82/180 Olive or SN2/HC?

If both are the same price, which would you choose and why? This is a real scenario for me to consider…

82/180, I would guess. Reason would be because they must sound better. The 82 is a very, very good preamp that I personally put above 282 in som senses. I have never heard this particular combo though but wouldn’t hesitate to pick it above the SN2, Hicap or no Hicap. You have to factor in the price of both 82/1&0 being serviced though, if they haven’t already been.

I’ve had Supernait 1 with and without Hicap, 202/200DR with Hicap DR and NAPSC, 282/250DR with Hicap DR and NAPSC and now 82/250DR with Olive Hicap and NAPSC all serviced and up to spec. This last combo is the one I prefer, which, to me, says something about the 82.

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Olive of course.

Sounds better to my ears and it’s SO CUTE :grin:


Hi iguoh,

i personally would go with the olive.

Reason: As I started my journey with Naim I heared the complete “ladder”. I decided to go with 52, SC and 2x135. I had to wait until my devices will appear so I got a 82 and a 180. After my 52 arrived I still kept the 180 until my 135 arrived. I can remember that the 82 is a beautiful preamp and I can live with it but 52, SC was better and my decision was done. The 180 could be a bit weak for some loudspeaker but with my SBL and my room (around 35m2) it was o. k. You always can upgrade the 82 with a SC or at least a Hicap. In the meantime I heared the “black device ladder” and I decided to stay with the olive (not an money decision!).

Reason: The olive gives me such an wonderful sound especially I can hear the “body of a tone” and how an musican is interpreteting the music. This is much more important than hearing the (last) detail of music.

To watch: When was the 82/180 recapped last time? If not or long time ago it is necessary and you have to do this (cost around 600 to 800 Euro).

Best regards,


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The 82 really needs a Hicap to sound as it should, so one thing to consider is whether you want a four box amplifier with three mains leads. Do you want to use system automation with a Naim streamer? The 82 can’t do that. Is a pre/power what you’ve dreamed of? Do you have the shelves available. It’s not just the ultimate SQ to think about. The Classic combo with the 82 is really the 82/250, which is considerably more capable.

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Thank you for your insights. What is system automation? I am not familiar with it.

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If you don’t fancy a remote, consider a serviced 72.


These two amps shouldn’t really be costing the same I’ve just bought a 2018, SN2 for £1,800 factor in a Hicap DR which is the one you really want with this amp and your looking at £2,500 for that money you are getting very close to an 82/HC/250 which is a beast of an amp and the better option.

An 82/180 even with a Hicap shouldn’t be costing more than £2,000 without a Hicap maybe £1,600.

I own an 82… Silly question… :wink:


It allows you to use the remote control of a Naim source, or the Naim app, to control volume and input selection on a Naim preamp. So you don’t need to use the preamp remote as well. Olive amps didn’t have this feature.

I am confident that the 82 will be good. My only concern is the 180, whether it can drive my speakers or not.

It may be an idea to reveal what your sources and speakers are…

I’d definitely want a serviced HiCap powering my 82 - assuming this, the Olive combination gets my vote.

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Speakers are Harbeth SHL5+XD. I have not decided on the eventual source though I currently have an Auralic Aries mini with a SBooster LPS going into a Chord Qutest with MCRU LPS.

That’s quite a lot of speaker. I’d definitely be looking at a 82/250, not a 180 or a Supernait. Then, of course and as you clearly realise, it’s the source that needs addressing.

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The 180 is quite a potential amp, I wouldn’t use it without a service though, as they are more than two decades old by now.

I have had SN2 and also a Nap 180 based setup, they are very different and separates have more potential than integrated IMO (no surprise).

The SHL5 I have heard, all were very slow in bas register, bas notes simply not fast enough for the asking price, I hope they have solved this issue in the XD edition.

As others have pointed out, source first still rule.

Can’t disagree with that :smile: :smile: :stuck_out_tongue:


That’s getting on for a £1,500 to £2,000 worth of source so good enough for a SN2 that’s not to say spending more even double won’t bring dividends because it will but your priority should be matching your amp and your speakers properly because if you don’t no amount spent on a source will help.

Naim amps especially the lower powered ones in my experience do not do well with some power hungry speakers. As has been correctly mentioned above if you are keeping those speakers then an 82/HC/250 is the minimum though it shouldn’t cost a huge amount more than a SN2/HC.

Good luck I’m sure you’ll end up with a cracking system in the end.

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“Good luck I’m sure you’ll end up with a cracking system in the end”
How lovely to see a nice positive comment of good will


Definitely 82/180

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