Naim Nait 50 is a reworked iconic 1973 Naim 1 stereo amp and I want one

Naim Nait 50 on white background, seen from above on a jaunty angle
(Image credit: Naim)

Regular readers and hi-fi aficionados will know that Naim's 50th anniversary has seen the UK firm release not one but three new products at CES 2023, including a sixth-generation overhaul of the 1975 NAP 250 power amp. 

But this one is special, for me. This is Mr. Vereker's Nait 1 in a 2023 iteration. To clarify, Nait 50 is a remaster of the very first Nait amplifier, released in 1983. And as with that original and iconic piece of hi-fi history, it is being made in Salisbury, UK, but this time limited to only 1,973 pieces – see what they did there? 

There's a glorious understated functionality to it and you love to see it – check out Copland's brutalist amps or Moon's high-end North options for further reference. 

Back to the Nait though (because it's worth it) and with technically improved circuits thanks to the enriched, unique know-how gathered over the years by Naim’s engineers, Nait 50 promises top amplification performance in its price category. I haven't heard it yet, but I truly hope it reproduces the most exacting dynamics with all the confidence and authority I've come to expect from a Naim. 

I do know it'll link with almost all types of loudspeaker, including the best stereo speakers we've tested, and can also be combined with a streamer to make the ultimate analog/digital hi-fi system. New features on this anniversary edition include a headphone output, a new MM phono stage with discrete transistors (for hooking it up to one of the best turntables in our buying guide, as long as the deck sports a moving-magnet variant cartridge), and a chrome finish. 

You're also getting 25W of power per channel with peaks of 225W, three analog inputs, and just look at that Spinal Tap-esque volume dial on its front panel. I really do want one of these. 

Opinion: Naim at 50 is irrefutable proof that if it ain't broke there's no need to fix it

Naim's Nait 50 from the front, on white backgound

What's in a Naim? 50 years of history for starters (Image credit: Naim)

If I had my way, I'd hook this amp up to a set of Tannoy speakers I heard at High End Munich, in the 1970s heritage hi-fi room of my dreams. 

When it comes to hi-fi, brand ethea seems to swing in two distinct directions: looking back (even as far as the awesome 1927 Western Electric 12B, seen at High End Munich 2023) to wooden cabinets and a wholly traditional approach, or looking forward with all-new materials, concepts, and radical approaches – see Wilson Audio's aggressively radical speakers, Magico's metal enclosures or Monitor Audio's majestic and wildly alternative Concept 50 design

I see plenty of room for both – alongside a hybrid approach where each concept is embraced and celebrated, as is the case with something like Focal's foodie-themed Sopra 2 speakers. And even Naim itself has branched out into one-box streaming solutions with great success, owing to the excellent Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation.

But there's a reason Naim's heritage lines persist – something I wrote about extensively for TechRadar's sister publication in a labor of love entitled 9 of the best Naim products of all time. The reason is simple: they still work. 

Yes, the company has always had a rock-n-roll approach – I remember a poster with 250 stereo power amp embedded in a broken wooden floor and a sheepish-looking man in the background, with the caption "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your Naim" – but the separates speak for themselves. And long may that continue. 

Naim Nait 50 will arrive in June, with a suggested retail price of $3,599 / £2,699 / €3,000 (which is around AU $5,089). Mark your diaries and let's all keep checking back with Naim

Becky Scarrott
Senior Audio Staff Writer

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.