I went away from Naim, and then came back to a 250DR

Hey all,

My first bit of Naim gear was a second hand CD5si many years ago, and more recently a new Supernait 2 from mid 2019 for about a year. I loved both for various reasons, and they like most bits of equipment were on sold, when other bits of gear were changed and the synergy wasn’t there anymore.

Long story short, I have just purchased a NAP250DR, and my system is now an Auralic Vega G2 as my source and preamp, into the 250, driving some Q Acoustic Concept 500 floorstanders.

Before I purchased the 250, I was considering coming back to a Naim integrated, the SN3 but I was encouraged to try using my Auralic as a pre straight into a Naim power amp, putting my dollars into the best possible amp I can afford at this time.

As an interim ‘audition’ I was given a NAP100 power amp to use in my setup to see what it was like using my Auralic as a pre, and having a Naim power amp instead of an integrated, or pre/power (which is beyond my funds at this time). It was a used NAP100 so well and truly broken in. Anyway although it struggled with transient swings - you could hear it straining at those points, I thought overall things sounded terrific. Warm, punchy, and musical.

So on the basis that ‘the 100 gives you about 15% of what the 250 gives you’ as told by Naim dealer, I figured I’ll go all in on the 250 so I committed.

It’s been in my system for 2 days now, left on as recommended, and has 20 hours of playback time on it.

First few tracks played when I set it up I thought, yeah… this is good and going to be amazing but to be fair I think I feel that way every time I get new gear.

I am very aware of burn in, and have experienced this before with my Supernait 2, as well as other gear.

Yesterday I got a proper chance to sit down and listen for a couple of hours as it was approaching 20 hours.

What I liked was, warmth and effortlessness, and a clarity without brightness around the strands and layers of sounds in songs, I heard things with more clarity than I’d ever heard before. What I didn’t like was a small soundstage, and very light bass weight/impact.

So whilst it feels good to have Naim on my equipment rack again, I do have some concerns…… and I wonder if any 250 owners can tell me - is this part of the process - is it going to improve soundstage and bass weight with more play, or is a small soundstage and being bass light part of the 250’s character?


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Hi, welcome back David, a slightly unorthodox set up in these parts re brand mixing (which I personally applaud) it may help others to understand a bit more about the wider setup; what equipment stand are you using, how have you connected the non-Naim pre to the 250? Also what speaker and interconnect cables are you using and finally, how did your speakers seem to you under the previous regime?

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I made my own equipment rack using 2 inch thick solid bamboo.

Interconnect is a boutique made unbalanced RCA interconnect that I had converted to XLR at one end to connect to the 250. This was my interconnect in my previous setup - Though RCA to RCA for my previous amp.

Speaker cable is QED Supremus, 3m length. The amp has only every felt cool to touch over the last 2 days, even when In use for hours. My Naim dealer said if the amp gets hot then the impedance / inductance of the cable may not be suitable. This has not been an issue so far.

My previous amp was a Primaluna EVO400 integrated, sounded brilliant but having an amp in use for 10-12 hours a day (TV & movies not just music) those tubes … was like having a BBQ in the loungeroom so I moved it on for practical reasons not because I didn’t love the way it sounded.

The soundstage was wide & deep and bass was very punchy & deep.

Even with the NAP100 filling in for a few days after the Primaluna had departed I thought yeah this is good… I’m just surprised than an amp the calibre of the 250 has less bass output than the 100!

Surely it’s burn in … right?

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Give it a few more time, Naim amps tend to take a long time to burn in.

When I bought a new 250 I wouldn’t say that I noticed any increased bass output through burn-in.
Are you sure the speaker cables aren’t connected out of phase? It’s an easy mistake to make when moving from a non-Naim amp as the sockets are laid out in a way you might not expect.

Sounds like you have your components in the right spot provided ChrisSU’ point is covered. Let it settle and if you hear no improvement or change at all drag your dealer in. It is a bit like exercising……

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The problem i believe is the interconnect between Auralic and 250DR. The Naim being Naim has only the single XLR plug, I have no idea why there’s no normal inputs. I can see the XLR has a left and right and common ground. Beyond that I’m not sure what’s the best way to hook this up. The G2 may not like a common ground.

Well… I think I may have identified the cause for the lack of bass.

Auralic Vega G2 streamer. When I use my Bluesound Node 2i as the streamer, and feed that signal into the Vega G2 as a stand alone DAC, the bass is back! :sweat_smile:

I guess in my previous setup, the Primaluna Integrated was making up for the lack of bass from the Vega G2 when I was using it as a streaming DAC.

I guess when I took the Primaluna Integrated out and replaced it with the NAP250DR it was so much more revealing and not adding anything and it revealed a lack of bass.

So I played around this morning and now have the Bluesound Node 2i as my streamer, the Vega G2 just as a DAC and pre, into the NAP250DR … sounds brilliant, all the bass weight and impact is back, happy days!


Great solution and good that you sorted it. I was struggling for a while to understand the 250 displaying a lack of bass.

A bit curious however. Normally the Auralic G2 streamer should be better vs the Bluesound, and some have already reported that here.
Better streamer and better dac in the same time.
Maybe the Auralic has a problem?

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Its interesting to hear of others who are using non Naim Pre amps with their power amps, (some would suggest that this is a bad idea).

Auralic seem to be gaining followers.

How is your soundstage now?

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Yes, but in the meantime some reported less than perfect match between a streamer with volume control directly into a Naim amp.
But other are satisfied, like @ChrisSU who has Dave direct into 250 dr.

I include myself amongst those who find it works, RME-ADI-2 fs DAC with internal volume control direct into NAP 300DR

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He can’t have been that happy as he now has a Chord Étude, a power amp that actually matches the Dave.

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Ah yes, good point . He first decided not to use anymore his 282, and went instead to Dave into 250 dr.
But yes, you are right, he finally went for the Étude.
And Simon S, still using the 552?

Indeed, the Étude seemed like a logical move as it was designed to work with Dave, and was a significant improvement on my 250DR. Prior to that though, I did find that Dave/250 sounded just as good without a 282 in between (albeit a little different, so others might disagree) and I was so happy to be able to lose three boxes and a load of messy cables.

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The difference is a bit odd. I think I’ll get my Naim dealer over to my place for a listen, as I acquire both the Auralic Vega G2 and Naim NAP 250Dr from him, on his recommendations. I think a second pair of ears having a listen will help.

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I know that price is not all. However the A Vega G2 is a high end streamer, near 7k euros.
The Bluesound node costs 14 times less. Normally the G2 into 250 dr should be easily better vs Bluesound into G2 into 250 dr.
Something must be checked.


Well… the Bluesound Node 2i has a warmer tonal presentation than the Auralic. The Auralic is very neutral sounding to my ears and the bass is not as full sounding as the Node 2i, but it does trump the Node 2i in resolution by a country mile.

I have experimented with re-positioning my speakers which has greatly improved bass response using the Vega G2 as a streaming Dac/Pre.

My dealer is popping around tomorrow for a listen.