This is an old chestnut, but I guess I am approaching it from a different angle. I have an aging 250.2 but, having taken it to a dealer recently for a speaker audition, it still sounds good. Indeed, while auditioning Dynaudio Contour 20s, I actually thought its dark presentation had a more instant appeal than the dealer’s DR. Since then, I bought some Dynaudio S40s having decided that they were more my taste for my music; less analytical and more boisterous, but in a good way. So on to my dilemma, a local guy has offered me a 250DR for an appealing trade in deal. I never tried the DR against the 250.2 with the S40, but guess that my opinion would have been similar to the C20. So, a trade in is really more about moving to the box that is likely to retain its value best, and is 10 years younger. It saves a service and is cheaper than paying for the DR upgrade. Is it optimistic to expect that my original feelings about lack of bass presence will be replaced by a love of the detail and dynamics that everyone raves about? Or am I just being a muppet for following the crowd?
Only your ears can decide. Having said this my 250.2 came back from service and DR a whole lot better. Dynamics clearer, bass tighter and more controlled…
I’d say grab it with both hands. The DR is just so much better. It’s more lively, more insightful, bass is better. It’s just much better.
I’d say listen carefully to the DR upgrade before jumping in. It does all the things folks say but there can be a downside. When I had my 300 DR’d, in addition to all the improvements (many) there was a new upper-mid-range harshness/glare/edge that I found to be a problem. One year after the upgrade, I’m still addressing this. So depending on how involved you want to become, consider the upgrade carefully before jumping in.
I’d also say listen carefully… in my current system/speaker setup the DR is not necessarily a natural successor to the 250.2… I got one of the last 250.2 before they all switched over.
However I am using a 552… it is fair to say I didn’t think much at all of the 250.2 when coupled with a 202… I understand the 250DR works far better in that combo.
Like anything, it’s system dependent. A 250dr is not a 250.2 only better. In other words, you cant match speakers with a 250.2 and then slot in a 250dr and just expect it to work.
It might. But it might not. I paired my last speakers with a 250.2 carefully. When I had the 250dr upgrade it just didn’t get along with the speakers and the spell was broken. I had to change speakers too.
It really is a much better amp. But it is a different amp. Swapping out a 250.2 for a DR unheard is exactly the same as buying any other power amp unheard; it’s a risk and generally you wouldn’t do it.
Well the DR amps have better frequency extremes. Maybe it doesn’t suit all.
My Dynaudios loved the 250dr
I went from a NAP250.2 to a NAP250DR. The NAP250.2 was an R&D pre-production unit, but it was essentially the same inside as the regular production units. It had been given a full service a couple of years before I changed to the DR (Because it was pre-production it couldn’t be so easily DRed, so I bought new). On my SL2s the NAP250.2 worked very well indeed. With the 250DR things have definitely gone up a gear. Initially I wasn’t so sure; It took a while to properly run-in. However I then realised that the slight sense of lower mid opacity and warmth that the old 250.2 used to display was much reduced and I found the overall the sense of clarity (with no sense of grain) over a wide bandwidth had increased as well as a greater sense of swing and speed. As it has burned in, it is just got getter and better.
Against my old 1985 chrome bumper NAP250 (recently serviced), great though that old amp was, and indeed still is, it’s no contest; the NAP250DR is superior in every area. The NAP250 has always been Naim’s most iconic product, one that has spanned its entire history, and I’m pleased to report that the current NAP250DR more than keeps up the standard. Indeed, it takes the standard to an even greater level than before.
I am running Dynaudio Special 40s and auditioned them with a 250DR. I am expecting it to sound different to the 250.2 and, hopefully, once my ears have adjusted, of equal or better merit.
Like I said, it is the relative youth and resale value of the DR that is driving the change.
Just out of curiosity how does the 250.2 compare to the CB250? My CB250 is a 1988 factory serviced about 4 years ago.
Based on my memory - not always the best - the NAP250.2 extends and improves bandwidth extremes, has a smoother top end and beefier low end. However, the old NAP250 comes across as a little bit leaner. The later NAP should be able to drive more difficult loads. They’re both good though.
The 250.2 has that lardy quality that the CB and Olive lack.
Thanks Richard and HH. Interesting and not what I was expecting.
Indeed, with certain infinite baffle speakers, the beefier low end of the 250.2 can be just what the doctor ordered, as that is where the muscle is needed. Less so on ported speakers.
I personally don’t notice grain on the 250.2, especially with the 552 and revealing speakers but I have one of the final production models. I find grain extremely objectionable, as I enjoy choral music, and grain (distortion) can destroy that music with horrible sibilence. I am pleased to say it can sound sublime on 552/250.2/ATC SCM 19… other speakers fare less well in this setup for such music as I have written before on this forum.
When ever I audition I have some key ‘grain trap’ tracks… as for me grain is the curse of music replay and can be surprisingly evident in some components.
The beauty of the 250.2 over the 250DR in my experience, is that one trades a slight lack of clarity with an often slightly more natural sounding and rounded presentation… but this is very subjective.
As you say, the NAP250.2 is noticeably free of grain when compared against my earlier 1985 vintage (serviced) NAP250.
I am enjoying the comments. 250DR with Dynaudio S40 should work, I need to go with my gut here. My mate says to try a 300, but that might break the bank!
A used non DR 300 won’t break your bank if you have 250DR money.
So, I went for the 250DR and in my system it is a clear improvement. I am hearing little pieces that I had missed before. The vocals seems a little emphasised but think that is because the bass is more precise and less dominant. My setup does not rival some of those on here, but I really feel that I am getting somewhere now. Very musical and I cannot just have it on in the background because I can’t help listening to it, tapping feet etc.
I do not have experience with the NAP 250.2 but have the 250DR bought new. Give it more time. It will reward you after considerable run-in. It’s an excellent amp in its price range.
Is the 250.2 DR and a 250DR the same, I bought my 250DR about 2 years ago and was wondering if the .2 thing and the DR upgrade are one.