I have been making quite a few alterations lately with my system and really wanted to try a 250 in place of my 160. My system at present is 160/HC/62 (all CB unsure of history) with Uniti and LP12 as my sources playing through SBLs.
I am really keen to find out what other peoples’ view of this change are. I am finding the 250 deeper (but slower) in the bass, crisper, more detailed mids but the treble is a little harsh for my liking. I will give it a couple of days and swap the 160 back in to see which I prefer. At the moment the 160 seems to be a winner.
I am aware a service could change things for all of my equipment, and once my impending house sale goes through I will send them away for some care and attention. However, I would like to know if this is the signature of the 250 or is it just a little off?
I preferred a CB 110 to an olive 250 because the little 110 timed better and was more tuneful. Then I changed my speaker stands and the balance shifted in favour of the 250. The point I’m making here is that the only way anyone can call this is to try it for themselves. Your ears, your system, your room etc.
A NAP250 in need of a service will likely be beaten by a NAP160 of similar age (and lack of service). A 250 that’s even slightly “off”, usually sounds very off, whereas a NAP160 can still sound quite nice even well past its best. However, with both properly serviced the NAP250 should show its superiority. Of course, a 250 asks more of set-up, source etc… so you may need to sharpen up the system a bit in order to get the best from it.
At 3x the price I was expecting something a little more obvious. I have to admit that the midrange was a real step forward but there were also some big flaws. I may park it until after Christmas and organise a service.
I was lucky on the 160BD but paid going rate on 250CB. I’m not sure on the age of the 160 but the 250 is 1987. I really enjoy trying different combinations, so a service will be the next experiment. I enjoy Hi-Fi almost as much as the music.
Intetesting situation. I agree you need to decide for yourself but ideally once both amps are serviced and working to their best.
I had a serviced CB 250 and serviced CB 160 for a while, driving passive Briks. The 250 did the hifi stuff better including more refined top end. However, I slightly preferred the 160 using serviced SNAPS or HICAP. I liked the 160 a lot more when connected straight into a serviced 32.5. Musically, I just found the 250 a bit mundane, but that was only in comparison - I would have happily lived with the 250. I genuinely think its a great amp. If I could have afforded to keep both then no way I would have sold it on.
I did try the 250 in a Kan 1 system as well. 32/SNAPS/250, and to a lesser extent 32.5/Hicap/250, make Kans sound really full bodied and yummy A real shame the timing and involvement couldn’t beat 12/BD160 or 32.5/CB160 (or Nait 1 which is king) . But everyone is different and you might think the opposite.
I don’t plan to sell any of my Naim amps, as I said, I enjoy experimenting. I agree with you on the Nait1, I listen to mine in the attic every day when working. The 160 shares something of the Nait1.
It is often a complaint with Naim that they encourage upgrades; for me this just adds to the fun and it is always a choice. Downgrading (I hate the upgrade/downgrade terms, it is just change) can be just as much fun.