Next step…

Given the size of your room I really think you need a more powerful amp to fill it with sound in a convincing way. That would mean, if you want older Naim equipment, something like an 82/250. You could also consider the more powerful Classic 250.2 or 250DR now that they have been superseded by the New Classic version.

Alternatively you might find some very sensitive speakers would produce a fuller sound with your 180. Maybe Klipsch?

Where’s the spirit?! In that room he can have some DBL’s.


What you’re seeking here is a fundamental change in the presentation of the music in the room and no amount of expensive upgrades to electronics are going to give you that fundamental shift.

I struggled on for years with Naim SBL loudspeakers trying to make them work in my room - went from 102/180, added a Hicap, Then went to a 250 which gave a little more bass but never gave the slam I was looking for. Honestly I could have put a 552/500 in that room and it still wouldn’t have given me the full bandwidth sound I craved. How do I know? Well I actually borrowed the NAC552 and even that didn’t sort the problem out! Source first is all very well if you like the presentation of the system in broad terms but it isn’t the answer to everything.

What did make me finally happy with my system was changing speakers to ATC SCM40 and I described it on this forum as the single biggest upgrade I had ever made in 35 years of audio…

Now I’m not going to recommend the SCM40 to you because I know the NAP180 isn’t man enough to drive them properly (the NAP250 is the minimum I would drive them with and I know they’re even better with the 300) Personally I would probably avoid Naim speakers like the Allae’s and SBL’s because they have a very dry bass presentation which is extremely taut and tuneful but isn’t very powerful. If you liked the sound of Dynaudio speakers why don’t you try to listen to some of them? In my experience Dynaudio are one of those speaker firms who really know their onions, but in what you describe as a big room I would be leaning towards a floorstanding model just for the larger scale.

Just my thoughts.



That room is very large, and you are never going to fill it with tiny speakers. I’ll ask again; what is your source? You need to make sure everything is balanced.

I’m with Jonathan G. You heard some Dynaudio speakers with your new amps and really liked it. What should you do? You could, as suggested by many, ignore that experience and change the amps you’ve only just bought.

Or you could follow your experience and properly test whether Dynaudio with your existing amps will provide long term satisfaction. Dynaudio do indeed know their onions and Dynaudio with Olive Naim is a classic combination. A Dynaudio demo over 20 years ago is why I got into both brands.

Designs have changed over the years but the core strengths of Dynaudio speakers haven’t really changed. I ran Contour 1.3 mkii’s with a 202/200 (the old classic successor to your 102/180) very happily for a decade or so. If you can find a nice pair on e-bay or wherever I whole-heartedly recommend them as an excellent place to start. If it turns out you don’t like them you’ll be able to sell them for very little loss.


I’m inclined to agree, but my previous post was intended to suggest that the speakers that might solve the problem are still very likely to require more powerful amplification, and there’s not much point in trying out speakers without first acquiring an amp that can drive them. The exception, possibly, being some very efficient speakers that might work with the 180.


Yes, Klipsch or open baffle might do it.

It’s a tall order to fill a big room with excellent-sounding recorded music on a small budget.

dear folks, would a recapped olive nap 250 be worth considering even when sticking to the p3 for now? will they benefit at all? (not yet found THE speaker solution without compromising overall quality)

(just because there is on on sale around here, also price question)

yesterday another dynaudio contour floorstander test, they do not at all meet the standard of the p3 mid register which is all essential for Instruments and singers

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I have used Harbeth M30.1 with CDS2/XPS/52/SC/Phonosophie power amp or a Devialet D200 in my old apartment with a living room og 26m2.
Then I moved into a new flat with a living room of 45m2 with a bit higher ceiling I felt that the speakers was not powerful enough to fill the room. So I sold those. If I were in your shoes, I would check out larger speakers or a subwoofer or two. Rel advise you the new Classic 98 for your speakers.

A more expensive preamp will give you better sound quality, but not more sound. And a 52 is really good.

My system(s) are not at all at your levels, but HH’s thoughtfull comment rang a bell for me:

Every time I upgraded only the source the system was able to fill the room much more. You’d be amazed what eventually a Majik+ level LP12 source with a humble Nait2 and some very efficient matching speakers can achieve. Within obvious limitations of course, but a thought nevertheless. I noticed the same effect with adding the nDAC to the ND5 XS2, more room filling sound.
I’ve read many stories here in a similar vein about a subsequent upgrade of the pre-amp.

I always end up maxing out the source, then the amp, then the speakers and then the accessories like power lines and rack.
That said, when you know you like a certain type of Dynaudio and you know they are hard to drive and your room is large and high I can see why you would approach it from the other way around.
Which I guess is fine as long as you have enough budget to eventually bring all the ends at the appropriate level for a matched system. It’s just that halfway there the source first route to my ears sounds better.

The best possible source will help or will even be essential, is what I guess that I’m trying to say.

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Yes. Any NAP250 is always worth considering. Just remember a 250 cannot power a pre-amp - a HiCap is needed (or a SNAPS or a Flatcap).

[I have had my 250 since 1985. Its just been re-capped (again). Only cost £822 back then. Possibly the best value item I have ever bought. It has worked with every system upgrade I have done since then. Now running with a NAC82 with twin HiCaps.]


I don’t have experience with your speakers but have owned multiple olive 250s and every speaker connected to them sounded great. It’s a remarkable amp but that doesn’t mean it can power any speaker and there are some it would have difficulty with. Fwiw, I preferred the 72 to the 102 and ran a 72/HC/250 as my main system for years. In today’s dollars it would be a fairly economical set up and you could also run your 102/HC/250 if you prefer.


would you think the 250 with naim recapping from 2020 is worth 1350€? and what are the advantages of the 72 over 102 with hicap/napsc? i could probably miss the remote…

ok found this

Your best bet is surely to try and recreate the pleasure you found when the guy who bought your Nait XS2 came round with his Dynaudios.

With the right speakers, it is quite possible that you already have all the amplifier you need imo.


A good condition Olive NAP250 will sell for GBP £ 1,000 - 1,200 here in the UK. Complete with packaging, accessories and recent service.

Hope that helps with your question



Prices and availability a a bit less favourable on the continent, @ratrat, and privately sourcing from UK not much of a valid option anymore since Brexit.

That said eventually most things can be found also here, just takes more time and funds.

As an aside, we still don’t know what source(s) will be used in this system, yet that would be quite relevant! @Cellohannes perhaps you could complete and update your profile?

I’m in the states and haven’t paid much attention to the 250 olive market for some years now unfortunately. Also, you could easily get the 250 for your 102/HC and be set, you may like it. If not you can always try the 72 later. Either way the 250 will be much more satisfying.

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I was actually trying to offer a reference to the EUR € 1350 price quoted

Which is maybe equivalent to GBP £ 1180
No more than that

Best wishes

There aren’t many pieces of Naim equipment that don’t pair well with each other, but this is one of them. A 250, despite being a great amp, just doesn’t pair well with a 102 or 202, and I would strongly suggest that you avoid this combination. If you want a 250, get an 82 first……or a 52, 72, 32, 282, anything but a 102!

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Ah I see, sorry @ratrat.

It’s just that the situation with finding nice mint examples, that have also been serviced at an approved Naim service center (usually the country distributor), is a bit different on this side IMO.