Nap300DR or Nap500 no dr

I have a Linn Klimax which is quite old, a 552 and 500 Both desperately need servicing. I could sell the 500 and get a secondhand 300dr. Or sell the 552 and upgrade to 500 dr but I cannot afford the 500 dr without selling the 552. I have borrowed 300 DR and I’m quite flabbergasted by how good it is partly because my 500 desperately need servicing Any thoughts?

Don’t sell the 552 unless you are going to purchase a statement !!

Personally I would keep the 500 and get this serviced.


I would start by getting the 552 serviced and DR’d. If you can afford to do the same to the 500, great, but if not, 552/300DR sounds fantastic to me. Also consider whether your source might be holding the system back before spending big on downstream components.


I am over the moon with serviced unDRed 552/500. Powerlines help a lot.


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As @HiFiman says, keep the 552 and the 500. You can get the 500 serviced without going for DR. Although it comes close, the 300 DR will still be outperformed by a non-DR 500 IMO.

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Another option to consider is a Katalyst upgrade to linn DS. Source first. Will have a huge impact. But perhaps if 500 needs servicing maybe that is more urgent.

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I would love to but I simply can’t afford to

Fully understand. Then maybe trading down the amp may give funds to bring everything back into balance for another few years. All the best with whatever you decide.

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You will regret selling the 552/500. How old or long long since last service? We don’t know much about your mains to Naim, racks etc. It sounds as though you are underwhelming, and many things can do that including the source(s). Cable dressing, Burndies (unstressed going in), stacking order and what’s above or below make a big difference.



I’d encourage upgrading to the latest version but if the 500 desperately needs servicing, I’d do that first but only on the basis that it can be Dr’ed at the same time. If not, and not even in the near future, then a 300Dr is worthy of consideration.

Thank you, Phil. All on a Mana rack. not sure what you mean by cable dressing but I have two Powerlines. The 552 is 2005, the 500 is a pre production 1999, so 20 years old, never been serviced. Wonder how much I am losing because of this. I simply cannot afford DR, nor Katalyst. Could just stretch to service for the 4 items. Also not sure what you mean bu unstressed going in, does that mean rack out from wall so the cable is not forced sideways?
I have spent time with a 272 / 300 and am flabergasted by how good it is… But I really have no funds more. Some really helpful thoughts from people

Well the 500 service is the priority. The 552 is approaching the limit in about a year.

Did you just switch the 500 for 300DR in your system? If the swap really impressed then sort out the 500. How does the 272/300DR come into the equation?

Have you owned your kit from new? How long has it not sounded right?

A good 552/500 is the pinnacle for many.


If you can manage the service for the 552 and 500 it would seem sensible to do that. It will bring the amplifier back to its full potential and set you up for another 15 years.


Ross, i can empathise with your restrictive budgeting predicament.
It’s easy enough to get servicing and upgrading necessities sorted if one has the wonga.

What speakers are you using?

Just wondered if you’ve considered selling the 500 & speakers for ATC active speakers with your 552?

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I would definitely keep the 552. I did the DR upgrade/service of my 552 a few weeks ago and ask myself since then why I did not decide earlier.

However, if the DR upgrade for both devices does not fit, I would suggest the service for both the 552/500. After all this time surely the right way. The fact is, this combo makes even without DR upgrade really good music.

To what extent the 300DR exceeds 500 nonDR I do not know to say. If you like the 300DR better than the current 500, I would still perform the service and then decide.

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Well!! actually I acquired a 300dr and 272 second hand for a different place I have with B & W 804 speakers which is what started this all off. It sounded much better that the existing system Klimax, 552 / 500 B & W 802 speakers. As I did not want to spend more, I thought replicate this again selling the 552 / 500. Then I thought, at least keep the 500. I bought the 552 in about 2013 ext display, built 2005 and the 500 in 2005 or so, from ebay. It is pre production build without a normal serial number.
I now listen much more, and did not realise that the sound deterioration is part because the amps needed a service and part because the 3000 is DR. Hence the original question, is a 300dr better that a non (but serviced) 500.
I am getting I think from all of the replies, thank you, don’t sell the 552 500. I will probably never afford a DR, unless I sell the 500 and get a second hand 300…THANK YOU

Do not want to sell my B & W 802’s…Love them and am used to them also used to naim…

I also am getting your collective wisdom that I need to service the 500 / 552 and if it does not work I guess I would get the extra money back from this in the sale as any sensible person would need to factor in the service in the price

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I will swap my 272/555dr/250dr for your 552/500 :slight_smile:

No service required for my kit for many years to come.


Don’t get too obsessed with the DR especially with the 500. It is a blindingly good amp - just get it serviced - it will be transformed. The 500 has a fabulous psu - which is the heart of the amp. I think in some ways the (I am going to get shot at for this) non DR 500/552 combination is better balanced … as it was originally conceived and developed. The DR does bring more clarity and some extra detail - and there is a bit more punch. But - the 500DR has a slightly colder heart - perhaps it could be argued more neutral.However, the non DR 500 in the context of working with the 552 (which is a pacy preamp) it is more than the sum of parts. So to cut a long story short … service the 500 - period - and be very happy.