Upgrade nap180 or bring 102 back in

Hi All,
I’m currently running a dac-v1 directly into a 180 with epos es14s. I have got a 102 that is way overdue a service and sounds horrible (hence the direct connection). If had a few pounds to spare should I service the 102 and add a hicap or try and stretch to a s/h olive 200 OR even add a second 180 as my es14 are the biamp version? I replaced the caps on the tweeters last year and that was very successful. Feeding the dac with a sotm sms200/roonRock. All thoughts welcome.

Remember, the V1 can’t bypass it’s own preamp section whatever you do.

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If you feed the 102 from the 180, it may be the amplifier that need a service. Adding a hicap should make a nice upgrade.

If you decide to keep the 102, adding the hicap will make a big difference. Adding a napsc as well will really make a big difference. They would all probably need a service and that adds up.

Don’t bother bi-amping the ES14s as it does nothing positive for them at all (Epos admitted they only fitted the extra sockets as otherwise they would have lost sales without them). Bi-amping is useful where a ‘speaker has a complex crossover and load. ES 14s have virtually no crossover and present a very benign load. The 180 is perfect for them.

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Thanks Charles, wasnt sure if it could be bypassed somehow. Perhaps my only upgrade path is to a s/h 200 then, have about £1k to spare at the moment.

Thanks mr tibs, very useful info.

Thanks Graeme

Thanks all, ive read differing views about to what extent the ‘fixed output’ setting simplifies the output stage. If i get my 102 refurbushed and add a hicap will that do a better job than the preamp section of the v1? Im guessing here but wouldnt the 102+hicap be more capable if the v1 is only having to amplify to the much lover level for the fixed output and the 102 does much more of the work? Or has the ‘damage’ already been done to the signal in the v1?

Great question I’ve always wondered myself. I’ve considered a 32.5/Hicap until I read about the V1 not bypassing the pre. Not sure I could live without a remote though…

Service the 102 and add a Hicap; or, even better, get an 82.

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