NAC 82 or NAP 250

Is it usual for a dealer to ask the purchaser to pay for the cost of a service prior to the unit being ready for sale and prior to the unit having been seen or heard? Surely the onus is on the seller to ensure that the unit is in a sale-able condition?

I can confirm I am the happy owner of a Olive 82 and a converted to Olive 250. The 82 is 2001 vintage (bought pre loved from TomTom), which I had serviced by Class A, not long back. The 250 is 1985 vintage (bought new as CB,  from Sound Advice), serviced & converted to Olive by Naim, serviced again more recently by Class A. 

I can therefore recommend both the 82 and the 250. I cannot say if 2001 & 1985 are good vintages, though, but they sound good to me. 

Currently, the 82 is powered by 2 HiCaps (not DR) - one is 1986 vintage (bought new as CB, from Sound Advice), again converted to Olive & serviced by Naim, serviced again more recently by Class A, the 2nd being a 1990 vintage Olive unit (bought pre-loved from TomTom), serviced by Class A.

The temptation remaining would be getting an Olive SC, to replace the 2 HiCaps. We will see - on day maybe....

Update: olive 250s being somewhat difficult to find, I have plumbed  for a recent 250.2. Now I know that some folk here are not that impressed with the 250.2, but my rationale goes something like this: a) it was at a very good price b) it won't need a service for at least 3 years c) it can be upgraded to DR d) it will form the heart of the system for many, many years to come e) it has all the benefits and refinement of the latest systems, including the anti microphonic  sub-chassis. It lands in Valhalla early next week 

Loki posted:

Update: olive 250s being somewhat difficult to find, I have plumbed  for a recent 250.2. Now I know that some folk here are not that impressed with the 250.2, but my rationale goes something like this: a) it was at a very good price b) it won't need a service for at least 3 years c) it can be upgraded to DR d) it will form the heart of the system for many, many years to come e) it has all the benefits and refinement of the latest systems, including the anti microphonic  sub-chassis. It lands in Valhalla early next week 

Congratulations. Do report on the changes with the system later when you manage to listen to the NAP 250.2.

f) casing on the black 250.2 looks sturdier and more elegant than the olives and CB (subjective).

The 250.2 has landed! It's warming up on its own before being installed. Minor cosmetic blemishes insignificant.

One thing I hadn't expected: the new black Snaic. a) it doesn't have the locking ring of yore; b) it's much less of a cable than previously.

Is this, in fact, the replacement for the cheaper grey cables, or has technology slimmed down the sheathing?

Or is it just time to bite the HiLine bullet?

Though 'modest' (I think it may just be a type of mains 'flex'?), I believe that the official story is that it was chosen because its performance was superior to anything 'fancier'. I wouldn't worry about it, as it does the job very satisfactorily, IME, and has 'stood the test of time'.

The reason that the SNAIC with your 180 is more 'substantial' is that it can 'carry' both signal and power; the DIN4-XLR with the 250.2 only carries signal.

Loki posted:

Thanks Alba. Just checked as you were posting and yes it is a 3 pin cannon to 4 pin XLR. Not a SNAIC Is there a Naim upgrade available for this? My old 180 has a superior looking/feeling black SNAIC-type affair.

It's a 4 pin DIN to 3 pin XLR - the DIN should lock as normal.

Chris Dolan posted:

I've not done it with a 32.5 but did try a Supercap powering my 42.5 - which sounded impressive but not quite "right" 

Well, when I had the 42.5/140 combo running as a secondary amp I powered the 42.5 with

a) The internal 140 supply.

b) A freshly recapped Snaps

c) A freshly recapped chrome bumper Hicap

d) A new Supercap. 

The best bang for the buck was the Snaps, as it gave most of what the Hicap did and was considerably better than the naked 140 supply. But even with the 140 supply, the 42.5 was recognizable in its sonic traits. The Supercap effected a profound change-gone was the warm, fuzzy, rounded at the edges and scaled down version that the options up to the Hicap gave. With the Supercap it was much faster and extended at either end of the spectrum. It exchanged some pleasantries for truth, which may or may not be to everyone's tastes. I tried the 42.5/SC combo into speakers as diverse as vintage Advents (which LOVE Naim electronics) to active DBL's (ditto). 

But the 102/Supercap was preferable...less compressed and rolled off with some genuine spatial attributes. It tends to be sadly overlooked in the vintage gear, but with a SC at least, was the mouse that roared. 

A 42.5/SC however is a great combo and leaves you perfectly poised to upgrade to anything apart from a 552 or Statement preamp. 

