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  1. #1
    Forum Regular elapsed's Avatar
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    Building my friend's Naim/Linn System

    A friend of mine recently ran into some money and is looking to fully replace his 2-channel stereo system as an early retirement gift to himself. He has $50K to spend on speakers, separates and turntable. I've priced out the ultimate Naim/Linn system for him within this budget:

    Naim CDX2 CD Player: $5,600
    Naim XPS2 Power Supply: $5,000
    Naim NAC 282 Preamp: $6,250
    Naim HiCap2 Power Supply: $1,900
    Naim NAP 200 Poweramp: $2950
    Naim Allae Speakers: $5,000
    Naim Fraim Shelving: $2,400 (2 base) + $6,200 (8 shelves)
    Naim Hi-Line Interconnect: $1,000
    Naim NACA5 Speaker Cabling: $230
    Noisetrapper NANA Powerstrip: $350

    Linn LP12 turntable: $2,030
    Linn Ekos SE tonearm: $4950
    Naim SuperLine phono stage: $2,950
    Naim NAPSA2 power supply: $1,700
    Dynavector DV-20XL cartridge: $680

    Total: US$49,190

    So much fun to spend someone else's money!

    cheers,
    elapsed
    Fidelity Acoustics RFM-2 speakers
    Naim CD5x cd player
    Naim NAC 122x pre-amp
    Naim NAP 150x poweramp
    Naim FlatCap-2x power supply
    Naim Stageline N phono stage
    Naim NACA5 speaker cabling
    Naim Hi-Line interconnect
    Chord Crimson interconnects
    Rega Planar 3 turntable
    Goldring 1042 cartridge
    Squeezebox 3
    Oppo DV-983H dvd player
    Harmony 890 remote
    Quadraspire Q4 shelving
    Wiremold L10320 power strip

    System Picture #1 | System Picture #2 | System Design

  2. #2
    Suspended
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    That is quite the system. Hopefully with a deal like that he can broker a discount.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular elapsed's Avatar
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    In this economy, I imagine he could get the system down to $45K including taxes. Plus his existing system should sell for around $10K on the used market, so all in all this would set him back around $35K. Or better yet, keep his existing Rega P9, which would trim another $10K off the price.

    cheers,
    elapsed
    Fidelity Acoustics RFM-2 speakers
    Naim CD5x cd player
    Naim NAC 122x pre-amp
    Naim NAP 150x poweramp
    Naim FlatCap-2x power supply
    Naim Stageline N phono stage
    Naim NACA5 speaker cabling
    Naim Hi-Line interconnect
    Chord Crimson interconnects
    Rega Planar 3 turntable
    Goldring 1042 cartridge
    Squeezebox 3
    Oppo DV-983H dvd player
    Harmony 890 remote
    Quadraspire Q4 shelving
    Wiremold L10320 power strip

    System Picture #1 | System Picture #2 | System Design

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Could be good topic

    Quote Originally Posted by elapsed
    A friend of mine recently ran into some money and is looking to fully replace his 2-channel stereo system as an early retirement gift to himself. He has $50K to spend on speakers, separates and turntable. I've priced out the ultimate Naim/Linn system for him within this budget: ...
    ...
    elapsed
    Heck of a nice system, elapsed, although with $50k at my disposal I'd come up with a totally different list.

    Which makes me think it would be a good thread topic: "Your 50 Grand Dream System". (Oh, sorry to bore E-Stat, et al., who already have >$50k systems.)
    Last edited by Feanor; 04-06-2009 at 05:26 AM.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I think you're a little nuts to base that 50K around a 5K speaker. It's not a bad speaker, I've heard it, but for that kind of money he could get something waaaay more exotic (that sounds better, too.)

    Funny that even if I had that kind of money I'd never spend so much on audio equipment. Well that's just me.
    I bet you're having fun in the process so enjoy! (Oh, and helping the UK economy can't be a bad thing )

  6. #6
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Heck of a nice system, elapsed, although with $50k at my disposal I'd come up with a totally different list.
    I understand
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Which makes me think it would be a good thread topic: "Your 50 Grand Dream System". (Oh, sorry to bore, E-Stat, et al., who already have >$50k systems.)
    haha!

    and yes, you should start that thread!

  7. #7
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    I think you're a little nuts to base that 50K around a 5K speaker. It's not a bad speaker, I've heard it, but for that kind of money he could get something waaaay more exotic (that sounds better, too.)

    Funny that even if I had that kind of money I'd never spend so much on audio equipment. Well that's just me.
    I bet you're having fun in the process so enjoy! (Oh, and helping the UK economy can't be a bad thing )
    Agreed on all points...

