Upgrade from NAP 155 XS

I’d like to upgrade from 155 SX for a bit more oomph from my Dynaudio Focus 110. No Flatcap is in the system. Although the FC will benefit, I’m thinking I need more watts for the 85dB/3 ohm load. Going to keep the 152 for now

Any recs? TIA

Welcome Mike.

The NAP200 was an alternative recommended partner for the NAC152XS back in the day IIRC. These days that would be a NAP200DR which should give you an even better power supply to your preamp.

I don’t know if you are aware but your NAC152XS can take both the outputs of a FCXS. This might make an astonishing difference into your relatively insensitive Dynaudios, even with your existing NAP.

What’s the rest of your set?

Chris

Thanks for the input. Also have Pro-ject t-t/phono box, Rega Saturn-R (as most listening is CD). Don’t do streaming, etc. I did not know about the FC/152 combo, so it might be the way to go as I don’t need a ton of bass.

Thank you. I’d be interested to know what you thought of both outputs of the FCXS on your NAC. You will need another Snaic5 as well as the one that comes with the FCXS. Your dealer should help.

But quite possible that you might prefer the NAP200DR.

Naim didn’t make much of the twin outputs of the FCXS powering the NAC at the time

But I remember reading it in the manual.

Hello – I too am looking for upgrade advice of my 152/155/Flatcap xs combo. I live roughly 1000 miles (1600 km?) from an authorized Naim dealer so auditioning is a challenge.

I own a Nait 2 “olive” that I love. Front-end is the PS Audio DirectStream Transport/DAC and I have both the KEF LS50’s & Focal 926 speakers (I prefer the KEF). About 7 months ago I got the upgrade itch and while on a business trip to NYC, I asked an authorized Naim dealer for his advise. He told me that I wouldn’t be happy with the newer Naim amps if I love the sound of the Nait 2. His suggestion was to consider a tube amp from Leben, Shindo, Luxman, or Line Magnetic. I didn’t listen to him and purchased a 152xs/155xs/Flatcap xs combo “blindly” due to getting a great deal.
Anyway, after giving the combo sufficient time to “break in” I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not nearly as musical as the Nait 2. The 152/155 combo has a wider and deeper soundstage, however, the bass, grip, PRaT, texture/timbre, cohesion of the Nait 2 is far better than the 152/155combo. I find the 152/155 combo to have a “dry/thin” sound as compared to the Nait 2. The Nait 2 also plays louder without fatigue as compared to the 152/155, which gets harsh and tubby at loud volume.

So, I guess my question is what should I be looking at as a true upgrade to the Nait 2?
Is upgrading the 152/155/Flatcap the way to go, or should I be looking at a different Naim box combo that is closer in sound signature to the Nait 2? My goal is to keep the beauty of the Nait 2 sound while perhaps improving soundstage, and I wouldn’t complain if the bass response was a bit faster/tighter.

Thanks in advance for your comments/suggestions…

It could be that you just have a personal preference for the sound of the Nait, and/or that you are familiar with its presentation. Sometimes, I feel that an upgrade sounds better in some way, but at first, I don’t warm to it, and it takes a bit of time for me to adjust to the new style. Sticking with it for a few weeks, then going back to the Nait, should give you an idea if where your preferences really lie.
If you are used to a Nait, do you have the space to set up a 3-box amp properly? It really should be on a rack with a separate shelf for each box, with cables carefully dressed, otherwise it may not sound as good as it should.

1 Like

Thank you for your response. To answer your question, I’d have to say “no.” I’m able to have the NAC152xs on it’s own shelf on top of an Ikea bamboo cutting board, however, the NAP155 and Flatcap xs are stacked on top of each other. Also, I’m not sure I understand the concept of “cables carefully dressed.” Can you explain it, or point me in the right direction? I run two cables between the pre and Flatcap (one is a TeddyPardo 5-pin DIN, the other is the Naim cable that came with the PS). Thanks again…I really appreciate the feedback.

Todd, I find myself in that pretty niche subset of forumites who have owned a Nait 2 and now own a NAC152XS, FCXS and NAP155XS. I think it quite possible, as ChrisSU says, that you simply prefer the Nait 2.

I’m pleased your pre has a separate shelf. ChrisSU is right, ideally FCXS and NAP need separate shelves too. I would also try using a second Naim Snaic5 on the pre, in place of the non OEM one in place now.

Nothing dry and thin about the sound of the pre and power combo here. I use Naim Allaes which seem to really make the most of the available power. My sources are a Naim NAT FM radio, Linn record player and CD5XS. Speaker wires are Naca5.

You don’t mention what cable connects the Flatcap to the NAP? I assume you are connecting the Flatcap to the NAP…

Thanks Chris…that’s good feedback. The Nait 2 has a certain magical glow, touch/texture, and way of revealing the structural cohesion of the music that I find very attractive.

I’m not ready to give up on the 152/155 combo and perhaps better vibration control is the “secret sauce.” I will also look at replacing the OEM cable with a Naim cable to see if that’s the culprit.
Of course it’s always possible that the 152/155 simply doesn’t match well with my source and speaker pairing but I think it makes sense to start with shelving/vibration control first. Still not sure what “cable dressing” refers to…???

@Svetty – the Flatcap xs is connected to the 155 with the Naim SNAIC cable that was shipped with the unit. Speaker cables are the Twisted56 by AV Options (the US Naim guys), a Chord Shawline runs from DAC to pre, power cables/power strip are also made by AVO.

Thanks again everyone!

1 Like

@Mike82 @ToddHarris It’s possibly worth mentioning that the Naim Allaes are 89dB and 6 Ohm, if that helps.

Still not sure what “cable dressing” refers to…???
[/quote]

Ideally, no cable should touch any other cable, nor should they touch the shelving, or anything else, but should be free hanging between the boxes they connect. In reality, this is often impossible, but arranging them as close to this ideal as you can is a good start. The main thing is to keep sensitive low level signal cables away from others, especially mains power cables.
Having a proper rack with a separate shelf for each box, aside from any other benefits, makes cable dressing easier by putting more space around the boxes.

2 Likes

Ah, ok. That makes sense. Thank you for the very clear explanation. I took a quick look behind the boxes and it’s not pretty. I got my work cut out for me… :wink:

Yes, it can take a bit of patience to work out how to organise it. Good luck!

1 Like

Todd. It may well be that your speakers do not mate well with the 152/155. I had a Nait 3/CD3 back in the late 90s. I had JM Labs Daline 3.1 back then, a nice TL speaker, however it was horrible on the Nait. .

Hi Mike - Thanks for your input. As mentioned above, I’ve tried two very different speaker models. I fully agree with you that matching components/speakers is vital, however, I can’t stop thinking that in my case the issue is either the sound signature of the 152/155 combo, or the set up.

I had mentioned that I’m able to keep the preamp on it’s own shelf but currently I need to stack the 155/PS. I was pleasantly surprised (shocked?) when I decided to stack the 152/155 and put the Flatcap XS on it’s own shelf. This makes me think that more work needs to be done with vibration control and “cable dressing.”

As previously stated, I’m not ready to give up on the 152/155/Flatcap combo and will continue to “tinker” to see if things can improve.

Thanks again to everyone for their input/suggestions…much appreciated!!!

Very wise to address these issues whatever the Naim set imo, Todd. It should stand you in good stead.

To recap, a NAC152XS, especially with FCXS powering both upgrade 1 and upgrade 2, a NAP155XS and some suitable speakers should not leave you wanting for much.

1 Like