NAP 135 (olive) to NAP 300DR, is it worth it

Hi all,

Was thinking about if upgrade from 135 to 300DR, is it worth it?

A couple of years ago I was at a Statement demo, and asked Jason (?) if Naim were ever going to upgrade the 135. His response was dismissive - why bother when the 300 does the job?

As a result I’m content with my 4x135s as I can’t imagine finding the money to buy a couple of 300s. Or would I just need one?

Probably - though not night and day, it is certainly an improvement. Can you stretch to a 2nd hand 500? Even non-DR? That is certainly a big improvement.

saw many reply from this forum also suggest to skip the 300 and straight to 500.

I also wonder if the DR advantage will play an important role here vs the sweetness of the 135s.
The other route is to upgrade my SC (olive) also to SC DR and then the 300DR seems makes more sense there?

my system NDS/555PSDR-> 52 -> SC(olive) -> 135 (olive) -> Proac 1SC,

I’d still recommend the 500. The 52/SC is good, and works well with the 500. The 500DR is, of course, better, but IME less of a jump than from the 135 to 500, good as the 135s are. I moved from active 135s/SBL to passive 135s/Ovator S600, then to a 300, and while it was good (better, I think, than the 135s passive) and then to 500 non-DR, finally upgrading that to DR. Each step was an improvement, but I was disappointed with the 300, TBH. Nothing wrong with it, but it didn’t deliver the improvement over the 135s that I had hoped for. The 500 did.

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I have 2 very late 135s that went of for a service in jan 2019 my great dealer loaned me a nap300dr whilst they were away didnt think much of it (great hifi but very little soul)had it for a week then took it back and swapped it for a 250dr which was less hifi more music but still not a patch on the old mono blocks so i would do like others have said and keep them or go straight to the 500

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Thanks for the comments , that helps a lot
Have a good day! :blush:

Agreed point noted.
I think if there isn’t a particular problem with the system, best not messing around with it.

May be can look at the cable upgrade.
Like change to a black Burndy as some suggested or a Morgan’s DIN-XLR

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IMV, not worth doing if you like the mid-range emphasis of the 135s (as was also typical of the CB/Olive 250s).

I demo’ed a 300 (non-DR), albeit I will say sub-optimally as the burndies struggled to clear the floor - a no, no - and it didn’t have the excitement or drama of a 250.

Yes, it had a lot more detail and the window to the music was wider (less cinemascope if you will) but the 300 sounded reserved and unexciting.

I’m aware some jumped to a (non-DR at the time) 500 as this maintained the boogie some coveted.

Obviously, all our ears vary.

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Yes, I jumped from 135’s to a non DR’d 500 and there was just more drama to every song played. I’d not heard a better amp than 135’s until I heard the 500! Subsequent DR’ing takes it up another level.

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My experience, also

135’s in a standard healthy naim way do sound nice, and i wouldn’t part with them to get a 300dr, as i see this as more a sideways step, rather than a jump up.
But i would part with them to get a 500, even more so a 500dr

I did exactly the same thing, traded my 135s for a non DR 500 (that option wasn’t available at the time) then had the 500 DR’ d when it became available. Good though the 300 is, if your sights are eventually set on a 500, save yourself some money by cutting out the middle step and wait until an ex dem or used 500 comes up, as they quite often do

Thanks everyone’s comments and it seems pretty safe to say going from 135 to 500(non-DR) is a no brainer.

A little side question here, how about a SC DR in my case here? Heard mixed reivew if pair with a 52, some says it change the overall 52/135 tonal balance, rather than add more detials / presence then one would expect from DR ing’ a power supply?

Also my 52 -> SC is the grey burndy, does it worth while to pay GBP500 for a black one? it seems not many used one are on sale? or do a dare to change to non Naim burndy , seems cheaper and have strengthed internal shielding. any one came across this upgrade?

Hi mkng,
A number of 52 owners switched from an olive supercap to a black supercap DR and appreciated the change.

We auditioned a Supercap DR on our serviced POTS8 52 and heard how each musical note started and stopped more clearly and precisely due to the lower noise floor. So in that sense, there was definite improvement. However, we also found that music somehow lost its sense of boogie and emotional engagement. As we prefer fuzzy & fun to precisely dull, we kept the olive supercap on a NAC52.

When it comes to s Superline though, the same SC-DR was streets ahead of our serviced olive SC.

As ever, audition seems to be the way to go.

Hope this helps, BF

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Yes upgrade the burndy to black you may not of herd your 52 at its best until that moment🤗 then thInk do you still need to change out the 135 nap’s.

For me I find a lost of synergy when coupling non-DR with DR boxes. All DR or not. Both are fantastic …

The 135 seems to have a nice take of “inside the note” where for me the 300 was more hifi as others have noted, so dear I say it… going to a nap 300 from nap 135 would be a backward step. I know a bold statement but that is my findings. But I will admit I’ve never bothered to try a nap 300 with my 52, although I have herd the nap 300 with 552, nds,cd555, Sl2 and the hifi was great but not the engagement or musicality of the 135 with 52.

Good luck, just remember that old saying
“ You better be careful what you wish for”

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@Bluesfan,
Thanks for the very useful comments.
It seems to be safer to keep what I have so far without changing to black boxes unless to the 5 series.
Amazing find for the superline+SC-DR , hope you enjoy it.

@anon32455950
I also believe the synergy idea when the olive seriese were designed.
Agreed with you 52/135 is not a high definition sound, but very engaging sound that makes you forget about the whole system in front of you with your feet tapping.

I in turn focus on cable upgrade and had the chance to try the SL DIN -DIN and SL speaker cable. I heard mixed review being possible mis-match with my setup (being Olive /non-DR boxes), as it turns out the upgrade was well worthed, even only after 1 day of burn in.

It was a gamble as there is no dealer demo here where I live, but lucky the result is astonishing.
Now waiting the DIN-XLR to arrive, hopeful will make another level of improvement.

the 52/135 really stands the test of time.

Cheers.

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I went the upgrade path from 250 to 300 to 500, all dr. The 300 was a mistake on my part. Should have stayed at the 250 or better yet jumped straight to the 500. All this is predicated on funds being available. For the money all upgrades are questionable, value per dollar simply not there. But, we all seem to enjoy the upgrade rat race. I would stay right where you are until a 500 offers itself.

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I see @Zackwater , Seems like the 300 range is to bridge the gap between 250/500.
But 500 is really out of reach, so will stick with my olive boxes

Sometimes I have the feeling Naim reverse engineering backward from the top model just to have more variety, but it might take away some crucial musical factor when considering the cost/marketing factor

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A universal law of HiFi…

“When considering the purchase of a new ‘X’, dont purchase the new ‘X’. Instead, purchase a second hand ‘Y’, which will almost certainly sound better”

It probably will, but the second hand ‘Y’ will likely need servicing sooner, and probably at greater expense. :sunglasses: