NAC102 NAP140 upgrade option

Hi. I have a +20 years NAC102 NAP140 system, a flatcap and RME Adi2 dac fs as source. I do not have or plan to have phono or LPs. None of the Naim have been serviced.

I am puzzled as to which upgrade path would provide me with the biggest sound improvement (this is the key decision factor):

  1. Service the current systems.
  2. Service current systems. Add NAPSC and perhaps Hicap for 102.
  3. Second hand or ex demo Supernait 3, and probably sell all other except the source (which is a great source). Still expensive but I would get a much more modern system, and reduce boxes.
  4. Second hand or ex demo NAP250DR and use the flatcap to power the 102. Sell the 140.

Which option would you recommend?
Which one offers better sound/value ratio?


I’d definitely get them serviced (speak to Daren at class A) then napsc/hicap.
An alternative following that would be to change the 102. An 82 maybe?


I had an 82/140 for a while, very good synergy for some reason!


The 140 is a gem which will respond well to pre amp upgrades. It would not be ashamed fronted by a 82/hicap.


Yup. Service everything first. Start searching for a good used NAPSC and a HiCap, ASAP.

Longer term, I would look to get an 82, to replace the 102 (*).
Either with known service history - and you need to plan to get it serviced.

Then look for a 250… Any 250.

(* - I did this, partly also via a 72. Both 82 & 72 are brilliant… IMO. The 102 much less so…)


If you’re happy enough with the sound of your current system, a recap/service should certainly improve it at that age. If you’re going to make any changes I would look at the preamp first. Instead of servicing the pre and Flatcap I would consider a 72, 82 or 52, or any of the later equivalent preamps, with a Hicap or whatever other power supply the preamp requires.

You don’t say what speakers you have. If these are a difficult load you might consider a power amp upgrade. A 250 is the obvious choice, but I would certainly upgrade the preamp first.

I’m not familiar with your DAC, but don’t underestimate the importance of a quality source that matches whatever amp you end up with.


This seems to be a well trodden path. I bought my 102/180 around 1996 and had them serviced for the first time a couple of years ago. The difference was amazing; you just don’t realise how the performance drifts off over the years; your ears are unable to detect the slow degradation. That got me thinking and I bought (and had serviced) an 82 and a HiCap. Another huge lift in quality compared to the 102. I’ve still got the 180 and wonder whether a 250 of some kind would improve things further but I’m very happy with the system as it is.


As usual, the more you spend the better the results will be. However from what you have said my next move would be an up to date serviced system of hicap/72/140. That will be a significant sound quality improvement imo.

1 Like

I had a 102/140 (bare without any additional power supplies) for 8 years before selling it (foolishly).

It was a great music making combo that will cost significantly more to better.

Add a NAPSC to the 102, and get them (102 and the 140) serviced. If you later decide to sell you will be able to shift them on more easily having been serviced anyhow.

I ran my 140 into Dynaudio Contour 1.3Mkii’s by the way (4 ohm and insensitive speakers) and it never struggled.

1 Like

Thanks ChrisSU. My speakers are Monitor Audio Gold 300 5G. There seems to be a considerable price difference between servicing the 102 and getting a 82 or 52 (72 does not have remote, so it is not for me). Which is why I have also considered SuperNait 3 path (more expensive, but perhaps a significant sound improvement, not sure). I agree with you on importance of the source. It is a very good source, in my opinion.

Thanks CliffH. Very informative.

A good point re the remote, then the 82 is the next logical step up. The only thing is that with a 62 fed by a streamer I use the streamer volume control and leave the 62 at a preset level.
The sn3 would be a good replacement one box though. If you don’t need a phono stage I would look at a serviced sn2 to save cost.

1 Like

OP, do you have a budget? Without that, the imagination of some forum members will leave you penniless!

Budget is flexible. Up to £2k approximtely. But the focus is on a tangible sound improvement. Not change or service the system for the sake of it. Obviously more money may give you more improvement, but that is not always the case. And there is a balance. I am still in doubt on whether SuperNait 3 or 250 path (second hand, ex demo) is a significant, tangible sound improvement over the other options, including an 102 to 82 upgrade.

In that case, I’ll assume you were more than happy with the sound all those years ago, so: I’d service the 180 without doubt, and buy a good used HiCap.

Then, if you can find a good used 82, give it a go and keep it if you like what you hear. Just bear in mind you’ll then have an itch for two HiCaps or a SuperCap…

(I’ve had my 102, HiCap and 180 since the late 90s)

140, not 180, but otherwise I agree.

1 Like


And I had a 140 before that :slight_smile:

In my own view I think the 102 is the weak link. I’ve had 42, 102, 82 and 52s. The 102 was much inferior to the others. Sold it and still have all the rest. An 82 is far superior although needs its NAPSC and a Hi Cap, or better still a supercap. With a supercap you’re then ready for 52 nirvana!
Somewhere along the line get a 250, even an old one.

That was my upgrade path, 32-102-82, hi-cap - Supercap and 140-250. All big improvements.

Agreed, the 140 is quite classic and the 82 a good match. There are many well maintained 82’s out there and Olive Hi-Caps are a great upgrade, the 82 with 2 Hi-Caps is very good. I ran this set up for 15 very happy years!

1 Like