1,973 Naits – and new Classics
This year was always going to be a big one for Naim, and I certainly haven’t been disappointed by the British brand’s celebratory efforts so far. To mark the middle-aged milestone, Naim kicked off 2023 by unveiling a new Classic 200 Series accommodating both streamers and record spinners alike at January's Consumer Electronics Show, and now it has revealed even more stablemates for its Classic catalogue with the all-new 300 Series. The range comprises the NSS 333 music streamer, NAC 332 preamplifier, NAP 350 monoblock power amplifier, NVC TT phono stage and the NPX TT power supply, and sits directly above the 200 Series. So let’s have a look at those new additions to the Naim family in more detail...
First up is the NSS 333, which features pretty much everything you might expect from a modern-day network player, including access to services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Qobuz, and support for AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Bluetooth and DLNA with broad file support. As you might expect, Naim suggests the 333 is “the perfect partner” for the NAC 332 preamplifier and NAP 250/350 power amps.
The former is an analogue preamp that Naim says has the “closest preamplifier design to the Naim Statement S1”. It even borrows the architecture of the Statement volume knob. The NAC 332 is apparently the company's most adaptable pre-amp ever, too. It caters for analogue source via multiple DIN, XLR and RCA inputs, as well as headphones via a pure Class A headphone amplifier stage. Naturally, it would more than welcome a partnership with the line's NVC TT phono stage for vinyl playback. Naim says that optimised circuit topology gives enhanced performance from all sources. Along its upgrade path is the NPX 300 power supply, too, which was announced last year alongside the 200 Series.
The NAP 350 power amp, meanwhile, offers a “state-of-the-art" 175-watt monoblock design that Naim heralds as being suitable as a mono or a multiple amp solution. An internal cooling system allows you to choose where you place the NAP 350, and a high current delivery, peaking at 1.7kW into low impedances, drives the speakers.
What if you want to integrate vinyl into your ever-growing Naim nest of devices? Fear not, as Naim’s latest combo — the NVC TT MM/MC phono stage and NPX TT power supply — is at your service. Both are derived from Naim’s first turntable package, the Solstice Special Edition.
The NVC TT is fully compatible with movingmagnet and moving-coil cartridges, offering fully customisable MC cartridge functionality with 16 selectable resistive values and 16 selectable capacitive values to accommodate varying cartridge specifications.
Put them all together and the Classic 300 Series offers the best that Naim has to offer when it comes to hi-fi separates setups.
Even more exciting — in my book, anyway — was Naim’s other Munich launch: the Nait
50, an update on and love letter to the firm’s iconic Nait 1 model, which was first released all the way back in 1983. As those who are familiar with the Nait 1 will be able to tell from looking at the accompanying image below-left, the amp succeeds in looking as much like the Nait 1 as possible. It too has a half-width design with an aluminium chassis and chrome bumper style, making it atypically small in the current market with dimensions of 8.7 x 20.7 x 32.1cm.
It also has a pretty purist specification that gives it a distinct retro charm and a refreshing simplicity. For one, it’s analogue-only; there is no DAC to be seen. Naim directly instructs buyers to pair it with an outboard digital-to-analogue converter or network streamer if they want more modern functionality.
The Nait 50 is based around a full linear integrated amplifier design with a Class A/B power stage. It offers a modest 25 watts per channel into eight ohms, or 40 watts into four ohms, or 60 watts into two ohms.
Unlike its inspiration, the Nait 50 features a 6.3mm headphone output, which uses a new preamp. And there is also a new MM phono stage that joins two DIN (‘Stream’ and ‘Aux’) inputs around the back.
On paper, the new Nait 50 looks to be a compelling choice for anyone looking for a purist integrated amp to join their rack that won’t take up too much space. If that sounds like you, know that the Nait 50 is set to go on sale sometime this winter.
The one rub is that the device is a limited-edition model, with Naim only set to sell 1,973 of them. (That quota reflects Naim's founding year, if that went over your head as it did mine.) While Australian pricing for both the Classic 300 Series and Nait 50 is yet to be confirmed, suggested retail prices should, to give you some idea, be in the region of between $5,500 and $26,000 for each of the various 300 Series components, and between $5,500 and $6,000 for the Nait integrated (based on announced UK and US RRPs).