NAP 500 second hand (2000) vs NAP300 DR


#21

Hang on a sec there, PPT, don’t be so hasty simply because of a few comments on here…

A 500 is indeed a tremendous amp, but I wouldn’t consider one unless I was already using a 552. If the 252 is a stop-gap (in relative terms) and your intention is to go for a 552 in the foreseeable future, then fine, assuming you also have the budget to get it serviced and DR’d imminently, it’s a cheaper route to full-fat 500DR ownership.

However, a baggy 500 in a 252-fronted system will not outperform a 300DR and if you’re planning on staying with a 252, then combining it with a 300DR makes real sense. It’s a great combination that’s heaps better than what you currently have.

As an alternative, and given how much you’re indicating you’re prepared to pay, I’d be keeping my powder dry until a nice used 552 came on the market and combine that with a used 250DR. IMHO that would be a much better system for the same outlay.


#22

Dave I am not so sure … I had a 272 as a stop gap and the 500 replaced a 250dr … there was an epic difference - the 500 is amazing - it was apparent right from the 1st bar … the 500 is a subtle and with allot of inner detail - and muscle when required. Absolutely ultimately you are right … the 252 will hold it back a little - but not much. The subtlety drive and control will still be really evident. Of course if you do turn it up loud … the sound stage becomes epic as it does not collapse. I would still say go for it. Also remember the 252 is a damned site better preamp than the 272.


#23

I am one of the folks who bought the NAP 500 when it first came out in 2000, you would know when the 500 needs a service when the sound gets bright and harsh.


#24

As you say, for you it was a stop gap. Personally, I would never have gone in that direction with a 272 but I do acknowledge that a 500, irrespective of its state of health, should comfortably see off a 250DR.

If the OP is considering going further then by all means take advantage of opportunities that arise along the way. But a 552 whups the 252 in no small way and with the same budget I’d 100% go for one with a 250 than a 252 and a 500.

I’m delighted with what my 500DR does for my system, but I’d been pretty damn pleased with the 300DR before. In fact, I did do the comparison between 300, 300DR and 500 (non-DR) when I had the 300 and happily opted for the 300DR and ChordMusic Din/XLRs for a lot less £££. The DR upgrade on the 500 takes it to a completey different level and it was only then that the differences were far too great to ignore. Having said that, I would happily go with a 300DR tomorrow if I had to, it’s a fabulous amp and a real VFM sweet spot in the range.


#25

I can confirm the 552 ‘whups’ the 252/SuperCapDR with a 250DR (with an NDS/555DR source), as I have just made that exact change. I can also confirm that the 552/250DR sounds superb in my, admittedly small, listening room. Whether a 252DR/500 would out-perform a 552/250DR, is impossible for me to say, but I have always been rewarded by upgrading my pre amp in advance of my power amp.


#26

Source first and all that, it is always true.


#27

I agree… the 252 would not be the best choice…but
…it would still sound flipping good…and ready for the final upgrade…the 552…dr If you look at the 300 it is basically a 250 with the main capacitors and transformer removed…to a separate box… the 500 is fundamentally a bridged 250 + a few tweaks and critically has a huge separate power supply and that makes a big difference.


#28

Thanks all! I’m deciding to buy the 500 second hand. I’ll see it next week and if everything is fine I’ll buy it.

Next step will be NAC 552, but in meantime can I use my Supernait 2 as the pre amp for the NAP 500?


#29

Without wanting to disrupt what has been discussed heavily here already, would you not be better off buying a used 300DR now as the cost of this whole unit will be less than the cost of the service and DR upgrade on the 500? Once you have bought the 552, which should happen much faster without the 500 purchase and DR upgrade cost you can then sell the 300DR, most likely for zero loss and put the cost towards the 500.

Supernait - 300DR vs Supernait - 500
552 - 300DR vs Supernait - 500DR (more musical)
552 - 500/500DR vs 552 - 500DR (same end point)

You get to the same end point, but as illustrated above the system on the left will be much more ballanced (in my opinion) This of course all depends on the time taken to arrive at the 552/500 but you will have a much more musical system in the mean time if you buy a 300DR first.

