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smallangryboy 5th February 2013 08:06 AM

Modern Naim Nait 2 clone?
Following an earlier post about a two box pre/power combo I've revised my goals.

I'm now looking at a modern take on this British classic in a single box. The Naim shoe boxes are still available, so I wondered if anyone knew of a clone this could be based on?

As a brief outline, it will be a modestly powered two channel design.

3 inputs, phono [with MM/MC sockets] CD, and MP3 [digital files] so it needs a good phono stage and good modern DAC.

If there is anyone interested in taking this on as a DIY or semi pro/DIY project let me know.

As before I can help with the industrial design and some costs but I need someone skilled in electronics really. I am based in the Uk so anyone from here would be an advantage but happy to throw the doors open to the world!

Ian Finch 5th February 2013 01:02 PM

Whilst in Naim-think mode, the Hacker-NAP clone may appeal as a basic power amp..

I think the electronics would have to be based on small modules and careful shielding since few will want to build or buy exactly
to your wish-list. Enlisting expert help to get modern performance and sound quality onto new designs won't be easy and may be
asking more than just a favour from another DIY.

Could I suggest basing the design on existing inexpensive modules, kits etc. and upgrading these as proves necessary and expertise
becomes available. Getting started and showing signs of promise will get others on board more readily. 'Could be a nice, long project.

smallangryboy 5th February 2013 02:21 PM

I'm more than happy to base this around existing proven modules, in fact I'd go as far as to say it's necessary to prevent a runaway budget.

May I ask your help in identifying which kits, or "proven" modules I should consider for the core integrated amp, the phono stage and DAC?

I'll look at the HackerNAP, I'll do a search but do you have any useful links?

Ian Finch 5th February 2013 03:04 PM

Here is a link to a Hacker-Nap build info website I found at Pinkfishmedia which as you probably know, is a haven for Naim modders. There's even a thread started as a follow-up for this inquiry there. There are more links in threads there, though some seem broken ATM.. Enjoy!

Ian Finch 6th February 2013 05:49 AM

Hi again
I've had another look over some available kits and at some recent forum opinions in the UK, which is where I think you might naturally concentrate your search. There is much cultural influence on the preferences and design choices people make, especially when there is still an active local manufacturing industry. Consequently, I hesitate to suggest ideas that I prefer when your target market is focused on local DIY formats and fads that will be here one day and gone at the end of a parts group-buy.

Because DIY builds and kits generally need to be old-tech and through-hole component designs, compact and modern SMD designs are seldom seen. Realistically, butterfingers just can't see, let alone work with the stuff. That means that the electronics may need to be quite bulky to accommodate the DAC, head and line amps plus their myriad power supplies.

There are some relatively small designs on "the Bay", but I am no expert on suitable DAC designs and what is just old hat in a new case or knowing what may be worth adopting into a serious preamp. Technically, all DAC chipsets are in SMD format so I have my doubts about the ageing concept of basic and USB kit DACs that use daughter boards to adapt them to old style PCBs . There are plenty of them, but they appear to be quite old designs, too, perhaps offered for their sentimental value which seems to work well for a lot of audio DIY kit sales. I tend to now think along current commercial product lines, which permit flexibility and compatibility with digital streaming sources, like Cambridge's Stream magic and DAC magic products. At least then, the conversion quality will be up there at a realistic price. You also won't need to bin the preamp when the technology moves on again, as it no doubt will, to ever higher resolution and delivery media.

The rest of the design would follow along Nait clone lines but it will take more time to track down the most suitable MC/MM preamp and lineamp boards. Solid-state phono kit designs seem to be antiquated, rare or ridiculously priced. Power supplies can be assembled from kits or a multiple supply PCB could be etched, based on suitable Naim forum mod. designs. I think it will take time to track down/build these PCB elements as kits but UK Forums will be the best shot for assistance, as their members' sources and preferences are the ones you'll most likely need to deal with.

smallangryboy 6th February 2013 08:51 AM

Thanks Ian, that gives me food for thought, and a lot of home work :)

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