Nap 250

Looking to replace Modern Nap 200 With second hand Nap 250
Is there much difference between the chrome bumper, Olive and modern 250 version excluding DR on sound quality

It you have a Naim preamp like the 202 or 282 ya need a hicap too since the 250 can’t power a preamp.

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currently have an Hicap 2


There are many threads touching on this of course.

All 250s are good, with less character (i.e. inaccuracies) with each iteration.

To me, the olive was a classic version (and a great balance between boogie and neutrality) and the 250DR the most detailed, quiet and fast of the lot (and the other high point in the range). The modern-looking but non-DR 250 is good too, but perhaps not ideal for VFM.

More important than model may be servicing. An unserviced olive 250 from the 1990s won’t sound right and a service at Salisbury or Class A is not cheap. On the other hand, an olive 250 serviced in the last (say) 8 years is fantastic VFM and probably my favourite option - I had one as my power amp for over 20 years.

If getting an older 250 helps you save toward swapping the 202 for an 82 or 282, so much the better.


A lot will depend on your speakers. Any 250 will outclass a 200, but even this is dependent on how well the power amp matches the rest of the system, particularly the preamp and speakers, and your personal taste in music presentation.
For speakers that are hard to drive the biggest jump in ability was between from Olive to Black (aka Classic, Tryptich or 250.2!)
If you have a 202 I would strongly advise you to consider upgrading it to a 282 before you get a 250. It’s not that the 202 is a bad preamp, in the right system I like it a lot, but it just isn’t a great match with a 250.

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eBay suggests over £1000 difference between an olive 250 serviced in the last decade and a not-serviced but just-before-DR 250.

That saving would pay for an olive 82, and 82/HC/ olive 250 would be a big upgrade from 202 and 200. A 282 and a 250DR would bring a bit more control for any excess of excitement/ enthusiasm, but the cost difference is not small.

Which MA speakers do you have?

I replaced my NAP200 with a NAP250.2, still using a NAC202 preamp. I have a pair of Kudos X3 speakers. The difference was instantly noticeable. The PRaT difference was like day and night. Sorry I cannot answer your question directly, but all I will say is that you will not be dissapointed.

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I own both NAP 200 and 250 DR

yes the 250 DR is a better power amp, but I would updrade to 282 before any NAP 200 upgrade.

In hindsight I should have gone 202—>252/SCDR instead of 200 to 250 DR with 282.

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many years ago I upgraded from NAP180 to NAP250 and again I found the difference much bigger than one might imagine. A lot more weight, power and drive to the sound.

Much depends on how you wish the system to look and how deep your pockets are but I think in terms of value for money a nice NAC82/Hicap/250 in olive takes some beating

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Thanks for your advice/thoughts thus far.
Already replaced the 202 with NAC 82 Olive and had it serviced by Class A.
My speakers are Spendor SP1’s however, these have been overhauled and rebuilt internally therefore happy with speakers. Main source Technics SL 120 turntable, once again rebuilt with silver cable and Funk Tonearm.
There’s something about the olive range that really appeals. I really like the looks despite being an old model range.
Delighted with the 82 and wanted to complete my upgrade hence the original question.

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In that case a serviced olive 250 is the obvious choice and a VFM bargain - it’ll be a great system.

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There are some nice looking S/H Olive NAP250s on the TomTom Audio website - I suggest that you have a careful look, to see if any takes your fancy. I have no idea how to gauge S/H prices, but all James’s stock is serviced before it goes on sale, so these will be ‘factory fresh’ and as good as new.

For what it’s worth, I have an Olive NAP250 in my system, and I can assure you that it’s a great amp.

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CB Nap 250 is very fast but can become a bit thin. Olive comparable prat but is a little more fleshed out. Reference 250-2 provides much better bass response but stills swings. I have not compared the DR Nap 250 but I am sure it is better still.

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Both 250.2 and 250DR were very, very good to me. Difference between them was rather subtle in my system. In the end, I liked 250DR better and decided to keep it. It sounded a bit more refined with a bit more control of the speakers… Again, not a night and day difference.

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Wish I had known that before sending my 282 from there off for a service :crazy_face: Darran informed me yesterday it had been serviced. Helps make sense of their prices (which I have always found to be in the high side. Except for the 282 which was the cheapest in the country)

I have found that James takes great pride in the equipment that he sells. I think that one of his advertising lines is along the lines of ‘as fresh as when it left the factory’.

He’s quite the opposite of a ‘fast buck’ merchant, and is always a pleasure to deal with.


As most would have known, there is no end to this game. Once you are at 252/SCDR, you might think that you should have gone to 552 instead. Still not too late to go 252/SCDR though :grin:


Since you now have the olive NAC 82, the olive 250 would make sense. I don’t have experience with olive 250 and modern 250 non Dr but compared both modern 200 and 250DR. Generally, going from 200 to 250 of any version will give you more bass and a fuller sound. The 200 will sound thinner and leaner in comparison.