Industry News

An Easier Way to Buy HiFi From Naim and Focal

Sometimes, one of the most challenging parts of assembling an audio system is sifting through all the choices.

Right before COVID hit us, Naim and Focal had been putting together several Naim/Focal boutiques. Their goal is to establish a range of stores worldwide, where you can view, and most importantly listen to, a number of systems featuring both brands. Including their award-winning line of headphones. As we are pulling out of this global pandemic, they are picking up the pace again.

This is critical, because there are so many choices today. While many of us enjoy the audiophile as contact sport aspect of the hobby, an equal number, if not more music lovers would just like to purchase a great music system and get on with it. Regardless of where you sit in the crowd, the Naim/Focal oases are beautiful to behold, and will give you a lot of concentrated seat time with the brand.

As part of this scenario, they’ve put together this “10th Anniversary Edition” system, to celebrate the 10 years these brands have been together. The total cost is $48,000. Should you choose to go with Naim’s Fraim system to house everything, the total cost will be about $5,500 more, but there is no more elegant way to display Naim components than the Fraim system. It provides stability, isolation, and modularity. (So, it’s easy to add a turntable and keep it all tidy.)

The entire system is anchored by a special pair of Focal Sopra No.2 Speakers that come with concrete sidewalls, and a front baffle that looks like tin. Having visited the Focal factory, and seeing the level of detail that they provide for custom orders, these are sure to be very unique. The only way to get a pair of Sopra No.2s in this finish is to buy the anniversary system.

The system is powered by Naim’s NAC 282 Preamplifier, NAP 250 Power Amplifier, with matching NAPSC and HiCap DR power supplies. Naim’s award winning NDX 2 music server/DAC takes care of source materials. Those wanting to add a turntable, will have to provide their own, but the NAC 282 has five Naim connectors, as well as two RCA analog inputs. Naim fans that haven’t heard the 282 will be surprised at how much of the 500 series DNA is present here.

Even though it doesn’t affect the sound quality, it’s of major interest that to match the special finish of the Sopras, Naim has produced the components for the Anniversary Edition in a new medium grey finish. Naim has never produced anything but the standard black face, so this is incredibly cool. And, all the required cables are needed.

While I haven’t heard the anniversary system per se, I have heard these components in standard black finish with the Sopra No.2 in standard finish, and this is a top-notch system indeed. We have also spent a lot of time with the entire Sopra No.2s here as well.

Granted, nearly $50k might be more than your current budget – all the more reason to stop by one of the Naim/Focal shops and give a listen to the full product lineup. Who knows, you might only need a pair of headphones, or you might be enticed by one of the big Utopias? You never know. What’s so exciting about this concept, is the idea of being able to experience so much of it and truly make an informed purchase.

Though mail order hifi has become the de rigueur way to buy, there’s nothing like going to a hifi salon to peruse their wares. And the Naim/Focal stores have been tip-top. It really helps take the guesswork out of the process, and now you have the opportunity to purchase something that looks as unique as it sounds. Here’s to hoping Naim and Focal produce more of these special edition products.

It’s been great to watch these two industry leaders forge such a great partnership over the last decade. From the MuSo products, to their new headphones, and all of the current electronics and speakers, the synergy is there for all to see, and hear.