Power amp upgrade

So after getting the HiCap, path to upgrades is open. Have to say xs2 with hicap is surprisingly good. But what will be the next upgrade? Maybe nap250… but is only 10 more watts. And much bigger. Is it really worth it?

Continuous output in published watts is a pretty irrelevant measure for many things in the grand scheme of things. For one, the transient power may make a much bigger difference. The 250 DR has 80 W continuous but 400 VA transient. (For instance, the 300 has only 10 more continuous, 90 W, but 500 VA transient). And many other considerations are not visible in the watts/VA at all. But best to demo if you can.

Yes I can. I can take it home and test, but before I do, want to make sure is not waste of time. And maybe should get new speaker first. Maybe some new cool focals.

Some forum members reported a considerable improvement by adding a 250 to a Nova, others didn’t. Always difficult to say, different speakers, ears, room, as always. Best to embrace the journey :slight_smile:

Having owned a 250 and 135s and now a 500 I have never found any of them lacking in power.
Better bass grip as you ascend the power outputs. Shop demo followed by home based on your budget.

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I’ll be very interested on your thoughts regarding this upgrade. I have an XS3 with HiCap DR and it sounds great. Not sure if a 200DR or a 205DR power amp would make a big change. I don’t play music above 85db and usually it’s about 65db and the XS3 sounds very good at that level. Also considering whether a Supernait 3 using the HiCap Dr might be worth the change. Everyone here is always recommending the preamp be updated first? With the HiCap DR I’m not sure that has to be true.

Same here. This is why I‘m wondering if it is worth it. I am quite tired of testing stuff. Tested 2 sources, 3 amps, 3 different cable companies. Wondering of continuing down the rabbit hole is worth it. I am more or less playing with the nob at ~7 o’clock (50-60db).

I also noticed you might be looking for new speakers. I currently run ProAc Tablette 10 Signatures and a SVS subwoofer and they sound great with the XS3 and did with my XS2 also. Especially terrific at lower volumes I think.

I have owned a 250 since 1985. No lack of anything. Its a keeper… :speak_no_evil:

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Great to know you are so pleased. Obviously heard great things about the 250 but especially good to hear it from a longtime user. Thanks!

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If you have an XS2 + HiCap you could get a Supernait (2 or 3) and let the XS2 go and drive the SN with the HiCap.
If you’re adding a NAP to a NAIT it will be something you either appreciate and keep for a while or it’ll be the obvious means to an end to sort out the most important part which is the preamplifier.
So an example of an alternative to the Supernait could be to replace the XS2 with a NAC 202 + NAP 200 or even a NAP 250 and again use the HiCap on the NAC.
Don’t forget the source either, you could invest in a much better source and live with it on the XS2 as a first step as well and then grow the amplification to enhance the better source over time.

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There are many long term 250 owners & users on here.

Mine is 1985 vintage. Seems to have been a good year… :smiley:


Almost as old than me :smiley: 28.12.84 :smiley:

I would not bother upgrading. At these listening levels, with a moderatly efficient speaker, you are even not even using 1W of power…What are you expecting to achieve?

Dec 85 - so about a year younger… :smirk:

I don‘t know. I guess I am bored.

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Haha OK that is definitly a valid reason to play with gear / or to upgrade (same reason i upgraded) :slight_smile:

@Ivo Is (are) your source(s) good enough to warrant a NAP250?

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@Christopher_M I think so. I have an Auralic Altair G1

…I guess I missed it, what you are using as a pre-amp for the 250?

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