Given the 4000+ comments on the New Naim Classics thread, and several people directly asking the above question, I thought I should start a dedicated thread on classic vs. New classic power supplies. I enjoy reading people’s reviews and it’s certainly help me make decisions in the past, so here we go:
Today I had the pleasure of directly comparing the two:
Demo set up:
NDX2 > NAC282 > NAP250 > Kudos Titan 606s (my system at home bar the NAP300)
Firstly I listened to well known tracks to acclimatise myself to the room and sound. I instantly missed the weight and realism of drums and piano keys I get from the NAP300, but otherwise it sounded like “classic Naim”.
Next, we plugged in the NPX300. It had maybe 50hours run in, and the cable less than that.
There was an instant and obvious uplift. Lots more detail and separation of instruments. It was a very similar experience to plugging in the 555PS to a similar system some months ago (the “oh wow” factor). The NPX300 was obviously no slouch in significantly improving a NDX2. The sound became more energetic, crisp, clean and punchy, with bags more detail. The overall sound signature was familiar. It reminded me of the roadshow demo of the new NSC222, NAP250 and NPX300 I heard a month ago. I found this amazing, as even just the power supply has the “new Naim sound”.
Next we plugged in the 555PS. It also has the wow factor, but a very different sound signature. Just as much detail and separation of instruments as the NPX300 (surprisingly not more?). My current system sound very real, like you’re in the recording studio, and the 555PS just turns this to 11. There is a realism to the sound, which translates into more emotion (for me anyway).
We went back and forth, then back to a bare NDX2 etc etc.
Overall, given the system we were demoing and to my ears, I would sum up -
The NPX300 and 555PS are very close and preference comes down to sound signature. Both provide bags of extra detail. The NPX300 provides a crisper and cleaner sound. The 555PS a more lifelike/real/studio sound, which for me provides more “shivers down my spine”.
Like many have comment on the other New Classics threads, the difference between the midrange New Classics and midrange Classics is really a sound presentation difference. Both as good as each other, it’s down to personal preference.
P.s. I took the 555PS home for the weekend. I think I’m probably going to stick to the “old Naim classics sound” for now.