NAC 82 or NAP 250

Valhalla could be in line for an upgrade. Should I swap the 32.5 for an 82 or the 180 for a 250? Or is it time to replace the Keilidhs with some S600s? My gut feeling is 250 first. Flat Earthlings, do you agree? Must be LP12 friendly.

 

I listen, therefore I am. I am, therefore I listen.

Original Post

I was in a similar situation (72/HiCap/180) and went for the 250 first, then the 82. The 250 removed a lot of edginess and the slightly uncouth character of the 180. The 250 has stayed in the system, now fronted by a 252/Supercap. I've trialled the 250DR, but preferred the 250. It's a classic amp.

Jan

Hi Loki,

I've enjoyed a 32.5/hicap/250, a 32.5/Hicap2/135 and a 52/SC/135 (the current amp)  
We also have an 82/SC/250 in the family.

The 32.5/hicap works a treat with the 135s.  

The trouble is, it also really raises the 32.5's game if you power it from an olive Supercap.
While there are better speakers out there than the Keilidhs, they will still let the extra music from a better amp flow through.

So, I would go for a serviced olive Supercap on the 32.5 and/or a pair of 135s.  Either or both would bring you even more music with no downsides.  The Supercap also lays the ground for a serviced, Pots8 52 which is just a lovely thing.

Hope this helps, FT

Thanks for the advice chaps. So far, then, it looks like I should keep the 32.5. I like the idea of a SC but they don't seem to come up that often. Not sure if I would be able to afford the 135s, but certainly not averse to the notion.  Similarly a 250-2 although not having heard one, not sure if I should retain the olive hue?

Debs, I live in Valhalla 

 

 

Once you hear a 250-2 against a pair of 135s or a 250-2 against a 250DR, then the penny drops about why the 250-2 can sound initially impressive in hifi terms yet the others are much more musical and satisfying over a more extended period.  

There are many, many threads on this forum from owners who went from a NAP200 to a 250-2, yet couldn't quite settle with its particular style of presentation, then either switched back to a NAP200 or jumped up to a NAP300.

Hence my somewhat concise post above.

Best regards, FT

Foot tapper posted:

Once you hear a 250-2 against a pair of 135s or a 250-2 against a 250DR, then the penny drops about why the 250-2 can sound initially impressive in hifi terms yet the others are much more musical and satisfying over a more extended period.  

There are many, many threads on this forum from owners who went from a NAP200 to a 250-2, yet couldn't quite settle with its particular style of presentation, then either switched back to a NAP200 or jumped up to a NAP300.

...or gave in to the lure of the magnificent 250DR. 

Totally agree with Foot tapper in my experience of owning all the amps listed.

G

On paper, at least (I've not heard the particular combo), you have a good source, and as such, it makes sense to me to get the best pre-amp that you can; I've not heard a 32.5, though it was Naim's top 'back in the day', and used with 250 & 135s very successfully; however, a 52 is very nice!

Personally, I wouldn't use a 250.2 in preference to a 250, as I much prefer the latter, and, with amplification at least, I've found 'Olive with Olive', 'Black with Black' to be preferable, though my ultimate preference in any comparison I've done so far is for Olive (I've not heard 500 series amps, though, and I do like the CD555DR ). As ever, YMMV.

As I've said, though, it depends where you hope to 'end up' with your system.

I should add that,  having used 82/Hi-Cap/140 for a number of years, I was blown away by the improvement offered by the 250; if this was to be your only upgrade, and the 32.5 is as good as most seem to think, then it might be the best option; However, a 52 is also a big improvement over 82 etc., so if you plan to progress further, I would go for that option (or 552, if that's where you feel you might be headed), then the power amp.

Loki posted:

Valhalla could be in line for an upgrade. Should I swap the 32.5 for an 82 or the 180 for a 250? Or is it time to replace the Keilidhs with some S600s? My gut feeling is 250 first. Flat Earthlings, do you agree? Must be LP12 friendly.

For analogue lovers the Olive series offers a world of fabulous musical performance for what are, by comparison to the current ranges, incredibly good prices. In this world the constraining factor is not so much price as availability.  To mirror what some others have previously said:

my advice would be to keep the 32.5 until you can track down a 52.  The price is somewhat more than an 82 but the performance is very significantly better, particularly if it has been recently serviced and uprated to POTS *.

The same observation is, I believe, true in comparing the 135's to the 250.  If you can find a pair of matched and serviced 135's it will be something in the region of twice the price of 2 x 250.  IMHO the 135's open up a completely different level of performance compared to the 250.  I've never heard a 300 but there is at least one forum member who rates the performance of the 135's as comparable to the no-DR version of the 300.

If you're using a decent spec LP12 the 52/135 combo is going to knock your socks off.  I have a high spec LP12 in this system and it's likely to stay until and unless I'm ever tempted to listen to a 552.

Loki posted:

Valhalla could be in line for an upgrade. Should I swap the 32.5 for an 82 or the 180 for a 250? Or is it time to replace the Keilidhs with some S600s? My gut feeling is 250 first. Flat Earthlings, do you agree? Must be LP12 friendly.

I didn't say but you will know that my advice would also entail buying a Supercap.

Gosh. I am overwhelmed with your support guys. Game plan over time is to upgrade NAC, NAP and speakers.  I would like to end up with 250 or 135s. And probably 82/52, although not heard either. 600s are an option: large room!

I feel the Keilidhs need a bit more control, particularly at the bottom end, hence the leaning towards the 250. A 250DR? Maybe a little too young for my previously enjoyed budget. Asgaard's coffers not so overflowing as of yore. 135s would be fab. Happy to stick with olive.

FT thanks for explicating.

Keep the 32.5, and as others have mentioned you can mix CB and Olive without issue, but have found combining them with the reference or "black" has been less than satisfactory with anything less than a 52 pre amp. 

So track down a well maintained and recapped CB or Olive 250 to go with the 32.5 or better yet is a pair of 135s. 

That said, a 250.2 DR is a significant improvement over the stock 250.2 and much closer to a pair of 135s in my somewhat biased view. 

Further help required chaps. I have been offered a recently serviced and re-fasciaed (?!) CB 250 from 1985, and, separately, a serviced and late spec Olive 250. Aesthetically the olive works for me, would I be missing a sonic trick,  though, by turning down the CB?

1985 is a particularly good vintage for the CB NAP250...  

 Don't worry about the new fascia though.  There was a change in material used at this time and the early ones discoloured, the silvery white printing turning a brownish gold.  They could also turn a bit brittle too, so many will have had a replacement fascia (including my own example).

If you're keeping the NAC32.5 then go for the CB 250.  If not, and you're looking at a NAC82 in the near future, then go for the Olive.  There are differences (relatively minor), the biggest one being the change from H&F to Nuvotem transformer, but nothing seismic. Just be sure the servicing was properly done by either Naim or an approved service agent. If not, leave it.

I am likely to keep the 32.5 for a bit, although the HiCaps are Olive and the Armageddon black. I prefer the olive look, personally. Ultimately the 82 is the way to go, and I feel that the 250 will serve time through that period, so, again I am inclined to go olive unless there are sonic reasons not to. Both amps from reputable dealers with excellent provenance, one serviced by Darren at Class A, the other by Naim, Salisbury.

Gary, when I moved from Snaps to Hi-Cap, it was an audio revelation. Then I had Darren service the Hi-Cap and everything went up another notch!

The quest begins... presumably I can use a HiCap with 52, and need to look for a Pots 8 version? For the purposes of economic comparison (rather than forum rule breaking) what are the relative SH values of good 52/82? I've seen the latter for circa £850.

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Bertie Norman
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