    I've heard people claim that you should spend 10% of your budget on cables, but never on Speakers... That just sounds like a really strange allocation of funds.... I can understand using expensive electronics with cheap speakers if you plan on upgrading the speakers, but for a dream system it seems questionable.... But hey, the real issue is whether the buyer likes the sound of that setup....

    And a thread about what system you buy for $50K sounds like fun.... Though I have to admit that I'd be just guessing what I'd buy, since I haven't auditioned enough products in that price category to make any kind of decision...

  8. #8
    Forum Regular elapsed's Avatar
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    Good point on the speakers! Hey my friend asked for all Naim/Linn, this is the best he can spec on a $50K budget. I'm not a fan of Naim speakers myself, if this were my system I would probably tone down the LP12 and instead put around $10K towards another set of speakers. Also keep in mind that the above system has an $11,000 CD Player (and quite a brilliant one at that), but for a fraction of the cost one could purchase an oustanding streaming music server and outboard DAC.

    cheers,
    elapsed
    Fidelity Acoustics RFM-2 speakers
    Naim CD5x cd player
    Naim NAC 122x pre-amp
    Naim NAP 150x poweramp
    Naim FlatCap-2x power supply
    Naim Stageline N phono stage
    Naim NACA5 speaker cabling
    Naim Hi-Line interconnect
    Chord Crimson interconnects
    Rega Planar 3 turntable
    Goldring 1042 cartridge
    Squeezebox 3
    Oppo DV-983H dvd player
    Harmony 890 remote
    Quadraspire Q4 shelving
    Wiremold L10320 power strip

    System Picture #1 | System Picture #2 | System Design

  9. #9
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elapsed
    Good point on the speakers! Hey my friend asked for all Naim/Linn, this is the best he can spec on a $50K budget. I'm not a fan of Naim speakers myself, if this were my system I would probably tone down the LP12 and instead put around $10K towards another set of speakers. Also keep in mind that the above system has an $11,000 CD Player (and quite a brilliant one at that), but for a fraction of the cost one could purchase an oustanding streaming music server and outboard DAC.

    cheers,
    elapsed
    Whatever happens, i want pictures of it when it's all setup! Nothing quite like an array of Naim gear on 8K$ of rack isn't that just a bit too much for a bit of 'furniture'?

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Not a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    I think you're a little nuts to base that 50K around a 5K speaker. It's not a bad speaker, I've heard it, but for that kind of money he could get something waaaay more exotic (that sounds better, too.)

    Funny that even if I had that kind of money I'd never spend so much on audio equipment. Well that's just me.
    I bet you're having fun in the process so enjoy! (Oh, and helping the UK economy can't be a bad thing )
    Well, I dont' have as such a big problem with 10% on speakers, but it sure as heck depends on the particular speaker. There are a few speakers that might warrant that approach, IMHO, that might include the Magneplanar 3.6R.

    Thus my $50k stereo music system might look a bit like what follows -- I haven't confirmed the prices of all items which could be a lot higher or, less likely, lower. One constraint is that it must work in my current 12' x 20' listening room.
    • Magneplanar 3.6 - $4800
    • Rythmik D15 SE subwoofer - $1000
    • Pass Labs XP-10 preamp - $5000 ??
    • Pass Labs X250.5 power amp - $7500 ??
    • Ayre C-5xeMP universal stereo player - $6000 ??
    • Ayre USB DAC, (forthcoming product) - $8000 ??
    • Transparent inteconnects - $3000 ??
    • Transparent speaker cables - $2000 ??
    • Dedicated Vista or Win7 music computer - $700, plus
      • 24" monitor - $300
      • 2 TB NAS, RAID 1 - $750
      • Foobar2000 - free
      • dBpoweramp Reference - $36
      • Tag&Rename - $40
    Total, (loose estimate): ~$39,000.


    Of course, to make up the $50k I could upgrade to Magneplanars to Sound Lab, Quad, or Analysis Audio, but then the premise of a low speaker ratio wouln't apply.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I like it Feanor Are you not gonna get any room correction for the sub? A nice Velodyne SMS-1 would be appropriate.
    I still think this deserves a thread

  12. #12
    Forum Regular elapsed's Avatar
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    Much easier to build my dream $100K system, would look something like this

    Sonus Faber Stradivari Homage loudspeakers: $40,000
    Naim CDX2 CD Player: $5,600
    Naim XPS2 Power Supply: $5,000
    Naim NAC 282 Preamp: $6,250
    Naim SuperCap Power Supply: $5,950
    Naim NAP 300 Poweramp + 300PS: $10,750
    Naim Fraim Shelving: $2,400 (2 base) + $6,200 (8 shelves)
    Naim Hi-Line Interconnect: $1,000
    Naim NACA5 Speaker Cabling: $230
    Noisetrapper NANA Powerstrip: $350

