Suggestions for Naim preamp and or power amp: replacing quad 34 and/or 909

Hi - I am a newbie to Naim and this forum.
I would be very grateful for suggestions for Naim preamp, or Naim pre and Power amp combination, to replace my quad 34, or Quad 34 and Quad 909.
In particular I am struggling to get to grips with the PSU side. It seems like some preamp / poweramp combinations can power themselves/each other?
I am looking at circa £1000 and I am looking to buy second hand etc…

For £1,000, you are looking at rather mature equipment. The important thing is that power amps and power supplies have been properly serviced in the last 10 years, or be prepared to pay to service it yourself. I’d be looking at either a 72 and 140, or a 102 and 180. The 140 and 180 can power a preamp. You can then add a Hicap to much improve the power supply to the preamp at a later date. The 102 will also benefit hugely from a Napsc power supply, which you’d add before a Hicap. The 102 has a remote whereas the 72 does not.

72 with 140 would be a good combo or you could go with a Nait 1 or 2. Some feel that the Nait 1 and 2 are the most musical Naim amps.

32 and 140 CB another option.

Do you explicitly rule out an integrated amp here?

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The 909 is actually a rather good power amp. I have an earlier variant, the 606 and in many ways it’s a very well rounded, fuss free and reliable amp. The pre-amps though are not as good, so if you were to change one or other, I would certainly be looking at changing the 34. I’d be looking at something like a very nice NAC72, or maybe a NAC82 and a HICAP. The NAC82 may be a bit of a stretch for your budget, but you won’t know without looking). If the HICAP in particular has not been recently serviced then budget to get that done, either with Naim or with Class A (can be a bit cheaper, but done to factory standard). Make sure the HICAP comes with a SNAIC5, preferably a later black one, otherwise budget for that. To connect to the Quad amp you just need a DIN4-2x RCA Phono interconnect - I would recommend either the Naim one, or something from Chord Cable Co.

If wanting to go for the full Naim pre/power then for £1k, a NAC72, HICAP and NAP140 is hard to beat.

What others have said. 72/140. HC if in budget, but unlikely.
Aim for un serviced. Then get serviced at Class A. That way you know its been done properly. What I did.
Add the HC later if funds allow.

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Looking at your profile, you don’t have a separate phonostage so if you go for the 72 (or 102) make sure it has the appropriate phono boards in place. If not they are still easy to get hold of and just slot in onto the main PCB.

I have relevant experience, having made the move from Quad to Naim. I moved from a 99 preamp and 909 to a NAC N272 but keeping the 909 and then later replaced the 909 with a NAP 250DR.

The move from Quad 99 to 272 was a revelation. Changing from the 909 to the NAP 250DR wasn’t worth the money I spent to be honest. Maybe it was a little bit better, maybe it wasn’t. But the boxes matched, so I kept it.

You will get lots of advice here about preamps, so I will just say I suggest you put all of your cash into the preamp/power supply and use the 909 until you have more spare cash for a Naim power amp if you want to change that too.




The old Quad kit is often worth servicing.
Even Quad is Chinese owned by now, they have a fine service option in UK.
My own 303/34 has its charm on certain speakers, quite wonderful on chamber music.

Should arrive tomorrow!

Described as…
Naim NAC102 ‘Phono’
NA522 MM Phono boards fitted
Last of the classic Naim ‘Olive’ pre-amps
Remote, manual and brand new Naim box
Serial Number 131267
About this NAC102
A 1997 example … has the optional and highly desirable NA522 phono boards… It also has its remote, manual, PSU link plugs and a brand new Naim box.


Very exciting!

Remember it doesn’t have a power supply. If you are wanting to use it with the Quad you’ll need a Hicap, and ideally also a NAPSC.

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Thanks Richard. I will need a plethora of inters too. Your post brings the following questions.

  1. If I buy a Power Amp, say a NAP 180 - will that not power the Preamp?

If I choose to use the Quad

  1. If I buy a HiCap will that not power the preamp without a NAPSC?
  2. Why would I want a Hicap & a NAPSC? (or just a NAPSC?)

I think? my next decision is whether to keep the Quad and run with a PSU solution for the Preamp? Or get a Nap 180(?) to replace the Quad and power the preamp.

Since a Hicap costs circe £400, I figured the NAP 180 looked good at circa £550 ish? But I don’t know how that stacks up against the Quad 909. Or is there a cheaper (worthwhile) way to power the preamp?
Thanks to all for their posts - been a great help to me in taking the plunge ! :grin:

Yes, a NAP180 will provide single rail power to the NAC102.

The HICAP will provide a better regulated, higher quality dual-rail supply of power to the NAC102.

The NAPSC is dedicated to the switching and logic controls. These are noisy circuits, so separating them out from the audio brings big gains. The NAPSC is relatively inexpensive, so a very worthwhile step IMO.


As Richard says, the Napsc powers the logic circuits. I’ve had a 102 and wouldn’t want to use it without a Napsc. It sounds more natural with one.

Naim napsc winging it’s way to me towards the end of the week :slight_smile:

So now the question is do I…
Get a Hicap to power the 102 and keep the Quad 909 in the power department
Get a NAP 180 to power the 102 (with the napsc)

*Sotto Voce - maybe get a Hicap later as well? tee hee :smiley: *

Hicap. The 909, as Richard and others have said, is a good amp.

Get the 180, to give the full Naim set. And if you don’t like it you can sell it and get a Hicap.

I think it is going to be the Hicap with the Quad 909.
Looking @davidhendon’s experience of replacing the 909 with a 250DR suggests that a NAP180 may not be enough, but hopefully the benefits in the preamp department from Quad 34 to Nac 102 will be as revelatory for me , as Davids move from a Quad 99 to the 272 was for him.
Exciting :slight_smile: :crossed_fingers:


If you do get the NAP 180, I suggest try not to sell the 909 straight away if possible. It’s got a lot more clout than the NAP180 and you might find you miss that….

If you do sell the 909 and regret it later, then look for a 606-2 which is generally regarded as just a bit better than the 909. They come up reasonably often on eBay.



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Thanks David, sound advice.