My Naim kit is getting on a bit, so it’s going back to Naim for a service. Whilst it’s there I could have one of the power supplies upgraded to DR. I’m just not sure if it’s the right thing to do.
The system consists of a NDS/XPS DR, 52/Supercap 2, NAP300 and SL2 speakers. I recently added a Sonore UPnP Bridge that enables the NDS to connect with roon. I then use roon to select the music from local FLAC files or Tidal. The UPnP Bridge doesn’t connect to my NDS, instead it just needs to be on the network. Sound quality is excellent and, to my ears, sounds much too similar to my RP8/Apheta 3/Aria. The records are still ‘better’ but not by much.
I don’t have the upgrade bug right now but my dealer has asked me if I want one or both of the power supplies to have the DR upgrade whilst they are with Naim. Given that I must choose between the two power supplies, he’s recommended the NAP300 gets the DR treatment.
I have no doubt that the NAP300 DR will outperform the NAP300. However, my concerns is one of balance. Many years ago, I tried a 555 power supply with the NDS but it tipped the balance between detail and the music being too ‘edgy’. The NDS/555 combination was probably too much for my 52/Supercap 2. In my humble opinion, my system is extremely well balanced and I don’t want to accidently spoil that balance by adding DR to the NAP300.
What would you recommend? Go for the DR upgrade on the NAP300, DR the Supercap 2 or just leave things as they are?
I appreciate it’s tempting to consider upgrading the 52 but all this started because I wanted to service the kit, not because I was looking for what could easily become an expensive upgrade.
My inclination would be to DR the 300 as the dealer is suggesting.
Given that you have good support from the dealer couldn’t they lend you a 300DR (and Supercap DR) so you can decide for yourself. I suspect it wouldn’t take long to decide and would seem a much safer option. The problem is that if you decide to DR later another service is required.
Your comments re 555 on the NDS surprise me, I made the same move and found it most beneficial, this was ‘just’ with a 282/HiCap DR/250DR at the time. Was the 555 a DR model?
Thanks. I’ll see if my dealer can lend me a 300DR. You raise an interesting point with the 555 as I don’t think it was DR. This was back in 2013 not long after the NDS and DR technology had been released.
The 52 and a DR Scap are not really a great match, and I guess this is because the 52 pre-dates the DR design.
I did exactly this upgrade and must admit I much preferred the non-DR set up and moved the DR PS elsewhere in my system. From memory it made the 52 sound a bit dark and lost some of that wonderful freshness a good 52 should have. When I bought a 252 however the the DR Scap went back, where it made the 252 really perform, and finally outperform the 52. Not everyone prefers the 252 incidentally (I’m sure you can find extensive discussions in the Forum about this) so don’t be in a big hurry to lose yours.
Have to say the NDS/555DR combo sounds fantastic in my system, and I would never describe it as edgy, even when I had the 52.
I’ve no experience of the NAP 300 but I think that is where my money would go.
That’s right about Naim no longer upgrading to DR. It’s why my dealer said it was now or never!
I think the 555 I tried with my NDS wasn’t DR, which probably explains why I didn’t take to it. Interesting it takes a 252/SupercapDR to outperform the 52. It’s why I’ll probably keep my 52 for many more years to come.
The 252 and 52 are quite different in my experience. Neither one simply ‘better’ but each has specific qualities and characteristics, and enjoyable in different ways somehow. Personally it took the full fat DR Scap on the 252 to really blow the 52 away, and for me to finally sell it!
As I said, plenty in the Forum on this if you search.
Funnily enough, only today I took delivery of a 300DR to replace my 300 non-DR and the improvement is significant to my ears! I’ll be quite honest and say i wasn’t expecting as much difference as I’ve experienced in just the first few hours but I’m absolutely sold in the improvement! Everything about the sound seems more solid and definite. The bass in particular is very noticeably improved, tighter and punchier! Obviously everyone’s tastes differ, but going on what I’m hearing I’d say go for it!
Thanks. Given the price differential between a 252/SupercapDR and my 52/Supercap 2, I’d expect the former to out-perform the latter by some margin. That said, I’m delighted with the pre-amp I’ve had for so many years and see no need to change it.
It’s good to hear first-hand experience of how the DR upgrade improves the NAP300. I suppose my concern was also that it didn’t improve some characteristic of the sound to the detriment of something else. It’s such an excellent amplifier with so many superb attributes. Funnily enough, I was listening to the system last night (all this talk of servicing and upgrades detracts from listening to the music) and did feel that, if I could change one thing it would be to have a little more weight to the bass!
That’s good to know. I’ll go ahead with the DR upgrade for the NAP300. The combination of that upgrade and all the kit going back to Naim for a much needed service should lead to quite a difference in the system’s performance.
As above if it wasn’t already booked in for the dr upgrade then forget about that one now and i guess if you aren’t then you are one off the guys that i was trying to make my point about on the thread running now about it.
Depending on the components involved that’s not generally the case, more that they can be restored to their original condition. Servicing an Olive XPS doesn’t turn it into an XPS2, an older 250 does not become a 250.2, and an NDX will never be an NDX2 for example. I would say the DR upgrade is an exception in this respect.
Yes, when fitting an individual component they will use currently available components rather than the originals which may not even be available. You can hardly compare that to a DR upgrade where many parts, and in some cases virtually the entire contents of the box, are replaced. That’s before you take into account the severe parts shortages and high demand Naim have struggled with for the last 2 years.
Right! Sorry, I misunderstood your original post. I agree, ‘generally’ components cannot be improved, although I do think that where it’s been possible, they have. When later production improvements can be incorporated into earlier models, during repair or servicing, they do. Or they did. I totally understand current supply issues must be a nightmare, and the decision to stop DR upgrades is totally understandable in those circumstances. As someone who’s waiting for a new DR product, I may benefit. But part of the attraction of Naim, for me anyway, was the security of feeling that Naim could and would bring the benefit of later learning on a product to bear, if they reasonably could. On that basis, I hope DR upgrades come back, if supply issues abate, but Naim’s statement seemed rather final which seems to indicate a change in philosophy (perhaps based on economics? Maybe I misunderstood that too?). Naim are not a charity, I understand, but at the same time, as a customer, it changes my perception of the overall attraction of the brand.