Rossini into what other components?

This sort of follows on from a previous post.

Replacing/improving my current Naim setup. Tried the Bartok, tried the Rossini, prefer the Rossini + clock.

But into what? Demoed with ATC SCM40a’s - very nice, but mid-range not quite all it could be and soundstage a little flat. Then into SCM50a’s - clearer, opened out soundstage. Excellent. As it should be, at that price. But haven’t tried anything else at similar prices, so what would people also consider?

Given I like the Naim PRAT which the Rossini duplicates and extends, am considering using Naim 252 + 250DR or maybe 300DR into either Focal Sopra’s or Harbeth’s: are these choices people have fallen in love with, or what would you want to audition?

I started out with Naim pre/amps and have a history with the brand since the early days when Julian Vereker was alive and the shop/factory was in Salt Lane Salisbury. That is 45 years ago.

I honestly think that a complete Naim system is the best solution within its own context. If you move out of it, for example with a dCS front end, then the internal balance and the “philosophy” and even technology ( e.g. the star earthing) of the complete Naim system is compromised. Hence your comment about the 40As. It isn’t them, it is the mating of them and dCS with Naim that is the problem. I have been there. So I would not recommend any further Naim expenditure in your case unless you sell the dCS and go for a Naim streamer/DAC/power amp with passive speakers instead .

The Focals and Harbeths are so dissimilar that I cannot imagine why you are considering them as alternatives. If you have heard them both then you can only like one and not the other. You cannot do this kind of thing as a paper exercise. You need to get out there and listen.

I would keep the dCS, keep the ATC 40As and find a good preamp to link the two. I happen to use tubes and would highly recommend my choice of EAR Yoshino 868. Otherwise if going with SS preamps then it is a difficult area with few reasonably priced “stars”. Some idea of budget is required to start.

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20 year plus Naim user who has climbed the ranks with every pre/power until settling with the 552/500 15 years ago. Both units have just returned from a recap and DR and will be good for the next 15 years. Vinyl has always been a LP12 however my interest in digital started back in 2007 with my first demo of the newly introduced Linn Klimax DS. In 2011, after listening to both of Naim’s digital offerings, first the HDX and then the NDS, I made the move from CD to digital with the Linn Klimax DS/1. That was upgraded with the /2 and finally /3 until early this year when a change was made.

I demoed and purchased a Bartok which was to be used in a different room and for headphone only duties. Its performance so impressed me that I returned it to the dealer and moved to a Rossini + Rossini Master Clock. After 9 years the dCS has now replaced the Linn KDS in my Naim system which has now become 552/500 fronted by the Rossini and LP12.

I have many Naim friends who have gone with the ND555 digital front end when it was released last year. I have now been told there are many in the UK (I am in the States) who after a year have traded in their ND555 and moved onto the Rossini. My understanding is that all run full Naim systems however now with dCS front ends.

I have found there is complete synergy with the Rossini exhibiting quite a bit of good old Naim PRaT. I also agree with Pete that the Naim sound is fundamentally a NAC + NAP. The pre and amp together make the Naim magic. There has been a long thread on the forum echoing this opinion. The best quote was from the moderator Richard Dane who explained that NAC is Naim Amplifier Control. In other words one (the amp) requires the other (pre).

I know quite a few who happily run Naim pre’s into ATC active speakers, and I know quite a few who have tried to get by without using a Naim pre and have tried something like a Rossini directly into a NAP500. They have returned back to using the Naim pre. Ask Dunc on this forum who tried his Rossini direct into his 500 and was not happy with the results.

As to some of the alternatives you have mentioned I can only give you my personal opinion having owned a Nait 5, 282,252,552,250,300,500. The 252 was my least favorite pre. There are enough postings on the Naim forum to show that I am not alone in that opinion. The 300 amp is wonderful, and the 500 has made a quantum leap with the DR to become one of the best amps out there today. You will never find ANY complaints with the 552 which is universally loved, while the 282 imho is the great vfm in the pre lineup.

Of course a demo is key.
Good luck on your journey.


Interesting comments - @glevethan into what speakers?

Rossini and clock was straight into the active ATC’s…

My journey was Proac Super Tablettes > Naim nSats > Naim Allaes > Kudos Titans

Rossini (initially without, but now with clock) > Accuphase C2450 > Accuphase A48 > Dynaudio Confidence 30.

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Wise words. The only way to succeed in this hobby.

