135 v 300DR

Is a pair of 135s on par with the 300DR? I’ve been on the forum since 2012 and never really heard much about them.

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I have not heard them side by side, but purely from a theoretical position, the 135s have their mono block design in their favour with separate supply transformers for each channel, this may improve cross talk a bit, against the 300 which has newer, more modern output power transistors, (which presumably bring something to the party otherwise, why change?) and of course Discrete Regulator (DR) technology.

Only one way to find out, “FIGHT!” (sorry couldn’t resist that UK centric Harry Hill moment!) I would’ve looked for a youtube clip but ran out of steam.

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Why do you ask?

Is there a pair on offer near you?

Would be nice to PX the 282 and 300 for a 252 and 2 x 135s. :grinning:

I just bought a pair of 135s and they have transformed my system.

When I’ve heard a 300 in a friend’s house with Magicos, it seems powerful and clean and controlled.

The 135s are also powerful but more exciting and involving to me.

But I’ve never compared them in the same system.

There are various threads on this already…

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I have the same dark thoughts. I am running an 82 in to a 250-2 and I think should I swap in a pair of 135’s to replace the 250, or just get the 250dr’d. It is a nice dilemma to have.

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I had a serviced CB 250 which sounded great. I found that the amp would occasionally cut out after playing music loud for prolonged periods of time.

I looked into a 300 but went for 2 x CB 135s and had them serviced.

To me the sound was very similar to the 250 but able to play louder for prolonged periods of time as they have fans built in.

Initially I thought that there wasn’t a big difference in sound. But there is better separation.

The 135s are great amps. Have had them for a few years now and I’m delighted with them.

I haven’t heard them side by side with a 300DR but I would say they are different. CB and Olive kit is slightly warmer in terms of feel. The 500DR and 300DR are tighter and more detailed.

I’m not looking at changing them out for some time and if I did I’d probably go for a 500 or 500DR depending on funds.

For now I am very happy with the 135s. And they are immaculate and serviced. What more could I want? :thinking:

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I ‘upgraded’ 135’s to a 300 in my move to all Classic boxes some years ago. I wished I hadn’t.

The DR version is probably more than a match though and a purchase I’m considering.

I saw my first Christmas ad on the tv last weekend so nearly present time.

G

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I’m going to add another vote for the 135’s. I am very biased towards them. Mine are the Olive series. They can stamp and shout, wail and scream, whisper and caress, and pull at your heart strings at high volume or low.

I’ve heard the 300 in another system and for me the 135’s win easily. Now while I haven’t heard the 300DR, I have heard other DR amps and I would say the 300DR would probably win, but not by much. Until you take into account the price difference and then the 135’s are sitting pretty again.

I’ll be keeping mine for a long time to come.

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I haven’t heard a pair of 135s so can’t make any sort of comparison, but I do have a 300dr with 52/olive SC. I think its wonderful combination in all respects. I can also attest the 300dr’s ability paint full colour canvas at low volume levels. It can kick it out high volumes, but I just don’t feel the need in quite the same way as I did with my cb250.

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Hi Jim, so you did go for the NAP135s in the end! Might I know their heritage?

How are you liking them in your system?

Best regards, BF

In summary, yes and no. I have owned 135s for many years and auditioned 300DR against them with both 52 and 252DR pre-amps.

Rationally, the 300DR is the better Hifi amplifier. It has a much lower noise floor, is more refined, lets more subtle musical information through, is supremely cultured, grown up and capable.

Emotionally, the 135s are much more of a wild, exciting and compulsive ride, if a bit less cultured and refined. The 135s will also grab a hold of demanding speakers (think PMC FACT12) in a way that the NAP300 can only dream of.

Both are superb and clearly more capable than a 250DR, which is a much better power amp to these cloth ears than a 250-2.

Hope this helps, BF

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Nothing wrong with the original none DR 300, the 300 trumps the 250DR I once owned the 300 driving SL2s is a match made in heaven.

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@JimDog you will be in heaven right now just as I’ve been for a few years with 135/SL2 :sunglasses:. I’m really very happy, in the future I really would like to go active 135 or Nap 500 though.
I’ve herd a none nap300 on SL2 / 552/nds and yes it’s great hifi but to me it didn’t have that “inside the note” like a good pair of Nap 135 amps have, what I mean by “inside the note” you just fall into the sound stage, it’s like you have headphones on that have been tuned to your neuro path! It just really invites you in. I’ve recently had my 135 serviced by Chris Murphy here in NZ and it took a while to settle in but wow goodness me, I regularly drop my bacon sandwich in front of those SL2😬
I’ve never herd a nap 300dr and I’m sure it will have more grip and even more hifi factor like the nap250DR has over a nap250 but I like the nap250 better because dear I say it, it has more “inside the note” appeal to me.
Not sure what it is I may subconsciously like the A/B distortion of the olive gear but I definitely prefer it. DR brings more hifi to the game but did it lose a bit of sole on its way???
I’ve also noted that partial DR systems don’t seem to gel like a full DR system. Food for thought.
These are just my opinions and not posted to wind anybody up as I very much respect the hard work we have all done to get into the Naim audio game, it’s not cheap at any level, it’s an emotionally filled passion so respect.

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Naim doesn’t go backwards. A 300 Dr should not sound worse than a 135

Perhaps @Naim.Marketing could give her experience on this ?

But yet now you have a chord power amp ?

Hi, I can’t comment how a full DR system gels because I haven’t heard one. However i can say that to me my 52/oliveSC/300dr is a long way ahead of my 52/oliveSC/cb250 ( all well within their service intervals) in all respects. Also for me its ability to deliver at low volume levels has changed my listening habits which has proved beneficial for the household generally and probably not a bad thing for my old cloth ears either… I had a the 300 dr’d, which I understand is a complete replacement of the innards of the head unit - it did take an age to run in and then it just clicked in…

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That’s correct. I’m not sure that this lessens my admiration of either the 300DR or the 135. They are both fabulous power amps.

If I was looking for a power amp to bring the best out of say Focal Sopra 2, Kudos Titan 606 or Russell K 150, then a 300DR would take some beating.

The 135s bring a more visceral, exciting and uncouth presentation (hence good and bad) but will almost certainly cost a lot less to buy.

After many years of 52/SC/135 ownership, we wanted to reduce the box count. It was box count reduction that drove the change for us. The sound quality is a bonus. Naim permits this too via the 552 and 500 but without the box count reduction.

Best regards, BF

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Hi BF

Yes, I charged down to the south-east tip of Essex(!) and back in a day to purchase them (that was not a wild ride).

The 135s are superb.

They have got rid of the bottleneck in my system and added so much.

It is clear that they have been carefully looked after and loved for decades by a person of impeccable hifi taste.

cheers
Jim

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No, lovely though 135s are, a NAP300 does not sound inferior to a pair of NAP135s in my experience. I’d imagine a NAP300DR is better still.

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Excellent, delighted that you are enjoying them.

The serial numbers will reveal their heritage as chrome bumper ones with H&F transformers. The original owner subsequently had them recased in olive.

Darran at Class A last serviced them 5 years ago, so I recommend asking him to do them again in 18-24 months time. Other than this, they should sound simply delicious.

If you wish to venture into the murky waters of cables, I recommend the Witch Hat Morgana DIN to XLR interconnects. They made our amp sound even more Naim in a good way. They were an instant delight with the 135s.

Best regards, BF

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Ha ha mine are also the very last 88 CB into olive clothing! HF transformers. Before I serviced them it was done on 2014 so about 7 years I would suggest is a good service interval for them.