Hi. Thinking of upgrading my nap300dr to a nap500dr however with limited space have concerns of sonic boom thus i’m interested in people’s experience with this dilemma? I have a ND555,552dr,300dr and kudos 606with chord sarum t cabling throughout on a naim fraim, Thanks Paul
It will primarily depend on the dimensions (ceiling height and width & length), and on room acoustic damping, and in part how loud you play, rather than the amp…
What are you room dimensions? I have the same system, except for the speakers, and a small room too: 5.1m x 3.7m, but a low ceiling (2.1m) and have wondered the same about the 500DR versus the 300DR. I suppose another option is a second PS on the ND555, and leave the 300DR as it is? Or just stick as you are.
I had zero issues going from 300 to 500 in a small room. Everything just got better.
What size is your room Slambird?
Around 4x3m with 2.4 height. What can mess up the room is speakers and also their position in my experience.
I have just bought a pair of Falcon LS3/5As, which would be ideal for your small-ish room - as long as your NAP500 doesn’t fry them.
I’m happy with my Tannoys but I’m sure they would sound awesome here too
I have S1/500/808’s in a 14ft x 12ft x 9ft room with no bass issues. However it hasn’t been all plain sailing. Bass is linked to pressure unlike the mids and highs which are effected by reflections. Then there’s bass nodes to consider which are linked to wave length and can be a problem in all bar the largest of rooms.
Regarding pressure I installed Vicoustic bass traps in the corners and limit my stacking to two FRAIMS as my system has to fit in between the speakers which is less than ideal. When I went to three stacks the bass was worse. Let your 606´s breath.
Bass node from standing waves wise there’s software available to help. When I took out my sofa and tried a single chair, which should have sounded better due to reduced room “pressure”, the bass was surprisingly worse which I later found out was due to a node because the distance from speakers to sofa is better than speaker to back wall standing wave wise.
It really is a suck it and see job as to how to configure the room but as long as your room isn’t square I’m confident that with some research and experimenting you can get either power amps to work well in your room. The better the Naim amp the better the bass control anyway so either 300 or 500 can work or not.
All the great concert halls in the world are rectangular, rather than square.
While I haven’t swapped from the 300DR to 500DR, I will say in general a better amp typically will control the drivers better, so if your current amp/speakers are working well, it may actually improve the bottom end performance. My only concern is it may play the lowest of notes with a bit more authority, which may or may not be an issue. Probably the only way to know for sure is to try it out in your actual space as unless someone else basically has an identical size room & speakers, the room modes won’t be the same.
If the 606s already work in the OP’s room with the 300DR I doubt there’s be a problem with the more powerful amp.
When I got my active ATCs I was worried that 250 wpc might boom uncontrollably, especially as I’d had bass issues with a Nait XS and Super Nait driving Kudos C20s in that room. I needn’t have worried, the extra power simply meant extra control of the speakers giving tighter bass and improved dynamic swings amongst other things.
Excellent post and advice!
I remember now discussing this with my dealer. He said if the 300 worked in my room, the 500 would as well - and just be better. It would be a very expensive upgrade though in my case, having focused on the streamer and pre-amp first.
The 500DR isn’t a hugely powerful power amp. And if you’re listening to music at same volume levels I don’t see it as an issue. If you’re blasting it loud then the room may have more distortion but rhis cN be dealt with by using rugs, curtains and soft furnishings or carpet. And of course you can go down route of bass traps and room treatments as necessary.
I would get the 500dr in a heart beat, as lovely as the 300dr is the 500dr is better.
Room size wouldn’t worry about that at all, the only thing i would worry about is, 500dr or maybe the new 350’s, now that’s demo time.
I don’t understand the question. Any amp will have its sound signature in any room. It isn’t about the power. The 500 will likely have the ability to drive more powerful and therefore louder speakers, but in the same room with the same speakers at the same volume, it will add clarity and control but make no difference to the room acoustics.
I temper that view with the proviso that the volume control is in its normal operating window and not required to be so low as to have no control before blasting your eardrums.
I use a 500dr in a very small room 2.8m x 3.6m no problems the 500 gives more and tighter control… The key thing for you will be speaker choice and location. I had to add some acoustic treatment…as I have my speakers firing across the room…and had predictable boom issue. I use the Vivid S12 which is small and super controlled…
I think the relationship between the size of the amp and speaker can cause confusion in this. I’ve tended, wrongly, to think that the 500 warrants having bigger speakers to get the best out of the amp. And of course big speakers that move a lot of air are going to be harder to integrate into a smaller room. But, the flip side is that if your speakers work in the smaller room, moving up to the 500 shouldn’t be much of an issue - just better clarity, more detail getting through, and better control.
Here’s my take:
1- A NAP500DR isn’t simply a more ballsy amp than a 300DR – the former offers better refinement, detailing, bass control and will reveal more bass, but this will be controlled. Whether this ‘new bass’ might affect/excite your space is an unknown. I strongly suspect not – things will just sound cleaner and better bass control is often a ‘big win’ in a space. It will likely allow more volume to be entertained.
2- If you are buying from a dealer (P/L etc,), I’d recommend a demo – you might be surprised at the difference in sound signature due to the above facets. To my ears, the 300 has always been a tad ‘relaxed’ – some of us on here went from 250 to 500 (P/L for me!), as the 300 didn’t excite TBH.
3- I think you have a CDS3 with an XPSDR? If you use this a lot, another route here would be to put a 555PS(DR) on it, which increases detail and control, and P/L is a good VFM improvement IMHO.
With the NAP500DR, it’s simply an all-around better quality amp than a 300DR, which is easily demonstrated with smaller & bigger speakers. Some people have them hooked up to bookshelf speakers. It’s not all about power, it’s about control and presentation, part enabled by having more power on tap in case of need.
Of course, given the P/L prices for NAP500DRs are in the same arena as a pair of 350s, nobody has yet broken cover (on here at least) to say how the 2 compare. And 350’s may be easier to install and rack, as they don’t have burndies – noting one challenge with the 300/500s is keeping all the cabling well-dressed and off the floor, plus having a higher shelf height for the 500 head unit, unless you put it on top (which your lower back may thank you for!).