500DR

I've just received my fully serviced and DR'd  500 back from Naim via my dealer. I had to wait until the wife was in bed before installing and playing it quite quietly. Six albums later I noticed that it was 3am in the morning. I thought the jump from 135's to a stock 500 was big but the 500DR is just a different animal.

Whie my 500 has been away I reinstalled my trusty old 135's that have been sleeping in my loft. I also manged to get one or two minor issues sorted out and and thought the 135's were sounding pretty fantastic. Comments from a mate who came round the other night just reinforced this. He loved the sound of the system. Then late last night the 135's were switched out for the 500DR. All can say is that from stone cold the 500 just obliterated the 135's. Every track I played took on new meaning. The emotional connection to the music was extraordinary. I heard so much new stuff I was questioning if I'd been listening to the same albums.

If this is what life is like 1 day in I truly dread to think what it will sound like in 3 weeks?

When asked to sumerise a 500DR I will simply say "it is the destroyer of worlds"!

Original Post
Bert Schurink posted:

This is teasing me. The ND555 and this upgrade is on my wishlist. I will check in with the dealer how this will set me back. Sounds like the DR is a must have...

Sorry Bert, but it is definitely a must have in your system. Not cheap, but actually great value for money. Not really an upgrade, more a new and MUCH better amp. Enjoy the ride!

p.s. Solo Piano and Chamber Music benefit the most from 500DR in my experience...

Back in February my 500 sprung a leak and started overheating the right channel, with the fan consequently blasting out a hurricane. So back it went, with the 552 for company, both to be serviced and DR’d.

I got them back Monday, with replacement Burndies (the 552’s apparently had a fault in it and they forgot to pack my 500 Burndies, so they sent two new ones). On top of all that newness I’d got the NDX on 4.6!

There is therefore a lot to burn in, but it’s already sounding effing awesome and I’m in full-on “I wonder what this sounds like now” mode with the music collection.

Fearfully expensive, but...

Mind you, the Star I was loaned in the intervening two months was excellent - way beyond my expectations (and no the new firmware didn’t affect the sound at all). 😛

I I couldn’t agree more - the NAP500 is an amazing amp.  Streets ahead of the 300.  A long time since I heard the 135’s, but I like to think that is like comparing a CDI to a CDS.  The CDI being excellent at what it does - but the CDS is just far more revealing, bringing out all the subtleties.

I too have just taken delivery of a 500DR to complete 3x500 in an active setup.  Replacing a 300 and it is so far a better amp.  (I’ll start a new thread on this topic once I have had a chance to listen a bit more).  But just saying I very much agree with the OP!

Within the context of the retail price of a 500; the DR upgrade is very good value for money. One gets back a new amplifier - physically and sonically. More like a NAP750.

I was very happy with my upgrade from switch-on, but six months and more of run-in makes it very special indeed.

'The destroyer of worlds' indeed Geko. And one's foot, if dropped! (no; I haven't thank goodness).

John.

Geko, I really did not need to read this post, dammit! But it’s something I have been thinking about. What was the turnaround time? How long were you without your NAP500? I recall the price for the DR upgrade being £4,200. Is that still so? Luckily my amp doesn’t  need a service as well as it was done in a November 2016.

It’s been “one of those” Hi-Fi days, when you feel that if it gets much better one might well explode. Even the wife was drawn in (even if the price was to play some Coldplay).

Either all or some of the following albums were blasted out so far this afternoon/evening:

Propellerheads - Drumsanddecksandrockandroll

Dreadzone - Sound

Amon Duul II - Yeti

Stooges - Fun House

Rammstein - Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da

Quicksilver Messenger Service  - Happy Trails

Steely Dan - Everything Must Go (well I had to take breath at some point)

Spooky Tooth - Spooky Two

...and the night is yet young.

Yes, I'm sorry to have to post just how good it is but it even shocked me. Piano is simply glorious it's like the amp charges the air with the notes. Bass is in a different league, like punch you in the chest and cymbals sound wonderful, so delicate. I just keep hearing new interplay in every album I know well.

Price wise it was a bit more than you mention but I did have the power supply serviced as well. I think the total turnaround time from Naim was about 3 weeks. 

kevin J Carden posted:
Bert Schurink posted:

This is teasing me. The ND555 and this upgrade is on my wishlist. I will check in with the dealer how this will set me back. Sounds like the DR is a must have...

Sorry Bert, but it is definitely a must have in your system. Not cheap, but actually great value for money. Not really an upgrade, more a new and MUCH better amp. Enjoy the ride!

p.s. Solo Piano and Chamber Music benefit the most from 500DR in my experience...

Great to read that. I've booked my 500 system for a service and DR and I'm still a little concerned about how it will perform upon return. So many comments seem to be about music other than classical....

I’ve been playing a lot of classical and the DR does its magic across all genre - symphonies have that extra weight, detail and sheer passion, chamber stuff has the small scale feel and flow.

Hiving said that, I’m currently streaming Herbie Hancock’s Future Shock and even the best amps can’t sort the 80s production 😒

Michael ...... don't worry it all gets way better - the original 500 had that slight warmth about it the DR takes this away and gives you more weight and clarity together with more information - it will work a treat on all audio. Beware it takes around 3 months to really show it's true worth.....:-)))

Michael_B. posted:

Thanks for the reassurance, all. I quite like the slight warmth, I have to say, but by all accounts it is balanced by a sweeter, clearer midrange which should more than compensate.

Hi Michael,

I’d say the real value in a 500DR upgrade is more in the realm of improvements in pure musicality than the sonics. Not that there aren’t sonic changes, there certainly are and I reckon your Diapasons will lap up the superior control on offer, but it’s really about the way it makes the musical event clearer and more real and the much better insight into why the musicians are playing the way they are and how they spark each other to create ensemble. In my view it’s similar in style, if not in magnitude, to the upgrade brought by moving up to a 552 from 252. It just gets you closer still to hearing what’s on the recording you’re listening to. 

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