NAP 100 to 250 DR or Nova

I’d like to replace a NAP 100 with something more controlling at higher volumes which a house move now allows me to enjoy.

Core, DAC-V1, NAP100, PMC25.23

I’m thinking a NAP250 DR as a replacement but a Nova may be a better overall option replacing the DAC-V1 as well.

Apart from the functional improvement a Nova offers, it feels like I can’t go wrong with a 250 DR and appropriately wired cables from the DAC (I think the DIN is different)

I’d like to limit my time at the dealer to a single visit with a single A-B comparison so any views on the Nova’s amp section vs 250 DR appreciated. Then I can just ponder the functional side of things.

It feels like a more powerful power amplifier is going to be better suited to the PMC’s.

If it were me I would also add a 272 instead of the DAC-V1 into the equation, partnered with either a NAP 200 or 250dr.

This may blow the budget though, it depends what you can source thorough your dealer.

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I’m a huge fan of my NAP 250 DR, but haven’t heard the Nova. Your speakers look like larger floorstanders, so may appreciate the extra power of a NAP 250.

I think you’ll start an upgrade journey if you go NAP 250, though, as you’ll wonder if you’re hearing everything it’s capable of. If your hifi is about music, rather than sound, a Nova could be a good place with the right speakers.

Mind you, NAC-N 272 with NAP 250 DR is a very good place :smiley:

The 200 is, I think, a good match with the V1. I suspect that with the 250, you might be better off with an improved source.

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thanks - if I go the amp route it would be to a 250 DR or cor. Having had the V1 for almost 6 years I’ll want to replace that with something substantially different fairly soon hence thinking of the Nova or a.n.other’s DAC/Pre box.

250 is a fine amp but it will expose weakneses of your sourće and pre-amp a bit more ruthlesly.
So proceed with caution.

NAP250 DR has a great sound with my Neat Motive SX1 and a pair of PMC 25.26 I have on home test at the moment. My main system is moving to a large room once the builders finish.

I also think the 250 will through things way out of balance, unless you were to also move to the 272. Essentially the 250 deserves a much better pre, the component many on the (old) forum consider the most important, myself included.

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I guess it’s also a question of whether or not this will be an end point or a stepping stone in upgrading.

I have a Nova and it’s a fine device, but as I already had a NAP 250 lying around I had to connect it up and prefer using the Nova with that as it give more control over my old Epos speakers.

While adding a power amp to an Atom or Nova is ok, they don’t disable the internal amps as far as I’m aware, and say you did add a NAP 250DR or similar you might feel the internal amplification is wasted.

Ultimately depends on the budget, but in hindsight without a digital source I might have been better going for a NAC 272 and partnering with my old NAP 250.

I have an old NAC 72 pre which is in need of a service, and it doesn’t cut the mustard at present, so I’ve just got a new pre amp. There’s the second thing with the Uniti devices (clue in the name!), if you wanted later to go for a pre/power combo the Unitis are not ideal as a digital source as there is no fixed line output.

Apologies if this is confusing, but as I love my old NAP 250, and have been even more impressed hearing a NAP 250 DR at home, I’d highly recommend one, and unless you want to keep the box count down, I’d personally be tempted to go for a pre/power combo with say an ND5 XS 2 (I’ve not heard one but I don’t think the display is essential).

While as others have suggested the 250 DR might be too revealing for the DAC-V1, you won’t really know until you have a demo if this would simply work wonders for you.

In the end figure out the budget, need for upgradability, multiple boxes vs all in one, have a couple of options and arrange a demo, ideally at home or at dealers with your own existing kit. Good luck.

Like many others, I love my 250DR which replaced an old 200 that is now doing sterling work in my son’s system.
I too have a DAC V1 and don’t really feel it limts either my current 252/Supercap or previous 202.
The 250DR certainly gives you an engine that can sit with better source, preamps and speakers for the future.

Personally, I still think the digital domain is not mature yet and going for an all-in-one might be limiting in future years and/or wasteful of money if you parallel its functionality with separates.


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DACV1 is a very good DAC. I’ve directly compared it with its big brother Naim DAC and it came surprisingly close. I’m sure 250DR would work fine with it and it’d be a good match for your PMC’s. They’re not that difficult to drive though so 200DR would probably be enough also.

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I’d look at it slightly differently. Hardly anyone who buys a 250 seems to stick with a V1-level source. So adding a 250 to that existing kit is unlikely to be the last upgrade. And although it’s not uncommon to add a power amp to a Nova or otherwise upgrade from the all-in-one, the Nova is best seen in this context (ie with existing gear) as precisely an all-in-one and hence a destination unto itself.

So make the one A/B between a Nova and a 282/HC/250 with your V1 as the source. If the Nova makes such an impression that you’d see it as one upgrade and done forever (or at least for a very long time) then go for that. If it doesn’t, and/or the multi-box setup sets your pulse racing, get the 250 now and look at front end/preamp upgrades down the line.

