Partnering amplifier for NAC 552

hi guys,

what would be a more suitable amplifier for a NAC 552. NAP 300 or a 135s? I understand a 500 would be ideal but that is currently well out of my budget  

Speakers will most likely be linn Isobarik. 

Umar

Khan

Original Post

I recently upgraded from a NAC52 to a NAC552 and used it quite happily with my NAP135s until I could justify a NAP500. As you say, the NAP500 is the ideal match and in my experience is a major step up from the NAP135s. According to your profile you already have a NAP250 - if you really would like to use a NAP500, why not keep your NAP250 until you can afford a NAP500? You could always buy secondhand. A power amp is a pretty safe bet to buy secondhand, since once it's placed on the shelf and switched on it probably isn't touched.

I would be surprised if the 552 would fail to delight with practically any NAP you wanted to slot in — on your way to a 500, of course.  

I am only half-joking — I credit my 552 as an important partner through many disparate and humble amps throughout my multi-zone system.  It made an important positive difference, to me, everywhere, to my unexpected joy.

Nick

If the cost of a NAP500 is well out of budget you could consider getting a 2nd NAP250DR [you already have one in your profile?] and aim to go active?

However, you'll also need a SNAXO + PS, more NACA5, and more shelves... but buying pre-owned and ex-demo could still cost less than a NAP500?

I think active Isobariks will beg 3 x NAP250DR so may need a rethink for active speaker, or blow the budget! : D

Debs

 

Khan posted:

hi guys,

what would be a more suitable amplifier for a NAC 552. NAP 300 or a 135s? I understand a 500 would be ideal but that is currently well out of my budget  

Speakers will most likely be linn Isobarik. 

Umar

I've used Briks powered by Naim amps for decades until a few years back and they work well with any Naim power amp of 250 and up, but you do hear clearly the different character of each amp.

The 135 mono-blocks have their own unique and engaging sound and sound very different from the 300 and 300DR.

The 300DR will win an all respects IMO, but between the non-DR 300 and 135 they each have their strengths and either will work well musically, but have very different character.

The later Naim amps reveal more detail and have better HF response IMO, possibly due to the better output power transistors available and gradual improvements as you would expect. But the 135 has its own dedicated power supply and transformer for each channel so has some 'boogie' advantages from how I hear it over the non-DR 300. The 300DR is better I think due to the better DR regulation design.

In short all work fine musically with the 552 and Briks.

DB.

So it depends which way you would like to go. Active get yourself a second 250. If you think you would have emerging funds in the future you are best advised to stay with your 250. And if you doubt you ever will get to the 500 then the 300 might be a great place to “end” obviously DR. 

I have had the 552 some time with a 200 and even that was an engaging combination while limited. While I wouldn’t at all suggest you to downgrade your 250, it’s a very fine amp on it’s own.

Hi guys,

 

I’m sorry i I should have updated my profile. The amplification and speakers were sold to finance an extension on my house. I’m looking to go one step further with my next setup. So up from a 252 to a 552 with nap 300 or a 135s.

As I haven’t purchased any yet I’m looking for advise as to which route to take. I just wanted to make sure the 300 has enough juice for the Briks. I have read it definitely has more detail and tbh I have already owned a NAP 300 in the past in a NAC 82 SUPERCAP olive system. Only thing is it was driving a Harbeth 30.1 then and Briks as I understand are a lot harder to drive. The 250dr sounded better to me than the 300 non dr  I suspect what I was actually hearing though was a breeze preamp at work. 

Its comforting to know that the 552 will sound great with anything. Perhaps I might even buy an olive 250 (serviced) until I can plunge for the 500dr. 

 

Khan

Khan posted:

hi guys,

what would be a more suitable amplifier for a NAC 552. ......

Speakers will most likely be linn Isobarik

Umar

Khan,

Since you consider going the "LINN way", did you evaluate Linn Active speaker systems ?
I use the (older, fully analogue) 350A since many years with my 552, but I know Linn has newer (including some  more reasonably   priced !!) active models . 

