300 DR v 500 DR

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?

Original Post

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

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; it’s a brilliant amp and I’m delighted to have one. For me, like the Kudos 606’s, it’s 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, I’d say, the best value in the Naim amp line-up. I’d have been happy to continue using one if, a) I hadn’t done the home comparison and b) didn’t have the money set aside.

If you can afford it and there isn’t something that Mrs M would really prefer (a fabulous holiday perhaps?), then definitely have a listen. You’ll end up buying it, though.

Cheers

Dave

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; it’s a brilliant amp and I’m delighted to have one. For me, like the Kudos 606’s, it’s 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, I’d say, the best value in the Naim amp line-up. I’d have been happy to continue using one if, a) I hadn’t done the home comparison and b) didn’t have the money set aside.

If you can afford it and there isn’t something that Mrs M would really prefer (a fabulous holiday perhaps?), then definitely have a listen. You’ll 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 don’t know Neat MF9’s but I’ll wager they’ll agree. Given you own ND555 and 552 I think you are already on course for the iceberg. All hands on deck!

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!

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!

 

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. 

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.

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.

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 ......

Hi Dave!

Thank you for the topic. I´m 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 it´s 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,

 

jodl posted:

Hi Dave!

Thank you for the topic. I´m 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 it´s 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. 

jodl posted:

Dave,

Interesting indeed - for us audio-nuts...

Just wondering why these 500dr are so difficult to geht hold of. I´m 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.  

jodl posted:

Bart,

I mean new ones from factory. My dealer told me it´s 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.

Chris Dolan posted:
Dave J posted:

Just saw Peter’s post, coincidentally I bought my 300 from him.

I didn't know that  

Yep. Serviced and then DR’d. To add to the story, it  was used by Cymbiosis in their Kudos Titan event as I’d just acquired their 500DR and there was no time to get a replacement. Apparently it drove the 808’s with ease... 😉

 

Dave J,

a little off topic: do you know how long is the  minimum length of Chord Music speaker cables to go with the nap 500 dr?  I also have Kudos Titans (707)...

I can´t find any recommendations - with Naca 5 it´s at least 3,5m - but with Chord Music?

 

Regards,

jodl posted:

Dave J,

a little off topic: do you know how long is the  minimum length of Chord Music speaker cables to go with the nap 500 dr?  I also have Kudos Titans (707)...

I can´t find any recommendations - with Naca 5 it´s at least 3,5m - but with Chord Music?

 

Regards,

Chord should be able to advise you on this - their history is closely tied to Naim’s, and they will certainly understand the cabling requirements of Naim amps. Given the price of this stuff, you wouldn’t want to order an extra metre if you didn’t really need it. Having said that, Naim’s 3.5m recommendation is a minimum, with 5 to 10m optimum. 

jodl posted:

Dave J,

a little off topic: do you know how long is the  minimum length of Chord Music speaker cables to go with the nap 500 dr?  I also have Kudos Titans (707)...

I can´t find any recommendations - with Naca 5 it´s at least 3,5m - but with Chord Music?

 

Regards,

As Chrissu advises, maybe best to get advice from Chord on the basis that you might be able to retain at least one kidney by not over-buying. I’m using 4m, previously having used 3.4m of Sarum, to cater for all eventualities. Sounds amazing to me.

the 552 and 500 are unique in the Naim range for their ability to eliminate noise from the signal earth... other than the mighty statement.

The 500 and 500 DR do this by the bridge amp methodology, the signal negative which contains return currents from the speaker cones is removed from the system, as it is basically 2 amps connected with inverse polarity to each other.

which is why when driving a difficult load, the 500 sounds completely effortless and at ease, whereas the 300 DR when pushed sounded stressed and running out of headroom.

with an easier load, it may not be that apparent at lower volumes.

However the 500 has the ability to completely remove noise which comes from the speaker (return currents from the cones movement), and it is that ability which costs so much money, the increased power is a by product of the bridged amplifier mythology.

the 552 also completely eliminates noise from signal earth by using a unique power supply arrangement, and that is why the combination of both 552/500 sounds much better than the lesser brethren.

I would only upgrade my 282/250 DR to a 552/500..... even though I can clearly hear the 252/300 is better.

it's about money and at the price point 252/300 is very difficult to beat in terms of PRAT and refinement at the same time. 

Of course the 552/500 need the best sources available.....

 

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