Any left field ideas for an upgrade?

Recently went from a Synology NAS (DS 212+) to QNAP TS-453A - and like two black box upgrades. Don't even need the UnitiServ anymore.

System now is NDS/555DR - 552 (DR) - Nap 300 (Non-DR) into Kudos Super 20s. 

Any thoughts on upgrade ideas? Not sure whether DRing the Nap 300 is a worthwhile move. Nap500DR seems a step too far (not ready for it). Maybe speaker change/upgrade?

Or probably best to stay put...

 

 

Original Post

I have the same system, but recently replaced my s20s with new speakers and have been amazed by how much more the system is capable of. Posted on it - ART diamond speakers, but if you do a significant upgrade with more full-range speakers, it will make a difference, although it takes a lot to beat the s20s. Br Lars

Spend a shed load on music. Buy things from genres you don't usually listen to. Buy some stuff for nostalgia, or just a bit randomly. Get some Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sufi devotional singing, some ambient electronics from Bing and Ruth, a bit of heavy metal, some indie pop, Southern gothic Americana, modern jazz, mediaeval plainsong and some 70s disco. Buy up everything your favourite artist has ever released. Whatever. Listen to it and have fun.

It is what your HiFi is for. I bet it sounds excellent.

Well, you asked. 

Bruce. (Starting his day off with the first two artists in that list)

Hmm "left field" is not exactly NAP500 or speakers but more like "Ditch the NDS for X or swap the 552 for Y". Neither of which I would suggest just now.

I'd definately get the 300 DRd, or perhaps by a long in the tooth NAP500 (as old as you can find and therefore lowest cost) and then pay to have it recapped and DRed to current spec. Once you move to one of the DR power amps, the next step will present itself obviously.

Is say this from experience that DR does sound very different and offers more of everything but it does absolutely make speakers behave differently. You may find it an improvement in all areas or you may find it (as I did) breaks the spell slightly if your current speakers were carefully matched with your non 300, As soon as you DR the amp, you are effectively using speakers with an amp you never originally matched them to. In my case, a speaker change was required to something more capable of the 250DRs more linear low frequency delivery.

But if "left field" is truly what you're after, fine. Sell the NDS, buy a Revox reel-to-reel and reverse rip everything on your NAS to tape

 

Mango - the advantage of the S20s is that they are very room friendly.  At a price there are undoubtedly "better" speakers out there but could you accomodate them.   

I personally prefer the drive and grip afforded by the 500 over the 300 but not everyone would agree.  

It could be you've reached your zenith in which case DR treatment for your 300 is a must  

Regards,

Lindsay

 

500 is a different to every Naim power amp. It is a bridged amplifier, and the speaker return currents do not flow to system earth where distortion can be injected back into the system.

That is where I would put the upgrade money.

I once tried my NAP 250 DR (not run in) against NAP 500 (with 552 as a preamp)

The NAP 250 DR was in this case, easily trounced by the 500 as it should be (considering the price difference)

sjbabbey posted:
MangoMonkey posted:

Or maybe even going down to a Nap 250DR - for a full DR system?

MM,

I thought you considered that the pairing of the S20s with anything less than the NAP300 was a no-no.

You're right - I don't recommend the kudos s20s with the nap250.2. I don't recall how the 250DRs did...

Looks like a more than capable system to me! But your profile needs an uppgrade ;-)

Do you have fraim, power lines, etc. for all boxes? And why not consider an PowerIgel? An alternative to new music could be a nice tuner (I for sure  miss mine!).

Regarding 300 and DR, since you already have two DR products I would be surprised I you would not like this as well. To me they shared alot of sonic character when I auditioned DR versions vs. mine none DR (sc, 555, 300).

You're going to get a 500 DR in the end unless you crash out of Naim or skip it and go straight to the Statement, none of which is exactly left field. Something wierd but wonderful is needed, is there any vinyl in your life? there's endless entertainment to be had tweaking a vinyl setup. Assuming there isn't then that leaves front or rear end to  play with. The Chord brigade have suggested the NDS sounds a touch mechanical and a Chord DAC is needed to affect a cure, others claim the Chord DACs are too clinical, I'll be running in a Hugo 2 soon in order to find out, if the dealer sticks to his word but in any case a Chord DAC has become too ubiquitous to be left field. Other DACs or streamers are possible but they too will dilute the Naimness. Chord cables and SL maybe but hardly left field these days and tedious to audition. That more or less leaves the speakers but with the question mark of a Dr and/or 500 upgrade still hanging around you'll never settle on anything. While you're in upgrade limbo a pair of Eclipse TD712s should be entertaining to audition and might just qualify as left field.

Chag... posted:

DRing the 300 is really a must in all respects. Have a trial and listen in situ if you still have doubts. Be only aware of that very light touch of brightness coming with it.  :)

Chag -

Please can you describe the 'touch of brightness' a little more? Is it likely to tip Kudos speakers over into too bright (given that the SEAS tweeter is used). Is anyone already using a 300DR with Kudos speakers?

Chris Dolan posted:

I am still getting used to the wonderful improvement that has resulted from having my NAP300/300PS DR'd and serviced.

There has been a constant stream of WOW moments and they work stupendously with my Kudos Super 20s. 

Highly recommended by me FWIW

Chris, I concur. I have 552DR and 300Dr in S20s plus full loom. No harshness or brightness here.

Mango, I would go for the 300DR and the full loom, which I did.

Other alternative might be the Titan707 when released.

Or, if you don't already have it, full tidal, then you get a lot of new music.

naim_nymph posted:

The very good Leftfeild upgrade for any system is some Rhythm and Stealth  : )

 

:-) Also out of leftfield, I personally I find the track 'Melt' on the album Leftism a really good system test track. In addition to being a great listen.

 

To the OP's question, a new listening chair ?

Guy007 posted:
naim_nymph posted:

The very good Leftfeild upgrade for any system is some Rhythm and Stealth  : )

 

:-) Also out of leftfield, I personally I find the track 'Melt' on the album Leftism a really good system test track. In addition to being a great listen.

 

To the OP's question, a new listening chair ?

Leftism used to be a Linn approved test disc for showing off what a system could do.

whsturm posted:
Chag... posted:

DRing the 300 is really a must in all respects. Have a trial and listen in situ if you still have doubts. Be only aware of that very light touch of brightness coming with it.  :)

Please can you describe the 'touch of brightness' a little more? Is it likely to tip Kudos speakers over into too bright (given that the SEAS tweeter is used). Is anyone already using a 300DR with Kudos speakers?

This light touch of brightness of the 300 DR version is only to be considered in comparison, or in contrast, with the original 300 that had, I believe, somewhat of a dark or matt sound presentation that may be appreciated by the listener of classical music. The best way I found to describe the new 300 DR is that while it certainly does better each and every thing that the original 300 was doing so well, listening to it, the DR version, is like looking through the window after the rain has stopped. The streets are now gleaming whereas the asphalt used to be matt before the rain. This light touch of brightness that Martin Colloms of HiFi Critic has reported as well in his review last year, may sometimes and on some recordings, mask a small part of the counterpoint or even the texture of the timbres even though the DR is capable or rendering noticeably more details to the presentation. On the other side this touch of brightness might also contribute to more refined highs for greater transparency, airiness and layering at the end. Go figure. :]

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