In a quandary

I Used to own a Naim Nac82 / Nap180 with hi-cap and really liked the sound playing through Pro-Ac studio floorstanders. The bass went deep and was dry and punchy. After upgrading (or so I thought) to a Superuniti for the convenience and aesthetics of one box, i have been underwhelmed. The bass is loose and boomy to the extent that I stopped listening to certain albums. Just been serviced by Naim with no improvement to the bass.

I’ve made the decision to try and rectify this. Do I

  1. Add and 250dr
  2. As above but with a N-272 as the preamp
  3. Stay with streaming from one box either a Star or Nova

Any thoughts would be gratefully received. I would like to keep the Pro-acs as They were fine before. Or would sponsor D7.2 work?

Don’t forget that black series sounds different- not better or worse. Your ears need to adept. 82/180/hc is really good.
Add a 250 and things get better

A Naim one box amp is fine, as long as it’s at the heart of a small system - I have a Nait 50, and it does a great job between an LP12/ARO/rebuilt Troika and Falcon LS3/5A speakers.

You had a great system with an NAC82 and NAP180, but you should have been thinking of, say, replacing the NAC82 with an NAC52 and/or swapping the NAP180 for an NAP250, rather than trading down to a one-box Superuniti.

Have a word with specialist dealers (Cymbiosis, Grahams, your local AudioT or TomTom Audio) for a well-loved, and recently serviced, control and power amp combo.


Why not go back to the olive separates that you liked so much ?

I’ve had both a Nap 200 and a Nap 250 on the end of my SU.
One word, disappointing, I liked the SU better on its own.


It strikes me that speakers should never be ‘better’ than the source/amps and a complete system should never be ‘bigger’ than a room can cope with. Get either or both of these wrong and more money will inevitably be spent.

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Speakers should always be as good as they can be, subject to having an amp able to control adequately. This appears to be where the OP’s problem arises, having changed to a less capable amp - nothing to do with “source first”, and the need to spend extra money is patently not because the speakers are “too good”, but the amplifier inadequate.

As for solution, it depends on budget! Amp could be new or secondhand, added power amp or better all-in-one, etc. (There is of course the new “supernova”, the Nova PE…)

As @Innocent_Bystander says, the amplifier should be able to cope with them, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in the same league.

I have no idea what you mean by this? Speakers so big it becomes near-field listening? That would be quite extreme.

Thank you all for your comments, think I need to visit my dealer and borrow an add on power amp or Nova to see if this solves the booming bass. Failing that, a 282 / 250 fed with the streamer from the superuniti.

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I think you’ve just reinforced my opinion. Any imbalance should favour source then amp. Get this wrong and spending on source/amp or playing less music will follow. Seems to me lots of folk spend time shoe horning big, powerful systems into inappropriate rooms/spaces (my second point). To quote my dealer, the system ends up ‘playing the room’. All kinds of money then seems to be spent dealing with the problem.

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The 82/180 and SU could not be more different. One is tight and fast, the other fat and lugubrious. I’ve owned both.

Don’t add a power amp to the SU. Don’t try fronting a 282/250 with an SU. A 272/250DR would be great, but remember the 272 lacks the current streaming functionality and won’t be upgraded further.

The Nova is much better than the SU and may be all you need. Try one and see, and compare with a 272/250DR if you can, or with a 222/250 if your budget will stretch.

Or, as suggested above, get some more olive and a streamer such as ND5XS2 or NDX2.


I meant systems which over power the room with energy, not size.

@Hungry Halibut exactly what I’ve found. Tight and fast vs lugubrious. Should probably upgraded the olive 180 for a 250 then added the streaming box for convenience. I shall report back thx

Still not sure what that means…

Fair enough :+1:

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Echo what HH says. I had a Uniti which was nothing special. Traded it for an Atom HE which I use as a preamp with a pair of 135s. Great sound now, and only three boxes. In fact, the power amps are on a low shelf so I only see the Atom, which is a v elegant little box.


In my experience, as long as you have a half decent source you can go all the way with speakers to the best you can afford, as long as your amp is able to manage them adequately. After that improving the amp makes the system sing better, and finally the source maximises the effect. The other way round and the sound is always inhibited by the speakers.

Clearly you’re a “source first” adherent so we will have to agree to disagree, but regardless, as I said in my last post it is self-evidently a lowering of amp capability that has caused the OP’s problem in this case, not getting speakers that are too good, and upping the source would not solve the current problem.

As for room, that is another subject, and presumably not an issue in this case as the OP was happy.

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There is no world where that is an upgrade.

None of the options you put on the table, amplifier-wise, beat an 82/HC/180. Even adding a 250 to any of the other options won’t change the fact that the 82/HC is a supremely capable preamp. All the options are a downgrade.

So I guess the question is, can you find a one box solution that, if not as good, at least doesn’t irritate you and therefore, sound quality aside, may give you the increased level of enjoyment you are after. Personally, I might feel a suitable compromise is a serviced (new screen) NDX with a SuperNait 2/3.

You might find this thread relevant here: Can a one box set-up compete with a multi box system - #45 by garcon


Nice! Only the control unit is noticeable. I’m hoping to control all from the Naim App and have the kit in another room.
I only have an NDS (plus power supply) and an SN2, and it sounds very good. But I will eventually pick up a pre-owned Nova to test against it, as I would rather have a very simple system as HH did. We’ll see …

Not to prolong the debate but the OP in effect put speakers first & now he’s looking to rectify that decision unless I’m misreading his opening post. I trust he finds a suitable solution soon.

The Atom HE is lovely, and far nicer looking than the Nova. The only issue with adding a 250 or your 135s is having to either leave them on all the time, or switch them off manually. I’m keen to save energy and the way the Nova goes into standby is ideal for me.