(Well I hope, they still accept a normal analogue input signal)

 Regards

 Urs

In prior discussions regarding acquiring NAP 500DR, member(s), perhaps a dealer, urged caution in considering NAP 500DR. Can anyone think of  reason why adding NAP 500DR would compromise sound quality and if so where would foibles lie? 

Many Naim owners speak of system/equipment balancing, with this in mind is NAC 552DR with NAP 300DR less balanced than NAC 552DR with NAP 500DR?         

cnewyork posted:

In prior discussions regarding acquiring NAP 500DR, member(s), perhaps a dealer, urged caution in considering NAP 500DR. Can anyone think of  reason why adding NAP 500DR would compromise sound quality and if so where would foibles lie?      

Rather than attempt to answer this odd observation could I ask you post a link?

I could see how someone might warn against a 500 if the rest of the system isn't right but - what was the context?

Richard Dane posted:

I can vouch that the NAC552 works nicely with a NAP110, NAP160, CB NAP250 , as well as the current NAP250DR. Oh, and a NAP500 works brilliantly too. However, for passive 'Briks I would suggest a pair of NAP135s if a NAP500 is still out of reach.  

And what about the 300DR?

Phil

Adam Meredith posted:
cnewyork posted:

In prior discussions regarding acquiring NAP 500DR, member(s), perhaps a dealer, urged caution in considering NAP 500DR. Can anyone think of  reason why adding NAP 500DR would compromise sound quality and if so where would foibles lie?      

Rather than attempt to answer this odd observation could I ask you post a link?

I could see how someone might warn against a 500 if the rest of the system isn't right but - what was the context?

Adam, thank you for your inquiry. I am not audiophile and have limited interest in audio equipment other than advancing my listening. Over many years I recognized that "better" equipment was actually better, eventually leading to Linn/Naim and later Naim.  For many years acquisitions were few and far between with no interest in Naim's 500 level prior to  buying NAC552DR, which was prompted by comments on Forum. Inquiring with dealer about 500DR was met with caution and distance, not so different from what I heard about 552. With obligations dissolved less constrained I am able to consider what I would get by adding NAP500DR in place of NAP300DR and obviously other changes. Some on Forum speak of NAP500 as passageway to newer truth, or should I say better truth. It would be fun to know and better to achieve.    

Thank you again for following up.    

yeti42 posted:

It might depend a bit on your speakers, if they’re current hungry the bridged operation of the 500, though providing higher power into reasonable speakers doesn’t cope so well with a high current demand as the 300. I think the review from hifi critic goes into the numbers in the lab section.

https://www.naimaudio.com/site...TIC%20Complete_1.pdf

Yet142, thank you for your suggestion. I previously read the attached review, will now do so again, May I suppose that NAP500 is best matched with "easier to drive speakers" and if so would you recommend? I surmise from prior comments on the Forum that the NAP500 like many things desirable is as beautiful as it is accessible. Magico told me they admired Naim sound, but amps above while workable would deprive even their most modest speakers of their full bloom and palate, Ah the art of balancing. If only Naim would return to  yesteryear and recreate the calm and intimacy of active SBL & SL2 instead of throwing consumers into the laps of dealers whose interests may no longer coincide with Naim dream. Has no one learned anything from Apple that beauty works best, but is desired for fidgeting least.          

I listened to the Kudos 707 speakers with active twin Nap 300 versus single passive nap 500. Two great systems and most have commented on the new opportunity to go active with Naim, for me I came away with the I feeling I had just had a great Amplifier demo. And the nap 500 seduced me with its power, dynamics and “majestic” delivery.......would love to own one. I currently have a Nap300.

 

 

Bonjour Edouard!

It has been a while since I have seen you on the forum.  I ran a 552/300 for quite a long time and found the combination at times perhaps a little warmer and more subtle than the 500.  Really quite lovely with certain pieces of music.  I changed over to the 500 as I realised that my speakers, then NBL's, were quite demanding of power and it took the 500 to fully harness them.  I note that Edouard was a long time admirer and owner of Sonus Faber speakers which, I think I am correct in saying, tend to be more efficient and less power hungry in their design.  This is where you will get the best out of the 300.

