Abandoning separate power supplies - NAP350 and NAC332

Having been a long term Naim equipment user I have been indoctrinated about the benefit of separating power supplies from delicate audio circuitry including putting power supplies on separate equipment stacks, careful cable dressing between power supplies and their partnering kit etc. For example, this is what Naim said about the 252 pre-amplifier:

Capable of exceptional clarity, its power supply components reside in a separate enclosure: the SuperCap power supply unit. This ensures optimum isolation from electromagnetic interference and provides each of the ten audio circuits with an independent, fully regulated supply voltage.

Hence I’m slightly disappointed to see Naim abandoning these advantages in the NAP350 and NAC332 (the latter admittedly without the additional power supply). Is this simply about reducing the number of boxes? I’d much prefer a four box NAP350 if the sound quality is even better as you can choose other Naim power amplifiers if ‘box count’ is what is most important to you. Can anyone shed any light on why Naim has seemingly abandoned the ‘magic’ of separate power supplies? Have I been misled over the years that it really makes a difference?

I can live with it. Things change. Naim appears to have moved on. I think the Statement gave us a snapshot of the future.

None of it means that my racked set with the odd power supply sounds worse. Sounds as good as ever.

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I think statement is not comparable. The transformer mounting is completely different to OC and NC kit

No idea. But Statement doesn’t offer power supply upgrades.

Im a bit disappointed with all these ‘throw away’ transformers once you do upgrade. What a waste. I thought the same about OC products like the CDX2

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Question of just listen and let your ears decide, not your eyes?

Guess it’s all about new insights …

I do think the new 500 series when that gets updated will have a “no compromise external psu” i dont think having loads of power supplies with different names and uses appeal to the normal people. (of course us lot on here are not normal!haha)

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Bear in mind that the 135s are one of Naim’s most respected designs, with the 350s being their spiritual successor. The design of the 332 is simply a way of avoiding the need to shell out on both a 252 and Supercap at the same time. It really doesn’t matter how things are designed, it’s how they sound that’s important.

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Is it not about sound per £ .
Not all people are Naim sheep and they have to be competitive with the competition at a price point with the sound produced .
135s were one box mono amps and extremely succesfull.
If the extra case and wiring pushed the price up would it still be competitive.
Then take in the extra space required .
At the end of the day if Naim decided they can get the performance required from 2 boxes rather than 4 why should anyone worry .

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I don’t see this as a significant change in Naim’s approach. Broadly speaking:

Entry level stuff mostly has no PSU upgrade option

Classic boxes, with the odd exception at the top end (NDS, NAP300) have external power supplies availble as an optional upgrade to the built in supply.

500 series have separate power supplies as standard.

As for the 350, it’s a return to the 135 style monoblock design. Sure, you could separate the power supply as well, but that will be a massive price increase on what is already an expensive piece of kit. Plus 4 boxes = 4 Fraim shelves, in a world where many are looking for reduced box count. I’m not sure Naim would ever go down this route even with a new 500 series power amp.

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It is enough of a change of design philosophy for me to consider it in my musings of upgrade from 300 to 350 or 500.

Probably, seems to be the most important thing ,sadly…

I think giving the option of a single box preamp that can be upgraded with an external PS later will appeal to a lot of people. Having to buy an external PS up front is a big ask for many so I think it is a good thing. There won’t be many who get hung up on the throwaway built in PS. Remember that Naim also need to appeal to new buyers not just us lot :grinning:. On the 350s, well a power amp is just a glorified power supply for speakers isn’t it? Never understand separating the high current circuitry from the err……high current circuitry anyway.

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Extra power supplies have advantages and disadvantages over internal ones, it all depends on how it’s done, as extra cables can introduce extra noise, especially unshielded ones, and then you could argue the way naim sends the single back into the power supply down a cable with power running through it a bit strange.
As said as long as it done right then no problem with either, but these day’s i think it much easier to do it right all in the same box.

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As has been touched on, as far as the 350 goes there’s advantages/disadvantages to both the 2 box 300DR design & then again for the 2 box 350 design. This time Naim decided the two larger transformers was more beneficial vs a shared transformer that was isolated. One would think having a 4 box solution would might be a hard sell. For starters how many guys want to have 2 additional boxes & the extra levels of Fraim. Then there is the additional cost, which probably wouldn’t be worth it for price vs the performance gained (& how would the price compare to the 500 series, etc).

For the 332, sure an included PS seems like a waste once you upgrade (& if excluded could have lowered the price), but since their trying to simplify the range, it seems like a logical move. There will be those that never bother with an external PS, so it now makes it an option for them. It also now allows steps to get to adding the PS, instead of it being required upfront.

Edit: Guess could also add, this isn’t the first time Naim have included a PS, that is later bypassed with an external PS upgrade, some of the OC streamers were designed this way. And I’m sure when they were released, some probably complained on here as well :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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The existence of the NPX 300 invalidates the premise that Naim is abandoning external power supplies IMV, if anything they are adding flexibility as it was a requirement before with the 252. Power amplifiers is a different subject altogether that should not be conflated. With regulated power amplifiers space is a concern as there is duplicity of parts, look under the hood of 250 and you’ll see how the crammed all those parts together, no wonder protection kicks in when pushed hard.

Having heard both the 333 and 332 with and without power supplies they sound great without the NPX300 but with they sound significantly better. Naim has been very clear that they have included the internal power supply in the 200 and 300 series to give people the choice of a simple and cheaper system or for a better multi-box system. I have a 222/300 and it is very good. However, a 333/332 without power supplies is a step up for a fairly big price rise and a significant price rise if you have two NPX300s to power them. If I had the spare cash and room for a second rack I could go for a 300 system but as it is I am very happy with my 200-level system and have no desire to see if I could make room for a second rack.

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A while back I had a g thread on all the changes in the 200/300 series it is more than just taking integrated psu up a level. However the complicated extra grounding in the old series has gone no more snaics only burndies and balanced signal cables. And burndies now carries either anlog or power for the digital side of the box. If you can call it digital all the things that is not audio, lights, and buttons. Or that is at least how I think it works in the 332

I have heard the 332, 333 with NPX300 and 2 x 350s. The system had a very clear presentstion and a completely different sound to classic Naim boxes.

They have made significant changes to their boxes. The sound is more mainstream and are designed to work better with other HiFi brands. The power supplies move things forward on the new boxes.

I don’t think Naim have changed thst much with power supplies. They haven’t abandoned them. The new classic boxes offer a very different, clearer presentation.

The cabling has changed as far as I know and apparently it enables better connectivity to other brands, but not existing Naim systems which will need legacy cables which are expensive.

The new classics are a new era for Naim. Easy to criticise. They have made some changes and they probably needed to, in order to move their products forwards into a new era. Good luck Naim!

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