To DR or not DR

Loving that…
“Buck the trend”

So, thanks to all the responders. So does the
Hicap DR negate the circuitry in the second amp? Agree with the sentiment that a 250DR would make a more sensible purchase long term, but will there be a difference in the signal to the speakers between a 250 and a 250DR? Anyone know the technical signal routes? I read somewhere that the Hicap DR does the heavy lifting and the Bi-amp is there just for driving…
Or am I all confuddled?

Thanks again in advance

I am really wanting the answer to be “a NAP200 or NAP250 without the DR will make no difference because of the Hicap…” then I can start on the hunt for a new R2R DAC :laughing:

Love those R2R DAC’s

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With a NAP200 - yes. If you use a HiCap, there will be no difference between a 200 ans a 200DR.

Bi-amping. Just No. No. No. No. And no.

If you can stretch to a NAP250 (any type), go for it. I bought mine in 1985 and still have it.

A 250 is better than a 200… :thinking:

Very true. The difference between is ultimately one of personal preference. There are some performance gains but also some losses. If they don’t align with your owtsknzl listening preferences then a DR box won’t be for you.

The OP has informed us of the only answer he wants to see, so not sure if he can be persuaded that passive bi-amping with Naim power amps is not a good idea. He also seems to have monetary constraints that will limit where he goes next.

Anyway, for what it is worth here is my suggestion.

Sort out your source first, possibly trading in the Nova against a separate streamer like the ND5XS2 or a NDX2. This assumes the SuperNait is man enough to drive those MA Platinums. (I have MA GX300 Golds).

Just because other amps can be successfully bi-amped with the MAs does not mean Naim amps can be equally successful, and wonky bi-amping at that.


If so, ‘we’ are wasting our time… :thinking:

Thanks for the comments guys - predictably, we seem to be straying into the “…you’re doing it wrong…” territory. You are all probably right, and bi-amping is a wast of time. I have this desire to find out for myself. I can only wonder if Naim only incorporated bi-amping on their amps for the last 3 generations, just to keep us asking the questions on the forum : )

So the consensus is: DR makes no difference in this configuration. 250’s are way better than 200’s…

…But it academic, and really I should be moving towards a traditional pre/power system because that is where the best sound/performance is to be found…

I think I received the answer to the technical question I asked at the beginning - “…does the DR circuit int he Hicap supersede the circuitry in the secondary amp (the NAP) making it irrelevant whether i buy a NAP 250.2 or a NAP 250 DR for the purpose I am attempting to qualify…”

I know some of you disagree, but I really want to be proven wrong, and for the first time, bi-amped Monitor Audio’s take a backwards step.

I think the way forward is to be patient and buy a 250DR. Then, when I realise the folly of my ways, I can look at swapping out the Supernait for a 282 (predictably, ending up with a pre/power system as suggested by some of you…

As for the source comments - I am not using the NOVA as a source, in fact, I am selling the NOVA (unless I can rig it as a secondary amp to the Supernait…. Hmmmm…”
I have a Bluesound Node with a custom PSU and upgraded caps for the source, and it is running through a Musician R2R DAC

I don’t need to change that at the moment…

Once again, thanks for the responses, both positive and negative. The adventure will definitely continue…

I now realise why NAIM created such a well mapped upgrade path… this makes it almost too easy for us tweakers.

Love this lively forum.

Well, I gave it my best….


I’m glad you got an answer to your primary question, so now I’ll hijack your thread and ask why taking advantage of a feature included in their product, naimly, the biamp output, is such a horrible idea.

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I’ve never heard anyone from NAIM say this. The only evidence of their opinion is with their active crossovers and the historical “6-Packs” etc, which would seem to suggestotherwise (?)

@Richard.Dane - Care to comment…?

@NigelB - You understand. I understand. Am sure a few others do too.

But the OP does not. Are we in Dunning Kruger territory maybe…?
That would explain a lot, on this thread… :thinking:

Yes Naim have always advocated ‘active’ bi-amping. I’ve never read anywhere where they have recommended ‘passive’ bi-amping, but there are some members here who have passive bi-amped 500 amps into difficult to drive speakers with pretty successive results. @Polarbear?


