Mix Olive NAC72 and HC with NAP CB250


I’m a newbie in this forum and have a question regarding an upgrade of my current system.
My setup is Olive 72/HiCap/140. I’m thinking about a bigger amp and replacing the NAP140 with a NAP250. But I’m uncertain if it should be an Olive or a Chrome Bumper. Does anyone has experience with a mixed setup like this. Or can you explain what the difference would be? My current setup sounds really nice but sometimes I miss a little bit more punch. For some music like e.g rock the sound could also be a bit warmer and less bright.

Looking forward to your opinion!

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There’s no reason why you shouldn’t mix and match between the ‘chrome bumper’ and ‘olive’ styles, other than aesthetics. Also bear in mind that older Naim equipment will need to be serviced, if it hasn’t been through this in the last seven to ten years.

Personally, I would find it difficult to keep the different styles in a system that I would be looking at every day, but that’s a decision for you.

Sonically, the older Naim equipment tended to sound drier, or leaner, but you will need to listen to what sounds best for you.


Back in the day I had a mix of olive pre plus psu and chrome bumper power amps

Take it from me, it works nicely. There’s nothing to worry about other than buying more music !


It also depends on what loudspeakers you have. If easy to drive, the Nap 140 may be the better amp.

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I have a mix of Olive, Chrome Bumper and Classic Naim boxes.

A 250 should be a significant upgrade over the 140. I have had a CB 250 and now have 2 x 135s.

My advice is to get it serviced by Darran at Class A. I believe that CB have Holden and Fisher transformers and then they changed with Olive kit.

I haven’t compared olive and chrome 250s so can’t comment.

The 72 HiCap 250 will be a great combination.


Yes. I have a 250 which was made & bought as a CB (in 1985) - but was converted to Olive, by Naim (in 2003). Internally it is still a CB unit - albeit regularly serviced. Now used with an 82 (which is clearly Olive). Works very well.

Go for it…!!


I ran an 72/HC/250 for years, all olive, it was one of the better plateaus in my Naim journey. The SN1 I went to after was quite a let down. I think a chrome 250 will work fine if you can be assured it’s been recently serviced. But I’d go with an olive 250 if it were me.


H&F lasted into the Olive range before they went bump and another supplier had to be found.


The transition is end 1992, I believe - from H&F to Nuvotem - 1993 onwards.


I run the Kef LS50 with this setup …

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Wasn’t St Ives in there somewhere? :thinking:

@Guinnless - We need the Yoda of Naim… @Richard.Dane

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Yes, there were briefly some St.Ives transformers used on the Hicap after H&F folded.


I had never heard of St Ives transformers until tonight.I thought it was just where the man with seven wives came from.

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@Thegreatroberto recently posted some pictures of his Hicap which was one of the ones fitted with a St. Ives Windings transformer.


Naim has a house sound. CB Nap 250 was edgier than olive. Reference 250 a bit mellower but better bass response imo.

you mean the olive was a bit mellower or the CB?

Hang on a mo, I’ve seen photos of RD, he looks nothing like Yoda… where’s his light sabre? :laughing:

A truly classic combination and where I started.

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I’ve played around with a lot of vintage Naim amps snd you wont find better synergy than 72/HC/250. You shouldnt lose money on a CB250 so just get that now and take your time to find a nice matching olive one. Make sure you compare first though nefore letting the CB one go.

250 is more refned and controlled than 140 so should do what you want.