathew Bond (later to found Tara Labs) and the R852 simply blew away anything that we had at close to the price. It was better than much of the higher priced competition too.

This uncannily matches my experience.

I have always felt that the Linn / Naim of those days certainly had a synergy and coherence that no longer exists.

I replaced that system with a Linn Kairn / LK100 and Karik / Numerik. When I tried the LP12 with the Linn amps, it had lost all its drive and excitement and sounded bland and boring. Likewise, the Linn CDP sounded coarse and unmusical through the Naim. Since then, I have not got on with any of the Naim amps that I've heard.....though that was with a mixture of their own Ovator and Focal speakers.

I see the 42/110 is making great money second hand atm.

I have always suspected that Linn, being the bigger company, got tired waiting for Naim to produce enough amps to match the quantity of TTs  it was selling, and so produced their own....which wouldn't have helped relations. This is pure speculation on my part.

Also, like you, I have found that the R852s is the only MA speaker I have liked the sound of.....they replaced some Celestion SL6s. The MAs seemed to have many of the good attributes of the Celestions, but were a lot livelier, and so were much more of an allrounder. I still have both speakers as I couldn't bring myself to sell them for buttons.

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

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

Occasionally I post about how good systems of this type and vintage were, the mid to late '80s was a fantastic period for the music lover, super systems and dealers prepared to instal and 'go the extra yard' in all sorts of different ways.

You really did not need to be all that knowledgeable as a buyer, good dealers were plentiful and it wasn't until the manufacturers BS started to dominate the scene in the late '80s that this all started to fall apart.

For a period customers would go to dealers because they were recommended or taken by a mate. Equipment, systems mainly, were sold by demonstration as the sort of system we are discussing was, despite the revisionism of recent years, head and shoulders better than any of the mass market product purveyed in TCR and elsewhere.

Many of these systems were sold to non hi-fi enthusiasts who kept them for mamy years, just the occasional new cartridge and turntable setup, and that was it. No urge to upgrade and rarely any reliability issues, the dealer might not have got much upgrade business from such people, but they did get a fair amount from their friends who were reccomended to us.

One chap bought us so much business over the years that we presented him with a Naim tuner with our thanks.

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

davedotco wrote:

Occasionally I post about how good systems of this type and vintage were, the mid to late '80s was a fantastic period for the music lover, super systems and dealers prepared to instal and 'go the extra yard' in all sorts of different ways.

You really did not need to be all that knowledgeable as a buyer, good dealers were plentiful and it wasn't until the manufacturers BS started to dominate the scene in the late '80s that this all started to fall apart.

For a period customers would go to dealers because they were recommended or taken by a mate. Equipment, systems mainly, were sold by demonstration as the sort of system we are discussing was, despite the revisionism of recent years, head and shoulders better than any of the mass market product purveyed in TCR and elsewhere.

Many of these systems were sold to non hi-fi enthusiasts who kept them for mamy years, just the occasional new cartridge and turntable setup, and that was it. No urge to upgrade and rarely any reliability issues, the dealer might not have got much upgrade business from such people, but they did get a fair amount from their friends who were reccomended to us.

One chap bought us so much business over the years that we presented him with a Naim tuner with our thanks.

My systems in those days were installed for the princely sum of a cup of tea and a pot of home made jam!

...and just like you've said, I brought them the business of a couple of mates, my parents and my brother-in-law.

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

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

If had been me in those days, just a mug of tea would suffice. Smile

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

plastic penguin wrote:

If had been me in those days, just a mug of tea would suffice. Smile

Penguins don't make jam......so fair enough!

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

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

I was still in the music business in the early mid '80s but had an 'interest' in a dealer that I was later to own.

It was a remarkable time, when not otherwise engaged I would 'hang out' at the shop, occasionally do a few dems, socialise with people in the industry and customers alike. It was also the time we started doing live gigs in our big room, I was easy for me to supply some gear, some stage monitors and a pair of our 'sidefill' monitors providing primarily vocal reinforcement.

For a time at least, hi-fi retailing was rather special, immensly sociable and, generally pretty inclusive, the divisions and the 'cliques' came later.

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RE: It's wired, it's old, it's Naim and I used to own it.....

chebby wrote:

My first taste of Linn / Naim was in the early 1980s. The husband of a friend of ours had bi-amped Saras with Naim power amps and pre-amp and his LP12 (same or similar spec to yours).

He was on permanent sick leave from his job and spent all day listening to what seemed like a 3 LP collection! (He only ever played the same three Dire Straits and Phil Collins and Men At Work records to show off his system.)

It was all crammed into a small living room and he liked to play it loud enough to cause headaches in us and distress in his wife. Being a bit mad and very Glaswegian he would frequently shout over the 'music' to elicit our approval.

The bass seemed to come from inside your head and explode out through the ears. "Aye iss crackin' issnae?" was spot-on. It felt like something in your skull or eardrums had to crack to relieve the pressure!

My wife and I would find as many excuses as possible to leave the room and talk with our friend who was usually on the verge of tears and trying to cope with his other 'hobby' (an equally mad, continuously barking, pedigree Alsatian that was kept chained up in their garden so it wouldn't destroy the hi-fi or guests or her).

He then upgraded to Isobariks and three amps!!

One day he was gone. Our friend had found she was pregnant and he'd scarpered back to Glasgow to live at his mother's place. The Alsatian was put out of it's misery (sad but necessary), and the system was found to have all been only part paid for (a deposit at most) or 'on loan' from about three different local dealers. They were very good about it and just took the kit away without any other penalties.

The house was sold (he'd borrowed loans using it as security without telling his wife).

So, regrettably maybe, future experiences of Linn and Naim - for many years - carried all that associated 'baggage' (screaming Glaswegians in grubby dressing gowns, headaches and mad Alsation dogs). It also gave me an aversion to Phil Collins / Dire Straits / Men At Work.

That lasted until 2009 when I had my Nait 5i / CD5i / NAT05 system for a couple of years. (I'd got over it a bit by then.)

It's also affected me another way. I have only ever bought hi-fi from overtime money, or bonuses, or non household savings and never from credit or loans. I have also tended to put hi-fi at the back of any 'needs / wants' lists for long periods. (I had one system for 11 years.) That has probably restricted my systems to 'mid-fi' (at best)  for the last 30 years, even when funds were there for more exotic fare. (I think it would still leave a nasty taste even if I were very rich.

None of this is the fault of Linn or Naim of course. In a bigger room, with good music and a sane and considerate host, who played music at moderate volumes, I might have been converted. (Although I don't think i'd have ever liked Dire Straits or Phil Collins no matter what.)

Very magnaminous of you, Chebby, but I think anyone with a passing acquaintance with a certain forum will know exactly where the blame lies.

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