NAP 200 vs. NAP 200 DR

I had a 200 on loan for a few weeks while waiting for a 200DR to arrive. I tried the following permutations around 202/200 pairing

1) 202  + NAPSC + 200

2) 202 + NAPSC  + HC2 (non DR) + 200

3) 202 + NAPSC + 200DR

There was an improvement to perceived dynamics and soundstage (with the usual caveats of my individual hearing, speakers and room) with 2 over 1, 3 against 2 was more balanced and tricky to call. 3 had more detail, but didn't quite sound as lively as 2, however 2 seemed better across a broader range of listening volumes, but the bass sounded more under control at high listening levels for 3. In the end I settled on 3, since it also freed up the HC2 for duty on a headline. However the logical thing is to upgrade the HC2 to DR and hopefully get best of both worlds.

 

 

i have a 172/200DR/ovator S400 setup, on fraimLite with Naca5 spkr cable...

in this setup i had tha chance to test an year or two old NAP200 (non-DR) and a few weeks old NAP250DR...

i posted my findings on several topics, and i found that, from those 3 amps, the best VFM is the 200DR.

i haven't compared (yet) the 200 vs 200DR with 202, is was planned with my Naim dealer and friend, but we haven't found yet the day to relaxingly do that... it will happen though, one of those days.

on my setup, the DR version brought more neutral tone and more refined timbres of intruments, voices were more lifelike, as opposed to the nonDR which has a slightly dry tone, and lacks a bit the refinement.

the soundstage became bigger and noisefloor reduced, thus everything has s slight better impact and control with the DR version...

i made the 250DR comparison at a latter date, and i was expecting real high jump, i had the money prepared for the upgrade, but... i had expected too much, and while better, the 250DR jump over the 200DR was not as i though it would be, in my context, so i decided to try other methods to improve the 200DR (i am now testing a PS Audio AC-12 power chord, their reference, which is really really good indeed, and which takes the 200DR way closer to 250DR than many might expect)! with AC-12, the 200DR sounds really really good indeed, in fact i sometimes haven't heard amp 2 or three times the price of this 200DR that sound really THIS good and balanced.

for conformity, i haven't upgraded the 200 to 200DR, in fact i received a proposition to swap the 200DR for the nonDR 200 plus a DVD5, offer which was very tempting indeed, but after hearing them side by side, which i politely refused.

when i will have the time to check 202/200 vs 202/200DR, be sure i will report here on the forum! what i can tell you is that i think that the new 200DR is a step up from the nonDR version, that is a certain thing.

 
m24j posted:

I had a 200 on loan for a few weeks while waiting for a 200DR to arrive. I tried the following permutations around 202/200 pairing

1) 202  + NAPSC + 200

2) 202 + NAPSC  + HC2 (non DR) + 200

3) 202 + NAPSC + 200DR

There was an improvement to perceived dynamics and soundstage (with the usual caveats of my individual hearing, speakers and room) with 2 over 1, 3 against 2 was more balanced and tricky to call. 3 had more detail, but didn't quite sound as lively as 2, however 2 seemed better across a broader range of listening volumes, but the bass sounded more under control at high listening levels for 3. In the end I settled on 3, since it also freed up the HC2 for duty on a headline. However the logical thing is to upgrade the HC2 to DR and hopefully get best of both worlds.

 

 

Did you feel that the older 200 was more "dry" sounding than the newer 200DR?

what about the 202/HC with old 200 and new 200 DR?

according to Frank Abela of audio-t, yes, the older 200 is apparently "dry" sounding, the new 200DR has much improved resolution, so if you can trade up, I would do it. 

PS : I have a 282/HCDR/200 (non DR) rig, and love it. I found much musical improvement when I switched RCA-RCA interconnects to RCA-DIN from my chord Hugo into 282. 

Hmm, I have not heard the new 200, but just don't recognize that statement of the old 200 sounding dry.. because it wasn't for me.. It had a relatively light slightly sweet sound to me.. it's only shortcoming, if you can call it that, in my setup was that it didn't grip and control the speakers or quite have the resolving power like the regulated amps do, but that is not what the 200 is/was about.

Simon

 

Just for the record, the 200 never sounded dry in my own experience. Maybe it is not the best choice of a word but if dry is meant to mean leaner, crisper or tighter, for lack of a better words, than the old 250.2 for example, then yes, the 200 sounded leaner. It's a great amp.

