Having to move away from Naim power amps

As above, looks like I’ll finally have to move away from Naim in my quest to drive Shahinian Obelisks correctly. Tried a NAP 500DR and it’s current delivery performance really is not much use at all. I really like the Naim sound, but the power amps are not up to difficult loads. Shame.

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Shame, have you tried the Statement?

Sorry to read that. What are your sources and preamp?

If your speakers require current, then of the Naim amps, the NAP250 NAP135s and NAP300 are likely much more suitable than the NAP500, mainly down to the 500’s bridged design.

Bi-amping with NAP300s was often the most preferred method on really tough to drive low impedance speakers.

Otherwise, as JOF suggests above, a the Statement should give you all the current you need to drive your Obelisks…


I’m really not sure where you’re coming from on this. I’ve heard Obelisks with a 250DR and they sounded great. They sounded even better with my 500, which has been coping very nicely with my Diapasons for the past couple of years.

What version do you have, Obelisk 1 or Obelisk 2?

Ob2’s. I have tried 135’s (that’s what I started with). It’s a somewhat fruitless argument as it all depends on listening levels. At low to moderate listening levels the amps of course have enough head room. But that doesn’t help with my large room and large volume requirements. I’m sitting here as I type watching a scope trace and if I increase the volume much past 9am, clipping occurs. Same with the 135’s. I think it’s just a Naim thing.

I’ve frequently heard dynavector amps and obelisks mentioned in the same sentence. I think the obs can dip to 2 ohms so a lot of amps can’t handle it.

Yep, there’s a lot of discussion in ‘other places’ that Naim struggle with Shahinian and other consistently low impedance loads. Problem is, you can’t get hold of DV amps anymore! Rarer than hens teeth S/H and he is not making any more in Australia, though every year we hear rumours…!

Meridian 559 is the other one mentioned. Like the DV’s I suspect they might be tricky to locate. I wonder what the “modern” equivalent is?

Yes, I’ve heard a bridged pair over an extended listening period. Not as sweet as the 135’s in the mid range, but they allow the Obs to open up and breath in a most thrilling way. They sounded like different speakers! I’ve been looking for a pair ever since I had to return those monsters to their owner.

I know not to place too much emphasis on data, but after reading this on the 500 page one would be forgiven to think that dips to two ohms should not be a problem:

140W per channel output into 8 ohms; capable of prolonged output into 2 ohms with no discernible impact on performance

I am driving Obelisks with a NAP250DR and previously a NAP300 no problem, then again I don’t have a huge room to fill…

Yep, that’s what tempted me to borrow one. Unfortunately, measurements don’t lie. The 500DR max current capability measures no more than the 250DR to me, unless I’ve got a broken one, but I don’t think so.

@matfff A Naim preamp really won’t work well with anything but Naim… Not sure of your budget but if you want Endless great sounding power I think a Pass Labs INT-250 would be an awesome match with your Shahinians!

Thanks for that! Yes, starting to contemplate parting with my beloved 252…sob! It really is a thing of wonder in terms of SQ, I’ve heard ‘em all going back to the shoebox era and this one really seems the sweet spot considering price to performance, but all good things come to an end!

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I believe Obelisk II is not such a difficult load as earlier.

Well, looking at used prices and what I’ve got potentially for sale, quite a lot!

A Naim pre-amp should work just fine with many power amps. It’s the other way around - non-Naim pre-amp into Naim power amp where you have to be careful.


That is true. Biggest difference / improvement between Mk1 & Mk2 is the super-tweeters. The tweeters output was increased from 6 ohms (Mk1) to 12 ohms (Mk2). There’s 4 super-tweeters per pyramid top; two S-Ts joined in series and the same with the other two S-Ts then the four S-Ts are paralleled up together. With the earlier model (Mk1) Obelisks this meant that at certain frequencies the treble could dip to as low as 1. /1.5. ohm - which is close to a short circuit, hence most amplifiers ‘really struggled’. That’s why only a few amplifiers were suitable: Dynavector amplifiers being the best because they were designed specifically for Shahinian speakers.
Mk2s: the mid(s) units are different as are the bass drivers front and the rear ABR. Obelisk-2s are a totally different speaker top to bottom. Stiffer/heavier cabinets. The Mk1 Obs top covers were removeable (but with difficulty, stuck on with black sticky putty), the Mk2s the grilles aren’t removeable - unless the complete speaker is disassembled - the pyramid roof is attached to the cabinet from inside the cabinet hence the cabinet has to be completely stripped, remove both bass drivers and crossover.

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My bus is always late.
-have you tried a helicopter?