300DR v 500DR

I had started this topic on the old forum, so I hope there’s no objection to my resurrecting it here.

My dealer will have available a brand new 500DR in the Spring, and his trade-in offer on my 300DR has captured my interest.

I’d be grateful to hear from any forum members who’ve either made the move themselves, or have compared the two on home demo.

Needless to say, the opinion of many folks was that it was inevitable that I’d opt for the 500DR, but the home demo won’t happen until April, so there’s lot’s of time yet to hear from you all.


I can pretty well say that if I had that option it wouldn’t need a home demo!


Well now, (for context) says this 300DR owner, whose dealer hasn’t made an unbelievably good offer of a 500DR…

The way I look at it is the 500 is roughly 2.5 x the 300. Now obviously as we reach this stratosphere this price differential won’t give an equal sound quality differential with the law of diminishing returns but this is understood and expected. So I ask myself could my spend be better spent elsewhere in my chain? And I start thinking what are the main aspects that effect the quality of the music in my room.

  1. The room.
  2. The source.
  3. The beverage.
  • Could money be better spent on the room acoustics?
  • Would active speakers like Dutch and Dutch or Kii 3 handle the room better?
  • could my source be improved?
  • Is there any better than Leann Follian and Chateau Neuf de Pape?

I have come to the conclusion that, for me, my money is going to be better spent on 1-3 above.



Hi, Sloop_John_B,

I hear what you’re saying, but the room is pretty well sorted, and I feel that with the ND555, the source is pretty well maxed out … leaving just the “beverage” to take care of … that’s a whole heap of, (in my case), single malt to get through! :astonished:

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@Zackwater just this past weekend swapped out his 300DR for a 500DR. He might have some comments.

Interestingly a small number of well respected people have commented over the years that they preferred the 300 to the 500. That was never my experience.

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The 500 has a lower noise floor and much better control over the speaker
Simply more effortless and musical

I’d only upgrade my 250dr to a 500dr and skip the 300

The DR upgrade of 300 and 500 lifted the performance of both of these Amplifiers by a long way but also altered the character or voicing of both of them in a positive way. The same things I found with the old 300 vs 500 applies but a bit differently; the 300DR masterfully drives the speakers without sounding stressed, but the 500DR just disappears and offers an effortless and lucid rendition.

You get what you pay for here and as good as the 300DR is, the 500DR is not just an extra power ‘muscle amp’ but very special and probably your ‘final’ amp to own, so if you can get it at a good price you can afford it makes sense. Always good to hear it in-situ for peace of mind.


Yes, may be the 300 in certain circumstances has a little more muscle, but the 500 is definetely a better amp. On Suono mag. of May 2000 there is premiere review of the 500 in the context of a 282 and NBL system, where they assimilate this with the clarity and speed of a Nait with a lot more of testosterone than a maxed out 250.

How would the 300DR compare to the original 500 (non DR)

I don’t have the comparison between the 300DR and the 500DR, but I moved from plain 300 to plain 500. The 300 had a very nice rounded presentation, but when I first heard the 500 the emotion of the music came immediately accross. As to the earlier comments you of course need to look for yourself what the invest in first. But the 500 is an endgame investment and gives you the option to properly and accurately look after aspects like room acoustics etc. in a different order you might be forced to redo some things again when you finally get to a 500.

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Given that the pre is king in Naim World, do you already have a 552?


Yes, Stuart, so this would represent the final step up to 500 series boxes …
… though I will be having a listen to ATC active speakers too, just as a left-field alternative.

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Do it :sunglasses: You won’t regret it.

Dave, if you go for the active ATC’s, I’ll look after your 500 for you.

No need to thank me.



Steady on Nigel can you afford that new extra tall Fraim unit😉


No thanks necessary, Nigel, as the ATC home demo will take place well in advance of the 500 DR demo, so I might well have decided before then … in which case, to answer Gazza’s point, there might be a redundant tall Fraim level, Chez Dave. :roll_eyes:

Ah, yes, you currently have a 300DR. OK, I will look after that then so you can enjoy your active ATCs.

The things I do for this forum….

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Hmmm. Interesting as I’ve just collected my 500 after having the dr upgrade, with an ND555 arriving sometime in April, also from the same dealer.

So I’m intrigued by your thinking and that of Roger Staines who I have read on this forum has taken that route.

Just when I thought the end game ware insight!

I just made the upgrade and a big upgrade it is. I would do it again in a minute (that’s the real test for me, ie would I do it again). Everything just better, richer.

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