As Gregg has mentioned, i also run a naim 552 and 500dr, the 552 is about to be DR’ed and both boxes serviced. I find the rossini goes very well with this pairing, i have tried removing the pre amp, but it didnt last long, as it just lost its dynamics and sounded a bit flat in comparison.
I have also had a 300dr amp, which again was nice, but the 500 pairing, go so well together, for me i will be staying with them.
I did try vitus, the sia025 mk2, again nice, but i missed what the naim pair did together, but i could see why maybe someone else might prefer the vitus, especially if classical music is all you listen too.

Listened to a variety of speakers today - Kudos 707’s good, but Dynaudio Confidence 50’s were epic.

I vote for Rossini directly connected to ATC 50A - it will be the basis of serious system. Late you can add Rossini clock and preamp to your taste and the order you need

A little update, well for the past 4 weeks i have been running my rossini into my naim 500dr amp, the 552 pre amp is with Naim being serviced and DR’ed, both parts.
Obviously i have been playing with several settings trying to get the best sound from it all, yes it still sounds fantastic without the pre, but as the weeks have gone by, i have become more aware that the music has lost something, its not huge and i guess you could say its like not having the clock switched on, still sounds good, just not quite the same.
It has certainly lost and not gained, and looking forward to getting the 552 back next week.

I have had to turn the output on the rossini down to 2v, from the 6v, i run when the 552 is in the system, this allows me to get the volume on the rossini nearest to the magic 0.0, but even then i am mainly at -30 still at normal listening levels, this would be hindering things slightly i know, as i do find having the rossin set to 6v and 0.0, does give my the best possible performance.
Anyway interesting to see how much better it is once the 552 back, as it certainly needed a service, as it had started to lose control on the left channel, plus it will now be updated to the latest spec and DR’ed.

I have been using dCS front end, Harbeth and Naim amps (Puccini + U Clock and SN2 then) for 5 years now. While the SHL5 stays (since 2010), my front end is now Bartok+Rossini clock via Roon, and amps are 252/300DR. I think these 3 British brands work well in harmony. Quite likely I will stay on these 3 brands for foreseeable future.

I’m using a Rossini+clock into an Accuphase C2450 preamp and Accuphase A48 amp. Dynaudio Confidence C30 speakers. British/Japanese/Danish combo - unorthodox maybe but it works well.

thanks for all the updates.

Just for completeness, having an install on Wednesday:

Rossini and clock is going into Naim 552 pre with 552 PS, then into Naim 500DR/PS, into Dynaudio Confidence 50’s.

It was going to be direct into 250DR into some speakers tbc, but then got good deal on ex-demo 300DR and then an even better deal on 500DR so paired it with the 552. Speaker shopping was fun - the ATC’s I’d tried, and also auditioned the Confidence 20s & 40’s, the Dutch & Dutch 8c’s, Kudos (various models) and even Magico’s. The Confidence 50’s were the standout pair. Have even had dedicated mains put in for the Naim, so can’t wait…

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It will be a lovely system and that makes atleast 4 off us that i know, running the same.
Apart from speakers that is, i am running PMC fact 12’s

As Dunc knows I am one of the 4 mentioned above (552/500/Rossini+Clock/Kudos Titans). My 552/500 have been here 15 years - the Rossini since April.
There is great synergy between Naim and dCS. You will be VERY happy

thanks all.

Installed today and starting the running in…

One q - is there a way to control the 552 volume with an app - or does it need the Naim remote control?

Can’t add the 552 to the Naim app directly it seems, and volume on Roon or dCS will control the output level of the Rossini, but I’d rather keep that at 0.0 and have the pre-amp do the volume…

Naim 552 does not have any reception device for either wifi or any other network connection. It has only an IR receiver so the Naim IR handset or other RC5 remote is the only available method. There is an RCA socket on the rear panel that is for an RC5 device ( I imagine intended for some kind of IR extender). Maybe someone could add further details?

Well got my 552 and ps back from naim today, its been serviced and DR’ed.

All i can say is what a difference adding the pre back in has made, i had been running my 500dr direct from the rossini, its been nice, but i knew i was missing something, well putting the rossini back to 6 volts output and the volume back to 0.0, has certainly givern the system more dynamics and scale, its sounds more alive, faster etc. Yes it could be that my 500dr amp needs the 552 to fully exploit itself, but what ever it is, its better with it.

glad its sounding great again. Quite surprised that you need it at 6v though - at 2v mine is plenty loud enough at 10 o’clock on the 552…