And where is Catalinmetal now to praise how much better is the 200dr  - apparently 95 percent as good as the 250 dr?

 

Anyway - we all hear what we hear, or sometimes, what we want to hear 

 

The 200 non DR is a fantastic amp which I love very dearly, and never understood why catalinmetal said it sounded dry.

I think 'dry' is an ambiguous term, with no intuitive meaning in audio terms. However, what I think people mean by it is a lean sounding bass, not rounded or full, and lacking a little warmth in tonality. To that extent, I think the 200 is quite capable of coming across as dry sounding - if not in every system context perhaps, but more so than other Naim power amps.....

Karlsott, that is exactly the impression I had when I auditionned (non DR) 200/202 in the past: too lean sounding for my taste, not "sensual" or "comfortable" enough.

On the other hand, 250/282 seemed almost too exuberant to me...

Does anyone know if the new 200DR/200 is more on the "comfy" side, making it more acceptable to listeners of my kind?

Thank you in advance

 

totemphile posted:
best_jerry posted:

I'm using 202/HCDR/200, as I already had HCDR, anyone know if I upgrade to 200DR will further improve ?

No it will not! Waste of money.

whether is a waste of money only the OP can decide. but with the first statement i do not agree! the step from 200 to 200DR will show improvement in SQ.

for the record, have you ever heard the 2 amps side by side?

thanks for an honest aswer...

analogmusic posted:

And where is Catalinmetal now to praise how much better is the 200dr  - apparently 95 percent as good as the 250 dr?

 

Anyway - we all hear what we hear, or sometimes, what we want to hear 

 

The 200 non DR is a fantastic amp which I love very dearly, and never understood why catalinmetal said it sounded dry.

analog, i see you made quite a mission in pinpointing my posts and fire at them...

i would be flattered if i would know if your experience matches mine... i cannot know that so i will not debate further with you, and i would appreciate if you would do the same for me, just ignore my posts if you think they are not worth a dime.

while many have swallowed dealers' or forum's saying that 250DR is just the day's  rabbit-in-the-box, i happened to make my own findings, and simply decide that for me, 200DR is worth better, from VFM point of view, than 250DR, and also worth considering if one has 200 nonDR or other Naim integrated or all-in-ones.

accidentally or not, there seem to be some who actually tend to hear similar to myself, so pretty please mr analog, with sugar on top, like one character said in Pulp Fiction movie, just ignore i exist or acknowledge that we might have very different backgrounds and i can post useful infos for some (maybe i actually do, who knows).

would you not find boring a forum that says in every post the same thing?

yes, we don't hear the same... and maybe that's the good thing...

i won't mention to mr analog that, with PS Audio AC-12 power chord ( a real marvel if you ask me) the 200DR probably gets even closer than estimated 95% to the 250DR powered with stock cable... but please, mr analog, don't go into verbal heart attack! we need you here on the forums premises! and unfortunately for me, and for all of you i cannot, yes, i admit, i cannot actually measure if 95% is the exact figure! how sorry i am... you have no idea! mea culpa!

karlosTT posted:
I think 'dry' is an ambiguous term, with no intuitive meaning in audio terms. However, what I think people mean by it is a lean sounding bass, not rounded or full, and lacking a little warmth in tonality. To that extent, I think the 200 is quite capable of coming across as dry sounding - if not in every system context perhaps, but more so than other Naim power amps.....

Karlos, you have just made quite a very good description of the dry sound. yes it has to do with the tone and timbre... as you said, more so than other Naim power amps.

Hm, I've heard the 200dr, 250dr and 300dr back to back with their non dr brethren in the same, good quality system, and the 250dr was the stand out performer to me.  If I was to upgrade on my SN2, which I'm not, the 250dr would be the amp that I bought, probably with a 282 at the front and a hicap dr

catalinmetal, just enjoying the debate, I do enjoy reading your posts a lot.

Don't hold back any opinion just because of me, nothing personal at all, in fact in a roundabout way I do agree with many of your postings. 

Dayjay that is very interesting post, about the 250 DR being the standout, what did you like about it?

 

 

catalinmetal posted:
totemphile posted:
best_jerry posted:

I'm using 202/HCDR/200, as I already had HCDR, anyone know if I upgrade to 200DR will further improve ?

No it will not! Waste of money.

whether is a waste of money only the OP can decide. but with the first statement i do not agree! the step from 200 to 200DR will show improvement in SQ.

for the record, have you ever heard the 2 amps side by side?

thanks for an honest aswer...

