Integrated Amplifiers

Naim Audio, SUPERNAIT Integrated Stereo Amplifier with DAC

ARTICLE INDEX

Introduction

What's in a Naim? For those not overly familiar with the brand (myself included) that has usually meant DIN connectors, the ubiquitous black casework, green lit buttons and a reputation for an emphasis to PRat. This reputation for Pace Rhythm and Timing and a focus on hand built craftsmanship put Naim in a unique place amongst audio components. There's also the fact that it took Naim 10 years to release a CD player and one would think Naim is a conservative company. Yet as the SUPERNAIT proves they have jumped into the 21st century with style.

Specifications

  • Design: Stereo Integrated Amplifier with built in Digital To Analog Converter
  • Power Output: 80 watts x 2 into 8 Ohms
  • RCA Analog Inputs: 5 sets
  • DIN Inputs: 5 inputs (share single connection with DIN outputs)
  • Digital Inputs: 2 Toslink, 2 Coax
  • 3.5mm (1/8") input: 1 front mounted (dual analog and digital input)
  • Analog Input Sensitivity: 75mV
  • Analog Input Impedance: 47kΩ
  • Digital Inputs: 16-24bits, 44.1-192khz
  • Dimensions: 3.5" x 17" x 12.4" H x W x D
  • Weight: 28lbs
  • MSRP: $4,550 (down from $4,999)
  • Naim Audio

The SUPERNAIT is one of a few integrated amplifiers on the market offering a built in Digital To Analog Converter (DAC). Having recently abandoned analog playback (turntables were far too much trouble and while they do sound good, I am willing to sacrifice some performance for the convenience of a digital music server) all my sources are now digital. Most have decent enough sounding internal DACs but all have benefited from good external converters. Personally, I have owned two integrated amps with built in DACs, and I have to assume it won't be long before we see an explosion of selection in this product category. Just like an integrated amp saves on space, cables, and complexity compared to separates, bringing the DAC section into the case work makes as much sense in reducing parts, case work, etc. The key to the value of an integrated amp is providing enough flexibility, performance and value to outperform or rival separate components.