The 500DR Has Landed - At Last!

After some small delays in delivery (of SuperLumina speaker cables bizarrely), I have finally installed a lovely ex-dem 500DR, to accompany my 552 and ND555.

I took this opportunity to optimise the installation with the introduction of brawn and brains full fat Fraim stacks, and retained a SuperLumina full loom, although that entailed the replacement of the DIN/XLR (for the pair) and speaker cables (for longer lengths). I also had to buy more Fraim to achieve the 2 stacks and get a little more air around the black boxes (another base, another level and some sets of medium legs to replace standard legs.

I finished earlier this evening and it has taken me best part of 2 days to get everything set up just so! Blimey, that wasn’t easy, but probably the topic of a separate thread for a different day. Anyway, it is done now, and I must say it is the best installation I have done so far.

But I suspect you don’t want to hear me moaning about my back and get on with how it sounds. The whole system has been out of commission for a few days now, so I promised myself I wouldn’t listen to the new set up until it had been playing for a few hours. Fat chance! I have sweated buckets and I was going to have a sneaky listen. Four hours later and I am still listening!

It did take about 40 mins before I could hear an appreciable improvement, after all my trusty 250DR punches well above its weight. But this 500 is starting to show me what all the fuss is about.

I will keep this brief and follow up with a lengthier review when I have have had a chance to listen more and things have settled down a bit (remember I have some brand new cables installed that need burning in).

Well my initial general impression is everything is a little less forced, more natural but with more detail and air. The bass is deeper but tighter, which bizarrely has removed a trace of thickening I was suffering from as a result of a room mode at around 70-80 Hz. I assume this is because the 500 is exerting far better control than the 250.

What I have noticed is the blistering attack and leading edges. I nearly had a heart attack when a cymbal was stuck hard. In fact drums in general seem a little more prominent than they did before, which simply adds to PRaT and musicality. Timing has definitely move up a notch, with some complex pieces, or tracks with odd beats making far more sense.

Overall I perceive a sense of ease and ‘naturalness’ (rubbish word, I know), which makes music sound ‘right’ (another meaningless word, but this is all I can come up with).

Now back to the music.


Pics please Nigel

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I’ll post some pics tomorrow.

Nice one, Nigel,

As I’ve said before, I certainly agreed with the popular view that the 552 had been the single biggest uplift to the music … … thus far.

Wasn’t quite sure what the NAP 500 could bring to the party, and was swithering about going for active speakers instead of my then NAP 300 DR.

Didn’t really get on with the ATC actives, so my friendly dealer took them away, and swapped them for a NAP 500.


That’s what I’d been looking for, all along … … … which both Pete at Acoustica, and Polar Bear, of this manor, had predicted.

The arrival of the NAP 500 simply pulls everything together, and once yours settles in, you’re gonna be as gobsmacked as I was.

Happy days.


BIG box upgrade
It looks like a proper amp….

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My lower back concurs!


Wonderful @NigelB, we’ll deserved.

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The main unit is heavy isn’t it?

25 kg
Power supply 17.5kg

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Congratulations Nigel!!!

I can confidently assure you, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet! As you 500 and cables burn in you will continue to be wowed for months. If you think you have a big smile on your face now, just wait…

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What a beast! Very nice!

Depends what you compare with. My former Line Magnetic tube amp was 45kg :see_no_evil:

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Congrats and happy burning in them cables this weekend! Mine is powering Scala V2 behemoths through a long pair of SLs in a smallish room.

For a while I’ve been itching to test smaller speakers in my room :face_with_hand_over_mouth: I am going check on a few to audition soon and see what the 500 can do with them. My ear holes deserve this!

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Blimey indeed! Enjoy Nigel.

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Congratulations Nigel……give it a week or so and it will sound sublime. I always remember Audio show east and the Kudos demo of active 707,s with the nap300 amps (no slouches themselves) versus a single passive 500. I just knew I had to buy one……it brings everything together…….so natural, and even the most demanding music the 500 has grace under pressure. Enjoy👍

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Excellent; I know you’ve been working towards this for a while and it must be great to have finally got there. The full 500 setup is a lovely place to be, and with the twin Fraims, the full SL and good mains, you’ll get the best from it.

As for your descriptions of sounding natural and right, what higher praise could there be? So many systems fail on these basic criteria, which are so much more important than the torrent of hifi bollocks that many reviewers resort to.


Great news. Continue to enjoy. Not sure I will get to that level but good to hear you are happy with the latest addition👍


Well done !
Exactly what i found when moved from 250. Much more clarity due to lower noise floor, better control on the bass etc. I also had to change DIn/Xlr for a slightly longer one despite the 500 ps and head sit side by side on two Fraims. I have now on order S.Lumina Din/Xlr 1.50 m. long i hope these being not too long and touching the floor.

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Congrats Nigel. Enjoy


That’s precisely it; it’s like a complex recipe.

We can do without certain ingredients, and it tastes good.

But that’s only when adding the final ingredients that we realize how incredibly tasty it is.

That’s the good thing about Naim; we don’t need all the elements at once to enjoy a system. But the big surprise comes at the very end of the journey.

Congrats @NigelB !
Enjoy your system and post some pictures :smiley: