Critic NAP250 DR Review

I’m not sure that booking it 8 months ago counts as “just in time”, but I’m pleased I persevered.


My main source is my LP12. It has an earth cable that’s connected to the earthing post on my SuperLine. My secondary sources are a Creek tuner, an Alesis Masterlink and a Bluesound NODE, none of which have (as far as I know) any signal earth connection.

The only thing connected to my 552’s earthing post is my Sound Factory Tripod. Years ago I read somewhere that a steel rack should be connected to the signal earth of the preamp, so I’ve been doing that. Can’t say I notice much of a difference.

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There was a point when I owned 6x135, 1x300 and 1x500 (all non DR) and would swap them in and out in an active DBL system.
I also compared a 250 to 135s and the 500 in a passive DBL system.

Passively in the DBLs I preferred the 135s over the 300…It must be related to the fact that there is one dedicated transformer per channel, as the 300 sounded too polite, while the 250 was quite pedestrian and uninspiring. The 500 was eons ahead of either the 135s or 300 passively

In active DBLs the 300 had the edge over the 135s driving the tweeter, but there was little between them driving the MR drivers. But the 500 was massively, MASSIVELY better than any other amp on the DBL tweeter.

Putting the 500 on either the MR or the LF drivers just destroyed its benefits. Without the speed on the top end to shape the dynamic envelope of the notes, everything just sounded ploddy and lumpy. Putting your best amp on the tweeter is a fact, not an urban myth.

I ended up with the 500 on the tweets, the 300 on the MR and the 135s on the LFs.

But for all of the advantages of going active, the superiority of the 500 did not like to go unmatched and a passive 500 seemed to have the overall best trade-offs, although the lightling quick uber detailed crystalline top end that it imparted on the HF actively was sacrificed.

In some ways, the 6x135s were perfectly balanced in the active system, and was simply FUN to listen to, without becoming fixated with the different spectral presentations of different power amps into different drivers.


Have you had the 300 DR back yet @JonoB? How’s the 250 DR going in it’s place?

Yep, it’s back, and sounding rather fantastic. The 250DR was good, but in comparison felt like a smaller sound. When turned up, it could be loud, but compared to the 300 came across as a little shouty…

The DR upgrade to the 300 has been in place for a week now, and is growing on me rather nicely. It has all the attributes of the 250, but with a more controlled bass, and a more relaxed demeanour.

Plus it fills up the empty shelf on the Fraim :wink:

All of this needs to be tempered with the fact that the final two cables arrived for my 552, so I’m now running a full Morgana loom (so there are a few changes in sound happening on that front). Not entirely scientific to be changing all the cables at once, but the past week has been a bit like audio christmas, and I was never one to save a present to open for later…


That’s great news on all accounts. I often make a few changes together as well, which makes it a bit tricky knowing what brings what. But, I prefer to just hear that it all sounds great.

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