    Linn LP12 turntable: $2,030
    Linn Ekos SE tonearm: $4950
    Naim SuperLine phono stage: $2,950
    Naim NAPSA2 power supply: $1,700
    Dynavector DRT XV-1S cartridge: $4,500

    Total: $99,890

    cheers,
    elapsed
    Fidelity Acoustics RFM-2 speakers
    Naim CD5x cd player
    Naim NAC 122x pre-amp
    Naim NAP 150x poweramp
    Naim FlatCap-2x power supply
    Naim Stageline N phono stage
    Naim NACA5 speaker cabling
    Naim Hi-Line interconnect
    Chord Crimson interconnects
    Rega Planar 3 turntable
    Goldring 1042 cartridge
    Squeezebox 3
    Oppo DV-983H dvd player
    Harmony 890 remote
    Quadraspire Q4 shelving
    Wiremold L10320 power strip

    System Picture #1 | System Picture #2 | System Design

  13. #13
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    One constraint is that it must work in my current 12' x 20' listening room.
    Why?

    By the time you have $50K to blow on HiFi, room size probably won't be an issue... you'd build the room around the setup....

    Ever notice how many Statement products are clearly designed for massive rooms? I guess the logic is that if you have that kind of money to spend, you're probably very well off and room size isn't a major concern to you...

  14. #14
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Here's why

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Why?

    By the time you have $50K to blow on HiFi, room size probably won't be an issue... you'd build the room around the setup....

    Ever notice how many Statement products are clearly designed for massive rooms? I guess the logic is that if you have that kind of money to spend, you're probably very well off and room size isn't a major concern to you...
    From time to time I've given some thought about upgrades but always within the constraint of my current room size. That is, I was better prepared to make a list appropriate to that circumstance.

    Furthermore, for me the hifi challenge has always been value for money. Although $50k is arbitrarily higher than anythink I could afford, but in a sense it's more fun to work within some constraint, in this case room size.

  15. #15
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    So Elapsed, you are trading your CD5 for a music server? To think I was going to give you crap over using a mere $688.00 cartridge with a LP12 These guys gig you on the speakers. I believe you are one of the few here that is also a source guy though. One thing to keep in mind you aren't buying the largest power amp either, so the $5k speaker may just have better synergy than a more expensive pair. Sometimes if you up the anti in one area the other needs to see it to keep the level.

    With $50k I'd have to do some auditioning, it would be hard to decide whether to go with CJ's Premere 140 watt monoblocks and ART preamp or T+A tube hybrid preamp into Clayton Audio Class A monoblocks. T+A's tube CD player at about $8k would probably be my source and hands down my speakers would be the Dynaudio Sapphires.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular elapsed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    So Elapsed, you are trading your CD5 for a music server? To think I was going to give you crap over using a mere $688.00 cartridge with a LP12 These guys gig you on the speakers. I believe you are one of the few here that is also a source guy though. One thing to keep in mind you aren't buying the largest power amp either, so the $5k speaker may just have better synergy than a more expensive pair. Sometimes if you up the anti in one area the other needs to see it to keep the level.
    Hehe.. good catch Mr Peabody. Okay here was the philosophy behind the first system:

    1. You know me well, source first approach. Speakers are secondary, though its just as important to have balance and synergy

    2. I'm not a fan of the CDX2 by itself (actually prefer my cheaper CD5x), it really needs an XPS2 power supply to shine. Or if you spend too much time on the Naim forums you'd end up talking yourself into an $8,600 555PS

    3. Naim 282 is really the ultimate pre-amp for me, anything more than this and you really need to move into 500 Series gear to get an improvement (at 4x the cost)

    4. Naim Allae speakers don't need anything more than a Naim 200 poweramp, this is perfect synergy as it is. Instead of purchasing a 250 poweramp for this system I'd be more inclinded towards purchasing a Supercap for the 282

    5. As for the LP12, I'm of the opinion that the tonearm and power supply are more important than the cart. I honestly couldn't imagine spending more than $680 on a cartridge (not to mention I would be stressing everytime anyone were near my turntable).

    cheers,
    elapsed
    Fidelity Acoustics RFM-2 speakers
    Naim CD5x cd player
    Naim NAC 122x pre-amp
    Naim NAP 150x poweramp
    Naim FlatCap-2x power supply
    Naim Stageline N phono stage
    Naim NACA5 speaker cabling
    Naim Hi-Line interconnect
    Chord Crimson interconnects
    Rega Planar 3 turntable
    Goldring 1042 cartridge
    Squeezebox 3
    Oppo DV-983H dvd player
    Harmony 890 remote
    Quadraspire Q4 shelving
    Wiremold L10320 power strip

    System Picture #1 | System Picture #2 | System Design

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