I am new to Naim gear, where can I go with what I have?

Hello people of excellent taste in in audio equipment, I have acquired some Naim Audio gear and would like to hear some folks suggestions on what I can add to my collection to enhance the system further. I have an olive cd 3.5 with flatcap, a nac102 with flatcap and napsc psu, and two nap 90 amps which I have changed the configuration of two cables to serve a left channel amp, and a right channel amp. I have a record turntable which has a moving coil cartridge feeding into NA532 boards. Your suggestions will be most appreciated.

I propose an experience:
-listen the 3.5 without flatcap
-add a HC to the 102.
I’m curious to known your opinion

Interesting, I will look for a hicap. Would listening to the 3.5 without a psu give a noticeable improvement with the hicap, and less distinguished from the flatcap?

Make sure your olive system has been properly serviced.


Good plan, I understand. I don’t think they have had any servicing for quite some time. I replaced the laser head in the CD 3.5.

The Naim MC board are NA523; MM are NA522.

1 Like

Yeah that’s the ones.

Sure, servicing is important.
But serviced or not, it’s interesting to try the 3.5 without any PSU.
For example, I found the 3.5 or the CDX were more musical, more expressive, with a better elocution as a single box.
The 102 will by his side really benefit from the bigger HC PSU.
I mean the system will be at the end more musical with a higher degree of natural in the sound.
For sure the coherence will at least benefit from a bigger source (CDI, CD2, CDX).

Keep the FlatCap, they work well with CD players. A NAPSC and a HiCap on the 102 would be a worthwhile move.

1 Like

With the older CD players, adding a PSU is not always better on all aspects.
Personally I prefer listen to the 3.5 and CDX without PSU (less details, perhaps less bass, not so big scene but more fun, more homogeneous).
Sometimes it’s not easy to do the way back just to try and compare to make sure.
Memory can play tricks and let think the more is better :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
After trying, if you prefer the 3.5 with the flatcap, then keep it :grinning:

1 Like

I am speaking from experience with a CD3.5 and FlatCap, HiCap. I ended up running a HiCap in the end - not everyone’s preference but I liked it.

1 Like

Not sure what speakers you have. Whilst I would agree a HiCap for the 102 is an obvious step how about trying to source an olive 250, or maybe a more recent 140 and comparing with your 90’s. I am a bit unclear how they have been modded and if that would affect performance.

Olive kit is great value, and can usually be sold on without much loss. Definitely get service history etc and service if necessary. Naim keeps records on every S/N they have sold.


A 102 is not a good pairing with a 250. I suspect the OP has two cables coming from the FlatCap, one for each channel like you would do with 135s.

1 Like

Thank you for your suggestions, it is just the sort of input I was looking for. I will be experimenting with your suggestions later today. Using the nap 90s in monoblock mode, ie left bass & treble, and right bass & treble, certainly gives pinpoint focus of panned instruments and vocal imaging, and my quest is to separate the left and right channels as far as I can go within my system to date. If certain items within my system would benefit from perhaps two psu’s or two separate power transformers etc, I am willing to go down that route.

1 Like

Serviced themselves, not sold. eg no info if it’s been done by class A.

1 Like

I have two pairs of speakers, a pair of serviced by me Kef reference 3/2 recapped with replacement hf diaphragms and no ferro-fluid, and a pair of Tannoy dual concentric drivers in a pair of Wilmslow Audio clone cabs of ATC SCM150. I have spent many months designing better crossovers for the Tannoy drivers to great success. I am looking at the NAP250’s because both sets of my speakers require more power. The Tannoy’s certainly show the inadequacies of the NAC 92 I started with.

Forgive me as I am new here, but is Class A a service department? I know class A is a type of amplifier biasing…

I tend not to sell previous equipment mainly because it is a bother to sell stuff, so I can step back and review the changes good or bad.

But Class A would have that info, I think… @Darran

Class A is a Naim approved service agent, based in Sheffield, UK.

1 Like