Nap500

I’ve posted a few times about how I might be tempted if one came along, but they’re few and far between. A DR is out of the question for me, so this would be an end game amp subject to me deciding it’s a better option than a 300DR which would also be end game. So it’s a big call.

I’ve just had contact from a dealer (non Naim) with a trade in. It’s a 2001 and he’s advised me that Naim have confirmed the head unit was serviced in 2013 but there is no record of a service on the PS, which seems odd. I’m waiting for pics but I’m assured it’s blemish free.

It’s a good price but I will need to get it serviced either at Naim or more likely Class A if Darran can do it.

Doing the sums I expect it will cost less than even an ex-demo 300DR.

I’m very tempted. Presumably the usual rules apply with older Naim gear? If it’s serviced and in good condition then in should sound as good as new? And there’s no reason why I shouldn’t get another 20 years out of it? Where there any changes/improvements made, as this is an early example?

It’s not the one currently advertised on the auction site by the way.

I’d rather not give you any advice in any direction. In the end, it’s your money.

However, making an informed choice is essential.

The NAP500 and NAP500DR are two amplifiers that could be described as different. Naim could even have changed the unit’s name, and no one would have minded.

The DR version is not just DR, if I may say so. It is much more than simply those two letters.

I suggest you read a Dutch review.

It was this review that made me decide to buy the NAP500DR.

Google for :

REVIEW: NAIM NAP 500 VS NAP 500 DR.

Then use the translate function of the Chrome browser.

I hope this will help you make a decision.

1 Like

Prior to the DR update there were two main changes and one that was purely cosmetic; the most significant was undertaken fairly early on in there NAP500’s life, where the big green resistors were lifted off the amp board PCBs and suspended thanks to a carefully formed bend in the legs - the so-called “resistor lift” - in order to reduce their susceptibility to microphonic effects. The second was one was a small modification to the protection circuits to prevent them kicking in prematurely when using some B&W loudspeaker models. The cosmetic change was the change in logo intensity (lowered). Earlier units could be updated here but this was something best done during a full service as the head unit logo was buried deep inside and only accessible with the amp taken apart.

IIRC (I’m sure @NeilS will confirm or otherwise here), the Resistor lift and the protection update were both undertaken automatically on any early unit at the time of a factory service.

1 Like

Hi Stu, just read the review Thomas linked and it very much reminded me of my experience, when I got my 500 back from HQ serviced and DR’ed. It was simply a different beast altogether.
Personally having owned 300s and the 500 non DR in the past I haven’t had a chance to verify, whether the DR uplift on the 300 is as big a leap up as the DR conversion was on the 500.
If there is ANY chance possible (considering you already have the 552) do stretch to 500 DR if at all possible.
Good thing is that both amps in question will drive your 606s with ease, there just is something magical about the 500 DR……:hugs:
Either way you can’t go wrong thankfully, enjoy Peter

3 Likes

You might check this with Naim…? I certainly would if I was spending NAP 500 £’s…

1 Like

Thank you, all great and very informative replies. A 500DR is simply a step too far unfortunately. It takes my spending beyond a level where I feel comfortable about it, and I feel sure that would impact on my enjoyment of the system. Maybe in five years time who knows, but right now I have to draw that line.

So it’s a straight shoot out between a 300DR and a 500 and I accept very few will have heard this comparison so I’m going in blind to a large degree. My gut tells me a 500 should beat a 300DR. And there’s something very special about the 500 form factor…

2 Likes

I look forward to reading that after work thank you.

1 Like

I couldn’t agree more.

It’s a beautiful piece.

It is, for me, the most refined Naim box.

The Statement is stunning too, but you must consider it as a whole: the two NAPs and the NAC.

The NAP500/DR is beautiful on its own.

Halfway between Art Deco and industrial design. Superb!

4 Likes

I’ve sent an email to Naim enquiring :+1:

1 Like

I went from 300DR to 500 non-DR and the difference was significant. On Harbeth 40.2 speakers.
The 500 is, in my opinion, way ahead of the 300DR. I was fortunate enough to have my 500 serviced and DRed before the December price adjustments, but I used the non-DR 500 for about two years.

1 Like

Fantastic that’s exactly the comparison I’d hoped for. Was that with the ND555 & 552?

1 Like

Yes. With a non-DR 552 and ND555 with two power supplies (both DR). Now also my 552 has been serviced and DRed. DR all the way!

1 Like

You have a wonderful system by the way!

1 Like

Thanks! I am very happy with it. Although since I just moved my room treatment is situated in another country. But for the time being I mainly listen through headphones. The DR and service of the 552 was a mighty fine improvement. Still I think a non-DR 552 is a fantastic preamp. And the 500 as well. A fantastic amp.

My 552 is a DR and I have a 555DR on my NDS. The addition of a 500 really would be my final throw of the dice on all boxes except the NDS which I’m sure will be swapped out for an ND555 one day.

1 Like

What the heck we only live once. Just waiting for pics and if it’s in the condition claimed I’m bagging it :grimacing:

8 Likes

Your amps are the same as mine - 552DR with none DR 300, excellent too.

Personally I would bypass the 300DR and save for the 500DR, even if it takes years who knows one may pop up on the used market at the right price.

2 Likes

I would go 500 as end game over a 300DR. I have a pair of 135s which I love. They are serviced and mint. Next stop will be a 500, probably non DR and get it serviced.

I have heard the 500DR with a 252 and it sounds great. Bigger sound, more space and dynamics than my 135s.

I reckon the 500 will be close and a fair bit better than a 300DR, especially with a fresh service from Class A.

3 Likes

I did enquire with class A about servicing 500 kit and Darren said he doesn’t provide that service. My kit is due (by date) for service but it is sounding the best Ive heard it so I’m not going to bother just yet.

2 Likes

The same kit as me and it sounds awesome. You’ll love the 500 I’m sure as its the perfect partner to the 552.

1 Like