For last few years, I tried and heard most of the major brands to find an ultimate amplifier unit for my music system. I stopped my exploration when I heard Nait 5i. Now after 2 years of use, this little amp still surprise me when I listen to my favorite music. Even I audition systems once in a while nowadays to suggest something for my friends, I just see only shortcomings of those systems when compared to this little wonder. This is true even for some systems cost 3 or 4 times more than Nait 5i. This little Nait 5i is an absolute marvel and it brings sheer pleasure of music listening every time I hear it without a slightest hint of disappointment. There is no other unit to look for if someone wants to buy an amp in this price range.
I have B&W 684s and a Rega Apollo, and previously a Marantz PM7200 amp. I decided the weak link was the amp (no brainer) and decided to upgrade.
I home auditioned the Rotel RA-1520, Roksan Kandy K2 integrated, and the Naim Nait 5i. First of all, the improvement that all three amps made over the existing PM7200 was immense (substantially more detail, bass a lot more controlled and tighter, etc)
At the end of the week, the 5i impressed me the most due to it's punchy, musical drive, rather than slightly too bright highs (Rotel) or clinical/'polite' (Roksan).
I believe for the money (about the same for all 3 amps I tested), you're getting more than the others due to it's lack of features, i.e. the money goes on higher quality components rather than a phono stage, tone controls, headphone output, etc.
I purchased my Nait 5i about 6 months ago and upgraded from Roksan Caspian. The difference here at the factory is huge. I also use, for design purposes, a 6 way active crossover and a 6 channel Rotel power amp but the final listen is always on the Nait 5i.
The 'sound' that this amp makes is immense, it copes with an amazing array of speaker loads and does absolutely nothing wrong at all. This is why EB Acoustics, Arcaydis and Accolade Audio all endorse Naim amps but particularly this little powerhouse. For the money, you can't beat it.
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