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Naim Factory Tour 2018

Call me a geek but I do enjoy a good factory tour, and with Naim building some of the finest equipment in the world, I had been particularly keen for this trip for a while. Especially as due to varying circumstances over the past year it had been rearranged several times, which had only built my anticipation further. So to avoid any further potential issues, Andy and I headed down to Sailsbury the night before so we could get an early start and cover all grounds, plus leave time for a listening session at the end. So it was set to be a busy day. 

If you are ever down in Sailsbury I would highly recommend the Chapter House where we stayed, great location in the city centre, superb food (950g steak was delicious and filling!!!) and Andy indulged in their selection of beers, all of which got the thumbs up… Plus a comfy bed was the perfect way to sleep off my food coma.

Sailsbury Steak

Morning arrived and we headed over to Naims HQ, a vast building which has been expanded over the years to reflect their growth, both in production and R&D. At the entrance hall, we were greeted by a small selection from a vast array of awards which Naim has accumulated over the years… Some of which were won before I was born! 

Naim Awards

The tour was led by Jason and Dan, both of whom have been with the company for many years, with Dan joining way back in 1983! I was surprised to learn he was not even the longest-serving employee there! It is a true reflection of the company’s ethics and values that it has retained staff members for so long and their knowledge and passion for the brand was staggering. 

We started off on a high, a Statement was in production and we were lucky enough to be shown the production line. This mighty beast was Naim’s venture into the ultimate, no expense spared, uncompromised sound reproduction. With an R&D venture costing over one million pounds, Naim wanted to push the limits of music reproduction, creating the best system that current technology would allow. Fortunately, we have been lucky enough to see aspects of this development trickle down into the classic range. 

The Statement is split into two halves separated by an acrylic block, that not only looks the part but was specifically chosen for its properties to block mechanical interactions between the noisy power supply and sensitive electronics above. The heart of the power supply is a whooping 4KvA transformer, housed in a brass mount which is then bolted to the chassis… You would be forgiven if you thought it was bolted to the floor when trying to pick one up! It is a true work of art and currently, only three skilled technicians are qualified to work on any Statement piece, which takes nearly a month to produce and assemble to the highest standard. 

If there is any nicks or scuffs to internal cables or components, then the part is discarded, including that stunning transformer. Every attention to detail has been paid to grounding, materials used, even the casings internal design helps reduce noise so that the end amplified signal is as clean as possible.

Naim Statement Production

We then moved onto the production floor for the classic and Uniti range (yes there are NOVA’s in production!). 

The staff here are just as meticulous as their Statement counterparts, every cable that should be kept apart is neatly separated, even the bends put into the earth cable to reduce mechanical noise are reviewed. 

Naim as a company are fussy to the nth degree but when you hear their products it's obvious they are on the right track! 

The ultimate expression of their pernickety ways is the fact that every DIN cable supplied is shaken 172 times before being boxed up! 

Mr Vereker had noticed when doing testing early on, that one cable had sounded differently to another, despite being the same cable. Upon investigating he found that stressed cables were a factor contributing to this differnece. 

Most cables are wrapped on reels that subject them to a fair degree of stress before being cut and terminated. So now every cable is hooked up and shaken before being loosely coiled up and packed in the box. 

As for the exact number 172, well that seemed to be an arbitrary number to poke a little fun at the lengths we go to for pursuit of the perfect system.

Naim Working

So after passing through production and seeing everything from classic NAPs to NACs (a few pieces being built for our customers as well which was nice to see ??) as well as a sneak peek at the production of the Gen 2 streamers. 

We went over to see the guys in service and here is where Naim excel. They pride themselves on customer service! Products, even dating back to the 80s, are being serviced and fixed. They keep huge stocks of spares to make sure they can look after you and your purchase for many years to come and this forward thinking continues to this date. The CD5XS was discontinued recently as one part had ceased production, Naim purchased every remaining piece, not to be able to make one last batch for a quick sale, but rather to be able to service and support CD5XS owners for the foreseeable future.

Naim Servicing

The final part of the tour was the best part, we were joined by one of our customers who has been a Naim owner since the late 80s and as times have progressed so has his system, cumulating in NAC552, NAP500DR, NAP300DR, NDS, 555PS and now considering the ultimate upgrade to Statement, being fed by ND555 and dual 555PS.  Luckily this is what we were treated to. 

