Thursday 27th August will be a Linn Open day at Lyric Hifi.
Alan Williams from Linn will be around during the day to answer your Linn questions whether it's about LP12s, amplifiers, streaming, or upgrading your Linn speakers. Also you can bring in your LP12 for Alan to check and advise as to your best improvement. We will then do the upgrades you decide on and you can collect your LP12 singing like a bird a few days later
Then in the evening there will be a presentation and demonstration of Linn Exakt technology. This is truly ground breaking and parts of it are designed to improve even non-Linn speakers.
You don't need to book for during the day but if you wish to attend the evening session simply drop me a line with how many there will be.
A great night in prospect, not to be missed for Linn fans and enquirers alike
Remember the Naim Nap250?
Back in the early 80s when we were playing Tom Waits, Sheffield Steel and Joan Armatrading this was the best amplifier money could buy. It wasnt too powerful, it had strange connections, it wasn't a looker but it was the daddy of all power amps! I have always loved the Naim 250 for the classic it is. It hasn't gone away you know, just been there, now sitting in the middle of the Naim range overshadowed by newer pretenders.
Naim will tell you the 250 has evolved over the years and it has improved, yet it hasnt really changed. Until now.
New Discrete Regulator circuit and new output transistors from the £100k Naim Statement form the biggest change Ive ever heard in the venerable 250.
So it's been lovely to get reacquainted and to try it in a new system. Also new from Naim recently is the NAC N 272, part of the search for higher performance by putting the streamer physically in the same box as the preamplifier. Is this a value or performance move from Naim and Linn? Doesnt really matter, if you already have a top end preamplifier you will probably add a streamer whereas if you need a streamer and better preamp you will probably save a bundle by buying them in one box.
The 272 can be used with the 250 as a complete system, and you can then slam the performance up now or later by adding the Naim XPS power supply. So how does this all sound?
Unpacking it all from new is fun for me. No hurry, check each piece, get it right. Naim gear is so solid, lovely to work with. What speakers to use? Lets set up the latest Kef Reference 3s, should be a great system
Put it all together, connect to out network and choose some music, let's go back the 80s and give the oldies a whirl. It sounds pretty good but to get the ultimate from Naim gear it needs to run in for a while so let's leave it on and listen tomorrow.
To be continued......................
Coming back today Ross had connected up a pr of Kef LS50s for a dem so let's give the Naim a whirl with them. The LS50s are an incredible little speaker and straightaway this combination has really gelled.
The effortless power of the NAP250 really get's the speakers moving. On Joan Armatrading's Show some emotion the bass lines are really tight and articulate. On James Taylor's Looking for love on Broadway the vocals are superb. But lets challenge this some more, let's put the Reference 3s on. The new Reference 3s use the Blade technology for the treble and mid, and it's exceptional. James Taylor really comes life. His voice is now so expressive. Let's test it more by changing to a Studio Master of Jimmy Rogers Blue Bird at 24 bit 96kHz. Jimmy gives a brilliant performance. The Blue and lonesome track is awesome, and yet... there is more to come.
On these speakers there is now a ragged edge that shouldn't be there. But I know that's not the speakers.
Today up until now I've just been using the NAC-N 272 directly into the NAP250, a £ 6695 combination. Naim gear at this level is vastly improved with a power supply so now it's time to connect the XPS, the £ 3600 source power supply in the Classic Naim case.
If you are new to Naim Audio you are bound to be thinking " What do I get for £ 3600??" The full technical explanation could be the subject of another blog, or call in to talk through the Naim amplifier philosophy, for now let's just accept that I plugged in another box and it sounds much much better.
And how! Jimmy Rogers gets sadder, the harmonica playing gets tighter and more exciting, and the whole system starts to really rock. Now you just want to play more.
Go back to JT and the whole band is tighter, better, and the harmonies are gorgeous. Let's try modern and the classic track Nadia from Nitin Sawhney gives real bass weight and power unlimited. The Deep Dark Woods acoustic guitars sound stunning on the title track of The Place I left Behind. The XX VCR just makes me smile, Fratellis' Chelsea Dagger and Henrietta have raw driving power and Bill Evans Peace Piece shows subtlety of touch and timing on a beautiful sounding piano. Chris Smither Kills the Blues, Delbert McClinton Has a Little Faith in me, Luka Bloom says I Need Love, and I believe him!
Can you tell I'm enjoying this?
Must do some work, to be continued...
This combination is very very good, the $64 million question is how does it stack up against the competition?
The obvious competition to a £10300 Naim set-up is the Linn Akurate DSM with an Akurate 2200 power amplifier at a mere £ 9050, so let's play it.
The Linn is immediately a sweeter sound with a more natural balance and really musical.
It doesnt generate the sheer slam of the Naim 250 but neither has it that slightly forward Naim balance which is so good on acoustic music with clean vocals but can also be tiring
Really happy to set it all up and let you choose, or tell you what I would choose face to face!!