Biamping experience

Hey all,
I’m thinking of following Naim’s own advice on updating my SN3 by adding a NAP200 DR for biamping my speakers. Interested in whether anyone has experience with this. Nothing found in the forum.
I have today NDS with XPS, SN3 with HC and Audiovector SR1 AA.

Nothing found on the forum? I think you mean that biamping and arguments for and against are talked to death of the forum in 100 threads surely.

The common consensus is that if your speakers are within the comfort zone of the amp, then biamping provides zero benefit.

Bi/triamping is a major benefit where more difficult speakers are concerned and a more powerful single amp is undesireable. But as Naim amps are not particularly short on power, that scenario does not arise that often.

I think, to some extent, it would depend upon the speakers. On the advice from my dealer I bi-amped my SCM40 speakers and there was a definite improvement: The bass became more fuller and, at the same time, more detailed - I could pick out the various bass instruments better. Also the whole sound stage became clearer. However you might hear things differently :wink: Perhaps worth a borrow of the power amp to give it a try. You need to factor into the cost another set of speaker cables and interconnects.

I discussed this with my dealer a while ago and his advice was along the same lines as Gazza’s long with a potential issue with timing. But Naim does promote it as an option in the manual, so it would be good to know from someone who has tried it or uses bi-amping on a SN.

Years ago I bi-amped (using active crossover) what was then my system - NAP120 and NAC22 (IIRC - might have been a NAC12) and the difference was very worthwhile. When I upgraded to NAP250 (a pair of those) the upgrade was worthwhile. I later went for SBLs active with crossover and four NAP135s, and that, too, was superb.
I am no longer active, having NAP500 (now DR) and S600 Ovators - would love to go active again, but it is superb as is.

1 Like

It depends on the speakers, as said above. My speakers can be biamped and it is recommended for best performance. My dealer tells me that one of their customers runs my speakers (or possibly ran them in the past) with a pair of 500s and they sounded very good. Better than with a single 500.

1 Like

Active bi-amping and passive bi-amping are two rather different things. In Naim’s view active bi-amping is most worthwhile - much more so than passive bi-amping where you’re much better off spending on one better amp than two lesser amps.

Naim do offer passive bi-amping as an upgrade path for the Supernait, but I think it’s more because of dealer and customer demand (and the fact that with so many speakers offering bi-wire connections, it can bring some benefit) than any particularly strong recommendation.

Of course, some loudspeakers do tend to work best when passively bi-amped. IIRC, some of the trickier to drive B&Ws responded best when bi-amped with NAP300s (post protection update).

I must admit that I get a little confused with the nomenclature. When I first did this the term was bi-amping (or tri-amping with the Linn Isobariks) - I don’t remember anyone bi-amping without being active.
Then there is bi-wiring - how does that fit in?
IMA I never saw the point of bi-amping without using an active crossover.

Have a read of the FAQ on the differences between active and passive bi-amping, and bi-wiring…

1 Like

Thanks, Richard

I’d suggest you’d get far more of an improvement by swapping the XPS for a 555PS.

Thanks for the clear answer.
Understand that an improvement is not a matter of course.
Now I am at the road end with SN3 and in that case have to separate the units to achieve an improvement. I am very happy with my NDS so where should I put the gun? Where do I start?

That is on my mind to but expensive. 555PS without DR, i that an suggestion?

Sorry for my no good english :(.

The non DR version is better than XPS, and the DR version is the best. If you did not buy the 200, and sold the XPS, you’d need to find only the extra. The 555 would give a real increase in musical enjoyment and is what the NDS really needs.

Thanks for the suggestion, I have read some about the lift but was afraid that the difference would not be noticeable. I have one from 2011 for about 2700 Pounds. I’ll see if I can borrow it.

This makes me wonder why you bought the SN3 in the first place – just a few months ago… Personally, before spending any more money on “something”, I would have a careful think about where you would like to “end up” with your Naim system.

Yes, rather than the SN3 with an extra amplifier and a Hicap, one could have a 282, Hicap and 250DR. Still three boxes but so much better.

But Lovstad has the new SN3 so it makes most sense to get the 555PS. Is the Hicap a DR version? If not, the SN3 with its DR power supply for the preamp may sound better without the Hicap. It’s certainly worth trying.

I understand your point. I got a good deal to change my SN2 to SN3 and the sound was raised considerably. Now I have a system that sounds better than ever before and this of course drives hunger further. Thought biamping would be another lift but give it more with the PS500 (without DR) so I want to think about it. The goal in the future is of course separate parts.

If the goal is separate parts then you should look at a 250DR. Make sure your Hicap is DR and run the SN3 as a preamp and later swap to a 282. But do the 555 first. And remember that it’s perfectly fine to be happy with the SN3.

1 Like