Going from Olive to Classic?

Another vote for the olive gear which I think is a timeless beauty.

But more importantly having also owned the 252 and 250, DR I would strongly advise you to reconsider. IMHO The 52, SC, 135s are more engaging than the equivalent classic. They have a higher noise floor but a more lively, quick, visceral sound. A leading edge attack that’s very addictive.

The new 300 series which I haven’t heard would be a consideration but not considering your budget.

My advice. Stick with what you have. I honestly wish I had. All the more money spent didn’t achieve much more enjoyment from the hobby.

If you want to improve on the sound-

recently I have installed Furutech power cables on my NAP 135s and the difference is startling. There is more weight and authority to the sound along with a more musical presentation. Something to consider.


Thanks for the replies. This is exactly the sort of insight I was looking for and as previously stated hypothetical. The reality is that the sale of my NDX and XPS2 will get me most of the way towards a non DR CD555PS for my NDS. And that is where I will stop. Upgrading and servicing the Keilidhs has made a big difference and they sound better each day as the driver run in.

If I remember correctly, you never demoed the 135’s.

But I think I’d agree that the 300DR is better than a pair of 135’s.

I’ve heard a pair of 300DR’s on SL2’s and I think it was better than my 4x 135’s although it was a slightly better system (552 pre amp instead of 52) and different room with a stone floor and stone wall behind SL2’s instead of my suspended wooden floor with granite slabs and plaster board walls so not strictly a fair contest.


I think here the difference was the 552 and the solid concrete floor. Which I’m told is necessary to see what the SL2s can really do.

I’d be surprised if I preferred the 300DR to my 135s. I certainly didn’t prefer the 300.


Newer does not necessarily equal better. To my ears the classic range broadly speaking has a different voicing to the olive series. You may or may not prefer it. My take is that the classic range has more refinement but dynamism and speed is more to the fore with the olive series. One could argue that the classic series is better balanced and brings more of the classic hi-fi qualities to the part - at the cost of some excitement. It all depends on personal taste and speakers of course. Personally I much prefer the olive look.


Ah, sorry, you posts had both in there. If that’s the case, keep it! Maybe swap out the XPS2 for a 555PS. As I said, the electronics, if serviced, are still first class. I understand the cosmetic mismatch dilemma but you’ve lived with that for a while and you could live with it it a while longer, I’m sure!

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I went from a 72/HC/250 to 252/SC2/250.2 and was pretty disappointed with the sound. If you do go classic I’d go DR or jump straight to the NC if you can.


Dead right @Yorkshireman.

I had had a mate’s 135s in my house for some months (along with a 52 and a Michell Orbe) and had had a chance to compare them to the olive 250 I was using at the time. I this felt that I knew what to expect from swapping from 250 to 135s and firmly expected to do that upgrade 1 day.

I only did a 250/300DR comparison because a chap in a shop who knew me ( and room and system) suggested that it might well sound better and be better value ( given falling 300 prices and rising 135 prices).

I had also heard olive 250 versus 300 (non-DR) in a shop and concluded that that was not much of an upgrade, something hearing 135s in a shop fitted with pretty well. Certainly 300DR and non-DR is at least as big a gap as 250.2 versus 250DR.

The result was that there was a long time between hearing the different boxes - I never had 135 and 300DR in the same house at the same time.

Ideally I would have bought 300DR and 135s and tested back to back over a few weeks at my house and then sold whichever I liked least.I didn’t get to do that, so the fact that I was sure enough to buy after hearing the 300DR was a surprise to me, but not one that I have felt much need to second-guess.


Ah well you did actually listen to some 135’s in your house so better than nothing. I was under the misapprehension that you’d never heard 135’s.


Overly trusting auditory memory is a common mistake, and so is extrapolating from one system/room for another, so it’s best to treat my recollections with some caution.

Given that necessary caution, I was a bit surprised that others here have drawn similar conclusions to mine.


I have not compared in detail, but 52/135 is so excellent.
Forget the looks (which I like a lot) and listen to the music :grinning:


Ever since I plugged a simple Supraload power cable into my first Naim device (Unity2) about 7 years ago, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Was this huge sound improvement really just because of this cable? So yes.
Since then I have gone the Naim Classic way. Enjoyed the sound improvement over and over again. But every (pre)amplifier, phono preamplifier and power supply only really came to life through better interlinks, power cables, the installation of a separate power group with a special audio fuse and, last but not least, with a Doepke audio earth leakage circuit breaker. This latter upgrade was like a curtain being pulled back on my speakers.
When only the plug of the NAP250 DR is plugged into the general living room power group, you immediately notice the decline in sound quality.
If you are satisfied with your audio set, I would definitely recommend the above route.


Keep the electronics. Get them recapped if needed and install a set of much better speakers. SL2 are very nice.


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