NAP 250 upgrade alternatives

I am an Atom owner and have been looking enviously at the NAP 250. I have Spendor A1 Speakers, which the Atom drives perfectly well, although they are not that sensitive and have power handling up to 100w. Im sure more power and separation of the pre/power amp would improve the SQ, with the potential to switch out the Atom with the 222 at a later point.

I have listened to the NAP 250 in a completely different setup with B&W 800 series speakers, and it was impressive but I prefer the sound from the Spendors :sweat_smile: I will test the NAP 250 at my normal HiFi shop when they get it in so I can try with my normal setup. My suspicion is that NAP 250 will be overkill for my setup - price/performance just not justifying the upgrade. I am hoping that there is a NAP 200 coming with lower power and price point, which for me would be a compelling upgrade.

Alternatively I have been looking at other Power Amps with RCA and XLR Inputs, power around 80w. Preference for British designed and Manufactured. So far I only came up with Cyrus Stereo 200, 2900 euros.

Does anyone have experience with Cyrus power amps or any general suggestions/recommendations?

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I’m not sure mixing and matching Naim and Cyrus is a great idea; the result would be unpredictable and neither one thing nor the other.

Have you considered simply swapping the Atom for a Nova, which has a lot more welly? A new series 250 only really makes sense if the 222 is a realistic prospect. The two together make a c. £12,000 setup and the question is whether you need or want to go that far.

I heard the A1s driven by a Star the other day and they were excellent; with a Nova they’d be even better.


The Atom is a great little unit - I am listening to one in my bedroom now, but pretty well-balanced as a combined streamer/ pre-amp/ power-amp. Adding a new 250 to an Atom isn’t the obvious upgrade imho unless you will be going a good deal beyond the Atom sooner or later and this is thus certain to be a stepping stone only.

Given the cost of the new boxes, the VFM option would probably be to go second-hand and get ND5XS2 and 82 and Hicap and 250.

That’s the combo I have in Tasmania. It’s more boxes than I’d prefer, but to my old ears it’s considerably better than a Nova in SQ - and a Nova is considerably better than an Atom (as it should be, given the price).

Others will have other suggestions…

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You have many options available to you, it’s a case of balancing ‘bang for buck’ upgrades.

If you have a local Naim dealer I’d primarily suggest you try to home demo a Nova against your Atom. As capable as the Atom is there’s a big difference.

Naim owner for 30 years. I got an Atom a few years ago, Nova not then available. The Atom developed a fault - the Nova was newly available at this point and I compared the two with my speakers at the dealership. It was an instant decision to go for the Nova. The Nova is improved by a NAP 250 (I had some in storage), but in terms of value for money you might find Atom>Nova would be a good option.

Many also enjoy an ND5 XS2 with a Supernait 3, with not a huge difference in outlay compared to adding a NAP 250 DR to the Atom.


You could get a pair of exposure xm9 monoblocks.
Or a nap200/250.
There are many options.
Just depends on how much you like the atom, or is it simply underpowered? Any additional box will still be limited by the atom preamp stage so it might be better to upgrade as others have suggested.

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Have you considered simply swapping the Atom for a Nova, which has a lot more welly? A new series 250 only really makes sense if the 222 is a realistic prospect. The two together make a c. £12,000 setup and the question is whether you need or want to go that far.

Not so far…a Nova would make a lot of sense in terms of SQ improvement and extra power. I guess I have been sold on moving up to separates, but given my speakers and trade in for the Atom, switching to Nova would be a big improvement for 3.5k, vs 10K for New Classic. Thanks for your suggestion.

I have a very old, but serviced, olive 250 on my office system Atom, driving SBLs. Great value, and great performance over the Atom alone. S/H you can probably sell it for more or less the same if it doesn’t float your boat.



Is there any particular reason you want both RCA and XLR inputs? I use a Chord Étude, which replaced a 250DR and gave a big improvement in my system. It has balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA input if you need them. Out of curiosity I used it with my Atom for a few days and it was a huge improvement over the built in power amp.

I have an atom working through a NAC 82 and SNAXO with 4x135s and SBLs.

This is only meant to be a temporary situation but what the Atom can do in these circumstances is extraordinary. It’s certainly not embarrassed.

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A very budget/space dependant problem. If you like the Atom and the simplicity it provides the obvious choice is a Nova, from there that gives you a means to add a NAP 250 which would ultimately also involve you either adding something like a NSC 222 or a NAC + ND, all of which will take up more space, need more cabling, be best suited to a dedicated rack and of course cost you a lot more!
You might be best off working out what you’re comfortable spending, if you see it as a longer term evolution plan and if you are willing to accommodate more boxes and the cables between them.
Even if you went to a Nova next it’s something you could trade up from easily and it’ll hold a decent resell value and you can almost always find them used.

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