The NBL's are an isobarik design and perhaps incorrectly, I suspect that the Linn Isobarik speakers may fall into the less efficient category and benefit from a bit more 'welly'.  Hence Richard earlier suggesting a pair of 135's over a 300 for these speakers.

Peter

Bonjour Peter and Franz,

Peter : It makes sense that depending on the speakers to drive, the choice of amp can vary.

Even though I prefer the 300 over the 500, I did enjoyed very much listening to Geoff Phillips's 500 with his Totem Mani 2 and later with his Kharma 

BTW I'm still in contact with Geoff!

As you can see in my profile, I'm still an admirer and owner of Sonus faber speakers! As a matter of fact I have 3 pairs of Sonus faber!

Amicalement, Edouard

 

Edouard posted:

Bonjour Peter and Franz,

Peter : It makes sense that depending on the speakers to drive, the choice of amp can vary.

Even though I prefer the 300 over the 500, I did enjoyed very much listening to Geoff Phillips's 500 with his Totem Mani 2 and later with his Kharma 

BTW I'm still in contact with Geoff!

As you can see in my profile, I'm still an admirer and owner of Sonus faber speakers! As a matter of fact I have 3 pairs of Sonus faber!

Amicalement, Edouard

 

Edouard,

Thats great, hope you are fine, still enjoying music replay through naim and your beloved Sonus Amati.  So do I actually after some times of less interest I found my way back and enjoy it more so than ever. Even faced with some signs of presbysaccusis it has never sounded that good before, possibly due to DR and LP12 Upgrades.

Amicalement F

I have never been a fan of Naim speakers, hence I can't say which amp I prefer with them.

How ever I listened many time to Chris Bell 552/500/DBL in Seattle

I have listened to the 552/500/NBL as well, in UK

But you know I'm a Sonus faber fan

I listened only classical music and jazz...

As they say each to its own. What matters is to be happy with our own choices

Cheers, Edouard

 

 

 

Franz K posted:
 

 

Edouard,

Thats great, hope you are fine, still enjoying music replay through naim and your beloved Sonus Amati.  So do I actually after some times of less interest I found my way back and enjoy it more so than ever. Even faced with some signs of presbysaccusis it has never sounded that good before, possibly due to DR and LP12 Upgrades.

Amicalement F

I think, we have been in the same boat! I can't seat alone listening to music religiously for hours anymore...

But the main system sound as good as ever, and I never felt like I should change anything, no need for DR or Super Lumina, the system sounds fantastic as it is, and I am still amazed like on the first day the Amati came in 

...it's been passed 10 years!!!

Cheers, Edouard

Edouard posted:

I have never been a fan of Naim speakers, hence I can't say which amp I prefer with them.

How ever I listened many time to Chris Bell 552/500/DBL in Seattle

I have listened to the 552/500/NBL as well, in UK

But you know I'm a Sonus faber fan

I listened only classical music and jazz...

As they say each to its own. What matters is to be happy with our own choices

Cheers, Edouard

 

 

 

Absolutely, I know its been ten years or even more and time sure flies but certain passions keep going..;-)).  Another old time naimie just recently visited me, Uwe Supper you may remember him too.

Anyway, if you ever plan to come to Vienna let me know.

Cheers, Franz

Edouard posted:

Bonjour Peter and Franz,

Peter : It makes sense that depending on the speakers to drive, the choice of amp can vary.

Even though I prefer the 300 over the 500, I did enjoyed very much listening to Geoff Phillips's 500 with his Totem Mani 2 and later with his Kharma 

BTW I'm still in contact with Geoff!

As you can see in my profile, I'm still an admirer and owner of Sonus faber speakers! As a matter of fact I have 3 pairs of Sonus faber!

