Adding 135 to olive system - the next step

Hi guys,

My first post here. Have been reading in this perfect forum for a long time - and being even longer a Naim lover by heart (started end of 80s with 42.5/90) :0)

I have done some updates recently. My current system is:
HDX/DAC/XPS/52/SC/250 (the latter 4 olive) —> SBL. Rack is Fraim.
I do love the olive sound and therefore I would like to stay olive as long as possible.

What could be the next update?
I think 135 is a worthy candidate. I could get a serviced pair from 2002.
What is to expect from this update: 250 (also fresh serviced / build in 1995) jumping to 2x 135 (2002 with fresh service). Is this a big step? Is there a change in characteristics.
I remember the step from 72/hiCap/250 up to my current system (52) being huge. Do not expect the same happening with changing the power amps. Does anyone have some impressions in mind or made the same update?

Any ideas for further or other updates? NDS/555ps is also nice but harder to get for a decent price (more difficult with 555ps than nds).

Thanks a lot for some ideas, impressions and thoughts.


I’ve said before here that in 1989 I went into the Sound Organisation in London to audition a 250 to replace the 140 on my 72. Derek Jenkins smilingly suggested that I also had a listen to a second hand pair of 135s, knowing exactly what would happen. I took them home in a cab with a loaner Hicap that day, they’re still in my system. They offer much better bass control and detail than the single 250, fantastic though that was.


I had an 82/SC/250 all olive driving my Totem speakers. I went to 135s and the difference, for me, was massive. Much more grip and solidity to the sound. Brought the fun back to the music reminding me of the 180 I had before the 250 but with more of everything including the resolution. I’m not really a fan of the 250 and was glad to get shot of it.

Now have a non-DR’d 552/500 which is very satisfying but I could have lived with 135s quite happily if it wasn’t for upgraditus.



Hello Drago

In my opinion, get the 135s. That’s it. As I have said here and on the old forum I did not rate the 250 at all but the 135s are in a completely different league. I would not hesitate to recommend them, particularly if they have been correctly and professionally serviced.
I like the “Olive” sound, and have never had any inclination to change to the current electronics.

Another voter here for 135s. A big step forward in control over a 250.

Wow… Thanks a lot to all.
That is exactly what I thought what would happen - there will be no way back. Once you have it in mind…:slight_smile:

Anyone else with a recent experience. I had read a lot from Khan84 here in the forum, who owns a 2002 pair of 135 and preferred them over 300 (or even 500? - not sure on this).

Another question:
The NAPs 135 do both have a serial 200xxx, which indicates a 2003 build. The main page states, that NAP 135 was build till 2002. That sounds strange to me. Is it possible, that theses are the very last ones (from official production?). Have seen pictures with the serials - looks absolutely correct!

I had a very similar olive system and went from 250 to 135s. My main motivation was that I was fed up with the 250 giving up at any decent volume. The 135s fixed this but also blew me away with how much better they sounded than the 250 - go for it!

Another warm recommendation for 135, no doubt.
The only minus in the process is that you will soon want to join two more couples for the celebration :wink:


Due diligence is everything (e.g. pictures can be re-treads from other auctions/sales).

An e-mail to Naim in usual times would be the answer - worth a shot now?

Have you seen pictures of the servicing documents too i.e. Naim’s work sheets, not just order records?

My golden rule is pay cash on collection (at an acceptable location) unless you can validate the seller.

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Naim answered a few minutes ago. Everything is fine - number is correct.

Now everything is set! I want the 135 and I am longing for the moment the are wired… :slight_smile:

But now I do suddenly have a choice as I have a second offer… damn. First there is nothing for a long time and now I need to choose.

Which one should I take?

  1. 2002 pair 135 - fresh service in 2019 at class A - full service documents - mint condition

  2. 2003 (December - must be very last ones) pair 135 - service at Naim in 2012 - documents and mint condition.

As I am very sensitive when it comes to recapping, I would send the 2003 pair for recapping service first. When doing so, this equals the price difference.

Is there a preference between the 2 options? From a technical point of view? Think they are definitely both „last series“

Thanks a lot!

I would probably go for the recently serviced ones, and save yourself the hassle of sending them away (and somebody else the risk of an avoidable breach of social distancing rules).

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Totally agree - only oneway (seller to byer) is really preferred these days.
I know our service point for long years. It would be possible to send the directly to them (seller to service). Nevertheless I need to pick them up afterwards.
And a three week window i need to have in mind.

+1 for the 2002 pair serviced in 06-2009

any technical thoughts?

Funny, I spent far more than I should have in exactly that way back then. Steve Morris and Derek did pretty much the same thing to me with their ex dem Isobariks when I only went in to hear Saras. Oddly the only thing that didn’t wow me back then were the 135’s which I felt didn’t add that much over the 250 for the extra cost. Maybe I was just telling myself that because I couldn’t afford them.

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The only problem with using a pair of 135s with SBLs is that it may in time beg for another pair of 135s for an active four-pack… but is this really a problem? :upside_down_face:

I have very fond 20+ year old memories of hearing how good a four-pack + sibbles system can sound, this was the system i aspired to gain for far too many years to mention and when i eventually got to the time when i could afford to do just this, i decided instead to simplify the system by remaining passive with a NAP500. I often wonder if i should have gone the four-pack route which remains an itch that has never been scratched.

I still find it incredulous whenever i read reports of a NAP 500 sounding better passive than an active four-pack or six-pack system, although i can’t comment on this having not experienced an A/B demo directly, my demo of the CDS / 52 / 4x135s / SBLs was far too long ago to be a reliable guide to sounding better or worse than my 552/500 series i have now.

One point of order is that 135s are a perfect match for SBLs, i enjoyed my pair of 135s so much they remain in my ownership for possible future reinstatement :wink:


There is no doubt in upgrading anymore. You definately helped a lot in this.
I think I will love the 135 Amps and will have a lot fun with it.

Now I only have to decide which one of them to take (2002 or 2003).
Still thinking about it - what a luxurious problem :slight_smile:

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The more recently serviced pair because Class A are an authorised naim service department, you can use them straight away and no more waiting/cost etc.

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Or you could look for a SNAXO and get them as a four pack, that would save you having to make a decision.


I know - Class A are professionals! I trust them fully - that neans a lot, coming from my mouth.
But from the price tag the ones with 2012 Service are cheaper.
In the end it would be the nearly the same price. Here in Germany the service is more than 1000 Euro for 2x 135.

Having them here soon without waiting can be the decision maker :slight_smile:

Had that in mind too for a moment :slight_smile: (bying all 4)
But then I do need even more fraim extension… and a PS for Snaxo and…

Also the 135’s would only will be making one journey directly to you!