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The descriptions of the machines themselves is far simpler. The DAC-V1 is Naim's second D/A converter after the DAC. Said DAC also was a file player, albeit in limited capacity. The DAC-V1 is quite versatile. It combines a D/A converter, analog preamplifier (albeit with digital inputs only) and a headphone output. It support up to 32/192kHz signal on BNA, coax and optical and 24/384kHz via async USB. The preamp section is similar to those employed in standalone Naim preamps. The filtration and jitter reduction circuits derive directly from the earlier DAC. The converter circuit is the same as employed in the NDX and SuperNaiti network players. The amplifier features classic Naim dual mono topology and output 50wpc into 8Ω (75wpc into 4Ω). It is based on the circuit used previously in the SuperUniti all-in-one system.

- albums used during this review: Random Trip, Nowe Nagrania, 005, CD + FLAC 24/44,1 (2012); SATRI Reference Recordings Vol. 2, Bakoon Products, FLAC 24/192; T-TOC Data Collection Vol. 1, T-TOC Records, DATA-0001, 24/96+24/192, WAV, ripped from DVD-R; Al Di Meola, Flesh on Flesh, Telarc, HDTracks, 24/96 FLAC (2011); Bach, Violin Concertos, Yehudi Menuhin, EMI/Hi-Q Records, HIQXRCD9, XRCD24, CD (1960/2013); Charlie Haden & Antonio Forcione, Heartplay, Naim Label, 24/96 FLAC [NaimLabel]; Depeche Mode, Delta Machine, Columbia Records/Sony Music Japan, SICP-3783-4, 24 bit, FLAC [HDTracks] (2013); Dominic Miller & Neil Stacey, New Dawn, Naim, naimcd066, CD (2002); Frank Sinatra, Where Are You?, Capitol Records/Mobile Fidelity, UDSACD 2109, “Special Limited Edition No. 261”, SACD/CD (1957/2013); Jean Michel Jarré, Essentials & Rarities, Disques Dreyfus/Sony Music, 62872, 2 x CD (2011); Miles Davis, In A Silent Way, Columbia/Mobile Fidelity, “Special Limited Edition No. 1311”, UDSACD 2088, SACD/CD (1969/2012)...

... Persy Grainger, Lincolnshire Posy, Dallas Wind Symphony, dyr. Jerry Junkin, Reference Recordings, HR-117, HRx, 24/176,4 WAV, DVD-R (2009); Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto, Verve/Lasting Impression Music, LIM K2HD 036, K2HD Mastering, 24 Gold Direct-from-Master Edition UDM, CD-R (1964/2009); The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland, Columbia/Sony Music Japan, SICP-30003, Blu-Spec2 CD (1968/2013); The Oscar Peterson Trio, We Get Request, Verve/Lasting Impression Music, LIM K2HD 032, K2HD Mastering, 24 Gold Direct-from-Master Edition UDM, CD-R (1964/2009); Perfect, Perfect, Polskie Nagrania Muza/Polskie Radio, PRCD 1596, CD (1981/2013); Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms, Vertigo/Universal Music Ltd. Hong Kong, 5483572, XRCD2 (1985/2000).

That Naim favors DIN sockets is commonly known. That Naim started with analog sources to move on to high-resolution digital just like Linn is no secret either. But there is another constant underlying all Naim reviews: rhythm, pace and timing as a basic sonic trait. That's the ability to showcase a recording's temporal aspects as a proper handling of time, i.e. the precise moment silence turns transient. In layman 's terms it's what makes us tap our feet, bop our head or click a finger on the table to follow the beat. And it’s true. Among many characteristic features of Naim gear fantastically portrayed rhythm and leading edges without hardening are dominant.

To achieve that it is usually necessary to use very expensive parts (huge capacitor banks, a special circuit topology) but that alone won't guarantee it. While Naim’s lineup does include very expensive machine, this PraT factor is characteristic for all their products including the DAC-V1 and NAP100 under review. What that means is that their sonic character must have been shaped in a very specific way.

At first sight it’s difficult to say though what exactly was done. This Naim system sounds dense, dynamic and saturated with no edging. Although I heard a few Naim systems sound rather hard with an emphasized upper midrange, I believe it was due to poorly matched speakers or power supply problems, not the components. Paired with my Harbeth M40.1 and a pair of Raidho D-1 monitors on review, this affordable Naim system was well proportioned with no discernible brightening, sharpening or trace of hardening.