NAIM AUDIO: NAIT 5si integrated amplifier test review

Herb Reichert (Stereophile magazine) writes:  Some among us remember a time when audio was divided into rival interests. On the left side of the pond was the New World, where left-brainers believed that vanishing harmonic distortion meant that "all amplifiers sound the same," and that good loudspeakers are a high-fidelity audio system's most important components. Across the waves, so-called flat-earthers claimed that the most important part of the playback chain was the turntable. (Of secondary importance were the tonearm and cartridge, followed by the preamp and amplifier. Loudspeakers were deemed relatively unimportant.) In the 1980s, this extremist idea of the "front end first" captured the imaginations of audiophiles, mostly in the Mother Country. Not surprisingly, it was first propounded by turntable maker Ivor Tiefenbrun, a vociferous Scot and founder of Linn Products. Flat-earthers believed that musical enjoyment was most directly related to a system's ability to preserve and convey what Tiefenbrun called pace, rhythm, and timing. Proper timbre was rarely mentioned.

Being anti-imperialist, I was never a flat-earther, but neither was I a left-brainer. I continue to be fascinated by and sympathetic to the ............

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