My Olive NAP180 is now 20 years old and has never been serviced. It drives Royd Doublets and takes signal from a CDX and 82 (with PSUs). On a restricted budget I can either sell the 180 and buy an Olive 250 (probably unserviced unless I’m very lucky) OR service the 180. The second option is marginally cheaper but I’d be unlikely to recoup the servicing cost if I eventually sold on the 180. I can’t really afford (yet) to buy a 250 and have it serviced. Any views on whether a serviced 180 or an unerviced 250 of a similar age will perform better?
Your profile doesn’t mention a Hicap: you’ll need one if you get a 250. Ideally you’d have one with the 180.
I would service the 180. Give it some love. You’ll be shocked at the difference to the extent I doubt you’d pine for an upgrade.
Agree totally. The 180 is an outstanding amp and depending on your room (and ears!) could be all the amp you’ll ever need.
V good point. I haven’t updated my profile since I sold my Flatcap and bought (whisper it on here) a no -Naim PSU - hence the restricted budget. Will edit my profile accordingly.
If an amp needs a service, get it serviced. If anything that is more important with a regulated amp like the 250 than it is with an amp like the 180. So only buy the old 250 if you can also afford to get it serviced.
An 82 even with one Hicap is great. Such a life-like presentation.
Get the 180 serviced. I would take that over an unserviced 250 all day long.
I think I would service the 180, whilst a S/H 250 may be tempting if it hasn’t been serviced it will probably need it.
As others post, I’d be using a HiCap with your 180 if you don’t already have one, then search for an Olive and send it to a pointy hat company to do you know what - their magic is quite potent.
Edit, oh see you have a PSU
Thanks everyone - clear consensus for servicing the 180, which I feel very comfortable with. I feel a visit to Darran coming on!
I happen to have a remarkably similar system…! I have a 250 and an 82, plus HiCap - all fully serviced - driving… wait for it… Royd Doublets. My sources are LP12 & CDX2.
I would support the recommendation to get the 180 serviced, at Class A - and look to add a HiCap, asap (if you do not have one - sorry its not clear).
I will also further suggest investigating what 2 HiCaps will do to the 82 - again assuming you don’t already have these).
Ian - have to say I’m dreading the day when / if my Doublets fail. Joe A really understood how to produce a “Naim” speaker, and their detailed natural sound is astonishing for such a trim speaker. To clear up the PSU issue, I have just replaced a Flatcap with the equivalent of two HiCaps and an NASPC to power my 82 and am revelling in the change - not least the marked improvement in bass rendition by the Doublets!
I hesitate to reply, due to your use of the word ‘equivalent’. I can only comment on the efficacy of an NASPC (which surely comes with any 82 - mine did) - and an ‘actual’ Naim HiCap.
(The difference between a single and two HC’s is a subtle one - and I can see why some may say its not worthwhile, cf. moving up to a Supercap.)
Currently, I happen to be running with a single HC, with my 'spare 140 (rather than my 250). My other HC needs to go north - and the 140 will go with it… Just checking that it works… Unserviced in 28 years - not that I would recommend this…
From experience, I would buy a 250 Olive or CB, get it serviced and buy a hicap and get that serviced too.
Sell the 180 and use it towards servicing costs. A 250 serviced will give you so much pleasure .
Servicing needn’t be expensive with around £200 for a 250 service, hicap less again. And then you know that it is all good for 10 years.
Darran at Class A is very reasonable and is a recognised Naim service agent, so resale values will be top notch if you resell.
Have had 2 olive hicaps both serviced with 250 and they sound great. Went for Supercap 2 and sounded better still. Now have 2 x 135s CB serviced. Sounds amazing
Dan - you’ve certainly set out my ideal way forward. Unfortunately the current 180 sale / 250 purchase price gap for CB or Olive on ebay is at least £350. Add to that £200+ for the 250 service with Class A (who I already use) and it’s beyond my budget. A 180 service is £189, hence the “service or buy, but not both?” question. Mind you, dreams don’t cost anything, so thanks for the suggestion!
If you can sell the 180 and buy a 250 unserviced and leave it a year. You will still reap the benefits with an unserviced one. Make offers on eBay. Try to get a hicap for around £400, I sold a serviced one for £350 so it is possible.
Try to bridge the gap financially. It will be worth it.
I bought a CB 250 serviced in 2014 for £880.
Generally some eBayers will accept 15% below asking price.
Two advantages of a 180 are its amazing ability to perform relatively well in an awkward squarish room shape, and its delightful easy on the ear lean and fast bass when sat on the sofa sweet spot where there is not much distance to the speakers. I find the 180 doesn’t try to produce extended deep bass that can be the cause of standing waves or acoustic problems that can exist in some room shapes .
The NAP 250 is warmer and more bass accomplished so more likely be more satisfying in a room next size up from small, especially when sat further away from the speakers.
If you have a larger room with good acoustics i’d get the 180 serviced and enjoy it until 135s are affordable.
I’ve not heard a 180, though I know the 250 well having used one for over 25 years. My sense would be to go for a serviced 180 over a non-serviced 250. When I upgraded from a 82/hicap to 82/supercap, upon receiving the supercap (due for service) and before getting it serviced, I gave it a try. I have to say that I was more than a little dismayed and concerned to find that it couldn’t hold a candle up to the serviced hicap. It was unlistenable by comparison. It was quickly swapped out and sent to Darran @ Class A for a service.
Once I got it back and installed it, the step up in performance over the hicap was immediate and huge. It just got better from then on.
If you can get the 250 it will be a big lift from the 180. You may be able to get one that has been serviced a few years ago. Look at your overall budget and if a 180 is for you then go for it. I know where I would put my money and did.
The CB 250 was so damned good. It was better than the unserviced 135s I replaced it with. But when they came back serviced it was a different story!
A 180 serviced will also sound wonderful. It’s all good.
Just try to factor in where you want to go ultimately. Selling on eBay incurs significant fees around 15% so best buy what you want for a fair few years. Otherwise those service costs and selling costs when you buy a 250 after the 180 will make you spend more money.
Hence my suggestion to get a 250 and live with it for a year!