Having to move away from Naim power amps

Thanks for that Richard, that cheers me up a bit!

This was news to me. What does that mean more in detail?

IIRC, when you bridge an amplifier you can effectively double the power but the amp sees half the impedance - so a 4 ohm impedance would be seen by a bridged amp as 2 ohms. Naim bridged the NAP500 so they got a much more powerful amplifier without the need to parallel output devices.

Yes, reading it back it sounds ironic, but I was serious…perhaps too optimistic.

I might try a 300DR before I give up, looking at the design, it’s worth the time.

I am actually currently (ooops) using NAP500 with Shahinian Obelisks and I must admit i dont sense any issues with current delivery.

The dominant issue for me has been placement in relation to room boundaries. here i have found these canary wharf speakers extremely sensitive. with wrong placement could sound out of tune, ‘slow’, and lacking bite.

With some room re-arrangement and acoustic foam here and there – i have managed to reduce this sensitivity somewhat – which has made placement easier – and i can report that i have experienced some astonishing performance since then. Not as ‘romantic’ as my previous active SL2s, but on the other hand much clearer and fuller acoustically…

There are of course many variables in this game…


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Thanks Ken. I should of said earlier, as well as listening volume, source material plays a big part. I’m 80% vinyl, the balance being internet radio and streaming via the NDS. The wide dynamic range of vinyl is probably not helping. I’ll have to get the kit out again and do some measuring with digital. Who knows, maybe .mp3 only as source material may cure my problems!

P.S I agree with you ref placement! My experience is about as far removed from Vasken’s “just pull ‘em out into the room and off you go” as it’s possible to get!

Same here – cant put a % on it – but vinyl is a significant source for me too. I also use NDS.

As a matter of interest – how could you tell that current delivery of your 500 was lacking?? I bought mine on the basis that if i didnt like them – it would be a “been there, done that” experience and i would just move them on… This is actually unlikely to happen anytime soon!

I am using NAC52 as pre-amp having sold my 552 in a “moment of weakness” – long story. I still miss my 552, largely out of curiosity how it would have worked with Obs Mk 1’s – definitely not due to any deficiencies on 52 performance - which i must admit was a pleasant surprise to me!

Hope you get to the bottom of it – speakers can be difficult to fit in a room because of acoustic interactions.

I’m almost certain the Obs are definitely NOT a “plonk and play” in my experience!!


What’s your vinyl front end? Is it all OK? I ask because when things aren’t quite right - especially where there may be a compliance issue - then the very low frequencies that can result can cause an amp real problems. You can often see it, even if you cant hear it, with bass drivers wobbling and making quite alarming excursions. This can quickly push even the toughest amps to submission, especially if pushing up on the volume. It makes the amp seem like it lacks the ability to drive the speakers properly. Just a thought.

A bit left-field perhaps, but would you consider one of the Purifi amp implementations? They were discussed in a few other threads recently. Measure extremely well, including low impedances, powerful, and little sound of their own, leaving you with the sound of your beloved 252.

Since you seem to be in Australia, March audio should be good value. Either the P452 or a pair of P451. And with their two weeks money back guarantee, can’t hurt to just give it a shot.

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Friend of mine has the Arcs with Dynavector amp so I understand where you are coming from, a great combination . Having said that we also heard the arcs with the 252/250dr and boy was that fantastic also

I think try the 300dr, worth a shot , Richard might be into something also re the front end though maybe not quite right perhaps, whatever it is ?

It would be a pity to part with the 252 and Naim.

@matfff I suggest getting a variety of opinions especially from other owners. This Being the Naim forum not sure you’ll get a lot of opinions on other products. Vitas Audio, Boulder Audio, Pass, Aestheix Audio, Bryson
Good Luck!

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Yes, I think the 300DR might keep me in the fold, just found these test results, which sound interesting…
“ This is a powerful amplifier despite its modest claims, and will do 165W/ch into 4ohms, 244 pulsed into 2ohms and 325W pulsed into 1ohm, all of which is pretty impressive. It’s fully protected against shorts and high frequency overload, and if driven really hard offers intermittent and almost silent fan cooling. The fine peak current result was 25A”

I bought a pair of Arcs recently, Mk2s and these too are supposed to be easier to drive than earlier versions. I was pretty happy driving them with a 250DR, but I’ve now swapped that for a Chord Étude, which certainly has more grip over them.

Yes, that’s what I find. I’m back on the 135’s now and at low to moderate volumes, they sound extraordinary, but push it a bit with the volume pot and oh dreary me no, not good at all. It’s that grip and ease at higher volumes, that you describe, that I’m after. I’ll look up the Chord specs, never heard one of their amps. Lovely speakers, Arcs. Had 1’s, never had 2’s. Enjoy!

Yes, I’m really enjoying the Arcs. I went for the Chord amp because it was allegedly designed to partner the Chord Dave DAC which I already had. It was never my plan to move away from Naim amplification, but there you go!

@Richard.Dane I may be a little confused here. Is the 500dr capable of driving speakers that dip to 2 ohms (or even lower like 1.8 for a short period) or not. On the Naim website as another member has previously mentioned it states about the 500dr:

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

That says “prolonged “ not a dip.

I’m surprised Naim doesn’t spec their amps (except I believe the Statement) into 4ohms. It would be more meaningful. Saying their amps can drive 2 ohms is kind of BS without knowing at what frequency and at what power level. Big difference driving 2ohms at 30hz and at 15khz and at what Power amount 2wpc or 50wpc. Just my opinion

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I eventually had to move away from Naim to accommodate my Dynaudio speakers I tried a modern Quad amp the Elite QSP to good effect but eventually ended up with a Hegel H190 and I’ve read that the bigger Hegel amps are a good match but as usual demo first if you can.