Hi to everyone.
Currently using nap 200 and thinking to upgrade to 250.
I need advice 250 chrome or 250.2.
What is the difference between them?
Is true that the old one sounds better Naim like and why they are some people thinking that 250.2 lost Naim sound.
Hi to everyone.
The NAP250.2 has a greater bandwidth and is more refined overall and has much better spatial reproduction. There is some warmth though in the lower mid that balances well with certain speakers (Naim) but can make it sound a bit slow and bloated with others. The NAP250 DR adds greater grip and drive and improves in most other areas too. Overall the 250 DR is way ahead of the earlier CB or Olive 250, while the 250.2 is better in some ways, perhaps not as much fun in others.
The 250CB sounds to me more organic and more musical in an old fashion way. The new 250 is more refined, it’s quieter and has blacker background, but it’s sounding thinner in comparison, more modern sounding…
I think for a big orchestra reproduction like Mahler/Shostakovich symphonies you want the extra details/separation of the modern amp, but the 250CB is a fine amp all around.
The 250CB has the H&F transformer that is considered “better”.
I would add to Richard’s excellent summary that if your speakers are hard to drive, the later black 250 is more capable of controlling them than the earlier models. That applies to both 250DR and 250.2, when compared to the Chrome Bumper and Olive versions.
That isn’t to say that you will always prefer the later models. Subjectively, with the right speakers you may not. As always, careful matching of components is the key.
Would an early 250 really be a worthwhile upgrade on a 200, in the context of a mid-level classic system, or just ‘different’? Genuine question.
Strictly speaking I would still say that an early 250 is better than a 200, but personal preference and system matching might still mean that a 200 is a better choice for some. Also bear in mind that after several decades of use, these amps may not all sound the same.
All Nap 250 amps have the Naim house sound imo. The CB version is a bit forward and the olive more mellow. The 250-2 has better bass and improved speaker control. The DR is better. All do the PRAT thing well. I have had Nap 140, 150, 180, and heard the 200 but 250s are ahead of them. Always lusted after Nap 135 but a necessary sixpack would lead to divorce!
Different ears and rooms and speakers….
To me, CB 250 was brash and not easy on the ear, even if the music was. Fun, though.
The olive 250 was and is a classic, decent at everything and great on vigour and pace. However, it’s not ultra-quiet so tiny details vanish, and it has more bass and less grip on that bass than is really ideal. It also can run out of puff more readily than later versions. For fun and VFM, it is still hard to beat.
250.2 is where I differ from consensus - better on hi-fi measure. However, (like a 282) I found it less involving, not more, in several systems, making it good for hifi testing but less good for music. In character, in so far as decent amps have them, it is further from a chrome bumper 259 than any of the others imho.
The 250DR fixed that clinical/ sterile issue with its extra dynamism, while building on the good points of a 250.2. Not cheap though.
All this involved various pre-amps - 72, 82 and 52 at home and 282 and 252 in shops, with A5, over many years. However, your speakers and room and ears may well give different answers.
If your ears and system are like mine, what you really want is a 300DR…