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delhk's picture
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Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers
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Hi All,

I' am running an Onkyo 818 through 7.1 using MA BX2's at the front, and whilst the sound is reasonable its not really comparable to the Naim 202/200 + Neat Motive's I owned previously, so i would like to take the preout from the Onkyo into another amp and upgrade the front speakers for two channel.

My short list are

Amp - Naim Supernait or Nad C390DD

Speakers - Kef LS50, B&W PM1 or PMC 22 

Unfortunately, here in HK i cannot find a dealer that has any combination of the above items or even the NAD on demo.

I'm inclined to go for the Supernait having owned Naim before but I have read a lot of good things about the NAD and it would seem from user opinion that the DAC in the NAD would be better which is great as I intend to stream music from a Mac or use a Bluray player for CD's

My room is around 4,500 cubic feet but the current system seems to cope as i dont listen at high levels and my taste in music goes all the way through from Rap to Rock to Classical although the system will be split 65/35% movies vs music.

I have heard all three speakers, the B&W PM1's i love the High frequency presentation and the great looking cabinet, the issue would be finding a centre speaker to match.

The Kef LS50 have good detail and a really clear mid and top end, but bass heavy tracks make the speaker sound "boxy", would it be easy to mate the LS50 to my subwoofer (Velodyne DD12+) to solve this issue and would it be a good match?

PMC 22's are in the middle, very neutral and articulate, for me not really as exciting as the other options, but i could run it without the sub and there is a centre speaker available.

Many thanks for your help,

Derek.

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RE: Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers

I would go for the Uniti 2 rather than the Supernait. You can set the unity gain, so that the volume for the front speakers with movies is controlled by the Onkyo to match the surround speakers. Also, you would have streaming built in. It is 75 watt as opposed to 80w for the Supernait, but that won't matter. Also you can play the CDs directly in the Uniti, which will blow the socks of a BluRay player via the Onkyo. 

Speakers are very much a personal choice, but I would also add Neat to your shortlist. I don't know anything about Hong Kong distribution, so this may or may not be possible. However, only you can say what's best for your ears.

 

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RE: Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers

Hi Jjbomber, Thanks for your suggestions, I do like the Naim / Neat combination they have great synergy i considered the Neat 3i but they did not have WAF, similarly the Procac D2's didnt really do anything for me. I have not tried the Unity 2 but i did demo the Superuniti vs Supernait and found the Supernait more to my liking it appeared to have a bit more control and warmth.  

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RE: Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers

The SN and the NAD are quite different. The Naim can be a little raggedy with some spoeakers, the NAD does not suffer from that problem so long as you remember to set the speaker impedance correctly (not at all difficult by the way, just it does affect the SQ). Having heard both, my choice would be the NAD and by some margin too.

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RE: Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers

Managed to get a demo of the NAD from the distributor unfortunately they only had PSB speakers, i see what you mean by different its almost like comparing tube vs ss except ss is the tube in this scenario.

NAD is different from anything i have heard before, no noise or distortion, very clean sounding...clinical i would say, but distant and not engaging in the same way. Its like if you drive an electric vs petrol car, the electric is silent and efficient which should be better but it takes getting used to as for me i miss a good exhaust note.

What it lacks for me is character, which could just be distortion, the dealer connected a NAD C375bee for comparision, very good amplifier i dont know how WHF only gave it 3/5. The C375 was not as clean or precise but it did drive the speakers better with more control and a forward presentation like i was in the music

Now i'am confused between head (C390dd) and heart (Supernait), given the new type of technology the C390 may just need the right speakers to have character like the PM1?

Will go and try the PM1 again, the B&W showroom here only carry Classe, Rotel and Marantz, but have a special on the Marantz PM15S2 with the PM1 and the 15S2 CDP, does anybody have views on this combination?

 

 

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RE: Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers

Demoed the PM1 with the Marantz PM15S2 and SA15S2, the setup sounded great! The Amp does not seem to get great reviews which makes me wonder what they could do on the back of a really good amp? The dealer recommended the centre speaker used for the CM range which makes the package more digestable as the HTM4 is over 2k GBP here, so the PMC 22 are now out of the equation.

Tried the 805D after, as happy as i was with the PM1 the 805D blew them out of the water in every area.....will start looking at used 805D as an option.

Stopped by the Sonus faber showroom as it was in the same building, the new Venere range looks great! unfortunately they sold their CDP so didnt bother to do a demo, they are also doing a great deal on the Cremonia M right now.

 

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RE: Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers

delhk wrote:
...the dealer connected a NAD C375bee for comparision, very good amplifier i dont know how WHF only gave it 3/5.

Man do I ever agree with this.  WHF does a great job with reviews, but no one is perfect and they got this one wrong.  The C375bee is excellent.

delhk wrote:
Now i'am confused between head (C390dd) and heart (Supernait), given the new type of technology the C390 may just need the right speakers to have character like the PM1?

I'm a fan of the C390 but I'd say go with your heart over your head.  Music listening is an emotional experience more than an intellectual one (at least for me). 

Music Server -> Wyred4Sound DAC2SE -> PrimaLuna Prologue -> Wyred4Sound ST1000 mkii -> PMC Fact 8

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RE: Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers

delhk wrote:

Managed to get a demo of the NAD from the distributor unfortunately they only had PSB speakers, i see what you mean by different its almost like comparing tube vs ss except ss is the tube in this scenario.

NAD is different from anything i have heard before, no noise or distortion, very clean sounding...clinical i would say, but distant and not engaging in the same way. Its like if you drive an electric vs petrol car, the electric is silent and efficient which should be better but it takes getting used to as for me i miss a good exhaust note.

What it lacks for me is character, which could just be distortion, the dealer connected a NAD C375bee for comparision, very good amplifier i dont know how WHF only gave it 3/5. The C375 was not as clean or precise but it did drive the speakers better with more control and a forward presentation like i was in the music

Now i'am confused between head (C390dd) and heart (Supernait), given the new type of technology the C390 may just need the right speakers to have character like the PM1?

Will go and try the PM1 again, the B&W showroom here only carry Classe, Rotel and Marantz, but have a special on the Marantz PM15S2 with the PM1 and the 15S2 CDP, does anybody have views on this combination?

 

 

 

Pretty much how I felt about it too.

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RE: Nad C390DD or Naim Supernait and which bookshelf speakers

jaxwired wrote:

delhk wrote:
...the dealer connected a NAD C375bee for comparision, very good amplifier i dont know how WHF only gave it 3/5.

Man do I ever agree with this.  WHF does a great job with reviews, but no one is perfect and they got this one wrong.  The C375bee is excellent.

delhk wrote:
Now i'am confused between head (C390dd) and heart (Supernait), given the new type of technology the C390 may just need the right speakers to have character like the PM1?

I'm a fan of the C390 but I'd say go with your heart over your head.  Music listening is an emotional experience more than an intellectual one (at least for me). 

very true, seem to be a few used PL100's floating around may see if i can pick up a pair.

new amp?

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