Alba1320 posted:
Loki posted:

Thanks Alba. Just checked as you were posting and yes it is a 3 pin cannon to 4 pin XLR. Not a SNAIC Is there a Naim upgrade available for this? My old 180 has a superior looking/feeling black SNAIC-type affair.

It's a 4 pin DIN to 3 pin XLR - the DIN should lock as normal.

Of course, if you read from signal source. Thanks for clearing that up. I'd overlooked the power-distribution function of the 180. The new cable does have the locking ring of yore at 4 pin DIN end.

I find that looking behind the system is a little like meeting up with an old friend: you remember the broad brush strokes and can usually carry on from where you left off but some of the details may be a bit fuzzy. Well, I've just been reminded that the cable from Prefix HiCap to 32.5 is of the grey variety. Should I be looking to upgrade?

Ladies & Gentlemen

I am the proud owner of a NAC-52/SuperCap a NAC-32.5.2/HiCap and for that matter a NAC-72/HiCap.
Add to that six NAP-135s and a NAP-250...
Historically my first NAIM was a NAC-12S & NAP-160 (in period)..

Take the trouble to inspect the internals of the SuperCap and you will be pleasantly surprised that when connected to a NAC-32/72 etc. it is effectively operating the same as a HiCap.

Both units use exactly the same power transformer, filter capacitors and voltage regulator assemblies the only difference is the Supercap has fourteen against two in the HiCap but when the NAC-32.5/72 is powered by a SuperCap only TWO are utilises and the rest just sit there 'spinning their wheels'....
In fact in the SuperCap there are fourteen individual power rails (13 x 24 Volt & 1 x 12Volt)

The individuals who hear a difference between powering a NAC-32.5/72 with a SuperCap compared to a HiCap are simply 'kidding themselves'...

Keep your NAC-32.5, install the more recent boards including the NA729s and buy a NAP-250 or a couple of NAP-135s..
The best of the old NAIM amplifiers are the units featuring the 'regulated power supplies'...

Regards
NAIM-Collector.

 

 

First impressions:

 

I left the 250 on power but unconnected for 24 hrs before plugging into the system. 

The system had been powered down at the same time as the 250 was plugged in to warm up so that I could clean all contacts. The system was then powered up again.

I used Gorecki's 3rd symphony and Muse's Black Holes and Revelations as test LPs.

1st session: Played on the 180 and then after about 10 minutes of installation using the 250: immediate notice of depth to sound stage, much clearer detail to mids and highs and a sense of ease, a slight silkiness and perhaps a little light/bright-sounding.

2nd session: after 2 hours: a sense of all frequencies being handled evenly, smooth and silky sound, massive drop in noise, and a real sense of clarity, ease and effortless. Bass more controlled and complex passages clearly ironed and opened out, rather than being congested. Not that I noticed congestion before, but by reference to the 250 the 180 was definitely suffering a cold!

3rd session: after 9 hours and on low volume: Gorecki again but also Chopin Nocturnes. Here a sense of spaciousness, smoothness and latent power: effortless and musical. But with the added bonus of grinding hum! The hum had gone this morning before I left for Valhalla!

4th session will have to wait for a week, so it should be well settled in the next time I listen. I shall report back !

4th session: Bloody Hell! What a difference a week makes (actually I reckon 9 days is optimum warm up time)!  The sound has really matured: full frequency extension top to bottom, seamless and evenly weighted. The Keilidhs have never sounded this good. There is finesse, delicacy, weight and slam and just more, of everything. Leading edges are clear, well defined and muted lyrics now easy to understand. The presentation is neither forward nor slouchy but balanced, effortless and natural. Everything is in proportion but with ample reserves, like a ready stoked steam train at full pressure, the 250 is just capable whether listening to GUN, Gorecki or Primal Scream. It captures the essence of the performacne and the dynamics of the original. Every note, instrument and human has its place and the relationship between each is easily decipherable at any volume. And the presentation has a sweet silken texture which makes the 180 rough, muddled and restricted by comparison (and I never had any regrets about the 180 before: thought it saw off a 200 any day). I often use U2 (any) to demo kit as it needs a really good system to come alive and clarify the complexity of their mix. The 250 is a vast revelation, like having my ears syringed: thank you Naim: I have my hearing back! (and I didn't know I'd lost it!).

If you are in the market for a new amp, seriously consider the 250.2...and that's just my response to a  7-year-old non-DR version! 

Bifrost is in full colour audio spectrum now 

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Bertie Norman
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