Naim Audio - NAIT 2

Naim Audio - NAIT 2

The Naim NAIT (acronym for “Naim Audio Integrated amplifier”) is an integrated amplifier from the British hi-fi manufacturer, Naim Audio. The original NAIT is one of the most recognisable pieces of hi-fi equipment ever made. Hi-fi critic Lucio Cadeddu recognised its legendary status, referring to it as “one of the most controversial and famous integrated amps in the history of HiFi”.

Picture of Naim NAIT 2 in chrome bumper version (1988 to 1989).

  1. Description
  2. Specifications
  3. Miscellaneous
  4. Naim NAIT history
    1. Timeline history
    2. Table history
  5. Articles and manual

The Naim NAIT (acronym for “Naim Audio Integrated amplifier”) is an integrated amplifier from the British hi-fi manufacturer, Naim Audio. The original NAIT is one of the most recognisable pieces of hi-fi equipment ever made. Hi-fi critic Lucio Cadeddu recognised its legendary status, referring to it as “one of the most controversial and famous integrated amps in the history of HiFi”.

Having already made their name producing solid-state pre-amplifier and power-amplifier separates, Naim launched a low-powered integrated amplifier that embodies the qualities of its amplifiers, aimed at cost-conscious audiophiles.

Since the NAIT was launched in 1983, it has had 14 updates. In 2007, Naim released a high end amplifier, the SUPERNAIT. As of 2020, there are three models available : the entry-level NAIT 5si the mid-range NAIT XS 3, and the flagship SUPERNAIT 3.

The NAIT 2 was designed to be factory-modified to work as a preamp-only unit. The upgrade path is assured by partnering with Naim’s own stereo power amplifiers – in particular, the NAP 90 and NAP 140, both of whose in-built power supplies can power their own pre-amplifiers.

Description

The Naim Audio Nait 2 integrated amplifier is introduced in 1988 which is one of the most controversial and famous integrated amplifiers in the history of HiFi. Naim wanted to prove that power and size aren’t everything for a good sounding HiFi component and that, moreover, a cleverly designed power supply can be crucial for fine sonic performance. It is distinguished by its small, boxlike proportions and low power. Naim gives few specifications for its products, keeping with their stated philosophy that measurements of audio components are meaningless in choosing among them. The Naim Audio Nait 2 uses discrete transistors exclusively instead of op-amps. Component quality is very high, with almost no carbon resistors and very few capacitors. The circuitry is densely packed into the small, double-sided PCB. Although not large, the heatsink is bolted to the aluminum chassis, increasing its effectiveness. A good MM phono input (derived by the famous 322 Naim phono boards) is included and a superb Holden & Fisher 100VA toroidal transformer specially made for Naim Audio.

When played, the first thing the listener may notice, perhaps because it comes as totally unexpected, is overall dynamics. This amplifier can follow even the most demanding tracks with ease, provided that the listener doesn’t ask for too much sound pressure. It’s quick, tempo’ed and pacey, in other words, just to use the common Naimophiles jargon, it has PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Tempo). It is simply real good at that. As the listener, he just can’t help but feel the amplifier is playing the right tempo. Snares and toms are reproduced with lightening quick attack time and perfect decays while bass lines follow the rhythmic patters easily. Electric bass and kick drum can be distinguished even when playing all’unisono. Many amplifiers fail to do that and glue the two bass notes together.

The Naim Audio Nait 2 also depends on the speakers its driving since it is only rated at 20 watts per channel. It is found that the amplifier does best with speakers that do not have a highly reactive load. What the Nait 2 lacks is in ultimate control and detail, but it more than makes up for in realism and and sheer musical communication. Its not the best in sound staging & some details may get lost. But for foot tapping PRaT its a real pleasure & not many modern amps at that level can beat it. The tonal balance is a bit on the warm side, with an audible roll-off at the upper highs and a tilt at the mid-bass so to make the sound “bigger” than it actually is. Really deep bass notes stay a bit “behind” the rest, which is normal. The soundstage is huge, open, three-dimensional, and transparent. Instruments float in space, with center images presented solidly between the speakers. The amplifier’s most striking characteristic is the depth of the soundstage. Instruments are separated by a feeling of “air.” Through the Nait 2, the speakers tended to disappear into the music. Overall, despite being rated only 20w/c, this amplifier has grunt and drive in spades, more, much more than people will expect from such a diminutive package.

Specifications

  • Inputs : Phono, Tuner, CD, Tape.
  • Input sensitivity :
    • 2.5mV, 47kohm (Phono)
    • 75mV, 47kohm (Aux, Tuner, Tape)
  • Tape output level : 75mV
  • Tape impedance : 1k ohm/source
  • Power : 20 Watts per channel
  • Mains supply : 240V, 50hz to 60hz.
  • Dimensions (w x d x h) : 28 x 20.5 x 8 cm
  • Weight : 6kg

Miscellaneous

  • Made in : UK, England

Naim NAIT history

Timeline history


Table history

ProductIntroducedHistory/change(s)Date of change
NAIT1983Replaced by NAIT 21988
NAIT 2 (chrome bumper)1988New look (olive)1989
NAIT 2 (olive)1988Replaced by NAIT 31993
NAIT 31993Replaced by NAIT 52000
NAIT 3R (Remote)1995Replaced by NAIT 52000
NAIT 52000Discontinued and replaced by NAIT 5i2003
NAIT 5i2003Upgraded to ‘italic’ spec2007
NAIT 5i2007Replaced by NAIT 5si2013
SUPERNAIT2007Replaced by SUPERNAIT 22013
NAIT XS2008Replaced by NAIT XS 22013
NAIT 5si2013  
SUPERNAIT 22013Replaced by SUPERNAIT 32019
NAIT XS 22013Replaced by NAIT XS 32019
SUPERNAIT 32019  
NAIT XS 32019  

Articles and manual



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