Naim 42 to 42.5

Hello does anyone know how you can tell a factory converted 42 to a 42.5 as opposed to one that someone has converted themselves … i have noticed that a few for sale which say they have been converted have a -5 on a silver attached badge next to the 42 plate on the back is this more lightly to be factory converted ?

That is not possible. Some dealers were allowed to do the -5 upgrade - which needed a whole new main PCB, from Salisbury. Mine was done like that.

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Oh ok so from what you say this can only be done by the factory …. That’s reassuring as I am considering a converted one ! Are the converted ones as good as a original 42.5 ?.

My 42 was converted by the factory to a 42.5. On the identification plate at the rear after NAC 42 is a small circular silver sticker with -5 on it. Unless someone has gone to the trouble of forging the sticker, this would confirm a genuine Salisbury conversion.

Thats excellent many thanks i suspected that maybe the case !..

Age and sample variation aside, there should be no discernible difference between a converted NAC42.5 and a production unit.

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May I ask a very basic question, please? What is the difference between the original 42 and the later 42.5 - was it the facility to use an updated power supply, or something more fundamental?

I see that Ian’s post refers to a replacement main PCB, but why the change?

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You can always email the factory with you serial number. Their reply will tell you all you need to know.
Always find those guys really usefull and quick to reply too.

On the NAC42.5 the pre-amp and the phono section could be powered by separate rails provided by the then-new HICAP power supply.

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Thank you, Richard. The HiCap would have just superseded the SNAPS at that point, then?

The SNAPS remained in the range, below the HICAP.

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I recall that the HiCap came out before the -5 preamps did. And as @Richard.Dane said above, the SNAPS remained.

I bought a SNAPS first, for my NAC42. Later I had my 42 coverted (by my Naim dealer) to -5 spec - and a few months later got the HiCap. This was around '85/86 time.

Yes, the HICAP arrived first. It could of course be used on the single rail preamps as it also had a single rail 24v output via one of the DIN4s. This single rail output wasn’t dropped until around ‘93.

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I can testify that a HiCap provides a very nice uplift to a 42, although I’ve not had the opportunity to compare it with a SNAPS and most likely never will. Of course it should do even more for a 42.5.

I was advised that the HiCap was only worthwhile (with a 42 or 32), if you were up at active Isobarik level. Otherwise, a SNAPS was enough.

Now, of course, the SNAPS is a bit rare - and HiCaps are far more common. Although few probably still have a single rail output.

In addition to the 24v x 2; the negatives of the Right and Left channels to common ground, volume and balance potentiometers, were separated with 42.5 and 32.5 (2x2 points). On the nac 42 and 32 (1x2 points).
I heard improved dynamics and clarity on my 42.5 and 32.5 compared to the 42 and 32.