System Feature: Naim Audio NAC-N 272 network preamplifier and ATC SCM40 active floorstanding loudspeakers

Solid-state preamplifiers,
Digital-to-analog converters,
Music servers and computer audio
ATC Loudspeakers SCM40A,
Naim Audio NAC-N 272

The 272 is the first Naim component I’ve tried with the Tidal service built in; as customers get a three month trial, I gave it a go. The service integrates nicely with the Naim control app and in many respects you can access tracks and albums in much the same way as those in your local library. The sound quality is not in the same league (hence Tidal’s forthcoming launch of a higher res service this year) but it’s better than Spotify and good enough to establish which artists are worth investment. It can also swallow up any amount of spare time in a most enjoyable fashion.

One release that I went back to was Sounds of Life [Benjamin Taubkin, Discovery]; this combines piano with drums and percussion. It’s only a CD rip, but the power and presence that this system extracts is extraordinary. The Naim’s ability to present a totally coherent, perfectly timed signal allied to the ATC’s power and – thanks to the new tweeter – smooth top end make it a great system for indulging in music’s visceral qualities. I had a lot of fun with this system and it has reignited my enthusiasm for active operation; there really needs to be more speaker systems like this. Now that Naim has realised that less is more perhaps it can persuade the frères at Focal to incorporate some Salisbury electronics into Focal speakers. The new Sopra models would be the obvious place to start methinks. But for now the combination of NAC-N 272 and SCM40A is all the system most of us will ever need, and the best sounding three box system I’ve enjoyed to date.

Technical Specifications


Type: 3-way, four-driver, floorstanding speaker with active drive and sealed enclosure

Driver complement: 25mm ATC soft dome, dual suspension tweeter; ATC 75mm soft dome midrange driver with machined aluminium dispersion plate; ATC 164mm short coil bass driver

Crossover frequencies: 380Hz, 3.5kHz

Frequency response: 48Hz – 22kHz

Amplifier output: 150W LF, 60W MF, 32W HF

Input sensitivity: 1 Volt

Protection: Steel mesh grilles

Dimensions without spikes (H×W×D): 980 × 265 × 344mm

Weight: 36kg/each

Finishes: black ash, real cherry veneer

Price: £6,280/pair

Manufacturer: ATC

Tel: +44 (0)1285 760561


Naim Audio NAC-N 272

Type: Solid-state network streamer, DAC, digital preamplifier

Analogue Inputs: One DIN jack, two RCA jacks

Digital Inputs: Three S/PDIF (one via BNC, two via RCA jacks), one TOSLink.

DAC Resolution/Supported Digital Formats: 24-bit/192kHz, FLAC/WAV/MP3/DSD etc

Music services/Wi-Fi inputs: Spotify Connect, Bluetooth aptX, Tidal

Analogue Outputs: Three stereo unbalanced (two via DIN jack, one RCA jacks)

Digital Outputs: none

Frequency Response: Not specified

Distortion (THD + Noise): Not specified

User Interface: 2.25 inch display (on main unit), Naim application software for iOS, Android

Dimensions (H×W×D): 87 × 432 × 314mm

Weight: 10.3kg

Price: £3,300

Manufacturer: Naim Audio

Tel: +44 (0) 1722 426 600


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