The Focal Scalas were driven to their upper limit. Everything we threw at the system it handled fantastically, displaying effortless dynamics, authority and a soundstage scale which is hard to match. A particular track which stood out was Benny Greb – Grebchestra, an interesting track consisting of his own vocals layered, and a powerful beat which comes in sharply and aggressively with some crazy mind blowing syncopated rhythm. I am pleased to say the system did not miss a beat! What was presented in front of us was a giant drum kit with perfectly panned snare rolls and crisp hi-hats all round superb. 

Listening Room

After a couple of hours more of listening we sadly had to hit the road. What I took from the tour was that Naim is a company that is about attention to detail, both in R&D and manufacturing!! Above all else, it was a company of great people who care about their product and the music.

If you wish to demonstrate any Naim products we carry the complete range up to the 552, NAP500DR and will have the latest range of streamers as soon as they are out… Just give us a call.

As for the Statement! Well, my heart is set on having one on permanent demonstration now, my wallet just needs to catch up…

Adam.

General Update

Hi All,

Apologies for there being a lack of updates recently but it has been an exceptionally busy period for installs, Martin Logan CLX Art, Focal Maestro Utopia EVO, big Luxman, Naim, McIntosh stacks to name a few, it has been quite the variety for sure over the past couple of months. All this in conjunction with a few major new projects we have undertaken it has put us under a little stress!! But I figured it would be a good time to give an update where we are…

The new website is coming to fruition and should be live in the next couple of weeks. We have added functionality, smoothed out the checkout process and all round will be a little more user-friendly. Once the new site is launched we will be back keeping our product portfolio updated and will also be adding several new exciting brands but for the moment I shall keep those secrets!

Secondly, as many of you know we are in the final phase of building our new showroom!! It is still a few weeks off from completion but thought I would give you all a sneak peek.

 Demo Room A

These are some initial renders of our main demo room done by Artnovion who we are finalising the room acoustic design with. This will be one of three demo rooms, there will also be a dedicated headphone area with an extensive collection and a large showroom area as well… In total, the new facility will be 4000sq ft. dedicated to audio nirvana… and once completed and we are a little more settled in, we shall invite you all to an opening launch day (TBC).

Lastly, we have two new members of staff, so next time you pop in or call say hi to Dan and Danny, who both will help ensure that as we continue to grow we can still deliver top quality customer service.

All in all, 2018 is set to be a big year for Nintronics and none of it would have been possible without all the support of you guys, so a big thank you from the team here and we look forward showing you all around the new facility soon !!!

Adam

SME Centre of Excellence

We are excited to announce that Nintronics has been certified as a SME Centre of Excellence. There is only a limited number of dealers which SME have selected, that they felt confident to be able to display demonstration and calibrate their turntables and tonearms to meet their high standards and thus achieve the status of "Centre of Excellence".

We will be holding an extensive range of SME turntables and tonearms for demonstration with a fantastic selection of phono stages, step up transformers and cartridges to compliment any system.

Both Andy and I will have to attend specialised factory training in order to maintain our status of

Turntables on demonstration:

SME Model 10, Model 15, Model 15 Chrome, Model 20/3, Model 30/12

We will also be adding a gold variant to our line up shortly just because... It’s so shiny!!!

SME Model 30/2 Gold

Sale Now On

Nintronics has been running since 2008, we have been going from strength to strength year on year and 2017 is going to be a particularly great one... We are preparing to build and move into our new 4000 sq ft showroom. It will house multiple demo rooms to showcase the very finest audio visual products, a dedicated headphone area and oodles of showroom space.

To help prepare for the showroom move, we are having our first ever sale!!! We are making this an instore only sale,so pop down, check over our demo goods and grab a bargain. One thing we have never been faulted for is our level of stock commitment, with one of the largest portfolios in the UK, we generally have at least one demo unit from the entire range and sometimes a second one for home loans.

Amps, cables, speakers etc etc everything is being renewed fresh for when we move, so there are hundreds more deals and offers over and above what we have advertised on our site.

Give us a call 01707 320 788 if you wanted to check any stock levels before hand, otherwise we will see you soon :).

Nintronics Showroom Relocation & Warehouse Clearance Sale -- Upto 60% of selected goods.

