For 48 years, Naim Audio has made some of the most beautiful (and expensive) audio equipment out there, treating audiophiles to a range of equipment designed to compel their discerning ears. That entire time, the outfit has never made a turntable, but with the apparent resurgence of vinyl in recent years, we guess now is as good a time as any to remedy that. As such, the high-end British outfit is debuting the Naim Audio Solstice Special Edition.
No, it’s not just a record player. Instead, it’s a complete package for vinyl listeners, consisting of a turntable, a phono stage, and a dedicated power supply to get it all running. So yeah, it will, pretty much, overhaul your entire front-end setup, although given the outfit’s reputation for no-compromise, high-quality audio gear, though, we doubt its well-heeled target market is going to mind.
The Naim Audio Solstice Special Edition consists of the Solstice NVS TT turntable, the Solstice Series Phono Stage NVC TT, and the Solstice Series Power Supply NPX TT. The turntable, which is built on a specially-machined aluminum housing, uses a magnetic main bearing that supports a thick aluminum platter with felt mat on top, which is then driven by a 24V DC motor that self-calibrates using an optical sensor to maintain stable speed at all times. That magnetic main bearing, by the way, literally floats from the strength of the magnetic field, creating a mechanical decoupling that allows it to minimize any mechanical noise.
The deck has a core made from 47-ply plinth, which allows the main bearing and arm to decouple themselves from the rest of the turntable’s structure for even greater isolation, while aluminum plates both top and bottom rigidly couple the arm to the main bearing. They also throw in specially-designed feet that can filter out specific frequencies, so they’re gone all in on really eliminating any potential disturbance to the record playing.
The Naim Audio Solstice Special Edition’s turntable also gets a second-generation Aro tonearm that replaces the aluminum alloy with carbon fiber and tungsten, while allowing for end0user adjustments to bias, arm height, and the arm’s horizontal alignment. Mounted to the that tonearm is the outfit’s Equinox MC cartridge, which boasts a specially machined aluminum body, a boron cantilever, and a microline stylus, as well as a moving coil based off a high-end Clearaudio design. Speaking of that company, Naim manufactured this turntable in conjunction with Clearaudio, by the way, although they make it clear that everything was done to Naim’s specifications, so this is actually a new turntable that’s been made from the ground up, rather than a rebranding of a Clearaudio product.
Both the phono stage and the power supply are housed in nondescript cases, so you probably can’t tell what they are. Until you look at the rear, of course, where you will find the phono stage’s moving coil and moving magnet inputs, as well as the power supply’s available outlets for the phono stage and the turntable. The phono stage, by the way, is adjustable, so you can fine tune the performance of the cartridge, and houses a low-noise Class A circuit.
Only 500 of the Naim Audio Solstice Special Edition will be available. Preorders are available now for $20,000, with deliveries slated for late July.