It depends whether you’re talking about active or passive bi-amping or tri-amping.

Naim have in the past famously championed active bi-amping and active tri-amping, however, this does require specific speakers and, with Naim’s own speakers long discontinued, there are few options for this these days and it was always a pretty small and niche market anyway, with plenty of resistance against the complexity and capricious nature of such systems.

As for passive bi-amping (or tri-amping), Naim have generally felt it to be a bit of a waste; Instead of buying two lesser power amps, better to buy one better power amp for similar money - you generally get a better performance result. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and certain speakers which were always designed for multiple passive amplification (e.g B&W Nautilus), or in the case of 2 x NAP300 vs. 1 x NAP500, the former might well be a better bet than the latter with certain hard to drive speakers.


Hi @sktn77a
Yes, I was referring to bi-amping passively, as that was the method the OP was proposing. Apologies as that was not clear.
In fact, I used to biamp when I had B&W 802s many years ago and I thought two 250s improved on one, but that speaker presents a pretty tough load. When the 500 came out and I tried that on the B&Ws I found that one 500 was more than equal to 2 x 250.
I guess it’s speaker dependent, and I don’t know the OPs speakers, but I found, as Richard Dane states that one better amp was better than 2 biamped.

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Yes I did bi-amp with two Nap 500’s. You need a special “y” cable from Naim which splits the signal from the 552 two wys.

I thought it gave a big increase in sound quality. It was much cleaner and clearer and there was a big improvement in the soundstaging.


I think there are one or two misunderstandings here that need clarifying.
First, the Hicap has nothing whatsoever to do with the power amp. It’s sole purpose is to power a Naim preamp, and it’s possible to use it as an optional upgrade to the preamp in a Supernait.

As for passive biamping, if Naim thought it was such a dreadful idea they wouldn’t provide a dedicated biamp output on the Supernait. So it certainly has its place, but lets be clear about what that is. With passive biamping we are talking about quantity, not quality. The second amp is there to provide extra power and this can be very useful when you have power hungry speakers but do not wish to climb the expensive Naim separates upgrade ladder.

What I would do is this: ask a Naim dealer to set up a demo comparing your system with an additional power amp (200 or 250, or whatever your budget will stand) with a 282/Hicap/200 or 250. As you already have a Hicap the straight exchange of a Supernait for a 282 is not such a huge leap, and you will only need a single set of speaker cables.

Do not be confused by the rated power output of the SN3 and 250 being the same at 80W. The 250 is considerably more capable with demanding loads, mainly to its regulated design.

Finally, your sources are a big consideration in this decision. Improving amplification makes a system much more revealing of its source quality, and if you are going to need a better source that may involve significant additional cost.


Richard, I agree with what you say! Passive bi- or tri-amplification is interesting with some speakers if the crossovers are well designed; I listened to B&W 802 and 804 at a friends house. With two Nap 250’s it was far superior to a pair of Nap 135’s. I have Linn Isobarik DMS/PMS, external crossovers, the Isobarik sound much better with 2 or 3 nap 250’s compared to 135’s.
I like the active(Snaxo3-6 S-cap) with my Linn PMS, but also the passive tri-amp.

Interesting, I was also of the impression that bi amping also isolates the back EMF produced by drivers, especially bass drivers, from interacting with the other drivers in the same speaker, although I agree that any benefit from such an increase in hardware might not be thought to be cost effective.

According to my experiments and feelings, for both active and passive, I have always found that a top amplifier was preferable to 2 bottom amplifiers (nap 180 before 2x140, nap 250 before 2x180; on SBL) but 2x250 before mono naps 135. For 35 years I used this practice, with my Naim speakers, IBL, SBL, SL2 and PXO passive crossovers. Except in active.
In 2015, with the bi- or tri-ampl passive, on the B&W 802; 804 and Linn Isobarik, the involvement in the music is the indispensable priority, the quantity is suffered, it is always a constraint.

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