Naim Audio Solstice turntable system £16,000 Review
November 23, 2021 § Leave a comment
In a way, the Naim Audio Solstice turntable isn’t something that unveils endless amounts of new information off the groove (although the turntable’s overall performance is extremely detailed); it’s how it ties everything together so well and makes that sound natural and entertaining. All the elements that contribute to good sound (dynamic range, good stereo soundstaging, etc) are there and represented well, but the same could be said of almost any decent turntable. The combination of turntable, arm, cartridge and phono stage is well developed, and the individual products work in harmony (as much as it’s possible to check given there are limited swappable options at this time), but so do many well-assembled turntable packages. What the Solstice does so well, however, is render all that academic. Most other decks you experience or enjoy; this one helps you enjoy the music, all else is at best a secondary concern.
The arm in particular is a joy to use, retaining all the easy ‘plonk it on the record and play the thing’ nature of the older arm, but with just enough of a lift/lower to make cueing up a record possible. Looking into the past, some of the limitations addressed at the Aro of its time (I used one in the 1990s; it was great, but a little rolled off top and bottom, it errs on the ‘easy on the ears’ side of things, and it doesn’t take well to complex layered classical music) are either simply not an issue or are reduced to near-total inaudibility. Yes, the Aro’s mid-bass bloom (which gave music its characteristic ‘bounce’) is still around in vestigial terms, but it only serves to make the sound more beat-oriented and exciting,