Okay, so I started another thread a couple months back asking for (and getting, thank you) advice on getting a Nova vs a 272+300. In the end I flew to England, auditioned lots of options and decided to go the 272+300 route. But there's all this talk of the new Uniti series incorporating the latest streaming and power supply thinking, and I kept feeling the Nova would lead to a 372 and that's what I really wanted. So I picked up a used Classé Sigma SSP Mk II for quite a bit less than list and will use that until the 372 comes out. Actually the Classé sounds lovely, so that's okay. But I did order the 300.
One thing all the lovely people on this forum didn't tell me was that nobody actually stocks Naim! So while I wait for the 300 DR to arrive at my place in the UK, I picked up a used NAP V175 from a guy in France for $500. Figure I'll use that as my amp until the 300 takes it's place, and when that happens I'll relegate the V175 to center and surround channel duties on movies which the Classé supports.
Here's the thing: the NAP V175 is replacing the McIntosh MAC6700 I had on power-amp duty (bypassing the preamp, since the Classé is the preamp now). Anyway, the V175 sounds better. Much! At one quarter the price new. I don't get it. How can it be this good? Please don't ask me to describe PRaT or anything like that, I'll just say it's completely engaging. I'm stunned. Can't stop listening to it. All that stuff about Naim not doing soundstage is crap. Plenty of that. But, and I'm afraid I'll sound like one of those reviewers I hate, I'm hearing instruments I didn't notice in music before. And they sound nicer. Not sure how to describe it. More like they do in real life.
I was expecting to suffer through the next few weeks of waiting, now I don't mind at all. How much better than this can the 300DR be? What the heck did I pay for with McIntosh? I mean, I love the blue meters but... I'm confused. Now I understand why I was so impressed by the Unit Nova driving my Sopra 2s at Axpona in April. Those crazy kids in Salisbury know what they're doing.