When you dig deeper into the details, it’s almost impossible to not be excited about Naim’s first turntable. The venerable British manufacturer has been involved in the turntable category for a few decades with both phono stages and the quirky Aro tonearm, but the Solstice is its first turntable and the competition in the $15,000 — $40,000 range needs to be quite concerned. The Naim Solstice Turntable Special Edition Package is the complete megillah with everything you need and more for state-of-the-art vinyl playback.
We suspected something was up during our recent Focal Powered by Naim Houston visit because there was a “space” set aside for a turntable in the really large demo room — and there were a few very high-end tables from other brands down the hallway at Houston Audio not being used.
Collaboration isn’t unique in the high-end turntable category; VPI have manufactured turntables for Mark Levinson, and Clearaudio have created tables for McIntosh. The Naim Solstice is a collaboration between itself and Clearaudio with components being manufactured by both companies in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Peter and Robert Suchy have run Clearaudio with a firm hand for decades and have earned their reputation for engineering and manufacturing excellence that is second to none. Their factory in Germany is the envy of the high-end world.
Naim brings 50 years of engineering prowess and sonic performance to the table and a very strong commitment to reliability and usability that will make the Solstice table easier to setup and maintain; something that is critical when dealing with very high-end turntables.
What makes the Naim Solstice Turntable Special Edition package so interesting is not only the world-class engineering that both companies bring to the table, but the promised performance for $20,000 USD.
I can hear the thuds of those falling off their chairs in regard to the pricing but when you consider the totality of what Naim is delivering at this price level; and in comparison to what you get from VPI, Linn, SME, and Clearaudio for the same amount of money — the Naim Solstice Turntable Special Edition package might be a bargain for those who can afford that level of vinyl playback.
That might sound like a bizarre of way of rationalizing spending $20,000 on a turntable “system” but if it delivers on both the technical and sound quality levels — Naim is going to sell out this limited 500 unit run faster than you might think.
So what comes in the many boxes?
Vinyl-lovers can now finally enjoy the full Naim Audio experience with the launch of Solstice, the first turntable in the British brand’s almost 50-year history. It comes partnered with a next-generation version of the iconic Naim Aro tonearm, an Equinox MC cartridge, Solstice Series Phono Stage, Power Supply and bespoke accessories set.
Naim will create just 500 units of this Solstice Special Edition package.
“Solstice Special Edition offers an exceptional all-round experience,” said Paul Neville, Naim Audio Research & Development Director. “If you love the organic, authenticity of vinyl, now you can enjoy it with the musical purity and passion only a Naim system can deliver.”
The Naim Solstice Special Edition package in full:
Naim Solstice Turntable NVS TT – combining core Naim design philosophies, such as multiple levels of mechanical decoupling, with a celebration of beautiful materials. Features a magnetic bearing supporting a high-mass, highly polished aluminum platter, with a unique, self-calibrating motor drive system, meticulously delivering the Naim sound.
Naim Aro Tonearm – retaining the original’s design principles and excellence but boosting performance further still by using improved materials – including tungsten and carbon-fiber – and adding an all-new, no-compromise bias, arm height and azimuth adjustments.
Naim Equinox MC Cartridge – featuring a microline stylus shape – closer to the original cutting lathe head to enable the retrieval of accurate high-frequency information – and a boron cantilever, a stiff-but-light design that faithfully transfers the stylus movements to the moving coils.
Naim Solstice Series Phono Stage NVC TT – the first Naim phono stage to use DR technology, first used on the flagship Statement amplifier. Sophisticated, ultra-low-noise Class A design with dedicated MC and MM head-amplifiers.
Naim Solstice Series Power Supply NPX TT – powers both the turntable and the phono stage. For the ultimate performance, these two different power supplies are completely isolated, with no risk of interference. Also uses Naim DR technology.
Solstice Accessories Set – including Digital Stylus Gauge; Bubble Level; Hex Drivers (x3); Vinyl Adjustment Tool; Dust Protector and Cleaning Cloth
Naim Records True Stereo album – a curated collection of superb-quality True Stereo recordings, newly remastered for vinyl by original engineer, Ken Christiansen.
Solstice Special Edition Book – including insight into heritage, technology and design
Design & Manufacturing
The Solstice Special Edition combines contemporary, living-friendly design with a classic Naim look. It offers incredible sound quality without the complications associated with performance turntables. Simple to set up and use, it’s all about hearing your vinyl collection as you never have before.
There are exquisite design touches throughout, such as the turntable plinth painstakingly crafted from 47 separate layers of wood, and the cartridge sitting in a solid aluminum housing machined from a single billet.
The Solstice Series NVC TT phono stage and NPX TT power supply are hand-crafted in Salisbury, while the NVS TT turntable, Aro arm and Equinox cartridge are exactingly manufactured to Naim’s unique design by Clearaudio.
Like Naim, Clearaudio has 40+ years of premium audio expertise, including numerous patents for its acclaimed turntable designs. Naim has worked closely on the Solstice Special Edition project with the German specialist for more than two years, continually listening and refining to deliver the unmistakable sound of Naim from a turntable, for the very first time. All elements have then been precision-engineered by Clearaudio for consistently excellent performance.
Price & Availability
Available from late July, the Naim Audio Solstice Special Edition is available to pre-order now from select retailers worldwide, with a suggested selling price of £16,000 / €17,000 / $20,000 USD / $26,000 CAD.
For more information please visit: https://www.naimaudio.com/solstice.