I run a Nova into PMC Twenty5.23s in a smallish room, and I really love the sound of the system. The Nova has no problem driving them, J happily listening to a lot of music on it (although the big olive system is my main one).

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I went from DAC-V1 + NAP 100 to DAC-V1 + NAP 250DR this year. I was very pleased with the 250 + DAC-V1 - it was a significant improvement over the NAP 100.

I think the 250 is a good move as it allows you to upgrade as money allows. I am currently on 272 + 250 after battering my savings account and this is a further improvement. I have no idea how upgradeable the nova is.

The cable that comes with a 250 fits the DAC-V1, and one thing in the DAC-V1’s favour is that it lets you use its USB input, which the 272 does not have.

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Morning James
the 250DR is a very good AMP, i think we all would say -

but I am a with Adam on this, more focus control and detail will need more source, I have heard the NOVA a couple of times if the one box solution is your choice?
one comment I would say on the NOVA i needs to be matached well with speakers, i did feel at certain demos dealers did not match the NOVA to speakers well but as you say DEMO is a must before the £££

Thank you all for the replies and your insights. Much appreciated. The DAC V1 will be replaced at some point but 2020 onwards unless I opt for a Nova this year. I like the enjoyment (easy-to-listen-to with good authority across a wide range of music) I get from the current set for music and watching films… just that it could do with more control at higher output in a more voluminous room. The more I think about it, better functionality than the Core and Naim app provide around the price of a Nova would probably be a sensible change - provided the amp section has sufficient low/mid oomph and clarity at the top :slight_smile:

It looks like you have settled on what you want to do but, I was in a similar boat to you last year but went in a slightly different direction. I went with a Dac v1 and a nap 200dr and some revel m106’s with the plan to add a “better” pre amp if i feel the need in the future. For the longest time I looked at the 272 and or the uniti series and to be honest and this is the same with any brand (apple, sony whoever), all in ones in the long term are just not worth it, something goes wrong you’ve lost the lot either for repair or at the very worst if out of warranty and can’t be repaired for some reason becomes a giant paperweight. Not to mention your relying apps for control and i certainly dot like that! not at this price point. I personally like to keep things somewhat separate. Just my opinion and mean no disrespect to anybody that have and use these devices.

Personally, that v1 will take some beating and you’ll be spending a lot to do so. I actually think you’ll be surprised how far it can be pushed (despite what some say) even using more revelling amps. Especially being used as a line level source into a nac. And if the speakers are somewhat easy to drive (which they are) a nap 200DR will do just fine, You’re not going to notice a vast difference between the 2 (250dr). I’ve compared both and some will say its night and day but it isn’t, amps aren’t where the major sound differences lay, but! The 250dr will have a larger volume sweat spot and take on even bigger and harder to drive speakers in the future.

In your case, a 200DR or 250DR will give your speakers a very nice lift! It won’t be in the way you’re expecting, you probably won’t notice much difference till the wick is turned up. I feel expectations need to be managed a little. It’s not as if your going from one brand to another the sound is not going to change, Naim’s house sound will still be present your speakers just won’t feel so choked in turn improving sound quality that’s the difference.

I’m not entirely sure what you want to achieve you either want to stream or add more power? you can have both but what do you want to achieve first?

First step either way is add a raspberry pi to your V1, Allo digi sig, mac mini or intel nuc (with audirvana installed) or similar Sorry sounds better than anything I’ve heard up to around 3-4k mark and so much cheaper and more user configurable

In regards to set up

I think if I were in your situation id either look to getting a 202 and 200 (vastly cheaper if bought second hand or you manage to get some good deals at the dealers which im sure they could do ) and using the v1 as lineout source with more connectivity to boot. I’d certainly do this over any uniti series and if you really wont to stop using the pre section of the V1

Or simply add a 200/dr god knows why people think this a bad amp. Seems to be the fashion to just suggest the 250 or just jump over the 200dr. It’s highly underrated, id gives it a good audition before you spend the extra 1600 over it to see what you’re actually going to achieve. Think you’ll be suprised what the V1 can do here in this situation.

Or simply add a Supenait 2 and if your feeling really flush add a hi cap to it for a little more than the nova

A really left field option and you want some serious refinement and control and want to lower the box count right down. Trade in your speakers as well and get some ATC actives using your V1 as a source with some XLR -din leads. job done for the same price as buying the Nova if not a lot cheaper with the trade in

In your case, my top pic would be the supernait, v1, hi cap then if you want to add some legacy componets you can

Sorry for the long reply but just didn’t want to say buy this! its great!

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How did the PMC compare with your Neats. I am looking at buying.

In my rooms they have a similar sort of sound but the PMCs have much more base and a clearer mid range. They are working out well about 75cm from the corners and 40 from the back wall, all the walls are brick and the floor is parquet. If you can home demo and check you rooms base compatibility I’d recommend them. I had domo Kanta 3 last weekend a bit out of my price range and pig ugly but they sound very nice!

That is very helpful. I have a similar room with parquet. I’ll take a closer look.