PS Audio Sprout or NAIM Nait 5i

Please share this...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Ask an expert

My present system comprises a Sugden Masterclass CD player and a pair of Ruark Solstice floor standing speakers. The amp is excellent but, for reasons which need not weary us here, has to be replaced with a solid state version. I would rather not spend more than around £1k on the replacement and have considered models from Leema, Naim and Sugden models.

At present I am using a Musical Fidelity X-A1 as the amp, as I have always liked its sweet, open sound although it is lacking somewhat in the lower registers and I would like to address that. It does, however, have a pre-amp output so I could always simply add a decent power amp to it (along the lines of a Quad 909, maybe) and to some extent this is my preferred direction.

I listen almost exclusively to jazz from the forties to mid-sixties (with all their attendant recording idiosyncrasies). Obviously the sound must be acoustically faithful to the recordings, have a good tonal balance and resonance and, above all, swing musically. So what think you think?

My feeling here is to keep it simple and get either a PS Audio Sprout or a Naim Nait 5i. The former has a lot onboard, including a phono stage. But these amplifiers are very different in nature and you really do need to find a dealer who can allow an audition, in a shop or at home. The Sprout is clear and bouncy, with quite obvious but nice treble, and plenty of bass. The Naim is a bit more considered, with a darker sound and again plenty of low end push.

A preowned LFD Audio LE Zero Mk3 if you can find one at a reasonable price due to escalating prices for nice examples with onboard mm/mc phono stage) might be all you need. Try HERE

I like the Sugden Mystro . I've always had a soft spot for Sugden designs. A Class AB Sugden has plenty of poke and a presentation that's brimming with life and bounce; a pre-owned version if you can find one might be a serious contender. The Leema is a little warmer, perhaps, with a touch more power, but isn't quite as riveting to listen to. As usual, it’s a question of taste.

===//===

Please click HERE to access the entire BRITISH STEREO archive

Please share this...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone