NAP 150x or a Flatcap 2x?

Appreciate some help as I’ve found a couple of “bargains” but not sure which way to go.

I currently have a Nait 5 and could go down a pre/power amp route or separate the power supply. I’d look to keep the Nait 5 in the setup. Conscious that this potentially opens up a fundamental question!

Which would make the biggest difference to the quality? A NAP 150x or a Flatcap 2x?

They will drive Monitor Audio GX50s, source is a Cambridge Audio transport into a Russ Andrews Dac. Appreciate any thoughts. The NAP second hand looks much cheaper (by a factor of 2) than the Flatcap.

Thanks

1 Like

I’ve never heard a NAP150 but I don’t read the best things about them. I had a Nait 5 (original) and I used it as a preamp for a NAP200, then moved to a NAC202. The system didn’t sound right until the 200 and 202 were together, but it was worth the wait. This however is the long and expensive upgrade path that Naim sucks you into.

I also had a flatcap into a CD5 and it was a big uplift. Less so into the Nait5.

The Nait 5 is a lovely amp BTW. I still have it in a second system with the flatcap and CD5 as I just can’t part with it.

1 Like

Thanks - I really like the Nait 5 and will stop using it one day with a heavy heart!

Your comment on adding a power amp and that not necessarily working is a good one.

Does it make a difference that the NAP 150x provides the power supply into the pre stage?

1 Like

Hi, my suggestion is that if you want separates, buy separates. The Nait5 is a great integrated, but I would look for a 152/155XS which shouldn’t be too expensive if you trade in the Nait.
Also remember to check the service history of any used amp. The older 150X may be a false economy if it needs a recap/service, which it will if it has never been done.

2 Likes

That’s a good point and I don’t know. The dedicated Naim power supplies are far superior to the internal ones though, so would think a flatcap would be better than the NAP150 in this case.

The NAP200 powers the NAC202, but when I swapped it out for a 20 year old hicap, it was night and day.

I have a NAIT 5 and it’s a lovely thing, but it really becomes something special when you add a Flatcap. I ran it like this with a CDS3 as source and the NAIT 5 + Flatcap2 driving SL2s - it was surprisingly effective!

1 Like

When I had a Nait 5, I was very pleased with the addition of a Flatcap 2. A Snaic4 was also needed.

Ideally both your Nait and the FC2 will be in a good state of service.

Please don’t stack them.

1 Like

Provided it’s not in need of a service, then a dedicated Flatcap on the pre-amp section of the NAIT 5 will make the most difference here. It really turns it into something rather special.

Thanks for all of the helpful comments. A Flatcap does sound as though it makes the most sense.

Would it help with the soundstage as that is probably the aspect I feel is most lacking with the Nait 5?

Having looked at MA’s specs for your speakers, I doubt it.

The Nait 5’s 35W is a bit short of MA’s amp power requirements for your GX50s.

Sorry because I know this is not what you want to hear.

Not great news, but good to know.

Seems that I will have to think about a different amplifier.

It’s a difficult one. You might find the addition of a FC2 gives you everything you want.

No amount of flatcapping or hicapping is going to change the 35W power output of your Nait though.

Naits tend to work well with speakers which have benign impedance curves. In this respect your MAs are unknown. You would just have to try a serviced FC2 on your Nait 5 and see.

If I have to keep Nait 5, I will go FC route. BTW, I prefer FC on amplifier first, rather than CD (for this particular case)

I have a nait 5 and a supernait 1 (and many other boxes but for sake of simplicity ignore them now).

I also have B&W CM1’s and CM5’s. The CM1’s are quite difficult to drive. The Supernait / CM1 combination was great fun. The Nait 5 / CM1 combination was grey / dull sounding.

I moved the Nait 5 to my CM5’s - much easier to drive. Suddenly a good combination appeared and the difference between the Nait 5 and Supernait was not so big anymore.

Both are good amps but a Nait 5 should under all circumstances be paired with easy loudspeakers.

1 Like

I have the much maligned 150/112 combo, which I have owned from new. I think it’s a fantastic pre/power, been listening to it all day. Saying that, I’m sure the Nait and Flatcap would be an excellent set-up so just add a FLatcap and enjoy.

1 Like

Thanks for all of your help and comments.

I’ve ended up finding a Hicap 2 and will see what this does. I think I’ve worked out the connections needed from the manuals.

Seems I need a SNAIC 5, SNAIC 4 and to keep the power cable connected into the back of the Naim 5.

Appreciate any insights on whether this is correct, the way they should be connected and why two SNAICs are needed? I.e. I assume that the hicap will power the pre only?

1 Like

I ran a 150x with a 272 for a while. I thought it was a wonderful amp and it wasn’t disgraced by the 300 that replaced it. In fact some tunes sounded better on the 150x, albeit that was due to recording quality.