300 DR v 500 DR

Posted by: dave marshall on 05 December 2018

Oh dear, communication today from my ever friendly dealer, to the effect that he will have available, next Spring, a new 500 DR , and guess what, his initial offer, to include a trade in on my 300 DR is, at the very least, interesting. 

Here's the thing though; I'm extremely happy with my present power amp, particularly with the recent introduction of an ND 555.

I'll obviously demo the 500 at home, but I am aware that there's a few folks on here who have done the comparison, and have surprisingly come down in favour of the "lesser" amp, the 300.

So, lot's of time yet for me to decide, but I'd welcome thoughts from anyone who's had both, or who has at least done a home head to head audition.

The fun just never stops, does it?

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by Japtimscarlet

Hopefully the decision will be obvious when you audition the 500

Keep of not ... exciting times Indeed

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by Emre

H?mmmm 500Dr is the last step for my long journey as well... not sure for a 30sqm room

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by Gazza

I listened to active 300 dr with Kudos 707 or 808 ? last year at Audio show east 2017. For me the non active 500 amp just had something rather special in terms of timing and poise and control the notes. Fyi....I am a nap300 owner.

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by 911gt3r

Hi Dave

Having run single 300, dual 300s and wonky 300/500 active into SL2s And now single 500 into my Facts, I will suggest that a 500 will drive your Neats with a substantial gain in head room and invariably  show the sheer magic it possesses. It is a wicked amp.

As good old Ken would say Enjoy . ATB Peter

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by Foot tapper

Welcome back Peter.  Did the new speaker feet work out for you?

Best regards, FT

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by Dave J

Despite several attempts, I never quite succumbed to the 500 in its earlier, pre-DR, guise, preferring instead my 300DR, which was (note was) more expressive, lithe and communicative. Mind you, that was with a good few yards of Chord Music, which makes everything perform at its best. The 300DR absolutely loved it.

The DR version of the 500 is, however, a very different beast and, after having one at home for 24 hours, there was no way I could let it leave; its a brilliant amp and Im delighted to have one. For me, like the Kudos 606s, its part of my end game system. Like the 300, it also loves Chord Music...

Having said that, I really enjoyed my 300, it was such a leap ahead of the 250 and, Id say, the best value in the Naim amp line-up. Id have been happy to continue using one if, a) I hadnt done the home comparison and b) didnt have the money set aside.

If you can afford it and there isnt something that Mrs M would really prefer (a fabulous holiday perhaps?), then definitely have a listen. Youll end up buying it, though.

Cheers

Dave

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by Dave J

Just saw Peters post, coincidentally I bought my 300 from him. Nice to see you posting, Peter!

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by kevin J Carden
Dave J posted:

Despite several attempts, I never quite succumbed to the 500 in its earlier, pre-DR, guise, preferring instead my 300DR, which was (note was) more expressive, lithe and communicative. Mind you, that was with a good few yards of Chord Music, which makes everything perform at its best. The 300DR absolutely loved it.

The DR version of the 500 is, however, a very different beast and, after having one at home for 24 hours, there was no way I could let it leave; its a brilliant amp and Im delighted to have one. For me, like the Kudos 606s, its part of my end game system. Like the 300, it also loves Chord Music...

Having said that, I really enjoyed my 300, it was such a leap ahead of the 250 and, Id say, the best value in the Naim amp line-up. Id have been happy to continue using one if, a) I hadnt done the home comparison and b) didnt have the money set aside.

If you can afford it and there isnt something that Mrs M would really prefer (a fabulous holiday perhaps?), then definitely have a listen. Youll end up buying it, though.

Cheers

Dave

Dave M, agree with Dave J. Having owned both,  the DR 500 is very different to the original. I could understand (though personally not ultimately agree with) someone finding in favour of original 300 vs 500, but DR turns the 500 into a different amp with much more expanded capabilities. I dont know Neat MF9s but Ill wager theyll agree. Given you own ND555 and 552 I think you are already on course for the iceberg. All hands on deck!

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by 911gt3r

Thanks Fellas. FT we will take this one outside the Forum, but there is something strange going on in my new listening room  to the point , where I am grateful to still have a few hairs left!  ATB Peter

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by nigelb

Dave, I have heard the 300DR and 500DR many, many times at dealers and shows, but neither at home. I don't need to tell you that a home demo is the only true test. The 500DR is also and entirely different beast to the 500.

You have already committed to a home demo of a 500DR and you have a stonking pair of Neat MF9s that need feeding, so you know full well where this is headed. So the only bit of advice I can offer is to make sure your finances are in place (and Mrs M is happy with the prospect) before you demo at home.

Now are the bookies open, cos I know where what I am betting on!

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by dave marshall
nigelb posted:

Dave, I have heard the 300DR and 500DR many, many times at dealers and shows, but neither at home. I don't need to tell you that a home demo is the only true test. The 500DR is also and entirely different beast to the 500.

You have already committed to a home demo of a 500DR and you have a stonking pair of Neat MF9s that need feeding, so you know full well where this is headed. So the only bit of advice I can offer is to make sure your finances are in place (and Mrs M is happy with the prospect) before you demo at home.

Now are the bookies open, cos I know where what I am betting on!

 

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by varyat

@GT3R- Welcome back Doc!

ATB,

Mark

Posted on: 05 December 2018 by Haim Ronen

What did the honest dealer say when you told him that you were extremely happy with your current amp?

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by dave marshall
Haim Ronen posted:

What did the honest dealer say when you told him that you were extremely happy with your current amp?

We haven't discussed things yet, he's merely made me aware of the availability of the 500 DR next Spring, and might I be interested, along with an offer on my 300 DR.

I've replied that I'll have a think, and get back to him in the New Year ............ and so, the merrie danse begins. 

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by Nagual

I decided to take my dealer up on a phenomenal offer on his non DR 500 instead of getting my 300 DR'd.  I dont have a big listening space and only sit 10 feet from the front of my speakers but boy o boy GRIIIIIPPP grip and more grip from the get go.  It was beguiling and ive never regretted bringin it home.  It will leave but only for the DR upgrade. I dont think i would have bothered even trying the 500 on my Harbeth 30's  - they sounded fabulous driven by the 300 - but it was well worth a go on my Vivid Audio G3's.  I dont know your speakers at all but i suspect they might enjoy the oddles of grip the 500 can offer.

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by douglas

I had my 500 DRd and serviced about two years ago. My dealer lent me his 300 DR demo whilst my 500 was away. My initial reaction to the on loan 300 DR was very  favourable, however after a while I started to miss my 500 non DR.

When the upgraded 500 was installed it was clearly the best of all three options and it gained in strength over quite a few months.

It has remarkable grip in the bass and is just the one to have IMO. As it costs considerably more you need to factor in the law of diminishing returns. Think of the Statement?

You will not regret a 500DR if you do go for it.

Douglas.

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by Richieroo

I had a 250dr - and a very old 500 ......... the 500 was vastly superior ..... I then had my 500 upgraded to dr status this was a good upgrade - particularly the mid base ...downwards  .... which was much improved - the amp was less warm sounding and more dynamic. I cannot comment on a 300dr ........  the things I found most impressive about the 500 in both guises was:-  Fantastic subtle-ness, great inner detail, a stable stereo image when the volume increased, bass speed and power. The 500 due to its topology - swings the negative line (rather like the statement) ...... unlike the 300 which goes to earth ...... which should translate to better driving ability.........as speakers produce back emf ......

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by jodl

Hi Dave!

Thank you for the topic. Im following with interest, as my situation is similar to yours. Waiting for a home dem of a brandnew nap 500dr at the end of January. Then my dealer will ask me, if I want to trade in my 300dr...

I listen regularly to a top flight active DBL 3x500dr system, so while knowing this is something else all together, I would appreciate a little more overall airiness and control in the bass. 

In the meantime its nice to read about the findings of other members who made the move.

Then I have to decide, should it stay or should it go..

Regards,

 

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by dave marshall
jodl posted:

Hi Dave!

Thank you for the topic. Im following with interest, as my situation is similar to yours. Waiting for a home dem of a brandnew nap 500dr at the end of January. Then my dealer will ask me, if I want to trade in my 300dr...

I listen regularly to a top flight active DBL 3x500dr system, so while knowing this is something else all together, I would appreciate a little more overall airiness and control in the bass. 

In the meantime its nice to read about the findings of other members who made the move.

Then I have to decide, should it stay or should it go..

Regards,

 

Hi, jodl,

I'd be very keen to hear your thoughts, come January, once you've had your home demo.

I don't expect to be having mine until April, following my dealer's annual show, and will be looking at a 500DR either still in it's sealed carton, or, at worst, one with three days use under it's belt.

We live in interesting times. 

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by jodl

Dave,

Interesting indeed - for us audio-nuts...

Just wondering why these 500dr are so difficult to geht hold of. Im waiting already a few months...Good for Naim, it seems.

I will be happy to report about my findings.

Regards,

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by Bart
jodl posted:

Dave,

Interesting indeed - for us audio-nuts...

Just wondering why these 500dr are so difficult to geht hold of. Im waiting already a few months...Good for Naim, it seems.

I will be happy to report about my findings.

Regards,

Difficult as purchased new, or pre-loved?  For pre-loved it makes sense as they are 'end of the line' (essentially), whereas the 250's and 300's are available pre-loved from those moving up the Naim ladder.  

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by jodl

Bart,

I mean new ones from factory. My dealer told me its months to get one from the german naim distributor...

Regards,

 

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by Bart
jodl posted:

Bart,

I mean new ones from factory. My dealer told me its months to get one from the german naim distributor...

Regards,

 

I think it's "months" here in the States as well.  The Dealer I work with has a client who ordered a 500DR, and who will be trading back his 300DR.  I'm in line for that 300 trade in but it was mentioned a while ago and the Dealer and customer knew it would be a few months to obtain the 500.

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by Chris Dolan
Dave J posted:

Just saw Peters post, coincidentally I bought my 300 from him.

I didn't know that  

Posted on: 06 December 2018 by Chris Dolan

There is a gorgeous symbiosis between the NAC552/552PS DR and the NAP500/500PS DR. The 300 DR is great of course but the 500 is sublime - it is just right