Man, 1800 for the 840E and 840W? That's crazy. They usually list for over 2k each here in Canada. I'm a huge CA fan (as you probably know). The 840A, while not having the snob factor of a lot amps I've had, is by far the most fun and easiest to listen to.
Ya good deal. That is what I am all about lately, musical/fun to listen to instead of listening for which amp pulls the most details, does this right, does that right. I am over that. I am still really enjoying the 5i, but am going to try the cambridge 840 as it has some features I would like to have, and if it sounds as musical as the little Naim, then its a win win for me.
I'm about the same thing lately Nick. I've found you don't have to spends tons of money to find something you really like. I've spent tons of money to find I don't have to spend tons of money. If that makes sense.
That's a pretty sweet deal, Dave. I guess the CA sound is for you. It's supposed to be a good match with MA too I think. Do you know if they are coming out with an 850?
I tried a couple of integrateds over the last couple of months. One that Art had (the Unico P) and the Anthem 225. I'd like to try the 5i too, maybe next year in a full fledged Naim system (well, source, amp, and cables at least). It's all about synergy though. Although the differences were rather subtle, in my system I preferred what I already had.
David - Yup, will get the pictures taken tomorrow night, throw it up on CAM. Gonna A/B to the CA hard though first. Give the CA a few days to break in. Even if I like the Naim better sound wise, I will probably still sell it as well as the CA and try something until I get the features I want, and the sound. lol I am really hoping the CA knocks my damn socks off. I am sure it will definitely surprise me.
Dan- Heck no! lol. My amp rack is at the back of my room about 26 feet away from my speakers. The cables are run up the inner wall, through the drop ceiling and out down a side wall and to the speaker so no wires can be seen. If I were to buy NAIM speaker cable at that length it would cost me a second mortgage. lol. I really do not buy into the Naim cable thing, I really think its a Marketing ploy and is total BS personally. I have had the NAIM Nait AND XS in my house this year, and I can tell you the NAIM sound is very very good IMO. My real problem with NAIM, is lack of connectivity, which before would not matter, but does to me now, and the connection types. No Speaker terminals, just holes for banana plugs (why, what is better than straight wire to the connection? nothing!) and DIN connectivity instead of Balanced. Hey Naim 1950 called they want their DIN connection back. Sort of annoying. Sound is great though, which matters most, and is why I still love the Nait 5i.
Yeah, the Exposure only has holes for banana plugs too. But it's alright, I have kind of grown to prefer banana terminations. The sound I get from the 2010s2 sounds a lot like how people describe the Naim sound. Plenty of Naim fans enjoy Exposure amps, so I think I've got a nice picture of what a Naim set up sounds like. But I'd like to try one to be sure, as it's probably somewhat different. And now especially given I've got the CD player. Not in the market right this second though, otherwise I might be interested in your 5i.
As for cables, I can see why you didn't opt for the Naim cable. It's relatively inexpensive, but 26' would hurt! My amp benefited greatly from moving to LFD cable, recommended by a dealer who deals only with British gear and used to sell Exposure. So I am kind of a believer in amp/cable matching - that's not to say that only one cable will work, but rather any cable that works with that particular amp design should do the trick. And given that your 5i sounds great and you are content with the sound, it's likely that your cables are fine.
That was my thought too Dan. I wouldn't doubt Naim cable would perhaps improve the sound a bit, my problem is biting on what these companies are charging for some 5 dollar cable terminated with a 2 dollar banana plug on the end. There high end cable, now we can sell it for 300 dollars for 6 feet. lol. Painful. Cut open a Naim cable, its just basic run of the mill cable, with a banana plug soldered and heat shrink on. lol Kills me.
Ya I have heard from multiple people that NAIM and Exposure share a lot of similarities. Especially with the 2010. I read both reviews at Stereophile on the both the 2010 and 3010 and it would appear both sound very different from each other. Stereophile claimed they liked the 2010 better, but again, just one mans opinion. A local dealer in Kingston was telling Dave that he can't think of an amp under 3K that would top his 3010. Dave prefers the 840a however. Preferences I suppose.
Considering how polarizing 'd' amps are, maybe i shouldn't.... but the W4S kilowatt integrated at $2.20 a watt is pretty darn inexpensive. This amp gets some play with the Panel speaker folks, Abundent / cheap watts trumping costlier but better watts? For over $27.00 per watt, give me that Pass INT-150. for over 8 large, perhaps a bargain, after all.
The Cambridge Art? I am selling the Naim to pay for it. Also get to sell the Paradigm Monitor 7's as the Cambridge allows for one of its inputs to be used with your AVR while still acting as a integrated with the other inputs. It also allows you to set the Gain for the input to match up with the volume levels of the AVR/Speakers. I am also planning on selling the paradigm sub and buying a Totem Storm to do double duty for music and movies. All in all, one of my plans was to benefit from the feature set of the CA to actually come out ahead financially as long as it sounded good. Which it does.
The Miniwatt is a great entry-level piece of kit, fabulous for somebody who wants much more than a taste of tube goodness at a rock bottom price point. The only gotcha that I can think of is that it is practically impossible to roll tubes on the less expensive version. I have noticed a very slight hardness on the uppermost treble. To my ears this is not distracting from the overall enjoyment of this piece as the amp itself is very balanced.
The pioneer by direct comparison has a more relaxed and mellow sound. Some may feel that it is cloudy and glosses over detail. While I feel that the Elite is a good piece of kit, it does not like speakers that have a requirement for current. Hook these up to a set of klipsch and you will be golden. If it sounds tubby or too fat, more than likely the speakers are demanding too much of it.
I had to remember that I was using this piece in a system where the CD player cost me 5 times what the amp did, and it lived happily there for a year (a-35r).