Naim has released a turntable, the first in its half-century history. The Solstice Limited Edition includes not only the turntable itself, but also an updated version of the Naim Aro tonearm, Equinox MC cartridge, Solstice Series phono stage, power supply in a separate case and a set of accessories. Specialists of the Clearaudio brand participated in the development.
The design of the turntable itself complies with all Naim principles – first of all, the developers noted the multi-level vibration isolation. They used a magnetic bearing and a massive platter made of polished aluminum. The disc spins a “unique self-calibrating motor” that, as the description says, allows the turntable to deliver its signature sound.
The turntable table is made of 47 layers of wood – the result is a structure with a low resonance level and a kind of “island” in the center. This “island” is isolated from the main body of the table and allows the disc and arm to be combined. The magnetic bearing reduces disk-to-surface contact and mechanical noise.
The Aro tonearm was first introduced back in 1989, and for the Solstice, this design was implemented in more modern materials – including tungsten and carbon fiber. The number of adjustments has also increased: you can adjust the azimuth and altitude.
Unlike the original Aro version, the new tonearm is compatible with a large number of cartridges but comes with an Equinox MC head. The cartridge has a body made of a single piece of aluminum, decorated with silver grooves, and a Microline sharpened needle, which repeats the shape of a cutter in track cutting machines. The needle holder is made of boron.
The phono stage builds heavily on Naim’s previous SuperLine designs and the flagship Statement amplifier. The Solstice phono equalizer is the first discrete controllers built for the flagship. It has separate circuits for MM and MC heads, it operates in class A and has a very low noise level.
All adjustments are located on the rear panel: 16 options for load resistance and capacitance are available.
In Naim’s opinion, a stable power supply is vital for high quality sound. Therefore, a lot of attention has been paid to a separate power supply unit. The power circuits between the turntable and phono stage are completely isolated and do not interfere with each other in any way, despite being in the same box.
In the same case, there is a small switching power supply that is responsible for switching to standby mode. It turns off completely when the player is in use.
The phono stage and power supply are manufactured at Naim’s Sailsbury facility, while the turntable, tonearm and cartridge are manufactured at the Clearaudio plant.
The accessories included a digital scale for adjusting the downforce, liquid level, hex keys, adjustment set, dust cover and dust cloth. The buyer will also receive a history book and a Naim-produced LP specifically for Solstice.
The Solstice Limited Edition is limited to 500 pieces. The kit will cost £16,000 in the UK.