NAP 500 musings

I have upgraded to the NAP 500 from the 300 about 1 1/2 years ago. The rest of my system is also 500 level with 1 PS on the ND 555. The speakers are Sopra-3s.
I admittedly did the upgrade without an audition in my room.
It certainly is better in many respects especially in the lower registers with a crisper/tighter bass.
However I feel the 300 had some advantages in overall engagement. I don’t listen as long as I used to,finding that I lose interest somewhat sooner. Fewer wow moments etc.
I’m thinking perhaps the 500 may be revealing some shortcomings in my speakers. Does that make sense? The 500 certainly provides more energy.
The Kudos 800 owners on this forum seem almost uniformly happy with their 500 systems.
I have brought this up before in the forum when I first got the 500 but these issues have remained.
Was wondering if there any thoughts or comments. I know @NigelB got his 500 roughly at that time and if I recall correctly may have had some initial issues with speaker placement.

Well if the 808s matched your room they’d certainly be worth a listen, I have their little siblings with my 250 and certainly sound grand. Can you get a demo? At least then you’d get a flavour as to whether it’s a speaker issue.

Yes that would the best way forward however I’m in the US and in home speaker demos with larger speakers are not the norm. No nearby Kudos dealers yet. Thanks for the reply

I upgraded way back from 300 to 500 and some small changes to speaker placement were worthwhile.
The presented resolution goes higher and lower with more power so you get more HF and low-bass power - what was fine with the 300 was now not quite matched for the 500.

Easy things to try - before considering more expensive options - is to just try small changes to toe-in (usually less) and side-to-side positioning by very small amounts.
On initial superficial listening it may sound similar but I found there were ‘notches’ I could find for the speakers where the music just clicked-together and became cohesive and engauging, so I left them there.

Don’t listen for technical stuff like response balance - you should begin with that roughly correct - but throw that out of mind and play with small changes in speaker position.
Especially if you have not done this.



I have unDRed 552/500 serviced about 5 years ago with Sopra 2s and really find it wows me all the time. Looking back it was underwhelming at times which I now equate to the Innuos software. Since they released their own Sense App it has moved into a new league but there are differences from release to release, but happily the latest 2.2.1 takes it to new heights. I have nDAC/555 with Audiophilleo + PurePower connecting it to the Innuos Zenith.

I can’t say mine has been tiring to listen to.

It maybe that your issue is room/speaker related. I haven’t moved my speakers in years after finding a sweet spot. I’d love to have had Sopra 3, but not wanting the upheaval now. Titan 808s would have be interesting.

I have been very pleased with the MusicWorks G3 Ultra mains block and PowerLines everywhere. Worth reading the thread on MusicWorks G3….


If you liked the sound of your speakers with the 300DR then they should sound even better with the 500DR.

The 500DR does create more energy into your room so I would spend an afternoon or two with speaker placement, checking cabling etc, the smallest of adjustments can make a big difference at your level.

I loved my 300DR and can understand that some might prefer it over a 500DR, once you tried everything you could try reverting back to a 300DR and deciding if it’s better for you?

I would only add what do you think you are missing from the 300DR?

Thanks for the replies @Darkebear and @Filipe .
I did tweak the speaker placement and have essentially no toe in. I could try some more in small increments.

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Nothing really. But since when has that stopped audiophiles from upgrading lol.


Hi @jsaudio,

I went straight from 250DR to 500DR about 10 months ago, already having a 552 (non DR), a ND555 with 1 x PS555DR, full SL loom, full set of PowerLines, Cisco 2960 and EtherREGEN switches and MusicWorks G3 power block.

I was initially impressed then a little underwhelmed, which I (wrongly) blamed on my Monitor Audio GX300 Gold speakers. I didn’t experiment with speaker positioning.

It turned out the ex-demo 500DR was not fully run in and it also needed to settle in. The new set of SL speaker leads were also burning in. It was also clear that the 500DR was showing up some of the recordings in my library. Now things have settled, I get wow moments every day and don’t fret over the odd dodgy recording. Just remember the 500 will give you warts ‘n’ all.

If your speakers were sounding great with the 300, they should sound even better with a 500 up ‘em, so I wouldn’t be too quick to blame the speakers, the mistake I made (although I accept my speakers are now the weak link).

Like others have suggested, I would experiment with speaker positioning and toe in. Also pay great attention to your Ethernet link from router to ND555 (switches, server, streaming cables etc), as I have improved SQ significantly by optimising this area. A good power block also makes a real difference to SQ.

Are your amps and power supply DR?

You have a great system so keep tweaking and I am sure it will come good.


Downgrading is the new upgrading, less is more!!!


Agree with Nigel here. Power is the first part of getting great sound. The 500 will pick up any inadequacy in your power supply. The 300s are more laid back and don’t reveal as much as the 500s. Really good power cable - above power line and exceptional power blocks will optimise your power supply


You both just need an extra 555PS each :flushed:

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I would visit a dealer and see if you could borrow a second 555psdr…and see what you think…I found that it made my whole system gel…its worth a try…


The decay of notes…extra detail, power…and extra blackness…all bring the experience to a whole new level…


I’d be really disappointed if you need an extra 555PS to make a NAP 500 sound good.


You don’t.

I’m afraid I’d suggest something is wrong here.

To me, what makes an amp (or system for that matter) more engaging is in many ways how it handles the midrange and in my experience the 500 is way more nuanced, textured and delicate here than the 300. The treble is also clearer, sweeter and less shouty and the timing has greater cohesion across all registers. Those are at any rate the qualities that most struck me when comparing the two.

But you do not seem to be experiencing this although noting its virtues in the bass.

So assuming your Sopras are connected in phase (not wishing to be insulting but this can happen) and likewise assuming the drive units have not been damaged, and again that the arrangement of the units in your racks is optimal (the 552 head unit likes to be at the top and also benefits from space below - and keeping its psu away from the 500 psu is also a good idea), I’m afraid that unless there’s something very problematic with your room (lots of hard reflective surfaces etc), there could be a problem with the 500 itself.

Having got that alarmist comment out of the way, I would also respectfully suggest that without more information about your system, no one can really say anything that isn’t potentially unhelpful conjecture at this stage.

The obvious question would be whether anything else in your system changed with or subsequent to the arrival of the 500. But any and all info on how old your 500 system is, whether it’s DR or not, what mains cables and block/s you are using, how it’s installed on the 2 Fraim racks and using what height units, what your room dimensions and furnishings are and your speaker positions etc will help you benefit more from others’ experience, as would a mention of which music you remember sounding more engaging with the 300.

But I certainly wouldn’t recommend chucking any more money at your system before identifying why it’s not working for you at present. If you bought from a dealer, they may be able and willing to help by bringing another 500 and maybe 300 to audition at home (or as a 2nd place alternative in an identical system at their dealership - you could bring your 500 along to compare).


Sorry to hear you have concerns about your 500. When I went from the 300 to the 500 it was my favorite upgrade. I have (for now) the focal maestro uptopia (2017 model). I previously owned the Sopra 3’s. I don’t know where you live in the USA but there is a Kudos/Naim/Focal dealer near Chicago that I have used sine 2016. You may or may not be able to work something out on a pair of 808’s. His service has been fantastic, it’s Tyler. You are welcome to ask the moderator to get my contact information if interested. Good luck with your quest.

Thanks to all! I have a 2 stack Fraim optimized with 552 on top of left. All DR,power lines, dedicated mains and the best AV Options power block. I will be playing with speaker placement adjusting in small increments. The room is somewhat large at 17X25 feet with plenty of room around the speakers.