…or just use the SN for now and save the money towards a 552 and use the SN as the poweramp initially until you can afford the 500?!


#30

Get the best source you can afford…


#31

Every time I have looked at non dr amp or power supply I have been put off by the dr cost. To me the second hand cost plus dr by Naim gives a total cost that cannot be recovered in the secondhand market for an older product. A bit more money can get a much newer product originally built with dr, the cost of which is more likely to be recovered. Just my thoughts. None of this matters if it’s your end point.


#32

If you are planning to get the 552 in a reasonably short time scale this would be sensible but a SN2/500 is a significant mullet - and you will still have an aged 500 that will need a service (whether or not you get the DR conversion).


#33

The 500 has been recapped in 2014 so it should not require a service. My plan is to buy 552 next year unless I find a good second hand opportunity before.


#34

I think that will be my end point. Otherwise I will loose my wife :smile:


#35

Hi PPT, just sitting here listening to my recently DRed 500,Jan 2019.
Purchased preloved some years ago,manufactured 2001,serviced by Naim 2014 (under my ownership). DR £4,200 - Well pleased.
Can’t speak for residuals as I too see this as my end game.
Naim offer a fantastic service,came back with new boxes and inner packing.Cases look like new,either some external parts have been replaced or extremely well cleaned,Burndies felt limp and totally relaxed,that’s before I switched it on.
Turned it on wow! …had a rough day yesterday…the well documented rollercoaster,but I have very,very pleased,thrilled in fact.
Thank you Naim,money well spent.IMO
Just to add when I was packing it for shipping I did wonder given it’s age,it looked tired,if I was doing the right thing and whether I should be replacing it for a new or newer one,but I’m more than happy.
What a service Naim offer,Brilliant.
Good luck and enjoy the journey,I’ll get back to mine now…it’s a roller coaster!!
Cheers


#36

Thanks Rustyneedle!

Can someone explain me how to’ connect the Supernait2 to the NAP 500?

Which cable / connections I need?


#37

With all due respect, a NAP500 hanging off the back of a Supernait2 is plain silly. I realise you plan to buy a 552 next year, but wouldn’t it be wiser to wait until you have the funds for the 552 first before going for the NAP500.

Unless of course you are in a country where pre loved 500s are rare.


#38

It looks like you will need a cable with a 4 pin DIn connection from the SuperNait biamp socket that splits into XLR 3 pins for the left and right hand channels of the NAP 500. It’s not an off the shelf cable and I would definitely contact Naim Technical Support to give their advice. Possibly a company like Flashback Sales could make up such a bespoke cable for you. Since the vendor is a friend of a friend perhaps you could pursuade them to give you a few weeks to get hold of the necessary cable to test out this (intermediate) SuperNait / NAP500 combination and see if it’s really what you want.


#39

NigelB, Whatshisnaim, Price of 500 is good. That’s why I prefer to take the opportunity now.

Can someone give more precise info about how to connect it to SN2?
Thanks


#40

PPT. Connection guides for Naim equipment are available online; just Google “Naim Connection Guide”. I have abstracted below the images for the SuperNait 2 (not sure if this is the one you have) and the NAP 500. For the SuperNait (see first diagram below) there is a 4 pin DIN socket marked ’biamp’ to which you connect the cable at the SuperNait end. Note that the online connection guide shows the connection between a SuperNait 2 to a NAP200 which obviously different to your situation. The second diagram shows the back of the NAP500 which has separate XLR connections for the right hand and left hand channels and therefore why I said you need a ‘split’ cable to separate the signals. However I urge you to contact Naim Technical Support first even by email and their address can be found on the Naim Audio website. They are extremely helpful and on the occasions that I have contacted them they respond within 24 hrs and I am halfway around the world to the UK. They will give you all the help you need.