No I haven't. But the Naim marketing blurb says, and I quote:

"The NAP 200 does not use the new NA009 transistors as it would not benefit from the extra current handling and other advantages they offer to higher performance power amplifiers. The NAP 200 also does not use regulated rails for the power amplifier section. It does however provide power to the attached preamplifier. This power supply is now upgraded to a DR module identical that can be found in the Hi-Cap power supply. Now the preamplifier will enjoy the low noise benefits without using an external DR power supply."

So, if your plan is to use a 202/200 without a HCDR, then by all means the 200DR ought to be an upgrade. However, I would still stick with the 200 and get a HCDR instead. If, you owned a 202/HCDR/200, then there really isn't much point in changing your 200 for a 200DR. Rather than getting a 200DR your money would be better spent elsewhere. Just as an aside, I would never run a bare 202/200 or 200DR, I'd always get a HCDR and NAPSC. Otherwise what's the point of going pre/power in the first place, if you are willing to run your system way below what it is capable of - for a relatively small increase in investment?

IMHO

analogmusic posted:

catalinmetal, just enjoying the debate, I do enjoy reading your posts a lot.

Don't hold back any opinion just because of me, nothing personal at all, in fact in a roundabout way I do agree with many of your postings. 

Dayjay that is very interesting post, about the 250 DR being the standout, what did you like about it?

 

 

I'm not great at describing these things, lack the voocabulary but I felt it had a good chunk of the grip of the 300 but had a lovely and lively sparkle to it.  Good soundstage and a nice sense of realism to instrument.  Obviously the 300dr had this too and more but for vfm the 250dr did it for me.  Personally I prefer it to the non dr 300 in that system

totemphile makes a very good point, that the naim preamps which do not have a built in power supply really benefit from a PSU like HCDR.

when the 202/200 are connected together, and I switch off the NAP 200, the light goes out almost straight away and the capacitors discharge in a second.

With 200 powering only itself and the HCDR powering the 202, switch off the 200, and it takes a fairly long time for the light to swtich off and then the the capacitors to discharge (that's when the hear the small pop sound on the speakers0

So the preamp does draw a fair amount of power, and giving it a dedicated PSU does wonders for the music.

totemphile posted:
catalinmetal posted:
totemphile posted:
best_jerry posted:

I'm using 202/HCDR/200, as I already had HCDR, anyone know if I upgrade to 200DR will further improve ?

No it will not! Waste of money.

whether is a waste of money only the OP can decide. but with the first statement i do not agree! the step from 200 to 200DR will show improvement in SQ.

for the record, have you ever heard the 2 amps side by side?

thanks for an honest aswer...

No I haven't.

 

that's the correct answer for me! the rest is just assumption... and it's widely known that assumption is the mother of all f..ups

on the other hand, also on Naim's 200DR page, the presentation tells that, along with converting the preamp PSU to DR spec, other changes have been done to the layout and some components... i seem to hear those changes, as does Frank Abela and some others...

dayjay posted:

Hm, I've heard the 200dr, 250dr and 300dr back to back with their non dr brethren in the same, good quality system, and the 250dr was the stand out performer to me. 

very nice that you could back-to-back them in the same setup!

while i haven't heard the 300DR yet, i think that the new 250DR standout difference from the 250.2 is that the non-DR 250 was a bit colored... had a somewhat forced "fatter" tonality, and somehow a slightly slower tempo, apparently (many have noticed this and preferred the older 200 even with the fabled 282, instead of using the 250.2)

while the older 200 had a tonal coloration on it's own, was less visible - to me at least - to the one in the bigger amp... but the 250.2 was more refined and more dynamic, nonetheless, and since i really hated the older 200 in certain combinations, dued to it's dry tone coloration, i favored a lot more the colouration of the 250.2.

now, at DR gen, the 200 and 250 sound in the same direction, the only diffference i noticed was actually the result of lower noise floor... which led to make some details more visible on 250DR than on 200DR.

and probably with a more demanding speaker, the lower end control would have been visibly better with the 250DR than with 200DR, but on Ovator S400, it was not the case, both amps control the lower freqs in rather similar manner. the only difference comes from upper range lower order harmonics of some bass instruments, thing that has all to do with better SN ratio (a lower noise floor).

but now i have found a trick that brings the decreasing in noise floor to the 200DR to a comparable level to a bare 250DR: the PS Audio AC-12 cable. on the moment i cannot think listening to the 200DR without this power cable!

 

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