Amicalement, Edouard

 

Goodness me, the mention of Geoff/ Totem Mani/ Kharma brings me back in time!!  Not sure if it would be Geoff or PolarBear most deserving of the gong for going the extra mile/ kilometre in search of finding the speaker which worked best in their system - that would be a close call!!  Congratulations on resisting any temptation to let any new cables across your threshold - be warned, you might just be amazed what the new offerings can bring to your music!  Same with DR, but who knows, in a few years it may be time for a trip to Salisbury for some of your boxes when servicing will be about due....

Peter

Franz K posted:

Absolutely, I know its been ten years or even more and time sure flies but certain passions keep going..;-)).  Another old time naimie just recently visited me, Uwe Supper you may remember him too.

Anyway, if you ever plan to come to Vienna let me know.

Cheers, Franz

Thanks for the invitation Franz! I have been to Vienna twice, 2012 and 2013, when spending some time in Bratislava,

That's too bad I didn't think I had a friend there!

Maybe next time!

F.

Edouard posted:

I have never been a fan of Naim speakers, hence I can't say which amp I prefer with them.

How ever I listened many time to Chris Bell 552/500/DBL in Seattle

I have listened to the 552/500/NBL as well, in UK

But you know I'm a Sonus faber fan

I listened only classical music and jazz...

As they say each to its own. What matters is to be happy with our own choices

Cheers, Edouard

 

 

 

Edouard, I'm in market for speaker and thinking of adding NAP500DR,  could you share what current Sonus Faber's you've heard with your set up. I was impressed by your feeling that in your configuration 500 would swamp the 300's refinements. I'n past Dark Bear has portrayed a sympathy/partnering between 552 & 500, but your suggesting that was not what you've found. I've also heard Sonus Faber while working well with Naim really requires tubes, your outcome is obviously different, can you suggest why?          

cnewyork,

Maybe you can have a look at this link, which is a thread that has been on a few years back, it could give you some answers to your questions :

http://forums.naimaudio.com/to...h-the-goddess?page=1

I never listened to the SF Amati with a 500, but there is no question that it would sound great as well.

Hence the best way is to listen for yourself in your system and make your choice.

Regards,

Edouard

Richard Dane posted:

I can vouch that the NAC552 works nicely with a NAP110, NAP160, CB NAP250 , as well as the current NAP250DR. Oh, and a NAP500 works brilliantly too. However, for passive 'Briks I would suggest a pair of NAP135s if a NAP500 is still out of reach.  

And I can vouch it works nicely with a NAP250.2 as well.

northpole posted 

Goodness me, the mention of Geoff/ Totem Mani/ Kharma brings me back in time!!  Not sure if it would be Geoff or PolarBear most deserving of the gong for going the extra mile/ kilometre in search of finding the speaker which worked best in their system - that would be a close call!!  Congratulations on resisting any temptation to let any new cables across your threshold - be warned, you might just be amazed what the new offerings can bring to your music!  Same with DR, but who knows, in a few years it may be time for a trip to Salisbury for some of your boxes when servicing will be about due....

Peter

Yes Peter, it brings back to the good old time with lots of memories! The forum offered private messaging then, which helped to make friends and to meet! It's really too bad we can't communicate privately anymore!

As for my main system, the music it delivers in my room is out of this world, hence I have been perfectly happy 

I must admit though that the new Uniti range is quite interesting.

Amicalement, Edouard

I would be careful before jumping to a NAP300 ...... I was very close to doing this ......... but i managed to buy an immaculate but elderly 2002 Nap500 .... at a very reasonable price. even in such an elderly condition ..... it performed brilliantly and sounded epic. Of course later I did get it DR upgraded ...... but that is always an option later. These amps are around for around 5 to 6k or even less.... and I think they are well worth it.

Super Lumina has disrupted my normal advice. A friend is having his 500 upgraded and has a loaner NAP200DR feeding Kudos Titan's via Super Lumina speaker cable. Rest of the system is NDS+555PSx2 + Chord Music interconnects.  The NAP200DR sounds miles better than his non-DR 500.  The newer amps in combo with the SL speaker cable makes a sound I thought was not possible.  While the 500DR is spectacular (I own one) I would suggest a more modest amp (250DR) in combo with SL cable + 552 preamp will make magic.   

