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Founded in 1973, Naim Audio is a hi-fi manufacturer based in Wiltshire, UK. With a history rooted in engineering and design, Naim won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise on three occasions, most recently for its design of digital music systems.

Our involvement with Naim dates back to the 70s when Basil’s founder was first inspired by the minimal design of Naim’s first integrated amplifier to build, modify and sell loudspeakers, music systems and even turntables as a weekend and holiday job while still at school. At the time Naim’s CTO Roy George was at Southampton University where the seeds were being sown for it today being regarded as one of the most prestigious engineering schools in Europe. Its Turner-Sims concert hall was design by a physics professor at the university with a strong interest in acoustics and music. The Nuffield theater located on campus together with an active Students’ Union Stage Society. Roy George recalled his time at Southampton and the strong link between music and engineering discipline in a recent interview with the Gramaphone.
‘It was the prog rock era, but university gave me the opportunity to revel in all kinds of live music, from jazz rock and folk to mainly modern classical music such as Bartok, Ligeti and Stockhausen.’

On the change in Naim sound over the years, Roy has this to say:
‘It’s become more refined and capable but without losing that ‘live’ feel sometimes used as a way of describing it. Some systems sound as if the band or orchestra are playing together as a band and some can make it sound as if all the tracks were put together like a patchwork quilt. The latter have no energy, no life and don’t drag one into the music.’

The company’s R&D is currently focused on network players: ‘It’s not that we’re disregarding CD, but networked music is growing and the market for CD Players shrinking. We’ve been researching servers and “streamers” for a long time, and the more we know the more we need to learn. We’re totally confident there’s more performance to come.’

Naim Milestones
1971, NAP 160, first power amplifier, discontinued 1986
1973, Naim Audio Limited formed
1974, NAC 12, first pre-amplifier, discontinued 1980
1975, NAP 250, power amplifier
1975, NAPS, first pre-amplifier power supply, discontinued 1978
1977, NAXO, first electronic crossover for active loudspeaker systems
1980, Moved to current premises at Southampton Road, Salisbury
1981, Linnk, moving-coil phono pre-amplifier (Manufactured for Linn Products)
1981, NAC A4, Speaker cable
1983, NAIT, first Integrated amplifier, discontinued 1988
1984, NAP 135, first mono power amplifier, discontinued 2002
1984, Hi-Cap, pre-amplifier power supply
1984, NAT 01, first FM tuner, discontinued 2002
1985, Won the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement
1986, SBL, first in-house made loudspeakers, discontinued 2002
1989, ARO, Unipivot tone-arm
1989, Range upgraded and new look (olive casing)
1990, NAC 52, flagship pre-amplifier, discontinued 2002, replaced by NAC 252
1991, CDS, first CD player, discontinued 1998, replaced by CDS2
1991, DBL, Loudspeakers
1992, CDI, extended range of CD players
1995, AV1, first AV Processor, discontinued 1999
1995, Armageddon, power supply [for Linn Sondek LP12 Turntable]
1995, Super-Cap, pre-amplifier power supply
1995, Prefix, phono pre-amplifier, discontinued 2008
2000, 5 series
2000, NAP 500, power amplifier
2002, Range Upgraded (Reference range) and new look
2002, NAC 552, flagship pre-amplifier, supplants NAC 252 as flagship pre-amplifier
2005, n-series new range of AV products of which nVi integrated DVD/amp combo
2005, CD555, flagship CD player
2008, Superline, phono pre-amplifier
2008, HDX, Hard Disk Player
2008/9, Nait XS, integrated amplifier
2009, NaimUniti, All-in-one audio player
2009, Naim DAC, Stand-alone DA-converter
2009, Naim Ovator S-600 loudspeaker
2010, UnitiQute
2010, Naim wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise
2011, Naim Ovator S-400 Loudspeaker
2011, Naim merges with Focal-JMLab
2013, Naim Ovator S-800 Loudspeaker
2014, Naim ‘Statement’ Pre and Power Amplifiers
2014, Naim wins Queen’s Award for Innovation
2014, Naim Mu-so ‘all-in-one’
2015, Naim NAC-N272 streaming preamplifier
2015, Naim Super Lumina range of cables
2016, Naim Mu-so Qb compact wireless music system

(Source: Wikipedia)

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