Cyrus Factory Visit

Cyrus Audio Factory

We had the pleasure of popping over to meet the nice people at Cyrus Audio for a spot of training and a guided tour of their factory facilities. Based in Huntingdon Cambridge, Cyrus Audio are the quintessential example of British audio, famous for their exacting standards and brilliant engineering skills. Cyrus have always manufactured their designs into small chassis' which has become symbolic of the brand.

This has posed its own engineering challenges but it is something Cyrus have always overcome, and the sound quality achieved from these compact units is truly excellent.

Assembly Station

We started with the factory tour. This was split down into several stations where we were treated to seeing a Mono 300 being populated, where skillful hands at each assembly point carried out specified tasks to a high degree of accuracy. Each unit then went through an extensive testing process with every input plugged in and a speaker load applied. Cyrus’s own testing software runs a simulation which checks over every variable which the unit could encounter. This quickly identifies any potential issues, at which point failed units are returned to the production line for correction and passed units proceed on to soak testing. This involves CD players being put through a 14 hour simulation to make sure shipped units meet their stringent standards. A rather impressive operation which I thoroughly enjoyed seeing, and it is easy to see why Cyrus has been a staple name in Hi-Fi for many decades.

Cyrus Testing Bench

The other benches in the factory area are dedicated to maintenance and upgrades. Laden with parts and equipment, audio analysers, flutter meters, function generators, multi-meters, oscilloscopes, and more, it reminded me just how much Cyrus treasures its older customers and inspires loyalty with their efforts to support legacy equipment. They even offer upgrade paths for a lot of their aging kit, bringing them right up to date with their latest specifications.

The next stage was a quick presentation about the company, its history and their future. Cyrus have always stayed relevant through innovation and being at the forefront of the latest technology; whether be streamers, class D technology, aptx HD, they have found unique solutions for integrating them into a HiFi environment. The SoundKey is a classic example of this, a portable in-line headphone amplifier and DAC. This small device makes the most of music stored on our phones which is becoming an ever more important source in day to day life for most people.

Finally we got down to some listening, Chris and Nick were kind enough to do all the demonstration work so for once I got to sit back and listen. We started off with a modest setup, KEF LS50 being run off a Cyrus ONE (100W Class D Integrated), as entry level systems go it is always a good combination. AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long's lively and foot tapping performance came with great command over the kick drum and extension which I have come to expect from the Cyrus One. Switching over to the 6 DAC 57W Class A/B Integrated added an element of warmth and highlighted the vibrato on the notes in Angus Youngs intro, while Brian Johnson's vocals were a little easier on the ears, however there was a trade off with there being less control on the lower end. The 82 DAC gave the best of both worlds and I heard more information with added clarity on the high hats and the decay time of symbol crashes which sounded more extended and natural.

Cyrus Demo Rack

The fantastic thing was as we kept going through the range, the Cyrus kit kept its same signature but we just got more from it every time. When we switched over to Pre/Power they also introduced a set of PMC 25.24 speakers into the mix to help show the added detail and extension possible on route to their flagship system. The biggest difference for me came when they introduced the DAC XP Signature. As they were using purely the analogue outputs from a Stream Xa for each demo, it meant we were only listening to the Pre-amp section and it was like night a day. It all ended with the DAC XP Signature, PSX-R and a pair of Mono X300 which they allowed us to go nuts with the music selection (my personal favourite part).

After we finished a few hours of listening, our last task of the day was for Andy and I to get our QX certification. After a tutorial and quick poke around the inside of a streamer and integrated amplifier, we were put to the test and had to carry out the upgrades. Happily, I can say we both passed with flying colours, and can now offer the QX upgrades in-store.

Cyrus QX Upgrade Certificates

All around it was a fantastic day! It was great to meet the faces and brains behind the brand and when you see the passion they exude you know why Cyrus continues to be a success that it is. We are looking forward to hosting the Cyrus UK tour later in the year (details to be announced) and this will give you a chance to meet some of the team as well.

If you want to book a demonstration on any of the Cyrus equipment, we are a full signature dealer and have almost the entire range on demonstration, so just give us a call.

Adam

Cyrus Award Wall

Nintronics Ltd, Unit 7, Martinfield Business Centre, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 1HG
Tel: 01707 320788 Email: sales@nintronics.co.uk

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