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.
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.
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……
Either way you can’t go wrong thankfully, enjoy Peter
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…
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.
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.
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.