Having been using the Naim S1 preamplifier here for almost a year, a period that saw in the arrival of the new DR power amplifiers, it seemed like a good idea to finally finish the job and become full-on Naim Statement dealers.
We’re excited, therefore, to welcome the S1 power amps which we’ve managed to nestle into the corner of the larger listening room. See above.
Some things we’ve learned already:
1) 141 Kg (packed weight of a single mono power amp) takes some lugging. Thank goodness for the wheels. Home dems could be problematical.
2) Lining up three spiked, heavy and valuable black slabs in a row on a carpeted floor is actually quite difficult.
3) Even freshly unpacked and temporarily used with standard Super Lumina DIN-XLR interconnects these sound substantially more accomplished at every conceivable level than the 500 DR. Because of Naim’s asymmetrical use of the XLR plug for their NAPS 300 and 500, this configuration actually makes the speakers out of phase until you reverse one of the connections.
4) Arrival, a day later, of the proper balanced SL leads means that we now have a proper upgrade all over again. And so soon! 🙂
You may gather that this is an early days report but we really are more chuffed with these than we could possibly convey or even imagine. The Kudos Titan T808 loudspeakers that, at £21500 suddenly look just a little low rent in this company are sounding absolutely stunning. I guess the same ‘low rent’ accusation could be hurled at the twin 555 power supplied NDS streamer but the results are genuinely breathtaking.
Bearing in mind the vast power on tap, there has been some trepidation but, gradually, we are releasing the taps! The joy, ironically, is how wonderful the system sounds at very low levels anyway. Harmonics, complexities, extremes of bass and treble are all handled with ease and staggering musicality. Familiar recordings turn out to have far more dynamic contrast than had been evident before.
Our experience here is pretty unusual. Most buyers and dealers will meet the Statement as a whole. Here, we are simply swapping one power amplifier for the mono blocs. The source, the preamp, cabling and loudspeakers have remained static. If anyone has hoped that the Statement-derived transistors in the NAP500DR give it a similar level of performance (but with a bit less welly), then I’m sorry to disappoint.
This is at ‘game changer’ level. It’s a lot like going active but, we suspect, with even greater qualitative gains. Of course, active with this could be something else!
If you would like to have a listen, feel free to give us a call.