Harbeth - 250DR Vs 300DR

Have had the Harbeth SHL5 Plus for some time now and been going through SN1, SN2, SN3 and now 272+250DR. With every move the Harbeth have been more and more happy even though power rating is similar so naturally I’m now looking into a 300DR as my final Naim move since I don’t want a mess of boxes. Only 10W more but seems to not matter with Naim since 300DR seems to be a different beast compared to 250DR in terms of control, bass and more.

Anyone use or have used the SHL5 Plus with 250DR and 300DR and can share their experience? Overall it seems like a bigger step up than what you generally get in changing power amps within a range. I don’t have the chance to try before buy so. I have an opportunity grabbing a 300DR made end of 2016 for 4800GBP. Seems fair?

They are both great amps but with the 300 you get more control of everything, sounds like a nice deal, i would go for it. I have not heard a Harbeth speaker, but stepping from a 250dr to a 300dr with my PMC 25.26 was a nice step up in performance. Best of luck.

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You don’t mention a power supply on the 272? If this is the case, from what many users have recommended in the past I would spend you money on a 555DR.
You will get a much bigger enhancement and most definitely with Harbeth as they are very revelling speakers. Yes the NAP300 is better than the 250 but the 250DR is no slouch and is a very very good amplifier.

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I agree with Popeye, at this point your 272 may more of a bottleneck than your 250DR so may want to take a look at that first.

To answer your question directly, I’m using 552/300 DR with my Super HL 5 Plus and I’m very happy with the result. I upraded a few years ago from 250.1 to 300 non-DR with Harbeth Compact 7 ES-2s and the jump was significant (my preamp at the time was a 252). In any event, your Harbeths are certainly able to follow you through the next stem whatever it may be



There’s an opportunity going with a Nac 282 + Napsc too (2600GBP). So you think this with a good DAC would add more to sound quality than a 300DR? It wouldn’t add control I assume which is what I enjoyed adding to the harbeths so far meaning they feel relaxed and more easy going. That’s why my focus was on 300DR.

Remember with a 282 you are still going to need either a HiCap/HiCapDR or a Supercap/SupercapDR to make it work.


Ah thought the Napsc was 282 minimum requirements to get going? Hicap is mandatory then?

You’ll need a NAPSC anyway as a power supply for the digital circuitry. It comes as standard with the 282. The analogue bits need to be powered via either an NAP200 or by using an HiCap if you use a power amplifier like NAP250 or above since these can’t powr a preamp.

Hope this helps.

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I’m not sure about 272/250DR vs 282/HCDR/250DR with Harbeth SHL5 Plus. I have tried many amps with the Harbeth in the past and just recently a Luxman L-590AXII. The 282/HCDR/250DR remains the best amp for the SHL5 Plus. Vibrant, punchy and dynamic, a sound that is full of life. With all other amps, there is a certain paleness to the sound with reduced slam and dynamics. A flatter presentation.

I’m not sure which move will give you the improvements that you desire, assuming you may prefer increased punch, slam and dynamics, a larger than life presentation. Swapping the 272 for a 282/HCDR , or 250DR with 300DR. Either way, stick with the Naim. It’s proven to be one of the best if not the best match for the Harbeth.


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