42.5 out of retirement!

52 and its PS off at Naim HQ for a service. Dug my old 42.5 (circa 1985) out from under the stairs. Wired up another Supercap - Richard Dane: there’s no wiring diagram for this! - and hey presto flagship system running again. A combination of 4-pin and 5-pin Snaics work

just fine.
I knew that beloved old preamp would come in handy one day. Thanks Naim.


My first Naim was a 42.5/HC/140. It was a great kit and got me hooked.


I see your selector knob is missing - just like mine! :wink:

Yeah, and the chrome. The Naim dealer in Edinburgh in the 1980s, Russ Andrews, gave me the 42.5 as an ex-demo for about £80 I think!

Looks the part too.

As you’ve probably now gathered, you connect a Supercap to the NAC42.5 just as you would a Hicap with a SNAIC5.

Is the sleeve on yours just reversed or is it wearing a later one without the linished edge?

I’m a big fan of the NAC42.5 - a corking little pre-amp!

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Sheesh !
I mean how do you guys manage to lose the tractor wheel of the amp world :anguished:

Red LED version so likely started life as a 42 before conversion to 42.5 at some point. Looks like it’s (literally) been gathering dust for donkeys years so would benefit from winding the volume, balance and selector knobs back and forth a few times (until no obvious fizzing or crackling sounds are heard).
Bit of TLC to the casework and let the music commence :sunglasses:

Hehe. Yes… I did the same with my NAC42N and NAP110 purchased when I was a young lad :smiley: in 1985 from Radford HiFi Gloucester road Bristol with my LP12. They were both serviced by musicline but unfortunately I could not convert the 42 to a 42.5 so that it could be powered by a Hicap :frowning:
I have this now up and running in our “holiday” house and it sounds fantastic . It was left in the original packing boxes since 2004 :open_mouth:
Needless to say it’s great to hear it with a new lease on life.
With the arrival of very good streaming solutions, it’s easy to take a box and most of your music collection on holiday with you…


How does it compare to the 52?

The first production NAC42.5s also had red LEDs. Green came later.


Absolutely loving my 42/110 bedroom system. Sends me off and wakes me up every day via the Bluesound streamer app.


Richard, I don’t know why there’s no chrome. The sleeve is not reversed.

In my temporary system a 42.5 with supercap sounds better than a 102/hi/250; not as good as my 82/supercap/250; much thinner than the 52.
The 52 was a v big step up from the 82. Right now the little 42.5 has 135s into B&W 800D3s with NDX/XPS and LP12 as sources, so a good test bed for the 42.5.
The 52, even unserviced for prob 15 years, blows away any other older preamp. In fact, I prefer its slightly edgier, more forward sound to the 252s I have heard. Maybe that’s why 52 prices have shot up. Looking forward to the return of my fully serviced POTS8 etc 52.
Of course, my 42.5 is unserviced in 25 years!
It’s all great fun anyway. They’re all great amps.


In fact, I still have an original 42/110 set also currently “retired.” That was part of an LP12 Naim Linn Kan classic mid 80s setup. The LP12 is still in use, much upgraded!

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I have a NAC42.5.Hi-Cap upstairs in the office system. The 42 has always been one of my favourite Naim preamps!


If the finished edge has not been painted then it may be a later replacement sleeve.

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Is there much, if any, difference in sound between a 42 and 42.5 when both run bare or with SNAPS or single rail Hi-Cap?

Differences will mostly be down to age - the first NAC42s had “artwork” pcbs, which sound a bit softer, and later ones gained the ALPS Black Beauty pot. Bear in mind that there will also be differences between one sample against another, compounded by age and use or abuse. I’ve had quite a few through my hands over the years and come across good NAC 42.5s and NAC42s and also one or two that were not so good. I’ve also come across one that seemed to be just a bit more special than the others - I still have that one.


I’d like to think mine falls into the special category, my ears think so anyway. I did wonder about a 42.5 but will wonder no more.

Will keep looking out for a SNAPS tho.

If you think it’s special then it probably is.

A SNAPS is nice but remember that one that’s in need of a service can reduce performance rather than bring an uplift.


My 42/110 were both serviced at Naim this year and I’d be sure to do the same with a SNAPS for peace of mind, or a single rail Hi-Cap if I’m lucky enough to find one :point_up: