Naim Niat 5i and Roksan Kandy K2 for home demo
I am currently in the fortunate position of having the Niat 5i and the Kandy K2 amps sitting side by side on my HiFi stand for an extended home demo. They are both brand new and are being run in but so far there seems to be so little to choose between them in sound quality and delivery I really don't think I could pick them out in a blind test. This may be partly to do with my ears and partly due to them not completing their burn-in period, but there seems to be very little in it in terms of sound quality. Perhaps if I could switch instantly between them the differences would be more pronounced but after a couple of minutes delay to change the cabling I really struggle to spot any differences. That is, except of one big difference...
The Nait 5i has a constant, fairly low level but still noticeable, hum. It is clearly audible between tracks and during particularly quiet sections of tracks and has the effect (for me at least) of reminding me I'm listening to a recording. I've spoken to the supplier of the two amps and he has informed me that this is fairly common with Naim equipment and there is little that can be done. I am already using a mains block and lead from Clearer Audio and don't feel I should have to spend more money to fix a problem that shouldn't be there in the first place. The K2, by comparison, has an utterly silent background even at high volumes, which makes the instruments sound as though they are in the room with you.
It would be interesting to hear if anyone else has had similar experiences.