Richieroo posted:

I would be careful before jumping to a NAP300 ...... I was very close to doing this ......... but i managed to buy an immaculate but elderly 2002 Nap500 .... at a very reasonable price. even in such an elderly condition ..... it performed brilliantly and sounded epic. Of course later I did get it DR upgraded ...... but that is always an option later. These amps are around for around 5 to 6k or even less.... and I think they are well worth it.

Chris Bell posted:

Super Lumina has disrupted my normal advice. A friend is having his 500 upgraded and has a loaner NAP200DR feeding Kudos Titan's via Super Lumina speaker cable. Rest of the system is NDS+555PSx2 + Chord Music interconnects.  The NAP200DR sounds miles better than his non-DR 500.  The newer amps in combo with the SL speaker cable makes a sound I thought was not possible.  While the 500DR is spectacular (I own one) I would suggest a more modest amp (250DR) in combo with SL cable + 552 preamp will make magic.   

Richieroo, I take your response that under all circumstances NAP500  will always excel musically over other components.  Richieroo, would NAP500 improve all, or almost all setups?  

 Chris, you suggest the Super Lumina  speaker cable may be the defining component,  if your were to choose would you always make SL your priority purchase when owning NAC552?  Thinking  about SL why do feel SL has central role when considered alongside 500?

 

Chris Bell posted:

Super Lumina has disrupted my normal advice. A friend is having his 500 upgraded and has a loaner NAP200DR feeding Kudos Titan's via Super Lumina speaker cable. Rest of the system is NDS+555PSx2 + Chord Music interconnects.  The NAP200DR sounds miles better than his non-DR 500.  The newer amps in combo with the SL speaker cable makes a sound I thought was not possible.  While the 500DR is spectacular (I own one) I would suggest a more modest amp (250DR) in combo with SL cable + 552 preamp will make magic.   

Are you saying that without SL 552L250DR doesn't work.

Well.... the Nap500 is not  cure all it is just a fine amp ... and the Nac552 will work fine into other amps...it is a tremendous pre amp. However the 552 was designed and voiced with the 500 in mind and effectively it is almost like one amp. I purchased an old Nap500 and spent allot of time comparing it with a Nap250dr. There was totally no contest the old 500 blew the 250dr away.... it was apparent from even very low volume...it sounded more open .... delicate with a really beautiful upper mid finesse. Then if you turned up the volume wow ... you were suddenly made aware how the whole sound stage was held....no matter how complex the music. Also the bass etc was excellent .... a touch warm in comparison to the 250dr but not unpleasant. As I say this is just my personal finding ...... and view.

Richieroo posted:

Well.... the Nap500 is not  cure all it is just a fine amp ... and the Nac552 will work fine into other amps...it is a tremendous pre amp. However the 552 was designed and voiced with the 500 in mind and effectively it is almost like one amp. I purchased an old Nap500 and spent allot of time comparing it with a Nap250dr. There was totally no contest the old 500 blew the 250dr away.... it was apparent from even very low volume...it sounded more open .... delicate with a really beautiful upper mid finesse. Then if you turned up the volume wow ... you were suddenly made aware how the whole sound stage was held....no matter how complex the music. Also the bass etc was excellent .... a touch warm in comparison to the 250dr but not unpleasant. As I say this is just my personal finding ...... and view.

Richard Dane posted:

I can vouch that the NAC552 works nicely with a NAP110, NAP160, CB NAP250 , as well as the current NAP250DR. Oh, and a NAP500 works brilliantly too. However, for passive 'Briks I would suggest a pair of NAP135s if a NAP500 is still out of reach.  

Richard, regarding Richieroo's comment above can you confirm if "552 was designed and voiced with the 500 in mind and effectively it is almost like one amp?" I understand that this does not diminish 552's versatility. 

Richard, Is Richieroo's opinion still relevant when Naim is no longer making speakers intended in good measure for their 500 range?     

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